Sun Sept 27, 10:00-11:00 am:
Vedanta Society of Providence and Annisquam Village Church will together present an event to honor Swami Vivekananda. The event will be online on zoom. Join through the link:
Sun, Sept 27, 7:30-8:30 pm:
Swami Yogatmananda speaks on ‘Stop Not Till The Goal Is Reached’. This YouTube talk is mainly for the devotees in the Queens-Bronx area of NY, but anyone can join by connecting to the Vedanta.Providence YouTube channel.
ALL REGULAR PROGRAMS (DAILY MORNING & EVENING MEDITATIONS AND PRAYERS, TUE & FRI VEDANTA CLASS, SUN SERVICE LECTURE) STARTED & OPEN FOR IN-PERSON ATTENDANCE, WITH CERTAIN RESTRICTIONS.
Entrance door remains open for limited times as follows:
- Tue & Fri lectures: 6:45 – 7:35 pm
- Sun services: 4:45 – 5:05 pm
- Morning meditation : 5:45 – 5:55 am
- Evening meditation: 6:45 – 7:15 pm
All lectures/classes will continue to be webcast LIVE on our YouTube channel.
Weekly Schedule (in addition to Daily Schedule given below)
|Fri. Sept 25||7:00 – 8:45 pm: Arati, meditation and Study Class on ‘Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam’ by Swami Yogatmananda
|Sun. Sept 27||5:00-6:00 pm: Sun lecture on ‘‘Forget and Forgive’’ by Swami Yogatmananda, followed by Arati and meditation|
|Tue. Sept 29||7:00 – 8:45 pm: Arati, meditation and A Study Class on ‘Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play’
by Swami Yogatmananda
|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 5:55 am
|Evening||(Except on Sundays)
7:00 – 7:15 PM: Aarti (devotional music), with a short reading from ‘Uniqueness of Sri Ramakrishna’ by Swami Bhuteshananda
7:15 – 8:00 PM: Meditation. Open to all, but one must enter before 7:10 am
On Sun, Sept 20, 10:30-11:30am, Swami gave the regular monthly class for Vedanta Society of Connecticut from the YouTube channel. The topic was ‘Movements of the Mind’. After the YouTube lecture & q-a, Swami joined many devotees on zoom for discussion and singing.
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda)
Friday, Sep 18 – Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam,
All of us possess devotion, but it generally takes the form of attraction to ephemeral things. During the final seven days of his life, the pious king Parikshit wants to direct his devotion towards the true source of all attraction, namely the Lord. King Parikshit asks a series of questions to the Sage Suka: “How does the Atman, the pure spirit, free from any touch of matter, assume a body? If God possesses limbs like man, then what is the difference between man and God? In what form does the Supreme Being remain when dissociated from Maya? What is the length of time in a complete cycle of creation? What makes the divisions of past, present, and future? Please tell me about the life spans of various beings, like humans, celestial, etc. What are the internal dimensions of this universe? What is beyond it?” To find the answer to these questions, we must make the intellect more subtle through the practice of meditation. Hari says: “…By my blessings you shall know of My Truth—what I am inherently and what are My manifestations…Before creation, I Alone was, there was no other cause; I alone am after the creative cycle. The universe appears without any other substance…all is my divine power…In a sense, I have entered into the beings, yet, I have not entered—as there is no change in me. Practice the supreme concentration in me, get absorbed in me, and do my work as commanded…Then you will never be infatuated.” Here we see that the answers are to be found through concentration on and devotion to God. And how is this concentration and devotion developed? The story now turns its attention to the devotee Vidura. Vidura was devoted to God and was very righteous but was often insulted by the evil-intentioned sons of Dhritarastra. In the next class, we will further see how the devotee Vidura exemplifies concentration on and devotion to God.
Sunday Sept 20 – Truth Does Not Allow Compromise
The opening song was Is Your All on the Altar? performed by Srikanth Srigiriraju and Abhijit Sarcar.
Truth is the value for which everything else in life can be sacrificed. The practice of truth is central in all religions. We have a tendency to compromise on the truth based on our likes and dislikes. Society or peer pressure may urge us to go against our conscience. Swami Vivekananda said that truth does not pay homage to society – Society has to pay homage to truth or perish. Sri Ramakrishna always held onto truth, considering it as Supreme. He said that truthfulness alone is the spiritual discipline in the Kaliyuga. If we keep on practicing truth, we realize God. If we have a lapse in our practice of telling the truth, we can do a penance, or do extra meditation. We should adhere to the truth irrespective of temptations. We should eventually learn to discard all desires. Discernment should run over our desires, and we will not compromise on the truth. We become good at what we practice. Swami Vivekananda said that Vedanta has the highest and most practical Ideal. Nothing is closer to us than God. We can take baby steps toward telling the truth, so we do not bring the Ideal down. We can work on this gradually, but with no compromise. We should not tell lies, but we should not say anything to hurt anyone. It is only permissible to tell a lie if the motive is completely unselfish, such as a mother distracting her child while coaxing he/him to eat. Telling the truth does not bring worldly victory every time, but what we might lose in the world, we would lose eventually anyway.
Tuesday, Sept 22 – Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play
Sri Ramakrishna as a Guru – Part 2, Chapter 1 – The Story of Vaishnavacharan and Gauri
Page #547- 549
Many spiritual aspirants from Bengal and northern states of India found the source of bliss in Sri Ramakrishna and received the fulfillment, long before prominent people from Kolkata started to know Him.
There was nothing physically attractive about the Master. He was not even considered as an intellectual. But still individuals with earnest spiritual yearning rightfully found Sri Ramakrishna as a teacher and benefitted from His spiritual wisdom like bees gather when flowers bloom.
One can’t preach without appropriate authority. One must have God realization before imparting spiritual wisdom. Spiritual wisdom is not related to worldly learning. Worldly learning makes one egotistic and forgetful of important questions of life which lead to realizing our true nature. God alone can teach how to become free from misery.
Sri Ramakrishna practiced first and then preached. His life was full of self-control and renunciation. He considered Himself to be an instrument at the hands of the Divine Mother. His belief manifested in His life and teachings.
Before Bhairavi Brahmani’s arrival, Mathur Babu and others thought that due to the overdose of spiritual practices Sri Ramakrishna lost his mental balance and was also suffering from physical abnormalities and was in need of medical help. Bhairavi Brahmani was the first one, who asserted that Master’s physical symptoms were due to His extraordinary devotion to God. She compared Him to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Srimati Radha, but there was not a slight trace of ego in Him. Brahmani not only asserted that but was also very confident that her opinion is accurate and can be validated with the best spiritual pandits who were well versed in scriptures.