of Ananda Marga
The beginnings of Ananda Marga take us back to
the state of Bihar, India in 1955, to the town of Jamalpur where
Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar organized the first chapter of Ananda Marga.
His philosophy strongly rejected dogmas, superstitions and conventions
such as the caste system. Sarkar taught spiritual practices for
self-development and urged the aspirants to take a strong stand
against exploitation and corruption. The motto "Self-realization
and service to humanity" became the guiding ideal for thousands
of people who were attracted to the universal vision of Ananda Marga.
After a few years, the movement had spread through the states of
Bihar and West Bengal. In 1962, P.R. Sarkar initiated the first
monk of Ananda Marga. The creation of the order of nuns followed
in 1966. Most members of Ananda Marga are lay people, including
students, married couples, single adults, etc. All are able to benefit
from the spiritual practices taught as well as contribute to the
society through one or another of Ananda Marga's programs. The monks
and nuns, who have dedicated their lives for social service, serve
as full time workers of the mission and are instrumental to Ananda
Marga's expansion and existence. In 1963, Sarkar expanded the organization
with the Education, Relief, and Welfare Section (ERAWS) and opened
the first Ananda Marga schools. As Ananda Marga spread all over
India in the Sixties, the scope of Ananda Marga's social service
grew to include children's homes, medical clinics, feeding programs
and disaster relief teams. AMURT (Ananda Marga Universal Relief
Team) was started in 1965 and since then has been an ever-present
participant on the disaster relief scene.
By 1970 Ananda Marga had become a global organization with branches
in Europe, America, Africa, Asia and Australasia. The seed that
was planted in the humble Indian village back in 1955 has today
grown into a vibrant global network of men and women whose desire
is to serve God by serving humanity, across national, economic or
Today Ananda Marga is a world-wide organization with spiritual and
social activity centers in different countries of the world. The
mission runs schools, medical units, children's homes, rural development
projects and meditation and yoga centers, and is a leading global
agency for social development and progress with particular emphasis
in the third world.
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