Children’s Program – Sun. Jan. 14
Children’s program (ages 6-12 only) will meet from 4PM – 6PM. All young children welcome.
Salutations! – Fri. Jan. 19
Birth-day of Swami Brahmananda, A direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna. A special chant in the morning and singing of the birthday-song and biography reading after the evening Arati 7 pm. Will be followed by the regular Jnana Yoga class.
Hath Yoga Class – now on Fridays, begining Jan. 19, 5:30 – 6:30pm
Appropriate for all levels. $10.00 per Class; $40.00 for a two-month session
No Hatha Yoga class on Tue Jan 16.
Vedanta Bookstore Timings:
Tuesdays & Fridays: 6:15 – 7:00 PM;
Sundays: 4:00 – 5:00 PM and 6:15 – 7:00 PM
Please note that, books, CDs etc. are available for sale at the Vedanta Society bookstore only. Shipping services are not available.
Weekly Schedule (in addition to Daily Schedule given below)
|Friday, Jan. 12||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, Jan. 13||8:30 – 10:30 AM: Karma Yoga/Cleaning
11:00 AM – 12 noon: Guided meditation and singing
7:00 – 8:30 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & Meditation
|Sunday, Jan. 14||5:00 – 6:00 PM: ‘Voice Without Form’ – Lecture by Swami Yogatmananda, followed by Vesper Service (Arati) & soup supper
7:00 – 8:00 PM: Meditation
|Tuesday, Jan. 16||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.
‘Fighting Poverty by Faith’ – Wed, Jan 03, 3:00-4:15 pm
Swami participated in this annual Interfaith Vigil at the RI State House. It was attended by over a hundred clergies of all different faiths/denominations and lay members. The elected members of the State and Cities in RI were exhorted to ‘Rule with wisdom, care and compassion’.
Day-long Meditation – Sat, Jan 06: After the regular guided meditation and prayers, devotees continued in meditation till 5 pm. 10 participated.
Swami Vivekananda Birth Day Celebration – Sun. Jan. 07, 11 am to 7pm:
Program began at 11:15 with the worship ritual and continued with devotional singing, flower-offering, Prasad-lunch, video, symposium and chanting of Siva-Naama Sakirtanam.
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda, unless otherwise stated)
Study class on Jnana Yoga – Fri. Jan. 05
Class #79: Immortality
Looking around, we are struck by the changing and diverse forms we encounter. But the changing can only exist against the backdrop of the unchanging. We have to go beyond that which changes and perceive that which does not change. It is only the physical form which comes and goes. The soul does not change; it is eternal, beyond space and time. Everywhere, it is one and the same. The Self cannot be a compound, since things can be compounded only within time and space and the Self is beyond time and space. Therefore the Self must be simple, One-Without-a-Second. It cannot die, nor does it live in the usual sense of the term. Life/birth is bound in maya; living is a march toward death. Birth and death belong to the body. The Soul is eternal, omnipresent, and omniscient. To step towards this Self, we need courage. Courage to dissolve names and forms, to accept that, “I am not this body,” Whom can we hate, or fight, or fear, if we truly know, “Thou art That”?
Sunday Talk – Symposium on Swami Vivekananda – Jan. 7
The Program began with the Swami giving a short introduction, followed by an opening song. Swami then called the speakers to present their speeches discussing various facets of Vivekananda’s life and teachings.
Girish Mali: The Ideal is what is perfect. Narendranath (the future Swami Vivekananda) found in Sri Ramakrishna who said that God can be realized and that is the goal of life. Usually, our choices come from our desires. We are satisfied for a while, and then come pain and misery. Swami Vivekananda said that the highest Ideal is eternal self-abnegation.
Rituparna Basu: Before Swami Vivekananda, Vedanta was accessible only to a few. Swami Vivekananda made it available and practical for all. No theory alone ever took people higher. We have the tendency to adjust the Ideal to our selfishness. This MUST be avoided and we must strive to elevate our life to the Ideal. We must have self-confidence, with faith in ourselves and in God. It is better to be calm than passionate, because an agitated person gets little work done.
Dylan Igoe: All of our feelings and actions come from within, brought about by many blows. When Isaac Newton discovered gravity, the idea was waiting inside. Father Jimmy, who Dylan worked with in India, was welcomed into the community, and fought for the community. Like Father Jimmy, our lives and karma leave an impression on others.
Swami Yogatmananda: When our words are sincere and meaningful, they become seeds that produce big trees. When we work with no selfish motive, our work molds us, and makes us better people. When we face God, the path to God is short, but when we face away, it is infinitely long.
Study Class – Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play – Tue. Jan. 09
Page 398-400: Sri Ramakrishna in Bhavamukha
This biography of Sri Ramakrishna, does not only discuss the actions and events of Sri Ramakrishna’s life but also the spiritual and mental backdrop of these. In the absence of this backdrop, we are likely to make the grave error of attempting to interpret Sri Ramakrishna’s actions based on our motives and desires. An incarnation performs these actions out of His compassion to teach us and free us from the snares of the world – like a person who out of his compassion gets into a ditch to help us come out of it. We are like rudderless ships that need direction. Who can be a better guide than an incarnation of God?
Being in Bhavamukha, Sri Ramakrishna used to be in divine plane and human plane at the same time. He was immersed in divine consciousness and could see everything in the universe spring from it. Thus, knowing that He Himself has become all things in the universe He was connected with everything in the universe. He used to clearly see the minds of the people – as if things in a glass case. He sees our minds very clearly even now – His existence is not limited in time by His physical presence. We cannot hide anything from God. God knows us better than we know ourselves. He had remembrance of various spiritual and mental struggles (not in the sense of a memory but of knowledge of these matters). He used to narrate stories from His own life while teaching aspirants. His teaching was highly effective because He used to deeply connect with the aspirants. It is this connected-ness, the character of the teacher and the manifestation of teachings in his own life that creates the conviction in the minds of the aspirants.
Then comes the description of a devotee, who had lost his son and thus was in shock and grief, coming to Sri Ramakrishna and how He deals with this situation.