People ask me what I see for the future of Ananda. The divine blueprint for Paramhansa Yogananda’s mission is not something that’s fixed. It’s an energy, a direction. For the future I see more of the same spirit as now prevails throughout all of Ananda worldwide; how it expresses itself is secondary. If we have the right spirit, then everything will go right.
At Ananda we are not trying to create beautiful New Age communities. Our goal is to serve God and to create an environment supportive to our devotion, one that will enable us to grow toward the universal goal of all life: Self-realization in God.
The ideal of communities is something that devotees everywhere should seek. Much thought has been devoted in modern times to finding solutions that depend entirely on human effort, without God—and without even such high ideals as love, happiness, and voluntary (as opposed to enforced) cooperation. Is there any hope that a community without such a foundation can succeed?
No, frankly, I see no such hope. If people live selfishly, what hope have they of clambering out of their habit-worn mental ruts? Attempts have been made, and the results always have been disappointing. No mere economic system can possibly create a successful community. No mere decision to live and work together, without a high purpose in life, can possibly bond people in unity during stressful times. No merely social experiment will ever work.
It’s people who make communities, and more than that, it’s people in tune with a state of divine consciousness. This state of consciousness is something given to us by God, and it’s this consciousness that makes Ananda what it is.
In today’s world where people are adrift in a sea without direction or spiritual values, God wants to use Ananda to show others a positive way to guide their lives. It’s not you or me doing it, but God through us, because He has something to say to the world at this time about the need for communities.
We are living in an age when coming together in spiritual communities will bring new understanding, new perspectives. The world needs a focus for this movement, and Ananda provides this focus. In our Ananda communities we have shown that people can live by high ideals, love all, and have communal harmony. Through our example, we can be of practical service to those who feel in harmony with what we’ve done.
Paramhansa Yogananda predicted that, “The day will come when this colony idea will spread through the world like wildfire.” Ultimately, Ananda’s isn’t the story of any community. It’s the story of great waves of consciousness that are needed in our times.