February 17, 2012 in Community, USA

Bay Area Sanga

For over 15 years, we have been a community of Gaudiya Vaishnav aspirants, who gathered together in the San Francisco Bay Area, mostly on the East Bay side (Berkeley/Oakland/Richmond) under the auspices of Bhakti Projects.

We hope to grow our community both to help us along on our own spiritual path and to make this path visible, accessible and welcoming to all Bay Area residents.

What spiritual path are we trying to follow? The path of Pure Bhakti.
This is the path of seeking loving connection with the Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna, under the guidance of His Divine Consort, Srimati Radharani, in a mood of loving devotion (pure bhakti), through congregational chanting of the holy names (harinam sankirtan), devotional service (bhakti yoga & seva), and the living blessings and guidance of pure and senior devotees (Sadhus and Vaishnav Thakurs) and qualified spiritual master-teachers (Guru-varga).

This the path that was espoused by Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna’s Golden Avatar and Founder of Gaudiya Vaishnavism) and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur (the organizer and chief proponent of modern Gaudiya Vaishnavism), that was brought to the west by Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (the founder of ISKCON and the Hare Krishna movement), and that has been carefully propagated by the great saints of the modern Gaudiya movement.

Collectively we have taken initiation and instruction from many highly qualified Gaudiya Vaishnav gurus, and as a group we have been galvanized into organization and true community by the mercy and guidance of Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja. Having received his blessings, armed with his teachings, and guided by his senior most disciples, we hope to become better students of this path by strengthening our own practice and also making the path available to others in the Bay Area.

As a community, in each other’s homes, we have shared bhajans (devotional hymns), Harikatha (discussion and lectures about the Lord and His associates), prasadam (sanctified food), puja (ceremonial worship of the Lord in His Deity form), and most of all, opportunities to learn from and serve the senior Vaishnavas, Sadhus, and Guru-varga. Every Sunday evening we gather to sing, pray, discuss, explain, read, worship, and have a vegetarian prasadam feast. 

The Bay Area is a special place: both for this path, and for the purpose of making this path available to those for whom it is not immediately available. Historically, this is the second place outside of India where Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada set up a community of devotees. This is also the first place outside India where a Deity of the Lord spontaneously ‘showed up’ just when a Sadhu was contemplating the establishment of a temple: Lord Jagannath was discovered by one of Srila Prabhupada Swami Maharaja’s first disciples hiding as a ‘knick knack’ at the San Francisco Cost Plus. Inspired by Divine Providence, Srila Prabhupada Swami Maharaja instituted the first Festival of Chariots outside of India, a festival that significantly denotes the binding effect that pure love has on the Supreme Lord, and His joyful willingness to travel great lengths and make deep accommodations to receive and spread that love.

We cordially invite one and all to come and take part in our regular Sunday worship, kirtan, gathering and classes.  Devotees from all sects of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s devotional family are welcome including guests and new persons who want to learn more about bhakti yoga, the path of love and affection.  You can sign up for our e-mail notifications to be included to the regular programs, location, time, speaker etc.  From time to time we have visiting gurus, sannyasis and preachers coming through the Bay Area and we host programs in North, East, West and South Bay locations. E-mail bayareasanga@gmail.com and request your name to be put on the mailing list.

Help Support Our Sanga

We humbly request your support and participation. Whatever you can offer — prayers, blessings, donations, service, visits, recommendations to your friends in the area, bhog, prasadam, support — please help us.

Or, Contact Us For Other Seva Opportunities

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Come Visit Our Programs – Sundays from 5 – 8 pm
10524 San Pablo Avenue,
El Cerrito, CA

(Monday – Saturday known as El Cerrito Martial Arts)

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