Vedanta Society CT – Sun. March 25
Swami will travel to the CT Vedanta Society, located at 100 Cherry Brook Rd Canton CT, from 10:00am – 12:30 noon to deliver a talk on: ‘Breaking the Bondage of Karma’. There will also be music and simple luncheon. All are invited.
Ram-Nama-Sankirtanam – Sun. March 25
Ram-Nam-Sankirtana (108 names to Rama) will be sung-chanted shortly after 6pm, immediately following the 5pm lecture (‘Rama the Man; Rama the God’, by Swami Yogatmananda) and Aarati. All are welcome.
Day-Long Retreat – Sat. April 28, 9:30AM –6:30PM
Topic: Vedantic Meditation ( 2 discourses)
Speaker: Swami Sarvapriyananda (Vedanta Society New York)
Fee: $30.00 per person; $20.00 if paid BY APRIL 18
Registration available in the Bookstore before/after classes, OR send us check by Mail.
Click here for more information and online registration.
NOTE: REGISTRATION WILL STOP WHEN THE SEATING CAPACITY GETS FULL; SO HURRY UP
Hatha Yoga Class – Fri. Mar 23 from 5:30—6:30pm with Roshni
Weekly Schedule (in addition to Daily Schedule given below)
|Friday, Mar. 23||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, Mar. 24||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, Mar. 25||5:00 – 6:00 PM: A talk – ‘Rama the Man; Rama the God’, by Swami Yogatmananda followed by Vesper Service (Aarati); then sing-chanting of Rama-Nama-Sankirtana (108 Names to Rama); then Soup Supper. All are welcome.
7:00 – 8:00 PM: Meditation
|Tuesday, Mar. 27||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.
Swami at Barrington Church – Mon. March 19
Swami delivered a talk from 5:30pm –6:30 pm on basic Hinduism, followed by Q/A session, to a congregation of about fifty in attendance at St Luke’s Church Barrington RI.
Swami returned from NJ – Sat. March 17
Swami and some devotees traveled to ADYAPITH, Somerset, NJ on Sat. afternoon March 17th to deliver a lecture and then had satsang at a devotee’s home. They returned midnight that night.
Click Here to see the pictures of the above 2 events
Interfaith panel discussion – March 20
Chet Boncek, Secretary of Vedanta Society, represented the Vedanta /Hinduism during an Interfaith panel discussion on March 20th. The panel discussion was the conclusion of a four part series to advance political and religious understanding included Islamic, Judaic, Christian and Hindu/Vedanta speakers. The event was held at the Tiverton Rhode Island library.
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda, unless otherwise stated)
Study class – Jnana Yoga (a book by Swami Vivekananda) – Fri. March 16
Class #88: Atman – Its Bondage and Freedom (Ch 15)
During the last class, we explored how an individual becomes immersed in the cycle of bondage. Out of ignorance, desires arise. Desires in turn cause actions. The actions, having been performed, leave impressions, or samskaras, in the mind. These impressions are like seeds: the actions go away, but the seeds remain and again sprout. As one goes around this cycle, the bondage becomes intensified. The character of a person is the result of the mental and physical actions which the person has done in life. The force of the samskaras remain after the body falls and collect matter for another body. Once the samskaras are exhausted, the mind is dissolved. Jnana yoga is a method by which we can transcend the body-mind complex and achieve ultimate freedom. This method entails supplanting the samskaras of ignorance with the samskaras of knowledge. If ignorance tells us that we are separate from the world and therefore must run after its objects, knowledge tells us everything is really within us; the supposed separateness between ourselves and the world (which causes us to chase after the objects of the world) is an illusion. We are divine. Swami Vivekanda implores us to reflect on this truth day and night. Through constant remembrance of this divine truth, we remove the bondage of ignorance. The transcendence of the body-mind complex is the only way to achieve the freedom that we seek.
Sunday Talk – Can I Be Perfect? – Sun. March 18
The Divine is perfect. The world that emerges from that is perfect. Purna, which means perfect, also means totality and completeness. All human beings want to be perfect. We should thank the person who points out our mistakes. Jesus said: Be you perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect. He said this as a command. Jesus said to love your enemies so you can be children of your Father in heaven. If we only love those who love us, we are doing nothing more than tax collectors do. We should love people that we do not like, who we consider to be the embodiment of evil. The Old Testament said to be holy as God is holy. We find perfection in our identity beyond time and space. Trying to find perfection holding onto the body and mind is impossible. We should take our meditation on our true self, into action. This means providing loving unselfish service to each other, because the same ‘I’ is in all. To be a Brahmin means to have no mistaken identity that I am the body and the mind. Sri Ramakrishna is a great modern example of being established in the Unchanging. We should not be a perfectionist in the material world, but rather be perfect by transcending the material world. A life based on likes and dislikes will not be a happy life because likes and dislikes keep changing, so we should go by what is right and what is not right.
Study Class – Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play – Tue. March 20
Page # 411: Sri Ramakrishna had variety of spiritual experiences at different layers of consciousness. These inner experiences are different from the ones with physical senses and for ordinary persons these appear to be incongruous or contradictory. But, for Sri Ramakrishna there was no in-congruence between his spiritual and physical experiences – as if he could wear and remove glasses of different colors at will and experience the world with and without them. Ordinary people are terribly caught in the sense organs and do not have the ability to remove these glasses at will.
The ultimate state of experiences, where the reality is experienced as-is without any physical or mental organs aiding the experience is Nirvikalpa Samadhi state. It is like seeing the movie screen that forms the foundation for all the actions in the movie but is not attached or involved in any of them. The intermediate spiritual experiences in meditation (e.g. visions) are real in the relative sense – as real as the experiences of the physical world, only more so because the sense organs are not involved in these experiences. These experiences counteract the physical experiences of the world (sight, taste etc.) and help us develop the conviction that the physical experiences are limited and running after them only leads to suffering. Just like we see the real objects flipped in a mirror, this world is Reality appearing in perverse form. So, while it appears to give happiness, it only gives suffering. The source of all happiness is within us. Once we get this conviction, we take a stand and not run after the sense objects (Nivritti) and concentrate on the source of true happiness within us. This is a momentous decision and is a key step in freeing us from the cycle of repeatedly running after these sense experiences and suffering from them.