Thu, Dec 24, 7:00 – 8:30 pm: Christmas Eve Celebration
Fri, Jan 01 2021, 11 am – 1 pm: Kalpataru (Wish-fulfilling Tree) Day & Worship for Holy Mother’s Birth Day
Registration for attending the Kalpataru-day & Holy Mother’s Birthday Celebration in-person
- In-person attendance will need prior registration which begins from Dec 21.
Please email [email protected] to register after that, giving the names of the attendees and declaring that none of them has COVID 19 symptoms. Reg will stop when seats are full.
- The Entry will close at 11:05 AM.
- Putting on the face mask all the time during the function is necessary.
- No food for offering is to be brought in.
- Only designated singers will be singing devotional songs. NO GROUP-SINGING.
- Please register only if you are reasonably sure of attending.
- The weather-gods will have a final say.
All lectures/classes will continue to be available LIVE and stored on our Youtube Channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFof5116HcBYIpUFvKet1Uw) 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 18||7:00 – 8:45 pm: Arati, meditation and Study Class on ‘Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam’ by Swami Yogatmananda
|Sun. Dec 20||5:00-6:00 pm: Sun lecture on ‘‘’The Story of the Prodigal Son’’ by Swami Yogatmananda, followed by Arati and meditation|
|Tue. Dec 22||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
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda)
Friday, Dec 11 – Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam
Class 35: Secondary Creation
As devotees, we naturally wonder “Is God with form and without form?” Our human mind is conditioned to see either form or formless. The truth is that the same reality is both with form and without form. Without knowing the inner divine being, it is impossible to have the cessation of suffering. After emerging from Vishnu’s navel, Brahmaa wondered: “Who am I? What am I doing in this lovely lotus? Where is the source of this lotus?” He goes down the hollow stem of it to explore and finds God in deep meditation. Though God is beyond form, God assumes a form according to the needs of the devotees. All beauty emanates from God – the source of all. The beauty of created things appears and disappears, but God’s beauty is eternal. That is the essential idea of God: God is unchanging. The world is like a bubble–it disappears in a flash. What remains? God alone remains. In deep meditation, Brahma sees the form of the Lord covered with flowers over which bees of Vedic mantras are hovering. In response, Brahmaa begins to praise God by reciting a beautiful hymn: “After practicing meditation for long, I have at last come to possess some understanding of Thee. We all have this common deficiency—lack of Thy understanding. Nothing exists besides Thee, O All-powerful Being. The many that appear are actually not separate from Thee…” Our common problem is that we don’t know God. We can describe the sequence of events in “the movie” as it were, but we don’t know that it is actually “all screen.” That wisdom we do not possess. Though Brahmaa is constantly connected with God, he realizes that through attachment to work he may easily lose sight of God. So he prays earnestly to the Lord: “Though I am doing this work as commanded by you…please free me from the stain of attachment to work.” By remembering God always as the doer and as the reality, one remains unattached to the fruits of work.
Sunday, Dec 13 – ‘Is Soul Inside the Body?’ Sunday
Peter Travisano did an opening song ‘on the ocean of..’
Man feels the existence of two things – the body that keeps changing, and the soul that remains unchanging. This generates a very complex question – where exactly is this soul, this in-dweller conscious entity located in the body? This is called the ‘hard problem of consciousness’ in philosophy. Between the explainable physical phenomena, and the unexplainable consciousness that observes the phenomena, there is an ‘explanatory gap’. Empirical science only gives new terms to old problems, without truly suggesting any new solutions. Vedanta goes deeper and questions the idea of space. It says that just as we create the space in a dream, we are also generating the space we see around us. Our perception of multiplicity generates ‘space’ and the perception of change generates ‘time’. This makes the problem fundamentally unsolvable for science. The tools it uses are dependent on space and time, so any solution will bring back the problem. In Chapter 13 of the Gita, the Lord describes the ‘known’ and the ‘knower’. The ‘knower’ in all bodies is the same. Water droplets all contain a reflected sun in them, but there is only one sun. The question itself is wrong, based on an incorrect hypothesis, that the body and soul are hard-wired or physically connected. As one evolves spiritually, S/he realizes the truth and the question gets dissolved.
Tuesday, Dec 15 – Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play
Page #574-576 : Volume 4, Chapter 2 – Sri Ramakrishna as a Guru, and Sadhus of Various Orders
There are many sects. It is not only good to be a part of a sect but is even necessary for most of us. What is not good is sectarianism – the idea that only my sect is correct and others are not. Every person has a preferential way to get to an ideal which should be respected. There are as many sects as there are paths (as many human beings). We all are like points on the circumference of the circle of which God is the center. Each path from circumference to the center is unique. Some paths have common characteristics and get grouped together in what we call sects. Some paths may be apparently opposite: one path is “not-this not-this” rejecting anything that is changing as unreal, this is the path of knowledge. Another path is to hold on to God through images/symbols, this is the path of devotion.
Aspirants from various sects came to Dakshineshwar and they coincidentally met Sri Ramakrishna. Whether they met Him by intent or coincidence, the effect was the same – Sri Ramakrishna guided them along their respective paths. One mendicant (Jatadhari) was a Ramyat Babaji – a devotee of Rama, the child form of Rama (Ramlala) as God. When you hold an image as divine, then the divinity gets manifested through that image. You have to hold on to the chosen ideal till the chosen ideal merges with the absolute. Jatadhari worshipped Ramlala and had intimate real-life interactions with him like offering food, talking to him etc. When Sri Ramakrishna met Jatadhari, Ramlala followed Him and spent a lot of time with Him playing, swimming, eating etc. We wonder how it is possible for a metal idol to do these things. If you have devotion, such things are possible. When our instruments become finer they can perceive these things.