Having 180 plus books to his credit, Anand Krishna believes in interfaith harmony and peace and has inspired millions of people and is known for spiritual humanist movement
Proud of his Sindhi-Indian ancestry rooted in the Glorious Sindhu Civilization and Culture, Anand Krishna was born in Solo (Central Java), on September 01, 1956, as Krishna Kumar to Tolaram Gangtani. He lives in Ubud, Bali and is known as Swami Anand Krishna for his spiritual humanist movement.
He has a legacy of 180+ books to date with millions of copies sold in the past 25 years.
People of all faiths attending his talks is a running commentary to his vision “One Earth, One Sky, One Humankind” – his interpretation of an age old Sanskrit Maxim, “Vasudaiva Kutumbakam”, this entire world is but one big family.
In the last 30 years, Anand has spoken to millions through television shows, radio talks, in-house trainings, books, newspaper interviews and articles, as well as daily meetings and workshops held at Anand Ashram (affiliated with United Nations), One Earth Retreat Center, Anand Krishna Center and Anand Ashram Ubud, the centers of yoga & meditation established by him in the Indonesian Capital of Jakarta, the suburban city of Bogor, the palatial ancient city of Yogyakarta, and other places. By Anand Ashram Foundation (affiliated with UN), Anand Krishna has inspired several other social and educational institutions.
Anand Krishna was born in Solo, central Java but his schooling was completed in Lucknow, capital town of Uttar Pradesh state in north India and here he got the first introduction to spiritual powers and abilities held by human being from an ice vendor Sufi saint Sheikh Baba. Though father Tolaram was trying to introduce spirituality into life of Krishna with the poetry and teachings of legendry Sufi saint of Sindh Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai but eventually Sheikh Baba proved the reason for the making of Anand Krishna.
After completing Master’s Degree Krishna was working with a Garment factory in Indonesia as the shareholder and Director of the company, when in the year 1991 at the age of 35, he fell ill and medical diagnosis indicated certain death for him as he was suffering from Leukemia at critical stage. Here his childhood reading of Shah Abdul Latif and teachings of Sheikh Baba helped him lot and inspired him for holding tightly hope of survival and a miracle occurred in those days of suffering when he met with a mysterious Tibetan Lama in the Himalayas. This meeting proved the beginning of miracle, Krishna, who according to doctors was at door step of death, started recovering and in a short time was in the normal status of health. Krishna realized that this was a kind of new birth for him so after health recovery he didn’t return to his garment factory but decided to devote rest of life for the suffering humanity.
Anand shared his personal experiences on the basis of “Be Joyful and Share your Joy to others”. As stated above he has promoted his teachings through print and electronic media, training seminars, as well as meetings and workshops held at Anand Ashram, One Earth Retreat Center in Ciawi, Anand Krishna Center and Ashram at Ubud, and at four meditation centers in Jakarta, Bogor, Yogyakarta and Bali. His ashram foundation is affiliated to the United Nations Department of Public Information.
He has written columns for Indonesian media publications and also appeared on Indonesian television and radio shows in Bali. In Jakarta, he was the subject of a 13-episode television serial called ‘Building Indonesia Anew with Anand Krishna’, broadcast on Q-Channel (now BeritaSatu) and Swara networks. A follow-up series was made, called Building ‘The World Anew with Anand Krishna’. Guests on the shows included fourth Indonesian president Abdurrahman Wahid; senior police detective Mangku Pastika; the Sultan of Yogyakarta; an Australian ambassador to Indonesia as well as various politicians and celebrities.
One of his three books in English – ‘Voice of Indonesia’ was discussed on a University of California campus radio show.
In 1997, he was made Reverend Minister by the Universal Life Church. In 2010, and was named Ambassador for Peace by the Universal Peace Federation. In 2011, he joined the International Metaphysical Ministry.
One of his books, in fact one of the three titles in English, “Voice of Indonesia” was released in California and discussed on the Campus Radio of University of California at Santa Barbara.
Anand has promoted several movements and Centers for Self-Development among others:
- International Bali Meditators’ Festival (IBMF); Forum for Revival of Human Spirit, which has given free Self-Development Programs to more than 25,000 teachers within last 5 years; Anand Krishna Centers in many major cities, and L’Ayurveda Healing Centers in Jakarta and Bali.
- AK Global Co-Operation, a national co-operative society with branches in several cities.
- The National Integration Movement, with almost 30 branches all over Indonesia and overseas representation, including one in the Middle East
- California Bali Friendship Association
- Brazil Indonesia Friendship Association
- Secret Garden of The Mother Divine, Dedicated to Healing Mother Earth and All Her Children, located in Kuta (Bali)
- AK Education Foundation, First Interfaith School in Bali, for which land has been acquired (about 2500 sq. meters in the prime area of Kuta)
- Bali Dvipa Charitable Clinic in Bali
- One Earth Integral Education Foundation
- Regular Free Medical and Trauma Relief Camps
- Global Harmony Monument in Ashram at Ubud – Bali
- The Charter for Global Harmony
- Center for Wellbeing and Self-Empowerment in 1991- He promotes a concept of love being the only solution to resolving global problems.
National and International Speaking Career
- Conference on Sufi Movements in Contemporary Islam
- Anand Krisha was invited to present his paper on Sufi Solutions to World’s Problems at a conference held by the National University of Singapore and Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 4-5 August 2008
- Ubud Writers & Readers Festival 2008
- Earth Dialogues on Water Planet, November 2008
- Earth Dialogues on Water Planet 2008
- Spoke at Earth Dialogues on Water Planet hosted by the government of Brazil on 26–28 November 2008. Anand presented his paper on Water of Life, Wisdom of the Ancient – In Pursuit of the Indigenous Wisdom of Sundaland and South America to Save Our Planet. His paper was published as a book with the same title.
