Ananda Marga Socio-Spiritual Organization
Ananda means “bliss” and Marga means “Path”.
So Ananda Marga means “Path of Bliss”.
Bliss is infinite happiness. It is the fundamental desire of human beings. “There is in the living being a thirst for limitlessness.” We can never be satisfied with limited things. They may give us pleasure for a while, but not long-lasting satisfaction. A limited object can only give a temporary and limited amount of happiness. But only infinite happiness will satisfy us. So how are we to attain it? By expanding our awareness to infinity; by transforming our individual limited experience into the cosmic experience of the unlimited: infinite happiness; perfect peace and contentment – bliss.
Ananda Marga is the name of the system which allows us to do that. It is an optimal selection of those techniques and practices that lead to the total experience of infinite peace and happiness – what we call “self-realization.” It is an ideology and way of life; a systematic and scientific process for the fulfillment of all human needs: physical, mental and spiritual. It is introversial, intuitional practice; with techniques ranging from personal hygiene to yoga postures; from social service to meditation. Its goal is the all-round elevation of human beings, both individually and collectively, in all spheres of human existence: individual, social, economic, intellectual and spiritual. It is a total response to human longing and aspiration. As an organization, Ananda Marga has a global network of centers in virtually every country of the world. Its activities encompass a wide range of projects for the welfare of humanity, animals, plants and the whole planet. These include yoga and meditation centers, schools, children’s homes, food distribution centers, disaster relief, medical centers and community development projects. Emphasis is placed on meeting the needs of the local people and assisting them in developing their personal and social resources for the prosperity of all.
The philosophy of Ananda Marga is one of universalism. It is an all-embracing outlook, recognizing God as the one limitless supreme consciousness, with all beings of the universe part of the one cosmic family. It recognizes that a balance is needed between the spiritual and mundane aspects of existence, and that neither one should be neglected at the expense of the other. Hence the goal of Ananda Marga is “Self-realization and the welfare of the universe.”Ananda Marga was founded in 1955 by Shrii Shrii Anandamurti in India. Since its inception, Ananda Marga spread over 180 countries around the world, spreading this ancient science of self improvement and doing work of social assistance All this with the intention of putting into practice the goal of Ananda Marga:
Self-realization and service to humanity.
For social development, the welfare of each individual is the welfare of society as a whole; both are of equal importance. The society is seen as an integral family which should have the opportunity to live together in peace, without discrimination because of differences in race, country, sex, religion, etc. Its principles are based on maximum utilization and rational distribution, of all resources given to help building a society based on unity, not exploitation for the benefit of all. To accomplish these objectives different departments were created
ERAWS: (Section of Education, Relief and Welfare) which establishes schools, children’s homes, hospitals, medical units, retirement homes, free kitchens, drug rehabilitation centers and homes for shelter less women etc., throughout the globe.ERAWS section devoted specifically to the establishing of schools and other educational centers to spread the teaching based on universalism, ethics and spirituality.
AMURT: (Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team) provides aid and relief in cases of natural calamities The Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team has rendered disaster relief in fire, flood, typhoon, earthquake and war to help in cases of disasters and extreme needs, as well as through permanent projects. Amurt and Amurtel, the female branch of the organization. AMURT is registered with the United Nations and has worldwide recognition for its services in natural disasters, in theestablishment of children’s homes, aid in the development of rural and disadvantaged areas, etc.
RU: (Universal Renaissance) encourages intellectuals to use their talents for constructive purposes, to promote the use of the arts and sciences for the benefit of individual and collective welfare.
RAWA: (Renaissance Artists and Writers Association) a branch of the RU, is an association of musicians, writers and artists created to promote the development of the arts for the upliftment of humanity and to free the artists from the economicdifficulties through cooperative agreements.
PROUT: (Progressive Utilization Theory) Ananda Marga does not support the “handouts” but proposes a system based on moral and spiritual values in which all people can earn a living in a dignified and constructive socio-economic system. This socioeconomic model was proposed in 1959 by Shrii Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar with the name of Prout. Prout states that the resources of the Earth, although limited, are sufficient enough to ensure to all individuals the satisfaction of basic needs, if used in a fair and proper manner and that is the birthright of every human being have the conditions and the opportunity to fully express their potential. The main idea of this social perspective is that only can be called “progress” those changes or achievements that benefit the entire society alike and help the physical, mental and spiritual betterment of everyone.
For the collective welfare of the entire universe, Shrii P.R Sarkar propounded Prout,the Progressive Utilization Theory, which stands for the maximum utilization and rational distribution of all the resources and potentialities of the world – physical, mental, and spiritual – and the creation of a new, humanistic social order of harmony and justice for all based on Neohumanism, the principle of love for all beings of the universe. His demands for social justice, and his uncompromising moral stand against corruption and exploitation, brought about the opposition of certain vested interests which resulted in the persecution of Ananda Marga and his own arrest in 1971 under false charges. During his seven-year incarceration he survived a poisoning attempt by government officials and fasted on a liquid diet for over five years in protest. Ultimately acquitted of all charges by the high court, he was eventually released from prison in 1978. From then until his physical departure in 1990, he continued to guide the rapid expansion of Ananda Marga all over the world.
Ananda Marga is a spiritual organization based on logic, rationality and science, no dogma, superstitions and beliefs. Ananda Marga is not an ordinary spiritual movement, it is committed to the total development of mankind in the social, physical, mental and spiritual sphere, both in individual and collective life.