Vedanta Society of CT, Monthly Meeting, Sun Nov 10, 10am -noon: Please Note: The Meeting will take place at the same old venue 100 Chery Brook Rd, Canton, CT. (NOT at Mansfield as mentioned in the Nov Monthly Announcement). Topic of Discussion –‘Wealth & Garbage’ (16th Ch of Gita)
Birthdays of Swami Subodhananda (Sat 11/09) and Vijnanananda (Mon 11/11): Will be observed by special chant in the morning and ‘birthday-song’ and bio readings of the respective Swamis.
Daylong Spiritual Retreat: Sat, Dec 07, 10 am to 7 pm.
Topic: Songs of Divine Love from various traditions. Registration necessary. Reg Fee: $30 ($20 if registered by Dec 01)
Sarod Concert (North-Indian Classical Music) by Anirban Dasgupta: Sun Nov 10, 6:15-7:45 pm.
Weekly Schedule (in addition to Daily Schedule given below)
|Fri. Nov. 08||7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation.
7:30 – 8:30 PM: Study class on ‘Svetasvatara Upanishad’, conducted by Swami Yogatmananda
|Sat. Nov. 09||8:30 – 10:30am: Karma Yoga (Cleaning & Work-service)
11:00am – 12:00 noon: Guided Meditation & prayers
|Sun. Nov. 10||5:00-6:00 pm: Prayers and lecture by Swami Yogatmananda on Price of God; followed by Arati and Soup Supper. Then there will be the Music Concert – Anirban Dasgupta (Sarod) accompanied by Amit Kavthekar (Tabla)|
|Tue.Nov. 12||7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation
7:30 – 8:30 PM:Study Class on Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play
|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, but one must enter before 7 am
|Evening||(Except on Sundays)
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.
Swami Traveled to New jersey, Sat, Nov 02 afternoon: The Swami spoke at the home of Rajarshi and Parna Sarkar at Princeton, NJ in the evening; returned on Sun afternoon.
DAY-LONG MEDITATION: SAT NOV 02: 7 devotees participated.
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda, unless otherwise stated)
Friday, Nov. 01 – Study Class on Svetasvatara Upanisad
Class 44 : Chapter 6, Verses 3-5:
Who are we? What is the unchanging core of our being? All that we really seek in life is contained in the answers to these questions. Once we know we are the source of existence, knowledge, bliss, then life is fulfilled. There is nothing more to be achieved.
Everything we see at the superficial level is all emanating from the universal self. No work can be done without the Self, but it is not involved in any work. We can connect to our true selves by first accepting that there is the one reality that is being manifested as the variety we see. The Self is all that is. Concentrating on this source, holding on to this source, our devotion will gradually increase. We should perform our work meticulously but consciously connect it to God, thinking, “God is the operator, I am but the instrument.” This is when we start illuminating our subconscious. The process of meditation is then described as the imagining of the Divine in the recesses of the heart.
Sunday Service, Nov. 03 – Internal Pranayama
The opening song was Mysterious Presence, Source of All, sung by Peter Travisano.
Prana has many meanings; most prominent ones are: 1) the supreme, all-pervading consciousness, 2) universal energy, 3) the life-force, 4) the sensory and motor organs, and 5) the breath. Aayaama means to control or direct. Pranayama means to control the finer movements of the body and mind. The breath is the tool to do that. We have both conscious and unconscious movements. The Yogi wants to bring them under his or her control. The modifications of the mind should be under our control, but not stopped. Breath is a tool, and not pranayama itself, which is a common misunderstanding. Pranayama gives us universal power, because it allows us to dis-identify with the body and mind, and to identify with universal consciousness. Internal pranayama is opening the sushumna nadi, also known as kundalini. When we go to higher levels, knowledge increases, power increases, and happiness increases. The sushumna is an empty channel, which is closed at the bottom in most people. Opening it bypasses the neural network. It can be opened by using the breath, but only under the guidance of an expert and observing strict continence and other mandated disciplines. If not, the person can go insane. When the kundalini reaches the brain, the Yogi becomes detached from the body and mind, and the soul is free. The energy that is stored in us is infinite, but mostly lies dormant. If we follow the paths of devotion, selfless work, or discernment, we get the same results.
Tuesday, Nov. 05 – Study Class on Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play
Chapter 5, As a Guru in His Youth, Page 472-473:
Teachership was a key feature of Sri Ramakrishna’s life but it was not equally manifest at all times. As He grew older this was more manifest. Various stages of development of teachership in the life of an incarnation are crucial for an incarnation to be more human-like. Otherwise, we humans won’t be able to relate to the life of an incarnation and the purpose of their advent will not be fulfilled.
Since His childhood, Sri Ramakrishna had a very penetrating intellect and could clearly see the defects in things around Him. Therefore, His actions were a result of active discrimination and deliberation. People with poor discrimination make repeated mistakes and don’t learn from them; people with greater discrimination learn from their mistakes and try not to repeat them; more discriminating people learn from other’s mistakes and avoid them. But, Sri Ramakrishna could see a defect even before an action was performed due to His penetrating intellect. His intellect was not only sharp (penetrating) that allowed him such strong powers of proactive discrimination but it was also strong wherein it did not waver in applying the conclusions of discrimination due to worldly allurements and external appearances. His power of discrimination was so well developed that it found all worldly things insignificant. Therefore He did not seek worldly pleasures, money, etc. and didn’t flatter anyone for obtaining money or fame. Rich and influential people seek such flatterers. Sri Ramakrishna was only an ordinary priest among many others in a large temple. Yet, very powerful, influential and rich persons like Rani Rasmani and Mathur Babu became His sincere devotees. This was a clear demonstration of His teachership in the early days of his youth.