Anand Krishna, founder of Anand Ashram (Abode of Bliss), was born in Solo city, Indonesia but went to Lucknow, India for his Elementary School.
From his early age, he was under the tutelage of a Sufi mystic Sheikh Baba.
In 1991, due to his mounting activities and stress he was terminally-ill because of Leukemia disease. Although the Leukemia was on the last stadium, the disease only lasted relatively short (less than one year). This experience gave him a very profound effect on how he saw the Life and the World.
After his miraculous recovery of Leukemia in 1991 he decided to leave the business world and founded Anand Ashram (Abode of Bliss), Centre for Meditation and Holistic Health to share his profound experience and understanding toward Life to others.
Since then, more than 20,000 people from 19 countries have attended his meditation programmes, e.g. Neo Zen Reiki, Stress Management, Yoga, etc. Of these 20,000, one third had signed up for full programmes.
More than 2.6 million people from Indonesia, India, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and UK have attended his lectures.
For his contribution in the Sacred Philosophy and Spirituality writings, in 10th of March 1999 he received a Professional Excellence: Cultural Doctorate in Sacred Philosophy from World University, Desert Sanctuary Campus, Benson, Arizona, USA.
He has written more than 50 books covering many traditions and religions emphasizing on universalism and oneness of humanity. Most of his books are published by Indonesia's topmost publisher, Gramedia Pustaka Utama, with more than 400,000 books printed.
One night I dreamt of Sathya Sai Baba. He asked me in Hindi, "How are you doing?"
I was aware that it was just a dream. Still in the dream, I also recollected the master telling a group of devotees once that nobody could dream about him unless he allowed it.
I bowed down in my dream and kissed his feet. He told me "Vichaar nahin karne Kaa." That is "Don't you worry about anything."
I thanked him and was about to bow down again when he raised me and embraced me: "Here, this is your place - in my heart."
I was touched, moved, and tears began to flow from my eyes. I remembered him twice before doing and saying the same thing - physically, of course, not in the dream.
My mind was very active during the entire dream session. And I was "aware" of its activity. I was "consciously" dreaming and watching my mind's activity - an unusual experience.
Baba continued, "When you first came to Prasanthi (Prasanthi Nilayam, or The Abode of Peace - his ashram), I said to you,'So you have come.' "
In one of my previous lives, I was called Ananda. Baba had made a public announcement of my "coming and growing up", but so what? I have had a great past life, again so what ? I must still strive to maintain my awareness in this life.
Baba nodded his head in affirmation. He knew well what went on in my mind in that dream,"Yes, yes, yes... Maintain your awareness and remain in love. There are no two tasks; 'My' Task is also your task. It is the Divine Task. Work for it, Ananda."
The Mysterious Lama
..."Death is a fiction. "The Lama came running to me, yes, literally running: "But then fiction is also life. Life is everywhere. Look, look, look.... Look around."
I Looked around and found the face of God everywhere as mentioned in The Holy Qur'an. I realized that God covered everything, as mentioned in the Upanishads. And that its Kingdom was within man, within each living being as Jesus had said. I thanked the Buddha within me for the realization.
I wanted to scream, to shout, and to tell everybody that I was free.
"So what's keeping you from that? Go and tell everybody that you are free," said the Lama.
But then I realized that I had never been bound anyway. I had always been free. I just did not know it.
"So now that you know - share your knowledge, your awareness. Go back to Indonesia, to the land that gave your birth, to your Motherland, and proclaim this truth for one and all to know."
"What truth, Sir? What is there to proclaim? Truth remains truth, even though not proclaimed. It does not increase by proclamation. Nor does it decrease by non-proclamation."
"Share that very knowledge with your countrymen. People are sleeping, wake them up."
"Here, in India, you can have a large following in a matter of days. People in the millions would flock around you, like they flock around Sai Baba and so many other gurus.
"There, in Indonesia, people will laugh at you. They will ridicule. At first they will not listen to you. Then when sections of society begin to listen to you , other sections will be jealous of you. They will not stop criticism.
"And yet Indonesia is your Destiny. India has enough Gurus and charlatans. The west has its share too. But Indonesia is dry. That is your work place, your Karma Bhoomi."
Did I have anything to share? Did I have anything of worth to share? The Lama looked to me compassionately, "Yes, you do have. You have Love. And nothing is more worthy than Love. You have experienced love in all its forms. You have experimented with it in many ways. You have seen all its facets. Share your love. For all that humankind needs is Love. It has been so in the days gone by, It is so now, and it will remain so forever."
"Love support life. Love is at the base of the entire creation. Without Love there is neither Existence, nor Non Existence. Universes come and go; Love remains. It does not come, and it does not go. It is all pervading, The Omnipotent and Omniscient One."
The Lama laughed, "You fear that you may fall. Listen, my dear friend, both the heights and the depths are imaginary. Love transcend Both. Move on with Love; live in love; act lovingly, and you will be all right. Trust Love. Have faith, believe in it. Love is trustworthy."
