-  Brahmno leader Protap Chunder Mozoomdar visited Northern California, speaking in Sacramento, then the First Congregational Church in Oakland, and finally San Francisco. [also confirmed in Past and present of Alameda County, California. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1914, p 316]
-  B. Nagarkar of the Brahmo Somaj spoke multiple times at First Unitarian Church (in Oakland?) on "The Religious Philosophies of India", after the 1893 Parliament of the World's Religions. He spoke again in San Francisco in March 1894. ["At the Churches," San Francisco Call, Feb 26 1894, p. 4] ["Lecture at Unity Hall," San Francisco Morning Call, March 12 1894, p. 8]
-  Bramhacharin Bobabiskshu addressed a meeting of the Women's Congress, where he criticized American women, and declared that he had been insulted. ("…in unqualified language attacked the Congress, its motives and the honesty of its speakers…he called [women] dishonest and said 'the women of the West are savages…'") He'd apparently been staying in Los Angeles, and was called to San Francisco to fill in for Annie Besant, who was unable to attend as a speaker. The Examiner printed a nice illustration of him. [The Daily Herald (Brownsville, TX), May 7 1897, p 1, cols 506, "Their Hindoo Guest"] [The San Francisco Examiner, April 27 1897, p. 14, cols. 1–5, "Congress of Wide-Awake Women"] [Indianapolis Journal (Indianapolis), 13 May 1897, p. 2, col. 6, "Hindoo Cynic's Views"]
-  Swami Vivekananda was in San Francisco during spring 1900. He lectured on "The Science of Religion" on March 4 at Golden Gate Hall. [SF Chronicle, 3/3/1900, pg. 14] He lectured at Washington Hall on March 15 on "Mind Culture," and on "Concentration of Mind" the next day. He was profiled in the San Francisco Chronicle on March 18 (pg. 29, read an excerpt). On March 19, Unitarians helped organize a series of talks at Wendte Hall in Oakland on "India and Its People" and other topics. He started another series in April at 320 Post Street: "Worshipped and Worshipper" (Apr 9), "Formal Worship" (Apr 10), and "Devotion and Love" (probably April 19, or April 12) [SF Chronicle, Apr 10, 1900, pg. 5]
-  The San Francisco Examiner publishes a story and photo of Muslim lascars celebrating the "Islamic new year" on board their ship, likely docked in San Francisco. [SF Examiner, May 11 1900, p6, "Mohammedan Crew of the Algoa Celebrate the Feast of May, the Prophet's New Year"]
- [1901 ★] Swami Abhedananda of the Vedanta Society, and based in New York, spoke in San Francisco, San Jose and in Berkeley. [San Francisco Call, 21 Dec 1902, page 12, col. 4, "How to be a Yogi"]
-  Hindu priest Swami Ram spoke to a crowd at Woodward's Pavilion in San Francisco. The newspaper reported on him in a way that was respectful, but a little occult, dramatic, and exotic. The paper ran some truly remarkable and dramatic photos! [San Francisco Call, December 1 1902, page 7, cols. 5-6, "Hindoo Priest Delivers Address Upon the Religion of Inspiration"]
-  Swami Trigunatita of the Rama Krishna Monastery arrives in San Francisco, planning to lecture at the San Francisco Vedanta Society. The newspaper speculated that he and his students might go to "Shanti-Asra" in Santa Clara County. [The Hawaiian Star, January 12 1903, p 5, col 4, "Another Swami From the Orient"]
-  Professor Satthiandhan of Presidency College, Madras, spoke in Berkeley at the First Presbyterian Church, under the Pacific Theological Seminary, on how Hindus are prayerful, but the Rig Veda was written by humans, and the Bible is clearly divine inspiration. [Berkeley Gazette, 16 Dec 1905, page 2, col. 3, "Hindooism Inferior to Bible"]
-  Professor Satthianadhan lectured on the Vedas and the Bible at the First Congregational Church in Berkeley. [San Francisco Call, December 11 1905, p 6, col 5, "Alameda County News"]
- [1906-8] The first Hindu temple in the United States was dedicated in 1906, completed in 1908, and still stands today at 2963 Webster Street, San Francisco. This is significant both in terms of architectural and religious history. The Vedanta Society of Northern California has pictures, a short architectural history, and a description of the symbolism. We very highly recommend this excellent article about the building's history, design, and impact on the greater San Francisco community by Arijit Sen. Also see a 1921 photo by (Charles?) Weidner, and a modern view on Google Maps Street View. (There was a serious hate crime scare at the temple in 1906, but it turned out to be rocks thrown by boys from post-earthquake refugee camps.)
