Auroville, “the city of dawn,” is a religiously based community in South India with a utopian, global vision. Founded on Wednesday, February 28, 1968, in Villipuram District in the state of Tamil Nadu, 10 kilometers north of Pondicherry in South India, its mission statement states that it aims to be “a universal town where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony above all creeds, all politics, and all nationalities.” The purpose of Auroville is to realize human unity. These are the words of its founder, Mirra Alfassa (1878–1973), more widely known as “The Mother.”

Mirra was born in Paris to a Turkish father and an Egyptian mother. In 1906, she founded L'Idée, a small group dedicated to spiritual ...

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