The sanskrit word for bliss or joy, often used in the context of yoga, particularly among yoga or yogananda groups that seek self-realization and spiritual fulfillment through the practice of yoga, such as the Ananda Church of Self-Realization of Seattle.

Or so I hear; I'm not a yoga girl myself. I came in contact with the word through Madeleine L'Engle's glorious translation of it in A Swiftly Tilting Planet, when Charles Wallace is naming a new dog:

"The joy in existence without which the universe will fall apart and collapse"

Yes!

"That's a mighty big name for one dog to carry," Mrs. Murry said.
"She's a large dog, and it's her name," Charles Wallace responded.

One of the Buddha's principal disciples and his attendant. Unlike most of the other followers of the
Buddha Ananda did not become an arhat until after the Buddha had died. All the arhats were
gathering after the death of the Buddha to gather together the Buddha's teachings and discuss the
dharma so Ananda stayed up all night in order to reach nirvana so he could join in the council of
arhats. The tradition is that when a sutra/sutta starts "Thus I have heard" it is Ananda relating the
story.

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