HAPPY HEALTHY HOLY CHRISTMAS!
Click here to view Christmas Greeting Card
Swami visits for Livingstone, NJ – Sat. Dec. 22
Swami leaves for Livingstone, NJ to speak to the devotees there. He will be back by 11:00pm
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
NO ‘SRI RAMAKRISHNA AND HIS DIVINE PLAY’ CLASS ON TUE, DEC 25 DUE TO CHRISTMAS
Weekly Schedule (in addition to Daily Schedule given below)
|Fri. Dec. 21||7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation.
7:30 – 8:30 PM: Study class on ‘Svetasvatara Upanishad’, conducted by Swami Yogatmananda
|Sat. Dec. 22||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. 23||5:00 – 6:00 PM: Lecture: ‘The Kingdom of Jesus’ by Swami Yogatmananda, followed by Aarati & soup-supper.|
|Tue. Dec. 25||7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation
7:30 – 8:30 PM: No Study Class today
|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.
The birth anniversary of Swami Premananda, direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, was observed on Sun Dec 16 with a chant in the morning, and a song and short biography reading in the evening after Aarati.
Synopses of Past Classes
Friday Study Class – Svetasvatara Upanishad – Dec. 14
Class 10, Verses Ch. 1: 12-16
Our awareness of the Self needs to be cultivated with increasing intensity. There is within each of us the possibility of our true divinity being manifested. We must not feel discouraged by the challenges of worldly life, for the spark of realization can ignite at any moment. Liberation is possible for everyone, and it is truly not difficult. We must feel that God is in me, and we can manifest it at any time. Like rubbing two sticks together, repeatedly, to start a fire, we must continuously “rub” our minds with the reassurance that, “I am divine!” Though this truth is vouchsafed by the great sages, this “rubbing” (meditation/yoga) is something we all must do. Any worries we have, our doubts– we must get over them. Extricating ourselves from the bondage of the world is difficult, but let us tune our lives to what we want, and we’ll get it for sure. When we know that we are that Infinite Self, nothing more remains to be known. Those who have achieved this knowledge feel the presence of the divine everywhere.
Sunday Talk – Visions of Holy Mother – Dec. 16
Peter Travisano sang Tell Me Mother Who Thou Art
In Vrindavan, Sri Ramakrishna gave both Holy Mother and Swami Yogananda parallel visions that she should initiate him, which each of them doubted, until they knew of each other’s visions. Also in Vrindavan, Holy Mother had a vision of Lord Krishna with the gopis, but she did not see Radha, because she herself was Radha. Holy Mother had a vision of Swami Vivekananda sprinkling Ganges water (that had become one with Sri Ramakrishna’s body) on the multitude, saying: “Jai Sri Ramakrishna!” This resolved the doubts that some had that Sri Ramakrishna’s goal in life of God-realization, and Swami Vivekananda’s practice of social service, were different ideas. When Holy Mother felt that no one would take care of her because she had no children or relatives, Sri Ramakrishna came to her in a vision and said that she would be tired of people calling her Mother. Because Holy Mother knew that the world was unreal, a challenge for her was holding onto the world, to do good to others. Sri Ramakrishna, in some visions, arranged for Holy Mother’s niece to be her Yoga Maya, whereupon she thought to herself, who would take care of her niece, and proceeded to take care of her. This tied Holy Mother to the world, to fulfill her purpose of spreading religion to devotees. On a south Indian tour, Holy Mother saw a Shiva Linga made by Sita, and said that it was still the same as she had left it, indicating that she had been Sita.
Tuesday Study Class: Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play– Dec. 18
Bhava, Samadhi and Darshna Chapter Contd. Page 433-435
Kali, who later became Swami Abhedananda, used to practice meditation as per the guidance from the Master. Master was well aware of different landmarks/milestones a seeker will attain on his/her peculiar course of spiritual practice, depending upon his/her temperament. He guided the spiritual seekers based on their experiences. But one must not get attached to these interim visions forgetting the ultimate Goal of God realization.
Master advised the devotees to enjoy the divine form in the heart during meditation, one may tie the feet of the Chosen Deity with a silken thread in the heart, so the deity does not escape from the heart. Also, God resides only in a pure heart. If the heart is full of desires then it is difficult to fix such a heart on God. One must make efforts to cleanse the mind.
Master always advocated meditation on God with form and God without form depending upon natural inclination of the spiritual aspirants. He never rated one path higher than the other. Generally, it is seen that under the influence of modern education, aspirants like to classify themselves as the followers of the formless aspect of God rather than the worshippers of God with form. Master encouraged both these classes but also warned that one path is not superior to other. In fact, he explicitly mentioned this to Narendranath, that either one can follow the path of ‘Faith’ or of ‘Knowledge’. The path of Faith follows with complete surrender and the path of knowledge uses the faculty of reasoning to realize the same Truth. The influence of devotion freezes the infinite Divine into a form. But there is no difference between the inherent nature of the Divine with or without form.