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A visit to Pondicherry is incomplete without a tour of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, its numerous units and departments. 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. One of the most well-known ashrams in India, the Sri Aurobindo Ashram is located on Rue de la Marine with hundreds of devotees from India and all over the world visiting it every day. The Ashram's sadhaks live and work in a number of buildings spread throughout the area. While the work sadhaks engage in at the various departments help the Ashram to become self-sustainable, the deeper purpose of these units is to serve as a field for sadhana (the spiritual discipline). Work here is done unselfishly, in the spirit of service and as a means of offering oneself to the Divine. Situated in a busy city of more than 12,00,000 people, the Ashram is far from being a quiet place of retreat but a vibrant centre of life in a modern urban setting. The dynamic character of the community reflects the life-affirming aim of Sri Aurobindo's Integral Yoga: to manifest a higher consciousness here on earth by transforming human nature and all aspects of human activity.