RAMA FESTIVAL: SUN, APRIL 14, Special Lecture by Swami Ishatmananda on Rama The Best Among Men 5:00-6:00 pm, FOLLOWED BY Devotional Music Concert by Dattatreya Velankar 6:15-7:30
Sat. May 11, 9:30 am to 7:00 pm: Spiritual Retreat by Swami Atmajnanananda, Vedanta Center, Gr Washington DC
Topic: Parliament of Religions (Christianity and Sikhism)
Prior Reg Required. Reg Fee: $30; (Discounted Fee: $20, if paid by April 28)
Click here for online registration.
Weekly Schedule (in addition to Daily Schedule given below)
|Fri. April 12||7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation.
7:30 – 8:30 PM: Study class on ‘Svetasvatara Upanishad’, conducted by Swami Yogatmananda
|Sat. April 13||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. April 14||5:00-6:00 pm: Special Lecture by Swami Ishatmananda on ‘Rama: The Best Among Men’
6:15-7:30 pm: Devotional Music Concert by Dattatreya Velankar
|Tue. April 16||5:30-6:30 pm: HATHA YOGA class: Contact Vedanta Society by email or
contact Roshni Darnal at 401-226-5421
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||(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.
Swami Travels to Huntsville, AL and London KY – Sat 4/06 to Mon 4/08– Swami gave 3 spiritual talks at Huntsville, AL on Sat and Sun and then at London, KY on Sun and Mon evenings, returning to Providence in the early afternoon on Tue, 4/09. The lectures were well-attended.
Day-long Meditation, Sat 04/06: 10+ devotees meditated for various lengths of time.
Just Kids: Sun 04/07: Activities included making sand-art figures using a salt-filled pendulum made from an old water bottle. The sand-art activity was a hands-on lesson designed to complement and augment last month’s discussion on mandalas. The group also took turns reading and discussing a moral-based story. The group shared soup supper and snacks to conclude the program. Eight children participated.
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda, unless otherwise stated)
Friday, Apr 5 – Study Class on Svetasvatara Upanisad
Class 25, Verses: Ch 3, 13-15:
We must feel the divine, in the form of out chosen ideal, in our heart. Feeling the divine in our heart makes us feel close to God, that God is accessible, but really, God is infinite. Then, depending on our efforts and the purity of our mind, we will see our lives shift. Change takes time. If we’re heading in the wrong direction, looking outwards rather than inwards, we must reverse the course. It’s imperative that we separate ourselves from the false association with the body, the feeling that “I am the body.” We are not. This is a congealed, concretized ignorance we have, which makes us see a different “I” in different bodies. But no! The realization of the sages is completely different. They know that the “I” in all of us is the same. That the one being is thinking through all heads, seeing through all eyes. The same being is in every object, and in the spaces between the objects. There is no separation, no multiplicity, no change. There is no time, no past, present, future; all is Self. By meditating on the divine being in our hearts, we start to feel that this being is all that is.
Sunday, Apr 7: Universal Values in Christianity – a talk by Rev. Linda Forsberg
My bias is that I have more in common with people of other faiths than I do with those called fundamentalists in my own faith. There is a Creator behind all creation. God lives in everything, so all is sacred and holy. We can treat all creation as reflecting God. Human beings are all created in the image of God, so how we treat other people is of utmost importance. This is similar to the meaning of Namaste. A prayer that we say when heading to church in the Burnside Park is: “May we see God in all we encounter and may we reflect God to all we encounter.” The Golden Rule states: “Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you.” This is like Ahimsa. Life is a spiritual journey. When we have an awakening, we realize that we are focusing on things that are not of ultimate importance, and we open to the spiritual dimension. There is nothing so reprehensible that God cannot turn it around in someone’s life. In the Church Beyond the Walls, there is a man who for many years was homeless, addicted, and in prison, and is now a leader in the community. Names can divide, but spirit is universal. Jesus Christ summed up the Torah by saying: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” And: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, who had a friendship with Mahatma Gandhi, said that if we respond to hatred with love, this is a power that can dismantle hatred. With agape, which is God-like or Christ-like love, we can see the Divine in all.
Tuesday, Apr 9 – Study Class on ‘Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play’
Sri Ramakrishna as a Guru – Page # 448
Connection with the God can be established by following dualism, qualified non-dualism, or non-dualism. These are the different paths or philosophies to reach the same goal. Intellectual discussion about selecting one path over the other is not effective. Similarly, we must not try to limit Sri Ramakrishna’s divine personality to one particular path alone. He was a dualist, a qualified non-dualist as well as a non-dualist at the same time. Sri Ramakrishna gave the example of Hanuman who was the foremost devotee of Rama.
Once Rama asked Hanuman – ‘how do you look upon me? ’To answer this question Hanuman said at the physical & mental level he saw Rama to be His Master. At the individual soul level, Hanumana looked at himself as a part of Rama. Lastly during Samadhi he experienced the ultimate Oneness. These three approaches show the dualism, qualified non-dualism and non-dualism. These three approaches exist in one individual depending upon his awareness.
This universe exists in this form due to the strong attachment of the spirit to the body and mind. At this relative level of awareness God is the Master, who governs the world. This world is bound by certain laws. In the second level where we see the unchanging spirit behind this ephemeral physical world, God is seen as a Whole and we as a part of that divine spirit. At the third level, where there is no attachment to the body and mind, there is no relative existence, the absolute Oneness is felt. This is a non-dualist experience.