- The Tuesday & Friday online live-streaming of classes will now be from our YouTube channel (instead of Twitter). Please follow the link:
- Volunteer Work: Cleaning, Maintenance, webcasting of lectures, etc.
- Vedanta Library and Bookstore: Open 30 minutes before every class/program.
Guest Lectures This Week:
Fri. Nov. 16, 7:30 – 8:30 pm: ‘Spiritual Unfoldment and The Pantanjali Yoga Sutras’ – Part 2 by Chet Boncek
Sun. Nov. 18, 5 – 6 pm: ‘The Essence of All Vedanta (based on Mandukya Karika)’ by Swami Sarvapriyananda, Vedanta Society, New York
Tue. Nov. 20, 7:30 – 8:30 pm: ‘Pilgrimage Sites associated with Sri Ramakrishna’ by Prof. Sukalyan Sengupta, UMass/Dartmouth
All are welcome. No fee.
Swami Yogatmananda visits India and Europe – Nov. 07 – Nov. 30
Swami Yogatmananda will be travelling and delivering lectures in India, Germany, Ireland, England.
Click here to see his itinerary. Swami will resume classes from Fri. Nov. 30.
During his absence, all classes, Saturday guided meditation-hour; karma yoga/work-service; daily morning/evening meditation programs, Sun soup supper etc will continue as usual.
Many distinguished guest-speakers, including Bishop Paul, Swami Sarvapriyananda, Prof Sukalyan Sengupta, and Chet Boncek will be covering the Sunday, Tuesday and Friday classes. Please check the monthly flyer and weekly newsletter. Live webcast of all classes will continue as usual.
Daylong Retreat – Sat. Dec. 08, 9:30am – 5:00pm
– by Swami Yogatmananda
Topic: ‘Kingdom of God is Within You’
Fee: $30.00; Discounted fee $20 if paid by Nov 30 (Fees are non-refundable)
Prior Registration Required; Can be done online or in person at the Society’s office, or by mail. For detailed information and online registration:
SALUTATIONS! – Tues Nov 20 & Thurs Nov 22
The birth anniversaries of Swami Subodhananda and Swami Vijnanananda, direct disciples of Sri Ramakrishna, will be observed on Tues Nov 20 and Thurs Nov 22 (respectively) , in the morning meditation with a chant, and after the evening Aarati-singing with a song and a short biographical reading and meditation.
Hatha Yoga Classes – Every Tuesday, beginning Oct 02, 5:30-6:30 PM
Fee: $40 — PREPAID For 2 Month Course, $10/Per Class
Contact Vedanta Society by phone or email or contact Roshni Darnal at 401-226-5421
Weekly Schedule (in addition to Daily Schedule given below)
|Fri. Nov. 16||7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation.
7:30 – 8:30 PM: Study Class by Chet Boncek on: ‘Spiritual Unfoldment and The Pantanjali Yoga Sutras’ – Part 2
|Sat. Nov. 17||8:30 – 10:30am: Karma Yoga (Cleaning & Work-service)
11:00am – 12:00 noon: Guided Meditation & prayers
7:00pm – 8:00pm – Aarati (devotional singing, a short reading and meditation
|Sun. Nov. 18||5:00 – 6:00 PM: Lecture: ‘The Essence of All Vedanta (based on Mandukya Karika)’ by Swami Sarvapriyananda, Vedanta Society, New York, followed by Aarati and soup-supper|
|Tue. Nov. 20||7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation
7:30 – 8:30 PM: Study Class – ‘Pilgrimage Sites associated with Sri Ramakrishna’ by Prof. Sukalyan Sengupta
|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||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.
Synopses of Past Classes
Friday Study Class: ‘Spiritual Unfoldment and The Pantanjali Yoga Sutras’ – Part 1 by Chet Boncek – Nov. 09
A two part series on Spiritual Unfoldment and the Patanjali Yoga Sutras began on Friday Nov 9th.
The whole of religion as taught by Swami Vivekananda is to manifest the latent Divinity in every person.
Swamiji teaches four paths one of which is called psychic control and is also known as Raja Yoga.
The seventh (and eleventh) stage of Spiritual Unfoldment described by Swami Yatiswarananda is the non-dual experience. It
is the highest experience claimed by Advaita Vedanta. The Patanjali Yoga sutras –considered the authoritative source — describe the goal and explain the way to this experience. Included was a review of Swami Vivekananda’s commentary on the views of other philosophers who have addressed the destiny of humankind and whether they saw the absolute state or the relative state of existence as higher. The Nov 9th session concluded with a cursory look at the first two of Patanjali’s sutras.
The first six sutras of chapter 1 of the Yoga sutras will be discussed in detail on Friday Nov 16th.
