Tag Archives: Mandala

The meaning of Rangolis, an ephemeral art form.

All over India, each morning  just after daybreak, it is traditional for the women to decorate the ground in front of their houses by making simple or complex patterns using white or colored rice powder.

In the evening, at dusk, those drawings are erased. Thus every morning, at dawn, a new drawing is made. According to tradition women are responsible for the maintenance and the decoration of the home. But they are also in charge of the representation of lucky signs, the sacred representation of the link between the microcosm and the macrocosm.

Truly ephemeral mandala(s), these images are created every morning, their only aim being to be erased at the end of the day, a memento of the immanence of all things: everything has an end and will finally return to Earth! The names given to these decorations vary from region to region. In Western India, for instance, they are called Rangoli (from the Sanskrit Ranga, meaning to dye, to color), in Southern India they are called Kolam and in Eastern India they are called Alpana (from Alpa : small, insignificant).

Defying the classical Hindu or Mongol art forms, the rangolis let us enjoy their simple or complex designs, always full of fantasy. The spontaneity of their creation let forms and colors emerge delighting us by their harmony. They are a permanent invitation to the passers-by, a freely offered gesture, a  spontaneous form of art that aims to share  a bright beamig of the heart.

You can also find « rangolis » in sacred places and in Hindu Temples, as  geometric symbols with the power of protection and support  for introspective meditation. In some « yoga » and « tantric » texts the representation of truth is mentioned as being  located  in « Bindu », the central point of energy.

Pondicherry, a little bit of France in India…

The coast of Coromandel, close to Pondicherry, is ideally suited for a charming stay: beaches of white sand, Hindu temple complexes, small fishing villages, the ancient French counter where the past is still present, a stay in a charming hotel – all this will make your Yoga workshop an unforgettable experience.

 

The town, Pondicherry or Puducherry, is often referred to as Pondy. Pondicherry has a unique architecture, inherited from a mixture of cultures and its French and Tamil colonial past.

Pondicherry has a special ambience and charm, completely different from the rest of India. Formerly a French colony, today it is an Indian territory, 160 km from Chennai (Madras), 100 km from Mahābalipuram, along the Coast of Coromandel, in the Gulf of Bengal. Take a stroll, walking or on a cycle rickshaw, through the charming streets with evocative names, where you can admire the finest examples of colonial architecture.

 

 

Immerse yourself in the old marketplace, at the junction of Nehru Street & Mahatma Gandhi Road, with its surprising fragrances from the fish, fruit, vegetable and flower markets, buy coffee or tea in “The Lakshmi Coffee”, go out for lunch at “Energy Home”, a surprising and absolutely delicious cuisine, 35a, Chety Street. Visit Sri Aurobindo’s ashram in Auroville. Enjoy a French breakfast at “Baker Street”, 123, Bussy Street, or an Indian one in a house with traditional Tamil architecture, the “Maison Perumal”, 44 Perumal Koil Street: dosai, idly, kalapam and uthappam, from 7.30 until 10.00.

 

Pondicherry is 100 km away from Mahābalipuram, 2 hours by bus or 11/2 hours by car.

Visit of Auroville, a utopian, mystic and environmental project located 20 minutes from Pondicherry.

Auroville, the “the city of Aurora”, was conceived by “The Mother” as a place for a universal community life, where men and women would learn to live in peace, in perfect harmony, beyond all beliefs, political affiliations and nationalities”.

 

To-day around 1.600 inhabitants, from some thirty countries, live in this utopian and mystic place. In its centre stands the Matrimandir, the soul of Auroville. Inside there is a room coated with white marble, in which a huge solid crystal (70 cm diameter), the biggest in the world, is exhibited. It is devoted to meditation.

On January 20th 2009, His Holiness the 14thDalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, inaugurated the Tibetan Pavilion. The architect drew inspiration from the Kalachakra Mandala plans.

 

 

Staying a few days in Auroville, walking around and meditating in the Matrimandir, are wonderful experiences.

 

For this experience, you must obtain a pass from the reception of the Visitor Center to visit the Matrimandir and the gardens surrounding it. It is also necessary to have another ‘’pass’’ for a session of meditation to the Matrimandir. A shady trail, 2 km from the Centre of the Matrimandir visitors.

 

Timetables for the “pass” to the visitors Centre
  Morning Afternoon
Week 9h30 to 13h 13h30 to 16h00
Sunday 9h30 to 13h Close
 
Opening hours of the Matrimandir visitors
  Matin Afternoon
Week 9h30 to 13h30 14h00 to 16h30
Sunday 9h30 to 13h00 Close

Auroville, accueille pass

Tout Pondi-logo

Auroville is located 6 km north of Pondicherry which lies 100 km from Mahābalipuram.
It takes 01.45 hours by car and 2 hours by bus to go to Pondicherry, around 100 km from Mahābalipuram.