Sunday, December 21, 2014

Part I: The Flawed Auroville Matrimandir

[This is the Preface and Part I of The Chronicles of the Inner Chamber; readers of this series may first want to read the blog's 'Introduction' and the Matrimandir Action Committee's 'Manifesto']


Those readers of Matrimandir Action Committee communications who live in India or who have had contact with Indian culture are very much aware of the fact that, to quote the Mahamaya, ‘…If the measurement of the temple is in every way perfect, there is perfection in the universe as well.’(XXII, 92.) It is unthinkable in India to establish a noble endeavour around a Symbol that is imperfect, flawed; or else distorted purposely or out of ignorance by impositions of the human ego. For these reasons all sacred art, sculpture and architecture were anonymously executed to lessen the prominence of the ego. In the place of honour there is, traditionally, the highest symbol of perfection, fashioned with meticulous care particularly in what concerns proportions and measurements. To stray from those ancient injunctions is unthinkable.

          Simply put, this perfect form then generates an atmosphere that UPLIFTS, or allows for an uplifting of the surrounding environment. The perfect form central to a town or any cherished endeavour in India is the MODEL TO EMULATE, to GROW INTO.

          In the Auroville Matrimandir we have just the contrary. We have a flawed, imperfect and deceptive form with no redeeming features. This is the focus not only of that community’s life but it has imposed itself and become the focus of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram as well, and has spread throughout the world via the numerous ‘centres’ connected to these establishments that have sprung up everywhere. All are part of a web woven from this central symbol-form. Most  caught in this web are Indians. The confusion is so great that they reject their own millennia-old tradition in favour of the Auroville theory that the Matrimandir ‘cannot be perfect because we are not perfect’. The flaws and distortions, if indeed they are there, are justified on the basis of a sanction established in 1974 for the community by Satprem on various occasions but particularly in his letter to ‘D’, dated 12 September 1974. We will quote from this letter further on because it entered MAC archives on 5. 2. 2003, sent to us by Paulette in defence of the Auroville Matrimandir. 

          There are a number of points that could be taken up for discussion in Satprem’s letter. MAC has officially replied to Paulette. If readers do not have that document in hand, it is available on our website www.matacom.com or else we may be contacted at matacom@msn.com. Here we must only add that there can be no sanction from any quarter for what Satprem’s letter advocates. Logic alone is sufficient to expose the off-centred poise in these exhortations.

          Lamentably, this was the ‘vision’ that Auroville chose in 1974, in contrast to what we offered: the Divine Measure that the Mother herself handed to those very people who would go on to lead the community, but after having first dismantled her Vision.

          That was the year of a great turning point or crossroads of destiny. We had made the perfection of the Mother’s Vision known to the architects and to all those who took an interest in the temple in the spring and summer of 1974, pleading with them to execute that Vision (nothing had been built yet) because it was PERFECTION.  Our files are replete with this documentation.

          The Matrimandir Talks had not been released by Satprem yet; that was to happen in 1975 after The Gnostic Circle was sent to press, the first publication in which this perfection was revealed, but without yet having the Mother’s own words on the significance of her Vision as recorded in those taped discussions. The executing architect released the Mother’s original plan to a select few in May of 1974, while The Gnostic Circle was in progress, on which basis the Matrimandir section of the book was written and published. Finally, when in the midst of the Urn controversy, he circulated the released transcripts sometime in late 1974-1975 (incomplete and strategically edited, we must add); they confirmed everything written in The Gnostic Circle regarding that Vision.

          This is the point. The Mother’s words were required only for the purpose of establishing beyond question what that perfect form is since errors had entered the plan drawn up by Udar, the Ashram engineer. A person of knowledge sees just that plan and knows what it is, its perfection, its purpose, and the laws it embodies and utilises to fulfil a superior function. This is the way Knowledge has been preserved in India for thousands of years; not only in India but throughout the ancient world. Even the sacred mantras are treated in the same way, with that same reverence for perfection in every detail; indeed, in deference to Mahasaraswati, the reigning Goddess of our Age. The disciple is trained to chant the riks and mantras flawlessly. The Word in such instances is just another ‘temple’. One is the ‘sound’ from the human temple; the other is the Word of the constructed form. Both embody that supreme perfection, - the one more ephemerally, the other more lastingly. Hence the greater emphasis on strict adherence to the commands of the Rishis in sacred architecture and sculpture. And though the aspirant himself is not yet an embodiment of that perfection, he knows that in concentrating on that Vision he can become THAT. This is his yoga of Perfect Works.

          Consider the model Satprem offers: forget the form of perfection with its centimetres (and ‘astrology’, i.e., the ancient traditions) and project your aspiration into what you build, whose actual form is only secondarily relevant, if at all. When you reach ‘perfection’ the Matrimandir will be perfect – spontaneously, he states.

          There are two major flaws in this concept which we would like to expose. One is described above and conforms to ancient traditions of all times: we start not by cementing our flaws but by reproducing as exactly as possible the Mother’s Vision in order that in the process we grow into that perfection.

          And second, Satprem’s exhortation does nothing but strengthen the ego of the instrument, a pitfall of yoga that Sri Aurobindo has detailed extensively in his writings on yoga. It can be succinctly conveyed as follows: It is not what you build but the consciousness of the builder; it is YOUR consciousness alone that matters, not the Mother’s Vision.

          In 1974, when offered the choice between the Mother’s Vision and Satprem’s, the builders of the Matrimandir chose the latter. This act of choosing had grave consequences as revealed in the document reproduced on page 4.

