Where simple living and high thinking lead to the greatest happiness.
A Place of Hope for a Better World
An hour’s drive from the city of Pune, India, is a place of natural beauty and high spiritual vibration. Nestled in Maharasthra’s scenic Western Ghats, where peace and quiet prevail, Ananda Pune is more than just a pastoral retreat centre and budding residential community.
It represents a spiritual movement and blessed way of life that is both ancient and ever new. Universal in scope, it is truly a place of hope for a better world.
Ananda Pune is part of Ananda Sangha Worldwide, a thriving spiritual network like no other, established in 1968 in Nevada City, California, USA. As you explore this website, you will discover what makes it so, and how you, too, can experience and enjoy its many unique qualities and opportunities.
Ananda Pune also has an active centre in the city, where classes, satsangs, and special events are held on Thursdays and weekends.
A Path to Reunion with God
Based on the teachings of the great Indian master Paramhansa Yogananda, Ananda Pune embraces every aspect of human endeavor, from the search for happiness in daily living to the ultimate bliss of Self-realisation.
Yogananda (1893-1952) is widely regarded as the avatar for today’s modern age. Author of the spiritual classic Autobiography of a Yogi, he touched the lives of millions with his universal message that moksha (the soul’s liberation) is achieved not by obedience to rituals and dogmas, but by higher attunement to the nature and will of God. The truths and techniques that Yogananda taught are rooted in the timeless wisdom of Sanatan Dharma: the eternal, experiential path to everlasting enlightenment.
In furtherance of Yogananda’s message and mission, Ananda Sangha was founded by his direct disciple, Swami Kriyananda (1926-2013), whose remarkable flow of creativity has blessed the world with 400 beautiful pieces of music and 150 inspiring books on a spectrum of subjects from the Bhagavad Gita to achieving success in business, from leadership to relationships, and from education to the all-encompassing power of Kriya Yoga. Perhaps most important of all, he is the visionary founder of nine “world brotherhood communities,” where both single devotees and families live, serve, and study together in harmonious, divine friendship. Since 2009, as noted, the latest of these communities has been flourishing and growing on 33 acres in the fertile hills adjacent to Pune City.
Spiritual and Non-Sectarian
To bring about greater unity and understanding between East and West, Yogananda was commissioned by Mahavatar Babaji to live and lecture in America for more than 30 years, revealing the essential oneness of the “original Yoga of Krishna and the original Christianity of Jesus Christ.” He was thus better known abroad than in his own homeland. In 2003 Swami Kriyananda established Ananda Sangha India to reinvigorate the unsurpassed wisdom of his Guru’s legacy here. Centres dedicated to Ananda’s path of Self-realisation have been rapidly expanding throughout the country ever since.
Ananda India is centered, first and foremost, in the practice of meditation. As it is written in the Bhagavad Gita, “Even a little practice of this inward religion will free one from dire fears and colossal sufferings.” Through a series of progressive classes, devotees are guided to initiation in the sacred art of Kriya meditation, which Yogananda called “the jet airplane route to God.”
Ananda India welcomes truth-seekers of all backgrounds. In our quest to know God, two principles lie at the heart of our teachings, and especially at the heart of our spiritual communities and practices:
(1) People are more important than things, and (2) “Yato dharma, tato jaya:” Where there is right action, there is victory.
A Lifestyle Choice
Swami Kriyananda was once asked: What is the purpose of Ananda? “To have fun,” he said. What he meant, of course, is that living for God is fun when the right spirit permeates one’s practices. That spirit can be seen in the six S-words that characterize who we are and what we do.
Sadhana is essential to our daily lives. In addition to spending private time in prayer and communion with God, attendance at group meditations is also highly encouraged for the deeper magnetic effect it can have on each participant.
Satsang with high-minded people is very important too. As Yogananda often reminded his disciples, “Environment is stronger than will.” The attunement one develops in the company of spiritual friends is a great benefit to all, adding inner strength and beauty to the fabric of everyone’s life.
Seva in the spirit of nishkam karma – non-attachment to the fruits of one’s labors – is an aspiration we strive each day to embrace. Because of this, cooperation replaces competition as the means for getting things done, which also means that much more gets done.
Support for each other in common causes – in overcoming troublesome habits and selfish desires, for example – enables us to accelerate our spiritual growth. And where everyone is serving for the betterment of all, joy and harmony abound. Here, too, spiritual mentoring and counseling by seasoned Ananda acharyas is always available.
Study is of two kinds at Ananda. In addition to our vast selection of books, classes, webinars and lectures on all topics relevant to the path of Self-realisation – whether live, recorded, or online in real time – we also emphasize self-study as a key to spiritual progress. As one advances toward initiation into Kriya Yoga and beyond, the insights and intuitive wisdom gained of introspection are invaluable.
Singing, chanting and listening to deeply inspirational music are among our most joyful occupations. Hundreds of musical selections, composed from higher consciousness by Yogananda and Kriyananda, are an indispensable aid to uplifting your spirit. Ananda Sangha offers choir satsang; regular kirtans; chanting, voice and harmonium classes; and even online voice lessons.
To these six S-word qualities, we would add a seventh: the Smile you find on faces wherever you go within Ananda. It’s the irresistible response that comes of living and sharing this joyful path.