Ananda Church of Self-Realization

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Ananda Church of Self-Realization

An international group formed by J. Donald Walters (also known as Swami Kriyananda). The church has its base at the Ananda World Brotherhood Village (formerly known as the Ananda Cooperative Village). Ananda is based upon the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda, with whom Walters studied. After Yogananda's death in 1952, Walters served as a minister in the Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF), the organization Yogananda had founded, and eventually became SRF's vice president. He left SRF in 1962 and in 1968 founded Ananda Village in the Sierra Mountains in response to Yogananda's admonition to "Cover the earth with world-brotherhood colonies, demonstrating that simplicity of living plus high thinking lead to the greatest happiness."

Kriyananda emerged as a talented leader of a successful cooperative colony, the author of numerous books, musician and composer, and yoga teacher. He followed the system of kriya yoga taught by Yogananda, the exact content of which is taught only to initiated disciples.

Four branch communities are located along the West Coast of the United States with an additional community in Italy. Approximately 50 centers and meditation groups exist worldwide. Some 250 people live at the Ananda World Brotherhood Village, and Ananda Church, which was established in 1990, numbers about 3,000 members. Kriyananda has ordained over one hundred ministers. Clarity Newsletter and Crystal Clarity Publishers serve the movement. Ananda may be contacted as 14618 Tyler Foote Blvd., Nevada City, California 95959. Website:


Nordquist, Ted A. Ananda Cooperative Village. Upsala, Sweden: Borgstroms Tyckeri Ab, 1978.

Walter, J. Donald [Kriyananda]. Cities of Light. Nevada City, Calif.: Crystal Clarity Publishers, 1987.

. Cooperative Communities: How to Start Them and Why. Nevada City, Calif.: Ananda Publications, 1968.

. Crises in Modern Thought. Nevada City, Calif.: Ananda Publications, 1972.

. The Path. Nevada City, Calif.: Ananda Publications, 1977.