Upcoming Events

Sri Sarada Devi Puja-Worship Day SATURDAY Dec. 09 , 11am – 7pm
All are welcome to attend any or all programs during the day.
11am-1pm- Ritual Worship, Flower offering by devotees, Aarati, Prasad-luncheon
2:30 – 4pm :Video on Sri Sarada Devi
5pm – 6pm :Symposium on Sri Sarada Devi
6pm – 7pm : Chanting Sri Sarada Naama Sankirtanam, followed by short meditation & prasad-dinner

Vedanta Society of CT – Sun Dec. 10,  10:30am – 12:30 pm
Swami Yogatmananda will deliver a talk on: ‘Holy Mother’  at Vedanta Society CT, 100 Cherry Brook RD Canton CT. Program includes a short puja, music, and refreshments. All are welcome.

Salutations! – Wed. Dec. 13
The birth anniversary of Swami Shivananda, a direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, will be observed in the morning with a chant and in the evening aarati with a song and short biographical reading.

Holy Hanukkah Begins! – Tues. evening, December 12.

Hath Yoga Classes with Roshni Darnal– Tuesdays, 5:30 – 6:30pm
Appropriate for all levels.
$10.00 per Class; $40.00 for a two-month session
Click here to see the flyer.

Weekly Schedule (in addition to Daily Schedule given below)

Friday, Dec. 08 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, Dec. 09 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM: SRI SARADA DEVI PUJA – WORSHIP DAY
See detailed information on the top.
Sunday, Dec. 10 5:00 – 6:00 PM:  Lecture – ‘Holy Mother and Vedantic Non-Duality’ by Swami Yogatmananda
6:00 – 6:15 PM: Aarati
6:15 – 7:00 PM: Soup Supper followed by meditation
Tuesday, Dec. 12 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) 

Daily Schedule

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.

Past Events

Day-long Retreat – Sat. Dec. 02
Forty-seven devotees participated in a  day-long retreat from 10:00AM –7:00PM, conducted by Swami Yogatmananda on the topic:  ‘Learning to Breathe’. The retreat consisted of guided meditation, three discourses, devotional music, a  Q/A session, chanting of 108 names to Sri Sarda Devi, Aarati, meals and refreshment breaks.

Just Kids! Time – Sun. Dec. 03, 4PM – 6PM
Four children participated. A two- part project to develop a ‘Snow-Globe’ shrine began. Each student chose one God or Goddesses from a list to be the center-piece of their shrine. Each student will research their chosen Goddess and write five sentences to read at the next meeting. Prepared, painted and decorated fresh-picked pine cones which will become part of the base of the shrine.

Devotional Music – Sun. Dec. 03,  6:15 – 8:00PM
Forty- seven music enthusiasts attended the vocal concert presented by  Shri M. Rama Rao,  with Rajesh Pai (Tabla) and Siva Ramakrishnan (Flute).

Click here to see photos.

Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda, unless otherwise stated)

Study class on Jnana Yoga – Fri. Dec. 01
Class #74 – Ch: The Cosmos (Microcosm) Pg 232-
The microcosm is the world within us. There is the gross body, the subtle body, and the causal body, which is connected to the soul.  The gross body is the corporeal body, made of flesh, bone etc. The subtle body can be likened to the “software” that directs the gross body’s “hardware.”  The gross body does not last long, so, when it dies, the subtle body takes on a new gross body. This is known as reincarnation. Reincarnation is not a frightening idea. It is essential for moral well-being. The results of our past actions (karma) are stored in the subtle body, and when we assume a new gross body, these debts must be settled. This impels us to behave morally.  Many have this doubt; why can’t remember things from my past life.  Vivekananda answers that we cannot remember many things from this life we’re living right now, so how can we be expected to retain memories lifetime after lifetime? There is a mechanism by which our memories from past lives are compressed and stored. These are samskaras, or impressions.  We retain impressions from our past lives, but unless a particular program is used to incite these impressions, they do not come to the forefront of our awareness.

Sunday Lecture – Psychology of Violence’  – Dec. 03
The cause of violence is in the mind. We are always good, by definition. They are bad people, who may need to be eliminated. Vedantic psychology tells how to handle unwanted elements. We see from external symptoms what the interior cause is, in the mind. When we kill animals or plants to eat, that is not violence, because we do not see them as enemies. Violence is prompted by anger, jealousy, and animosity.  In Vedantic cosmology, everything is a projection from the Self. There is really one Self, that manifests as all this, and which is pervading everywhere. Shankaracharya said that all our perceptions lead to actions, based on the division of ‘I’ and ‘you’. We see some of the variety as friends, and some as enemies. Our cravings increase, leading to anger and frustration. If there is a sense of Oneness, there is no quarrel. We can bring peace to ourselves, by expanding the self, not being angry or jealous, and seeing the same Self everywhere. Life becomes saintly when we see the same Self in everyone, and then we cannot hate or kill. How can I have animosity toward myself? Jesus forgave those who were killing him, and said to love thy neighbor as thyself. We need to learn to feel the same Self in all. Political activism is good if it helps us to practice Oneness, but it is not suitable if it leads us to divide people into ‘us’ and ‘them’.

Study Class – Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play – Tue. Dec. 05
Page # 283
While structurally human, Sri Ramakrishna’s mind was very different in that His actions were not propelled by desires. Desire is the propelling force in a human being. And desires have their common substratum in ignorance. While the desire is to achieve happiness, it is ignorance that makes us seek for it in external objects. Sri Ramakrishna’s inner awareness is full of this wisdom where all is One without a second, Transcendental Immanent Reality – the screen on which all the movie is cast, and while the screen is in the movie, it is untouched by the movie! Soaking in the awareness of this Oneness, He did not have any desire. His life’s actions were prompted due to only one desire, if we may say so for want of a better word, of imparting this wisdom of Oneness and bring relief to the suffering beings of the world.
Sri Ramakrishna taught, like most other incarnations, through parables and short similes in the simplest of language, but each of his sentences is loaded with wisdom. Since a person’s knowledge alone comes out in the form of his words, the teaching of the realized teachers is filled with infinite knowledge and has the power to elevate the person’s life to the highest ideal. As we repeatedly read their teachings, it reveals more and more, only limited by our absorbing capacity. So, the more you read and live by their teachings, the more is revealed and we get out of it.
The Master, through his preliminary guidance to his special disciple Girish Chandra Ghosh, guides us who are grabbing the world by both our hands, to hold onto the Permanent One with one hand and go about the work in the world with the other. This is to gradually turn the mind, that is totally given to the worldly enjoyments, towards the Lord, for it takes time and steady effort to shift the focus.