          Apart from the building itself, the next decisive ‘choice’ after that 1974 turning point was when the community, in an entirely misguided movement led by the same people involved in the temple issue, opted for Government control of the project, and finally a complete take-over. Auroville now belongs to the Government of India, a development totally against the Mother’s will and known to all those who spearheaded the drive into Government’s arms. That Divine Will was emphatically spelled out in the two letters we reproduce here. No amount of sophistry will alter in any way the Mother’s express will in this crucial matter.

          This is a coherent process. The choice of the temple plays itself out almost immediately in vital areas of the project’s life, guided by the same choice made for the Inner Chamber and, incredibly, spearheaded by the very same people. All the way down the line decisions must be influenced by the central symbol, the focus of the community’s life. It cannot be otherwise because it is the Law.

          Let us see how this works because in the process it will reveal the greatness of the Mother and how faithful and true she was to who she was.

Matrimandir Action Committee
February 18, 2003

[Part 1 continues with - 'A Letter of the Mother on "Auroville"']

A Letter of the Mother on "Auroville"

 [A continuation of The Chronicles of the Inner Chamber, Preface (Part 1)]

          From 1966 to 1970 UNESCO passed three Resolutions on Auroville. The Resolutions affirmed that Auroville was being established by, and was a project of, Sri Aurobindo Societya non-government organisation. The appreciated the great ideals of Auroville and invited all States and non-governmental organisations to support it.
          Around 1970 one of the functionaries of the Sri Aurobindo Society heart that a decision had been taken to offer Auroville as an experiment for the UNESCO's project of "The Design of Integrated Living". The Mother was asked whether She had approved this decision. This was asked in a letter and in the left-hand margin of the letter, the Mother replied, as follows, with reference to the word "decision":



('if it has at all been taken, it is without my knowledge because I say to it an emphatic NO')

Below the letter the Mother gave the following statement on the general question in regard to Auroville:


(I do not know who told you that but there is a misunderstanding somewhere because to hand over the management of Auroville to any country or any group however big it may be is an absolute impossibility. Blessings, The Mother)

Part II: The Disfigurement of the Mother's Temple Vision

[This is Part II - the 'Introduction' of The Chronicles of the Inner Chamber; readers of this series may first want to read the blog's 'Introduction' and the Matrimandir Action Committee's 'Manifesto', or Part I - Preface, before continuing.]



The Mother was the executive power of the Supreme Lord. She was his own ‘executing architect’. The ancient Veda describe this magnificent power/principle as the Divine Maya. It is she who fashions material creation in the image of the Lord. She is the executor of his Will.
Measure is the keyword, the very root of the word maya. It is, to be sure, a divine Maya, not human. The human maya is the ‘illusion’ of Advaita, a concept that has thoroughly conquered the yogic mind of India.
Sri Aurobindo came to Earth to change that, to ‘correct the error of the Buddha’, as he wrote. The Mother was his formidable tool. Her most potent weapon was the Divine Maya which she brought to the Earth. And that is the essence of her original plan.
Very few have grasped the Mother’s greatness in its fullest dimensions. Her original plan of the Inner Chamber reveals that greatness in all its multiple and singularly unique facets. Above all, it reveals her as the incarnation of the Vedic Divine Maya, the executor of the Transcendent’s Will.
Precision was the Mother’s call; an engineer not an architect because she demanded this precision. Why was precision so important? It was so that the Divine Measure she brought to Earth in early January of 1970, in an extraordinary yogic feat, could be transposed into our world of time and space and measure. In this act her purpose for incarnating was encapsulated; in that plan we have the condensation of everything that the Mother was – what she came down with and what she grew into once she was born on Earth. The entire trajectory of her yoga is captured first in her own symbol, which forms the overall basis of the Chamber’s plan, and then all the other elements of the design as given by her. We will cover them all, one by one, in these Chronicles.
The Mother’s Vision and its accompanying geometric plan is her legacy to humanity in that it reveals exactly what she accomplished up to that point in time; and also the exact stage of the Supramental Manifestation in January 1970. Her final gift to us was given during those eighteen days when she explained and defended her Vision before the non-believers (…’One is not going to say it. To begin with, they would not believe me’…). Nothing more would be needed.
From that date, 17.1.1970, her consciousness was intensely occupied in the subtle planes where she consolidated the knowledge content of the temple so that in its complete form it too would be fixed for all times. The very first demonstration of her action across time and space was in March, barely two months later. It took the form of inspiration for a symbolic story in which the Chamber itself was described in Chapter Ten of the book. This was done without any contact between the Mother and the writer who was many thousands of kilometres away. Apart from its architectural form, in the same chapter the function of the Inner Chamber was described and, most importantly, its connection with Time. This was the very first demonstration of the Mother’s action as the Supramental Shakti in the subtle planes ‘to sort out the people’. It transpired immediately after rejection of her Vision. But there was much more to follow.
To execute this in our world of material forms a new precision was required. The bridge between subtle and physical could only be constructed on the basis of these laws of a New Precision. From Sri Aurobindo’s A God’s Labour, the magnitude of her accomplishment is described…
 
…The gulf twixt the depths and the heights is bridged
And the golden waters pour
Down the sapphire mountain rainbow-ridged
And glimmer from shore to shore. 
Heaven’s fire is lit in the breast of the earth
And the undying suns here burn
Through a wonder cleft in the bounds of birth
The incarnate spirits yearn 
Like flames to the kingdoms of Truth and Bliss:
Down a gold-red stair-way wend
The radiant children of Paradise
Clarioning darkness’s end…


