Ananda Village is a cooperative spiritual community dedicated to the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda, founded by his direct disciple, Swami Kriyananda. One of the world’s most successful intentional communities, we celebrated our 50th anniversary in 2019.
Presently, over 200 residents of all ages live on 700 acres of land in the Sierra Nevada foothills of northern California. In joyful service and meditation, we share our devotion to God through the path of Kriya Yoga.
Here you can find information on the community’s spiritual roots; the need for World Brotherhood Colonies; a look at Ananda’s early years; the main ideals on which we were founded; and requirements for resident membership at Ananda Village.
World Brotherhood Colonies
Yogananda taught that environment is stronger than will power. A person may have the best intention of living a spiritual life, but lacking the support of others, and living in a world focused on materialism, it is all too easy to be diverted from the desire to know God!
Yogananda’s solution was for people of like mind and ideals to join together to form “world brotherhood colonies”…
Our Spiritual Heritage
Paramhansa Yogananda (1893 – 1952) was the first yoga master from India to make his home in the West. Trained by a line of enlightened yoga masters, Yogananda came with the mission of reawakening the world to the original teachings of yoga as taught in the East, and the original Christianity of Jesus Christ, both of which emphasize direct inner experience of God.
Swami Kriyananda (1926 – 2013, Yogananda’s direct disciple and Ananda’s spiritual founder) As a young man of 22 in 1948, Swami Kriyananda (born J. Donald Walters) began a search for deeper truth and meaning that led him to discover Autobiography of a Yogi. Just one day after reading the book, he embarked on cross-country bus journey from New York to California, to meet the teacher he had come to think of as “his truest spiritual friend.”
Begun in 1968, Ananda Village was the first of Ananda Sangha’s many World Brotherhood Colonies. It remains the headquarters of the worldwide Ananda Sangha activities, as well as providing homes, livelihoods, and a rich spiritual life for approximately 200 adults and 50 children.
Beyond any outward structure or form, more than land, buildings or location, economic systems or organizational style, what makes Ananda Village successful are core ideals and guiding principles, which are woven through the fabric of everything we do.
Becoming a Member
There are many ways to be a member of Ananda — from being an Ananda Sangha member to total immersion in the Ananda lifestyle as a resident at an Ananda community. Residential membership at Ananda Village is a very full commitment, and we invite you to begin the process of discovering if it is the right choice for you. You may also want to explore other ways of making Ananda a part of your life.