Seminar on Pondicherry: The Cave of Tapasya

Start Date: 01-Mar-2024
Location: Society House
End Date: 01-Mar-2024
Institute: AuroBharati

Pondicherry is my place of retreat, my cave of tapasya, not of the ascetic kind, but of a brand of my own invention.       (- Sri Aurobindo)

As a mark of commemorating the 150th Birth Anniversary of Sri Aurobindo and the 10th edition of the Pondicherry Heritage Festival, AuroBharati, Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry in collaboration with Pondicherry University & Department of Art & Culture, Government of Puducherry conducted a seminar on ‘Pondicherry: The Cave of Tapasya’ on 1st March, 2024 at Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Kishor Kumar Tripathy, Member Secretary, AuroBharati, Sri Aurobindo Society said that spiritual history of Pondicherry has a long history. The great sage Maharshi Aurobindo considered this land as the cave of Tapasya ‘Pondicherry is my place of retreat, my cave of tapasya, not of the ascetic kind, but of a brand of my own invention.’ Dr. Tripathy mentioned about the heritage sites, where Sri Aurobindo lived in. He also emphasized about the uniqueness of the Siddha tradition, Tamil Heritage, the Saiva manuscripts and existence of different religions and cultural tradition for intercultural understanding and sustainability.

Chief Guest of the event, Prof. K. Tharanikkarasu said that Puducherry is a spiritual land. The earlier name of Puducherry was Vedapuri, which is comparable with Kasi, Varanasi and other sacred places of Bharat. Highlighting the teachings of Maharshi Aurobindo, he said that there are infinite paths to realize the divinity and Sri Aurobindo synthesized different cultures with a goal to realise human unity. A deep sense of spiritual heritage is the legacy of the land of Puducherry, according to Prof. K. Tharanikkarasu, Vice Chancellor, Pondicherry University.

Shri V. Kaliaperumal, Director, Department of Art & Culture, Government of Puducherry said that Pondicherri is a spiritual land where nearly more than forty Siddhas lived here. So they have given a good philosophy and preaches for the the wellbeing of the livelihood of our Puducherry people. He mentioned about the Mahan Aurobindo who taught the spirit of Integral life philosophical things for the human welfare of the world. He also highlighted the unique connection between Sri Aurobindo and Mahakavi Subramani Bharati. He also appreciated the efforts undertaken by the Sri Aurobindo Society for the preservation of the grand cultural heritage of Puducherry including the Siddha Tradition.

On this occasion, Shri Lalit Kumar Verma, President, Aurodhan Art Gallery, Puducherry,Said that Pondicherry is the light house of spirituality from where Sri Aurobindo gave to the world the revolutionary thoughts for transformation. Shri S.P. Goswami, Former District Education Officer & Member, Sri Aurobindo Society, Mathura Branch, Uttar Pradesh highlighted about the contribution of Sri Aurobindo Ashram and the teachings of Sri Aurobindo for a sustainable humanity. Prof. A. Chellaperumal, Former Professor of Anthropology, Pondicherry University spoke about the folk traditions and culture of Puducherry which has rooted in the land of Puducherry. Shri Sivasankar Babu, Heritage Awareness speaker from Tamil Heritage Trust spoke about the unique temple tradition of Puducherry. Dr. Sailendra Krishna Goswami, Member, Sri Aurobindo Society, Mathura Branch, Uttar Pradesh focussed on the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother for a divine life.

The spiritual significance of Pondicherry, including the life and legacy of Sri Aurobindo, shared cultural heritage, folk traditions, temple culture, integral knowledge and consciousness were the part of the deliberations. At the end of the program, Dr. Tripathy mentioned about the project ‘Documentation of the Heritage Sites and Monuments and Promotion of Heritage Tourism’ and shared about the significant activities for the documentation and awareness program related to the cultural heritage of Puducherry.

This program was part of the 10th edition of Pondicherry Heritage Festival (PHF) which continues to celebrate the heritage of this extraordinary town and its environs, in all its aspects: Natural, Spiritual, Cultural and Architectural. Over the past nine years, the festival has focussed on certain aspects of heritage, the unique architectural legacy and natural heritage of the town and bio region.

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