DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME!
REMEMBER: TURN CLOCK-TIMES AHEAD 1 HOUR LATE SAT. NIGHT (MARCH 11)/ EARLY SUN.MORNING (MARCH 12)
Swami to Indianapolis, IN – March 11 & 12
Swami will travel to Indianapolis Indiana early Sat. morning, to conduct a retreat and deliver a talk at the Hindu Temple there. Swami will return late Sun. evening.
Guest Speaker – March 12, Sunday
Prof. Donna Maurer , from Cambridge MA, will speak on: ‘Essence of Compassion’ from 5pm – 6pm. She has been attending Vedanta lectures & retreats over the years and has also spoken here many times in past. All are encouraged to attend.
Spiritual Retreat – Sat. April 01, 9:30 AM – 7:00 PM
Topic: ‘Remain in Bhava-Mukha’
Speaker: Swami Atmajnanananda, Vedanta Center of Gr. Washington DC
Prior Registration Necessary.
Registration Fee: $30.00 per person;
$20:00 if registered and paid on/before March 20.
(For online registration, $1.00 additional)
Weekly Programs (in addition to Daily Programs given below)
|7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music), followed by Shiva-Naam- Samkirtan on the occasion of Shivarati
7:30 – 8:30 PM: Jnana-Yoga Study Class by Swami Yogatmananda
|8:30 – 10:30 AM: Karma Yoga/Cleaning
11:00 AM – 12 noon: Guided meditation and Chanting/singing
7:00-8:30 PM – Aarati (devotional music) & Meditation
|5:00 – 6:00 PM: Lecture: ’Essence of Compassion’ byProf Donna Maurer
6:00 – 6:15 PM: Aarati
6:15 – 7:00PM: Soup Supper
7:00 – 8:00PM: Meditation in Chapel
|7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation
7:30 – 8:30 PM: Study Class by Swami Yogatmananda on ‘The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna’, Ch 52, pp 983
|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, Vol. 7’
7:00 – 7:25AM – A short ritual worship/Puja. Open to all.
|Evening :||7:00 – 7:15 PM: Aarti (devotional music), with a short reading from ‘THE STORY OF AN EPOCH: Swami Virajananda and his Times’, by Swami Shraddhananda
7:15 – 8:00 PM: Meditation. Open to all.
Interfaith at Vedanta – Thurs. March 02
Swami Yogatmananda with Vedanta devotee Pat B, and twelve other clergy or congregation members participated in the ‘Attleboro-based’ monthly Interfaith meeting here at the Vedanta Society, from 11:30am – 1:00pm, to discuss: How does your faith community use meditation?
Swami at UMass/Dartmouth – Thurs March 02
Immediately after the above Interfaith meeting at Vedanta, Swami went to UMass/Dartmouth to participate in an interfaith panel-discussion with three other interfaith clergy to discuss: ‘Religion and Justice’ from 2:00pm 3:30pm, where perspectives were shared and many questions asked from the twenty to twenty-five people who attended.
Day-long Meditation – Sat. March 04, 12:00Noon – 8:00PM
About thirteen devotees participated in this day-long meditation.
Swami at Vedanta Society of NJ, Voorhees
On Sat. March 04, Swami Yogatmananda drove to the Vedanta Society of New Jersey at Voorhees and conducted the worship and give a lecture on Sri Ramakrishna from 10:00 am to 2:30 pm. He returned late evening.
Swami at Concordia Center for Spiritual Living, Warwick, RI
On Sun. March 05, Swami Yogatmananda and eight devotees from Vedanta Society went to Concordia Center for Spiritual Living in Warwick, RI, where swami delivered a morning talk: ’Why Do We Love Sports? to about seventy attendees. Swami also conducted a workshop on ‘Reincarnation’ at Concordia from 11am-1pm with about forty-five attending.
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda, unless otherwise stated)
Study Class on ‘Jnana Yoga‘ – Mar. 03, Friday
Class #54: We may feel a desire to “fix” the world, but no matter how hard we try, that brokenness will still remain. This is because the world is not in need of fixing, but rather it is our perception that has to be fixed. We have to see the unbroken oneness that pervades everything. This is made difficult by our reliance on our senses to perceive truth. We refuse to accept that there can be anything else other than what we can observe with our senses. Because the truth is subtler than that which the senses can perceive, we are unable to grasp it. Therefore we persist in confusing the impermanent for the permanent, the filthy for the beautiful, r source of misery for a source of joy.
It is a superstition that we might be able to get some happiness from the world. We seek to achieve peace and happiness by pursuing the various objects of the world, but these names and forms are just shadows and cannot satisfy us. Pleasure from the world—from money, from prestige, from spouse, from children—is an illusion. The very basis of the pleasure we feel from the objects of the world is the contrast with the misery that goes hand-in-hand with it! We must give this superstition up. To seek happiness from the world means actually going away from the true source of happiness. Jnana Yoga is a method which reorients us towards that which actually can give us the peace and happiness we seek: Self realization.
Sunday Talk – Did Sri Ramakrishna Renounce Desires? – Mar. 05
Sri Ramakrishna is God incarnate, both God and human being. How can the infinite be compressed into three cubits of a human body? We cannot refute that Sri Ramakrishna was far more than just a human being. He is like us and yet not like us. We want to learn, and God comes as a teacher, like the lion who taught the lion who thought he was a sheep. Incarnations teach us that each of us is divine, and that the human body is not our true nature. The body leads to desires, which lead to bondage. Desire is perpetuated, as we are forced into bodies due to our karma. If we see that we are infinite, desires vanish. Sri Ramakrishna has been described as without a trace of desire, yet many desires were expressed in his life. Our desires bind us, but Sri Ramakrishna’s desires did not bind him. Sri Ramakrishna had many trivial desires, the purpose of which was to hold on to the body, as his natural state was to be in Samadhi. Sri Ramakrishna’s body had no purpose but to teach others. Sri Ramakrishna once ate a lot and fell ill, after which he gave up that desire, while we, on the other hand, would be likely to repeat the action over and over again. Sri Ramakrishna said that it is okay to fulfill small, harmless desires (that go away after fulfillment), but to get rid of big, harmful desires.
Study Class – The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna – Mar. 07, Tuesday
April 9, 1887;Page # 985
The teachings given in the Gospel are eternal. The essence of these teachings is how one can realize his/her true nature and attain the ultimate bliss. In this world we torcher ourselves by running after many objects assuming, these objects will bring the peace and happiness. But nothing, except realizing our own true nature, can give the ultimate happiness and peace. An ordinary human being does not realize this and keep on chasing various objects expecting happiness. This results into deep frustration and misery. The incarnations of God come on the earth to remove this ignorance and bring the light of knowledge. This light of knowledge flows from the incarnation to the disciples and ultimately to all the followers.
Such transmittal of power can be seen in the life of Narendra. Sri Ramakrishna transferred his spiritual power to Narendra. This was done with a special objective, as Narendra, later Swami Vivekananda, became the most powerful instrument to spread the message of Sri Ramakrishna to the entire world. He was a voice without form. The whole purpose of his life was to spread the eternal message of his Master far and wide. Fully aware of Narendra’s potential Sri Ramakrishna trained him accordingly from the very beginning.