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Special Events

Tagore Jayanti

Event Date: May 04th 2014

Time: 11:00 AM

Tagore Jayanti: concert offering of songs written by Rabindranath Tagore, Nobel Poet Laureate

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, Shyamoshree Gupta Diamond, and Abhra Roy, with Anoop Bhattacharjya on tabla. All are outstanding artists who have received praise and recognition for their performances and concerts both in India and in the United States.

The San Francisco Renaissance and Emergence of Integral Yoga and the Founding of the CIF and the CIIS

Event Date: April 02nd 2014

Time: 7:00 PM

The San Francisco Renaissance and Emergence of Integral Yoga and the Founding of the CIF and the CIIS

SACHI and Cultural Integration Fellowship (CIF) invite you to explore a very special era in the history and culture of San Francisco.

Joseph Subbiondo, President California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), will present an illuminating talk on the San Francisco Renaissance and Emergence of Integral Yoga and the Founding of the CIF and the CIIS. This event is in conjunction with the Asian Art Museum exhibition Yoga: The Art of Transformation (Feb. 21 to May 25, 2014).

Influences of Eastern Philosophy on the Paintings and Writings of Gordon Onslow Ford:

Event Date: October 27th 2013

Time: 11:00 AM

Influences of Eastern Philosophy on the Paintings and Writings of Gordon Onslow Ford: on the Occasion of his Centennial Year, with Fariba Bogzaran, PhD, author, artist, and close collaborator with Gordon Onslow Ford

In 1947 Gordon Onslow Ford, a member of the Parisian Surrealist group, moved to the San Francisco Bay Area from Mexico where he had taken refuge during the war. Onslow Ford was a painter, philosopher and author of several books including Painting in the Instant (1964); Creation (1978); Insight (1991) and Once Upon a Time (1999). In 1951 he joined Austrian painter Wolfgang Paaeln and American painter Lee Mullican to create a major art exhibition called Dynaton (the Possible) at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Soon after, he was widely exposed to the Eastern cultures offered in the Pacific West Coast. He met Dr. Haridas Chaudhuri in 1951 and attended his lectures. Onslow Ford studied Hinduism with Dr. Chaudhuri at the Cultural Integration Fellowship (CIF) in San Francisco. Onslow Ford’s incorporation of his learning at CIF is apparent in his work and his realizations of the archetypal marks, Line Circle Dot, which he explored explicitly in his paintings for fifty years. He also studied Buddhism with Alan Watts and took his first Chinese calligraphy with master Hodo Tobase Roshi. This talk focuses on the work of Gordon Onslow Ford and how Eastern Philosophy and calligraphy changed the course of Onslow Ford’s creation and thinking. The lecture demonstrates that this encounter not only impacted the work of one artist but also transformed his perception for the rest of his life.

Fariba Bogzaran, PhD, East-West Psychology, is an artist and scientist who was a collaborator and close associate with Gordon Onslow Ford for thirteen years before his death in 2003. With Onslow Ford, they co-founded the Lucid Art Foundation in 1998 where she is currently the Creative Director. She collaborated with Onslow Ford on his books, Insight (1991) and Once Upon a Time: The World of Line Circle Dot (1999) and has contributed to over twenty exhibition essays in international publications on the works of Gordon Onslow Ford. She is the co-author of Extraordinary Dreams (SUNY Press, 2002);  and Integral Dreaming (SUNY Press, 2012).

 

Singing Peace Prayers of Mahatma Gandhi

Event Date: September 29th 2013

Time: 11:00 AM

Singing Peace Prayers of Mahatma Gandhi, with Sri Karunamayee and Vishal Nagar on tabla

Honoring Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday, Sri Karunamayee of Sri Aurobindo Ashram will lead collective singing from the compilation of devotional songs, sacred verses and mantras sung in Gandhiji’s ashrams. Vishal Nagar will accompany on tabla.

Sri Karunamayee is a dedicated member of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in New Delhi, where she has been in residence for 45 years. 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.

Vishal Nagar is one of the most gifted Tabla musicians of his generation. Son of the renowned Kathak danseuse and vocalist Vidushi Urmila Nagar, Vishal has been trained under his mother, Late Ustad Latif Khan and Ustad Shamim Ahmed Khan.

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