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Tuesdays & Fridays 6:15 – 7:00 PM; Sundays 4:00 – 5:00 PM and 6:15 – 7:00 PM
HOLY HANUKKAH TO ALL!
Day Long Meditation – Sat. Dec. 16
Session begins at 12 noon after the 11am – 12noon guided meditation & singing. Entries will be locked at 12 noon sharp untill 6:30 PM. Simple vegetarian food is available.
Swami visits Atlanta GA – Dec. 16-17
Swami will deliver various Vedanta Lectures at the Vedanta Society Atlanta GA on Sat. Dec. 16 and Sun. Dec. 17. He will also visit Augusta and give a lecture there and then return to Prov. on Monday Dec. 18.
Christmas Eve Program – Sun Dec. 24, 5 pm -6:30 pm
Short worship to Jesus, Christmas Carol singing, readings related to Christmas Eve and the formation of the Ramakrishna Order, reflections, and refreshments offered. All are welcome.
Hath Yoga Classes with Roshni Darnal– Tuesdays, 5:30 – 6:30pm
Appropriate for all levels.
$10.00 per Class; $40.00 for a two-month session
Click here to see the flyer.
Weekly Schedule (in addition to Daily Schedule given below)
|Friday, Dec. 15||7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation
7:30 – 8:30 PM: Study Class by Swami Yogatmananda on Jnana Yoga (based on the book of Swami Vivekananda)
|Saturday, Dec. 16||8:30 – 10:30 AM: Karma Yoga/Cleaning
11:00 AM – 12 noon: Guided meditation and singing
12 noon – 8:00 PM: Day-long Meditation
7:00 – 8:30 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & Meditation
|Sunday, Dec. 17||5:00 – 6:00 PM: Lecture – ‘Intelligence: Pure, Human, and Artificial’ by Sravani Bhattacharjee
6:00 – 6:15 PM: Aarati
6:15 – 7:00 PM: Soup Supper followed by meditation
|Tuesday, Dec. 19||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.
Sri Sarada Devi Puja-Worship Day – Dec. 09, 11am – 7pm
Swami Yogatmananda conducted ritual worship/food & flower offerings. Teresa G read from ‘Thus Spake Holy Mother’, followed by Aarati singing and flower offering. Some devotees offered devotional music. Prasad luncheon followed.
5PM symposium was changed to 2PM – 3PM, due to inclement weather. Two devotees and Swami spoke. (Synopsis given below)
A Video – ‘Foorsteps of Sri Sarda Devi Ma’ was shown 3:15PM – 4:15PM. The program ended with Sri Sarada Nama Sankirtanam (108 names).
About 47 devotees attended the program.
Symposium on Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi – Dec. 09
Gnana Prasoona Krishnamurthy: Swami Abhedananda, in the Hymn to Sri Sarada Devi, asks Holy Mother to put a drop of love in my burning heart. Holy Mother was modest in the world and in the spiritual realm. We may think that it is impossible to follow Holy Mother’s example, or that she was for an earlier age. Yet, Holy Mother is the bridge between the spiritual and the worldly, for us. Sri Ramakrishna was Holy Mother’s husband, her Guru, and her worshiper in the Shodashi puja. Holy Mother said that in spiritual matters, she had absolute obedience to Sri Ramakrishna, and in other matters, she followed her common sense.
Atreya Chatterjee: Swami Vivekananda said that it would not be a calamity if Sri Ramakrishna disappeared, but all would be lost if Holy Mother disappeared. Mother Sita protected the whole universe with the power of her love. Holy Mother wanted to remove ignorance from the minds of all of her children. Both Holy Mother and Sita were modest and shy, but they could be confident and firm when it came to protecting their spiritual children. Holy Mother had a much greater capacity than Sri Ramakrishna, in that he tested people carefully before relating with them, while Holy Mother was the refuge of all, initiating many.
Swami Yogatmananda: Although it may have appeared complicated, Holy Mother and Sri Ramakrishna had the simplest relationship of all, which was one of Oneness. Holy Mother was the mother of the Ramakrishna Order, and is still guiding us today. Swami Vivekananda would argue with Sri Ramakrishna, but he took what Holy Mother said as the last word. Of all the consorts of divine incarnations, only Holy Mother was given the position of a teacher. This was to rejuvenate womanhood. Sri Ramakrishna said that Holy Mother would have to do a lot more than what he did.
