Ananda is, on a personal level, a spiritual family, a group of friends walking the path together on a quest for joy. If you are on the same journey—to find Self-realization and to help others along the way—perhaps you would like to walk with us.
So much of the world is madly rushing in the opposite direction from where we are heading. Thankfully, people are waking up. Yet Ananda and groups like ours are still only scattered islands in a sea of spiritual indifference or, perhaps worse, spiritual fanaticism.
Those of us who share high ideals need to band together. A single candle flame makes only a small circle of light and is easily extinguished. United, our individual flames become a mighty beacon that can stand against the wind. Such a beacon illuminates our own souls and draws other seeking souls to God.
Then, even if one’s own light flickers, the light from our soul companions will show us the way. For this reason, among others, Paramhansa Yogananda said, “Good company is essential on the spiritual path,” and “whether your energy will move inward toward God, or outward toward the world, is determined to a large extent by the company you keep.”
To become a member of Ananda is to embrace a spiritual relationship with God, with the masters who guide this path, and with your Ananda brothers and sisters. It’s a way of saying, “I want to deepen my inner experience of God. I want to help others grow spiritually. I want to help the movement of Self-realization by helping Ananda.”
Members are encouraged to be active in Ananda, to help make it happen for others, and to support Ananda financially. Exactly how you express your commitment, however, is up to you.
Many Ananda members are disciples of Paramhansa Yogananda and practice Kriya Yoga, but this is not a requirement. Some members never make such a commitment; some take a long time to decide. Some are even disciples of other paths.
Paramhansa Yogananda said, “Self-realization has come to unite all religions.” He didn’t mean that Self-realization is the Super Colossal Church of the future that will swallow all other denominations. He meant that the principle of Self-realization—personal, inner communion with God—is the unifying truth of all religions. There are many paths to the same goal. Religion should bring people together as one family in God. Nowadays, however, fanatics are increasingly using religion to tear people apart. Sincere seekers may hesitate to become involved with the spiritual path at all because misguided zealots are giving religion a bad name.
The world desperately needs to hear this message of Self-realization and to see examples like Ananda.
Most of us long to do something meaningful with our lives and to be of benefit to others yet individually we may lack the power to make an impact on the world. Through this movement of Self-realization our longing can be fulfilled. Together we can accomplish great things that no one of us could do on our own. Many hands make a miracle. The miracle is Ananda itself and the miracle is what happens to us when we say, “Lord, use my hands, too!”
So many people’s lives have been changed through Ananda…perhaps including yours. Each one touches others and the light goes out in ever-expanding circles. What a divine opportunity to serve! What a great adventure! Will you come along? Will you give your heart and hands to making the miracle?
For more information on becoming a member of Ananda Portland, write us.