Dear Aurovilleans,

     Kindly accept my cordial greetings on the occasion of the foundation stone laying for the Russian Pavilion in Auroville on February 27, 2002. It is heartwarming that your unique multinational Ville where various countries of the world are represented now will get a long-awaited opportunity of building a Pavilion devoted to Russia's cultural heritage.

     Every nation's culture imbibes spiritual forces that can transform and improve life, bring up new generations on the lofty examples of the past and teach them how to build a better tomorrow. I hope the Pavilion will introduce to the Aurovilleans and their guests the treasures-trove of Russian culture - its literature, art, poetry, music, cinema and theatre, advanced scientific achievements, spiritual strivings of sages and thinkers, as well as the best of experience in social change and peaceful international cooperation.

     Contemporary Russian culture can be represented in a big way by highly creative results of children and youths. New approaches in pedagogics, the art of gifted children and experience of Russia's best schools may be of great interest and benefit to the Aurovilleans, since creative work of talented youth graphically demonstrates the spiritual potential of a human being so remarkably described by Shri Aurobindo and the Mother.

     For Auroville it may be of special significance that more than 1000-year-old Russian history has always embraced various nations and nationalities, which made their contribution to the common treasure house of the whole country. This has been an example of harmonious blending of unity in diversity and diversity in unity.

     One would like the activities of the Pavilion to reflect both the long-standing and genial traditions of Russian-Indian cultural interaction and spiritual amalgam associated with such eminent names in our culture and history as the Tver merchant Afanasy Nikitin, Indologist, musician and writer Gerasim S. Lebedev, poet and linguist Vasily A. Zhukovsky, the great Leo N. Tolstoy, painters Vasily V. Vereschagin and Prince Alexei D. Saltykov, writer and philosopher Helena P. Blavatsky, an entire constellation of the brilliant Indologists of the 19th-20th centuries, cosmologist academician Vladimir I. Vernadsky, and, no doubt, a most unique family of the Roerichs.

     The pearls of the spiritual strivings of many Russians were illumined by the exalted thought of India. Today as well in combating international terrorism, local wars, increase in crime and narcotics, when moral degradation has started to threaten the very roots of social milieu, the reviviscent moral example and evolutionary ideas of Shri Aurobindo and the Mother are of special value, as they inspire and lead people towards improving their spiritual perfection and bring harmonisation of life.

     I wish Auroville further prosperity and its residents - success in their creative and constructive activities for the benefit of enshrining the high ideals that serve to help form a new type of human being of the New Millennium.

     I am grateful for the invitation to attend the foundation laying ceremony of the Russian Cultural Pavilion. Mr Anatoly P. Krikunov, Consul General in Chennai, will represent Russia at the festivities. I will definitely visit your town in near future.

     The Embassy of the Russian Federation and the Russian Cultural Centres in India will render all assistance in the establishment and work of the Russian Pavilion in Auroville.

     Wising you all the best,

     Alexander M. Kadakin

     New Delhi, February 26, 2002