Salutations! – Sun Dec 16
The birth anniversary of Swami Premananda, direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, will be observed in the morning with a chant and after the evening singing Aarati with a song and a short biography reading.
Christmas Eve – Mon Dec 24, 7PM – 8:30PM
There will be singing of carols; readings on the significance of Ramakrishna Order and Christianity; reflections from Swami Yogtamananda and a short offering to Jesus. Refreshments will follow. All are welcome.
Sarada Devi Puja/Worship Day – Sun Dec 30
From 11:00am – 7:00pm. Includes ritual puja/worship; flower offering by devotees; prasad luncheon; a video on Sri Sarad Devi; some devotional music; 5pm – 6pm ‘Symposium’; followed by Aarati and chanting. All are welcome to attend all or any part of the events.
Hatha Yoga Classes – Every Tuesday, 5:30-6:30 PM
Fee: $40 — PREPAID For 2 Month Course, $10/Per Class
Contact Vedanta Society by phone or email or contact Roshni Darnal at 401-226-5421
Weekly Schedule (in addition to Daily Schedule given below)
|Fri. Dec. 14||7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation.
7:30 – 8:30 PM: Study class on ‘Svetasvatara Upanishad’, conducted by Swami Yogatmananda
|Sat. Dec. 15||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. Dec. 16||5:00 – 6:00 PM: Lecture: ‘Visions of Holy Mother’’ by Swami Yogatmananda, followed by Aarati & soup-supper.|
|Tue. Dec. 18||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||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.
Swami at La Salle Academy – Thurs Dec 06
Swami spoke to four H.S. Religion classes, with about twenty-five students each, on Hinduism and Vedanta. All classes had several pre-printed questions ready for swami to answer/discuss.
Daylong Retreat – Sat. Dec. 08, 9:30am – 5:00pm
Forty-one (41) devotees attended in this sixty-third (63rd) day-long retreat.
Swami Yogatmananda conducted two (2) discourses on: “ ‘Kingdom of God is Within You’.
In the afternoon, folks were divided into various groups for discussion on set topic and ideas from the groups were presented to everyone in the chapel. The day also consisted of luncheon and refreshment breaks and questions to swami and also to the group discussion ‘presenters’.
Salon-Meet on Religion at Geoffrey Gunter Home – Sat. Dec 08
Swami Yogatmananda and some devotees attended at an organizers’ home (The Salon) in east-side Prov. There were about forty people present; Swami and Crystal Lubinsky, Professor of Religious Studies at University of Mass., Dartmouth spoke.
Connecticut Vedanta – Sun Dec 09
Swami and devotees travelled to Vedanta Society of CT, in Canton CT, where Swami and a devotee spoke on Holy Mother. About twenty devotees attended. Program also consisted of singing and prasad/luncheon. They returned to Providence where swami delivered the 5pm- 6pm Sunday Service Lecture.
Sitar Concert – Sun Dec 09
Directly after the Sun Lecture, from 6: 15pm – 7:30pm, about forty music enthusiasts listened to Srinivas Reddy perform Indian Classical Ragas/Music on Sitar, with Nitin Mitta playing Tabla. Simple supper followed where people could interact with the musicians.
Synopses of Past Classes
Friday Study Class – Svetasvatara Upanishad – Dec. 07
Verses Ch 1, 9-11: Few truly desire liberation. Instead, most of us continually run after sense pleasures. As our continual running-around ends in disappointment, we become aware that our sense desires have bound us. Eventually we come to a level of questioning in which we yearn for God. Our earnest yearning leads to meditation, and it is here true spiritual progress begins. Through the diligent application of meditation, we come to realize that we are not the body; our true essence is the one without second, the absolute itself that transcends the limitations of time and space. God is the source of peace and bliss we are seeking. Without understanding or experiencing this, there is no possibility of happiness in this world. The purpose of the first chapter of the Svetasvatara Upanishad is to bring us the understanding that the knower, known, and process of knowing are expressions of the same one reality, although they appear to be three separate things. Through the steady practice of meditation, we learn to distinguish all the perishable names and forms from God, who is imperishable. By meditating on God we become united with God. And through realization of this truth we achieve everything: all desires are fulfilled.
Sunday Talk – Can I Become a Saint? – Dec 09
Peter Travisano lead the song ‘Chant Unceasingly the Name of the Lord’, by Sri Chaitanya.
The Taittiriya Upanishad says that the one who experiences all-pervading ONE existence becomes a saint. If the Divine is my true nature, I have every possibility of becoming a saint. This is what Swami Vivekananda meant when he said that each soul is potentially divine. Sri Ramakrishna, when asked if householders could realize God, said that they could, provided that they want it and take measures to fulfill it. Everyone wants God, even if they don’t know it, because everyone wants happiness, and God is happiness. Jesus Christ said to first seek the kingdom of God, and then all else will be added unto you. Seeking other things increases craving more and more. Sri Ramakrishna said that there is no problem living in the world, as long as we do not let worldliness enter us. This is like the boat being in the water, but water not being in the boat. The Bhagavad Gita lists many signs of a God-realized soul, such as having no envy or hatred, because they see that the same Self is in everyone. When we cultivate these virtues, the march toward sainthood begins. Sometimes we think that there is no possibility of becoming a saint, so we do not make any efforts. But if we make sincere efforts we surely can become saints.
Tuesday Study Class: Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play– Dec. 11
Bhava, Samadhi and Darshna Chapter Contd. Page 433-435
Sri Ramakrishna’s awareness was completely merged in the Divine consciousness. He had no bodily awareness. As per the divine plan, an arrangement was made by which the Master’s physical body was maintained for the good of the world. This state continued for six months. After that as per the instructions of the Divine Mother, He maintained Himself in Bhavamukha. This state is on the threshold of physical and the divine awareness which made him understand the level of the spiritual seekers and impart the higher truth. There are different levels of awareness at which individuals are. People who are terribly bound, they are not even aware of their bondage. Next level is where people are aware of the bondage but are not ready to come out of it. Then, Sadhaka – who wants and makes efforts to come out of the bondage eventually succeed. The last category is ever free who never get caught in the net of the Maya. Incarnations help the spiritual aspirants who wants to come out of the snares of Maya.
Master could very easily understand the inner nature of the devotees and guided them accordingly. He established unique relationship (a calm attitude, attitude of a servant, attitude of a friend, attitude of a child…) with each of His male and female devotees based on their mental make up. He himself practiced and reached the culmination in each of these states. He helped each individual devotee to evolve from their existing state by changing their awareness suitable to their inner nature.
In case of some devotees, with the intense spiritual practice, the Ideal became alive during meditation. Master knew in advance how each devotee will progress and what will be his/her experiences on this spiritual journey.