Shastra, Guru or Intuition: The Question of Guidance in Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga

Event Date: August 14th 2016

Time: 11:00 AM

Venue: Cultural Integration Fellowship

The question of guidance is a major issue in contemporary yoga practice. The mainstream sri aurobindoof yoga culture seems to favor living gurus. In Sri Aurobindo’s own life, there developed a mythos of God-guru around him and the Mother; and after their passing, their followers normatively consider them as immortal beings who continue to guide them. We ask if there are other forms of guidance available to those interested in the Integral yoga. Or is it necessary to join an initiatic circle marked by the acceptance of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother as God-gurus? Should we look rather at the text of their words, the Shastra, to derive a compass for travelling the vast terrains of their thought? What are the advantages and dangers of such compasses? Finally, we consider the praxis of intuition, the purificatory path to the Daemon of Socrates and a reciprocal relationship with the integral consciousness, which is the vanishing point of all perspectivism.


Debashish Banerji is the Haridas Chaudhuri Professor of Indian Philosophy and Culture and the Doshi Professor of Asian Art at the California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco; PhD Indian Art History, University of California, Los Angeles; MA Computer Science, University of Louisville, KY; BA English Literature, Elphinstone College, Bombay University. Since the 1970s, Banerji has been a student of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’s teaching.

Dilip Basu: In Memoriam

Event Date: May 29th 2016

Time: 4:00 -6:00 PM

Venue: Cultural Integration Fellowship, 2650 Fulton Street, San Francisco, California

dilip-basu-200It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Dilip Basu, Research Professor of Humanities, Founding Director of Satyajit Ray Film and Study Collection, University of California Santa Cruz, and since June 2015, Senior Research Fellow, Packard Humanities Institute, Santa Clarita, California. He passed away peacefully of natural causes on February 22, 2016 in Santa Clarita, California.

Dilip was born on August 16, 1938 in Chirirbandar, a village in East Bengal, India prior to the 1947 partition of the subcontinent. The seventh of eleven children (with four brothers and six sisters), he acquired a love of history while a student at the village school. After the partition of India in 1947 and their migration to Calcutta, the Basus became bona fide refugees. For a period the family was scattered, the parents moving away from Calcutta while the elder children remained in the city to attend college.

Dilip attended high school and college in Calcutta, in the process falling in love with modern Bengali poetry, then in a state of resurgence after the partition. However soon after beginning his studies at Presidency College he became seriously ill from malnutrition. As a result his parents had to return to the city, barely managing to stay together, in order to care for him. After his recovery, Dilip completed his B.A. in 1959 from Presidency College, garnering gold medals for excellence in History and in his subsequent M.A. History degree.

This academic success allowed him scholarships that brought him to the U.S. to undertake graduate study in history, in the process becoming interested in the history of modern China. He received an M.A. from Harvard University in Chinese history and began to map out his dissertation topic. He did his doctoral studies at the University of California at Berkeley under Professor Frederick Wakeman. In 1974 he completed his dissertation on “Asian Merchants and Western Trade: A Comparative Study of Calcutta and Canton, 1800-1840.” In this phase of his career, his work was focused primarily on the history of modern China and its relations with British colonial India. Dilip Basu had by this time, in 1971, joined the faculty at the University of California at Santa Cruz as Acting Assistant Professor of History, after stints as a visiting instructor at UC Berkeley and the University of Michigan.

Initially named a Fellow of Stevenson College, Basu joined Herman Blake in the founding of Oakes College in 1972. In 1989 he became a Fellow of Merrill College. In this first phase of his academic career he taught and wrote primarily about European imperialism in East Asia. He chaired the Programs on East Asian Studies and South and Southeast Asian Studies. Publications from this period include the edited volumes Nineteenth Century China: Five Imperialist Perspectives (1972) and The Rise and Growth of Colonial Port Cities in Asia (1985). He recently returned to this subject in a widely praised article, “Chinese Xenology and the Opium War: Reflections on Sinocentrism,” The Journal of Asian Studies, (2014) Vol. 73, 927-940.

By the 1990s Dilip’s research and teaching interests gradually returned to South Asian history, initiating a second phase of his career, one in which he would invest his energies in developing a South Asian Studies program at UCSC. He reworked his South Asian courses to incorporate new cultural approaches, including dance, music, folklore and film. In this period he also helped establish the Ali Akbar Khan Endowment in Classical Indian Music and the Hasan Endowed Chair in Hindustani Music at UC Santa Cruz.

Eventually his fascination with the history of Indian film would lead him to the third and most significant phase of his career, his involvement with the films of Satyajit Ray, the great Indian filmmaker and director. In this period, Dilip’s research and writing focused upon the Cinema of Satyajit Ray and works of Rabindranath Tagore. His translation of Tagore’s famous novel, The Last Poem: A Novel, was published in 2011 by Harper Perennial in India, where it is a best seller. Another book, Satyajit Ray’s Goddess: From Story to Film, is scheduled for publication this year by the Packard Humanities Institute.

