was founded in Southern California in 1923 by Swami Paramananda
as an extension of the Vedanta Centre in Boston. Situated
in the foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountains, at an altitude
of more than 2000 feet, the ashrama covers 120 acres of hillsides,
canyons and meadows. Trees, gardens and rock-lined pathways
provide a peaceful retreat for spiritual study and prayer.
The ashrama is a non-sectarian place of worship dedicated
to all the religions of the world, where people of different
faiths may come together and worship the One Spirit Who is
called by many names. Our philosophy is based on the universal
teachings of Vedanta as expounded by India's 19th century
mystic and world teacher, Sri Ramakrishna. His chief disciple
Swami Vivekananda brought Vedanta to the West in 1893.
The Vedanta Centre of Boston was founded in 1909 by Vivekananda's
youngest disciple, Swami Paramananda. Another Ananda Ashrama
was established on the South Shore of Massachusetts in Cohasset
in 1929. This sister ashrama is now the permanent headquarters
of the Vedanta Centre.
Ananda is the Sanskrit word for bliss. An ashrama is a spiritual
retreat. Ananda Ashrama, therefore, is a retreat where one
strives to live by and practice spiritual life in order to
realize the joy of the Divine.
THE TEMPLE OF THE UNIVERSAL
Viswamandir, was built in 1928 under the
direction of our founder, Swami Paramananda, and dedicated
to all the world's great religions, many of which are represented
by stained glass windows, symbols, statues, and spiritual
The purpose of the centers in the United States is to present
authentic knowledge of Indian philosophy, as well as to stimulate
better understanding between the East and West on a spiritual
Through our services and classes, we emphasize
practice of the universal truths taught in all great religions:
love and service together with study, prayer and meditation.
Our primary aim is to stress the life of selfless dedication
and to create an atmosphere of serenity and peace.
We also have two sister ashramas in Calcutta,
India. The mission of these ashramas is to train and serve
destitute women and children through schools, an orphanage,
and a shelter.
"Hold aloft the
light and stand firm to thy post
Till all wandering souls
have reached their goal in safety.
Service brings strength
and renewed life,
Love cures all weariness,
And Faith, the shining
jewel of life,
performs all miracles.
~ Swami Paramananda