Simple Living Manifesto

Freedom lies in simplicity. 

The commitment to live simply is, ultimately, the commitment to live for God alone. This means to be increasingly free from an ego-motivated life. 

To grow in the spirit of inner-freedom allows one to gradually awaken to the true and universal purpose of life: Plain Living, High Thinking, and Soul Freedom. 

Yogananda called this concept “brotherhood colonies,” or “the living Church of Christ,” whereby work, worship, education, play, meditation, creativity, and all aspects of life are integrated into one holistic, natural and spiritual community of life

Why can’t we see the divine design for human life? For even my own life? 

Desires. Born of ego identification, desire-nature keeps us bound to the dual nature of the world and enmeshed in the senses, habits, and attachments. 

Therefore, as brothers and sisters of simplicity, we aspire and attain to be free from a life guided by whims and desires of the little self; and to realize the divine purposes of life as a human on planet earth. 

Paramhansa Yogananda revealed the “goals of life”, as 4 fold: 

The first purpose is thus, to be happy in God, all the time, no matter what happens. 

The second is to grow one’s own food.

The third is health through natural living, and freedom from the dis-ease that accompanies modern, unnatural life. 

The fourth is to provide all other basic needs (like clothes, building, art, medicine, etc) as a community, and thereby become independent from the ways of the world. 

These purposes coalesce into a single purpose – to realize soul freedom, which is to know the Will of God and to do it. 

This message of a simple, happy life, is not a message of primitivism or going backwards; it is the mission of freedom for all of humanity. It is for those cultivating spiritual courage and humility.

It speaks not to the passing cultures and fads of humanity in a day, but to the timeless and universal path of life, which is always here to be known when a human-Soul is ready to be born anew. 

It is the immortal path to happiness, which God has designed for humanity: To live close to Nature, in brotherhood and in harmony with all life. This is the actual, practical application and realization of Yoga (Union) and Christ’s teachings in this world. In our own lives. 

Yogananda stated that this way of life will be the way of the future of humanity: A perfect blending of East and West; of inner spiritual-realization, and of outer harmony with nature; That we should go forth in all directions, and demonstrate that plain living, combined with high thinking, leads to the greatest happiness and freedom. 

“And don’t forget this plan. Each one of you can do it; the work needs you, and you need the work. This is the way of freedom.” -P. Yogananda

The Farm Ashram’s “Simple Living Manifesto” is drawn from a talk that Paramhansa Yogananda gave on June 12, 1949, San Diego, CA which is titled “How to Be Blissful and Happy All the Time.” You can read the full transcript of this inspiring talk here.

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