Ananda is a global movement based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda, who showed how everyone can realize God in their daily lives as a tangible, loving reality.

Ananda was founded in 1968 by Yogananda’s direct disciple, Swami Kriyananda.

Yogananda’s non-sectarian teachings embrace the truths that underlie all the great religions. People from all faiths and backgrounds are welcomed at Ananda.

Expand your sense of harmony, and gain an increased sense of God’s loving presence in your life through ancient and effective techniques including meditation, Kriya Yoga, spiritually oriented Hatha Yoga, community, and divine friendship.

We invite you to join us at our temples, yoga retreats, meditation groups, and communities to experience the joy of your own being.

Ananda India started her chapter in 2003 at Gurgaon, near New Delhi. Ananda India’s Kriya Yoga Ashram is located near Pune. All around India, Ananda Sangha is increasingly attracting friends, devotees, and committed members. Many of these locations offer a full curriculum of studies based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda.

Those who join us on this path of Self-realization are not connected to some printing press, but to a line of God-realized masters. God Himself, through them, overshadows this work. All who follow it sincerely, with devotion, will be brought to Him.
—Paramhansa Yogananda

Ananda was founded in 1968 by Swami Kriyananda, a direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda. Paramhansa Yogananda was the last in a line of self-realized guru’s starting with Jesus Christ.

Paramhansa Yogananda

Paramhansa Yogananda
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.

Swami Kriyananda

Swami Kriyananda
1926 – 2013

Swami Kriyananda (J. Donald Walters) was the founder of Ananda. In 1948, at the age of 22, he became a disciple of the Indian yoga master, Paramhansa Yogananda.

Swami Sri Yukteswar

Swami Sri Yukteswar
1855 – 1936

Swami Sri Yukteswar of Serampore, India, was the guru of Paramhansa Yogananda. He trained Yogananda for his mission in the West.

Lahiri Mahasaya

Lahiri Mahasaya
1828 – 1895

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.


Mahavatar Babaji

It was Babaji, whose name means “revered father”, 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.


Jesus Christ

Why is there a picture of Jesus on Ananda’s altars? What connection is there between the Ananda line of Gurus and Christ? Was he the only son of God? Who was he really?

Kriya is a technique of energy control, or pranayama. It is also a comprehensive spiritual path, which includes additional meditation practices, right living, and a link to the enlightened Masters mentioned in Autobiography of a Yogi.
Kriya Yoga is an ancient technique that was hidden in secrecy for many centuries. It was revived in 1861, when the great yogi Mahavatar Babaji taught the technique to his disciple Lahiri Mahasaya during their meeting in the Himalayas.

“Kriya Yoga is an instrument through which human evolution can be quickened. The ancient yogis discovered that the secret of cosmic consciousness is intimately linked with breath mastery. This is India’s unique and deathless contribution to the world’s treasury of knowledge.”
—Swami Sri Yukteswar, quoted in Autobiography of a Yogi

Level 1: Lessons in Meditation

Yoganandaji taught two basic techniques that can be learned and practiced by anyone, of any faith, on any path. The Hong-Sau technique of concentration and the Energisation Exercises. The introductory “level 1″ series is offered as a four week class course.

Meditation Techniques

The practice of Kriya Yoga rests upon a foundation of daily meditation, service and devotion. This workshop will help you learn the basics of meditation and the Kriya science, with a focus on the Hong-Sau technique of meditation as originally taught by Paramhansa Yogananda.

You will be given tested techniques to still your body, free your mind from restless thoughts and direct your inner awareness upward toward subtle spiritual realms within. These practical methods will quickly help you to relax both body and mind, focus your concentration, and expand your consciousness. Learn through direct experience what joy, peace, and deep calmness are really like and discover how quickly, through daily practice, these qualities can be yours in all aspects of your life!

Topics to be covered:

The theory of Kriya Yoga and the steps to Kriya initiation
How to establish a daily routine of meditation (sadhana)
How to reduce tension and stress at will
How to concentrate more effectively
Correct meditative posture
Energisation Exercises

Text-book for Level 1: Lessons in Meditation by Jyotish Novak

Level 2: Raja Yoga

Completion of level 1 and a regular practice are pre-requisites for taking Level 2.
Each of the six level 2 classes will involve a guided Hong-Sau meditation, pranayama and asanas. We will also cover the 40 Energization Exercises taught by Paramhansa Yogananda with guided practice at each class.

The six classes will also give the students a thorough grounding in Raja Yoga as expounded by Paramhansa Yogananda. Specific topics that will tentatively be covered in the six classes are:

The Goal of Yoga: The True Purpose of Life
Paths of Yoga and Ashtanga Yoga
Ego Transcendance – The Soul and God,
Right Action & Behavior – Yama and Niyama
Attitudes, Habits and Affirmations
Satchidananda and the Law of Life;
The Three Gunas
The Power of Japa and Mantras
Text-book for Level 2: The Art and Science of Raja Yoga by Swami Kriyananda

Level 3: Discipleship & the AUM Technique

Involves learning AUM technique and understanding and accepting Guru-disciple relationship. Completing Level 2 and a regular practice of techniques previously learnt is a pre-requisite to take up level 3.

Level 4: Preparation for Kriya Yoga

This level contains the preparatory exercises and specific techniques to prepare for Kriya initiation. Classes include the history of Kriya, the astral spine, and how to bring the benefits of Kriya into daily life.

The Kriya Yoga Technique:

Once the student has completed all the levels and after about one year of preparation and upon approval by an Ananda Kriyacharya, one can take initiation. The technique is given in an initiation ceremony.

A Kriya technique review, checking, and question and answer session is held after the initiation for the Kriyabans (one who receives Kriya Initiation). Continued support is provided through a monthly inspirational newsletter, individual guidance by phone, e-mail or in person, as well as through guided Kriya meditations and retreats.

Kriya, when practiced under the guidance of an experienced Kriya teacher, is completely safe
There is a cost for the Ananda Course, and/or classes at an Ananda Center. At the initiation itself, there is a monetary offering that is entirely up to the individual.
First, the other techniques are part of the Path of Kriya Yoga. The Kriya Yogi continues to practice those techniques even after receiving the Kriya technique. Second, the Kriya technique is much more effective with the year of preparation. Finally, practicing Kriya requires a daily commitment to meditation. It can take up to a year to establish that practice.
“Kriya” is a commonly used word in yoga. It literally means “action,” and is used to describe many different techniques. The Kriya that we teach at Ananda is specifically the Kriya Yoga of Lahiri Mahasaya.