George Nakashima's dream to establish Peace Altars on each continent of the world as a tangible symbol of man's desire to achieve a more peaceful environment is one step closer to fulfillment with a bookmatched Black Walnut Peace Table measuring 11 feet by 11 feet recently completed at the Nakashima Studio in New Hope, Pennsylvania. The people of India will be its recipients.
The roughly heart-shaped table is constructed of two mirrored sections, which can be used together or separately, at a height to accommodate seating on the floor -- as is the Indian custom -- or on low chairs.
Serving as the focal point of the Central Meeting area in the international City of Human Unity -- Auroville, India -- the altar will take its place ultimately in the Hall of Peace, designed by Italian architect Piero Cicionesi, located in an area named "Peace" near the central spherical meditation chamber Matrimandir, co-designed with French architect, Roger Anger. Auroville was founded by the Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram February 28, 1968.
George Nakashima, named Sundarananda (one who delights in beauty) by Sri Aurobindo himself, was one among the first non-Indian disciples of the Ashram. His daughter Mira notes the symbolism of this first Peace Altar to be sent overseas going to his spiritual source in India.
The first Peace Altar was dedicated at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City on New Year's Eve, 1986. A second Table built for Russia in 1995 remains there waiting for a proper moment, sufficient funds and a supportive context.
Official dedication of this altar will take place at the temporary site of the Center of Indian Culture in Auroville on February 29, the 40th Anniversary of the Descent of the Supramental, a new Truth-Conscious force accelerating spiritual evolution on earth. It was Sri Aurobindo's belief that humanity was continuing to evolve, manifesting the Divine within and his collaborator, The Mother, had a concrete experience of this reality on February 29th, 1956 and called it The Golden Day.
The local dedication was celebrated at the Nakashima compound in New Hope, PA Sunday, February 4th. along with a concert at the Studio by folk singers/songwriters Terra Nova.. The concert proceeds were used to help defray expenses for shipping the altar to India. Miriam Belov, a member of the Peace Altar Committee led a meditation, followed by an original song by her husband, Gary Boxer. The blessings of two Roman Catholic Monsignors were followed by piece by Massinet with Mira Nakashima on the flute. Further information is available from Julian Lines, also a member of the committee, at the Auroville Information Office, Box 676, Woodstock NY 12498 or AVInfo@aol.com.
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Last modified on Feb 10, 1996