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Lynn Lloyd
USA

Question

My small town has an Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) meditation group that I meditate with periodically. I have noticed that their invocation of the lineage includes both "Mahavatar Krishna" and Babaji separately. Their photos on the altar always include Krishna. I noticed this also in the Yogananda movie. Why does Ananda combine Babaji and Krishna? If this change was made by Swami Kriyananda, why? In most ways, SRF’s satsang is just like Ananda’s, but this difference stands out.

Nayaswami Pranaba

Nayaswami Pranaba

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Lynn,

Actually, it was Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) that made the change sometime in the late 1960's; at that time they decided to separate Krishna and Babaji. It was at that time they added the photo of Krishna to the altar and changed the invocation. Ananda has felt to retain both the altar and the invocation as was given by Paramhansa Yogananda himself. If you look back to photos of the time when Yogananda was still in his body, you'll notice that Krishna was not included on the altar.

Blessings,

Nayaswami Pranaba

Candie
USA

Question

I am interested in learning more about this faith. I used to have some links to free lessons, I have gained the link to the books, however I thought there used to be daily assignments to help you work toward initiation. Bless you for your time, and information.

Candie

Nayaswami Premdas

Nayaswami Premdas

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Candie,

The best way to know more about the teachings we at Ananda share and live is to follow the tried and true progressive course lessons of our Ananda Course in Self-Realization.

As you’ve already discovered by visiting our websites and reading our books, the teachings of Yogananda are personal and at the same time universal. It is based on what the Indians call Sanatan Dharma, or the eternal religion. More than religion, however, it is a way of life, applicable for day-to-day life challenges, as Paramhansa Yogananda said, in order to be able to fight the battle of life, to find true happiness.

As the Ananda Course Director I can assure you they are meant to not only inspire but to generate an understanding and energy of those qualities that God is not only around us but in us. It’s experiential and if you follow our progressive steps from the first Lessons in Meditation through the final 5th step of Kriya Yoga, you'll discover and enjoy powerful and subtle practices and techniques to serve you throughout your life.

I suggest you visit our Ananda Course home page to read more details about signing up for The Ananda Course, whether by traditional books or online. Should you decide to begin the studies, I and our Ananda Sangha staff of yogis and ministers offer guidance with quizzes, discussions and personal support. You may contact me personally if you choose.

Here’s the link for more information and registering for our study-at-home course: Ananda Course in Self-Realization.

Joy to you, Candie!

Nayaswami Premdas

doreen
USA

Question

Has Ananda explored the possibility of creating a Roku Channel? Thank you all for your amazing service!

Nabha Cosley

Nabha Cosley

Ananda Village

Answer

I like how you think! The short answer is that we hadn’t explored it until you wrote.

Let me share some ways that you can watch Ananda videos on your TV now, then I'll answer your specific question.

Roku, as I understand it, is like Apple TV and similar devices that connect services like Netflix and Amazon Instant Video to your TV. My wife and I own an Apple TV, so I have a little experience here. We’ve found some ways that work well, and they may work for Roku.

Ways You Can Watch Ananda on Your TV Using Roku, Apple TV, and Other Devices

Watch our videos on YouTube. This is the easiest way if you have one of the Roku devices that support it. Look for the AnandaWorldwide user on YouTube or other Ananda channels like Ananda Sangha and Nayaswami Asha, or add videos to a playlist on your own account and then watch them on your TV.

Sync with the YouTube app on your smartphone. This works on Apple TV and might work on other devices as well. You can start up the YouTube app on your iPhone or iPad, start playing a video, and turn on AirPlay on your iPhone or iPad.

Plug a laptop into your TV and visit www.ananda.org/video. Many modern laptops and televisions let you do this with an HDMI cable, but you may need a little help figuring this out if you aren’t technically inclined.

Watch Sunday Services live with the Livestream channel for Roku. At Ananda Village, we broadcast our Sunday Services live at 11:00 am PST. I don’t know how this works, only that it exists! The name of our Livestream account is "Online with Ananda."

Could Ananda Create a Channel for Roku or Another Device?

At this point, with the budget we have, and just two people working full-time on Ananda.org, we have to focus our energy on what reaches the most people: universal platforms like YouTube let us do that.

From a brief exploration it seems like it would take too much effort to create a channel for Roku. Let’s keep it in mind for the future and hope that it becomes feasible. In the meantime, hopefully you can use one of the above methods. Send us an email and let us know!

With the video section on Ananda.org and all the videos on YouTube, there’s the potential for devotees to replace evening television watching with something more inspiring. That’s certainly my hope!

