Upcoming Events:

Devotional Music Satsang – two Saturdays, January 21st & 28th from 11:00 – 12:30 p.m. (Pacific time)

Please come and sing with our music sister, Premsheela, of New Delhi. A cherished student of the late Sri Karunamayee, she is deeply affiliated with the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Delhi Branch where she has offered devotional music for meditation and for many special events. She will guide participants in mantra and bhajan and explore the devotional dimensions of both. Open to all.

Class fee is $30 for each session. (sliding scale $15 for those in need and no one turned away due to funds)

Sessions will be offered in-person and on Zoom online, by pre-registration before the day of the sessions.

In-person participants must confirm a negative Covid home antigen test on the day of attendance.

For registration information email us at [email protected]

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Sri Karunamayee Punyatithi (remembrance day) – Thursday, January 26th 2023,

6:30 -8:00 p.m. (Pacific Time). Please join us online for devotional music in remembrance of our dear teacher, Sri Karunamayee, on the date of her passing. Please contact us at [email protected] to register. (no fee)


Ongoing:

Monday Tambura Meditation Circle: 7:00 p.m. – 7:45 p.m. (Pacific Time)

This circle is a quiet and prayerful meditation, accompanied and sustained with multiple tamburas played collectively. Sanskrit mantras are sung at the at the opening and closing of the circle. This is an in-person gathering. Participants must reserve attendance by contacting us ahead of time. Albany, CA location. Please see Covid protocol below.

Thursday Music Sangam: 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. (Pacific Time)

Music Sangam is an immersion in the devotional music which has been disseminated by our teachers. The circle is coordinated by Joan Allekotte and includes contributions from the Sur Laya Sangam students. The circle is open to all those who wish to join us. Come as a listener or immerse in the singing as you are so inspired. Song texts are provided. Please email or call to confirm your attendance. Albany, CA location. This is a hybrid in-person and online event. Please see Covid protocol below.

Covid Protection Protocol

Because we are indoors in an enclosed space, each in-person participant is required to self-administer a rapid test the day of our group meeting. Your presence confirms that your test result is clear. Thank you!

If you answer yes to any of the following, please do not attend the circle:

  • Do you have, or have you had, any symptoms (loss of taste or smell, fever, cough, diarrhea) in the past 10 days?
  • Have you been in contact with someone who has Covid in the past 10 days?
  • Have you been unmasked in venues where you have been exposed to large crowds?
  • Have you recently spent extended hours in a medical or hospital setting?

Please know that there may be immunocompromised persons attending the circle, so it is very important that you are diligent with the requirements. If you have more questions or concerns please contact us.

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Past Events

Online Spring Offerings 2021

Dear friends of Sur Laya Sangam, Please mark your calendars and join us for some or all of our upcoming online music offerings. If you intend to participate, kindly pre-register with us by email at least one day before the event at the latest. Please contact us at [email protected] for registration and for more information. We hope to see you online.

Pandit Pran Nath – In Remembrance

Sunday June 13th, 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. (Pacific Time). We invite you to join us to celebrate the memory of our beloved Guruji, Pandit Pran Nath. We will host an informal gathering of Students, friends and admirers to share music and memories.

Music Mini Classes:

Khayal class in Raag Kafi. Sunday, April 11th, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. (Pacific time) – offered by Joan Allekotte – Raag outline and composition will be introduced.

Mantra class. Sunday, May 2nd, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. (Pacific time) – offered by Zia Shapiro – Prayerful immersion in the Sanskrit mantra, Swasti Prajaabhyah… the mantra from which Lokah Samastaah Sukhino Bhavantu is sourced.

Sanskrit verses, Nirvaanaashatkam. Saturday, May 22nd, 8:00 – 9:30 p.m. (Pacific Time) – offered by Premsheela – an introduction to singing the Sanskrit devotional verses of Adi Shankaracharya.

Sri Karunamayee Birthday:

Wednesday, March 24th – 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. (Pacific Time) – Evening of devotional music and shared memories of Sri Karunamayee.

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Sri Karunamayee – In Memory (online gathering) 4th Annual Punyatithi (day of passing)

Tuesday, January 26th, 2021, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. (Pacific Time)

Dear Friends,

It is four years since Sri Karunamayee, our dear Didi, has departed from us. Time seems to have flown by, yet Didi is so present in many of our lives. On Tuesday, January 26th we will host an informal online gathering to celebrate her life through music and memories. We welcome all of you to join us. Please save the date and kindly make a reservation by responding to [email protected]

Please support our ongoing activities by using the Paypal link on our page. You can use any credit card and do not have to have a Paypal account. Any amount is helpful and we thank you!

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Songs of Peace – Music in the life of Mahatma Gandhi

Saturday, February 8th, 2020 at 1:30 p.m.