Basu’s establishment of the Satyajit Ray Film and Study Center at UC Santa Cruz ranks as his most important accomplishment. Funded by grants from the Packard Humanities Institute, the Ray FASC ( became internationally famous as the principal archive for the work of this master of Indian film.

Among many awards he received in this period, Basu was honored by the Academy of Motions Pictures Arts & Sciences and the Cultural Council of Bengal of New York. In September 2014, the Academy Film Archive in Los Angeles felicitated Dilip for his coordination of the Ray film restoration. He was also the recipient of a major grant from the Indian Council of Cultural Relations in New Delhi for the operations of the Ray Center and for hosting major cultural events and lectures.

In 2013 the Dean of the Humanities Division appointed him a Research Professor of Humanities Division. In 2015, he was named Steward of the Satyajit Ray Film and Study Collection, defined as part of his own research and took up an appointment as Senior Research Fellow at the Packard Humanities Institute in Santa Clarita.

Dilip leaves behind his wife, Dayani Basu and a daughter, Amiya Basu Jackling, from an earlier marriage to Cathy Shender. Other relatives include Chris Jackling; a younger brother, Asish Basu who followed him to the US; his nephews, Rishi Basu and Neil Basu; a stepdaughter Pallavi Sonia Rao and two step-grandchildren; and four surviving siblings, and their children and grandchildren in India. In addition to his family, he leaves behind numerous close friends and admirers in the US, and in India.

A memorial celebration of his life was held at the Cultural Integration Fellowship (CIF) 2650 Fulton Street, San Francisco, CA 94118 at 4 PM May 29, 2016. Condolences may be sent to Mrs. Dayani Basu (c/o The PHI Stoa 26155 Rockwell Canyon Road, Santa Clarita, CA 91355) or to Mr. Asish Basu (328 Troy Road, Rochester, NY 14618). In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Dilip Basu’s name to the Cultural Integration Fellowship.

An Evening of Music with Prabuddha Raha: Bengali and popular Hindi Bollywood Songs

Event Date: June 04th 2016

Time: 6:00 PM

Venue: 2650 Fulton Street, San Francisco, California

021Bengali songs will include songs by Rabindranath Tagore, Rajanikanto Atulprasad and melodies from the golden era such as Manna, Hemanta, SD Burman, Shyamal, and Pintu Bhattacharya.

Prabuddha has extensively performed both Rabindra Sangeet and modern songs in different cities of India and abroad. He remains one of the most acknowledged singers of our times and his songs have been reviewed with very high ratings by leading music critics. His rendering originates from his soul, helping the audience to see and feel the visual imagery which is so very unique to Tagore and other Bengali songs.

An Alumnus of Dakshinee, Prabuddha continued his advanced training in Rabindra Sangeet from Acharya Sailajaranjan Majumdar and he has trained himself in classical music under the tutelage of Prof. Debiranjan Bandyopadhyay. Prabuddha has graduated from Presidency College with Honors in Geology and thereafter he pursued his career in leading foreign and Indian publishing companies. Prabuddha was appointed as the external examiner of Visva Bharati University in 2008 and Calcutta University in 2012 and Rabindra Bharati in 2013. He was also invited as the Guest Lecturer on Music for their Orientation courses for College Teachers. Aparna Sen chose him to playback for the movie Paromitar Ekdin. Prabuddha left an indelible mark with his rendition of ‘Bipulo Tarango Re’ in the movie. Prabuddha sang and composed music for a large number of telefilms and documentaries and he has recently scored music for his first ever feature film, Tagore’s Chaar Oddhyay directed by Nitish Mukherjee. He received the prestigious “Vivek Vikas Samman” award in 2012 on 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami-ji. He also received “Gauri Mitra Smriti Puroskar” from Dakshinee for contribution as a singer and trainer in the field of Rabindrasangeet.

Celebration in honor of Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindra Jayanti: concert offering of songs written by Rabindranath Tagore, Nobel Poet Laureate,
presented by Bay Area Gitanjali

May 5, 2019, at 11:00 am

Cultural Integration Fellowship, 2650 Fulton Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

Please join us for this celebration in honor of Rabindranath Tagore (7 May 1861–7 August 1941), poet, novelist, musician, painter, playwright and philosopher who reshaped Bengali literature and music. Tagore was the first non-European to be awarded the Nobel Prize. His profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse was viewed as spiritual, and he became the voice of India’s spiritual heritage. His songs, popularly known as Rabindrasangeet, have an eternal appeal and are permanently placed in the heart of the Bengalis. Tagore was a social reformer, patriot and above all, a great humanitarian and philosopher. The national anthems of both India and Bangladesh are taken from his composition.

