Auroville: The City That Thrives Without Money, Politics, Or Religion
December 12, 2017 12:07 By Fabiosa
Auroville is a city that was founded in 1968, in India, by a group of people who believed that it was possible to live in a free society; free from the bonds imposed by capitalism.
When it was founded, about five thousand people, including representatives from 124 nations and from all states of India, stood at the site which would later become the city center.
The founders chose to build the place in India because it is where they found inspiration for the place. Due to the influence and writings of Sri Aurobindo and Mirra Alfassa, the latter affectionately referred to as Mother, the inhabitants live without money, religion, or police officers.
Considered by many as a utopia, Auroville is self-sustainable and has a school, restaurants, cafes, and a huge meditation center in the shape of a globe located in the center of the city, which is called Matrimandir.
Without paved streets and only a rather small public transportation system, the eco-village survives thanks to tourists, yoga workshops, meditation, architecture, eco-friendly agricultural practices and donations from other countries' governments and people who support the idea of a city that offers more freedom and peace.
Applicants for the right to live in the city should spend two months on the site. If their adaptation is smooth and a board of representatives approves, then they can be considered "Aurovillians."
But not everything is utopian in Auroville, as there are neither borders nor police officers, there have been some cases of assault and rape committed by people from outside the city.
A lot of people who have visited, or even lived there temporarily, have some criticisms to make about the way of life in Auroville.
In addition to accepting donations, there is a bank and a credit card, called Aurocard, to allow for commercial transactions, and there are reports of visitors saying that some businesses accept rupees (the currency in India), which goes against the claims that the place can thrive without money.
Another criticism is that, although there is no religion, the inhabitants of Auroville see the "Mother" as a sort of entity, and there is a series of beliefs that they all share about spirituality and energy.
Despite the criticisms and the skeptics, who insist that the city is nothing but a dream, the project is seen as quite a success.
With plans to reach 50 thousand inhabitants, Auroville currently has 2,400 inhabitants from 50 different nations, according to the most recent census from 2014. In the future, the plans are to double this number before 2018, when the city will celebrate 50 years since its foundation.
Source: Vida de Teólogo