Location : Newman Hall – Holy Spirit Parish, 2700 Dwight Way, Berkeley, CA

Please join us for an offering of hymns and sacred verses which were sung in Mahatma Gandhi’s ashrams and prayer gatherings during his lifetime. Gandhi Ji’s efforts during the freedom struggle in India were not only to bring about outer freedom but also to fuel the inner liberation of the soul. The music he engaged provided inspiration and strength to those aspiring for peace through non-violent action, and still holds universal relevance. It is imbued with interfaith understanding so needed in our present time. Additional hymns will also be shared in the spirit of the Mahatma. Texts and translations will be provided and collective singing will be welcome.

Musicians: The Sur Laya Sangam Singers have been guided in music by the late maestros, Sri Karunamayee and Pandit Pran Nath. They are dedicated to sustaining India’s rich tradition of spiritual music. They aspire to touch the depths of life through their singing and to share its intrinsic harmony and peace. The group will be accompanied by the Bay Area’s master artist, Sri Arshad Syed, on tabla.

Hosted by: Newman Hall – Holy Spirit Parish

Organizer: contact Joan Allekotte at [email protected] for more information

Sur Laya Sangam – Study Center for Indian Devotional Music.

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Zikr – Melodies of the Heart – with Pir Shabda Kahn

Saturday, January 18th, 2020, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon

Sung Zikr is an inspiring spiritual practice of Divine remembrance. Come learn some of the beautiful Zikr melodies that Pir Shabda Kahn has gleaned from authentic sources over his years of travel throughout the globe and his interface with various Sufi lineages. This will be a music concentration for practitioners and for all who are drawn to singing devotional music.

Pir Shabda has studied and performed North Indian classical vocal music under the guidance of the late master singer Pandit Pran Nath. He is also a disciple of the illustrious Tibetan master, the 12th Tai Situ Rinpoche. Pir Shabda Kahn brings gentleness and humor in transmitting the rich lineage of Sufism since 1969. He has been the Pir — spiritual director — of the Sufi Ruhaniat International since 2001. This universal Sufi lineage traces from Hazrat Inayat Khan and Murshid Samuel Lewis.

Please contact Sur Laya Sangam at [email protected] for registration and more information.

Gandhi Jayanti – Sunday, September 29th, 2019 at 11:00 am

Cultural Integration Fellowship, 2650 Fulton Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

In celebration of the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Sur Laya Sangam will offer hymns and verses which were sung in his ashrams and prayer gatherings during his lifetime. Additional hymns will also be shared in the spirit of the Mahatma. Gandhi Ji’s efforts during the freedom struggle in India were not only to bring about outer freedom but also to fuel the inner liberation of the soul. The music he engaged is imbued with the principles of Satyagraha. It provided inspiration and strength to those aspiring for peace and still holds universal relevance for our times. Texts and translations will be provided.

The Sur Laya Sangam singers have been guided in music by the late Sri Karunamayee for many years and are dedicated to sustaining India’s rich tradition of spiritual music. They aspire to touch the depths of life through their singing and to share its intrinsic bliss, harmony and peace.

In Memory of Pandit Pran Nath

Please join us for an intimate gathering of students and friends of the late maestro, Pandit Pran Nath. Music will be offered by Pir Shabda Kahn, Michael Stirling, Sur Laya Sangam singers and more. (free will $ offering appreciated)

By registration only. Must r.s.v.p. by June 6th to reserve. Albany, CA location. Call 510-788-0129 or email: [email protected]

Sri Karunamayee Memorial

Sri Karunamayee Memorial, January 26th, 2019, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Come for an afternoon of Bhajans and shared memories commemorating the second anniversary of Sri Karunamayee’s Punyatithi. Albany, CA location. Please contact Sur Laya Sangam for details.

Fall 2018

Gandhi Jayanti

Sun., September 30th, 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Honoring Mahatma Gandhi Ji’s birthday, Sur Laya Sangam singers will offer music in his spirit of universal peace. The offering will include collective singing of devotional music sung in Gandhi Ji’s ashrams.

Hosted and co-sponsored by Cultural Integration Fellowship, 2650 Fulton St., San Francisco. Please allow time for parking. No pre-registration needed.

Suggested free will offering $15 – $20.

