Sat Dec 05: DAY-LONG SILENT MEDITATION – Noon to 8 pm.
Interested persons must enter before noon. Entry closes at noon. One should bring one’s own lunch.
Blog: See the new post by Joan Chadbourne http://vedantaprovidence.blogspot.com/
As per the present directive from the City and RI State administration, our services, classes, meditation sessions will continue as before – with the same Covid-19 restrictions.
Of course, all lectures/classes will continue to be available LIVE and stored on our Youtube Channel () too.
Entrance door remains open for limited times as follows:
- Tue & Fri lectures: 6:45 – 7:35 pm
- Sun services: 4:45 – 5:05 pm
- Morning meditation : 5:45 – 5:55 am
- Evening meditation: 6:45 – 7:15 pm
Weekly Schedule (in addition to Daily Schedule given below)
|Fri. Dec 04||7:00 – 8:45 pm: Arati, meditation and Study Class on ‘Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam’ by Swami Yogatmananda
|Sun. Dec 06||5:00-6:00 pm: Sun lecture on ‘Balancing Act’ by Swami Yogatmananda, followed by Arati and meditation|
|Tue. Dec 08||7:00 – 8:45 pm: Arati, meditation and A Study Class on ‘Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play’ by Swami Yogatmananda|
|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 5:55 am
|Evening||(Except on Sundays)
7:00 – 7:15 PM: Aarti (devotional music), with a short reading from ‘Uniqueness of Sri Ramakrishna’ by Swami Bhuteshananda
7:15 – 8:00 PM: Meditation. Open to all, but one must enter before 7:10 am
Birth-anniversaries of Swami Subodhananda and Swami Vijnanananda – both direct disciples of Sri Ramakrishna was observed on Nov 26 and 29 respectively, with special morning chant and in the evening the birthday-song and bio reading.
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda)
Friday, Nov 27 – Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam
Class 33: Secondary Creation
By listening with devotion to the Srimad Bhagavatam, the story of God, we are able to feel our connection to the Lord. This feeling of connection dissolves all of our problems. The Srimad Bhagavatam came to Maitreya from Sankhyana. Sankhyana is considered a Paramahamsa, that is one who sees the same one, divine life which pervades everything. The name Vishnu, etymologically speaking, refers to “all pervasiveness.” Every single thing, from smallest subatomic particle to largest galaxies and the spaces in between, are included in that Vishnu. The Lord Vishnu is the supreme ever-existing reality—beginning-less, change-less, and therefore without end. It is said that if we experience Vishnu within ourselves, we experience everything, we are everything, and we don’t need anything because we are already in possession of everything. The whole universe is in the heart of the devotee, since the devotee’s heart contains Vishnu who is indeed the repository of everything. The devotee who feels the presence of Vishnu within his heart becomes desireless and experiences absolute bliss. Such a devotee, achieves the goal of life. At the end of time, the universe dissolves into a causal state known as pralaya. At this time, the Self alone exists; nothing else is present. Vishnu is laying on his serpent bed, all alone and in the blissful self-awareness of cosmic slumber, with an alarm-clock by His side to wake him up at the appropriate time. As the 4 Yuga-s ended, the Time tells him to wake up. All the Lord’s activities and powers were held in abeyance till then..
Sunday, Nov 29 – The Psychology of ‘WE’
A prayer in the Rig Veda says: Let us speak in one voice and May our minds be united. Everyone has the urge to form connections. We come together as a family unit from the biological urge. Music lovers and various professionals form groups. Drinkers form groups and recovering alcoholics form groups. We form political parties, because the Governor-God of the universe is in us, giving us the urge to govern. The Atman, The Self alone is: it is therefore impossible to say where ‘I’ ends and the world begins. The hand is ‘I’, but I see the hand, so it is the world.
The ‘I’ has a craving for expansion and preservation. In this process ‘We’ appears. We are connected to fulfill common or complementary desires.
Subgroups form due to division within a ‘WE’. Two individuals can never have everything in common. We fight a common enemy in war, and then the allies become enemies. There are external or internal wars, with guns or with pens. One religious group feels superior to the other, based on the feeling that I can never be wrong. The basic idea in Vedanta is that there is no fulfillment without unity. Swami Vivekananda expressed the idea of unity in the all-embracing Self, whereupon we cannot hate anyone. The individual becomes infinite. ‘We’, when analyzed, is a desire to get infinite awareness.
Tuesday, Dec. 01 – Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play
Page #570-572 : Volume 4, Chapter 2 – Sri Ramakrishna as a Guru, and Sadhus of Various Orders
Sri Ramakrishna’s teaching happens spontaneously, there is no conscious attempt from Him to teach anyone. He frequently mentioned Nitya, the ultimate, undivided and eternal Reality, and Leela the manifestation of undivided Reality in all names and forms in this universe. This represents the transcendence and immanence of Reality respectively. Sri Ramakrishna could see the absolute truth of Nitya and the sufferings of creatures in Leela at the same time. He could clearly see that our individuality is the cause of all our suffering because, our individuality is not our true nature. We all have the innate desire to overcome this individuality and become free.
Vaishnavacharan and Gauri had come to Dakshineshwar to verify Bhairavi’s claim that Sri Ramakrishna is God. They verified that He is God in human form. Later, several spiritual seekers came to Dakshineshwar. They didn’t come there to meet Sri Ramakrishna but to visit the temple or to obtain food on the way to their pilgrimage. But, after coming in contact with Him, they spiritually benefitted from His teachership.
God is manifest in everything, but God is especially manifest in certain people or things (Vibhuti Yoga). Sri Krishna says in Bhagwad Gita that when your mind is getting attracted to these special manifestations, then feel God’s presence there. Sincere seekers are attracted to places where they can find this manifestation as in other sincere seekers or devotees. To such seekers, God shows His compassion by lighting a lamp of wisdom and dispelling ignorance. We need to perform spiritual practice to keep this lamp burning and truly benefit from God’s compassion. Sincere seekers are steadfast in their spiritual practices because they know that they will get everything by holding on to God (because God is the source of everything) and they will not get anything by running after the world. Existence-Knowledge-Bliss (Asti-Bhati-Priyam) is the true nature of Brahman. When we become aware of the existence of an object, we say we have knowledge of it and it becomes dear to us, thus Existence, Knowledge and Bliss are essentially the same.