If there is one sentence that could summarize the Lively Up Your Earth 2016 festival in Solitude, Auroville, this would be it.
For many, Solitude symbolises organic, healthy food, but Solitude Farm also represents a method of farming called “rishi kheti,” literally meaning agriculture of the sages. The most essential of this transformative practice of farming is to let nature play the dominant role to the maximum extent. Popularised by Masanobu Fukuoka – a Japanese farmer and philosopher celebrated for his natural farming and re-vegetation of decertified lands – this revolutionised life concept of food and nature has been the main influence on Krishna, the heart and soul of Solitude farm.
For passionate Krishna – someone who not only talks the talk but walks the walk – food and music are both art forms capable of bringing people together. This is exactly what happened on Saturday, when an estimated 400 people visited the festival over about 10 hours.
Like its creator, the place was booming, filled with life, energy and happenings ranging from workshops in Ayurveda, tree house building, mudstone cooking, basket weaving, juggling, face painting, astrology and much more. It could have been like any other festivals that you can see all over the world, but something was different. One of the main reasons was because the presence and passion of its creator and motivator was felt all through the festival, exploding in the evening with the performance of his band “Emergence,” when people danced to the words and music of talented musicians until melting into sweat. To top it off, the last piece of the night was a jam composed of African percussion, violin and electrical guitar, strung together by classical Indian vocals.
Amidst this celebration, the highlight of the festival was the Flutterby parade and its butterflies. As the day was starting to cool off, the atmosphere began to metamorphose into a fairy tale. Giant butterfly puppets – built by the Unicorn Collective – and wondrous wood fairies started appearing out of nowhere. Sensing that the atmosphere of fun was transforming to magical, the crowd started to follow them to a fire in the nearby field. There, young and old, called by the sound of drumming elves, formed a circle and began chi gong led by Natasha. As the sun was setting, they all lit candles, sat down and prayed in union for peace on earth.
The most beautiful scene of the festival belongs to the three gigantic butterflies. Their wings lit with dozens of lights, they fluttered away into the darkening sky and disappeared in an ephemeral moment of love and enchantment.
This article was written by Chana Corinne Devor for Auroville Art Service. Presently exploring Auroville, she is an art critic and writes for international travel and spiritual magazines