Annual General Meeting – Sun. June 24
The ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2018 (2017 Happenings and Financial Report & other things) will take place immediately following Sun Lecture and Aarati. All are welcome.
Thinking of ‘M’ – Sat. June 30, 11:00AM – 2:00PM
The annual gathering of remembering ‘M’, the chronicler of the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, at the home of T.K. Roy, West Wareham MA. Please RSVP at 508-748-9797 or firstname.lastname@example.org only.
The program consists of music, readings and reflections. Bring a song or poem or reading or story/anecdote related to ‘M’ that you would like to share.
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 in next week’s newsletter.
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 22 from 5:30 – 6:30pm with Roshni
Weekly Schedule (in addition to Daily Schedule given below)
|Friday, June 22||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 23||8:30 – 10:30am – Karma Yoga (Cleaning & Work-service)
11:00am – 12:00 noon – Guided Meditation & singing Hour
7:00pm – 8:00pm – Aarati (devotional singing & a short reading) & continued meditation
|Sunday, June 24||5:00 – 6:00 PM: A talk – ‘Learning to Be Humble’ by Swami Yogatmananda, followed by Vesper Service (Aarati).
6:15 — 6:45 PM – Annual General Meeting, followed by Soup supper
|Tuesday, June 26||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.
‘Yoga of Psychology’ day-long Retreat – Sat June 16
Sixty-one devotees attended/participated in this sixty-first (61st) day-long retreat (9:30am – 7:00pm) with the theme: ‘Yoga of Psychology’. Pravrajika Brahmaprana, resident nun of Ved. Soc Dallas Texas presented two (2) one and-half hour lectures (utilizing power-point for visual aid). About twenty-five participated in the Hatha Yoga session led by Bernadette. Swami Yogatmananda conducted a ‘Vedantic- Tales’ segment ( from Bhagavatam). There was a one-hour-plus Q/A session, with both swami and pravrajkia presiding. The day also included refreshment breaks and meals.
Connecticut Vedanta Society – Sun. June 17
Pravrajika Brahmaprana (nun from Ved. Soc. Dallas Texas) spoke about Sri Ramakrishna to about twenty-five devotees at the CT Ved Soc in Canton CT, from 10:30am – 12:30pm. Swami Yogatmananda conducted a short worship. There was also devotional music and luncheon/snack-foods.
Santoor ( Dulcimer)-Tabla Concert – Sun June 17, 6:15pm – 8:00pm
Vinay Desai, (musical lineage of Pt. Shivakumar Sharma) performed SANTOOR ( Hammered Dulcimer), accompanied by Nitin Mitta, (on TABLA) from 6:30pm to 8:00pm, to about 45 music enthusiasts who gave a rousing standing ovation.( 1st time happening here).
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda, unless otherwise stated)
Study class – Jnana Yoga (a book by Swami Vivekananda) – Fri. June 15
Class # 101: Q-A session Part 1
Note: The theme for this evening’s class is questions that devotees have about Jnana Yoga. Three of the questions discussed tonight came from Charles Feldman. Please email Swamiji with your questions for this Friday’s final class on Jnana Yoga.
How does yoga turn internal conviction into experience? If we have the conviction and start following it, gradually this conviction will become well-rooted in experience and our lives will start to change. One has to first make the effort.
When it seems like there is danger on all sides, how can I trust God and stop calculating? There is danger on all sides, if we are attached to name and form. All names and forms are rushing toward the mouth of death. We must practice dispassion. If we can, then we will live fearlessly and accept all different challenges that may come our way.
Is there any practical way to stop finding faults with others? We must try to see the good in others, because if we focus on the bad things, those negative qualities will manifest in us. After all, it is not the responsibility of other people to change their behaviors so that we can more-easily purify our minds. It is OUR responsibility.
Most of us are not capable of practicing pure jnana yoga by itself. We can intellectually know that the world is unreal, but we do not know this from a practical standpoint. It is easier if it is combined with other yogas such as bhakti yoga, the yoga of devotion.