- Addresses the Parliament of World’s Religions in December 2009, Melbourne, Australia. His speech was titled “Addressing Religious Radicalism in Indonesia: Appreciating and Cultivating Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity) and Pancasila (Indonesia’s Preambule)”. He was appointed Ambassador of the ‘Parliament of the World’s Religions Council’ in September 2009.
Anand Krishna’s books and audiobooks include:
- Life – A Traveler’s Guide to Journey Within – 2003
- Soul Quest – Journey from Death to Immortality – 2003
- Voice of Indonesia – 2007
- Christ of Kasmiri – The Incredible Saga of Sage Yuzu Asaph – July 2008
- Tri Hita Karana: Ancient Balinese Wisdom for Neo Humans – 2008
- Sufi Solution to World’s Problems – 2008
- From Bali to Belo Horizonte – In Pursuit of the Indigenous Wisdom of Sundaland and South America to Save Our Planet – 2009
- ‘One Earth One Sky One Humankind – Living Prayerfully in the Spirit of Unity in Diversity’ – 2009
- The Hanuman Factor: Life Lessons from the Most Successful Spiritual CEO – 2010
- The Wisdom of Bali: The Sacred Science of Celebrating Heaven on Earth – 2010
- The Zen Yoga: An Integral Approach to Spirituality – India 2011
- Sai Anand Gita: Lord’s Song of Bliss Eternal – 2011
- ‘Guru Yoga: The Way Within’ – January 2012
- The Wisdom of Sundaland: The Ancient Unrecorded Prehistory of Indonesia Archipelago – 2012
- The Kaligis Success Factor, Lesson from a rare Man of Law – 2013
- Dvipantara Dharma Sastra: Sara Samuccaya-Slokantara-Sevaka Dharma, Ancient Indonesian Wisdom for Modern Human – May 2015
- Live Yoga: The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali for Modern Times – 2015
Anand’s promotion of inter-faith harmony and his stance as a Universalist resulted in criticism from religious radicals. In 2000, his books were deemed heretical and recalled from Indonesian bookstores.
In 2010, some of his former students accused him of sexual harassment. The main accuser’s lawyer, Agung Mattauch, stated: “Harassment is just an entry point for a more serious problem, religious blasphemy”.
He was tried at South Jakarta District Court, which acquitted him in November 2011. The Supreme Court overturned the verdict in August 2012 and gave him a two-and-a-half-year jail term in a fake case of sexually harassing three of his students. He was arrested at his residence in Ubud in February 2013 and sent to Cipinang jail in East Jakarta to serve his sentence. The Supreme Court in January 2014 announced it had rejected his request for a judicial review.
Anand Krishna was accused of blasphemy by extremist groups after he criticized conservatives seeking to transform Indonesia into a conservative state.
Hunger Strike for Justice
Anand Krishna had observed Hunger Strike for over 50 days as struggle to seek justice in Indonesian law system.
Indonesian newspapers had reported that prominent Spiritualist Anand Krishna is lying weak on a hospital bed in East Jakarta. He was treated for his heart condition after having a heart attack before attending the trial. On 5/4/2010 after an exhausting 12 hours of questioning, he collapsed in Jakarta Police Station and had developed irregular heart beat condition called bigimenie. He was also suffering from acute diabetes, high blood pressure and earlier leukemia history.
He had been on hunger-strike since March 9th 2011 after South Jakarta District Court Judge Hari Sasangka delivered an order for the detention although Anand had been cooperative throughout the hearings since the case went to trial in August 2010, and almost no substantial evidences and witnesses related to the case had been presented. His blood plasma glucose level had dropped but he was transferred to Cipinang Penitentiary.
Anand observed hunger-strike as his non-violent resistance and determination to fight against unjust and unfair treatment of the Indonesian law system, rather than against the person who acts against him.
A prominent human rights activist and Indonesia senior law practitioner, Adnan Buyung Nasution, had said that the order of judge to detain Anand was considered a reckless decision, and violated Article 158 of Criminal Code and Indonesian Judge’s Code of Conduct of not taking side before the official court verdict. “I’ve been practicing law for 50 years and just only this time, I find that a judge can put a defendant in guilty side before officially court verdict reached,” he said when visiting Anand in the hospital.
According to Anand’s lawyer, Dwi Ria Latifah S.H., the three-member panel of judges was leading the process of trial to dig out facts and witnesses related to Anand’s thinkings and writings, rather than to the facts and witnesses to the sexual charges. She alleged that there was a conspiracy to criminalize Anand’s thinking because it appears that almost no fair effort was made by the presiding judges to find out the truth about the sexual harassment’s indictment against Anand.
Former Indonesia Ministry of Research and Technology, Muhammad AS Hikam, in his blog also voiced his support to free Anand Krishna from an unjust, unhuman and unfair trial.
Anand Krishna – a phenomenon
After attending the 60th Annual DPI/NGO Conference on “Climate Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the first President of India had remarked upon seeing the child Krishna, “This is not ordinary boy”.
The prediction had come true. Standing high as the legendary Mount Meru, Anand Krishna wavers not an inch from his course of action, in spite of all kinds of trials and turbulences.
This is hard to believe that even the critics of person are impressed with dedication and capacity of raising self to above self for serving the humanity. This is not an imagination but is the true happening of the piece of land called “Indonesia”. Here you will find not only the critics but the people having sympathy with are used to call and recognize Anand Krishna as the “phenomenon.”
The 4th President of Indonesia, KH Abdurrahman Wahid recognized his contributions and said, “If we want to have peace, then we must hear what Anand Krishna is saying.”