Day-long Retreat – Sat. June 16, 9:30AM –6:30PM
Topic: Yoga Psychology – Managing the Mind (2 discourses)
Speaker: Pravrajika Brahmaprana, Resident Vedanta nun from Vedanta Society, Dallas Texas
Fee: $30.00 per person
Click here for online registration and more information.
Registration also available in the Bookstore before/after classes, OR send us check by Mail.
Connecticut Vedanta Society – Sun. June 17
The CT Vedanta monthly gathering from 10:00am – 12:30pm will have Pravrajika Brahmaprana (nun from Ved. Soc. Dallas Texas) speak about Sri Ramakrishna. There will also be the devotional music and luncheon/snack-foods. Swami Yogatmananda will do the short worship. All are welcome.
Santoor ( Dulcimer)-Tabla Concert – Sun June 17, 6:15pm – 7:30pm
Vinay Desai,(musical lineage of Pt. Shivakumar Sharma) will perform SANTOOR ( Hammered Dulcimer), accompanied by Nitin Mitta, (acclaimed TABLA player of this region) immediately following the 5–6:15pm Sunday Lecture and singing of Arati. All welcome; NO entry Fee; Donations Accepted.
Annual General Meeting – Sun. June 24
The ‘2017 Happenings and Financial Report’ meeting will take place immediately following Sun Lecture and Aarati. All are welcome.
Hatha Yoga Class – Fri. June 15 from 5:30—6:30pm with Roshni
Summer Notes: Beginning Wednesday morning, June 27, 2018, the Center’s daily and weekly activities will be suspended until SATURDAY, September 08.
More details will be available soon.
The LIBRARY and BOOK-STORE will be open only on Tuesday evenings (July 10 – August 22) through the summer. Library Users – Please return any/all books BY SATURDAY, JUNE 23, so library inventory might be updated.
Hatha Yoga Class – Fri. June 08 from 5:30—6:30pm with Roshni
Weekly Schedule (in addition to Daily Schedule given below)
|Friday, June 15||7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation.
7:30 – 8:30 PM: Study Class – Q-A session on past (100) Jnana Yoga classes. Please send your questions to: info AT vedantaprov.org OR ask in the class OR via Live-stream
|Saturday, June 16||DAY-LONG RETREAT: 9:30am –6:30pm
Open to Registrants only
See above for details
|Sunday, June 17||5:00 – 6:00 PM: A talk – ‘YOGA-THERAPY of WELL-BEING’ by Pravrajika Brahmaprana (Vedanta,Dallas Texas) followed by Vesper Service (Aarati).
6:15 — 7:30 PM – SANTOOR (Dulcimer)-TABLA Concert, with Vinay Desai and Nitin Mitta
|Tuesday, June 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 ‘BOOK OF DAILY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS’ by Swami Paramananda
7:15 – 8:00 PM: Meditation. Open to all.
Children’s Program – Sun. June 10, 4:00-6:00PM
June 10th activities included a walk to Brown University for fresh air and exercise, baking cookies, planning discussions for the August (1 week day-time) Summer Camp and soup supper. Five children attended. Please note: There will be NO July or Aug Sunday meeting for ‘Just Kids’.
Hindustani Classical Vocal Concert – Sun. June 10
About forty-seven (47) music enthusiasts listened to Pradeep Shukla, Learn-Quest Academy teacher, perform/sing Hindustani Classical music from 6:30pm -8:00pm. He was accompanied by Rajesh Pai on Tabla and Ravi Torvi on Harmonium.
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda, unless otherwise stated)
Study class – Jnana Yoga (a book by Swami Vivekananda) – Fri. June 08
Class #100: The Real and the Apparent Man (Ch 16)
(Note: Start gathering your questions for 2 question-and-answer sessions that will take place when we have completed our reading of Jnana Yoga. You may email these to Swamiji if you can’t attend the class.)
