Ananda Sangha Pune is part of a global spiritual movement called Ananda Sangha Worldwide, founded in 1968 by Swami Kriyananda, a direct disciple of the great Indian master Paramhansa Yogananda. Based on the teachings of Yogananda, Ananda Sangha embraces every aspect of human endeavor, from the search for happiness in daily living to the ultimate bliss of Self-Realisation.
Ananda Pune started in 2007 as a young community and retreat center in the foot hills of the scenic Sahyadri mountains. Since then, the work has expanded widely, resulting in a vibrant center in the city at Ashoknagar, near the Pune University.
Ananda Pune offers:
- Meditation classes
- Healing Prayers groups
- Morning and evening yoga classes
- Progressive series of Meditation Classes on the path to Kriya Yoga Initiation
- Sunday morning satsangs
- Regular classes on various spiritual topics
- Spiritual book and music store
Ananda Sangha was founded in 1968 by Swami Kriyananda, a direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda. Ananda members adhere to the spiritual path of Kriya Yoga as taught by Yogananda, who they regard as their Guru, or savior.
As a direct disciple of Yogananda and a founder of Ananda, Swami Kriyananda serves as a teacher, spiritual guide, and divine friend to Ananda members worldwide.
OUR SPIRITUAL LINEAGE
In Autobiography of a Yogi, Yoganandaji writes about Jesus appearing to Mahavatar Babaji, with the thought of sending someone (Yoganandaji) to show the teachings of Sanatan Dharma to the West. Yoganandaji said Jesus was a great yogi and a true Master with the same message that he wished to give to his disciples.
Babaji simply means “revered father.” Though the great master’s birth name and date are unknown, his subtle spiritual influence is felt throughout the world. It was he who re-introduced the ancient science of Kriya Yoga, which had been lost through the dark ages due to “priestly secrecy and man’s indifference,” as Yogananda put it.
1828 – 1895
Shyama Charan Lahiri was the birth name of the great yoga master. His disciples lovingly added “Mahasaya,” which means “great-minded one.” Born in Bengal, India, to a pious brahmin family, Lahiri Mahasaya was the one who made the ancient science of Kriya Yoga available not just to those who had renounced the world, but to all sincere souls.
SWAMI SRI YUKTESWAR
1855 – 1936
Paramhansa Yogananda was trained for his mission in the West by his Guru Swami Sri Yukteswar of Serampore, India.
1893 – 1952
Yogananda was the first great master of yoga to make his home in the West, coming to the U.S. from India in 1920 and living here until his passing.
FOUNDER OF ANANDA SANGHA AND DIRECT DISCIPLE OF PARAMHANSA YOGANANDA
1926 – 2013
Swami Kriyananda (J. Donald Walters) is the founder of Ananda. He is one of the foremost proponents of yogic teachings in the world today. In 1948, at the age of 22, he became a disciple of the Indian yoga master, Paramhansa Yogananda.
OUR SPIRITUAL DIRECTORS
Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi are spiritual teachers, writers, and counselors. They travel and lecture extensively throughout the world on the topics of yoga, meditation, family, and living the spiritual life. They are disciples of Paramhansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi, and have served together as spiritual directors of Ananda Sangha Worldwide since 1984. They are also members of the Nayaswami Order founded by Swami Kriyananda, the founder also of Ananda Sangha Worldwide.
Nayaswami Jaya Helin is among the founding members of Ananda Worldwide. For many years he served as the general manager of Ananda Village, overseeing the development of housing and business clusters, roads, water and phone systems, and other infrastructure that supports the Village residents and guests. Later, he and his wife helped start an Ananda Center on the East Coast of the U.S., and from there, it was only a short “jump” to Ananda India! Jaya is an Ananda Lightbearer and Kriyacharia (authorized to initiate devotees into Kriya Yoga). For the past several years he has often traveled around India, providing help and advice to the leaders and devotees with their duties and spiritual growth.
Nayaswami Dhyana is co- spiritual director of Ananda Sangha. She’s been studying the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda since 1978 and met Swami Kriyananda in 1980. She has shared the teachings of Yogananda in the US, Europe, Africa, Australia and India and helped in the founding of several of Ananda communities and centers. She’s been authorized by Swami Kriyananda to give initiation into the advanced meditation technique Kriya Yoga. She teaches locally and travels around India offering training in meditation and Raja Yoga.
Brahmachari Dr. Aditya is the Spiritual Director of Ananda Sangha Pune City, Trustee of Ananda Sangha India and Co-founder, Ananda Clinic of Integrated Healthcare in Pune. He is also a member of the Ananda Renunciate Order and, in addition to his medical service, offers an integrated healing experience at physical, mental, and spiritual levels, drawing from the wisdom of many healing techniques. As a Yoga Teacher and Medical Practitioner he offers consultancy services in sharing the teachings and benefits of yoga as a healthy and successful way of life.