January 2022


2650 Fulton Street, San Francisco.
In the interest of public health, we have suspended our Sunday morning services
at Fulton Street, San Francisco, California until further notice. In the meantime, we are offering digital alternatives, such as on-line zoom sessions. We hope you stay well.
  • Closed for MLK holiday weekend

    Date: 01/16/2022

  • Sanskrit: A Tool for Meditation

    with Shanta Bulkin, co-founder of the East ~ West Sanskrit Institute

    Date: 01/23/2022

    Join Zoom Meeting:
    Meeting ID: 841 5552 8452; Passcode: 516739
    One tap mobile: +16699009128,,84155528452# US (San Jose)

    In this workshop, Shanta will start the session with 3 invocations. Shanta will talk briefly on the healing power of the Sanskrit sound. He will lead the group in sounding out the Sanskrit vowels in a way which everyone in attendance can feel. He will explain the Nādam sound which has a Cosmic connection with the Sanskrit language.

    He will also share a short story of how Sanskrit helped to heal a mute boy. This is a powerful story that speaks to the electro-magnetic energy of this Nādam within each and every one of us.  If we sit and pay attention to that sound, we will find it brings information to us from the Stream of Consciousness within. The vibration of the Sanskrit language has the power to transform and heal when we sit still and feel it within ourselves.

    In June of 1972 Shanta met his teacher, then known as Dr. Rammurti S. Mishra, at his Ananda Ashram in Monroe, New York. The first thing he said to Shanta that summer was, ‘If you want to stay here you must study Sanskrit.’ Shanta at age 22, was a seriously depressed young man. He believed in nothing and had no clue as to what Sanskrit was. But, he was so impressed at this man’s presence he decided to take his suggestion.

    Around 1970, Dr. Haridas Chaudhuri, invited Dr. Mishra to teach Sanskrit & related subjects of Yoga Philosophy at the California Institute of Asian Studies located in San Francisco. In September of 1972 Shanta traveled, with others, to live in Dr. Mishra’s newly formed Yoga Society of San Francisco.

    In 1975, Guruji married Indira and Shanta at Ananda Ashram. Indira (the daughter of the late Mary Oliver Tasch) and Shanta co-founded the East ~ West Sanskrit Institute in 2010. To this day, their Mission remains to support Guruji’s legacy of teaching Sanskrit as a Tool for Meditation. Mary, then also known as Sarasvati, also taught at the California Institute of Asian Studies.

    Shanta and Indira have two grown boys and, to date, three grandchildren. To this day Shanta is forever grateful.

  • Celebration in honor of Swami Vivekananda

    with Bay Area Gitanjali

    Date: 01/30/2022

    Join Zoom Meeting:
    Meeting ID: 848 8575 9430; Passcode: 066809
    One tap mobile: +16699009128,,84885759430# US (San Jose)

    This program celebrates the life of Swami Vivekananda (Narendranath Datta) (1863-1902) commemorating the anniversary of his birth. Regarded as India’s first great spiritual ambassador to the West, Swami Vivekananda is perhaps best known for his inspiring speech which began, “Sisters and brothers of America …” delivered at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago in 1893.

    We have selected Songs, Shlokas and Bhajans reflecting the philosophy of Swami Vivekananda, generating a secular social order through Religious and Ethnic Pluralism that would transcend differences of caste and creed and result in a unique place for India in the World.

    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.

  • Hindu Gods and Goddesses and their Worship through Puja: Part 2

    with Ramen Chakrabarti

    Date: 02/06/2022

    Join Zoom Meeting
    Meeting ID: 811 9602 9822; Passcode: 269906
    One tap mobile: +16699009128,,81196029822# US (San Jose)

    The Gods and Goddesses have been part of the Hindu tradition right from the Vedas. As time progressed, more and more Gods and Goddesses were added to the tradition while there were some others who disappeared. These Gods and Goddesses who are considered as the various manifestations of One Divine (like a cabinet of ministers who have different functions assigned to them) have elaborate ways of getting worshipped by the Hindus through ceremonies called pujas. In continuation with the previous one delivered on October 17, 2021, this talk will discuss the Hindu puja ceremony. There is a certain symbolism behind the puja ceremony, which the talk will elucidate among other things.

    Sri Ramen Chakrabarti is a retired engineer. He was born in a Hindu Brahmin family and was initiated at the age of eight (via the thread ceremony) to the work of a Brahmin Priest, i.e., to perform Hindu ceremonies called pujas. Along with his studies to becoming an engineer, he learned the art of performing the Hindu pujas from his uncle and his friend’s father in Kolkata. In 1970, when he relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area, there was no Hindu Priest; so, he started helping the Bengali Community in performing various pujas, and from 1971 onwards the Durga Puja. Initially, the Puja was performed only at the fellowship but when the Hindu community swelled, larger spaces began to get rented. The Bengali community now has increased to a few thousands, and there are more than ten Durga Pujas that are celebrated in the Bay Area. However, he continues with the tradition of Durga Puja at CIF.