The Mother on Matrimandir lake and gardens

(2) This central point is a park I had seen when I was a little girl (perhaps the most beautiful thing in the world with regard to physical, material Nature), a park with water and trees like all parks, and flowers, but not many (flowers in the form of creepers), palm trees and ferns (all species of palm trees), water (if possible, running water) and, if possible, a small waterfall. From a practical point of view, it would be very good: at the edge, outside the park, we could build reservoirs that would provide water to the residents. 

All around, there is a circular road that separates the park from the rest of the city. 

Only, H. wants to be in peace, silence, far from the world, and it's quite possible in her park with a road around it and someone to stop people from entering – one can be really in peace – but if I am there, that's an end to it! 

The park, too, I saw – those are old visions I had repeatedly. But that's not difficult. The biggest difficulty is water, because there is no nearby river up there;

But anyway, without going into such grandiose things, something has to be done to bring water; that will be the biggest difficulty, that's what will take the longest time. As for the rest – light, power – it will be made on the spot in the industrial section – but you can't manufacture water! The Americans have given serious thought to a way of using sea water, because the earth no longer has enough drinking water for people (the water they call "fresh"* ... it's ironical); the amount of water is insufficient for people's use, so they have already started chemical experiments on a big scale to transform sea water and make it usable – obviously that would be the solution to the problem." (*"Fresh water" is eau douce in French, douce meaning "gentle" or "sweet.")

- Satprem: "But it already exists." 
"It exists, but not in a sufficient proportion."
- Satprem: "Yes, in Israel."
"They do it in Israel? They use sea water? Obviously, that would be the solution – the sea is there.
It has to be studied.
Then the water would have to be sent uphill...."

***

(3) Ah! Now the Mother Pavilion. This will be a separate island surrounded by a lake, tall trees, gardens with various kinds of flowers. I especially want the creepers of red hibiscus (Power) upon the outer dome of the Mother's Pavilion. They will look like living jewels against the white marble. There will be rockeries in Japanese style, varieties of cactus, small waterfalls, small pools with lilies, lotuses, small bridges, various kinds of fountains and marble statues - one of them will be Shiva in deep trance. From his matted hair flows the water like a fountain.... 

She continued: 
There will be only one entrance. I want precious, semi-precious and artificial stones to be paved from the gate to the Mother's Pavilion in gradations, because they are full of meaning.

The Park of Unity will be divided into twelve gardens, which will represent the twelve attributes of the Supreme Mother. In these gardens I would like to have various kinds of flowers – especially the different types of hibiscus – the Divine Consciousness.
On the other side, towards the boundary of the gardens, I wish to have huge trees like palms, varieties of ferns, neem, Indian cork-trees, eucalyptus and many other beautiful big trees – they all represent unity and aspiration. The whole area will be surrounded by a lake so that the Mother’s Shrine may be on an island.
When the lake will be dug, all the soil will be collected on one side in order to make it look like a mountain where there will be fir trees. You see, in the future there will be snow…
…In the residential area the ground must not be leveled but kept as it is with hillocks, and there will be trees, grass, flowers, small ponds, rockeries – all the natural beauties – nothing will be artificial.

***

(5) [Huta showed Mother a picture of the Golden Temple in Kyoto]. Mother commented:
“This is exactly what we shall have except for the shape of the roof – it must be a terrace and a dome, but the surroundings will be the same – lake, flowers, trees, rockeries, small waterfalls and so on.
Ah! you know, I saw this golden temple at Kyoto when I was in Japan. It is beautiful. The Mother’s Shrine will be like that. 
Gardening is a wonderful thing – specially in Japan.”

***

(6)The central park will be the Park of Unity containing the Pavilion and its ‘annex’ as formerly decided.”

***

(7) September, 1965 – [Later Mother wrote on a report submitted to Her by Roger:]
“The Park of Unity must be surrounded by a kind of isolating zone so that it is solitary and silent. One has access to it only with permission.”