We entered at the stage of disfigurement in 1974. The Vision was already gone. But the history of its disfigurement is as fascinating as the revelation of the Divine Maya itself. To appreciate what follows, it is necessary to understand that it was fundamental to preserve a record of the original Vision and plan.
Those eighteen days of recorded discussions together with the original plan preserve what needs to be known to unravel the mystery; and also the ‘measure’ of all things. We will see how meticulously this works.
The Mother’s Vision is reality, not what stands in the Auroville Matrimandir. True, the latter is ‘reality’ as we know it today. It is the misaligned human being with no luminous perfectly poised core – the human creature who, try as he might, can only spawn reproductions of his own misaligned binary condition in orbit of the ego’s emptiness.
On the other hand, the Mother’s Vision described the true reality UP THERE, but in the process of manifestation, of descent.  The greatness of the Mother was not the Vision itself but the subsequent ACT OF MEASURING. By this act she brought the Divine Maya into our world of time and space and imprinted it indelibly in the Earth-consciousness. It can now never be erased. She did this by way of a precision involving the measures of our contemporary world: metres and centimetres, backed up by a vast body of knowledge, the accumulation of thousands of years of inspired drishti by the ancient Rishis. Without that act of measuring there is no descent – no link is made, no imprinting. Therefore the Power preserved the record of those blessed eighteen days during which time the Mother imprinted her Vision on the Earth.
Satprem showed no interest and supported Paolo in full. Paolo was interested in his own vision and nothing more. That was seconded by Satprem to the Mother herself in spite of the fact that she was handing them this greatest of rahasyas, this greatest of divine mysteries. To make his preference clear, in the midst of her laborious defence of her Vision, Satprem told her,
 
          
‘But when Paolo showed me his plan I had the impression that it was something very
            beautiful…I will tell you what I felt. I felt: I am witnessing the birth of Auroville.’
            The Mother’s reply was quick and blunt, ‘No, it is not true.’
            Again he insists, ‘I mean the material birth.’
           The Mother once more replies, ‘Yes, yes, I understand, but it is not true.’
                                             (Source: L’Agenda de M√®re, Vol. 11, L’Institut de Recherches √Čvolutives, Paris, 1981)

It defies human understanding how the Mother’s Vision could have been so totally rejected in favour of a simple architect’s ‘mental ideas’. Added to this is its perverse rejection by the whole community later. The answer to this baffling development lies in the nature of the Supermind and its revolutionary significance for ‘the birth of a new world’, as the Mother announced in 1957. These Chronicles will help to clarify the mystery.
Finally, having completed the task of drawing that Vision into the Earth plane through the act of measuring and experiencing its rejection, the Mother handed it over to ‘the Consciousness’ to ‘sort out the people’ – those who would vibrate to her vision, and those who would vibrate to Satprem’s and Paolo’s and their executing engineer, Piero Cicionesi. She then began to ‘sort out the people’ by a meticulous action in the subtle planes utilising that very same ‘new precision’.
The collective choice in favour of this Troika (Satprem/Paolo/Piero) was made in 1974.    
It is expressed succinctly in Satprem’s own words which have been a mantra for the builders, particularly at times when they were faced with opposition to their designs, times like now when again they throw the same words at us. He wrote, ‘In the vision from above there are no centimetres; there is only an inner perfection that fits itself spontaneously into certain measures.’ By this sophistry he has effectively eliminated the Mother as the Divine Executor of the Supreme’s Will, as the Divine Maya. And further, ‘It is this inner perfection of the builders of Matrimandir that should be the exterior perfection of the temple [emphasis ours]. Not, then, a question of discussing centimetres or columns, but of working towards that unity of our consciousness. All the waverings between the Mother’s vision and the workers’ translation gives the exact measure of the ego’s interference.’
Perhaps when he wrote these words Satprem did not realise just how true they were and their implications. For if we do indeed wish to discover ‘the exact measure of the ego’s interference’, it is only possible by holding that ‘translation’ up to the Mother’s Vision. That, and that alone, is the Divine Measure. Therefore, in these Chronicles we will analyse point by point what stands in the Auroville Matrimandir, measuring it up to the Divine Measure of the Mother’s plan. We will prove the truth of Satprem’s prophetic statement because the Divine Measure will give us the exact measure of the human ego that has been rendered in cement and steel in the Auroville Matrimandir. This imperfect form of the Measure of Man now serves as the focal point for aspiration of all the residents of Auroville, the Ashram, and the devotees of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo throughout the world, by their own conscious choice.
But is this how Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’s work is to end, with the human ego as the symbol, as the model to emulate? Or did the Mother have another ‘agenda’?
Succinctly, we have a monument to human imperfection in place of the Mother’s Vision of Perfection. The choice for this was made in the mid 1970s. The present exercise aims at exposing this fact, while reinstating the Mother’s Vision at the heart of her work. The two versions have to be clearly defined now. The time has come.
 
Matrimandir Action Committee
February 21, 2003

Part III: What the Builders of the Auroville Matrimandir Did Not Understand

[This is Part III of The Chronicles of the Inner Chamber; readers of this series may first want to read the blog's 'Introduction' and the Matrimandir Action Committee's 'Manifesto',  Part I - Preface, or Part II before continuing.]