Sunday Talk – ‘Yoga-Therapy of Well-Being’ by Pravrajika Brahmaprana from Ved Soc Dallas Texas -June 17
Never before in society have we had so much stress and depression. When someone told Swami Vivekananda that he found no peace in meditation, Swamiji advised him to serve the poor, the ill, the hungry, and the ignorant. Psychotherapist Alfred Adler encouraged social service for better mental health. Professor George Gerbner found that altruism stimulates the mind just like sugar and caffeine. Mattieu Ricard found that meditating on compassion leads to happiness. Vedanta says that love is synonymous with God or the Absolute. Our love for something or someone is our road to the Atman. The pinnacle of compassion is the Oneness of all. The Sufi poet Rumi said that if there is no love, there is no existence. We see and serve our own Self in others. The pure motive penetrates the body and mind. We need to serve selflessly without ego. Karma yoga, or the path of action, consists of work and worship; work as worship (seeing God in those we serve); and work is worship (seeing Brahman everywhere). We shift the focus from the giver to the receiver. Swami Vivekananda saw service not as philanthropy, but as worship. Practice purifies our love and expands our sense of self to include the whole world. We need meditation to experience this truth. We have no right to expect anything from our service, as everyone has his or her own karmic results. Swami Vivekananda was willing to be born again and again if he could serve the wicked, the afflicted, and the poor as God Himself.
Special class – ‘Sri Ramakrishna: Embodiment of Love’ by Pravrajika Brahmaprana – Tue. June 19
Twenty- six devotees & Swami attended this impromptu class delivered by Pravrajika.
To ponder upon the thoughts of Sri Ramakrishna is a worship of its own kind. The greatest source behind the infinite love which was transmitted by Sri Ramakrishna was the oneness he could see everywhere. Nirvikalpa Samadhi was the bedrock of his spiritual life which led to the experience of the One without a second.
Sri Ramakrishna’s love to God was such that he could very easily become one with the ideal. He also had the ability to instantaneously transfigure an aspirant’s mind and turn it to God.
He always taught and showed by his own example that God can be realized with sincerity and earnestness. The purpose of his life was to teach the humanity that God can’t be realized by intellect or any logic and reasoning. One must have the intense yearning to realize God.
Sri Ramakrishna’s love was very pious. He was very kind and considerate towards Holy Mother. His love towards the Mother was infinite and pure and their relationship was exemplary for all the couples.
His personality was always joyful and blissful. He could spread that bliss and the divine love out to everyone around him. But along with that, out of the pure love for his disciples he also acted like a taskmaster. He would push all his disciples to continue/intensify the spiritual practice to realize the ultimate knowledge.
He was extremely patient with all his disciples. They all tested him in their own style. Narendra did not believe him for 6 years. He had a doubt even when Sri Ramakrishna was on the deathbed. But he always encouraged the disciples testing or doubting him as this resulted in establishing a firm, unshakable faith. Faith is essential for spiritual progress. (Story of Rasik)
Sri Ramakrishna chose all his disciples very prudently after examining them and even analyzing their physical traits. Based on that, he gave very practical advice which was suitable to everyone for marching forward on the spiritual journey. He also tested them well to prepare them for the herculean tasks which were conducted by these disciples. His intense love for all his disciples was also a cause of suffering for Sri Ramakrishna. He could not withstand separation from Narendra, whom he looked upon as Narayana himself. Due to the love for all the aspirants, Sri Ramakrishna transcended all the social norms. He showered his love on aristocrats as well as the prostitutes. He ignored all the shortcomings of Girish Ghosh and accepted him whole heartedly as his disciple. His compassion knew no bounds. Hisinfinite love and compassion, which is a result of seeing innate oneness everywhere, is beyond any logic and reasoning.
Sri Ramakrishna was the God of Love and the love incarnate.