SUMMER BREAK OVER
ALL REGULAR PROGRAMS LIKE DAILY MORNING-EVENING MEDITATION-PRAYERS-READINGS (5:45AM & 7:00 PM), TUE & FRI EVENING VEDANTA CLASSES (7:30PM) RESTARTED FROM SEPT 08.
Ayurveda Conference: Sat and Sun, Sept 14 and 15:
Sat, Sept 14: 8:30 am to 5:00 pm: Venue Woodland Commons, UMASS Dartmouth
Theme: Ayurveda and Modern Healthcare Practices. For more Information and Registration for this Conference, please visit: http://vedantaprov.org/ayurveda-conference/
Sun, Sept 15, 11:00 am to 3:00 pm at IBES, 85 Waterman St, Room 015 Brown University, Providence and 4:30 to 6:00 pm at the Vedanta Society of Providence. For Details http://vedantaprov.org/ayurveda-conference/
Daylong Spiritual Retreat: Saturday, Oct 19, 9:30 am to 7:00 pm.
Swami Ishadhyanananda from Vedanta Society, Sacramento, CA will give classes on 2nd Chapter of Bhagavad Gita. Prior registration required. Registration can be done by email, mail or in person in the book-store. Reg fee $30 ($20 if paid on or before Sat Oct 12). Online Registration will be available soon.
Weekly Schedule (in addition to Daily Schedule given below)
|Fri. Sept. 13||7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation.
7:30 – 8:30 PM: Study class on ‘Svetasvatara Upanishad’, conducted by Swami Yogatmananda
|Sat. Sept. 14||8:30 am to 5:00 pm: Ayurveda Conference at Woodland Commons, UMASS Dartmouth. See details above.|
|Sun. Sept. 15||11:00 am to 3:00 pm: Ayurveda Conference at IBES, 85 Waterman St, Room 015 Brown University, Providence
4:30 to 6:00 pm: At the Vedanta Society of Providence.
|Tue. Sept. 17||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.
Aug 31- Sep 01 (Sat-Sun): Swami traveled to Vivekananda Retreat Ridgely Manor, NY to give a Labor Day Retreat on ‘Hafiz’s Poems of Divine Love’. The retreat was attended by about 40 devotees. He returned on Sunday evening.
Universal Brotherhood Day: Sun, Sep 08, 5:00-7:30 pm:
Interfaith Symposium on ‘GENDER/SEXUALITY JUSTICE’.
Speakers: Rev Donnie Anderson (Executive Minister, RI State Council of Churches); Rabbi Andrew Klein (Temple Habonim, RI), Wendy Manchester Ibrahim (RI Council for Muslim Advancement) and Pravrajika Gitaprana (Vivekananda Retreat, Ridgely Manor, NY). There was a Interfaith Music and Dinner. Synopsis given below.
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda, unless otherwise stated)
Sunday. Sep 8 – Universal Brotherhood Day
Swami Yogatmananda welcome everyone and spoke about the theme of Universal Brotherhood Day.
The Mission Song was sung by devotees of the Vedanta Society. This is a song about Swami Vivekananda’s journey to bring Vedanta to the West.
Rev. Donnie Anderson, Executive Minister of the RI State Council of Churches: When she was nine years old, she expressed to her mother that it was great that God had made her identify with females, although she was born as a boy. Her mother said that she loved her, but to never discuss this again, so she went into the closet, which was a dark, scary place. She never in her life felt abandoned by God. She learned to compartmentalize her life as a survival technique. As a child, she did not know the concept of transgender. She became a pastor, which is “who I am”. She thought she would have to give that up when she came out as a woman. Jesus Christ let a harlot have expression of who she was at a rich man’s house. We should never bring up whether a transgender person is having surgery, because surgery is irrelevant to being transgender.
The Ruach Singers, from Temple Habonim, sang the Hari Om Chant, Akanamandla/Yesh Lanu Koach, and Ahmede Muhammede.