Entering the Chamber  
 
In the January 1992 issue of Auroville Today, there is an interview featured prominently with the executing architect/engineer of the Auroville Matrimandir, Piero Cicionesi. It is an English translation of the original Italian published in the Ashram journal, Domani.  PC makes the following statement:
‘When the Mother spoke to us about the project, she told us that the important thing was that the symbols and the sphere with the sun ray upon it should be in their right place…therefore, the immense effort of architects and engineers and workers to create the structure has been nothing but a preparation for the realisation of the room according to Mother’s vision. The existing structure has been made with the maximum respect for Mother’s vision, as transcribed by Udar, an Ashram engineer. His drawing still exists and it contains the measurements of the Chamber. The room today is as faithful to the original design as it can possibly be. Only one thing couldn’t be respected: the under-ground entrance with direct access to the room at ground level. In the final project, this particular aspect has been lost due to the room being 15 metres above ground level in the middle of the sphere….’
This sounds reasonable and honest. But let us analyse carefully this statement and contrast it with other statements, as well as with facts on the ground.
          In so doing, it will become clear that from the very beginning there was no real intention of following the Mother’s directives as given during the 18 days of her discussions with Satprem and Paolo. For it is to those discussions that PC refers, since there is no other record where the Mother makes mention of the sphere, the ray playing upon it, accurate measurements, and so forth. Before proceeding, note that in this same issue of Auroville Today, in the ‘Chronology of Mother’s Construction’, page 3, the dates go from 31.12.1969 (before the Mother had her Vision) to March 1970 with the presentation of Roger’s designs. Those precious, historical 18 days, when the Mother explained and defended her Vision and handed Satprem and Paolo her plan, are eliminated. They just do not exist for Auroville and its followers.
          It would therefore appear from this interview that the executing architect made every possible effort to create the Chamber of the Mother’s original vision, using Udar Pinto’s drawing as his guide. 
          In this Chronicle, we will take up just one aspect of PC’s statement for analysis to demonstrate that, 1) there was never any intention of following her directives with accuracy, professionalism and sincerity, and 2) there has been a deliberate campaign to convince the public – and perhaps the community of Aurovilleans themselves - that it was all ‘according to the Mother’s original plan’.
          Consider the statement in a Publisher’s Note of the German translation of The Gnostic Circle (Fischer Verlag, 1977, first edition 18,000 copies), by the same person. In The Gnostic Circle the author’s text  on page 256 reads:

(Translated from the German): ‘It must be mentioned here that it is getting clearer and clearer that the measurements and the plan given by the Mother are not being followed accurately in the construction. All the arrangements and dimensions we speak of here are, however, taken from the original plan the Mother had drawn up by an Ashram engineer, and her recorded talks about her vision-experience of the Temple which already exists on the subtle plane and is influencing ours.’

          Below is the Publisher’s Note by the editor in charge of the edition for Fischer Verlag, Ms Crystal Falk, with a statement from the architect regarding this text: 

(Translated from the German) ‘During the last supervision of the manuscript  before printing on 14.6.1977, the master builders of Matrimandir who are presently in Europe to get the marble for the Inner Chamber, have categorically stated that after some technical discussions the construction is now going to be done exactly according to the measurements and instructions of the original plan which the Mother had drawn up by the above-mentioned Ashram engineer [Udar Pinto]. For some time this appeared uncertain because of structural difficulties in building the outer supporting construction of Matrimandir, which required a spherical shape.’
 
When the book was released and this outrageous falsehood was discovered as a ‘Publisher’s Note’, without the author’s knowledge or consent, the publisher Fischer Verlag then agreed to make amends for the liberty taken by the person in charge, Crystal Falk, and print a corrigendum to be included in each copy.
           Receiving this news, the executing architect immediately sent the following letter to the Publisher. It is reproduced here in order to show the manner in which the Auroville letterhead and symbol are abused, sullied. For those who do not know German, the translation follows:


(8.4.1978) ‘It has come to my attention that the additional correcting Editor’s Note (page 256) referring to the Matrimandir construction in Auroville, is to be removed by Fischer Verlag. As the executing architect of the Matrimandir, I wish to repeat that said note absolutely conforms to truth and therefore has to remain in the book. In case Fischer Verlag really removes the Note, I should be obliged and forced to institute legal proceedings against the Verlag.’ (Signed) Piero Cicionesi

This transpired in the fall of 1977 and spring of 1978. But already by 1975-76, two years earlier, the construction had reached the point of no return. Two items in particular were fixed for all time and could no longer be changed, the two that the executing architect knew were in the original plan and would never find their way into the Chamber he was constructing in Auroville, even as he issued this statement. One was, of course, the entrance by way of a 15-step stairway, emerging into the room through an opening in the floor.
           This was given with great precision in the Mother’s original plan and further clarified in the 18-day discussions, when the disciple and the Italian architect, Paolo Tomasi, simply refused to take the Mother seriously about her desired entryway. 
What is significant to note is that at the very time the executing architect was issuing his statement to the Verlag while in Europe, his wife and fellow architect, Gloria, together with Matrimandir Workers, circulated an Open Letter in which they enumerate ALL THE CHANGES THAT WERE MADE compared to the Mother’s original! On the one hand he claims that NO CHANGES WERE MADE and the original is being followed in every detail since the ‘structural difficulties’ had been solved, while his wife and co-workers reveal just the contrary in their Open Letter. Which statement is true? We shall proceed to find out.
          PC knew at the time of issuing his threat of legal action to the Publisher, on Auroville stationary, that his statement was false. And fifteen years down the line (1992), he admits what he knowingly lied about then, - that the entry to the Chamber of the Mother’s original Vision could not be executed because of ‘structural difficulties’ – those very same ‘difficulties’ that had been ‘resolved’, according to his statement in the German The Gnostic Circle.
          This is an example of the deliberate efforts made over the years to hide the truth, to convince the public that it is indeed the Mother’s Vision that stands in Auroville. These Chronicles, one after another, will finally expose the lies.

