Ananda Marga is a social and spiritual organization dedicated to the physical, mental, moral, social and spiritual development of the entire humanity. It is characterized by ideas which encompass all spheres of human life:
- Meditation & Yoga
- Self-Realization and Service to All
- One Human Society
- Women Rights
- Art for Blessedness
- Service to Humanity is Service to God
- Maximum utilization of all resources
In order to materialize these ideas, Ananda Marga has started projects all over the world. Schools, hospitals, rural developments, food distribution, yoga and meditation centers.
Ananda Marga has a comprehensive system of meditation called (As’t’aunga) Sahaj Yoga that includes sense withdrawal, use of various types of mantras, and ideation on the Supreme. The mind is directed inward, toward the source of all peace, happiness and bliss, our inner Self.
Astaunga Yoga is structured in eight parts or ‘limbs’ and can be learned in steps from an acarya (authorized teacher) of Ananda Marga.
(1) Yama and (2) Niyama or Moral Principles
(3) Ásanas or Psycho-physical yoga postures
(4) Práńáyáma or Regulation of respiration to enhance the vital energy
(5) Pratyáhára or Withdrawing the mind from external objects
(6) Dhárańá or One-pointed concentration during meditation.
(7) Dhyána or Leading the mind in one continuous stream
(8) Samádhi or The merger of the unit consciousness into the Cosmic Consciousness.
Yoga is the inner state of well-being we feel when there is a harmonious interaction between body, mind, and spirit.
- As a lifestyle, yoga is a path of self-discovery.
- Through a set of daily exercises, yoga promotes physical health, mental balance, and spiritual peace.
- Spiritually, yoga means union and refers to the merger between our individual soul and the cosmic soul.
The act of helping others with the spirit of selfless service purifies the mind of the spiritual aspirant.
Service can be directed towards:
– Other human beings
– Animals and Plants
Service paves the way for all-round progress providing positive environs to our fellow human beings, animals, plants and the non-living creation.
Service means giving of oneself without expecting anything in return.
Giving is indeed receiving. When we give we increase our sense of connection and feeling of oneness with all people and all things.
- The practice of love for all created beings of the universe.
- It is the spirit of humanism extended to all.
- It is the elevation of humanism to universalism.
“When the underlying spirit of humanism is extended to everything, animate and inanimate, in this universe – I have designated this as ‘Neohumanism’. This Neohumanism will elevate humanism to universalism, the cult of love for all created beings of this universe.”
“Devotion must be accepted as the highest mission in life; it leads humanity towards the stage of subtlety, and finally ensconces a person in the state of Supreme Bliss, transforming the heart from a desert into a fertile oasis.”
– Shrii Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar
Progressive Utilization Theory
Progressive Utilization Theory or P.R.O.U.T. with its acronym is a social theory which offers all the answers to the problems of society.
- Disparity of Wealth
PROUT is based on one universal sentiment – cosmic brotherhood which is realized by those who do spiritual practices and serve humanity with a selfless endeavor.
According to PROUT:
1. There should be no accumulation of wealth without the permission of society.
2. There should be maximum utilization and rational distribution of the crude, subtle, and causal resources.
3. There should be maximum utilization of the physical, mental, and spiritual potentialities of the individual and collective beings.
4. There should be a well-balanced adjustment among the crude, subtle, and causal utilizations.
5. Utilizations vary in accordance with time, space, and form; the utilization should be progressive.