Rabbi Andrew Klein, from Temple Habonim: Judaism has a range of understanding and interpretation of justice, and a long tradition of focusing on justice. The reason there are so many reminders for us to practice justice is that we are fallible. Even God is striving for justice, as when He made a covenant that the rainbow would remind Him to never repeat the deluge in which most of life was destroyed. Some aspects of justice don’t change, and some change. The Jewish Reform movement, went from rabbis not officiating at the marriages of ‘homosexuals’, to admitting lesbian and gay rabbinical students, to approving same sex marriages, to embracing transgender students. He felt that the synagogue was a safe place growing up, and wanted to become a rabbi, but he could not be ordained until he was 49 years old, due to being gay. What was true and just and right took some time to achieve. Our pain needs healing.
David Perolman, song leader at Temple Habonim, sang Heal Us Now.
Wendy Ibrahim, of the Rhode Island Council for Muslim Advancement: Allah created us as nations and tribes so we can know each other. She found the path that brings her closest to God. People ask: How can a feminist convert to Islam? Islam was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad by an angel of God. The first person to accept Islam was a woman, his wife. Hagar, Abraham’s wife, came to Mecca, trusting in God. Arabic is a binary language in which everything is either male or female, with the one exception of Allah. Islam has the core premise of equality, but people mess things up. At the soul level, men and women are exactly the same. The only ones who are superior are those who are righteous and spiritual. Men and women have the same moral responsibilities. Islam changed things so that women could inherit wealth and so that the birth of a girl was celebrated. According to Islam, women are supposed to decide whether and whom to marry.
Veena Telli: spoke about the Ardhanariswara – God half male, half female and two of her dance students performed the Ardanarishwara Dance in Bharatanatyam style.
Pravrajika Gitaprana, nun, and director of the Vivekananda Retreat Ridgely: It is important to listen and hear, without interjecting our commentary. Monastics, which includes nuns, are a-gender, and are at the root of the foremost changes in every religious tradition. She grew up in Berkeley in the 1960’s. Every kind of progressive idea was open for experimentation. Justice was the goal. Many people face pain and suffering due to the choices they make, and society’s reaction. We should honor their courage and bravery. India and surrounding countries recognize a third gender. “Isms” are foreign to the philosophical and religious traditions of Sanatana Dharma. There are more than two genders in the Vedas. There is no notion of heresy or of reform. Ancient notions get new life. Behind the multiplicity of gods, there are male, female, both, neither, and animal forms. One Consciousness is ultimately behind everything. Language talks about objects, but Brahman is not an object. Men, including Sri Ramakrishna, practice living as a woman to be in the mindset of Radha worshiping Lord Krishna. We need to examine our own minds to see if we are holding any prejudices. Swami Vivekananda said that what leads to unity is the right action.
Namaste was sung by devotees of the Vedanta Society.
Swami Yogatmananda thanked everyone, including Kul Bhushan Chaudhari, who recently passed away. He was instrumental in organizing these events. His friends prepared a delicious meal for those in attendance.
Auspicious Mother Divine was sung by all followed by dinner.
Tuesday, Sept 10 – Study Class on Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play
Chapter 4: Early Manifestations of His Powers As Guru – Page 459
Guru needs to be at a higher level to impart the knowledge to the student but also should be able to come down to the level of the student, so that the student can better understand the teachings of the Guru.
We all look for happiness. Everyone’s goal is to seek pleasure. But due to the ignorance, we all get misery in the name of happiness. The way out is to follow the lives of divine incarnations. Their lives exemplify how to attain the bliss we all are seeking for. The life of an incarnation teaches how to connect to our real nature and disconnect from everything that is unreal. This art removes all the misery and sufferings from our lives. This can be learned by looking at an artist who plays various roles in a drama/play. He plays the role of a given character, but he is fully aware of his true identity. Similarly, we all are playing our respective roles in this world. Once this knowledge is truly imbibed by the student, life is transformed. The course of life turns inward from outward. One realizes that happiness lies within and not outside. The life of Sri Ramakrishna should be studied for bringing the transformation in our lives and not for any intellectual understanding.
Sri Ramakrishna manifested the power as a Guru since his very childhood. This can be seen when we study his life. His actions were incomprehensible for a so-called rational and logical mind. His disciples tested him intensely before wholeheartedly accepting him as a Guru.