Ānand Mārg

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A Hindu movement founded in 1955 by Ānandamūrti (P. R. Sarkar, 1921–1990). The Ānand Mārg is ascetic and Tantric in orientation. Fully ordained monks and nuns lead celibate lives and wear Indian dress. Most followers, however, belong to the lay community. Ānandamūrti claimed to be an incarnation of God, with the avowed aim of establishing God's ‘dictatorship’ over India. He, and his movement, have been linked to various acts of terrorism and violence, and the Ānand Mārg was banned in India during the 1970s emergency. Ānandamūrti himself spent five years in jail after his wife accused him of committing 35 murders, mostly of former sect members who had become disloyal. He was subsequently acquitted. The movement now promotes itself as a charitable organization promoting social development in the Third World. It also continues to teach meditation and yoga, as well as a version of its founder's socio-economic and political system, a compound of Marxism and capitalism. It has established centres around the world and claims to have up to a million members, many of them based in Europe, with a particular following in Germany.

Subjects: Hinduism.

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