What was lost
Let us now return to the Mother’s Vision and try to appreciate why she designed the entry in the manner she did and what the Knowledge states to confirm the perfection of her Seeing.
          Positioning of the entry into a temple, or any important edifice, is held to be extremely important in India, one of the very few countries in the world where sacred architecture is still practised, as it was throughout the ancient world. This passageway sets the tone for the entire experience of the aspirant thereafter. On this basis the rest of the Harmony unfolds. Therefore, if the first experience and the impact it produces is flawed, it can safely be said that the rest of the experience will be affected significantly.
          In a remarkable manner, the Mother captured almost the entire store of Vedic wisdom just by the 15-step stairway ascending into the Chamber from below – a rise into the room. She specified in her original plan that this passageway was to be positioned south, at a precise location in the floor. None of this was left to chance; all details were covered. There was no room for guessing or improvisation.
          Let us retract a bit and view this passageway within the entire structure. The Mother located the entrance into the temple itself according to the position of the rising Sun on April 4
th. This would correspond to approximately the 14th degree of the Sun’s apparent motion along the ecliptic, beginning at 0 degree Aries on the March Equinox. This indicates that the entire structure has an orientation based on the four Cardinal Points. Already we note a correspondence with Vedic culture in no uncertain terms.
This section of the ecliptic, the December Solstice and the shortest day of the year, is called Uttarayana in India, or the northernmost gateway. It is entrance into the North Cardinal Pole of the ecliptic and is held as the most sacred of all to this day. The entire nation continues to pay homage to this yearly passage on Makar Sankranti (Pongal, in Tamil Nadu), though the timing is woefully incorrect (by 23 days), and most do not understand its profound meaning and supporting knowledge. We find it revered even in the ancient Rig Veda where that ‘tenth month’ (Makar/Capricorn) is the period of victory of the Aryan Warrior.
          In all ancient cultures the December Solstice was known as the Festival of Light, because from that shortest day of the year the light begins to increase. Insofar as the focus of the Chamber is a descending solar ray, this solar experience of increase and effulgence is emphasised throughout the structure.

          The Mother honoured the ancient Vedic tradition in this way, specifically creating the entrance in such a manner that the aspirant would see the descending Ray throughout his/her rise into the Chamber, on the backdrop of this sacred most Uttarayana. For in the Mother’s words, ‘Each facet [of the 12 walls] represents a month of the year.’ (The Matrimandir Talks)
          This is the tone set for the Chamber that was to resonate throughout the being of the aspirant; indeed, throughout the world like expanding ripples in the sea of the Earth-consciousness. The North Pole, or the tenth month/facet of the Chamber, encapsulates the entire destiny of India. It is the point on the ecliptic of the soul of the Earth, which is geographically located in India. This is the ‘note’ sounded throughout the entire Chamber, according to the Mother’s Vision, and confirmed in each aspect of the room.
          Because of this centre/soul connection, when the precision the Mother sought is honoured, then via the traditional Laws of Correspondence and Equivalence associated with Vedic Knowledge, everything she established in her plan is extended beyond the confines of not only Auroville and India but to the whole world. Without the required ‘precision’ no such connections are made. Above all, and this is what the builders of the Auroville Matrimandir do not understand, a revelation of this highest order depends for its success on a precision that is implemented on the basis of wholeness, a discernible thread weaving throughout the plan and design. In the original, this consistency of knowledge exists. It does not exist in the Auroville Matrimandir. The first mistake was having changed the entrance into the Chamber. It did indeed set the tone for all the changes that followed, together with all the attempts to make the Chamber appear as ‘faithful to the original’, when in fact this was never possible.
          Apart from the knowledge content captured in the 15-step rise into the Chamber, there is the visual impact to consider, as well as the attitude engendered in the aspirant through this approachway. It is an act of reverence to enter the Chamber beneath the Core (pedestal and globe/ray) rather than on the same level and towering above. Insofar as the Ray is visible during the entire ascent into the room, (‘… On voyait le rayon…’), the aspirant has his vision squarely on the descending shaft of Light, from top to bottom where it meets the globe and fills it with an effulgent luminosity.
What was ‘gained’

In the Auroville Matrimandir the experience is entirely different. There are two entrances in what appears to be through the east and west walls. This indicates the opposite to the soul connection of her original plan and its single south entry from below.
          According to the Knowledge, it is only the north month/facet that affords an entry to the soul point, for both the aspirant and the world. All men and women of wisdom know this. Therefore it is held as the most auspicious time of the year, the most sacred of all the months. It is this month (facet) that Krishna extolled in the Bhagavad Gita as ‘the best of all’. It is this day, the December Solstice, that Bhisma chose for his passing, as the Mahabharat informs us; indeed, as the very day the Epic begins. Throughout the culture, throughout the Scriptures this period is elevated above all others. And this is what the Mother captured in her design. She did not wish to eliminate that tradition but rather to enhance it, to elevate it to greater heights.
          Because those who received this treasure lacked this Knowledge, for all times it must stand that what has been constructed IN THE MOTHER’S NAME, lacks this profound sense. The revised model enhances, rather, the ego. This is because the UNITARY poise is lost by the dual entry. What is enforced is the BINARY CREATION; that is, a creation orbiting a void at the centre. A creation strung up on the cross of atavism and nailed to the sex centre.
          Indeed, this is the definition of the human ego: a consciousness in orbit of a void. The soul is lacking as a unitary support through which the individual remains always in contact with the Source of Fullness and not emptiness. Indeed, we have that very symbolism reproduced in the AMM where the crystal is transparent, empty and dark. Contrast this with the luminous globe of the Mother’s Vision. 

