From his youth, Ananda’s founder, Swami Kriyananda had dreamed of creating small communities based on cooperation and high ideals. When he became Yogananda’s disciple in 1948, he discovered that Yogananda, too, was committed to the concept of “World Brotherhood Colonies.”
Paramhansa Yogananda taught that what the world needs is a blend of the best qualities of the East and West: the spiritual insight of the East and the practical efficiency of the West.
One without the other leads to a society barren of human fulfillment, but a balance of the two can bring peace, harmony, prosperity, and happiness. Yogananda often predicted that world brotherhood colonies, based on the twin principles of “plain living and high thinking,” would be the social pattern for the future. Kriyananda vowed to do his utmost to make this dream a reality.
Below is a list of all the current Ananda communities. Ananda also has teaching centers, retreats, and meditation groups throughout the world. These centers include several in India in addition to ours in Pune, including Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, and Kolkata.
In 1968, Swami Kriyananda began the fulfillment of Yogananda’s vision with the establishment of Ananda Village. Ananda Village is situated on 900 acres amidst the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in northern California. Today, over 200 people reside here, including adults and children of all ages.
Ananda Village is also the headquarters for Ananda Sangha Worldwide and home to the Expanding Light retreat center and the campus of Ananda’s first Living Wisdom School, many of whose students are now Ananda’s second-generation to attend. The Ananda Meditation Retreat is located about 5 miles away.
Ananda Sacramento was established in 1977. It was the first community to be started after Ananda Village, and it is continues to be a thriving urban community with a 48 unit apartment complex, temple and teaching center. Nayaswamis Dharmadas and Nirmala are its spiritual directors.
Ananda Palo Alto
The Ananda Palo Alto community is a spacious 72-unit apartment complex on five acres in the famous Silicon Valley of California. Nayaswamis Asha and David run the community along with a team of long-time devotees and meditators. Nayaswami Asha also travels extensively giving workshops and retreats all over the world. Nearby is the community’s large temple, the campus of a Living Wisdom School, and Ananda’s East West Bookstore. Less than an hour’s drive away is the community’s 67 acre farm.
The Ananda Portland Community is located in Vermont Hills in southwest Portland,
about ten minutes from the Temple and Teaching Center in Beaverton, Oregon.
The community is a 50-unit apartment complex on five beautiful acres next to a wetlands preserve, shared by residents who aspire to a life centered in spirit. Nayaswamis Daiva and Gangamata are its spiritual directors.
The Ananda Laurelwood campus is a retreat and conference center, situated on 225 acres in the beautiful Laurelwood Valley, just west of Portland, Oregon. Its gardens, orchards, abundant wildlife, rolling hills, inspiring views, and the close proximity of Bald Peak all provide a setting conducive to expansive thinking, creativity, and a sense of harmony with life. Nayaswamis Daiva and Gangamata are the leaders of this campus also.
Ananda Pune is a retreat center and community, 40 kilometers outside Pune, India, that sits in the natural serenity of the rural countryside, removed from worldly distractions and responsibilities. Nayaswamis Surendra and Tushti are the spiritual directors here, under the leadership of Nayaswamis Jaya and Dhyana, who serve as co-spiritual directors of Ananda India.
Ananda Seattle is a 32-unit community in a beautiful, secluded setting, about 15 miles from downtown Seattle, Washington. Nearby is its magnificent temple, similar to the Temple of Light in Assisi, Italy, which also serves as a teaching center. Ananda Seattle also has a Living Wisdom School campus and an East West Bookshop. On nearby Camano Island is the community’s 10-acre farm. Nayaswamis Hriman and Padma are Ananda Seattle’s spiritual directors.
Ananda Europa was founded in Italy in 1983 and has been flourishing at its present location in the beautiful Umbrian hills near Assisi since 1986. There are about eighty residents at Ananda Assisi, some living within the community and others, including families and children, in homes nearby. This Ananda community is also a major retreat center, which attracts guests from throughout Europe, offering many programs, including a residential karma yoga (work exchange) program, where visitors can live and serve with community residents. Nayaswamis Anand and Kirtani are its spiritual directors.
The Ananda Los Angeles community is located in a large, beautiful home on the western side of the city, where the ministers and some congregation members live. They also have two teaching centers, one near the community and one in Torrance, California, as well as several small meditation groups. Nayaswamis Narayan and Dharmadevi are the spiritual directors.