Within each human being is the infinite dimension, which is hidden behind the apparent human being. When we bring forth this hidden infinite dimension through discernment, we see that we are Divine. Vivek in Sanskrit is to discern what is real and what is not real. We are so addicted to confused thinking: we think that which is impermanent is permanent, hold onto it and are, therefore, cheated. By what criterion can we determine what is not real and what is real? There are two methods in Jnana Yoga. One method is to determine if it is changing or unchanging. The second is to determine if it is the perceived or the perceiver. Although the sense organs themselves at first appear to be the perceiver, they too can be perceived as objects. The senses, consequently, cannot be the “I”. Eventually we see that all we have been calling “I” are really objects. At this stage, intellectually we come to the conclusion that “I am either non-existent” or “I am everything.” Through the practice of Jnana Yoga, we bridge the gap between our understanding and experience. In this process, good and evil come in our lives. The relative evil has to be erased by the relative good. Unselfishness, love, service erase the evil. Once the evil is gone, the good too disappears. The whole idea of “ doing good to the world” is fraught with contradictions. From the perspective of the Jnana yogi, the world is ultimately unreal, thus how can that which is not real be made better? If we are rational, we see that the best we can do is to realize God. Swami Vivekananda states, “The world is neither good nor evil…it is beyond both good and evil, perfect in itself. It is a great gymnasium in which you and I, and millions of souls must come and get exercises, and make ourselves strong and perfect.” The Ego, the false “I”, vanishes. When “I and the world” is transcended, the Truth/God alone remains. As humans each of us can and should get this knowledge.
Sunday Talk – ‘Dialogue with God’ – June 10
We want to talk to God, but the problem for most of us is, that God does not respond. Deeply rooted in our psyche, God does not leave us, but keeps pursuing us. The question of whether God exists is answered only through experience, as reason can be used to prove anything. Sri Ramakrishna said to Narendra: I see God as I see you, only with much more clarity. From the beginning, Sri Ramakrishna was sure that God is, because so many people before him had seen God. Then, after intense prayer, an ocean of radiance came and he experienced the Divine Mother with immense joy. We need to pray to God again and again and again. God loves us more than we love God. Sri Ramakrishna said that if we are not sure whether God exists, to pray: O God, if You are there, then this is my prayer. Narendra was suffering from poverty after his father died, but he was ashamed to ask the Divine Mother for worldly things. Sri Ramakrishna was overjoyed that Narendra had accepted the Divine Mother, Whom he saw for the first time as a living Goddess. We have more control over our behavior than our mind, so we can let our lips start praying first. Gradually, it enters the mind, too. The sages advise incessant prayer. If we cannot think of anything to say in prayer, we can pick one of the many things we want in life, and start with that.
Study Class – Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play – Tue. June 12
Bhava, Samadhi and Darshana – Pages 422-423
Our mind and body are closely connected. As Sri Ramakrishna experienced various Bhavas (devotional moods) that used to bring various divine visions (Darshana), they used to manifest as corresponding changes in His body. We find it unbelievable or miraculous because our feelings are not very intense and our bodies are not capable of expressing our feelings whereas Sri Ramakrishna’s feelings were very intense and led to bodily changes that violate the laws of normal human anatomy. Sri Ramakrishna experienced these bodily changes as He practiced the love of God in various moods: Shanta (calm), Sakhya (friend), Dasya (servant), Vatsalya (love of parents towards children), Madhura (illicit love of paramour). These are natural channels through which human beings express and experience love. Instead of wasting these channels on heaps of flesh, we should direct them to God. When we say that something is “mine” it puts us in bondage. Nothing is really ours but when we call it “mine” we are effectively stealing it. Only when we realize that these objects of the world are not source of happiness but of misery, do we detest them. Our tendencies acquired from previous actions, however, continue to impel us to do the same things that got us into the bondage. If we want freedom, we should discriminate and develop this distaste for worldly things. The chemistry of the brain is tuned towards enjoyment of objects. We need to learn from our experiences and reverse this chemistry so that we are not attracted by worldly objects. This is the journey to freedom. Sri Ramakrishna’s biography has a lot of such wisdom if we ponder over the words that we read. When we practice and implement these ideas we can read and understand the biography a lot better.