In this manner it is shown how unless ALL items of the Vision are incorporated, beginning with the south floor entrance rising into the Chamber, the remaining elements will conform to that deviation. And so it has been, as we will note through these Chronicles, item after item. The point is, we cannot tolerate that these deviations, which lack any higher knowledge content, continue to be called ‘The Mother’s Vision’. They must be acknowledged for what they are: an architect’s improvisations, which he is determined to hide from the public. He must be asked why.  
 
(See the following diagrams, taken from The New Way, Volume 2, pp. 196 & 198,
Aeon Books, 1981).



Matrimandir Action Committee
1.3.2003

Part IV: Auroville Builders Trashed the Divine Measure

[This is Part IV of The Chronicles of the Inner Chamber; readers of this series may first want to read the blog's 'Introduction' and the Matrimandir Action Committee's 'Manifesto',  Part I - PrefacePart II or Part III before continuing.]


The Horizontal plane

‘…The outside…I did not see the outside,
I did not see it at all. I saw only the inside.’
The Matrimandir Talks, 3.1.1970
 

          This is a clear statement. If a client were to make such a statement to his/her architect, with the explicit request for a room of 24m diameter, there would be no difficulty for the professional to implement it faithfully. Moreover, it would be incongruous for the architect to assume that his client included in this request the circumscribing walls with their then unknown thickness and would have desired the room of 24m to include those walls within the diameter of the room, especially since the client had already stated, ‘I have only seen the inside’. 
          With this brief introduction we can begin to explore the most disheartening part of the drama to have the Mother’s Vision reinstated as the plan for the Inner Chamber, which involved precisely the Chamber’s diameter that should have been self-evident. In no uncertain terms and if for no other reason than logic, the Mother wanted the 24 metres ‘to end at the walls’. But since on this measurement the fate of the Mother’s Vision hinged, as the pioneering example of the new sacred art, given the downright bad will that pervaded the Auroville atmosphere, this was the feature of the Vision that was most staunchly opposed. It was a determined opposition that flew in the face of all logic. Mental contortions were engaged in to make sure that this crucial 24m diameter would not come into being in the construction. Nothing was finalised at this level in 1974 when the problem involving this measurement surfaced. There was every possibility of correcting the error Udar Pinto made in his drawing for the Mother.
          Yes, this error, along with several others, crept into the hastily prepared drawing by the Ashram engineer. But to safeguard the design and wishes of the Mother, Providence made sure that the Mother’s own words would correct this mistake in the subsequent recorded discussions. That should have sufficed.
          It did not. Here is an example of those mental acrobatics to justify the architect and Matrimandir workers’ refusal to honour the Mother’s wishes: 

     ‘Matrimandir – and here may lie the key – is not being built in the third dimension but in the fourth. There one has to enter, there one must understand, there one should measure, and then all the measurements are inverted. Everything flips inside out…
     ‘…How could one indicate symbolically, but still very concretely, this turning inside out of a ball? Well, for instance, by measuring from outside to outside. Now, who ever measures the inside of a hall from the outside of the walls? She! [the Mother] For those reversed measurements are in fact a precise symbol of the reversed, inside-out consciousness. They clearly indicate that here one enters a space which has been planned and – by means of our human clumsiness and mistakes – executed in the fourth dimension. Unwilling cooperators, we, of the great Plan, which is always certain to fall ultimately square on its feet…. So…that twenty-four meter measurement is correct, exact, most precise. Only – your tape measure must be able to span the fourth dimension.’     
 
These are excerpts from a book entitled, ‘A House for the Third Millennium’, by Ruud Lohman, a Roman Catholic priest who established himself at the site of the construction from the day of the Matrimandir’s inauguration in 1971 and never left until his death in the 1980s. We would not bother reproducing this gibberish if it were not for the fact that Lohman was a key influential figure in everything that transpired regarding the measurements and implementation of the Mother’s plan. He opposed any idea of measurements and ‘astrology’ as having any significance other than what his own limited consciousness could grasp; and was, from the beginning a staunch opponent of the tradition in these matters.
          Coming from the West, and conditioned heavily by his Catholic upbringing and priesthood, it is not surprising that he should have adopted the attitude that he did. But what is extraordinary is that such people were able to rule the day and convince every Indian involved in those early moments of the Chamber’s life, that his vision, his conclusions (see above specimen) were right. This was surely the ‘sense’ the Mother intended of the outside measurement, a flip-flop consciousness! With this sort of flippant attitude, is it any wonder that the crystal in the Auroville Matrimandir reflects the surroundings upside-down! For isn’t that topsy-turvy display just what Lohman would need to justify his theory of inside-outside/upside-down? Isn’t it the exact symbol of this sort of twaddle? Indeed, everything is ‘perfect’ in the Auroville Matrimandir.
          The disheartening part was that no one listened to the Mother herself. When she asked for precision and specific measurements, was she talking gibberish? And what would the Lohmans of this world say when confronted with the sacred Mahamaya that states, ‘…If the measurement of the temple is in every way perfect, there is perfection in the universe as well’ (XXII, 92.)?
          We know what Ruud Lohman thought of such matters and we can quote the same text when he describes his friend William’s conflict, after he ‘fell into the hands of an astrologer, also living in the Ashram’ (ibid): 

     ‘…After the visions of the Mater Divina [the Mother] and the niggling humana, a third element entered: the cosmos, the planets, the interpretations of the great rhythms of creation. And what did the inspirations say? It was wrong with the Matrimandir, wrong, wrong, wrong! Stop, stop! The builders, according to the stars, did not follow the measurements given by the Mother, and all the calculations couldn’t stand up any more. Or rather, the calculations stood, but Matrimandir didn’t. One ‘mistake’ especially was stressed a lot: the twenty-four meters from wall to wall. On the original drawing, the Mother had drawn just one little line for the thickness of the wall. The execution was left to the engineers, and when the calculations for the Matrimandir were fed into a computer in Madras in 1970, the walls became forty centimetres thick, and the twenty-four meters ran from the outside of the wall to the outside of the opposite wall. So the Chamber is twenty-four minus the twice-forty centimetres of the walls.
     ‘Well, that was for the astrologer the reason for all the crises, wars, disasters of the world today, for when one cosmic clock is off it throws everything else off, too. And she fulminated and wrote books and pamphlets and tried desperately to stop the work, but it went on and the Room is there, twenty-four meters minus the thickness of the walls.’ (Ibid.) 

