If somebody asks what is Ananda Marga, the most spontaneous answer is: it is Family. A Family with the capital F in the sense that it is composed by people belonging to any type of nationality, background or other distinctions. In this sense the first value that Ananda Marga shares among its members is universality. Ananda Marga is a Universal Family.
Universality is expressed through a sentiment that we may call universalism where love is expanded and extended to all the creation in its multi-dimensional expressions. It is love for people, for plants and for animals. It is love for what we do for others in the form of service. Service is the way to express that love that is not limited to one person or a blood line relationship or even to a particular friend. Love for all manifested in all its forms, sometimes artistic, sometimes practical, sometimes ideological.
Love for All
There is a particular internal expression of this universal love. This special inner way to love all we call it spirituality. It is the justification for meditation that constitute an important part of the day to day life of the members of Ananda Marga.
Spirituality is also a form of sacrifice where the egocentric mindset is gradually pulverized to make space for an expanded consciousness.
For some members of Ananda Marga the spirit of sacrifice in Ananda Marga take also the special form of renunciation. It is the way of the monks and nuns of Ananda Marga who live their individual family for dedicating all energies to the universal family.
By working together, sharing together and appreciating the diversity within a global family or a global society Ananda Marga represents a unique expression of unity. A unity that is pulled forward by a common spiritual goal. A destination that is one and the same for all the creation.
In this movement from imperfection to perfection in the individual and collective spheres there is scope for bringing welfare to the all strata of society. As a Family nobody should be left behind. Nobody should even feel that he or she has become a liability and no more an asset for Society. Particularly for the elderly people and for the children and for the women Ananda Marga provides special attention in the form of welfare projects.
Welfare for all is a core value of Ananda Marga and it is expressed through a complex structure of Departments among which we may list just two who carry the welfare word within their names: Women Welfare Department (W.W.D.) and Education Relief and Welfare Department (E.R.A.W.S.).
The core values of Ananda Marga as we have extracted them from the shared ideology and way of living of the members of Ananda Marga can be summerized as:
Love for All
Common spiritual goal
Welfare for all
Ananda Marga ideology is quite complex and it is worthwhile to know about it also directly from the books written by the founder of Ananda Marga - Shrii Shrii Anandamurti. He founded Ananda Marga in 1955 in India and he has planted the seeds of those core values through his personal example. In Ananda Marga the role of the preceptor is considered paramount as words cannot be separate from personal example in order to be effective and produce any form of beneficial change.
Ananda Marga as a global organization is now present all over the world, particularly in those countries or places where the need is most. In New York Sector, that extends from Alaska to Central America and Caribbeans, countries like Haiti or Nicaragua deserve our maximum attention in the form of human resources, financial resources, time and scope for bringing relief and welfare to those who have less. We mention in this regard the special work done through the relief branches of Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team and Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team Ladies.
In this very moment A.M.U.R.T. and A.M.U.R.T.E.L. are making the difference for millions of people in the impoverished areas of Gonaive in Haiti working together within the communities and sharing everything with the local people. The volunteers of AMURT/EL are the best expression of Ananda Marga core values as confronted by many obstacles in places where comfort is an unknown word.
Encouraging you to know more about Ananda Marga in your own special way and participation
Ac. Vimaleshananda Avt.