Our singers this morning are Sonali Bhattacharya, Aditya Das, Ashidhara Das, and Shyamoshree Gupta Diamond, with Anoop Bhattacharjya on tabla. All are outstanding artistes who have received praise and recognition for their performances and concerts both in India and in the United States.



Spring Celebration of the Naw-Ruz Festival – The Baha’i New Year

Event Date: March 27th 2016

Time: 11:00 am

Venue: Cultural Integration Fellowship


Presented by Nushin Mavaddat and Baha’i friends, celebrating the Spring renewal in the worlds of nature, ideas and spirit, this joyous gathering will include commentaries, prayers, beautiful musical performances and hospitality.

Through this celebration of the Baha’i New Year, we will commemorate the dawning of a new era for humanity. We will reflect on the Spiritual Spring promised to mankind in all sacred Scriptures throughout history. This Spiritual Spring ushers in an era of peace and reconciliation, of love and unity, of justice and security, of concord and harmony for the peoples of the world.


Evolution of Consciousness Workshop, with Anton Grosz, PhD, author and Integral Yoga educator

Event Date: April 10th 2016

Time: 1:30 - 3:00 pm

Venue: Cultural Integration Fellowship, 2650 Fulton Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

Integral consciousness is more than just an intellectual exercise and the philosophy on which the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) was founded. It is an experiential way of living and being that not only maximizes one’s deepest potential, but provides answers to seminal questions of quantum physics concerning black holes, event horizons, and the origin of the universe. It is an inevitable part of humanity’s evolution, not in some far off future, but in the here and now. True to its source, this talk will include an experiential component. For those who would like to go into more depth on the topic, an afternoon session will follow.


Anton Grosz received his Doctorate in Philosophy and Religion from CIIS in 1995 with a dissertation “Consciousness in Evolution: Living the Integral Reality of Dr. Haridas Chaudhuri.” He lives with his wife, Phyllis, in San Francisco where he serves as Spiritual and Bereavement Counselor for Crossroads Home Care and Hospice.

suggested donation: $20


65th Anniversary Celebration June 18, 2016

Saturday, June 18, 2016 at 6:30 pm; 2650 Fulton Street, San Francisco

The Cultural Integration Fellowship celebrates its 65th anniversary with a dinner honoring
Sudarshan Kapoor, PhD

Inspired by the philosophy of integral living, the Cultural Integration Fellowship (CIF) was founded in 1951 by Dr. Haridas Chaudhuri and Mrs. Bina Chaudhuri as a center of universal religion and spiritual practice. Honoring the spiritual traditions of diverse cultures and religions, CIF promotes the interchange of ideas between the cultures of east and west, creating a greater sense of cross cultural harmony and world peace.

This year we are privileged to honor Dr. Sudarshan Kapoor for his outstanding contributions in building a culture of peace and non-violence at home and around the world.

Dr. Kapoor is professor emeritus and former founding director of the Peace and Conflict Studies program at California State University, Fresno. He also helped establish the university’s Peace Garden. Known popularly as the “Peace Man of Fresno,” Dr. Kapoor’s long career in the field of social work stands testimony to his popular title. In addition to teaching, Dr. Kapoor has played an important role in creating an atmosphere of peace and goodwill among groups from various walks of life. He worked in the post independence Gandhian Sarvodaya Movement as a chief organizer in Punjab, India, and is a founding member of several peace and civic organizations in Fresno including Fresno Center for Nonviolence, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Committee, City of Fresno, the Interfaith Alliance of Central California, and the Council of Indian Organizations of the Central Valley. He currently chairs Human Rights Coalition of the Central Valley and teaches ‘Peacebuilding’ at Fresno State.

Dr. Kapoor has been honored by the legislature and congress for his outstanding contributions. He has also been honored by Fresno Bee, the largest newspaper of the Central Valley, during its 75th Anniversary Celebration as one of the 75 most important persons of Central Valley who made a difference.

for further information, please contact Sandy Kepler at 415.668.1559 or

Singing Peace Prayers of Mahatma Gandhi

Event Date: October 04th 2015

Singing Peace Prayers of Mahatma Gandhi, with Sri Karunamayee, spiritual singer, and Vishal Nagar on tabla – Co-sponsored by Sur Laya Sangam Study Center for Indian Devotional Music

Honoring Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday, Sri Karunamayee will offer music in his spirit of universal peace. She will also lead collective singing from the compilation of devotional songs, sacred verses and mantras sung in Gandhiji’s ashrams. Vishal Nagar, distinguished tabla maestro, will accompany.

Sri Karunamayee is a dedicated member of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in New Delhi, where she has been in residence for over four decades. She supports the daily ashram meditations and special events with her soul-inspiring music. In her youth, she and her family regularly attended Mahatma Gandhi’s prayer gatherings in New Delhi