It is at this point in his story that Lohman introduces his theories of the fourth dimension and the Mother’s real intention which the Matrimandir architect and builders faithfully carried out: Inside is outside and outside in when you are ‘measuring in the fourth dimension’. Therefore, everything is all right with the Chamber. ‘The great Plan’, will always ‘fall ultimately square on its feet’, regardless of any mistakes Auroville might make.
          But the Mother’s Vision is not to be trampled upon so lightly and so amateurishly. There are indeed ‘cosmic laws’ involved, which these Chronicles will establish. And it is a fact that every attempt was made to stop the construction before it reached the point of no return so that this critical diameter measurement would be incorporated, just as the Mother wanted. But the Lohmans of this world have proven to have the stronger voice, even in India, a civilisation that should know better.
          But we do not have to retreat to the 1970s to discover the consciousness that rules Auroville. We have the words of a prominent Auroville researcher, Paulette, in her recent document to MAC, when it was pointed out that the Mother was then nearing 92 and her eyesight was poor: ‘…Who do you think the Mother is? Handing over wrong plans with wrong measures because her eyes could not detect the mistakes, as you pretend?’
          Again, the implication is that Auroville is always right: if the Mother gave the builders a plan with ‘mistakes’, that too was right and it was correct for them to incorporate those mistakes, because, as we had been told then, ‘she blessed that plan’ so it must be right, poor eyesight not withstanding.
          But there were other mistakes in Udar Pinto’s drawing. Yet these were all corrected. No such argument was proffered to justify guarding them zealously, unlike the incorrect floor diameter.
       Could it be that they were accepted and corrected without bringing in the Mother’s higher consciousness beyond physical eyes, or her fourth dimension vision where inside is outside, simply because they were not crucial to the fate of her Vision?
          They were items that could always be added at a later date (or subtracted). One such mistake was that Pinto drew only eleven columns instead of the specified twelve. The unbiased reader must consider this: If that drawing’s 24m outside wall measurement was sacrosanct, though it was so obviously a mistake, why have the twelve columns been installed and not eleven, as Udar’s plan indicates (not to speak of the 15-step ascending entrance)? And why has Sri Aurobindo’s old symbol not been used for the ‘stand’, again as erroneously given in Pinto’s drawing? If these errors were all corrected without any argument, naturally we must draw the conclusion that, given the fact that the diameter is crucial in sacred geometry, and insofar as the builders chose the Troika formula of exaltation of the builders’ consciousness over any considerations of sacred architecture, it was a deliberate refusal, premeditated, obstinate. The intent was to stamp out any higher content from the Chamber.
          Indeed, this was our experience at the time. And it was this refusal to grant the Mother just this one meter more of ‘inner space’ that for all times the Auroville Matrimandir has been eliminated from the annals of great sacred art.
          Is this what everyone wanted? Why should any of us have accepted, without protest, that Auroville somehow had and has an unassailable sanction from the Divine to carry out such acts of desecration? Has anyone seriously, deeply pondered over what this attitude has engendered? Is it surprising then that a cover-up has been engaged in since then? Because how is history going to view this aberration? When future seekers read the Mother’s own words on the 24-meter diameter, how can the Auroville justifications be taken for anything other than what they were: a determination to remove her Vision from the annals of the great achievements in the field of sacred geometry?
          Here is just one clear explanation from the Mother to Satprem and Paolo on the question of the 24m diameter. Judge for yourselves, bearing in mind that when these transcripts were circulated the floor diameter had not been set in place; and in the words of the executing architect himself, ‘It would take just ten minutes [at the drawing board] to change the diameter.’       
    
17 January 1970
 
There is also the question of measurement. According to the plan you have given 24 metres – 12 metres from each side of the globe. But can we keep a little extra distance on each side for the passage? The plan shows 24 metres in diameter and 15.20m for the height.
 
The Mother: Ah? 

He asks if the proportion can change. To keep 24m for the base of the carpet, but with the possibility, for example, of keeping 2 or 3 metres on each side for free movement.
 
Then where would the walls come?

They would be there [the disciple points to the passage in Paolo’s drawing]. 

It is the wall which must be at 24 metres. 

He says that if there are to be these passages then 24 metres would be a little short.
 
The disciple insists several times on a ‘passage’ beyond the 24 metre diameter (‘…24 metres for the total width or for the carpet?’), but the Mother stresses the inner measurement, inside wall to inside wall.            

…There would even be this possibility – to have a space between the outermost wall [of the entire temple] and the inner wall. To make a space. That is to be seen. 

That means in addition to the 24 metres.           

Yes, it is understood. The 24 metres end at the walls. 

And further, 

So a passage outside. 

The passage outside. 

