Swami Returns on Fri. Nov. 30
Swami Yogatmananda is finishing up the travelling and delivering of lectures in India, Germany, Ireland, England. Swami will resume conducting the Svetasvatara Upanishad class this coming Fri Nov 30, from 7:30pm – 8:30pm.
Day-long Meditation – Sat Dec 01
This is a monthly program. Everyone is welcome to participate for as short or long a time period as can. If one leaves the building, cannot re-enter until entry re-opens at 6:30pm. Front entry gets locked at 12 NOON; door re-opens at 6:30pm for the 7pm singing of Aarati; then meditation continues till 8pm. Simple vegetarian food provided. NO ELECTRONIC DEVICES/cell phones ALLOWED to use.
Just Kids! – Sun Dec 04
The monthly Just Kids! Program will meet from 4:00pm –6:00pm. All children ages five to twelve welcome.
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:
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. 30||7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation.
7:30 – 8:30 PM: Study class on ‘Svetasvatara Upanishad’, conducted by Swami Yogatmananda
|Sat. Dec. 01||8:30 – 10:30am: Karma Yoga (Cleaning & Work-service)
11:00am – 12:00 noon: Guided Meditation & prayers
12 noon – 6:30pm: Day-Long Meditation; See more information above.
7:00pm – 8:00pm: Aarati (devotional singing, a short reading and meditation
|Sun. Dec. 02||5:00 – 6:00 PM: Lecture: ‘Staying Young Forever’ by Swami Yogatmananda, followed by Aarati and soup-supper and meditation till 8pm.|
|Tue. Dec. 04||7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation
7:30 – 8:30 PM: Study Class by Swami Yogatmananda on 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, 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.
The birth anniversary of Swami Vijnanananda direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, was observed on Tues Nov 22 in the morning meditation with a chant, and after the evening Aarati-singing with a song, a short biographical reading and meditation.
Synopses of Past Classes
Sunday Talk – Now and Then – Thoughts from our Congregation – Nov 25
Chester Boncek: We are recognizing Swami Sarvagatannda’s 106thBirth Anniversary. Tonight we will learn about members of our congregation who we have seen often, but may have not gotten to know.
From Identity Crisis to Finding a Spiritual Home – by Charles Feldman: I was raised in a home with little religious practice. In college, I encountered a wide variety of beliefs, which led me to an identity crisis. At the Vedanta Society, I learned that there are many paths to the Truth. I learned that spiritual growth comes through unselfishness. It is possible to have a path that combines devotion with the idea that we are all One.
Lessons from my Awakening – by Yluko: I have had premonitions, including one of a tragedy, which turned out to be accurate. This led me to feeling guilt and depression that I hadn’t done more to stop it. I was healed through chakra meditation and asking: “Who am I?” I experienced the Divine. Realizing that this happened through grace allowed me to avoid the pitfall of pride. Sri Ramakrishna has pointed out that siddhis do not help us to realize God.
Spiritual Aspects of the 12 Steps – by John Gallagher: A 12 Step sponsor told me that my problem was seeking earthly solutions to spiritual problems. The 12 Steps puncture the ego. They say that a higher power can restore us to sanity. I started attending the Vedanta Society. I have gone from having bad direction to having good direction. The three poisons of Buddhism, greed, ill will, and delusion, parallel problems that I have had to overcome.
Art as a Spiritual Practice – by Bernadette Pace: I use art as a form of meditation. I learned to be present in yoga classes. I went to an event where no one showed up, and ended up coming to the Vedanta Society instead, which was like walking into another dimension. My favorite activity is the Saturday guided meditation led by Swami Yogatmananda. I do one or two artworks in the morning. I designed an altar with the Holy Trio, guarded by Hanuman. Swami Yogatmananda told me to see with the eyes of the heart. I now have more ahimsa in my life, and am like a particle or wave dissolving into the ocean.
My Spiritual Wanderings – by Chris Freed: My family did not practice religion, although I came from a Christian heritage. Taking a Japanese carpentry class led to my association with some Zen monasteries. I met an Indian Guru, which led to my coming to the Vedanta Society. I attended a mosque for a number of years. Sri Ramakrishna worshipped everywhere, and Vedanta has given me the freedom to explore.