- [1908-1910ish] As Nikhil Mandalaparthy writes, "Around the same time that Trigunatita arrived in San Francisco, another Hindu monk, Swami Ram, founded an association to help Indian students pay for college in the US. After this swami’s demise, the organisation was passed on to two young students, G.N. Mookerjee and Taraknath Das, who were also Indian anti-colonial activists. Lacking funds to continue the organisation, Mookerjee and Das approached Trigunatita for assistance. Initially, Trigunatita allowed these young students to stay in a room in the temple’s basement. However, when he learned that they were anti-colonial activists, he kicked them out of the temple, saying that “his society would never be mixed up with any matter affecting the British Rule in India.”
-  Sri Lankan Thosophist Curuppumullage Jinarajadasa was supposed to do a series of lectures at Maple Hall in Oakland, for the Oakland branch of the American Theosophical Society. Lecture topics included "The Rise and Fall of Civilizations," "The Laws of Reincarnation," "Karma, the Law of Adjustment," etc, and were illustrated by the stereopticon. ["Noted Hindoo to Lecture", SF Chronicle, May 7 1910, page 10]
-  UC Berkeley student Sarangadhar Das wrote a scathing letter to Swami Trigunatita of the Vedanta Society for his attacks on Taraknath Das and "political" (i.e. pre-Ghadarite) students, and attempts to prevent one of his disciples from supporting the Berkeley students. This document is remarkable for the way it encapsulates so many ongoing questions around Hindu institutions and political movements.
We know of this letter because Trigunatita was helping British agent William Hopkinson spy on anti-colonial activists. As Nikhil Mandalaparthy writes, "Trigunatita sent Hopkinson copies of letters he received from Indian students like Sarangadhar Das, and met him on multiple occasions to brief him on the activities among the anti-colonial student activists of Berkeley. In a 1911 letter to Canada’s deputy minister of the interior, Hopkinson wrote: 'Regarding Swami Trigunatiti [sic] of the Vedanta Society, I am quite assured that we at least have one loyal East Indian … in this city.'" In a three-page 1911 letter to Hopkinson, Trigunatita describes getting "trouble" from Taraknath Das, Suran Bose, and others; they argued, speculated as to whether he would be shot, and pointed to Taraknath Das's physical altercation with Mr. Rai Mohan Datta.
-  ISKCON Hindu Temple at 2334 Stuart Street, Berkeley opened. The temple is designed in a Orissan style, and some described it as the Bay Area's first traditional Hindu temple ["Bay Area Gets Its First Hindu Temple In Berkeley," India West, Jan 15 1977, page 5]
- [October 1893] Sri Lankan Buddhist scholar Angarika Dharmapala spoke in the Bay Area after participating in the Chicago 1893 World Congress of Religions, alongside Vivekananda. He spoke at the Second Unitarian Church in San Francisco, and the First Unitarian Church in Oakland. Read about his arrival in San Francisco, announcements of his talks, and a description of his San Francisco talk in the San Francisco Call.
-  The Anagarika Dharmapala was again in San Francisco, seeking funds for education in "his own country." [The Hawaiian Star, January 6 1903, p 1, col 3, "Who Sent $500 to the Anagarika Dharmapala?"]
-  "The Rev H. Dharmapala" spoke at Stiles Hall in Berkeley on March 6, 1897 on "Christianity and Buddhism Reconciled," at an event organized by the Unitarian Society.
- [October 18, 1911] About 100 UC Berkeley students celebrated the 2500 year anniversary of the commencement of the teaching of Buddha [San Francisco Call article]
-  Reverend Narayan Sheshadri passed through San Francisco on his way to the Presbyterian Convention in Philadelphia, preaching three times in (or around?) San Francisco. [Sacramento Daily Record-Union, Sep 18, 1880, p 7, col 2, "From San Francisco"]
- [1905 ★] Professor and preacher Samuel Satthianadhan was to give a series of lectures at the Pacific Theological Seminary in Berkeley. He had lectured at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, and was to lecture at Stanford Memorial Church on "what the Christian missions have done for India." On his speech at the First Presbyterian Church in Berkeley on December 14 (under the auspices of the Pacific Theological Seminary), he discussed the Rig Deva, describing them as manmade, unlike the Bible. [SF Chronicle, Dec 16 1905, p3, "East Indian to Preach in the Stanford Church"] [SF Chronicle, 16 Dec 1905 evening edition, p2, "Hindooism Inferior to Bible"]
-  Akhay Kumar Mozumdar launched Christian Yoga churches in Berkeley, Oakland, Alameda, and San Francisco. Christian Yoga appeared to be a syncretic Hindu/Christian mashup, combining belief in the divinity of Christ and reincarnation. The newspapers covered his speech in Oakland, covering South Asian migration and his church, on March 10, 1913 at the Christian Yoga Center at 570 24th Street, Oakland. (SF Call, May 11 1913, p23, "No Hindu Peril in U.S., He Says")
-  Sadhu Sundar Singh, the "St. Paul of India," spoke at the Grace M.E. Church in San Francisco on July 18, 1920, per an ad in the San Francisco Chronicle. [San Francisco Chronicle, 18 July 1920, pC1, Classified Ads, column 4]