Memorial Day Celebrations 2019: San Francisco

Universal Spiritual Humanism: Swami Vivekananda and America's Spiritual Transformation


Memorial Day celebrations, May 25 – 27, 2019 was held in the Olema Retreat centre of the Vedanta Society of Northern California, San FranciscoThis year the focus was on the central theme: Universal Spiritual Humanism: Swami Vivekananda and America’s Spiritual Transformation. The concluding event was held on May 27, 2019.

The subject was chosen in view of the fact that this is the last event of a series of programs that the Vedanta Society of Northern California, San Francisco, has been conducting for more than a year in different parts of the Bay Area, Silicon Valley, as part of the 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s Chicago Addresses.

The speakers were Philip Goldberg, Pravrajika Brahmaprana and Swami Tattwamayananda.  Philip Goldberg, a lifelong student of India’s spiritual traditions and Vedanta, well-known for his work American Veda: From Emerson and the Beatles to Yoga and Meditation, How Indian Spirituality Changed the West, gave a presentation on the subject:  The Enduring Impact of Swami Vivekananda on America’s Consciousness.  Pravrajika Brahmaprana, currently the resident minister of the Ramakrishna Vedanta Society of North Texas in Dallas, Texas (Vedanta Society of Southern California, Hollywood), spoke on Swami Vivekananda the Guru: How He Transmits Spirituality to Us Here and Now. Swami Tattwamayananda, the minister of the Vedanta Society of Northern California, San Francisco, spoke on the subject Swami Vivekananda’s Legacy:  A Continuation of India’s Ancient Spiritual Heritage.  It was a one day program from 10:00 in the morning to 4:15 in the afternoon.  The devotees were given lunch, snacks, and dinner.  More than 600 people attended the program in the morning session, which was followed by an exciting Q&A session in the afternoon.


The importance of the Memorial Day in American history and the Significance of its celebrations at the Vedanta Society of Northern California, San Francisco :

Memorial Day is an American holiday observed on the last Monday of May every year for honouring the men and women who died while serving the country.

During the Memorial Day holidays, Vedanta Society of Northern California, San Francisco celebrates some important events like interfaith dialogues, celebrations related to the lives and teachings of Sri Ramakrishna, the Holy Mother and Swami Vivekananda, with a series of talks on Vedanta, discussions on the teachings of the Holy Trio, skits and plays involving the children of our Sunday school, discussions and debates involving university students etc. In addition to these events, the centre also holds events involving lectures, presentations and discussions on Vedanta Philosophy and the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda, involving distinguished speakers from all over the US and Europe. Presentations on the practical aspects of spiritual life involving devotees and monks from the neighbouring Vedanta centres and ‘Questions and Answer sessions’ related spiritual topics normally attract devotees from all over the United States every year.

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