The Aurora Borealis has been blessing the northernmost Master Unit in the New York Sector in recent weeks. Ananda Marga has a beautiful 66-acre rural property on the fringes of Fairbanks, ALASKA, a ten-minute drive from the University of Alaska. Our dear late brother Govinda donated the land and buildings to Ba’ba’ in 1995. He lived there until his last days while he dedicated himself to spirituality, the Mission, and growing Ananda Marga there. Regardless of the limitation due to physical disease, he remained determined in these respects. Govinda regularly joined our Satsaunga through summer conferences at Ananda Kanan and elsewhere in the “lower 48” states of the US, even when he was confined to a wheelchair. Soon after Govinda dedicated the land for use as an Ananda Marga Master Unit, the project was given the name of “Ananda Ala’ka” by our Reverend Purodha Pramukha, the late Acarya Shraddhananda Avadhuta.
Recently, Acarya Abhiramananda, our Sectorial Secretary, and Acarya Dhruva traveled to the Master Unit to experience it, join our Alaska community, and prepare for the future of Ananda Marga close to the Arctic Circle (only 115 miles to the north). Previously, Dada and Dhruva had successfully struggled in a years-long effort to save the Master Unit. Around 2011 it was discovered that some persons had improperly and illegally taken the property away from Ananda Marga. After years of legal work and a favorable decision from an Alaska Court this last spring, the property was deeded back to Ananda Marga.
The conditions they found at the property were consistent with the situation where there had been no order or sense of responsibility, as for those many years, no AM representative was allowed to access and restore its sentient and spiritual qualities. Even now, two cabins (former homes) on the site are largely inhabitable as they are full of mold and in disrepair.
During this recent visit, with the help of the long-time Margii Sister Usha and other volunteers, they restored electricity, initiated the property cleanup, rented a 40-yard roll-off dumpster, and secured the property with a locked gate and doors. Contractors to help with the plumbing and the water sourcing were also arranged. And, importantly, they established residence for a family of vegetarians/sympathizers to stay on-site in order to safe-keep and provide a warm and friendly presence on the sacred land.
Much work remains, such as clearing a number of abandoned vehicles, replacing the old homesteads (former worker cabins from the building of the Alaska Oil pipeline), and rebuilding and enhancing the location and local relationships. In the spring, there will be more cleanup to do. In the meantime, the regular expenses will be maintained, such as property taxes, insurance, and the building of a capital reserve to fund the next phases of this most valuable and cherished Master Unit.
The land is so precious. It is so close to civilization in Fairbanks, Alaska’s northernmost town, yet it is far enough away so the town’s night lights do not interfere with the view of the sky. The stars on a clear night seem within one’s reach. The Northern Lights are sometimes elusive, but they have been showing up in recent months and can be seen during clear skies in all their cosmic glory. Also, Alaska wildlife makes the area their home. It is common to see moose and foxes. Bears are rarely seen. People travel to the area from all around the world to experience the majesty of this area of Central Alaska.
The Ananda Ala’ka land straddles a shallow, sloping, south-facing hillside with portions that are cleared and partially filled in with brush. It also has large portions of old-growth trees with girths often exceeding eighteen inches. These trees are huge compared to the majority of other trees in the area, so you can tell they are very old. There is an eagerness to protect these old-growth trees on the property. Another valuable asset is a healthy creek (frozen completely in the winter) that flows through. Other than a few acres of the home-site side of the property, there is an abundance of flora, fauna, and undisturbed natural habitat.
With a smart and eco-sensitive approach, this natural sanctuary can be carefully cured into a lovely project that serves the Ananda Marga community, the local economy, and community needs and protect the natural flows present since ancient times. The people of Fairbanks are suffering due to a housing shortage. Adventure tourists are attracted to the area all year round – winter sports and summer days when the sun never sets. So, there is one conclusion that seems to be percolating — that we consider developing a portion of the property with eco-friendly cabins for long-term residences and possibly some of the cabins for short-term bed and breakfast use.
We invite you to come forward and declare yourself, should you be interested in participating in the growth of Ananda Marga in Alaska, as volunteers, investors, stakeholders, servants to Nature/Guru and the community – exploring with us the possibilities ahead. Further news and our future web page address will be posted in future editions of the Crimson Dawn. Should you have any interest in Ananda Marga in Alaska, the growth of this land, and/or simply wish to be kept informed, please contact Acarya Dhruva — email: email@example.com or phone: +1(206)486-5135.