***

(12) You can see them there, and I am sure that you will be happy as the Truth Pavilion is in a kind of island in the centre of an artificial round lake and looks like an immense lotus opened towards heaven.

***

(15) In 1966, the Sri Aurobindo Society published the first brochure on Auroville.
This brochure was read out and approved by Mother, and She Herself wrote the introduction, defining Her role in relation to Sri Aurobindo’s work and the functions of the Ashram and Auroville.
[The following excerpts are concerned with the Matrimandir:]
“The axes of penetration towards the centre create a convergence, a densification of buildings, increasing to a point where they suddenly open out upon the gardens of Unity.
In the centre of these gardens, surrounded by a lake, will be situated ‘The Sanctuary of Truth’ and the Matrimandir (Shrine of the Mother)….
… At the centre of the town, the Park of Unity is formed by a crown of gardens overhanging the lake, which surrounds the Sanctuary of Truth with the Matrimandir.
The Sanctuary of Truth, by its form and position, will be the heart of the town, the dominating point of Auroville opening to the Light.”.

***

(17) “The Truth Pavilion and your tiny house will be very close to each other – your house will stand between the Banyan tree and the Truth Pavilion. All these will be on an island – surrounded by water, trees and the Gardens of Unity. It will take five years if we have sufficient money. Yes… otherwise… but I want the whole town to be built within ten years’ time.”

***

(23) [In reply an early settler at the Centre who had just finished building his house and wanted to know whether it should have a name:]
“I should like the whole place to be called PEACE, and that peace, actual peace should reign there, not only between the occupants but with the whole of Auroville, present and future.”

***

(24) [Mother formally named the Centre area “PEACE”:]
“’Peace’. The foremost thing must be Peace. Whatever you do must be by peaceful means.
The second thing necessary is Harmony, not only general harmony but also between the individuals living there. You must begin to look for the harmony in each individual and not dwell on the disharmony. The disharmony exists everywhere but you must reject that and allow only the harmony to enter.
There must be a sense of Order.
Each individual must have a sense of self-discipline, and actually practice it.
Peace, Harmony, Order, Self Discipline”.

***

(29) “It must be a thing of great beauty – of such a beauty that when men enter the gardens, they will say, ‘Ah! this is it!’, and experience physically, concretely, the significance of each garden. In the garden of Youth, they will know youth; in the garden of Felicity they will know felicity, in the garden of Perfection they will know perfection, and so on.
One must know how to move from consciousness to consciousness”.

***

(32) R.’s idea is an island at the centre, with water around, running water which will be used for the whole water supply of the city; and when it has flowed through the city, it will be sent to a plant, and from there to irrigate all the cultivated lands around. So this centre is like an islet, and at this centre, there is what we first called the “Matrimandir”

 

And to watch over the islet, it was agreed there would be a small house for H. who wanted to be there simply as a guard …. Then R. had arranged a whole system of bridges to link that to the other bank. The other bank would be entirely made of gardens all around. Those gardens … we thought of twelve gardens (dividing the distance into twelve), twelve gardens with each of them concentrated on one thing: a state of consciousness with the flowers representing it. And the twelfth garden would be in the islet, around (not around but beside) the “Mandir” with the tree, the banyan which is there. That’s what is at the centre of the city. And there, there would be a repetition of the twelve gardens around, with the flowers arranged in the same way … There are now two Americans here, husband and wife, and the husband studied there for more than a year the art of gardening, and he came here with that knowledge. So I asked him to start straight away preparing the plan for the inner garden: they’re working on it.

But of course, what’s needed … There are material difficulties: for this islet, we need water – naturally, otherwise it’s not an islet! To have the water, we must transform it – there isn’t enough underground water.”
- Satprem: “Not enough water?”
“There is water, but it’s enough for one or two houses, anyway not enough to create a permanent flow. We would need transformed sea water. In Israel they have found a way to do it economically (we even have brochures on this), but you understand, economical for a city, not economical for an individual! So then, we’d need to have water to make this islet, that’s the difficulty.”
- Satprem: “But before building the islet, we can begin building the “temple” itself … Begin by lifting a pebble.”
“Yes, we could do that.”

