A progression of seemingly chance encounters on a personal search for something other than the conventional road map for petty success and happiness in this life lead up to a moment on top of truck en route to Kathmandu where something more than just words about the teaching of Sri Aurobindo and Mother, but a lived inner peace and light in a seventeen year-old make me realise that I must go to the source and perhaps find the meaningful existence that I had been seeking.
Realizing that the world was a mess was of course the discovery that I too was a mess and that if I wanted to make something more true and beautiful of this life around me, the place to start was myself and then perhaps to live in community with similarly concerned individuals. Thus Mother and Auroville, and over the course of the years the long, slow revelation of Sri Aurobindo’s light and living, constant action. What a grace, what fortune!
After an initial explosion of inner progress and joy, jump-started by meeting Mother and being given my name ‘Vikas’ (Progress), there followed a sine curve plunge and a recrudescence of all that had to go out of my personal evolution. At the time I had taken up smoking dope again, indulging in casual sex and becoming for Auroville a waste of space. This was the time of the Auroville/SAS conflict and physically I was emaciated and low, so I returned to UK and started working as an architect, got married and started a family. Yoga seemed to take a holiday for some years. When I finally re-engaged with Auroville and the yoga, it was with a far deeper commitment and with a compassion, tolerance and understanding that what sometimes seems like the negation of pursuit of the spiritual journey may just be part of the rhythm of the an individual’s or group’s personal sadhana and should not be judged.
When I revisited Auroville my heart was again opened to its dire necessity and purpose in a world on a progressively self-destructive trajectory. All world and personal events were screaming the message: nothing really changes unless the consciousness changes. Ironically, nowhere does this truism make itself more evident than in Auroville itself. Through our own lives and through Auroville International we can perhaps work for Auroville to be a living demonstration of the truth it was created to manifest.