Founded in 1926, the Sri Aurobindo Ashram has grown, under the Mother’s guidance, from a small group of two dozen disciples into a large and diverse community of almost 1600 members. Counting the 400 students of the Centre of Education and the hundreds of devotees who live nearby, the larger ashram community consists of more than 2000 people.
The Ashram is located in the eastern part of Pondicherry. Inmates live and work in a number of buildings spread throughout the area. The focus of community life is the Ashram main building, usually called simply “the Ashram”, which consists of an interconnected block of houses, including those in which Sri Aurobindo and the Mother lived for most of their lives. At its centre, in a tree-shaded courtyard, lies the Samadhi, a white marble shrine where their bodies are laid to rest.
The Ashram provides its members with all they need for a decent and healthy life. Various departments look after the basic requirements of food, clothing and shelter, as well as medical care. There are also libraries for study and facilities for a variety of cultural pursuits including music, dance, theatre, and the arts. Members regularly participate in physical education activities such as sports, asanas, strength training, and swimming.
The Ashram is administered by the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, a public charitable trust formed by the Mother in 1955. This trust is managed by a board of five trustees.