The land of Ananda Kanan was purchased in may 1983. There were already few constructions including the “White House”, a low building in correspondence of the brother/sister dorm and a barn. The first project was to utilize the low building by making separate brothers and sisters bathrooms and a division wall in the building. In Summer 83 Ananda Kanan was already set to host retreats and margi that where residing and helping for the development of the project.
Brother Vinay remembers as he was directly involved since the early days of ananda Kanan:
“AK was purchased in May 1983 following a very serious search headed by Omkarnath and others. The first retreat was held in June/July 1983 itself. There was no dining hall, and we all sat out on the lawn behind the “white” house for meals. There were also not the dorms we know now, nor Baba’s Quarters. There were a couple of old storage barns; one was divided into two sides, so we had brothers on one side and sisters on the other. The other barn was used for the dc hall (the current renovated building with Air Conditioning). Some construction began shortly thereafter, but the most major construction began in 1987. Therefore, next year will actually be the 30th anniversary of Ananda Kanan. But it was until 1988 that Ananda Kanan began to host the Summer Conference which used to have a big attendance and used to be hosted at different locations in the United States.”
The first rector was Dada Shantatmananda who was instrumental in the original purchase of the land in rural Missouri. He was again rector at Ananda Kanan just after Dada Iishvara Krsnananda, who succeeded Dada Shamitananda (1989-1999). More recently Dada Rudraprakashananda has been rector at Ananda Kanan and at present Dada Jiivapremananda is leading Ananda Kanan in its activities and development.
The images above and below have been extracted from the archive editions of Crimson Dawn Newsletter. The first image is from 1988, the second and third from 1992 and the fourth from 1993. The archives of the Crimson Dawn newsletter are available at http://cd.anandamarga.us