Monthly Vedanta Society of Connecticut Program: Sun. April 15, 10:00am – 12:30pm
The Swami and some devotees will go to 100, Cherry Brook Rd Canton, CT. Swami will do a short worship. There will be devotional singing and Swami will give a talk on ‘Process of Meditation’.
Day-Long Retreat – Sat. April 28, 9:30AM –6:30PM
Topic: Vedantic Meditation ( 2 discourses)
Speaker: Swami Sarvapriyananda (Vedanta Society New York)
NOTE: SEATING FULL: SOLD-OUT. REGISTRATION NOT AVAILABLE ANY MORE
Hatha Yoga Class – Fri. April 13 from 5:30—6:30pm with Roshni
Weekly Schedule (in addition to Daily Schedule given below)
|Friday, Apr. 13||7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation
7:30 – 8:30 PM: Study Class by Swami Yogatmananda on Jnana Yoga (based on the book of Swami Vivekananda)
|Saturday, Apr. 14||8:30 – 10:30 AM: Karma Yoga/Cleaning
11:00 AM – 12 noon: Guided meditation and singing12:00 noon to 8:00 PM: Daylong Silent Meditation.
7:00 – 8:30 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & Meditation
|Sunday, Apr. 15||5:00 – 6:00 PM: A talk – ‘Some Internal Purification Methods in Vedanta, by Swami Yogatmananda, followed by Vesper Service (Aarati), Soup supper & meditation . All are welcome.
7:00 – 8:00 PM: Meditation
|Tuesday, Apr. 17||7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation
7:30 – 8:30 PM: Study Class – 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.
|Evening||7:00 – 7:15 PM: Aarti (devotional music), with a short reading from ‘Towards the Goal Supreme’ by Swami Virajananda
7:15 – 8:00 PM: Meditation. Open to all.
‘Controlling the Mind’ – University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, MA Thu. April 05
Swami spoke to a class on this topic from 5 to 6:15 pm to about 28 students.
Concordia Center for Spiritual Living, Warwick, RI – Sun Apr 8, 9:15 am -1:00 pm
Swami gave a talk on ‘Spiritual Osmosis’ during the regular Sunday service of the Center and then conducted a workshop on the Stories of Sri Ramakrishna. About 70 attended.
Guided Meditation and Day-long Meditation on Sat, April 07
16 attended the guided meditation and prayer session; About 10-14 were for the day-long meditation, for varying hours.
Concert of Devotional Music (Kirtan) by Swaranjali April 08, 6:30-7:50 pm
Chinmaya Swaranjali, A ‘Kirtan’ group of expert musicians performed at the Vedanta Society on Sun, 8th, for about 90 min, from 6:20-7:50 pm. 45 were present.
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda, unless otherwise stated)
Study class – Jnana Yoga (a book by Swami Vivekananda) – Fri. April 06
Class #91: Atman –The Real and the Apparent Man (Ch 16)
The final chapter of Jnana Yoga is titled “The Real and the Apparent Man.” That which is apparent is a shadow; it cannot be caught. We are not that which is apparent, so who, really, are we? We can harmonize our beliefs with science, but the physical sciences can only get us as far as the boundaries of our sense organs. But our search for “Who am I?” cannot be stopped. The one theme of Vedanta is the search for unity. The metaphor of images projected on a screen comes to mind. The screen (Brahman) is what is real; the images (names and forms) are unreal. Vedanta takes us on a journey from the particulars to the general. We see that everything, from an individual person to the universe, has a beginning and an end. We come to the general principle that anything limited by names and forms is subject to death and destruction. From the general, we can use inductive logic to arrive at truths that are universal. We all have a desire for the universal truths, what is that ONE thing, knowing which, all other things become known; the search for this is the central theme of many Upanishads. We should beware, though, that if we don’t hone a sharp and focused mind, we will be too distracted to hold onto these conclusions for long.
Sunday Talk – What Really Belongs to Me? Swami Yogatmananda – April 08
Vedanta says that everything belongs to God. The idea of mine removes our freedom and puts us in chains. We hold onto our chains and say that we are bound. Shankaracharya said that it is a contradiction to give the eternal subject (‘I’) the designation of an object. The name of God is liberating, as we grow in love for God, and find that we all belong to God. Only God belongs to me. The story of Prahlada shows that love knows no fear. Prahlada prayed to God to have the unending attraction to God that others have for sense objects. If we see that nothing else but God is mine, bondage starts disappearing, and we become happier and more peaceful. Sri Ramakrishna proposed a spiritual practice of feeling that nobody and nothing is mine. He said that we should do our duty to our children and our family, but not claim that they are mine. If we expect something in return, that is bargaining, not love. What is mine is our love for God. As the idea of mine recedes, there is more love in our heart. Attachment (which is demanding) is actually the opposite of love (which is giving). If we are attached to results, we cannot follow our Ideal passionately. Through the intellect, we analyze that nothing belongs to me, and through the emotions, we feel that all belongs to God, and that God belongs to me.
Study Class – Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play – Tue. April 10
Pages 412-413: Sri Ramakrishna was born to be a spiritual teacher. When communicating in a group, sometimes He used to say things that were meant for a specific person in the group that only that person would understand. Impact of a spiritual instruction depends on the person receiving it. Spiritual teachers provide spiritual instructions a lot more through their day to day actions rather than through words. Sri Ramakrishna’s life is a great lesson – even His period of learning was meant to teach us. The wisdom of God latent in him used to be expressed differently based on the occasion. The spiritual experiences become more concrete as our mediation becomes deeper. We may initially concentrate on divine forms but these very forms become real when our meditation becomes concrete. The joy of spiritual awakening is too much to handle and the body cannot sustain it and may fall off. But, with achievement of spiritual awakening, the body has served its purpose. We should not worry about what would happen to our body, our relationships etc. once we realize God. They all become like a mirage. Spiritual teachers can be nitya-siddha (they are not caught in the snares of Maya since their birth) and jivan muktas (they become free during their life time but retain their body to fulfill the teacher-ship purpose). Nitya siddhas and jivan muktas have no ego of teachership.
Sri Ramakrishna describes the differences in spiritual experiences of various sages as differences of degree. How can there be differences in the experiences of non-dual reality? While these experiences appear to be the same to us but as one gets close to achieving the non-dual experience one gets a better appreciation of the differences between various non-dual experiences. Dualistic spiritual experiences are also different – culminating in savikalpa samadhi. While there may be differences in degree of the expression, there is no ignorance after these experiences.