Sri Ramakrishna Puja/Worship Day – SATURDAY, Feb. 17
11:00am – 1pm: Ritual worship/ food & flower offering/ flower offering by devotees & luncheon;
2:30pm – 4pm: Video on Ramakrishna
5pm -6pm: Multi-speaker symposium on Sri Ramakrishna
6pm – 7pm: Singing of Sri Ramakrishna Sankirtanam, followed by prasad supper
All are welcome to attend any or all of the programs
Vedanta Society of CT – Sun. Feb. 18
From 10:00am – 12:30pm, there will be a Sri Ramakrishna’
NO HATHA YOGA CLASS THIS FRIDAY, FEB 16.
Weekly Schedule (in addition to Daily Schedule given below)
|Friday, Feb. 16||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, Feb. 17||11:00 AM – 7 PM: Sri Ramakrishna Birthday Celebration
See details above.
|Sunday, Feb. 18||5:00 – 6:00 PM: : ‘SRI RAMAKRISHNA & THE WEST’‘ – Lecture by Swami Yogatmananda, followed by Vesper Service (Aarati) & soup supper
7:00 – 8:00 PM: Meditation
|Tuesday, Feb. 20||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.
Swami at The Religious Literacy Class At University Of Massachusetts, Dartmouth
On Monday, Feb. 12, Swami gave a one-hour talk on Spiritual Value of Yoga in Hinduism to students, guests and staff .
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda, unless otherwise stated)
Study class on Jnana Yoga – Fri. Feb. 09
Class #84: The Atman
There are three different notions about I, the world and God. The first is the common dualist conception, which places “I” as separate from “the world,” with “God” as the controller of both. The next is qualified nondualism, which views “I” and “God” as inseparably connected, with God as the whole, and “I” as part of that whole. But, according to the third view, nondualism, these other two conceptions depend on an association with the body which is actually a hypnosis or sorts. According to the nondualist, how can this heap of flesh and blood be “I”? Name and form, time and space, have no substance. The name and form we see is manufactured by hallucination, and is called maya. All is Atman. We try to hold onto the mind-body complex, and thus we miss this great truth. There is only the infinite existence. “Good” and “bad” are attributes which are ascribed based on the “reflection” that we perceive. The Atman in each and everything is the same, pure, unified. The nondual Vedantists declare that they are omnipresent, eternal Self. How can we know this true Self? Our knowledge is always limited, because it is perceived through knowing, not through direct perception. This will be discussed further in the next class.
Sunday Talk – Schrödinger’s Cat – Feb. 11
There is uncertainty in the world. Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle said that we are not able to measure with certainty an object’s position and speed. The measurement disturbs the thing being measured. At first, scientists thought this was confined to microscopic phenomena. Even macroscopic phenomena are affected by this, due to tiny parts, such as microchips in computers and cell phones. The physicist Erwin Schrödinger created a thought experiment, called Schrödinger’s Cat. A cat is sealed in a box with enough oxygen and food to survive. A radioactive device in the box will cause poison to be released at an undetermined time. Until you observe the cat by opening the box, you cannot predict whether the cat is dead or alive. Søren Kierkegaard and Jean-Paul Sartre said that existence comes before perception. One thing that I can be sure of is that I am, since even saying that I do not exist posits an ‘I’. In Vedanta, the one thing that is certain is God, or ‘I’. Swami Vivekananda pointed out that the founders of all religions had an experience of God, and we can too. Some religions claim that these experiences are possible only for the founders. Vedanta states that no one is religious without such an experience. When Swami Vivekananda asked Sri Ramakrishna if he had seen God, he said that he saw God more clearly than he was seeing him. When we attain this realization, we attain the goal of life: existence absolute, knowledge absolute, and bliss absolute.
Study Class – Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play – Tue. Feb. 13
Page # 403-404 : A problem which is commonly faced by almost all the spiritual aspirants is: irrelevant worldly thoughts crowd in the mind during meditation. Intense attachment to the world and the worldly objects is the primary reason for this problem. This attachment gets labeled as love, duty or charity. To overcome this problem Sri Ramakrishna has recommended a practical solution. He suggests shifting the focus from the world to the God. One can do so by superimposing God on the world and changing the outlook while performing the worldly activities. But this transformation has to come from within. Otherwise one may get tangled in these activities further intensifying the attachment.
In the initial stage of spiritual journey an aspirant looks at God as a provider of all the worldly comforts and enjoyments as in that stage the world appears to be real and God as imaginary. As the aspirant progresses gradually, pure love for God originates in the heart. With the constant practice of seeing God in the world one can see God alone is real and this world is unreal. The person can see that the God alone has pervaded the entire world.
Sri Ramakrishna had the unique capacity to understand everyone’s mental condition irrespective of their age, gender etc. This was possible for him due to his all-pervading awareness. His awareness was not limited to a specific identity or was not tied to a particular physical form. Hence it was very easy for him to understand everyone at their level and with their perspectives. He provided guidance to many by understanding their mental state and helped them progress further on their spiritual journey.