Ananda

Ānanda - आनन्द

Bliss (1) or divine joy (2). It is also the name of a worldwide movement based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda and founded by Swami Kriyananda. (2)

In yoga philosophy it is said that God is sat-chit-ananda (existence consciousness bliss). (3) Paramhansa Yogananda adds that ananda is different from the temporary happiness that comes from sense pleasures such as eating, listening to music, and seeing beautiful things. It is also not a monotonous joy that is always the same. Ananda refers to a joy that “changes and dances itself in many ways to enthrall your mind and keep your attention occupied and interested forever.” (4)

How Does One Achieve This Joy?

According to Paramhansa Yogananda, ananda can only be found through regular, deep meditation. This joy lives within and cannot be found through anything outside oneself. When one has divine joy, the joy remains despite any difficult outward circumstances. (4)

References

  1. Autobiography of a Yogi, by Paramhansa Yogananda. Chapter 24, “I Become a Monk of the Swami Order.”
  2. a b The New Path, by Swami Kriyananda. Chapter 40, “A New Way of Life.”
  3. The Snow Cone Diaries: A Philosopher’s Guide to the Information Age, by Juan Valdez. Part III, “Connecting the Dots.”
  4. a b “Finding the Joy in Life,” by Paramhansa Yogananda. Published October 1936.