Start building now
From: New Super Cosmic Science Course, Lesson 5 (1934) by Swami Yogananda
Start now building colonies and stop industrially selfish society from gambling with your destiny. Get away from the perpetual slavery of holding jobs to the last day of your life. Buy farms and settle down with harmonious friends. Live in the luxury of literary wealth. Have time to meditate and constructively exchange divine experiences.
Let every man gather from five to ten thousand dollars and, in groups of thirty, let them build self-sustaining, self-governing colonies, starting with California. Do not spend the principal of the money, except what is necessary to buy land and start the colony. Put the money in a trust fund. Pay taxes with the interest… Produce only the necessities of life. Time should not be wasted in producing luxuries.
The need for colonies
In the first edition of Autobiography of Yogi, (1946) Paramhansa Yogananda spoke of colonies as a cure to the world’s ills.
Far into the night my dear friend—the first Kriya Yogi in America—discussed with me the need for world colonies on a spiritual basis. The ills attributed to an anthropomorphic abstraction called “society” may be laid more realistically at the door of Everyman. Utopia must spring in the private bosom before it can flower in civic virtue. Man is a soul, not an institution; his inner reforms alone can lend permanence to outer ones. By stress on spiritual values, self-realization, a colony exemplifying world brotherhood is empowered to send inspiring vibrations far beyond its scale.
Hermitages for families
During the fall of 1951, four months before his mahasamadhi, Paramhansa Yogananda spoke with Kamala Silva, a disciple since 1925, about the importance of spiritual communities.
On one of the drives along the coast, Master spoke to me of the value of world brotherhood colonies. He referred to the forming of groups within a city or rural area in a manner of hermitage life, among members who do not desire to become renunciates, or cannot do so because of certain obligations.
Such a life would enable each one to be in daily association with those who share the same spiritual goal. He described such colonies as made up of married couples and their families, as well as single people, who have the will to serve, and to live in harmony with one another. Master envisioned the idea as one in which all may work together in a self-supporting group wherein each one is dedicated to God.
Excerpted from The Flawless Mirror by Kamala Silva (1964), distributed by Crystal Clarity, Publishers.
A counter-balance to federalism
In The Road Ahead, Swami Kriyananda recorded Yogananda’s predictions on the future importance of communities.
Cooperative communities of the future, the Master said, will exist everywhere. They will be places, as Ananda is now, where people will gather for commonly held, high-minded purposes, and not only for economic security. They will serve as an important balance to governmental centralization, and will to a great extent relieve the governments of the world of the burden of caring for the sick and the aged; for such communities would naturally look after their own.
Such villages would not be isolated from the rest of the world, as they used to be in times of slow transportation and communication; they would form a vital part of the world at large, and would reach out to that world in a spirit of broader cooperation, learned on the field of actual, personal experience at home. For world brotherhood can hardly be developed except through this doorway of direct experience in brotherhood on a small scale first. It can hardly even be understood without at least a few small, model examples.