Sunday Talk – St. Francis of Assisi – by Bishop Paul, Celtic Orthodox Church, Virginia – Nov 11
As a young man, St. Francis lived it up, fought in a war, got taken prisoner, was released, and got sick and nearly died. He was joyful throughout all this. In a church that was falling apart, he heard the voice of Jesus saying: “Go and rebuild my church.” He eventually realized that the Lord was talking about the spiritual church, which was corrupt and intellectualized, but not of the heart. His father was annoyed that his son practiced real poverty, and did not join the family business. He told his father that his Heavenly Father told him what to do. A nobleman sought to expose St. Francis by inviting him to spend the night and observing him, but became a follower when he saw that St. Francis only pretended to sleep, and prayed all night. St. Francis overcame his aversion to lepers, embraced a leper and lived in a leper colony, feeling that they too were of Christ. The common people followed St. Francis rather than the official clergy, so he was made to seek formal authorization to preach, from the pope. The pope made him get the tonsure, the official monks’ haircut, but then he was no longer free, and was under the control of the clergy. He was in torment about this. He saw an angel and passed out in ecstasy, and when he awoke, his body had stigmata, or the marks of the crucifixion, upon which he became totally identified with Christ. Unlike others, Saint Francis did not engage in rebellion or revolution, but in reform from within.
Tuesday Study Class: ‘Visions of Sri Ramakrishna’ by Bishop Paul – Nov. 13
Swami Vivekananda, when asked to write about the life of Sri Ramakrishna, he answered, “You can ask me to swallow the ocean or crumble the mountains, but don’t ask me to write the life of Sri Ramakrishna.” Sri Ramakrishna’s life was so full of visions and realizations, that it’s hard to comprehend it fully. It’s difficult for our generation to examine a life like Sri Ramakrishna. In modern terms, ecstasy is a mental disease, because we have forgotten God and we see the world in a perverse form. People at the most hanker after miracles, extraordinary highs, and don’t realize that we shouldn’t even strive for miracles. To really enter into a higher Spiritual realm, we must see within our own lives to develop strong character, purity, shun the world, seek Truth for only true communication with God makes us free. It is a vision only if it changes the course of our life towards a higher goal, otherwise, it is just a figment of our imagination. Sri Ramakrishna was so attached to Truth, that he told Divine Mother to take away everything from him, except Truth. For if he loses Truth, how can he speak about Her, the embodiment of Truth. True meditation leads us to freedom, we become free from all ties – from hatred, shame, family status, good conduct, fear, fame. To have union with God, one should have pure desires, need to go beyond the “I”, then we desire to do good all the time.
Although in Christian tradition Blessed Virgin Mary is revered as the Mother of God, but that Motherhood of God is not brought to the same degree as the Hinduism does. For Sri Ramakrishna, Divine Mother is God. His vision of Oneness as a child, when he saw white cranes fly across the sky with dark clouds as he walked across the paddy field, reveals that he perceived purity and immense grandeur. Divine Mother revealed to him in various ways, in different forms (he even saw the Mother in a prostitute), formless (would perceive Her breathing near him, but even he could not see her form then). St. Joseph was famous for giving money to the poor. Once someone noticed that a beggar was coming more than once to collect from the Saint and hence warned the Saint to not encourage that beggar. To that, the Saint responded, “we still have to give, for the Lord may be coming back”! Such is the love of the liberated souls – nothing is different, they make God theirs. Gopis didn’t see Krishna as someone else, they thought of Krishna as in themselves! Mathur Babu once saw Kali and Shiva both in the Sri Ramakrishna, and understood that Sri Ramakrishna was Kali Herself, not just a devotee of Kali. Even Master had trouble understanding his experiences, and at those times, spiritual stalwarts such as Totapuri & Bhairavi Brahmani would explain how his experiences reinforces the authority of scriptures. Master saw the Lord everywhere, while on the banks of River Yamuna, when he saw a dark cowherd boy walking with the rest of cowherd boys and cows, he recognized that boy as Sri Krishna. Again, while at a balloon festival at a park that he attended, he saw an English kid standing against the wall with body bent in 3 places, he immediately went into a trance seeing Krishna in that boy.
When he doubted if Sri Chaitanya was an incarnation, he saw through a vision – when he was about to fall from a boat in Navadweep, two boys of molten golden hue came to save him, and he recognized them as Chaitanya & Nityagopal. He was also shown, through visions, the devotees that would eventually come to him, such as Balaram Bose (in the kirtan party led by Sri Chaitanya), Rakhal (Swami Brahmananda – two boys dancing on two hundred petal lotus, one being Krishna and the other being Rakhal whom the Divine Mother had placed on Sri Ramakrishna’s lap in a seperate vision), Narendra (Swami Vivekananda – as one of the luminous Rishis who accepted to come at the persistent entreaty of a divine child, being Sri Ramakrishna himself).