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About SHARANYA

The Sanctuary Kali Altar SHARANYA is a unique 501(c)3 religious organization and devi mandir (goddess temple) dedicated to an embodied and engaged spirituality that facilitates the life-affirming transformation of individuals, communities and our world. Take a look below to see the goals to which we dedicate ourselves every day.

Based in San Francisco, with community here and a presence in India, we serve a diverse community worldwide and are committed to the work of spirit in action across lines of difference. WE DO NOT DISCRIMINATE on the basis of age, race, gender, sexual orientation or other such distinctions. All are welcome in our community and at our ceremonies. With this, we welcome you and invite your participation!

At SHARANYA, we offer 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 from eastern and western earth-based traditions. Ours is a life-affirming tradition and spiritual lineage dedicated to the mysteries of Kali, the Dark Goddess of India, who we celebrate as Great Mother, She Who Transforms, the Creatrix of the Three Worlds, the Churner of the Ocean of Milk.

Background

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.

SHARANYA accomplishes its mission by offering classes, life and rites of passage ceremonies, interfaith worship celebrations, spiritual guidance, interfaith and peer discussion groups, pilgrimage tours to sacred sites around the globe, an Internet presence and direct community involvement through project work - notably Daughters of Kali and SHARANYA in Action. We are also supporters of the Spirit in Business movement. Our website hosts information on all of these services, as well as research papers, projects and other information about the organization's work in the world. Please explore!

Often characterized as a "bridge between the worlds," our community has dedicated itself to the project of spiritual awareness that bridges and integrates East and West. In addition to our sanctuary in the San Francisco Bay Area, SHARANYA also has a presence in India - the Maa Batakali Cultural Mission of Puri, Orissa. 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 and inspired so much of our work. Click here for a letter of support from the Puri temple founder, Shyam Sundar Dash.

We open our doors to all those seeking to better understand the ways of the Goddess, Devi, and we have dedicated ourselves to Her devotion, as well as 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, and actively work to de-pathologize masculine archetypes in the spaces of Self and World.

Kali Yantra at the Sanctuary We recognize the validity of any life-affirming spirituality, and our community consists of individuals from many backgrounds. However, at our core is a tradition based on the tenets of the Craft (commonly referred to as Wicca) and the Shakta path (Goddess-worshipping path, specifically of Hindu Tantra). We call this blend of authentic tradition Sha'can. For a closer look at the tradition, visit our Sha'can tradition pages.

We encourage community participation at all levels of our organization, and especially welcome the individual voice. SHARANYA is run by an Inner Council, with the support of community members. The community is invited to participate in all Council meetings and the furtherance of the Sha'can tradition.

By Her grace, SHARANYA has grown steadily and organically since its founding. Today, we have members the world over and a dedicated community in the San Francisco Bay Area. Even if you are not physically close, you can stay in touch with our newsletter and online offerings.

Know that all donations to our work are tax-deductible. If you would like to help SHARANYA do the work of the Goddess in the world, please feel free to make a donation.

Sa'ham!
Our Work in the World

Our Goals...

{ To maintain The Sanctuary (our Goddess Temple or Devi Mandir) for regular worship, and the performance of special ceremonies such as rites of passage, handfastings, and other life events.

{ To promote awareness and change regarding the mind-body-spirit issues affecting women and girls here and in India.

{ To promote cross-cultural and interfaith dialogue and create spaces for alliance building.

{ To educate about and foster awareness of the Divine Feminine in life.

{ To lead sacred pilgrimages to India and other sacred sites around the world which deepen spiritual and cultural knowledge.

{ To establish reverence for partnership between Sacred Feminine and Sacred Masculine.

{ To help all spiritual seekers committed to a life-affirming path learn new methods of worship and ritual.

{ To inform about South Asian culture and religion.

{ To better the situation of women and children in India through SHARANYA in Action.

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