Thanks for writing,

And many blessings,

Nabha Cosley for the Ananda.org team

Ivan
Italy

Question

I am Catholic, and I am very active in my parish church. I really like teachings of Yogananda. So, my question is: Can one remain active Catholic when one enters in Ananda Sangha? Does it change or limit his relation with the church? Thank you!

Tyagi Jayadev

Tyagi Jayadev

Ananda Assisi, Italy

Answer

Dear Ivan, ciao!

Yes, joining Ananda Sangha you can remain fully active as a Catholic. Ananda is not a religion, but is pure spirituality. It is open and supportive. It has Hindus, Christians, Jews, Muslims (I know at least one) among its members. Ananda will help you to spiritualize and deepen your Catholic faith, as well as your inner closeness to Jesus.

The problem, however, might arise with your parish priest. If he is orthodox, he won’t approve of any yogic element among the Catholic. He might discourage meditation (I have heard this happen) and will also reject certain teachings like karma and reincarnation. On the other hand I have heard of progressive priests who are open to this path, and to yoga in general. But they are certainly the minority.

Yogananda came to teach the essence of all religions. He taught, as you might know, "the original Christianity of Jesus" and "the original Yoga of Krishna". He brought union, personal spirituality, inner communion. He himself felt extremely close to Jesus Christ and made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, loved Saint Francis and came to Assisi. There are numerous photos with him wearing the cross. You might enjoy this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XihuAt9Ao4I

In divine friendship, jayadev

becky jean rich
usa

Question

What makes Ananda's experts....experts?

Nayaswami Pranaba

Nayaswami Pranaba

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Becky,

Probably each of our "Ananda experts" would humbly decline the use of the description if you were to ask them about it!

But to answer you more fully: Ananda's experts are devotees who have been on the spiritual path for a good deal of time and have been in various roles of being leaders, teachers, or ministers. They have typically had a lot of experience in dealing with people's issues and challenges and helping them find solutions.

I hope this is helpful. Let me know if there's anything I else I can be of help with.

In divine friendship,

Nayaswami Pranaba

Sai
India

Question

Dear Ananda Friends, I would like to understand the significance of Ananda's symbol that we see in the top of the page.

Nayaswami Gopal

Nayaswami Gopal

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear One,

You ask a very good question with deep meaning. The "Joy is Within You" symbol has deep significance to truth-seekers and it provides a wonderful opportunity to meditate on its meaning.

The bottom portion of the symbol is that of a mountain peak aspiring up to meet God, recognizing the soul's desire for upliftment. The lines are soft and demonstrate a joyous ascension. The direction the lines follow end with an outline of "A Bird of Paradise". The lines are also representative of how the soul can move up and out and finally back and in. This movement suggests that the joy we are seeking comes from within. I hope this helps.

Joy,

Nayaswamigopal

Anthony
USA

Question

Hello, Is japa or chanting out loud the different names for God like Aum as a practice accepted in Ananda? I find it helps me to have better meditations when I do, along with affirmations and prayers.

Thanks for your help

Anthony

Nayaswami Sahaja

Nayaswami Sahaja

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Anthony,

Not only are japa and chanting accepted at Ananda, they are encouraged practices. Both of these practices help to develop devotion and awareness of the presence of God.

Yogananda himself said "Chanting is half the battle". Chanting opens the heart and helps you to become more receptive to God's presence within and around you. Chanting prior to meditaiton, enriches and deepens your experience.

Japa helps the mind to stay focused on God. I like to practice Aum Guru, at the point between the eyebrows. Whatever inspires you and helps you to feel connected is fine.

It is wonderful that you are incorporating these things into your sadhana (spiritual practice). May your efforts be blessed.

Peter
USA

Question

I follow this site and the colony sites very closely and love the support and resources available. I am curious - why does Ananda primarily exist on the West Coast? I am in the Midwest and there are many followers of Yogananda here that could benefit from the teachings in person. Are there any plans to expand?

In Master's blessings,

Peter

Nayaswami Pranaba

Nayaswami Pranaba

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Peter,

Ananda exists wherever there are a sufficient number of devotees who want to join together for spiritual company (satsang).

But it isn't that Ananda as an organization determines where we have such groups; rather, it comes from a natural development among sincere devotees (such as you!) coming together with other like-minded souls and growing in magnetism.

Currently Ananda does have a number of meditation groups in the Midwest. We also have our Ananda ministers on the road offering various classes and workshops. And we typically have an annual fall Midwest retreat weekend with visiting Ananda ministers.

Please email us at sanghainfo@ananda.org for contact information regarding these groups and for information about the Midwest retreat.

In divine friendship,
Nayaswami Pranaba

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