Visit the Temple of Light

Ananda Village, Nevada City

Another way to experience the beauty, history, and stillness of the Sierra Nevada Mountains is to visit the recently completed Temple of Light in the spiritual community of Ananda Village which is home to nearly 200 people.

Ananda Village was established in 1969 by Paramhansa Yogananda’s direct disciple Swami Kriyananda in fulfillment Yogananda’s mission to build world-wide brotherhood communities. Ananda Village recently celebrated its 50th anniversary along with the dedication of the Temple of Light in July 2019. The Village is the spiritual center of Ananda Sangha, a global spiritual movement with a number of centers and communities around the world including Europe and India.

The Temple of Light is dedicated to all religions and serves as a beacon of blessings for the world. Areas of the temple sanctuary honor Buddhism, Sikhism, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, and Islam. You will need to remove your shoes before entering the sanctuary and silence should be maintained inside of the sanctuary. Please dress respectfully when you visit the community or the temple.


“I have read, heard about, and longed for interfaith unity. Today I experienced it. Now that we know what it is, we must go forward and share it with others.”

A Church of All Religions

On Saturday, July 6, 2019, of the 50th Anniversary of Ananda celebration, there was a panel of eight spiritual leaders representing the various world religions. We have built niches into the outer walls of Temple of Light and placed there sacred religious symbols, making the temple truly a temple of all religions, as Paramhansa Yogananda did with his temples, which he called “Churches of all Religions.”

During this special occasion, a panel of eight teachers spoke about how light shines from each of their faiths. A dear friend made a comment afterwards that was shared by many: “I have read, heard about, and longed for interfaith unity. Today I experienced it. Now that we know what it is, we must go forward and share it with others.”

The most spectacular building in Nevada County.TheUnion.com

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About the Temple

The Temple of Light is…

  • A spiritual power center that will uplift human consciousness
  • The spiritual home for seekers of truth worldwide
  • The fulfillment of Paramhansa Yogananda’s and his disciple, Swami Kriyananda’s vision for Worldbrotherhood Communities
  • A celebration of Ananda’s 50th Anniversary in 2019
  • An example of Paramhansa Yogananda’s inspiration to “immortalize your ideals in architecture”
  • A beacon of blessings for the world

MANY HANDS MADE A TEMPLE

Nayaswami Jyotish

There were several hundred of us in the opening circle, holding hands and chanting. We had gathered, not only those who live at Ananda Village, but people from all over, to help prepare the Temple of Light for the hundreds who would soon be visiting. This was just the latest of innumerable voluntary workdays that I have attended over the years. Group workdays are one of the main reasons that Ananda Village has risen from the mud and dust of its early years to the place of beauty and inspiration that it is today.

An environment is but the physical expression of the consciousness of the people in it. The climate problems we face now are nature’s reaction to the greed and exploitation that are so prevalent in the world today. There is an enlightening quote of the Dalai Lama’s that goes, “People should be loved and things should be used. Unfortunately today, things are loved and people are used.”

I would add that when the right things are loved — including the earth and all its creatures big and small — then real magic can occur. That magic is what was felt by all the hundreds of people who participated in our fiftieth-anniversary celebration. For many, it was the most uplifting week of their lives.

The great masters urge us, first of all, to love God, and then to love Him in all creation. Love should be the center of our meditation, and should spill out from there into all our daily activities. When our thoughts, words, and actions proceed with and for the love of God, then every hour becomes sacred.

But it is even more fun to meditate and serve together. Yogananda said, “I prefer a soul to a crowd, but I love crowds of souls.” When crowds of devotees all join their hands together to accomplish something beautiful for God, then showers of blessing rain down from the heavens.

Whatever we give to God, turns to gold. Rabindranath Tagore wrote of a beggar sitting beside a dusty road who saw the king of the land approaching with his retinue. Eagerly he held out his hand to receive alms. But he was shocked and angered when the king himself asked for something from him. What nonsense is this? he thought. Resentfully, he gave the king a single grain of rice. That night, when he emptied his purse, he found there a single rice-shaped piece of gold, and realized in a flash what this meant. “If only,” he reproached himself bitterly, “I had had the courage to give Him my all.”

Ananda has been built and will continue to grow by people offering their love, service, and devotion. And it has all turned to gold. I’m sure that the thousands who have given freely to this wonderful work would tell you that they have gained much more than they’ve given.

We invite you, also, to join us in this great adventure. For the first time, we are asking you, our dear readers, to give a donation in return for what you have received from these blogs, which have been given freely and joyfully for more than six years. Your donation will be used to help make the Temple of Light a beacon of hope for all the world.

Let us all join our hands together and make the Temple of Light a miracle that will be a center to spread light and joy to the world.

In joy,

Nayaswami Jyotish

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