The ashram was founded in 1920 when Sri Aurobindo reached Pondicherry, a French colony and put in place his ideas of peaceful community. The ashram for long was run by his French companion Mirra Alfassa, universally known as the Mother. Each member of the Ashram is free to mediate the way he or she prefers; there are no rituals, obligatory practices, and systematic instruction. The ashram is a diversified community with more than 1,200 members out of which 400 are the students of the Centre of Education. To support the administrative system of the ashram, it has various departments to look after basic needs of the members. In addition, there are farms and gardens, printing press, libraries, and a number of small-scale industries. The ashram houses the samadhi of Sri Aurobindo and the mother. It is open to everyone for fixed hours everyday.
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