Spring 2018

Devotional Bhajans

Sunday March, 25th, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. – Devotional Bhajans by Sur Laya Sangam Singers – Celebrating Sri Karunamayee’s birthday. Please join us in our offering of the many inspiring Bhajans taught to us by our beloved teacher. Albany CA location. Please pre-register to receive details: [email protected]

free will offering

Fall 2017

Devotional Music Session
Saturday, November 4th, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
The Sur Laya Sangam singers will offer a session of beautiful devotional bhajans on Saturday afternoon, November 4th at the Sri Aurobindo Sadhana Peetham ashram in Lodi, CA. This will be a session of collective singing (or just come and immerse yourself in the sound and meditative atmosphere of the ashram and absorb the vibrations.) for those interested in learning these very special compositions sung in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram centers in India. Please join us. Click on Flyer announcement below for details

flyer announcement

Gandhi Jayanti

Sun., Oct. 1st, 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Honoring Mahatma Gandhi Ji’s birthday, Sur Laya Sangam singers will offer music in his spirit of universal peace. The offering will include collective singing of devotional music sung in Gandhi Ji’s ashrams.

Hosted and co-sponsored by Cultural Integration Fellowship, 2650 Fulton St., San Francisco. Please allow time for parking. No pre-registration needed.

Suggested free will offering $15 – $20.

Fall 2016

Gandhi Jayanti

Sun., Oct. 2nd, 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Honoring Mahatma Gandhi Ji’s birthday, Sri Karunamayee will offer music in his spirit of universal peace. She will also include collective singing of devotional music sung in Gandhi Ji’s ashrams.

Vishal Nagar will accompany on tabla.

Hosted and co-sponsored by Cultural Integration Fellowship, 2650 Fulton St., San Francisco. Please allow time for parking. No pre-registration needed.

Suggested free will offering $15 – $20.

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Khayaal Class

Sat., October 15th, 11:00a.m. – 12:30 p.m.,

Sri Karunamayee will present the foundations and development of a chosen Raaga and related composition. Class will include Raaga fundamentals as well as advanced material and will be presented in traditional call and response singing. All are welcome to participate in the inspired spiritual music of India. Albany, CA location. Pre-register. $45. Class fee.

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Peace Meditation in Sound

Sun., Oct. 23rd, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.,

Sri Karunamayee will lead participants in devotional music of India. Music foundations will be based on Indian classical Raaga. Collective singing, silence and reflection, will invoke an atmosphere of spiritual inspiration, healing and prayerful offering for the peace and well being of all creation. Albany, CA location. Pre-register. $45. Class fee.

Fall 2015

Group Class:

Mahatma Gandhi’s Peace Prayers – Sunday, September 20th – 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Devotional Music Class. Sri Karunamayee will draw from the compilation of devotional songs, sacred verses and mantras sung in Gandhi Ji’s ashrams. These songs were foundational in his aspiration to form a non-violent movement during India’s freedom struggle and are very much an inspiration and pathway for non-violence in our times.

Class fee $40. Albany, CA location.

Pre-registration required for classes. Please email to reserve: [email protected]


Concert:

Sunday, October 4th – Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti, Cultural Integration Fellowship, 11:00 a.m., San Francisco.

Honoring Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday, Sri Karunamayee will offer music in his spirit of universal peace. She will also include collective singing from the compilation of devotional songs, sacred verses and mantras sung in Gandhi Ji’s ashrams. These songs were foundational in his aspiration to form a non-violent movement during India’s freedom struggle. Accompanists include, Vishal Nagar, distinguished tabla maestro, and singers from Sur Laya Sangam – Study Center for Indian Devotional music.

Co-sponsored and hosted by Cultural Integration Fellowship, 2650 Fulton St., San Francisco, 94118. Suggested free will offering, $15-$20. Allow time for parking. Call 415-668-1559, for information. No pre-registration necessary.

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Parliament of the World’s Religions:

Join us in Salt Lake city as we attend the 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions in October. On Saturday October 17th, Sri Karunamayee, Dr. Cynthia Snodgrass and singers from our study center will be presenting:

Instruments of Peace and Non-Violence: Mahatma Gandhi’s Sung-Prayer Songs as the Heart of Social Action

Mahatma Gandhi’s great respect for the power of sung-prayers and spiritual songs resulted in his observing daily rituals of interfaith sung-prayers, simple enough to be sung and shared by everyone, yet so powerfully inspiring that they nourished a freedom movement of millions. This daily ritual of sung-prayer remained a constant for over forty years, touching every facet of the Mahatma’s life and the many non-violent freedom campaigns. The sung-prayer songs chosen for this use were drawn from both ancient sacred texts as well as from popular devotional traditions. Prayer-songs from the West and from the East were included. The Mahatma referred to those interfaith prayer-songs as ”primary nourishment” for the Satyaagraha non-violence movement.

This collaborative seminar includes elements academic and experiential, participatory and instructional, as well as the musical aspects of that sacred space. Musical illustrations, ”in the style of” Gandhi’s sung-prayer meetings, are offered, including actual sung-prayer songs from that time. Participants are invited to join in.

Check out the Parliament website to find out more about this very special gathering. http://www.parliamentofreligions.org/