The Way of Ananda Sanghis
Below you will find an outline of Ananda’s basic spiritual principles. They are based on the teaching of Paramhansa Yogananda and Swami Kriyananda. They are not exclusive, meaning you can follow these principles and beliefs while following another spiritual path or religion.
1) We believe in a single, blissful, eternal consciousness, Satchidanandam, 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.
- a) We embrace the way to this Self-realization through the inner silence, above all, of daily communion with the infinite Self.
- b) 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.
- c) 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.
- d) 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.
- e) We seek as our primary goal in life the state of actual, conscious union with
- f) 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.
- g) 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.
3) 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.
4) 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.
5) 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.
6) 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. We 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.