Coronavirus Alert: TILL APRIL END, ALL CLASSES AND LECTURES AVAILABLE ONLY ONLINE ON YOUTUBE CHANEL OF VEDANTA SOCIETY OF PROVIDENCE. All other daily and weekly programs (meditations, prayers, Karma Yoga are suspended for the public). STATE OF RI IS UNDER ‘STAY HOME ORDERS’ FOR A GOOD REASON.
These seemingly depressing conditions, could actually be turned into helpful ones, if only we connect to God, our true Self, who never ever leaves us. Since going out has been very much limited now for most of us, let us turn inwards in prayer and meditation, to discover the mine of unlimited bliss there.
Let us also feel for the people who are going through difficulties/sufferings at this time and come forward for their help.
The Swami was to travel to Philadelphia on April 11th; but as the Covid-19 situation is not allowing it, he will give a special Youtube talk on the same Vedanta Society of Providence channel on Sat, April 11, at 11:00am. Although it is specially meant for the devotees there, others can also join. The topic is VIVEKANANDA’S MESSAGE OF SELF-CONFIDENCE.
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: COVID 19 RELIEF
Many in the state are facing huge financial hardships due to business closures, loss of wages etc. Vedanta Society will offer some relief to such people. Please contact 401-421-3960 or email at [email protected] for an appointment.
Weekly Schedule (in addition to Daily Schedule given below)
|Fri. Apr. 10||7:20 – 8:45 pm: Meditation and Study Class on ‘Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam’ by Swami Yogatmananda. ONLINE ONLY|
|Sun. Apr. 12||5:00-6:00 pm: Sun lecture on ‘‘TRANSCENDING DEATH’’ by Swami Yogatmananda. ONLINE ONLY|
|Tue. Apr. 14||7:20 – 8:45 pm: Meditation and A Study Class on ‘Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play’ by Swami Yogatmananda. ONLINE ONLY|
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda, unless otherwise stated)
Friday, Apr 03 – Study Class on Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam
Class 13: Don’t waste TIME
Suka explains to Parikshit that when one realizes God all bondages are cut asunder and one attains fearlessness. Chanting the name of the Lord and thinking of His glories loosens the hold of the world and brings the awareness that God alone IS. Despite the follies of the Kali Yuga, reciting the name of the Lord is enough to bring liberation. The practice of Sravana, carefully listening and taking in knowledge, leads us to the realization that God alone is real and makes God’s presence apparent. Even the sages, though fully perfected, continue to listen to the name and glories of the Lord—such is the supreme attractiveness of the Lord’s name. Suka, a great example of renunciation and dispassion, tells Parikshit, with little time left to live, you must engage in the most important work of life: put the mind on God. Also, actually, you have enough time -full seven days – look at the story of king Khatwanga, who had just 12 mins, and yet he could do that, due to his dedication. Again, Suka imparts the following advice to Parikshit: the mind reaches the Lord quickly and effortlessly by reciting the name of the Lord. We want the mind to go to God, yet it goes everywhere else. Is there a way to take it to God? Sri Ramakrishna advises us to chant the name of the Lord with sincerity. Moreover, we can turn the mind away from the world and towards God by applying the right technique: contemplation of God’s glories.
Sunday Service, Apr 5 – Is ‘Seeing’ the Proof of Existence?
Seeing symbolizes all sense perceptions. The infinite variety of our worldviews come about when we receive input from objects, and then with brain-mind-soul experience the world. In Vedanta, there are four types of truth in the world: 1) Empirical or contextual day-to-day truth: Something may be true only in the context of a certain movie, or true in one time zone only, or true today and not tomorrow. We should not confuse the relative and absolute truth. 2) Illusory appearance due to contradictions: We see the earth as flat, but otherwise know it is round. This comes about when we test something with our other senses or with reasoning. 3) Something is true in all time-space-causal variations: Brahman is the soul’s goal. This is true in all situations. From the side of the perceiver, we see that the ‘I’ is the constant factor throughout all changes, including in dreaming and deep sleep. It is not the body or the mind because they change. There is no alternative but to see the ‘I’ as the all-pervading, eternal Self. Yoga converts this understanding into experience. From the side of the perceived, everything is made of the same particles combined in different ways, so all is one Reality. 4) What is not superimposed, yet not absolute Reality (Anadhyasta Vivarta): This is where Brahman is perceived as One and also as manifesting in many forms. Sri Ramakrishna called this vijnana. Life of God-incarnation is also of this type. An analogy is that different ornaments may be made of gold, so a necklace is both a necklace and gold. Sri Ramakrishna was Brahman in human form.
Tuesday, Apr 7 – Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play
Pg 512-516 – Master Bestows Grace on Mathur
Sri Ramakrishna had the special capacity to identify the true spiritual character of an individual. A young man experiencing spiritual emotions was brought over to meet with the Mater. Master commented that the young man in the blissful state of mind was showing some preliminary signs of Madhur Bhava. But Master also commented that this state will not last long. As his temporary mood was a result of excitement from sankirtan. One must develop discernment and knowledge along with fervent devotion to maintain the strong spiritual current. (As per the Bhakti scripture there are five types of moods or emotions – Shanta, Dasya, Sakhya, Vatsalya and Madhur. Each of this mood manifest some special behavior and external signs in a devotee.)
Mathur Babu shared a very unique and special relationship with the Master. Master took care of his welfare not only when Mathur Babu was alive but even afterward. The following incident gives us an idea about Master’s love and concern for Mathur Babu.
It was arranged that a part of Prasad – food offering from the temple will be sent to the Master every day. The offered food is sanctified as God partakes the offered food through his vision which makes it holy and pure. On the day of Falaharini Kali Puja Master was anxiously waiting for the Prasad to come to his room. When it didn’t come for a long time, Master himself went to the Manager’s office to check this out. Seeing all this Yogin, who later became Swami Yogananda, and who belonged to an aristocratic family, concluded that even the Master is like other priests who are interested in the Prasad. Master very easily understood the thought in Yogin’s mind and explained the reason behind his anxiety. He mentioned that since the share of Prasad which comes to the Master’s room is distributed to the devotees, that is the good use of Rani Rasmani and Mathur Babu’s donation and service to the temple. This brings a lot of good to them and their families. Hence He was so particular about getting the Prasad to his room.