I trusted Love. I did have faith and believed in it What I lacked, I thought, was the "self-confidence" necessary for my new role.
"No, no, no - no self confidence is required." Then he repeated the same words with a different emphasis, "No-Self Confidence is required. Go beyond Self, attain to that Non-State of No-Self. Be confident of No-Self. Attain the Unattainable. Better still; forget confidence and no confidence. Let go of self and no-self. What remains then is Love, pure 100% Love - share that Love, Easy, simple - isn't it ?"
Yes, it was
It became so
Love was easy.
Love is indeed simple.
THE JAKARTA POST Features - August 29, 2006 Michele Lee (American Journalist)- Contributor, BaliPlease visit: http://www.anandkrishna.org for more information.
To sit in the cool tranquil space of the new Anand Krishna center in Bali with the man himself is to be in the company of one of the most renowned spiritual leaders in Indonesia.
His talk the night before had been inspirational so The Jakarta Post took the opportunity to meet him to explore further his beliefs about love, religion and peace.
His Indian accent was undeniable, yet he was born and raised in Surakarta, Indonesia.
JP: You said last night in your talk that love is the only solution. Why is it the only solution?
Anand Krishna: I would say that love is the deepest emotion in human beings. It is the deepest part of our inner selves. When the solution is deep enough, then the result is also quite long-term.
It's just like when you have a tree. If the roots grow deep into the earth, then you will have a big tree. So this is the same thing, we should have a solution that is deep within our being and then we can expect a result which is long term.
That's a beautiful metaphor. You also said that when we practice consciousness, this is love. Do you have any suggestions as to how we can become more conscious in our lives?
In Bali, especially, they have a beautiful tradition of dedicating oneself to the environment, to another human being and to God.
I would say that the generic word for God is love. When you do that you are being conscious. You are being conscious of your environment and you are being conscious of anything that you do.
How you sit. How you behave. How you converse with people and interact with them. Consciousness is not something that you can achieve from an hour of meditation every day; it's a full-time job.
It's how you practice meditation in your daily life -- from moment to moment. And consciousness also means that it is important to let go of a part of your body in order to save the rest of your body.
So, to let go of part of your body as you say, is a form of sacrifice. So you do feel that there must be some sacrifices made?
I think so. We are sacrificing every minute, every moment actually. We are sacrificing certain things which we feel have lesser value. If you have a better vision, then you let go of the smaller vision of the vision that you no longer have anything to do with now. So actually we are sacrificing every moment.
It was quite enjoyable to hear your views on Gandhi. You said last night that you didn't agree with his methods of fasting because that was a form of hurting himself and love is not about hurting yourself. What do you think, then, is a better way to achieve peace?
Bring about awareness. This is why I started admiring Martin Luther King recently. He was so inspired by Gandhi but he didn't use Gandhi's methods. He would go into the street and make his point clear; he would let himself be imprisoned, but he wouldn't fight back or retaliate.
This is the way, I think. You make your point clear and you think about awareness and you make people aware of the cause you are fighting for. This is exactly what I'm trying to do ... trying to put these two great people together -- Gandhi and Martin Luther King.
This is what is needed in Indonesia to bring about awareness that we are a great nation. Once upon a time we used to export spices to Madagascar and Africa. We used our own ships.
So where is that greatness? That greatness is still there within us. Why do we have to adopt something that is not suitable for us?
What I see in Indonesia is that one part of Indonesia is adapting to the Western way of life, which is quite good; I don't have any problem with this, but the whole culture from the West may not be suitable for this country.
The other part of Indonesia is adapting to the Arabic way of life and this is going to create two societies within one. That's not good because we will bring the fights, the battles and the wars to our side -- to our country.
Your views on religion are very interesting. As you said, we all have many different religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, etc, but you feel that we can all come together, because even though we may all have different methods of worshiping God, there is still that one God and one truth that we are all trying to realize.
How can we overcome our prejudices about religion and become more open and less narrow-minded about the whole concept of what God is?
That's why I like to use the word love, because when you speak of love you talk about love. You can even accept the ideas of those who don't believe in God.
There was a Sufi who met someone who said, "I don't believe in God." The Sufi asked him, "Do you believe in yourself?" The man said, "Yes, I do."
As long as you believe in something -- that something can be God, love, or self. In the Indian tradition God is your higher self -- so I think we have to create this awareness about love.
There are many people who may think to themselves, "I have nothing to do with God." But all of us have got something to do with love.
So the state of creating a dialog between religions, what has been done especially by Christians and Muslims for the last 2,000 years, has been going on for centuries, yet we are heading nowhere because they are talking about God, yet God is not appearing before us.
When a Christian loves a Muslim or a Buddhist loves a Hindu or a Hindu loves a Muslim and if they are really deeply in love -- just two human beings, then they forget about all these barriers.
Instead of talking about God -- this is wrong I think -- let's talk about LOVE.
Once you talk about love and you develop that feeling of oneness with each other then God is present; then you will have no problems at all.