What Are Ananda’s Teachings on Wicca and Non-Mainstream Religions?


1-What are Ananda’s teachings on: Wicca, Paganism, Druidism, New Age, Tarot, fortune-telling, Ouija, Voodoo... I hear young people are joining these "religions". Some are identifying as witches and casting spells to get someone to date them, or to control them, or to make money.

2-How is it possible for hocus-pocus to affect a person, when it isn’t even real? Heard stories about people going to a gypsy/sheik and making someone marry them by trickery, by giving the sheik their photo.

—Samuel, USA


Dear Samuel,

Ananda doesn’t specifically address Wicca’s ways or other non-mainstream religions. It might, however, sometimes contradict what they teach. At other times it might agree.

Wicca for example says, if I am not mistaken, that the human being is not above nature and other creatures. Yogananda – and therefore Ananda – instead teaches that the human body “has the highest evolutionary value because of unique brain and spinal centers (chakras). These enable the advanced devotee to fully grasp and express the loftiest aspects of divinity. No lower form is so equipped.” (Autobiography of a Yogi)

If Wicca practices witchcraft or magic Ananda’s teachings wouldn’t endorse it. But on the other hand, many of Wicca’s values are positive, like non-harmfulness.

Paganism: Basically Yogananda teaches that you can worship God in any form: He will appear to you in that same form. Pagans may worship any god, which is okay. But according to Yogananda that god is not the true Absolute God, who is a Spirit, a Consciousness, without any definition. Pagan religion, then, can be lived on a very high level, or on an extremely low one. It completely depends on the individual.

Druidism too can be enlightened or blind. So can New Age be: there are enlightened New Age teachers, and there are completely misguided ones. Tarot too can’t be put in a single box: it can be a positive tool in the hands of some, but for others it is pure illusion and ignorance. Some fortune-tellers are intuitively guided and wise. Others are fools.

Ouija and other practices of contacting the dead is, in Ananda teachings, not a wise kind of channeling. The dead, existing on a more subtle plane, might be just as ignorant as any earth-dweller. Why contact them? Voodoo, if I am not mistaken, is basically magic, and would not be endorsed by Ananda or yoga Masters. If people use magic or powers for ego reasons, they will have to suffer as a karmic consequence.

About your second question: magic is real. Pagan religion is real. The spiritual world is larger and truer than you might realize. Of course, there is a lot of unreal hocus-pocus happening as well.

The most important thing for you is not to judge people who follow religious activities which you don’t agree with. As long as no harm is created, let it be. Accept and respect them. If they should create harm, pray for them. Such people are setting themselves up for a lot of future trouble.

The teachings of Ananda are basically quite simple. “Love God” is such a teaching. You can love and feel Him best during silence. Therefore we meditate. Outside of silence there will be always a measure of illusion, of untruth. Truth, in the end, cannot even be expressed. Why discuss and compare? Better to meditate and open your heart.

All the best,