Building Ananda in Mexico
My name is Medardo Vargas Muñoz. I am an architect in Lazaro Cardenas, Michoacan, Mexico. I am a Bramachari (1) at heart.
“Truth simply is, it cannot be created. Everyone has to perceive it in the Self within.” These are the words by my Guruji Yogananda, which stir my mind, a mind that is avid and likes to question everything.
Since my early childhood I had always wanted to be an architect. In my mind I had built a big white structure. It was divided into seven parts: a beautiful home for my mother, and one for each of my five brothers and myself. It was situated on a farm, and had beautiful gardens. In the center there was a big living room to celebrate Christmas.
That is how I grew up: thinking about giving to others, and how to change everything from darkness into light. In this way God prepared me to receive my Guru, whose soul is all-inclusive, and who achieves everything he has set out to do.
My soul rejoices with the mere mention of His name. I’m committed to his service, in the same way I serve Jesus, God, and you all.
And what can I do with that joy? Serve, love unconditionally, and share with others. The Ananda Center in my young city (Lazaro Cardenas is only 60 years old) was born from these principles.
Lazaro Cardenas is located in the Rio Balsas delta, and is bathed by the Pacific Ocean. Our busy city is not just any city anymore. Now it is blessed by God, our Guru, and the Yoga Masters.
I have very vivid memories of the day I found the Center building. It was a dusty, forgotten, “full of nothing” yet joyful, day. That was the day God gave us a place to dedicate to Him and His service. Nothing was easy, but it was very inspiring.
Now it is a beautiful place where you can breathe calmness, hope, and peace. Many devotees have come here. I know Guruji will bring many more. Children have also arrived (2). They are my hope, my promise, and inspiration.
The luminescent inner star follows its course, always leading ahead. Right behind it, I follow its steps. I hear its voice and feel its warmth and love. Now it has taken me to another beautiful place, forgotten and marked by the imprint of time.
The area, at its peak, was one of the most desired places to live in the city. The building had been abandoned, but it looked like it was waiting for a better future. We have rescued it and brought back its splendor. We are creating a better destiny for it: the path of prayer, chanting, and meditation.
Now you can visualize a beautiful Ashram (3). It’s like a diamond in the mud that is reclaiming its shining light. It won’t be easy. It’s going to be a challenge, but at the same time, it will be a place for inspiration.
I can see it full of joy, with flowers and wonderful magic, crowned with a high blue dome. Not just any dome — it will be a large beacon for peace, harmony, and divine union. I can hear a deep bell: it’s the sound of Ananda, uniting people and countries, sowing magic and love.
I always dream of a world without borders: riding on our camels of love, bringing gifts in our hearts to the Christ-child within. There is nothing better we can offer Him than following the star of our inner heart. One day we will arrive at the city of Bethlehem of Self-realization. I too, will see my King!
1. Bramachari: Sanskrit for a dedicated spiritual seeker who practices celibacy
2. Medardo teaches yoga to children whose parents attend Ananda Center.
3. Ashram: Sanskrit for a place where devotees live and worship together.
Medardo organized a Kriya Yoga retreat in Lazaro Cardenas this fall with Anaashini Alzate and Dave Warner from Ananda Village.