Birth-day of Lord Buddha: Mon. April 30
A short reading from his message and a chant about him in the morning and a chant in the evening after the Arati.
Swami Speaks about Buddha’s Last Message ‘Be Light Unto Yourself’ – Sun, April 29, 5:00-6:00 pm
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 27 from 5:30—6:30pm with Roshni
Weekly Schedule (in addition to Daily Schedule given below)
|Friday, Apr. 27||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. 28||9:30 AM – 6:30 PM: Day-long Spiritual Retreat – REGISTRATION NOT AVAILABLE ANY MORE|
|Sunday, Apr. 29||5:00 – 6:00 PM: A talk – – “Be Light Unto Yourself” –by Swami Yogatmananda, followed by Vesper Service (Aarati), Soup supper & meditation . All are welcome.
7:00 – 8:00 PM: Meditation
|Tuesday, May 01||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.
1) Swami Went to Oklahoma from Sat 4/21 to Mon 4/23. He gave talks on Vedanta topics at the Hindu Temple in Oklahoma on Sat & Sun. He also conducted a work-shop on ‘Meditation: The Inner Yoga’ at the Price Hall of University of Oklahoma (OU). It was arranged by the Wellness Center of the University. He gave a couple of parlor-talks at the homes of devotees. All his lectures were well-attended.
2) Sunday Guest lecture – ‘Cloning God in Us’ – was delivered by Dr. Rajagopalan Rengarajan on Sun. April 22, 5-6 pm.
Click here to see the photos of above events.
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda, unless otherwise stated)
Study class – Jnana Yoga (a book by Swami Vivekananda) – Fri. April 20
Class #93: The Real and the Apparent Man (Ch 16)
In their analysis of the perception of the universe, the sages came up with two primary things: matter, and consciousness (or force). Matter is akasha, the space-time continuum. What creates the variety and motion in matter? That is prana, or force. It is the dynamic variety that gives rise to the idea of time and space. Space is the distance between two objects. Time is the distance between two events . We are not in space and time, but we generate space and time because of our attachment to multiplicity.
Prana and akasha must be resolved into one. We make a mistake, when we ask, “How do many come from one?” Because if we’re seeing one, there is nothing to create that sense of multiplicity (you need more than one for that). Without multiplicity we can remain in the One and experience that bliss and contentment which is our true nature. Again, prana and akasha must be synthesized into Mahat, which is the Universal Mind. The Univeral Mind becomes the seed of the akasha and prana.
Swamiji then turns to an explanation of cognition. First, there is the outer instrument, such as the eye. Behind the instrument there is the organ. With every sense we have in the instrument ( in physical body), and behind that, the organ (software). Behind the organ is the mind. When the mind is attached to the organ, the mind can perceive the message of the organ/instrument. Finally, a response is necessary. When a stimuli is seen, there is a response triggered. This response depends on one’s cognition, not on the stimuli that is there. So from the instrument (the senses), we ultimately get a reaction, triggered through the instrument, organ, and mind.
Sunday Talk – Cloning God in Us – a talk by Dr. Rajagopalan Rengarajan – Apr 22
Cloning is defined as having identical units from the same ancestral line. Saints become God-cloned when they attain God-realization. There are four steps in the cloning process: 1) A donor cell (God is our donor cell), 2) Fusing donor cell with recipient (all of us), 3) Cell development (done by removing our impurities), and 4) Planting in a surrogate mother (having satsang). The gestation process is intense love for God. First, we need faith that cloning is possible, without which, it cannot be done. To practice, we need shraddha, which includes faith, reverence, devotion, and adoration. Lord Shiva posed as an old, decrepit man, offering money for people to carry him into the Ganges for a dip, saying that they would have to take on his sins. When most people declined to do this, Shiva showed Parvati that most people didn’t really have faith that their sins would be removed by a dip in the Ganges, although one person did. A key way to do spiritual practice is nama japa, or repeating God’s name. Sri Ramakrishna compared this to planting a seed, which may not bear fruit right away, but will in time. Along with repeating God’s name, we train the mind to connect with God. We can take any thought, and find an association with God in it. An example is cars stuck in traffic reminding us of devotees who have traveled a long way, waiting in a long line for a brief darshan of the Lord. We start to see everyone as a devotee. Any activity that we do a lot creates a neural pathway, enhancing its effect.
Study Class – Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play – Tue. April 24
Page 414: Givers of the spiritual wisdom are the greatest donors. They provide a purpose in life to seek and realize one’s true nature. Without such a purpose, life is meaningless. The study of biographies of the incarnations of God or the great teachers, provides the inspiration to lead a fulfilling life driven by the spiritual quest.
As described in the story of the sheep lion, we too, forget our true nature. We associate with a finite identity and get attached to the physical form ignoring the divine nature behind the physical form.
Spiritual moods such as – an attitude of a servant, or an attitude of a friend towards God, help us to form a connection with the divine and gradually attain to the divine nature. Incarnations do not go through this gradual process; they are born with the knowledge. They undertake various spiritual practices to teach the humanity. They try to set an example for the other human beings that using this human body as an instrument, one can attain to the true divine nature. They can also assume a non-dualistic attitude and stay in union with the God. Our nervous system is capable to handle only sensory perceptions. When intense spiritual awareness gets pushed into our nervous system it illumines the life but the body is not able to handle that current. It falls off very soon. This spiritual awakening fulfills the very purpose of human life and hence sustenance of the body becomes irrelevant. Incarnations can very easily transition between the physical awareness and the divine awareness. Sri Ramakrishna was in this state of for 6 months. Then he was asked to remain in Bhavmukha for the good of the humanity. Bhavmukha means at the threshold of human and divine awareness. He could easily connect to the infinite divine awareness and also to the finite world full of names and forms at the same time.