Yoga is nothing but practical psychology...Sri Aurobindo Login     Register    Search       

Recent papers in category Sociology

Spiral dynamics - an introduction

Spiral Dynamics - a philosophical perspective

Gnosticism and Early Christianity


Chronological History of the Idea and Term "University"

Last Updated: February 6, 2008

Brief chronological history of the idea and term university

Extracts of Notes from Roger Anger regarding a conversation that he had with The Mother regarding a University

Extrait de notes prises par Roger pendant (ou immdiatement aprs?)
ses entrevues avec la Mre

Transcription et traduction par Gilles G.

1 Fvrier 1969

Lu la lettre d'Andr [Morisset]. (see attached document for notes in original handwriting)

Trs bien.

Q: En prenant l'exemple de Block Making Unit1 quelle est la meilleure forme d'accord a intervenir dans les industries qui vont dmarrer Auromodle?

Par exemple, le principe de 30% du bnfice donn Auromodle o Auroville a des relances du capitalisme. N'est-il pas prfrable que l'industrie appartienne Auroville et qu'il soit vers la totalit du bnfice aprs prlvement du salaire ncessaire a l'entretien du responsable, celui-ci ayant la libert et la responsabilit d'en fixer le montant?

Oui, c'est beaucoup prfrable. Le bnfice serait distribu Auromodle aprs une somme retenue pour les investissements futurs et le salaire du responsable.

Q: Pourrait-on envisager des prts a la State Bank [of India]?

Oui, pour autant que ces derniers soient pris au nom de 1'intress.

Q: La cellule du type de logement pour Auromodle est prvue indpendante pour chaque personne. Salle sjour, Bain, Kitchenette

Oui, c'est bien. C'est a. Bien sur, ceux qui voudraient leur appartement diffrent. C'est voir.

Q: Quels sont les programmes a soumettre a 1'UNESCO dans le cadre de la commission a crer prochainement?
1) Education par T.V.
L'universit permanente sera la clef de la raison d'tre d'Auroville. I1 faut que ce soit un bon en avant, qu'elle puisse hter la venue de 1'avenir, un monde d'harmonie, de beaut et d'union.

2) Auditorium permanent pour les orgues.
Ca serait pour couter de la musique venant de la conscience du domaine suprieur, directement du plan suprieur. Je suis en train de prparer quelqu'un pour en tre l'excutant.

3) L'Universit de l'Unit Humaine

Q: Campus hippies Nirajan
Doit-on suivre, l'ide n'tant pas venue!

Qu'on les laisse faire. Il ne faut pas les forcer. Il y a quelque chose qui ne va pas, il faut laisser.

(The Mother and Roger): compiled by Gilles Guigan

* * *

1 Une unit commerciale associe a Auropress', et qui sera inaugure un des "Industrial Estates" de Pondicherry le 23 Juin 1969.


The whole of Auroville, a truly international, living, world - university

Brief chronological historyof the idea and term university as applied to Auroville and related texts from the UNESCO and the Ashram as gleaned from research in the Auroville Archives :

Before the physical existence of Auroville:

Two years before the actual creation of Auroville, on the 12 of July 1966, the then Secretary of the Sri Aurobindo Society writes in a brochure about: setting up a permanent cultural pavilion, library in the future city of Auroville.

The General Assembly of UNESCO at its Paris session held during October-November 1966 states: The following Resolution, proposed by the Government of India and supported by several countries, was unanimously adopted by


The General Conference,

Being apprised that in connection with the commemoration of the twentieth anniversary of UNESCO, the Sri Aurobindo Society, Pondicherry, India, a non-governmental organization affiliated to the Indian National commission for UNESCO, proposes to set up a cultural township known as Auroville where people of different countries will live together in harmony in one community and engage in cultural educational, scientific and other pursuits,

Noting that the township will have pavilions intended to represent the cultures of the world, not only intellectually but also by presenting different schools of architecture, painting, sculpture, music, etc. as part of a way of living,

Appreciating that one of the aims of Auroville will be to bring together in close juxtaposition the values and ideals of different civilizations and cultures,

Expresses the belief that the project will contribute to international understanding and promotion of peace and commends it to those interested in UNESCOs ideals.