Loving Support from Vedanta – by Peter Travisano: What works for me is to experience religion as love. At the Vedanta Society, we are blessed with a human birth, the desire for illumination, and many illumined teachers. I came to Vedanta through reading The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. I found Swami Sarvagatananda to be amazingly accessible. His focus was on love, and he told me to keep coming. Here, I have gotten good guidance, and help with meditation.
Thoughts on Spiritual Inspiration – by Viswanath A.: I am grateful to have been guided by Swami Sarvagatananda. People approached him with all kinds of problems, including mental, emotional, physical, and theological problems. He said we must be brave. To him, religion is a science. He encouraged people to question things. He said that religion is simple, and we should not make it complicated. He said that our true nature is pure, loving, consciousness.
Tuesday Study Class: Pilgrimage sites associated with Holy Mother – by Sukalyan Sengupta – Nov. 27
After Sri Ramakrishna’s passing away in August 1886, as per His instructions, Holy Mother went on her first pilgrimage accompanied by a small group of devotees.
Her first destination was Baidynath Dham – Deoghar. She spent one night there on her way to Banaras. Banaras is the place of Shiva. There lived many famous monks. Holy Mother wanted to meet one such monk, whose name was Swami Bhaskarananda. He never used to wear any clothes as a part of his spiritual practice. It was very challenging for the women devotees and especially for a bashful person like Holy Mother to meet him. But the meeting with that spiritually elevated soul was very inspiring and the physical awareness was not an impediment.
From Banaras, they went to Ayodhya, which is the birthplace of Lord Rama and to Vrindavana which is the place of Lord Krishna. On her way to Vrindavana, Holy Mother got a very clear vision of the Master instructing her to protect the gold amulet which she used to wear. Such visions always gave her the solace that Master was still there to protect and to take care of her. The party stayed in Vrindavana for 10-11 months. During this stay, for some period, she was completely absorbed in the thoughts of the Master forgetting her individual existence. It is said that her behavior and actions were resembling to that of the Master. She initiated her first disciple – Swami Yogananda – in Vrindavana as per the Master’s instructions. From Vrindavana the party traveled to Hardwar, Pushkar – Rajasthan and Allahabad and returned to Kolkata.
In 1889, she went to Jagannath Puri. She took Master’s picture with her as the Master never visited this place.
In March 1890, she went to Gaya and Bodhgaya. Sri Ramakrishna’s father got the vision that a son will be born to him at Gaya. Mother visited this holy place and she was impressed to see the wealthy Buddhist monasteries in Bodhgaya. She intensely prayed to the Master to provide better food and shelter to his monastic disciples. Her prayer was granted in 1898 when Swami Vivekananda purchased the Belur Math.
In 1911, Holy Mother went for her pilgrimage to South India. Swami Ramakrishnanada took care of the Mother during this trip. She traveled to Chennai, Madurai, Rameshwaram and Bengaluru. Language was the biggest barrier in this region but the devotees enjoyed the blissful company without any communication.
Other than the above places the following places became holy sites of pilgrimage for the devotees of the Holy Mother due to her association. They are – Mother’s birthplace Joyrambati, Kamarpukur – which the birth place of the Master but Mother spent significant time there. Dakshineshwar – where Mother stayed in a tiny room and quietly took care of the Master and his devotees. Nilambar Mukherjee’s House – which is adjacent to Belur math. Mother stayed there and performed the Panchatapa Sadhana in the summer of 1893. Cassipore Garden House – Mother was in this house accompanying the Master in the last few months of his life. Balaram Bose’s House in Kolkata – Mother visited and also stayed in this house at many occasions when she used to visit Kolkata. Udbodhan/Mayerbadi – This house was constructed by Swami Saradananda as a permanent residence for the Holy Mother whenever she visited Kolkata. Mother stayed here for a long time and she initiated many disciples in this house. She also breathed her last in this house.