Personal beliefs and Ananda

Question

I have been interested in Ananda. But I have a concern. On your website it talks about becoming one with God and different references to Jesus and the bible. Now I do not hate Christianity but my spiritual belief is based on Goddess worship. Will this interfere with me being part of Ananda?

—Christopher Gray, United States

Answer

Dear Christopher,

I love the true name for the religon of India: Sanaathan Dharma, which means “the eternal religion.” The eternal religion is the the upward reaching of the soul, or soul’s eternal quest for its true nature in the Divine. That reaching upward may find a home in a specific religioin, such as Christianity or Islam, or in no religion at all.

While Yogananda came to the West with a specific mission to show the essential oneness of original Christianity and original Yoga, his teachings are universal. Yoga is not a religion in and of itself, but practices that will lead the soul toward Self-realization.

When I moved to Ananda Village in 1971, there were many parts of the teachings that resonated deeply with me, and some that I could not really relate to. But I decided to focus on what worked for me — since I had not experienced anything like these teachings elsewhere – and not to worry about the parts that didn’t work for me.

I found that by moving forward in this way, I grew as a human being and as a seeker, and my heart became more open to accept and embrace all of the teachings

This principle is a good one, and I encourage you to try it. As long as you don’t feel a complete and utter rejection of Christianity, then move forward with what works for you.

Ananda truly sends out spiritual encouragement to all seekers.

Joy to you,

Anandi