Coronavirus Alert: Worship-places, Churches in RI are still NOT OPEN. ALL CLASSES AND LECTURES AVAILABLE ONLY ONLINE ON YOUTUBE CHANEL OF VEDANTA SOCIETY OF PROVIDENCE.
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All other daily and weekly programs (meditations, prayers, Karma Yoga) are suspended for the public.
Sat, May 16, 8:00pm ESD: Special Youtube lecture by Swami Yogatmananda for devotees in Utah on ‘YOGA AND VEDANTA FOR MENTAL HEALTH’. Of course, others can join too, if their schedules permit.
Body-mind is a two-layered mask for the Self. Our regular clothing is another multi-layered mask. Now we need to add a suitable face-mask to protect the body-mind mask. Let’s keep the body-mind mask in good, efficient and transparent condition, so that the bliss. Love and peace of the Self will shine forth through it.
The present time is very congenial for the practice of this meditation.
The Covid 19 situation is reportedly becoming better. But it is foolishness to jump the boat when the shore is just visible. It is still far away and waters are deep and turbulent. Many devotees are asking when we are going to re-open. We will, for the safety of everyone, assess the situation after the State administration gives a green signal and announce accordingly. We too are very very eager to open the doors.
Till then, come riding on the electromagnetic waves!
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: COVID 19 RELIEF
Many in the state are facing huge financial hardships due to business closures, loss of wages etc. Vedanta Society will offer some relief to such people. Please contact 401-421-3960 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org for an appointment.
|Fri. May 15||7:20 – 8:45 pm: Meditation and Study Class on ‘Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam’ by Swami Yogatmananda. ONLINE ONLY|
|Sun. May 17||5:00-6:00 pm: Sun lecture on ‘Symptomatic and Asymptomatic Carriers’ by Swami Yogatmananda. ONLINE ONLY|
|Tue. May 19||7:20 – 8:45 pm: Meditation and A Study Class on ‘Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play’ by Swami Yogatmananda. ONLINE ONLY|
Sun, May 10, 10:30 am-noon: Swami delivered a special Youtube talk (from the regular Vedanta.Providence Channel) to devotees of Vedanta Society of CT on Sri Ramakrishna: The Eternal Image of Bliss.
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda, unless otherwise stated)
Friday, May 08 – Study Class on Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam
Class 18: ONE to MANY
Last class we discussed how the devotee merges all of the external perceptions, including the body and the mind, into the God, our true Self, and thus God alone remains. This process is described as the vertical evolution. The devotee who is desirous of liberation realizes that each loka presents enjoyments which, though greater to the enjoyments that can be enjoyed on the lower plane, are nonetheless limited by the same constraints on the higher plane. The devotee who transcends the desires on each plane continues to move vertically to higher lokas or spheres. At the level of Brahma Loka, the devotee realizes that the entire cosmos is contained within the body of Brahma. He thus becomes identified with the universe. There is no sorrow or pain in this realm except for the feeling of pity one experiences for the jivas who are subject to endless sufferings. However, this realm is not liberation. After Brahma’s lifespan completes, there are two possibilities. If there is no effort to transcend, then that person falls back on the earthly plane. But if there is the desire for liberation–to merge with God–then that desire will take that being to God. We have seen how the many becomes ONE. King Parikshit now asks how the ONE BECOMES MANY, how this one without second Lord manifests as this universe. The process of “adhya- ropa”, or superimposition, will now be described. The answer is mysterious and defies logic, for as the Bible states God’s thoughts are not our thoughts. Suka then provides an “ocean of praise” for the Lord, which serves as an introduction to the answer.
Sunday Service, May 10 – Buddha’s Practical Solution to the Problem of Suffering
The opening song was Song of Buddha (Rejoice! Rejoice!) by Will Ayton, performed by Srikanth Srigiriraju and Abhijit Sarcar.
The problem of suffering is universal. Buddha is the name of the state of Awakening. Something is a solution only if the problem goes away when it is applied. Something is practical if it is feasible in the given situation, the most efficacious, the most rational, and the least dependent on external help. Common people do not want to put in efforts because they think we are ordinary human beings and not saints, and we do not know if the saints really got results anyway. The Buddha’s process includes unbiased observation, deep analysis and logical generalization, fearless acceptance of conclusions, testing the conclusions, and the feasibility of universal application (anyone can do it). The four Noble Truths are 1) suffering, 2) the cause of suffering, 3) the end of suffering (the end of ego), and 4) the Eightfold Noble Path, which includes right view (unbiased observation), right intention (I want to realize that state, and not hurt anyone), right speech (straightforward, true, conducive to wellbeing), right action (conducive to the intent), right livelihood (in an honest way), right effort (spiritual practices such as regular meditation and studying the words of the Tathagata), right concentration (holding firmly onto the truth, focusing on it), and right mindfulness (upon which, suffering starts reducing in life). Buddha never engaged in vain, hair-splitting argumentation. He said to just do the right thing. He kept a noble silence on whether the soul is permanent or impermanent. What has survived is popular Buddhism with rituals and many images, because we generally cannot hold onto pure teachings.
Tuesday, May 12 – Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play
Pg #525-530: Master’s relationship with his Gurus
This chapter describes Sri Ramakrishna’s connection with His own Gurus. We see a role reversal in this relationship at times. He became the teacher and taught his teachers through his actions and examples. This chapter discusses Master’s relationship with Bhairavi Brahmani who was his Guru in Tantra sadhana. Bhairavi Brahmani’s two other disciples – Chandra and Girija acquired some occult powers which proved detrimental to their spiritual progress. Chandra acquired the power to become invisible and Girija had the power to show light from his body. Master always condemned such occult powers. The occult powers pump one’s ego. The path of spiritual progress becomes difficult for these egotistic personalities. These powers prove to be an impediment in God realization. When Chandra and Girija came in the divine association of the Master, He destroyed their occult powers. This brought them back on the path of spiritual progress.
Bhairavi Brahmani was the aspirant of the highest order in Tantra Sadhana. But she didn’t achieve full realization of the indivisible Satchidananda. Hence she dissuaded Master from following the path of knowledge under the guidance of Totapuri. Master obeyed all her instructions in Tantra sadhana perfectly, while training under her. But he didn’t give in to her opposition for the path of knowledge. There is no difference in the path of devotion and the path of knowledge. Nirvikalpa State of Vedanta is the first step to attain supreme devotion. Bhairavi Brahmani could not fathom that pure knowledge and pure devotion are one and the same. Devotion obtained after the attainment of the ultimate knowledge is true devotion. The path of knowledge and the path of devotion both lead to the blissful state of the Oneness.