The word yoga has several interpretations.
According to Tantra, yoga is the unification of the individual being with infinite consciousness - this moves a step further than the cessation concept. In Tantra, after withdrawing one's mental propensities, they are to be guided towards infinite consciousness - then alone can withdrawal be final. Only by guiding these withdrawn mental propensities towards an infinite entity can the total unification of the individual (jiivátmá) with the infinite (Paramátmá) be possible, and this is yoga.
Tantra yoga is therefore the system by which one can realise the goal of unification with the infinite. It is a scientific system of meditation, postures, personal disciplines and social guidelines aimed at allowing one to realise the goal in this lifetime.
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.” Humans can never be satisfied by 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 just 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-realisation.” 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 organisation, 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 recognises 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 is a revolution. It is not only a spiritual revolution, but also an economic, social and mental revolution. The economic system, the social structure, the trend of thinking and the spiritual practices prescribed in Ananda Marga are not only new, but something quite different from the established ideas and practices in these spheres of life.
Ananda Marga is not a change merely due to the cycle of time, but a revolution – a radical change – in the true sense. In Ananda Marga a [sannyásii, a monk] is as good a member of society as an ordinary family person earning his or her own living and maintaining his or her family.
Uncredited quotes by Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar (Shrii Shrii Anandamurti)
“The Supreme Entity is the vastest entity;
the ultimate source of all cosmic emanations.
The Supreme Entity, which is difficult to conceive,
is the subtlest of the subtle.
He is farther away than any other entity,
but again He is nearer than the nearest.
Only the one who looks into the innermost recesses
of himself can realize the Supreme Entity.”
Ancient Sanskrit verse
The spiritual philosophy of Ananda Marga recognizes that God is one, and that the universe is the creation of His mental thought-waves. Thus it is said: “Brahma is the absolute truth, and the universe is also truth, but relative.” The diversities of this universe are the transitory transformations of part of His infinite cosmic “body” in a never-ending flow. This implies that life and the universe will never end, but that parts of it are continuously being created from Him and concurrently merging back into Him.
The universe exists as an ever-changing, constantly moving phenomenon. He has transformed a part of Himself into the drama of the world of which we are all a part. But He is also beyond all relativity and transitory existence. He is beyond time, space and mind. He is the Causal Entity. One cannot even begin to imagine Him, let alone speak about Him.
“He is infinite.
He has no beginning and no end.
He is the unbroken flow of pure and serene bliss
stretching from beginninglessness to endlessness.”
Shrii Shrii Anandamurti