Birth-day of Sri Shankaracharya: Fri, April 20
A short reading about him in the morning and a chant in the evening after the Arati, before the Jnana Yoga class.
Swami travels to Oklahoma: April 21-23
Swami will give a couple of lectures at the Hindu temple there. He will also conduct a workshop on Meditation at University of Oklahoma, Norman, on Sun evening and then will also speak at the devotees’ homes on Mon. He will return on Tuesday afternoon.
‘Cloning God in Us’ – A special lecture by Dr. Rajagopalan Rengarajan – Sun. April 22, 5-6 pm.
Day-Long Retreat – Sat. April 28, 9:30AM –6:30PM
Topic: Vedantic Meditation ( 2 discourses)
Speaker: Swami Sarvapriyananda (Vedanta Society New York)
NOTE: SEATING FULL: SOLD-OUT. REGISTRATION NOT AVAILABLE ANY MORE
Hatha Yoga Class – Fri. April 20 from 5:30—6:30pm with Roshni
Weekly Schedule (in addition to Daily Schedule given below)
|Friday, Apr. 20||7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation. Special reading and hymn chanting on the occasion of Sankaracharya’s birthday
7:30 – 8:30 PM: Study Class by Swami Yogatmananda on Jnana Yoga (based on the book of Swami Vivekananda)
|Saturday, Apr. 21||8:30 – 10:30 AM: Karma Yoga/Cleaning
11:00 AM – 12 noon: Guided meditation and singing12:00 noon to 8:00 PM: Daylong Silent Meditation.
7:00 – 8:30 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & Meditation
|Sunday, Apr. 22||5:00 – 6:00 PM: A talk – ‘Cloning God in Us’ by Rajagopalan Rengarajan, followed by Vesper Service (Aarati), Soup supper & meditation . All are welcome.
7:00 – 8:00 PM: Meditation
|Tuesday, Apr. 24||7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation
7:30 – 8:30 PM: Study Class – Swami Saradananda’s book – ‘SRI RAMAKRISHNA & HIS DIVINE PLAY’ (Tr. Swami Chetanananda)
|Morning||5:45 – 6:45 AM: Meditation
6:45 – 7:00 AM: Chanting followed by a short reading from The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda
7:00 – 7:25 AM: A short ritual worship/Puja. Open to all.
|Evening||7:00 – 7:15 PM: Aarti (devotional music), with a short reading from ‘Towards the Goal Supreme’ by Swami Virajananda
7:15 – 8:00 PM: Meditation. Open to all.
1) Students and Teacher from Brown University, “Saints and Mystics of India” class came for 1hr+ to listen to Swami’s talk on Modern saints in India. April 12, 9-10:30 am.
2) ‘Concentration of the Mind’ – Talk by Swami Yogatmananda at University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, MA Thu. April 12, 5-6:15 pm
Swami spoke to a class on this topic from 5 to 6:15 pm to about 28 students.
3) Vedanta Society of Connecticut: Sun, April 15, 10:00 am-12:30 pm. The Swami and 5 other devotees went to Canton, CT, for the monthly program of the Society. Swami did the worship and spoke about Process of Meditation. 22 were present.
4) Guided Meditation & Prayers on Sat, April 14 : 16 attended.
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda, unless otherwise stated)
Study class – Jnana Yoga (a book by Swami Vivekananda) – Fri. April 13
Class #92: Atman –The Real and the Apparent Man (Ch 16)
Perceiving the inherent contradictions of life, we develop a sense that what we are experiencing as ‘I’ is in some sense unreal, and so we begin searching for the real Self. The ancient minds of India came to very high level of analysis and determined that there are two ultimate principles: Aakasha (Space-Time & all matter) and Praana (all Force). Prana is what acts on Aakasha, giving rise to the multiplicity of creation and all of the events which transpire. Thus, there are “variety” and “happenings.” At the level of phenomenon, our analysis can only go up to Prana and Aakasha. Why is this the case? Unity has no “why”; only variety has a “why”. The distance between objects gives us the idea of space; the distance between events gives us the idea of time. In this Aakasha, when the Prana is asleep, there is no action happening and, therefore, nothing is perceptible. If nothing is perceptible independent of the perceiver, the perceiver alone is, and all variety ceases, as it were. The supposed division between “I” and “You” is unreal. Because of superimposition, we see the Self as object and vice versa. Consequently, we experience so much confusion in life. “We have not yet found that one by knowing which, everything else will have become known.” The next step to resolve this conflict is to bring this Aakasha and Prana into One. As long as there are ‘two’, the human mind will not feel satisfied, and the questions will not cease. The universal mind, or the Mahat, is the seed of Prana and Aakasha. We will explore this concept in greater detail in the next class.
Sunday Talk – Some Internal Purification Methods in Vedanta – April 15
We must elevate ourselves to reach our Ideal, and not lower our Ideal to our level. The process of elevating ourselves is called purification. We are heir to infinite bliss already, but we do not know it, so it is not available to us. Purification techniques are useful for people at any stage of spiritual evolution, like stairs are useful whether we start up from the basement or a higher floor. Shankaracharya put forth four points for purification as prerequisites for Vedanta-students: 1) Viveka or discrimination between the Real (permanent) and unreal (impermanent); 2) Vairagya or dispassion: not coveting things of the world, which we will not do when we experience them as unreal; 3) the six moral qualities and 4) desire to get liberation. Shankaracharya said that to the extent that we have these prerequisites, the truths of the scriptures will shine through for us. We need to learn to control our innate tendencies for worldly enjoyment. Breathing exercises can help us control our emotions. Living a life guided by truthfulness helps us see the self as distinct from the mind and body. The thirteenth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita talks about kshetra (what we know as objects, or what changes), and Kshetrajna (the Knower). To attain to the knowledge of the knower, Lord Krishna puts forth a list of virtues to embrace. These are all the methods of purification.
Study Class – Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play – Tue. April 17
Page 411-412 : The book Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play is not a mere depiction of the events in the Master’s life but it provides a holistic understanding of His life and teachings. The various actions carried out by the Master appear to be similar to the actions of an ordinary individual externally, but in essence they are completely different. All his actions were powered by the innate divine awareness and complete freedom from the desires.
To obtain eternal peace, one must attain nirvikalpa samadhi. That experience changes the internal awareness. Our current awareness is corrupted by ignorance. Visions and experiences of the spiritual realm help us connect with the divine awareness. But all visions are not necessarily related to spiritual progress. The most important sign of having visions is the change in awareness. Visions without developing steadfast devotion to God and renunciation of worldly attractions are not signs of spiritual progress.
To establish constant connection with God, one must form a relationship with the God. Bhagavatam lists different divine moods such as – Shanta – calm attitude towards the God , dasya – attitude of a servant, sakhya – attitude of a friend towards God by which love for God can be developed. Initial connection can be established by following certain rituals in the beginning and then gradually, a permanent loving relationship is formed. With that the perception and the awareness of the world changes.