Coronavirus Alert: Worship-places in RI are ALLOWED TO OPEN with restrictions, now.
All classes and lectures can be attended in person, with some rules and restrictions.
Of course, all lectures/classes will be available, as before, live online on YouTube channel of Vedanta Society of Providence.
(Connect to ).
All other daily and weekly programs (meditations, prayers) can also be attended in person, BUT WITH RESTRICTIONS.
- Guest attendance is limited to 20
- All-time wearing of facial mask is mandatory
- Try to maintain a distance of at least 6ft from any other individual
- New seating arrangements in effect to maintain social distancing. Please don’t relocate the chairs
- Please refrain as far as possible from touching any items
- No paper song-sheets are in use
- Basement and kitchen/dining area are not accessible
- Only rest-rooms in use are the ones in the same floor as the chapel
- Book store, library and children’s room are closed
Entrance door remains open for limited times as follows:
- Tue & Fri lectures: 6:45 – 7:35 pm
- Sun services: 4:45 – 5:05 pm
- Morning meditation : 5:45 – 5:55 am
- Evening meditation: 6:45 – 7:15 pm
- Doors are locked promptly after the above-mentioned time-window.
- Please make a note of the conditions being displayed at the entrance for using the facility. Your entrance implies your acceptance of those conditions.
|Fri. June 05||7:20 – 8:45 pm: Meditation and Study Class on ‘Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam’ by Swami Yogatmananda.|
|Sun. June 07||5:00-6:00 pm: Sun lecture on ‘That is NOT Good Enough for Me’ by Swami Yogatmananda.|
|Tue. June 09||7:20 – 8:45 pm: Meditation and A Study Class on ‘Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play’ by Swami Yogatmananda.|
Sat, May 30, 8:00 pm: A special lecture on Youtube by Swami for the Colorado devotees was given by the Swami on How to Practice Meditation. Others too had joined.
Tue, June 02, 10:15-11:15 am: Swami gave a ‘zoom’ talk and answered questions on ‘What A Jewish Person Must Know about Hinduism’ to the members of Temple Sinai in Cranston RI.
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda, unless otherwise stated)
Friday, May 29 – Study Class on Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam
Class 19: Developing Devotion
God is the material and efficient cause of the universe. The mind that is fully surrendered to the divine awareness is incapable of wrong doing. The main purpose of the Srimad Bhagavatam is to cultivate devotion to the Lord. Brahma speaks the following words to Narada: “Neither I, nor you, nor Shiva understands Him in His true sense.” The intellect can take us only so far: at most we can understand that we do not understand. But then, how are we to obtain knowledge of God? Here bhakti comes to the fore. With this prayer “Let that love rise in me,” our knowledge becomes experiential. The brain and heart—intellect and emotion—must be properly combined and harmonized in order to experience the Divine. Brahma continues: “Infatuated by His Maya, our grasp is limited to this created, changing universe; that too only to the extent that our senses and mind are capable of.” Sri Ramakrishna tells us that “I and mine” is Maya. Our health, our family, our money, our society, etc., we are infatuated with these and give up the attempt to see beyond; hence, we do not understand anything about the Lord. Brahma tells us: “He is the Essence of everything and transcends everything. The sages intuit Him in the depth of their calm mind. But he evades the mind agitated by vain argument.” The sages have moved beyond all limitations and are therefore able to experience the transcendental Divine. We should be wary of our tendency to argue. This tendency is a major obstacle to the cultivation of devotion. The one Lord does not undergo any change; only by error can we imagine that there is creation. It is the Divine Sport of the God, His “Lila.” Creation has no other purpose. Within this Divine Sport, God assumes special forms. Brahma explains, “Listening to these [divine incarnations], the ears, who get impure by hearing the worldly matters about sense-enjoyment, attain to blissful purity.” The incarnation has no desire but to help others, and through their grace comes the primary way we can connect with God.
Sunday Service, May 31 – Non-Duality – THE EXPERIENCE
Non-Duality is always experienced by everyone in the ‘background’, but we see only the variety because we are hypnotized by names and forms. We imagine that we will see the truth by logical thinking. The notion of non-duality is a simple, common sense idea. It is not a matter of proving non-duality. The intellect works only in the field of multiplicity. We have to follow the mystical sages of all religions. Those who have realized this truth in their lives have firmly asserted it. One way to non-duality is to meditate and to think that I am divine. We need to tell ourselves this again and again. We need to tell ourselves again and again that we are consciousness and bliss itself. A second way is to surrender the ego to God, who is non-dual. We think that if there is no desire, there is no happiness. But desires only take us back to the same level that we were at before. We can turn our attraction, lust, and anger toward God. We can pray to God to take our anger away from us. We can pray to God to have compassion on us and remove the covering that prevents us from experiencing non-duality. We attain the goal by yearning for it. Swami Adbhutananda compared it to a person who may or may not get a job, but he or she has to keep on applying for a job, to be considered.
Tuesday, June 02 – Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play
Pg # 531 – 533: Master’s relationship with His Gurus
Sri Ramakrishna became teacher of his teachers but that doesn’t mean that he had any disrespect for his teachers. On the contrary, He was an obedient disciple and followed their instructions and achieved the goals very quickly. All spiritual practices are meant for cleaning up our mind. Once we clean up the mind, God, who IS there, manifests spontaneously. Sri Ramakrishna’s mind was already cleansed so He was able to quickly achieve the goals through various paths.
Totapuri came to Dakshineshwar and proposed to teach Sri Ramakrishna the path of non-dual Vedanta. He was a teacher diametrically opposite to Bhairavi Brahmani. He used to routinely meditate and spend time in the thoughtless state (Nirvikalpa Samadhi) for most of the day. When Sri Ramakrishna asked why does he meditate despite having realized Brahman, he gave the analogy of his copper utensils that needed to be cleaned every day to stay glittering. Realized souls do not have any selfish purpose for their actions. Such a person sees Self everywhere. He has no fear due to the realization of one-ness as there is no “other” thing to be afraid of. Such a realized person sleeps on Self, eats Self and is completely satisfied with Self. This life is conforming to truth. This is our goal too.
The body lasts only 21 days upon realizing this stage because it is not designed to handle the force of this experience and can only handle the routine subject-object experiences. Bodies of God incarnations are specially made so that they can handle the effects of this experience. Why should one perform spiritual practices if we cannot keep the body upon getting spiritual realization? It doesn’t matter if the body falls off upon realization, the body has served its purpose. Death is bound to come anyway. The point is to make best use of the days that are given to us in this life. We have obtained this human birth by paying a huge sum (of our good karmas) to get a very good boat with a powerful engine. One must use this boat to cross the ocean of sufferings before the boat breaks down.