Vedanta Society of CT monthly Program – Sun Dec. 10, 10:30am – 12:30 pm
Swami Yogatmananda delivered a talk on: ‘Holy Mother’ to about thirty devotees at Vedanta Society CT, 100 Cherry Brook Rd Canton CT. Program included a short puja, music, and meal.
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda, unless otherwise stated)
Study class on Jnana Yoga – Fri. Dec. 08
Class #75 – Ch: The Cosmos (Microcosm)
The physical, or gross, body doesn’t last long. When it is discarded, the soul along with the subtle body, takes up another physical body for its use. This is reincarnation. Everything we’ve been doing in this lifetime is stored in the subtle body and is carried into our next incarnation. We have to be very responsible about our actions, because the effects of those actions never really leave us. Skeptics of reincarnation often ask, “Why don’t I remember people or events from my previous birth(s)?” There are, in fact, some people who do experience these memories; however, most of us do not. But just because we don’t remember our past lives doesn’t mean they didn’t happen. Memory is a slippery thing. We sometimes create fake memories, things we think we remember but actually never happened. On the other hand, we regularly forget things that have happened to us (learning people’s names, creating yet another online password). Therefore, just because we don’t remember past lives doesn’t necessarily mean they didn’t occur. Memory of a past life should not be the criterion by which we accept whether our souls are reincarnated.
What is the tangible evidence for reincarnation? We can look at reason and instinct. When we reason, we take in sensory data and assimilate this into our prior knowledge in order to understand. We find that we have perhaps billions of experiences pigeon-holed/compartmentalized into millions of categories. If we can’t accommodate an experience into an already-existing category, we make a new “slot.” This is how we learn. But, if there were no prior knowledge already stored in our brains at birth, how could we take anything and make sense of it, since there would be nothing stored in our minds by which to compare. Reincarnation and the passing-on of memories from one life to another can also account for the fact that we all seem to have varying levels of intelligence, since we are born with different experiences and karmas passed on from previous births. Our instincts can be changed over time; with deliberate effort, they can be brought under the control of our will. In addition to reason and instinct, there is also intuition, which we will discuss next class. When we transcend reason, instinct, and intuition, we get to real knowledge.
Sunday Lecture – Holy Mother and Vedantic Non-Duality – Dec. 10
The idea that we need to shun the world to embrace non-duality can be a useful tool, but this position creates the duality of Oneness versus the world. In non-duality, there is no distinction between the perceiver and the perceived. The authority for non-duality is direct experience. It can be experienced not only in a cave, or interacting with a multitude of people. In non-duality, we see multiplicity, and awareness of One is not contradictory. Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi experienced non-duality every moment of her life. She experienced this while cooking for a lot of devotees in a small space, and later on, while taking care of family members. This work did not stop her from engaging in meditation and worship, and being in non-duality. The concept of purity is the same as non-duality. Holy Mother’s presence imparted this wisdom. Talking was not necessary. Holy Mother saw Swami Saradananda, her primary attendant monk, and a local Muslim thief Amajad, both equally as her sons. The person who has experienced non-duality does not hate anyone nor covet anything. There was a divine purpose for the problems in Holy Mother’s family. She used her relationship with her family, and especially with her niece Radhu, to stay in this world. She held onto Maya, and said she was Maya itself, to complete her divinely ordained work.
Study Class – Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play – Tue. Dec. 12
Sri Ramakrishna was not an ordinary teacher/Guru but a divine incarnation, who came to this world for the betterment of the humanity. He could see this entire universe within him but never got impacted by anything in the universe. He was not limited by the space and time or by any finite and impermanent existence. He had an expanded awareness through which he could connect with all and could guide them according to their mental constitution.
Ordinary people see this world as real and are unable to comprehend the absolute reality. The theoretical knowledge about the absolute reality gives impetus to spiritual journey. In such situation Sri Ramakrishna advises to be in the world by holding on to the God with one hand. As one gradually studies this world with the perspective of God, he/she starts to realize the impermanence of the world and the existence of the absolute, unchanging reality.
Master gave this advice to Girish Ghosh, who was one of his householder disciples. He asked Girish to remember God at least twice a day. Girish could not commit even to that due to his extremely undisciplined life. Finally Master asked Girish to give the power of attorney and promised to take care of everything. Girish considered this to be a simpler task rather than abiding by any rules. But Master put a noose of love around him which was stronger than the bondage of any rules. Girish became free from all anxieties and responsibilities. He was constantly merged in the Master’s thoughts. His life was changed completely by the Grace of his Guru.