Ananda is a worldwide group of individuals who share the search for higher
consciousness and the ideal of service to others. We express this service
by offering uplifting values and techniques for achieving peace of mind
and inner happiness
Ananda, which means
"joy" in Sanskrit, was founded in 1968 by J.
Donald Walters (Swami Kriyananda) to support others in their quest
for spiritual growth.
logo is called the "Ananda Joy" logo (seen below, and at the
upper left of all Ananda web pages), represents the soul's aspiration
upward toward God, and outward to embrace all beings in its quest for
enlightenment. The downward curve shows the corresponding descent of divine
Ananda is based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda, author of the
spiritual classic Autobiography of a Yogi. Yogananda was the first great
Indian master of yoga to live in the West. His teachings emphasize direct
inner experience of God, which he called 'Self-realization.' Yogananda's
teachings are nonsectarian, and offer practical solutions to the challenges
of modern life. Yogananda taught that what the world needs is a blend
of the best qualities of the East and West: The spiritual insight of the
East and the practical efficiency of the West. One without the other leads
to a society barren of human fulfillment.
Ananda's world mission is to establish this social pattern for future
generations. Ananda East
is becoming what Yogananda called a world brotherhood colony: A place
where people gather to share a life based on plain living and high thinking.
World Brotherhood Colonies
the spirit of full disclosure,
we would like you to know...
Ananda is a haven of peace, but even here, there is controversy. Not within
Ananda, fortunately, but imposed upon us from outside. It is a long story,
all too common in the history of religion. Another organization, also
followers of Paramhansa Yogananda, initiated a major lawsuit against Ananda
11 years ago in a so-far-unsuccessful effort to establish a religious
monopoly. Members of this other organization have also made personal,
sweeping allegations against Swami Kriyananda and Ananda, falsely charging
sexual misconduct and abuse of power. The battleground has been the courtroom
and the internet, with a little of the media thrown in, as well.
explains the theological dispute.
explains and refutes the allegations
If you'd like to know more, or talk about these issues,
please call. Ananda thrives on open communication; your questions, even
on what may seem to be sensitive issues, will be well-received and fully
"This day marks the birth of a new era. My spoken words are registered
in the ether, in the Spirit of God, and they shall move the West.... Self-Realization
has come to unite all religions.... We must go on - - not only those who
are here, but thousands of youths must go North, South, East and West
to cover the earth with little colonies, demonstrating that simplicity
of living plus high thinking lead to the greatest happiness!" -Paramhansa
Yogananda, from The Path.
of World Brotherhood Colonies was a long time dream of Yogananda. He spoke
enthusiastically up until the very end of his life about this dream. In
his Autobiography of a Yogi he exclaimed, "An urgent need on this
war-torn earth is the founding, on a spiritual basis, of numerous world-brotherhood
colonies." (Note: these words were edited out in the late 1950's.)
One of the Aims and
Ideals of his organization, while he was alive, was "To spread a
spirit of world brotherhood among all peoples and to aid in the establishment,
in many countries, of self-sustaining world-brotherhood colonies for plain
living and high thinking." He spoke of this dream just a few months
before his passing to a disciple, Kamala Silva (see link to the passage
from Kamala's book below).
Ananda is the fulfillment
of Yogananda's dream of establishing World Brotherhood Colonies, where
spiritual seekers could gather together and practice 'plain living and
high thinking'. These colonies were envisioned by Yogananda many years
before the community movement began in America. During his lifetime, Yogananda
tried to fulfill his dream, but the world at that time wasn't ready for
such an unusual approach to life.
a direct disciple of Yogananda, was inspired by Yogananda's ideal, and
began the first Colony outside Nevada City, California in 1968. He named
it Ananda, which is the sanskrit word for Divine Joy.
Since then, Ananda
has grown into a worldwide network of spiritual communities that includes
thriving World Brotherhood Colonies.
to other Ananda Sites:
Ananda Ashram, New Delhi, India
Ananda Central Ministry near Nevada City, California:
Light | Ananda
Meditation Groups | Crystal
Clarity Publishers | Healing
Prayer Ministry | Meditation
(Seclusion) Retreat | Crystal
Hermitage | Ananda
Yoga en Español
Sacramento | Ananda
Seattle | Ananda
Portland | Ananda
Assisi, Italy | Ananda
East Coast | Ananda
Ananda Teaching Centers:
The above Colonies plus:
Rhode Island you are here
Ananda Meditation Groups:
For a list
of all groups (not all have web sites)
Ananda East West book stores: