Philosophical and technical roots

of Niveau élevé

On 28 February 1968, a remarkable ceremony took place in South India, near the city of Pondicherry. An international city was founded, known as Auroville.
Invitations to the founding ceremony were sent out by UNESCO, the Indian government and a French-Algerian philosopher whose real name was Mirra Alfassa, but was more commonly known as “the Mother”.
Delegations from 124 nations and 23 Indian states travelled to the event, bringing soil from their home countries which was sealed in an urn together with Auroville’s Charter in the future centre of Auroville.
Delegations from the following nations were present at the founding:
Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bhutan, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burma, Burundi, China (Nationalist), China (Communist), Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Rep., Ceylon, Chad, Chile, Columbia, Congo, Congo (Kinshasa), Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Dahomey, Denmark, Dominican Rep., Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, India (23 States), Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Korea, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Luxembourg, Malagasy, Malta, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mali, Morocco, Mauritania, Mexico, Mongolia, Mozambique, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Rhodesia, Romania, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sikkim, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, South Yemen, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Tibet, Uganda, USSR, UAR, UK, USA, Upper Volta, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Zambia.
Auroville-Design
The galaxy: the concept on which the city of Auroville is based
To allow the Auroville Charter to be accepted by all participating states, at the last moment a special version was produced, replacing the term “divine” with “the highest”, otherwise atheist USSR would have stayed away from the ceremony.
The Auroville Charter
  1. Auroville belongs to nobody in particular. Auroville belongs to humanity as a whole. But, to live in Auroville, one must be a willing servitor of the divine consciousness.
  1. Auroville will be the place of an unending education, of constant progress, and a youth that never ages.
  2. Auroville wants to be the bridge between the past and the future. Taking advantage of all discoveries from without and from within, Auroville will boldly spring towards future realisations.
  1. Auroville will be a site of material and spiritual researches for a living embodiment of an actual human unity.
In its resolutions, UNESCO frequently calls upon all member states to support Auroville. These include Resolution 14C/DR 6 (Oct. – Nov. 1966), Resolution 4.131 (Oct. – Nov. 1968) and Resolution 3.32.1 (Oct. – Nov. 1970):
“… Invites Member States and international non-governmental organizations, to participate in the development of Auroville as an international cultural township designed to bring together the values of different cultures and civilisations in a harmonious environment with integrated living standards which correspond to man’s physical and spiritual needs.”  Resolution 4.131.
Former Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, described the Auroville project as, “An exciting project for bringing about harmony among different cultures and for understanding the environmental needs of man‘s spiritual growth.”
The basic concept behind Auroville derives from the philosophy of Sri Aurobindo, the great Indian philosopher and freedom fighter, which rephrased the ancient Indian philosophy in modern terminology, thus creating a bridge between today’s society and the ancient Indian mysticism. One of his main political concerns was “human unity”.
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The “Mother” (left) in Pondicherry with Jawaharlal Nehru (middle)
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The “Mother” (right) in Pondicherry with Indira Gandhi (left)
Sri Aurobindo’s female companion, “the Mother”, was the actual founder of Auroville as she set out the basic principles of the futuristic micro-society and got the project off the ground. The philosopher was greatly esteemed in political circles at that time, and was visited in Pondicherry and asked for advice by Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and many other top politicians.
The first and most important construction project at Auroville was the “Matrimandir”, Sanskrit for “Temple of the Mother”. The basic structure was designed by the Mother herself and French architect Roger Anger. Construction took over 40 years and was completed just a few years ago.
Matrimandir
The Matrimandir is the central building in Auroville. It can be described the most interesting building in modern architecture. In its symbolism, the Matrimandir represents an emblem of evolution. It symbolises the breaking open of the earth, matter and the appearance of the “supramental consciousness”, and so a possible future evolutional leap or the further development of mankind.
According to the colour symbolism of ancient Indian teachers and Sri Aurobindo’s interpretation of it, the colour of the “Supramental”, i.e. the next stage in the evolution of life, is the colour gold. The specification for the building thus required it to be entirely gilded with real gold.
And this is where the story of the Niveau élevé watch brand starts.