Paramhansa Yogananda, on whose teachings Ananda is based, taught that environment is stronger than willpower. A person may have the best intention of living a spiritual life, but lacking the support of others, and living in a world focused on materialism, it is all too easy to be diverted, by other desires, from the desire to know God!
Yogananda’s solution was for people of like mind and ideals to join together to form what he called “world brotherhood colonies,” intentional spiritual communities based on “simple living and high thinking.” In these communities, truthseekers from all walks of life could live, work, and seek God together in an uplifting environment.
This would make it easier for people to develop spiritual qualities, and the awareness “of the true kinship of all men as sons and daughters of the same, one God.”
Yogananda tried to establish such a colony in Encinitas in the early 1940s, but found that people were not yet ready to embrace his idea. He knew, however, that the time would come when the world would be ready. As he said, “This colony idea will spread through the world like wildfire!”