The materialization of Ánandamúrtijii’s dream of Ánanda Nagar started in 1963 with an act of generosity by a local Raja who donated to Ánanda Márga the first 500 acres of land, and it has grown since with the selfless sacrifice of countless volunteers who have donated their time, minds and energies to translate it into a reality that has been the undisputed engine of autonomous local development in the area of Purulia, which hosts Ánanda Nagar.
The presence of Ánanda Márga’s flag rural development project has touched many lives there because the tribal people who had always been neglected by the central and local governments finally found people who would respect them and freely provide support and guidance to improve their living standards.
Not only many local people found work in the construction of roads, dams and buildings within the Ánanda Nagar proper, but they also benefitted from the better communication and increased crop production such infrastructures provided to all.
Their children were given the possibility to get an education despite their economically downtrodden status and in many cases they have helped raise their families out of poverty, by becoming teachers, engineers, chemists, doctors etc.
Those who have remained farmers have learned new farming and irrigation methods that have contributed in raising their yearly income, and that is exactly the concept of seeding all-round and self-sustainable progress that Ánanda Nagar is all about.
Twice a year Ánanda Márga has been holding a large gathering at Ánanda Nagar and many thousands of members flock there from every corner of India and the world, bringing new ideas and renewing their commitment to Ánanda Nagar’s development, because Ánanda Nagar’s spiritually energizing atmosphere is uniquely inspiring.
This ancient land is a powerful magnet for spiritual seekers since the birth of human spiritual awareness, and the vibration of yogis and yoginis who have reached enlightenment there is still felt across Ánanda Nagar.
Tribal life is often seen as an example of intellectual backwardness and misery, and yet tribal people aren’t necessarily unhappy. In fact for many aspects they live a life in tune with nature, supported by a social togetherness long forgotten by ‘develop’ societies.
Materialistic thinking people often consider the existence of an ideal society as mere wishful thinking, as a reality that can never be because history shows how such dream of peaceful and progressive coexistence have never survived the ravages of human selfishness.
Humanity though has an infinitely high spiritual potential that does requires a harmonious environment to express itself beyond the odd cases of individual enlightenment, and the dream of Ánanda Nagar is the answer.
By sowing a seed of practical idealism into the apparently infertile soil of a society plagued by utter poverty and backwardness, Ánanda Nagar wants to demonstrate that with proper care, any downtrodden society can revive itself and become the cradle for the all-round progress of its people.
Ánanda Nagar wants to prove that the extreme urbanization of this planet has long reached its useful end and that the future lies in smaller and more integrated communities, where people can find fulfillment through a neo-humanistic education and way of life based on the sacred right of peaceful existence and self-fulfillment of all living beings.
Large cities are the perfect breading ground for the type of selfish competition that inevitably increases social degeneration. Human togetherness and purpose is best expressed through smaller integrated communities, and Ánanda Nagar is an example of how cultural, scientific and spiritual advancement can and must coexist.
Only by producing, processing and consuming locally as much as possible of the energy, food and all the other necessities of life can people be made to realize the relevance of every individual contribution towards the happy and meaningful existence of every individual.
Ánanda Nagar wants to be a beacon of what human society can and must become, an extended human family in which all individuals find enough encouragement and opportunities to discover their unique excellence and fulfill their worldly and spiritual aspirations.
A Progressive Outlook for Ánanda Nagar.
Ánanda Nagar is the global Master Unit of Ánanda Márga, and its role is to be a model of all-round development for society.
People have increasingly being directed to focus their attention and energies towards their economic development, and even culture has gradually been shaped to serve such purpose. Yet, Ánanda Márga believes that spiritual development is the central focus of human life, and that worldly achievements are nothing but an important accessory to pursue that central goal.
Ánanda Nagar will continue playing its guiding role for the people of India and beyond, showing the way to an integrated way of life in which spirituality is given respect and scope to express itself without neglecting the material needs of every human being.
Humanity is an extended family and since in a family issue are dealt with benevolence above all, there is no scope for being considered superior or inferior family members because all enjoy equal rights to fulfill their aspirations.
Ánanda Nagar wants to provide a framework of good spiritual, social and economic practices through which all people can grow in a balanced way, maintaining contact with their inner self without forgetting the world they live in.
The future of Ánanda Nagar then sees the expansion and consolidation of all its many cultural, educational, social, health care, economic and spiritual activities and institutions till they are recognized by society as an integrated solution to its many intractable problems.
Suffering is not a must for humanity, in fact happiness and welfare of all are its destiny and Ánanda Nagar is a beacon for that enlightened future we all hope to see one day on this planet.
For any agricultural society, access to sufficient water is synonymous with life. There is a world of difference between one crop a year and two or three, and that is why Bábá wanted dams to be built on Ánanda Nagar’s rivers as a sustainable technical solution to increase irrigation water.