By Punya Srivastava
Even as the world slowly and painfully turns on its axis towards a new way of life, dozens of intentional communities show the way to tomorrow’s world, says Punya Srivastava
Let every man gather from five to ten thousand dollars, and, in groups of 30, let them build selfsustaining, self-governing colonies, starting with California. Do not spend the principal of the money, except what is necessary to buy land and to start the colony. Put the money in a trust fund. Pay taxes with the interest. If taxes were abolished, people could live by exchange... Time should not be wasted in producing luxuries. Start now building colonies, and stop industrially selfish society from gambling with your destiny. Get away from the perpetual slavery of holding jobs to the last day of your life. Buy farms and settle down with harmonious friends. Work three hours a day and live in the luxury of literary wealth, and have time to constructively exchange Divine experiences and meditate."
These are the words of the renowned spiritual master, Paramahansa Yogananda, published in the erstwhile East-West magazine decades ago. In these few lines, estimated to be written in circa 1930, Yogananda succinctly points out the best way of inhabiting this earthly plane. Though his idea might appear far-fetched and Utopian, it is indeed becoming the need of the hour going by the conflictridden lives most of us live.
Each day is a struggle to live harmoniously in our bodies, within families, and in society. Peace of mind is conspicuous by its absence. We are living a life of disconnect – with our surroundings, with our soil, with our community, with ourselves. We lead isolated lives in small cubicles and jazzy flats. We move about in various bubbles, depending upon our socio-economic status. “One of the fundamental needs of our age is for putting down roots again. We have extended ourselves too far outward from the Self within, and from the natural rhythms of the planet on which we live. Even in our outward, human associations we have lost touch with reality,” said Swami Kriyananda, a direct disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda and Founder of Ananda Sangha – a global spiritual community based on Paramahansa Yogananda’s philosophy.
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