The Ananda Math is one of the six orders of Monks recognized by Shankaracharya, 1805 years ago, Ananda means Bliss and Math means Home or House. Thus, this line of Yogis is the Home of Bliss. They are Tantric Yogis and their principal Ashram or Monastery is in Calcutta. Their representative in US is Tapash and in Canada - Jannovi
Their Mission is Yoga
Yoga is not mere theoretical knowledge nor is it only physical exercise. It implies physical training, exertion of will power and acts of decision and knowledge, because it deals with the complete human situation and provides real freedom, not just a theory of liberation. Thus, there are many forms of Yoga. In fact any choice or action that increases understanding, peace of mind, health and morality can be termed Yoga.
One goal of Yoga is to provide the mechanism to raise the human spirit and put the individual in closer contact with the ultimate truth - the universal spirit or eternal soul. Indication of this spirit can be perceived in deep mediation as sublime love, joy/bliss and peace. The challenge to the aspirant is to manifest this spirituality here on Earth in their character as Daivi Sampadas (god-like qualities) and by honorable action.
The Cycle of Karma
The Yoga Sutras state that the cause of all sin lies in lobha (greed), moha (delusion), and krodha (anger) whereas the practice of the virtues produce many side effects that are helpful both for the Yogi's own realization and for his fellow man. The obstacles that hinder this spirituality are sickness, suffering, confusion or indecision, carelessness, sloth, sensuality, ignorance, and inconstancy - that cause distraction. These distractions come in the form of pain, wrong action and despair along with irregular breathing. The cause and source of all suffering is identified as avidya, lack of insight and wisdom. It manifests itself in four principal forms, namely, as egoism, attachment, aversion/fear and love of physical life. Avidya is further explained as mistaking the non-eternal for the eternal, the impure for the pure, painful for the pleasurable, and the illusion for the self.
Wisdom allows you to decide what actions will lead to pain and delusion and which will lead to joy and peace of mind. For the health of the body, the Yoga Sutras recommend Hatha Yoga (exercise), breathing exercises (Pranayam) proper diet (usually based on a vegetarian diet), relaxation and meditation. For the purification of the mind the Yoga Sutras recommend adherence to a moral life by following specific Yogic injunctions (Yamas and Niyamas) such as truthfulness, friendliness, compassion, and contentment together with indifference toward happiness and unhappiness. Pranayam (breath control) too, is recommended.
The Yoga Sutra deals with yoga practices or sadhana as the means to liberation and begins with the aphorism: "The yoga of action is constituted by spiritual exercises; austerities, study, and meditation with the spiritual growth and truth as the goal."
The Ultimate goal of Yoga is to attain samadhi, which may be translated as blissful inner peace, and to terminate frustrations and afflictions. To combat these afflictions the Yoga Sutras commend dhyana or meditation. This peace comes gradually in meditation. The actual vehicle of liberation is viveka, discrimination, implying understanding of the eternal soul as the only true and worthwhile being and the rest as illusory. In yoga all forces and manifestations in this world are vibrations. Constant repetition of Mantra - spiritual vibrations - is recommended to the Yogi to attain samadhi, denoted by spiritual vibration of Aum (Om) - the mantra of the eternal soul.
This knowledge arises as the practice of the eight Yogangas or eight limbs of Yoga destroy the impurities of the body and mind. These are Yamas and Niyamas (ethical commands and prohibitions), Asana (certain bodily postures), Pranayama (breath control), pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses), dharana (concentration exercises), dhyana (meditation) resulting in samadhi (inner composure).
Profile - Biographies
Sudhamaye Sanyasini (Iti-Di) is the 143 Guru of the Ananda Math: empowered to give initiation (diksha) into the 12-year course of Tantric Teachings of the Ananda Math.
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