SHARANYA honors Goddess and God in some of Her most powerful forms, welcoming the Divine through devotion and inspiration as we create sacred space in which to explore and experience the unfolding of Spirit within each of us. Ours is a life-affirming tradition and spiritual lineage dedicated to the mysteries of Goddess, the Ultimate Source of Creation. We know and call to Her as Mahakali, Dark Mother, and celebrate Her in various forms. She is the One Who Transforms, Creatrix of the Three Worlds, Churner of the Ocean of Milk.
Specifically, we are a unique 501(c)(3) religious organization and Devi Mandir (goddess temple) evolving Shakta (goddess-honoring) spirituality from ancient roots to serve those who seek to know Kali Maa beyond the boundaries of geography and religious dogma. With an authentic lineage in Shakta Tantra (embodied goddess-centered spirituality) and Witchcraft, ours is part of the new religious movement, a syncretism of faith known as Sha'can, a Western Shakta Tantra.
Shyam Sundar Dash, Priest of Kali, reciting the Chandi at the Maa Batakali Mandir in Puri (June 2009)
In this tradition, we are certainly not all Witches nor all Tantricks; but we are all willing to ride the qualities of the Dark Goddess into deeper understanding of self and world. That is our path and you, no matter how you identify, are welcome to join us in the journey.
Often characterized as a "bridge between the worlds," our community and tradition are dedicated to the project of spiritual awareness bridging and integrating East and West. We do so while retaining focus on the goddess- and woman-honoring path as we follow the yearning of our hearts and souls, evolving personally and in community with the work of an engaged spirituality. We know that the fate of women, our planet, and the Divine Female are deeply interwoven. Liberating ourselves through the gateway of Maa helps to liberate everyone, and we are committed to the transformation and harmonizing of both inner and outer worlds.
At our mandir, we provide public ceremony, private worship, full and new moon circles, teachings, and other offerings regularly to aid seekers on the journey. Join us in the creation of an empowered community! To learn more about our work and worship, click here for an article from PanGaia in which SHARANYA is featured, and see upcoming offerings on our calendar of events. You may also wish to review our gallery of storyboards from recent pujas and festivals to familiarize yourself with the ways of the tradition.
In addition to our sanctuary in the San Francisco Bay Area, SHARANYA also has a presence in India at the Maa Batakali Cultural Mission of Puri, Orissa, where our founder is "Chairman." It is here that we return to offer gratitudes just about every year for the gifts of the Divine Mother and the love of the people of India who have kept the goddess alive for thousands of years, inspiring so much of our work.
Read a letter of support from the Puri temple founder, purohit, and priest from whom SHARANYA's Shakta lineage unfolds, Shyam Sundar Dash. (Visit our Council page to learn more about Shyam, our other Advisors, and the Inner Council of our organization.)
Know that SHARANYA offers spiritual seekers from all faith backgrounds an
opportunity to be a part of a welcoming community in which principles of authenticity, respect, and a belief in the unique gifts of every individual are honored. In our temple, personal spiritual exploration combines with opportunities for learning about authentic worship and spiritual technologies from Eastern and Western earth-based traditions.
SHARANYA is committed to devotion, education, celebration...and to the work of spirit in action. We do not discriminate on the basis of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, faith background, or other such distinctions. All are welcome in our community and at our ceremonies any time. For those not in the San Francisco Bay Area, we offer an opportunity to learn with us and share in the joys of community through our online mystery school, Kali Vidya. We invite you and your loved ones to join us!
The word SHARANYA is from Sanskrit, the ancient language of India, and means "refuge" or "sanctuary." Founded in 1999 by a scholar and activist, this 501(c)(3) public charity (EIN: 94-3334334) received federal tax-exempt status in February 2002 in order to support a local and international community through a variety of programs and services. Read about some of what lead to our formation, our beginnings, here.
Our community is open to all seeking to better understand the ways of Goddess (particularly in her antinomian, chthonic, relational, cyclical, and embodied forms) today. We open our doors and our hearts to those who seek to know Her and have dedicated ourselves to Her devotion. Further, we make a commitment to action and service on Her behalf for the betterment of all beings. We embrace the work of conscious relationship between the Sacred Feminine and Sacred Masculine. We actively work to resacralize the Feminine and unpathologize the Masculine archetypes in the spaces of Self and World.
Your voice is important. We encourage community participation at all levels of our organization. SHARANYA is run by an Inner Council, with the support of community members. The community is invited to participate in all Council meetings and in the furtherance of the organization and tradition.
Know that all donations to our mandir are tax-deductible. If you would like to help SHARANYA do the work of Goddess in the world, please feel free to make a donation. Thank you for the kindness of your contribution...we look forward to welcoming you in circle soon!