We’re now back in Los Angeles after a short trip to Ananda Village to take care of a few things. While there, we had some time and space to consider the broader implications of what Ananda is doing in southern California.
This posting will be more thoughtful and less newsy — hope you enjoy our ruminations.
It seems that what Swamiji and our LA team are doing represents a new kind of expansion for Ananda. Since our beginnings, we have always been looking for the next step in outreach — and taking it. Swamiji’s creative, expansive energy has been the driving force in developing communities and teaching centers throughout the U.S., Europe, and India.
Still, this expansion has been more out into the “landscape,” and less into the “mindscape.” By this we mean that Ananda is one of the most dynamic sources for Yogananda’s teachings, meditation training, and Kriya Yoga. It is also probably the most successful example of spiritual communities in the world. And yet, we are relatively unknown in the public mind.
So here we are in Los Angeles, one of the media capitals of the world, and one of our main goals is to “put Ananda on the map.” It’s not that we have a desire for recognition, but we deeply believe that Master’s work through Ananda can transform people’s lives, AND it is our job to let more of them know about it.
Swamiji’s film projects — “The Answer” and “The Wayshower” — have the potential to reach millions. These movies can make the general public more aware of Yogananda than anything we’ve done before.
When Swamiji was interviewing potential publicists, and listening to their ideas about getting his name better known, he said, “I have absolutely no desire for personal fame, but I accept that publicity is necessary for people to know more about our Guru.”
Rescuing Yogananda also represents a new kind of expansion for Ananda into the “mindscape.” The story of how SRF threw Swamiji out has been told in other books and writings, but this book represents something more.
It shows with increasing clarity and impact throughout its pages how SRF has departed from Master’s original vision and stripped his work of its joy, humor, compassion, and kindness. More importantly, it has made Master’s work a museum piece – something remote, removed, and protected behind mental walls.
But now that Rescuing Yogananda has been launched, Ananda plans to do what it does best: share Master’s teachings with people in a dynamic, accessible way that relates to every aspect of life.
We were talking with a group of people after Swamiji’s satsang last Sunday (see sidebar) and someone asked, “Do you know how I can get a copy of Master’s original lessons, so I know what he wrote as opposed to what’s been edited?”
After we explained that these lessons are hard to come by, a member of Ananda Palo Alto who was present said, “Why don’t you take Ananda’s Raja Yoga classes? That’s the way you’ll get the real teachings.”
It was a humbling comment, but at the same time, we realized it was true.
So, these are some thoughts that we want to share with you as Ananda reaches out more dynamically to the general public. Already so much has happened: Swamiji’s Sunday satsangs, billboards advertising our events, new class series, new meditation groups, movie production teams, long-time Ananda members moving to Los Angeles, and our new ashram house.
All this is to offer Master’s living presence with joy, power, and love.
In divine friendship,
Jyotish and Devi
What is the address of your new Ananda ashram. I would like to make a visit, but do not know where to locate it.
Thanks and namaste,
It is so exciting to have Swamiji in LA. I am so enjoying his Sunday satsangs even though I have not been able to be there in person. Having the live broadcasts is so wonderful. I am looking forward to seeing Swamiji’s movies, and even though I don’t live in LA, but north of LA, I can feel the excitement and the movement of Ananda clear up here. Love the billboard. Jai Guru
Many blessings on these awesome projects – what an adventure! I am so grateful to be part of Ananda and to see and feel the energy you always enter into new endeavors.
Joy in Master!
Wow, what a fabulous looking ashram house! Very magnetic. Master must be very pleased by this new, beautiful outreach jewel!
Thank you for sharing this wonderful news.
Joy to You
It’s great to hear these developments. May the eternal spirit and blessings that is the sole source behind all in existence and the blessing of the great ones truely shine through in this work. Namaste to all.
Thank you for being here in LA! I love Yogananda’s sane, empowering teachings, and am so glad to have Ananda LA’s loving presentations of his work and wisdom! The way you welcome and respect everyone is uplifting, warm and joy-filled! It’s great to spend time learning with you all! Go, Kriyananda!!
Blessings and gratitude for your guidance, strength and joy, dear souls-for the minutes and the years. I cherish your friendship and the willingness that Master and Swamiji have evoked, from us all, to give all that we are. What else is there, really to do but follow the Divine Will? In deepest Joy to you all, Steve
Miguel Ruiz said in his 5th agreement that truth can only
be known in silence, and that once it is reduced to words,
it becomes symbols open to interpretation. I love the
joyful community of Ananda because I feel SRF is way
too sober – but I love the point that SRF makes that you
can practice anywhere you are, no matter what circumstance of life, no matter what people you hang out with. That’s why I love them both…but you know what?
It is God’s leila – it’s just like saying “rescuing God.” One
of my favorite things I heard in an Ananda talk by Uma was
“you cannot fall out of the reach of God” – now for heaven’s
sake, who is doing the rescuing????
I’m praying for your continued success. Thank you for you joyful service to Master’s message. My practice is enriched by the image of you in service, during my prayer. Blessings to each of you.
Thank you for sharing and expanding!
Ananda and the teachings of Yogananda have too long been a secret!
It’s so exciting to see the expansion, particularly at this time and in the area of Los Angeles!
Dear friends, thank you once again for the wonderful updates. How is Swamiji doing? The work is in my prayers daily. In friendship, Jerry Champagne, Ashland,OR.
Thank you for this inspiring news. I am so blessed to have been part of the Ananda community for many years; the feelings, teachings, and love will always be a part of me. Now I am far away in South Carolina, but certainly still connected. Peace to all and keep up the good work. Om, shanti, shanti, Mac
It can only be a good thing for Ananda to expand to the media. I am amazed every day that all these teachers & teachings come through my life…books such as The Secret become best-sellers…movies that tell the Truth…and all of it I learned already during my ten years as part of Ananda communities in Portland and Nevada City. Life these past 7 years since I left Ananda Village has only affirmed what I learned there. My adult children truly received an Education for Life in Ananda schools. My life was forever changed; my path forged ahead of me, by what I learned from Ananda and its leadership as well as Swamiji’s beautiful music and writing and talks and the Festival of Light (which I miss sitting through every Sunday to this day).
Congratulations on this huge step which will no doubt bless thousands if not millions of truth-seekers everywhere. The time is ripe; the world is in chaos and yet so many of us stand still at the center of life’s storms, receptive to answers that stem from ancient and universal truths.
Love & Aloha to all of you: Durga & Vidura, Jyotish & Devi, Ganga Mata & (Eric?), Parvati & (Bent?)…from DharmaDasi on the beautiful island of Kauai
Swamiji keeps us all expanding in the bliss of sharing bliss with all!
I love the billboards!
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips, Straining upon the start. The game’s afoot: Follow your spirit; and, upon this charge Cry ‘God God God’
i don’t know about the world, but ananda has been my true friend philospher and guide, having met guruji once, i felt blessed. when ever in doubt or inadequacy i just open this web page and back to my feet again.
ananda is all about finding true love.
Joy and bliss to one and all. May you be blessed beyond words.
I think your billboard idea along Los Angeles freeways is excellent. We all want to get there. Most of us dont know how.
Love and best regards,