Coronavirus Alert: TILL MAY 08 (OR TILL FURTHER NOTICE) – 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. 17
|7:20 – 8:45 pm: Meditation and Study Class on ‘Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam’ by Swami Yogatmananda. ONLINE ONLY
|Sun. Apr. 19
|5:00-6:00 pm: Sun lecture on ‘“How to stop Anxiety without stopping thinking?” by Swami Yogatmananda. ONLINE ONLY
|Tue. Apr. 21
|7:20 – 8:45 pm: Meditation and A Study Class on ‘Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play’ by Swami Yogatmananda. ONLINE ONLY
The Swami was to travel to Philadelphia on 11th April; but as the Covid-19 situation did not allow, he gave a special Youtube talk on the same Vedanta Society of Providence channel on Sat, April 11, at 11:00 am to 12:30 pm. Although it was specially meant for the devotees there, many others also joined. The topic was VIVEKANANDA’S MESSAGE OF SELF-CONFIDENCE.
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda, unless otherwise stated)
Friday, Apr 10 – Study Class on Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam
Class 14: Meditation on AUM
Volume II of Srimad Bhagavatam is considered by many to be the most important volume, because it provides instructions for sadhana, spiritual practice that allows us to concentrate our minds on the spiritual truth.
Just as King Parikshit is facing his death in seven days’s time, we too must understand it can come at any time. We need not be afraid. We should cut all attachments to the body and to other people and material objects. In 8th chapter of Bhagavad Gita, Sri Krishna instructs us to keep our minds on the eternal, unchanging, all-pervading Reality, even while completing our worldly duties. Sri Shuka tells King Parikshit that this is to be done with steadfastness.
Life is a journey, and the destination is God realization. When the journey of life is over, we have to unbuckle our seatbelt and get out of the car. If we remain attached to the seat, we will not able to realize the goal of our journey. Discernment and dispassion are the tools for letting go of attachment to life. Practicing discernment teaches us that we are not the seat of the car (the mind and body). These are changeable; we are Unchanging. To cultivate the faculty of discernment, we should sit in a place that is conducive to spiritual practice, as prescribed by the scriptures. We should control the senses, mind, and breath while holding fast to the syllable “Aum,” which is the condensed form of all Vedic teachings.
Sunday Service, Apr 12 – Transcending Death (Easter Service)
Easter, with the coming of spring, is a good time to celebrate victory over death. Jesus faced the agony of crucifixion and the joy of resurrection. This showed that the spirit is eternal. Death is when we fail to see continuity. We assume that a person who dies somewhere still is. St. Paul said to think of things above, not of this earth. If people are going to be taken upwards bodily in the rapture, how will someone exit a plane, and how will people on opposite sides of the earth rise up in the same direction? Death is a leveler for all, literate or illiterate, rich or poor, human or bacteria. We think of something in us that does not die because there is an aspect of us that does not change. The body is an instrument that we use. Identification with the body is deep-rooted. Jesus never cared for honor, money, or things of this world. We are advised to present our bodies as a sacrifice, meaning to use them to give service. We are not asked to sacrifice anything that we would not lose anyway. In our life, we get attracted and repelled by things. Meister Eckhart said that the human spirit must transcend multiplicity, whereupon God breaks through. The Kathopanisad says not to pamper or torture the body. Rather, practice dis-identification with it. Then, we will see that we have become immortal.
Tuesday, Apr 14 – Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play
Pg #516-519, Master Bestows Grace on Mathur
Divine and human aspects coexisted in Sri Ramakrishna. At times he manifested the ultimate state of Divinity and at other times he manifested the most common human characteristics. But that humanity was manifested with a continuous awareness of the innate divinity. This is called Anadhyasta vivarta, a word not much recognized in classical Vedanta terminology. when something appears in name and form without any superimposition. The opposite of this concept, which is commonly experienced is called Adhyasta Vivarta – where existence of one object gets covered and it manifests as something else. A commonly known example is superimposing a snake in place of the rope. In case of the Divine incarnation the inherent divinity is manifested through the human form without any desire.
Mathur Babu shared a special relationship with Sri Ramakrishna irrespective of differences in their backgrounds, education and social stature. Mathur Babu regarded Master as his Guru, but always cared for him and protected him from the ways of the world, knowing his child-like nature. Sri Ramakrishna took care of Mathur Babu’s spiritual well-being when he was alive and even later. Sometimes Master acted as a child; but at other times he acted as a chastising father.
Money is very important for the worldly people. The extent of their devotion can be judged based on how much money they are willing to spend on any spiritual cause. Mathur, who was miserly otherwise, spent a lot of money on Master. There are a couple of telling incidents which speak about Mathur’s charity as requested by the Master. This can also be looked upon as a foundation of the charitable work taken up by the Ramakrishna Mission. He taught the service to humanity seeing God in them. This is not just philanthropic work for the social welfare, but the primary objective is to purify the minds of the spiritual aspirants.