***

(34) It’s the same with the gardens: all the gardens that are being prepared are for now, but in twenty years, all that will have to be on another scale; then it will have to be something really … really beautiful.

***

(35) But the first idea was to surround that with water, to have an island so that people would cross the water to reach the temple. It’s quite possible to have an island...”

***

(39) [In answer to a letter from Huta, Mother dictated to Andre M. the following:]
“It has been decided and will remain decided that the Matrimandir will be surrounded with water.
However, water is not available just now and will be available only later, so it is decided to build the Matrimandir now and surround it with water only later, perhaps in a few years’ time. 
As regards the Matrimandir itself I have selected our plan, which agrees with the vision I had of the inside and have myself approved.
Therefore there is no need to worry.
The Matrimandir will be built now and water brought around it later.”

***

(40) It is like the Force, the central Force of Auroville, the cohesive Force of Auroville.
There will be gardens. There will be everything, all the possibilities: engineers, architects, all kinds of manual work.

***

(49) [It was conveyed to Mother, on that same day, that the Aurovilians working at the Matrimandir Nursery were asking whether they should postpone their work of growing flowers and join instead the excavation work; to this, Mother replied:]
“No. The gardens are as important as the Matrimandir itself”.

***

(91) 1972 – [Perhaps during that year, and perhaps to Narad, Mother gave the names of the twelve Gardens of the Matrimandir as well:]
“Matrimandir: Love.
The twelve gardens: Existence, Consciousness, Bliss, Light, Life, Power, Wealth, Utility, Progress, Youth, Harmony, Perfection.
Banyan tree: Unity.”

***

(96) [Sometime during that period, it is on record, but undated, that Huta wrote to Mother asking Her whether Narad could help her in making better slides of her paintings on ‘Savitri’, and Mother wrote:]
“It is alright, he can do this work at the best of his capacity.
But he must make arrangements so that the gardens of the Matrimandir will not suffer.
Blessings. “

***

(103) [On the same day, Shyam Sunder reads out to Mother Narad’s letter where he complains of the small size of the gardens as planned by Roger; to this Mother replies orally to Shyam Sunder:]
“I have never told Narad that it should be very big … Roger is the best judge.”

***

(127) December 22, 1972 – [to Shyam Sunder, in response to a query from Mary-Helen, who is working at the Matrimandir Gardens Nursery, about the Japanese garden:]
“It is to be naturally in the Japanese way [(the Gardens)]!”

***

(137) February 12, 1973 – [Commenting on a letter from Narad about the planting of trees around Matrimandir, and his feelings of emptiness and request for guidance to find a new way, Mother tells Shyam Sunder that the execution of the Matrimandir Gardens has already been told in detail to Roger, and that is what is to be done.]

**********

References:

2) Mother’s Agenda, Vol. 6, p. 139-150
3) Huta’s book 2nd edition 2002, p. 12;
5) Huta’s book, p. 9;
6) Huta’s book, p. 9-10 
7) AV-Archives
12) Huta’s book, p. 15
15) AV-Archives
17) Huta’s book, p. 23
23) AV-Archives
24) AV-Archives
29) Huta’s book, p. 30
32) Mother’s Agenda, Vol. 10, p. 492-501
34) Mother’s Agenda, Vol. 11, p. 15-24
35) Mother’s Agenda, Vol. 11, p. 34-37
39) AV-Archives
40) AV-Archives
49) AV-Archives 
91) AV-Archives
96) AV-Archives
103) Shyam Sunder’s book, p. 212
127) Shyam Sunder’s book, p. 255
137) Shyam Sunder’s book, p. 273