The Vedanta Society of Northern California was thrice blessed with three eminent direct disciples of Sri Ramakrishna. Swami Vivekananda, Sri Ramakrishna’s greatest apostle, carried his master’s message and his immense spiritual power to the West, and, in the last years of his mission, to San Francisco. There he started the Vedanta Society of San Francisco on April 14, 1900.
After him, came Swami Turiyananda to develop the Society and gently, but nonetheless powerfully, to nurture it. Swami Turiyananda founded the Shanti Ashrama Retreat in August 1900. And then, like a whirlwind, came Swami Trigunatita, like his two other brother monks, himself a dynamo of spiritual strength, determined to nourish and give shape to the young Society. He succeeded.
Swami Trigunatita conceived of, designed, and built the Old Temple in 1905. The Vedanta Society to which he gave his life, which he formed and strengthened, and into which he unceasingly poured tremendous power has itself become an undying spiritual force.
All three disciples gave extraordinary spiritual impetus to the Society and were also instrumental in establishing it on a firm foundation in its formative years.
The New Temple, located at the corner of Vallejo and Fillmore Streets in San Francisco, is the Society’s headquarters. The New Temple offers a variety of spiritual services. All are welcome.
The Old Temple was the first Hindu temple in the Western world. A weekly scripture class open to the public will once again be held there on Friday evenings once the Old Temple is renovated.
The Vedanta Retreat in Olema, California, was founded in 1946 and opened to the general public in the 1970s for day visits and overnight retreat stays.
The Society offers a comprehensive selection of spiritual and philosophical books in its Bookshop in the New Temple.
Please see the Services & Events page for a listing of public services.