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Swami Vivekananda and Meaning of Life

Event Date: September 15th 2013

Time: 11:00 AM

Swami Vivekananda and Meaning of Life, with Consul General of India Shri N. Parthasarathi

Swami Vivekananda, who mesmerized the Parliament of World Religions in Chicago in September 1893, was the first Cultural Ambassador of India. He was a visionary, philosopher, thinker, social reformer and a man of action far ahead of his time. In the USA, Swami Vivekananda pleaded eloquently for better understanding between India and the New World in order to create a healthy synthesis of East and West, of religion and science. By interpreting Religion as a universal experience of transcendent reality, he introduced the spiritual path in a practical and rational manner that could be understood as a “Science of Conscience.” He taught a philosophy and methodology that anybody could adopt into their way of life to achieve personal transformation and transcendence inwardly to establish a direct connection to the Divine.

‘If you want to know India, study Vivekananda’ was Rabindranath Tagore’s advice to Romain Rolland. Swami Vivekananda’s life and teachings are of inestimable value to the West for an understanding of the meaning of life.

Ambassador N. Parthasarathi is the Consul General of India in San Francisco since October 2011. A 30-year veteran of the Indian diplomatic corps, he has been Ambassador of India to the Republic of South Korea. While he was Ambassador to Senegal, he was also concurrently accredited as Ambassador to Mali, Mauritania, Guinea Bissau, Gambia and Cape Verde islands. He has also served as a diplomat throughout the world including in Belgium, Pakistan, United Kingdom and Syria.

His hobbies include writing, spirituality, mentoring youth, golf and bridge. He has published two books, The Reluctant Assassin, a fictional thriller, and The Legend of Princess of Ayodhya in Korea (this was translated into Korean and published as Silk Empress and recently into an illustrated book for children). Ambassador Parthasarathi, a Mechanical Engineer with an MBA, is married to Smt. Geeta Parthasarathi. They have two daughters.

The Formulations of the Integral Yoga

sri aurobindo

Event Date: August 18th 2013

Time: 11:00 AM

The Formulations of the Integral Yoga, with Debashish Banerji, PhD, Dean of Academic Affairs, at the University of Philosophical Research, Los Angeles – Co-Sponsored by California Institute of Integral Studies

From 1912 to 1950, Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950) attempted to formulate his yoga practice in a number of ways to  suit different audiences and different stages of his work in the world. This talk will explore these formulations with a view to illuminating contemporary practice of the Integral Yoga.

Debashish Banerji is Dean of Academic Affairs at the University of Philosophical Research, Los Angeles. He is also Adjunct Professor of Art History at the Pasadena City College and Adjunct Faculty in Asian and Comparative Studies at the CIIS, San Francisco. Since the 1970s, Banerji has been a student of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’s teaching.

Haridas Chaudhuri’s Integration of Meditation into Higher Education

Event Date: June 02nd 2013

Time: 11:00 AM

Haridas Chaudhuri’s Integration of Meditation into Higher Education,
with Joseph L. Subbiondo, President of California Institute of Integral Studies

The talk will focus on an emerging aspect of the current day mindful movement: meditation in higher education. It will examine Haridas Chaudhuri’s founding vision of integral education for CIIS and its relevance to the study and practice of mindfulness today. Dr. Chaudhuri developed an extensive model of integral education that was inspired by Sri Aurobindo and that connected meditation to compassion, knowledge, and action. He intended that his version of integral education provide (in his words) “a well rounded program for balanced personality growth of the human individual.”

Joseph L. Subbiondo, president of CIIS since 1999, has an accomplished background in both administration and academics. He brings over 30 years of achievement in higher education and he has been active on many accreditation teams for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Prior to coming to CIIS, he served as Dean of Arts and Sciences at Santa Clara University, Dean of Liberal Studies at St. Mary’s College of California, and Academic Vice President at the University of the Pacific. His scholarly publications have been on the history of English linguistic theory, and he is presently publishing and presenting papers on spirituality and interreligious dialogue in US higher education.

Music of Love, Harmony and Beauty

Event Date: April 14th 2013

Time: 11:00 AM

Music of Love, Harmony and Beauty, Indian Music offering with spiritual singer Sri Karunamayee and Arshad Syed, Tabla, co-sponsored by Sur Laya Sangam – Study Center for Indian Devotional Music

Sri Karunamayee is renowned for her soul-empowering music. She refined her rendering of North Indian Classical vocal music under the revered tutelege of Pandit Pran Nath ji and holds Masters degrees in both philosophy and music, having served as an innovative educator in academic settings. Sri Karunamayee is a vital member of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Delhi

Mother’s Birthday Celebration

Event Date: February 24th 2013

Time: 11:00 AM

Mother’s Birthday Celebration – Awareness, Intention and Collaboration in Healing Mind, Cells, World, with Vishnu Eschner, past president of the Sri Aurobindo Association

Mirra Alfassa, the Mother of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, was, among other things, the greatest explicator of Sri Aurobindo’s teaching. In Savitri, Sri Aurobindo has offered the vision of a World of Divine Beatitude. This vision itself has become the very conscious-force, chitshakti, which impels its own realization and fulfillment. In Mind of the Cells, Mother has provided the tools for us to work here in our evolving cosmos. This presentation will be a multi-media exploration of Mind of the Cells and recent Changes in the World spirit, reflecting on the meaning of mind, and cell, and how we may work with mind to support the evolution of material world and circumstances.

Vishnu Eschner is a founder and former director of Sri Aurobindo Sadhana Peetham, an ashram for the practice of Integral Yoga and is actively involved in the works of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo.

The Significance of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother

sri aurobindo

Event Date: August 12th 2012

Time: 11:00 AM

The Significance of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, with Robert McDermott, PhD,
President Emeritus of CIIS and chair of the Philosophy, Cosmology and Consciousness program

This lecture will recount the life, works, mission, and spiritual significance of Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950) and the Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram (1876-1973). Sri Aurobindo was a poet, mystic, philosopher, and most importantly, the preeminent Indian spiritual teacher of the 20th century. The Mother, who was his complete spiritual collaborator, created and organized the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and Auroville.

Dr. Robert McDermott is president emeritus of the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) and chair of the Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness program. His publications include The Essential Aurobindo (1987) and The New Essential Steiner (2009). In 1975–76, he was a Senior Fulbright Lecturer at the Open University, where he co-produced an OU-BBC film on Sri Aurobindo, Avatar: Concept and Example. He has been chair of the board and president of many institutions.

World Religion Day

Event Date: January 29th 2012

Time: 11:00 AM

World Religion Day: Religion Should be the Cause of Unity,
with Nushin Mavaddat, convener of World Religion Day in San Francisco

Please join us in a celebration of our collective spiritual heritage stemming from the revelation of the world’s great religions. The purpose of World Religion Day is to foster interfaith understanding and harmony by emphasizing the common denominators underlying all religions. Observed in over 80 countries, World Religion Day provides the opportunity to seek a unified approach to the spiritual challenges that confront humanity. Representatives from diverse faiths will speak on the oneness of the world’s great religions and the spiritual principles that are a motivating force leading to world peace. We will share in the reading of sacred scriptures, honoring the founders of all religions who have come to guide humanity throughout history.

“on the wings of prayer and song…”