10 February 2011

Ananda World Brotherhood Colonies

Swami Paramhansa Yogananda's great wish was to establish world brotherhood colonies, communities devoted to plain living and high thinking, where people could practice Dharma away from the negative atmosphere of the modern world, while still being a part of it. These colonies embodied the ideal preached by Jesus of being in the world but not of it. They also embody Sri Aurobindo's* ideal of Integral Yoga, combining the best advances made east and west.

Yogananda's disciple, Swami Kriyananda, helped to set up eight of these colonies (several in USA, Asisi, Italy, and Pune, India). I looked into the economic model practised by the Ananda villages, and I must say I was pleasantly surprised. They are not some hippie, take handouts from the government, socialist orders. Everyone in Ananda is responsible for their own income and they have to pay for their own housing. If anywhere is a good example of responsible living, it seems to be the Ananda villages.

Here is a wonderful video on the history of Yogananda in America, his disciple Kriyananda, and the Ananda villages. Run time 23 minutes.

*Aurobindo also set up an intentional community, Auroville, in Pondicherry in India, which was then governed by the French because, as a political dissident, Aurobindo was a criminal in British India.\