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Education for Life: An Interview with Michael Nitai Deranja

Nayaswami Nitai
February 3, 2022

What is Education for Life?

Any educational system that teaches only job skills or offers only intellectual information is neglecting the essential needs of human beings. The solution is a form of education that trains us in that which is most relevant to us—how to find lasting happiness in life. We deeply need proper training in “how-to-live” skills such as how to find the right mate, how to raise our children, how to be a good employee, how to get along with our neighbors, and how to concentrate our minds so that we can draw success into all our endeavors. There are many such skills that are essential to prepare a child for adulthood, and in traditional education many of them are completely ignored. Education for Life is a system that prepares the child to face the challenges of living as a human being, and helps him to achieve balance and harmony in all he does. For more info: 


Nitai Deranja was the founding director of the first Living Wisdom School in 1972 at Ananda Village. Since then he has overseen the development of schools in California, Oregon, Washington, India, Slovenia, and Italy. He presently teaches at the Ananda College of Living Wisdom in Portland, Oregon, and is co-director of Education for Life International. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California, Berkeley, with a B.A. in Humanistic Psychology, and has an M.A. in Education from the University of California, Davis. He is the author of For Goodness' Sake: How to help teenagers learn positive values through experiential activities. He is also co-author with Joseph Cornell of Journey to the Heart of Nature.


Crystal Clarity is the publishing house of Ananda Sangha Worldwide in the United States. Our mission is to help individuals expand in their awareness of the Divine, and to demonstrate practically how to apply spirituality to every facet of life: success, family, health, education, and more. Our offerings are based on the revolutionary teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda, author of the well-known spiritual classic, "Autobiography of a Yogi." Our founder, Swami Kriyananda, strove to combine the highest insights of the East with the practical-mindedness of the West.

What Does Crystal Clarity Mean?

Crystal Clarity means to see oneself, and all things, as aspects of a greater reality; to seek to enter into conscious attunement with that reality; and to see all things as channels for the expression of that reality. It means to see truth in simplicity; to seek always to be guided by the simple truth, not by opinions; and by what is, not by one’s own desires or prejudices. It means striving to see things in relation to their broadest potential. In one’s association with other people, it means seeking always to include their realities in one’s own.

(From Kriyananda’s book *Cities of Light.*)

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