Ananda Ashram, Monroe, New York
(est. 1964)
   Ananda Ashram was founded in 1964 in Monroe, New York, as the headquarters of the Yoga Society of New York, Inc., which was founded by Rama-murti S. Mishra, M.D. (1923–93), also known as Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, a teacher of Raja YOGA. The ashram serves as a spiritual retreat and educational center that integrates principles of yoga and VEDANTA with a commitment to an East-West “cultural exchange.” The center offers instruction in MEDITATION, Vedanta philosophy, HATHA YOGA, SANSKRIT, dance, and music, as well as regular workshops and retreats. Guest teachers and artists from diverse traditions offer courses.
   By the 1950s Mishra had gained renown in the East and West for his expertise in Eastern and Western medicine, including the system of AYURVEDA. In 1966 he quit the practice of Western medicine and left the United States. He later returned as a doctor of acupuncture and led a number of his ashrams into holistic health, including Ayurveda. In 1984 he took the vow of sannyas (renunciation) from Swami Gangeshva-rananda and was given the name Brahmananda Saraswati.
   Sri Brahmananda Saraswati also established the Brahmananda Ashram (the Yoga Society of San Francisco, Inc.), in 1972, as well as several medi-tation centers in the United States and around the world. He was a prolific writer who published texts on yoga, a commentary on the writing of the great ADVAITA philosopher Shankaracharya, and translations of Sanskrit texts, in addition to many essays and stories. Much of his teaching is recorded in audio and video formats. Brahman-anda died in 1993.
   Ananda Ashram is open year round and offers teachings to people of all faiths. Programs offered are nonsectarian and place an emphasis on self-awareness and meditation. The Baba Bhagavandas Publication Trust was established by Brahman-anda in 1993 to publish important works in phi-losophy, medicine, and yoga.
   Further reading: Ramamurti S. Mishra, Fundamentals of Yoga (Monroe, N.Y.: Baba Bhagavandas Publication Trust, 1996); ———, Self Analysis and Self Knowledge (Monroe, N.Y.: Baba Bhagavandas Publication Trust, 1997); ———, The Textbook of Yoga Psychology (Mon-roe, N.Y.: Baba Bhagavandas Publication Trust, 1997).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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