Swami travels to Alabama – Sat. May 19 – Mon. 21
Swami will be leaving for Huntsville, AL on Sat May 19th morning and after conducting a retreat on Raja-Yoga and some other Vedanta lectures at the Hindu Temple in Huntsville and at devotee homes, will be back on Mon. 21.
Day-long Retreat – Sat. June 16, 9:30AM –6:30PM
Topic: Yoga Psychology – Managing the Mind (2 discourses)
Speaker: Pravrajika Bharmaprma, Resident Vedanta nun from Vedanta Society Dallas Texas
Fee: $30.00 per person; $20.00 if paid by June 05
Click here for online registration and more information.
Registration also available in the Bookstore before/after classes, OR send us check by Mail.
Hatha Yoga Class – Fri. May 18 from 5:30—6:30pm with Roshni
Weekly Schedule (in addition to Daily Schedule given below)
|Friday, May 18||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, May 19||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, May 20||5:00 – 6:00 PM: A talk – ‘Power of Affirmation’ by Teresa Guerra, followed by Vesper Service (Aarati).
6:15 — 7:00 PM – Soup Supper
7:00 – 8:00 PM – Meditation
|Tuesday, May 22||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 RIC Interfaith Anti-Poverty Conference – Thurs. May 10
Swami Yogatmananda and three devotees attended the 10th annual R.I.C. Interfaith Anti-Poverty Conference, attended by more than three-hundred clergy, congregation members and community workers, where Rev Traci Blackmon (UCC Exec Dir Justice & Witnesses) spoke. Workshops were also part of the program.
Swami traveled to Livingston NJ – Sat. May 12
Immediately after the Sat. 11am – 12noon guided meditation & music hour, Swami and some devotees traveled to Livingston NJ, where Swami Yogatmananda conduct a discourse/ satsang at a devotee’s residence, – with about fifty-five devotees attending They returned very late Sat evening.
Connecticut Vedanta – Sun. May 13, 10:00am – 12:30pm
Swami Yogatmananda spoke on ‘Process of Meditation’ to about twenty-two devotees at Vedanta Society of CT, 100 Cherry Brook Rd Canton CT from 10AM – 12:30pm. There was also music and luncheon
Saxophone-Tabla Indian Melodies – Sun. May 13, 6:15 – 7:45PM
Phil Scarff performed Indian melodies on saxophone, with Nitin Mitta playing tabla, from 6:15 – 7:30PM in the Lower Level (LL) . About forty-five (45) people attended.
CORRECTION: The April 28th retreat at Prov. Vedanta was the 60th retreat conducted—not the 59th, as noted in the earlier newsletter.
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda, unless otherwise stated)
Study class – Jnana Yoga (a book by Swami Vivekananda) – Fri. May 11
Non-dualists assert that there is only One all-comprehensive existence. The one existence, which is beyond time-space and pervades the many changing appearances, is the SELF. Everything in the universe is made of five components: existence, knowledge, bliss, name, and form. The first three are Brahman. The next two are the products of ignorance. Our life is caught in the net of attraction and repulsion, which is known as “Samsara”. As we look for the one unchanging reality amidst changing name and form, we get cheated. The Vedantic practice is to remove the “Name” and the “Form” from our consciousness. The Name-Form is not the “substance”; therefore, nothing is lost by removing it. What we each call “I” must be seen as the “I” of everyone. This is the mental exercise, the sadhana, which we, as spiritual aspirants, must take up. Sri Ramakrishna implores us to feel God as our very essence, our Reality, in the very center of our being. That Self is in essence the same as what we call God or Brahman. Atman is identical with Brahman. “Thou art that.”
Our sensory perception creates the human universe, and the human universe is all that we know. Through sadhana we must move beyond the trappings of name and form to realize the Self which pervades everything.
Sunday Talk – Freeing the ‘Imprisoned Splendor’ – Swami Yogatmananda– May 13
Our most fundamental urge is for freedom. The most difficult bondages to break are our cravings, habits, and tendencies (=ego). Even if we get political freedom, we are still subject to these bondages. Religious thought says that we are infinite, and much more than this piece of flesh and blood. The world is mired in suffering and sorrow because of the Divinity that is not getting manifested in us. In Vedanta, the most important thing is to hold onto our true nature, the Atman, which is ever free. We satisfy one desire, and two spring up. The source of our desires is that we do not like separation. The source is dissatisfaction. We keep running after the desired object, and the desired object keeps running ahead of us. There is nothing we can do to satisfy our desires, until we see that our desires come from a fractured consciousness. When we get to inner Oneness, there is no fear. As long as there are two, there is no cessation of fear. In the poem Paracelsus, Robert Browning wrote: the imprisoned splendor may escape . . . the baffling and perverted carnal mesh. The spirit is the same in all. The Narayana Suktam says that there is a flame in the depth of our heart, and in that resides Divinity. When we hold onto that, the splendor starts occupying the whole of our awareness and personality, and the whole universe dissolves in it.
Study Class – Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play – Tue. May 15
Page # 419 : In the lives of incarnation of God, the apparent behavior is not an indicator of the inner motives. The sole motive of their lives is to propagate the divine message. Their lives inspire others to follow the ultimate goal of divine realization. They do it out of mere compassion.
Sri Ramakrishna renounced everything for realizing Divine Mother. His intense love for her, was the only obstacle for him to realize the non-dual Brahman. When he focused his mind on the nondual Brahman, he got the vision of the Divine Mother. But even this purest perception of name and form became the obstacle to realize the non dual Brahman. Ultimately, Sri Ramakrishna cut asunder even this form with the sword of knowledge and his mind was lifted to the plane of Nirvikalpa Samadhi.
We are bound by attachment which is packaged as love. Our perception is limited to the physical plane of names and forms. One has to push aside the names and forms to attain the Truth. Theoretically the concept of going beyond name and form appears to be very easy and logical, but very difficult to practice. With sincere efforts and by the grace of the God one may go beyond.