Friday, August 17, 2012

JRD Tata And Auroville

J.R.D. Tata and Auroville....

Towarnicki: And how do you explain J.R.D. Tata's helping Auroville?
Ah, that is something else.
Towarnicki: Can one talk about it?
Of course, one can.
Towarnicki: Do you know exactly what he did?
He helped Auroville a great deal.
Auroville was besieged by a corrupt police, paid by the "owners of Auroville" (in quotation marks).
Towarnicki: The owners of the land?
They weren't the "owners." Mother had put a few people in charge (you've got to have funds to start building a city); she had asked one or two of her disciples to concentrate particularly on raising funds wherever they could to help in the birth or creation of Auroville.
And the people she had entrusted with raising funds to help in the development of Auroville are the very ones who declared themselves the "owners of Auroville"! It's quite simple and straightforward: "Mother is gone, so we are the owners."
And so those "owners" (who were unscrupulous people – really crooks, in fact) used every means in the book to try to keep their authority over Auroville. And unfortunately, with corruption pervading everything in India, they paid EVERYBODY – the police, the villagers, various officials – in order to have the government expel, or to choke the lifeline of, those residents of Auroville who refused to participate in the swindle and the big spiritual business. They used absolutely everything. They had some of them put in jail, they... Oh, there were all sorts of awful things!
Towarnicki: Including aggression?
Yes, absolutely, including aggression!
This is where Mr. Tata was very helpful.... You see, in fact, Auroville needed to be protected against those mercenaries. And he agreed to –
Towarnicki: That's really something...
He agreed that his name be used, and he said, "I guarantee Auroville's integrity." Well, the moment somebody like Mr. Tata guarantees something, it puts an end to a lot of intrigues; it kept a lot of little hyenas from perpetrating their mischief.
He was very helpful in that way.
And not only did he give his personal guarantee, but several of us joined together to found... not an institute, but a sort of society, called Auromitra, meaning "The Friends of Auroville," to protect Auroville from these crooks.
Towarnicki: And why did he do it?
Out of love, of course! Simply because he believed; he believed in those young people.... The group of a few
hundred young people living there: Germans, Italians, Canadians, Americans, French. He had seen them. He had seen their vitality and sincerity. And even if it looked eccentric or uncustomary, there was something healthy about it, something genuine, authentic.
So he said to himself, "I am going to guarantee the integrity of these people."
And he had seen, on the other side, the people who called themselves "the owners" – he clearly saw that they were crooks.
So, in his way, as the generous and very simple man that he is (he is indeed a very simple and straightforward man; Tata is a man who has a heart, a big heart), he said to himself, "I am going to protect these young people from the intrigues and corruption of those people" – who brought false charges against them to the police, who had them arrested...
He gave his personal guarantee. He had the guts to say, "No, no, no, this is not how things are."
Towarnicki: You have seen J.R.D. Tata several times, haven't you?
Towarnicki: Have you talked to him?
Towarnicki: He knows what you have tried to do, what Mother has done. He even went there....
Yes, but he doesn't really understand how Mother's and Sri Aurobindo's undertaking can help present humanity in a practical and concrete way. He doesn't understand that.
Because, for him, the problem is mainly an economic one.
Yet, as he himself admits, what is needed is a change in human nature.
In truth, it is not so much a change in India's pocketbook that is needed as a change in human nature. If you don't change human nature, you always end up with failure.
In other words, it is not an economic problem.
Towarnicki: Or perhaps it's both. He thinks that, short of an economic solution, all attempts to ameliorate human nature – the "quality of mankind," as the founder of the Club of Rome put it – are bound to fail, because they will be thwarted by other forces we failed to take into account. If we let the fire in a nearby forest go unchecked, without fighting it, what is the sense of an experience aimed at opening the way to a future species? Will the force of such an experience be able to control the fire? Or will the fire inexorably and inevitably spread and end up destroying...
What you are saying is very true, but we keep talking of the future species as if... as if it were a thing of the future! But we are RIGHT IN IT – the process is taking place now.
We clothe the phenomenon in wrong explanations. But the real phenomenon is of an evolutionary order.
Towarnicki: Exactly.
The truth is, the old species is being broken apart so another possibility can emerge from it.
And that's the real key to everything.
Towarnicki: So...
The new species isn't in the next decade; it's right here and now.
We are living it. We are in the process of living it.

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