This makes it abundantly clear that nothing was to interfere with the diameter measurement of the Chamber. There was no doubt at all what needed to be done since Udar had made a mistake in his hastily drawn plan but which was clarified by the Mother’s explicit instructions. Like the other mistakes this one too had to be corrected. That it was not, that this became the rallying point for opposition to sacred geometry and ‘astrology’ tells a tale of its own. By refusing to grant the Mother this simple one metre of space, the Auroville Matrimandir cannot lay any claim to be ‘the Mother’s original’, as has been the case over the years, a false position that is being exposed by these Chronicles. It cannot hold itself as the centre of the new Age where the ancient traditions would find their place and serve as the foundation for renewal and renaissance. That renewal, that reestablishment of the Dharma has to rely on the printed word alone now. Auroville forfeited its claim. But let us see how it continues to fool the public; and we must question why it does so? If centimetres have no meaning, then why has the room’s diameter been conveyed as 24 metres in all Auroville publications?
          Fund-raising pamphlets and cards have been issued where the impression is given that all the measurements are ‘faithful to the original’ (see Chronicle 3 and the executing architect’s statement). In this material a drawing of the temple is presented with measurements listed alongside, in such a way that the truth is obscured. Not only has the room’s true diameter been left undefined, but the entrances through the walls as well. From this drawing we would have to assume that the visitor simply MATERIALISES in the room, since no entrance has been indicated connected to the spiralling ramps.
          For if by chance someone had heard of the controversy regarding the chamber’s diameter and entrance from below, all concerns would be allayed by this and similar official publications. Is this not deliberate obfuscation?


The question to be asked is why, if ‘astrology’ and ‘measurements’ have been purposely subtracted from the Mother’s Vision, does Auroville continue to hide the truth? We know the answer. The public now has the right to know.

What was lost
There are two fundamental measurements in architecture of the sacred, the vertical and the horizontal. In the Mother’s design these are accurately provided and together with the entrance by 15 steps from below, the horizontal (room diameter) is essential. These were the two elements of the Mother’s original that had already been eliminated when Piero Cicionesi, the executing architect, made his false statements to the German Publisher, Fischer Verlag, in 1977-8.
          The Mother’s original Vision is like a timepiece. She has herself revealed this connection explicitly in the Matrimandir Talks (31.12.1969 – 17.1.1970). The Chamber provides all the measurements of our day and month and year. The Mother not only stated that the 12 facets of the room were the twelve months of the year; she also incorporated the day of 24 hours. With this simple specification the great secret of the Vision was revealed, that the Mother’s Vision provides humanity with the new Divine Maya, or the Golden Rod of western tradition. It is the measure of time in space. The 24m diameter holds the key.
          Without this accurate measurement the whole structure ‘falls apart’. We will demonstrate this by way of diagrams in future Chronicles. There may be cement and steel which are apparently indestructible. But these are perishable materials. They are not the substance of immortality. It is only Time that can render imperishable the perishable when it is an ally in the process of transformation, for it is the builder of Form.
          The talk of the Auroville Matrimandir being the seat of a ‘yoga of the cells’ is therefore to be seriously questioned. When Time and its indispensable precision are rubbished and the Divine Measure that utilises the new precision is trashed, what transformation of matter are we talking about? Time is the building mortar, the true cementing factor. Hence its secrets are coveted by all seekers in the quest for immortality. Without the allegiance of Time, all such quests are illusions. To deny measure is to deny time is to deny form. How then are we to transform matter? Have we any right to claim that we are doing so when we do not accept the terms matter imposes?
          Mayavada has permeated the yogic consciousness of India for far too long. Everything to do with material, cosmic manifestation is considered an illusion. This is what the spiritual authorities tell us. Indeed, this lies behind the rejection of measure and the precision the Mother demanded. The ‘new precision’ involves Time in the transformation as an ally and not a destroyer. Without this allegiance there can be no ‘yoga of the cells and matter’. The Mother’s original plan gave us this precious knowledge. It exists for those who SEE. It does not exist in the Auroville Matrimandir, in spite of the mental acrobatics of the non-believers (‘…One is not going to say it. To begin with, they would not believe me…’).
          For India the loss of the Vision has done incalculable damage. This will be explained in detail in future Chronicles. It is sufficient to state for the moment that the emphasis by the Mother on time and measure was a calculated divine strategy insofar as India lost the Divine Measure a number of centuries ago when the sidereal (Nirayana) zodiac was adopted in lieu of the Vedic tropical (Sayana) zodiac. It is only with the tropical zodiac that the Makar Sankranti, the shortest day of the year and entry into Capricorn, has any relevance both within India and connected to the rest of the world. This is the true VEDIC astrology, unlike what goes by that name today.
          The reasons for this aberration are intimately connected to Sri Aurobindo’s mission and explain his statement that Kalki comes ‘to correct the error of the Buddha’. The Mother’s Vision, with its ‘new precision’ involving time and measure, was a crucial piece in the correction process. Her Vision reinstates the tropical zodiac in all its details and provides India with the Divine Measure once again, - and with it the keys to her destiny and place within the new Supramental dispensation. There is no way in which India can fulfil that high destiny without this Divine Measure. Through these Chronicles, we shall prove the point.
          This is what ‘astrology’ says – and therefore every possible attempt was made to save her Vision in spite of the recalcitrant ignorance we encountered at every step of the way.
          And yet there is an irony. For the most successful ‘mental acrobat’ of them all in Auroville was right on the mark when he connected the Chamber to the fourth dimension. But he ended by destroying his own correct perception!
          In future Chronicles we will present diagrams that will prove how indispensable the 24m diameter was to the sacred function of the Inner Chamber. We will also provide further proof that a cover-up has been in progress to make the public believe that ‘all is as it should be’, everything is ‘all right’ with the Matrimandir.  For Ruud Lohman has said so, may his soul rest in peace. Amen.

           
Matrimandir Action Committee
15 March 2003