Pre-dawn bonfire and various other events held following COVID-19 norms

A bonfire communion, prayer sessions and quiet meditation marked the birth anniversary celebrations of poet, philosopher and nationalist Sri Aurobindo at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and Auroville amid COVID-19 restrictions on Sunday.

Auroville launched a year-long 150th birth anniversary celebration of Sri Aurobindo broadly centred on the theme, ‘Sri Aurobindo: A Force in Action (1872-2022)’ with the traditional pre-dawn bonfire with a curtailed attendance at the amphitheatre near the Matrimandir.

Devotees gathered at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Puducherry to take part in the 150th birth anniversary celebration of Sri Aurobindo on August 15, 2021.

Since morning, devotees streamed into the Sri Aurobindo Ashram where darshan was restricted to the site of the samadhi because of the pandemic protocols.

Lt. Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan visited the ashram and offered prayers. “We arranged thermal screening and hand sanitising for devotees and advised individual, rather than collective, meditation. The room of Sri Aurobindo was not open for public darshan because of the COVID-19 protocol,” a spokesman said.

At Auroville, the bonfire communion was followed by meditation and mass invocation with Sri Aurobindo’s ‘Gayatri Mantra’.

A host of other events were held at the Bharat Nivas campus and at the Savitri Bhavan from 10 a.m. As has been the custom, Sri Aurobindo’s Independence Day message (written for All India Radio, Tiruchirapalli, and broadcast on August 14, 1947) was played on the occasion.

Auroville Foundation secretary Jayanti S. Ravi hoisted the national flag and delivered a brief address to mark the 75th Independence Day.