Swami Kriyananda wrote The Way of Ananda Sanghis in India, shortly after he learned that a young Indian couple wanted to become the first Indian members of Ananda Sangha India.
Early one morning he telephoned Jyotish and Devi Novak, who were also in India, and said, “I’ve something very important to discuss with you.” When they arrived at his room, Dharmadas Schuppe, Yogacharya of Ananda Sangha India, and his wife, Nirmala, were already there.
Kriyananda told them: “At two o’clock this morning I woke up with this wonderful idea for describing Ananda’s membership.” He had written a statement of the beliefs and principles held in common by those who are part of Ananda. He called it, The Way of Ananda Sanghis.
“As he read it to us,” Devi recalled, “I just felt this wave of blessing. We could feel that this was something that had been given to him, and through him to all of us.”
At Spiritual Renewal Week at Ananda Village in August 2004, Jyotish discussed some of the deeper implications of Kriyananda’s statement:
The Way of Ananda Sanghis is based on the highest principles of India’s spiritual teachings. Yogananda said that the teachings he brought to the West are the “cream of the cream” of yoga. The Way of Ananda Sanghis gives us the essence of those teachings.
This is the first time in Ananda’s history that we’ve had such a statement. It’s as if we’ve had to live these teachings for a while before they could be stated outwardly. As Yogananda has said, we not only have to churn the ether with our thoughts, we also need to bring those thoughts down to the physical plane. Otherwise, there’s a tendency to let the statement substitute for the action.
Kriyananda has often waited many years so we can live a truth before he states it. But now we have a clear, succinct statement of our overall beliefs.
One of our meditation group leaders recently said, “When people have asked me, ‘What is Ananda, what do you believe?’ I would tell them what I thought. Now I can give them this brochure!”