Thu April 18, 5:30-7:30 pm: Swami visiting Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, for a panel discussion on Hinduism. He will return on Fri morning.
Special Easter Service: Sun April 21, 5:00-6:00 pm: Swami will speak on ‘Rejoice! There is no Death for Us!’
Music Concert on Sun April 28, 6:15-7:30: There is a change in the program announced in the Monthly Announcement. Now it will be: Sufi Music by Sarbpreet Singh and Mehr Kaur
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 19||7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation.
7:30 – 8:30 PM: Study class on ‘Svetasvatara Upanishad’, conducted by Swami Yogatmananda
|Sat. April 20||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 21||5:00-6:00 pm: Special Easter Service: Swami will speak on ‘Rejoice! There is no Death for Us!’
This will be followed by Aarati (Devotional Music) and Soup Supper.
|Tue. April 23||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.
Sunday, April 14: Swami Yogatmananda went to the Vedanta Society of Connecticut monthly program at Canton, CT; it was from 10:00 am to noon, followed by lunch Prasad. Swami spoke on Surrender according to Bhagavad Gita, after doing the worship.
RAMA FESTIVAL: Swami Ishatmananda, Minister at Vivekananda Vedanta Society at Chicago gave a special talk on Rama: Best among the Men, 5:00-6:00 pm followed by Arati. It was followed by a music concert by Pt Dattatreya Velankar, a renowned singer from India.
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda, unless otherwise stated)
Friday, Apr 12 – Study Class on Svetasvatara Upanisad
Class 26, Verses: Ch 3, 15-18:
Meditation is the method by which we can grasp the Self—the one consciousness which manifests in all bodies—and transcend the neural network which constructs the appearance of space-time-causation. Past, present, and future are contained within the Infinite Being, but how can we be convinced that the Self truly exists? If all else is an illusory appearance, why not the Self too? First, we must hold the conviction that the Self can be realized. The infinite Being manifests in and through all creation. Just as electrical appliances function because of electricity, all names and forms, sense organs, motor functions, etc. operate because of that One Being. “Switch it on” and the whole world manifests; “switch it off” and the universe disappears. The one Being, without any change, appears as this world. The universe is a hallucination. There is no substance to it. It just appears, similar to visual deceptions caused by a cataract. We perceive the universe to be many names and forms, but truly it is the One without second Being. The one Being appears as many because of Maya. Maya has two functions: it covers the reality, and it projects hallucinatory images. Through prayer, the fulcrum of appearances and the force of the ego can be subdued. Sri Ramakrishna used to say, “Pray to God with yearning that God will listen to and grant your prayers. God is very kind-hearted.” The compassionate Lord is waiting for our prayers.
Sunday, Apr 14: Sri Rama: The Best Among Men – a talk by Swami Ishatmananda
God comes to earth when people forget that they are divine, and they focus on the body. There are a number of scriptures with people expressing the doubt of which is the path to take: karma (work) or jnana (knowledge)? Some work is sacred, and some is secular. God gave us the ego to separate us from Him. When we remove the ego, through work or knowledge, we see that God is already there. When he was thirteen years old, Rama went on a pilgrimage. When he came back, he was not eating or talking. As an Incarnation, Rama has to behave like a human being. He was disturbed because he found that people are born to die and die to be born again. He said that he didn’t need his kingdom and would meditate and seek the truth. He asked Vashishtha how suffering comes to an end. He said he would prefer to die than to live like this. Vashishtha’s answer to Rama became the scripture Yoga Vashishtha. He said that Rama should perform his duties as best as possible, but not to expect results. As long as life is there, we have to strive, and use our intellect for society. But we should not be attached to the work we do. We need to be like a swan that is in the water but does not get wet. We are like tourists in the world, with God as our true home.
Tuesday, Apr 16 – Study Class on ‘Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play’
Sri Ramakrishna as a Guru: Page # 448-449
Spiritual aspirants establish connection with the God broadly at three different stages – dualism, qualified non-dualism and non-dualism. It is a common misunderstanding that these three stages are separate from each other and one is superior to other. Essentially, they are the different stages of spiritual evolution and all of them are real and equally necessary.
Master used to say that a true non-dualist becomes silent. As at that level there is neither need nor possibility for communication as ‘no other’ exists to communicate with. Even the thought gets mute.
There are four stages of language –
- Thought level where the ideas and thoughts arise in our brain; they are spoken out or not. (Vaikhari)
- Mental level where the ideas exist in mind at a deeper level and don’t even appear at thought level (Madhyama)
- Further deeper level of unification where the separation exists but can’t be described. (Pashyanti)
- The last level where Oneness alone exists and there is no need for communication (Para)
Nirguna (attributeless) Brahman is beyond mind and intellect and hence can’t be described. In the relative world we must accept both the aspects – Saguna and Nirguna, must accept the Absolute and the Relative. To explain this concept Master has given examples of the ascending and descending musical notes and the bel fruit. As a stage artist perform many roles, never forgetting his true identity, we should live in this relative world with the constant awareness about our true identity.