Sri Emmanuel Poupsha Dass, Director of UNESCOs Division of Cultural Studies, Paris, gives a talk in Paris in 1966 about the Ashram in Pondicherry and about the novelty of : Auroville, for that will be its name At the centre of the town there will be the park of Unity, a circle of gardens, overhanging a lake. All this, you will say, is a mental construction, a dream. Perhaps. But does it not awaken an echo in the greatest depth of our soul? Dont we find there again the marvellous world of hopes of long ago, a kingdom glimpsed and then lost

We find a first written evidence of the term university in a letter from the UNESCO office Madras that addresses a letter on 27 February 1967 to the Sri Aurobindo Society: We are interested in establishing a truly international university, as the same is in line with the ideal on which Auroville is being established.

On 11 November 1967, the then Secretary of the Sri Aurobindo Society delivered a speech over All India Radio that was first read out to Mother and approved by Her (GMLA, cf. also Gilles G, I.Z, p9):

Auroville will also have an International University, perhaps the first in the world, established specifically for world unity. In fact the whole of Auroville will be a living university.

Auroville being manifested:

In their assembly of October-November 1968 in Paris, the UNESCO worked out a second Resolution, highlighting Auroville in the following context: Considering also that despite the technical advance which facilitates the development and dissemination of knowledge and ideas, ignorance of the way of life and customs of people still presents an obstacle to friendship among the nations, to peaceful cooperation and the progress of mankind. Taking account of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Declaration of the Promotion among Youth of the Ideas of Peace, Mutual Respect and Understanding between Peoples and the Declaration of the Principle of International Cultural Cooperation

We find a proposal from 1968 : International University Auroville, from the Sri Aurobindo Society, including the following affirmations: the UNESCO commended and the Mother accepted the proposal; In fact, the whole of Auroville is conceived as a living and true world university. We are beginning this year with a multi-lingual education It will increase and complete itself.

On 1 January 1968we find unsigned: Proposals for the Auroville International University. Here the emphasis will be laid upon the fact that the inner discovery and the direct experience of the universal Spirit is the sovereign and central occupation governing and penetrating every aspect of educational life and activities of Auroville International University. Later on the text mentions : Self-transformation.

As a reply to a letter addressed (by Prof.Helmut G.Callis, Univ of Utah) to Mr.Radhakrishnan, President of India, the Ministry of Education answers on 9th Feb 1969 : there are no funds for an International University.

On the 17 February 1969, the then General Secretary and Treasurer of Sri Aurobindo Society, writes in a letter to Madras State UNESCO Committee : the aim is to develop Auroville as a World University The whole of Auroville and its life is envisaged as a comprehensive living University.

In October-November 1970, The UNESCO comes up with a third Resolution:

Noting that the Charter of Auroville aims inter alia at establishing a place of unending education, of constant progress, of youth that never ages, and living embodiment of an actual human unity, to promote the development of Auroville as an important international cultural programme.

On the 14th of December 1970, Dr.M.S.Adisheshiah, Deputy to the Director General of UNESCO, very much committed to Auroville ideals, said on the French Television, mentioning Auroville: We have arrived everywhere in Europe, as in Asia, North America, Africa at a stage which drives home to us the faith that for us there is no way forward except a conscious spiritual development. In Pondicherry, 28 Dec, 1968, he delivers a speech on the link between UNESCO and Auroville.

In a brochure of the early 70ies, the then Secretary of the Sri Aurobindo Society, writes: Auroville will also have an International University, perhaps the first in the world to be established specifically for world unity. In fact, the whole of Auroville will be a living university.

In October-November 1983, a 4th UNESCO Resolution in favour of Auroville was adopted in Paris: Recognizing that Auroville seeks to ensure international understanding, peace, innovative education, a learning society and an all round material and spiritual development of harmonious individual and collective growth and that such aims contribute to the advancement of the objectives of UNESCO, Invites the Director general to extend all possible support for the development of Auroville and to participate in its activities within the framework of the Program and Budget for 1984-1985.

The CIRHU Papers (5,1997, p. 33), mention a World University project: the CIRHU team was asked by Aurovilles Working Committee and the Chairman of the Governing board, Dr. Swaminathan, to provide material for a concept paper on the establishment of such an international university centre in Auroville.

In the Minutes of a SAWCHU meeting in 1999, the Secretary Mr.Bala Baskar recalled to the attention of the participants that Dr.Swamiathan had requested the creation of a 'World University and a conflict resolution centre'.

compiled by Rudy