Spiritual Communities

Yogananda’s Vision for World Brotherhood Colonies

My spoken words are registered in the ether… and they shall move the West… Thousands of youths must go North, South, East and West to cover the earth with little colonies, demonstrating that simplicity of living and high thinking lead to the greatest happiness!

—Paramhansa Yogananda, Beverly Hills, July 1949

Yogananda taught that environment is stronger than will power. A person may have the best intention of living a spiritual life, but lacking the support of others, and living in a world focused on materialism, it is all too easy to be diverted, by other desires, from the desire to know God!

Yogananda’s solution was for people of like mind and ideals to join together to form “world brotherhood colonies,” intentional spiritual communities based, in his words, on “simple living and high thinking.” In these colonies, truth seekers from all walks of life (singles and families as well as monastics) could live, work and seek God together, creating a harmonious, uplifting environment that encourages the development of spiritual qualities, and the awareness, as he stated, “of the true kinship of all men as sons and daughters of the same, one God.”

During his lifetime, Yogananda tried to establish such a colony in Encinitas in the early 1940’s, but found that people were not yet ready to embrace his idea. Yogananda, however, knew the time would come when the world would be ready to receive his vision, and “… this colony idea will spread through the world like wildfire.”

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