The Way of Ananda Sanghis
By Nayaswami Kriyananda
“May the Divine Light awaken and purify my heart,
and bring enlightenment to all beings.”
- We believe in a single, blissful, eternal consciousness, Satchidanandam *1, which pervades the entire universe, unifying it and all creatures in a bond of mutual service. This blissful consciousness is the underlying reality of all existence; it precedes the very manifestation of the universe. 2) We believe that man’s highest duty is to realize himself as an expression of all-pervading Satchidanandam.
- We embrace the way to this Self-realization through the inner silence, above all, of daily communion with the infinite Self.
- We embrace, for ourselves, the need to embody this realization in our own lives by daily performing at least one specific, conscious, personally selected act of service to our fellow beings.
- We embrace—again, for ourselves, since we seek not to impose our understanding on others—the need to honor all, whether friends or self-named foes, as manifestations of the eternal Satchidanandam, and to see them as our brothers and sisters in that Supreme Consciousness which is variously called God, Ishwara, Allah, or Jehovah. We recognize all names for that Supreme Being as designating our one, common Progenitor.
- We embrace the need to give back to our Supreme Source by offering up every ego-attachment and self-limiting identity in daily acts of service to others.
- We seek as our primary goal in life the state of actual, conscious union with Satchidanandam.
- We aspire to make our own lives works of art, whether through music, through the visual arts, or through the simple deeds of our daily existence, with a view to expressing the bliss that is latent in our deeper selves.
- We seek to make our every thought and action a radiation outward from the center of our being, and not to allow ourselves to become superficial reflections of the thoughts and actions of others.
- We seek never to convert anyone to our specific cause except, in love, to inspire all with the desire to reclaim the bliss of their own being.
- We seek fellowship with others willing to join hands with us in this loving labor for universal upliftment. Thus, by our united efforts, our hope is to share inspiration with ever-increasing effectiveness.
- We recognize that, whether or not others join us consciously in this labor, all human beings, each one individually, serve the Eternal Purpose, doing so by the simple act of seeking, whether ignorantly or wisely, the bliss of their own being. We condemn no one, therefore, for ideas he may hold that are different from our own, but embrace all as fellow seekers of Ultimate Bliss.
- Those who share these precepts and seek to live this way of life are effectively Ananda “members” in spirit. You are invited to affirm these universal ideals in your life through membership in the worldwide nonsectarian Nayaswami Order. (See www.Nayaswami.org). This Order is independent of Ananda Sangha and is open to anyone in tune with its ideals and way of life. Membership begins with that of the Pilgrim and with appropriate acceptance from other members as described in the “Rule,” there are progressive stages of renunciation which can lead to sannyas (Swami). If you are interested, please read the Rule at www.Nayaswami.org . To join, contact us at Ananda and we can assist you. *2
- We recognize that the way of Ananda Sangha is primarily inward, not outward; that it leads one by the universal pathway of the spine to the high state of communion with God at that point in the forehead which lies between the eyebrows. Most Ananda Sangha members follow this path by the daily practice, after receiving it, of the non-sectarian science of Kriya Yoga, as it was named by its reviver in the nineteenth century, Yogavatar Lahiri Mahasaya of Varanasi. The aim of Kriya Yoga is to withdraw one’s energy and consciousness from the senses to the spine, and to lift the awareness to conscious union with the Supreme Reality: Satchidanandam. Those who practice this sacred science are known as Kriyabans. The Kriyabans of Ananda Sangha offer special respect, honor, and reverence to those who inspired the promulgation of Kriya Yoga in modern times: Jesus Christ, Mahavatar Babaji (who was, as he has informed his close disciples, Bhagavan Krishna in a former incarnation), Lahiri Mahasaya, Swami Sri Yukteswar, and Paramhansa Yogananda, ambassador of Kriya Yoga to the West and promoter of the underlying oneness of Hinduism, Christianity, and, consequently, of all the great religions of the world. Kriyabans revere the great saints of all religions, but give special reverence and obedience to the line of gurus on whose lives and teachings we pattern our own lives.
- Shankaracharya, a well-known master during ancient times in India, described the calm state of Spirit as satchidanandam (“existence-consciousness-bliss”), a definition that was amplified by Paramhansa Yogananda as: “ever-existing, ever-conscious, ever-new bliss.”
- Paragraph 6 was added by us after the creation of the Nayaswami Order. Originally, the stages of renunciation that later became part of the Nayaswami Order were offered in the original text of the Way of the Sanghi.
Ananda Sangha began with the founding of Ananda Village in 1968, near Nevada City, California, USA, by Swami Kriyananda (J. Donald Walters), a direct disciple since 1948 of Paramhansa Yogananda of Bengal, India. Ananda Village has, since its founding, given birth to nine other communities: six in the United States of America, one in Italy, and two in India.
Residing in these communities are a total of about one thousand Sevakas. Most of the children of these residents attend Ananda’s own schools, but are not considered members until they themselves reach the age of discernment and make the decision to join.
Swami Kriyananda, in addition to founding these communities, has written and published nearly one hundred and fifty books and composed over 400 pieces of music. Many of his songs have been sung in countries around the world. His books and recordings, which have appeared in twenty-seven foreign translations, have sold some three million copies to date.
Ananda Sangha, with the blessings of God and Gurus, is dedicated to the spiritual upliftment of our planet, Earth.
Membership in Ananda Sangha Worldwide
Ananda Sangha is primarily a fellowship of souls, not of purses and pocketbooks. Donations and service are of course welcome, for it takes money and volunteers to run an organization even if its fundamental aim is to be of service to mankind. All that Ananda Sangha asks of its members is their heartfelt commitment to the basic principles stated in these pages, and an agreement to share with others, in spiritual partnership with us, in the dissemination of these ideals. Should you desire to join us in that spirit, we invite you to consider yourself a member. Your participation and support will be your membership identification card!