Wow!!! Looking back on 2021 is simply overwhelming: so many changes, so much transformation, on an individual level, but surely also for Ananda Sangha Europe! The Masters seem to counteract these challenging times with an energy of expansion and growth! Let’s have a look together what happened in 2021 in Ananda Europe!
Ananda Sangha Europe has two main missions:
- To share the teachings of Self-Realization with all
- To support the spiritual family on their path towards God
Two simple but powerful statements that unfold and manifest in so many projects, that it can become hard to know where to start!
The Light that flows through all of our activities touches so many souls that it is hard to even grasp it. It is thanks to each one of you that this Light continues to expand.
With the Sangha Team here we have reached some milestones this year with our outreach efforts, especially through spiritual campaigns like Hope for a Better World or Light of Union: we had an increase in regular blogs, videos, podcast and inspirations posted each week on our website and on social platforms like Youtube, Facebook and Instagram. On Youtube we got 3000 more subscriptions last year (a 50% increase!) and people have watched our videos for circa 75.000 hours altogether, half of which were our Ananda LIVE streamings. Our website reached 38.000 unique visitors and 40.000 read on our blogs! Again: wow!
With our regular streaming on Ananda LIVE on Youtube and Facebook we hope to reach and inspire new people as well as support all of our Sangha in their daily meditations and living of the teachings.
Some of this year’s Highlights were the book satsangs that we called “Semi di Saggezza” (“Seeds of Wisdom”) where teachers like Jayadev, Darshan, Premi, Uma, Shivani, Narya and many more presented books from Yogananda Edizioni: a wonderful way for all of us to explore the seeds of wisdom Swami and Master have planted in their books.
Other highlights included all the special events around festivities like Christmas, Easter or the Birthdays or Mahasamadhis of our Masters, where we could celebrate together with devotees from all over Europe: many more than would fit in the Temple of Light! Last but not least all the regular morning meditations that we could share together and Sunday Services that really build the heart of Ananda LIVE. We see many familiar faces that virtually sit with us in the Temple or even in our homes every week.
In total we calculated that on all platforms together live-streamings were watched for a total of 65000 hours in 2021- which equals 7,5 years!
Meditation Group Support
Now we are passing from outreach to new truth seekers, to the support of our spiritual family, especially those who are part of a meditation group! Darshan is the hero in this area, keeping in contact with groups from Italy and throughout Europe (he speaks 5 how many languages) with online satsangs, WhatsApp Chats, individual support and with monthly online meditations, guided by a different group each time. I would say we’ve probably got to know each other better during these times of Covid than before 😀
Part of the Support for Groups are the famous Tours where Darshan or other teachers visit different places to give satsang, seminars or events around Europe. These last 2 years that has been more difficult, but last autumn brave Darshan did a month-long Europe Tour through Italy, France, Netherlands and Germany visiting many different groups and sharing the teachings to new and old friends everywhere!
And he was not alone: Mahiya and Arudra, for the second time, flew to Belgrade to spend a week with Mukti and Narayani’s group there and lead many programs!
Spiritual Family Support
But what about the people who are not part of a Meditation Group? No worries, we’ll never forget our brothers and sisters! Apart from Ananda LIVE and all the contents on the website, there is support for all disciples with Spiritual Counseling, more and more online or on the phone, by our Ministers. Once a month we sent the Discipleship Newsletter with inspiration, articles and a letter from Darshan (ENG) or Clarita (ITA). And then, like just very recently, there are also online satsangs with Jyotish and Devi where the whole Sangha can get together on Zoom, ask questions and absorb their wisdom.
For our Kriyabans Shivani, coordinating the whole Kriyacharya team, put together a powerful support program this year, which includes weekly online guided Kriya meditations, longer online retreats and satsang with our Kriyacharyas, a very rich Whats App group, monthly Kriyaban Newsletters from Mayadevi in three languages and a whole section on our website that was released last spring with an archive of video and audio recordings including unseen footage from Swamiji. It is a great joy to share this path together!
And the latest news is a Webcam in Moksha Kutir so in the night you can sit in Swamiji’s bedroom virtually and absorb its sacred vibrations – Dwapara Yuga makes it all possible and we are so grateful!
The “Renunciate Oder for a New Age” got a lot of fresh energy this year! Vinaya, Gopala, Shivani, Clarita and Mirela are the new team organizing monthly satsangs for everybody and also specific for each vow. In November last year there was a first online initiation where we could welcome many new members. Other initiations are planned for April and November this year. And again WhatApp is the sticking glue keeping the renunciants inspired and informed about all the latest events and inspirational articles or videos.
Expansion in Europe
And now one of the most thrilling news: Master is really moving his work in Europe forward! So many countries, groups and centers have reached milestones this year, let’s mention a few:
Ananda Eastern Europe got a lot of new attention by Arudra and Darshan with regular online satsangs, online classes about discipleship and the first Online Kriya Prep that was translated into many East Europe languages!
Ananda Germany has expanded, founding a new legal association, a website, a regular online meditation group with many offerings, the first Online Kriya Prep in German and the second edition of the popular Online Yogananda Fest last November where teachers from Assisi and all over the world share on many different topics, all around Master’s teachings!
In Ananda Russia groups of devotees have bought new land in two different parts of the country with the goal of building a community and living together on the land.
2021 marks the birth of Ananda Francophone! Finally Master’s teachings are being shared in French, Belgium and Switzerland: , teachers are being trained and a new online meditation group has been formed. A new Facebook page has been launched for a French speaking audience!
The first European online Kriya initiation was held for new kriyabans in the Netherlands, where a wonderful team of qualified Raja Yoga teachers prepares new people for Kriya every year.
Last but not least: devotees in Italy were not sleeping either!
Ananda Palermo got a new villa for 5 years to start a new project there, Ananda Giri has finished their bigger yoga hall, close to Reggio Emilia a new center is being built and meditation groups everywhere are sprouting and flourishing!
When we read all this, how can we not feel grateful for these amazing accomplishments! Master gave us the Light of Kriya Yoga to spread in this world.
And we are also grateful to you, because without your regular support none of this would be possible!
Thank you all and Thank you Master!
Paramhansa Yogananda-ki … JAI!
Ruby for Ananda Sangha Europe