!!! HAPPY HEALTHY HOLY CHRISTMAS !!!
Click here to view Christmas Greeting Card
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 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 () 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 25
|7:00 – 8:45 pm: Arati, meditation and Study Class on ‘Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam’ by Swami Yogatmananda
|Sun. Dec 27
|5:00-6:00 pm: Sun lecture on ‘‘’Life of a Non-dualist’’’ by Swami Yogatmananda, followed by Arati and meditation
|Tue. Dec 29
|7:00 – 8:45 pm: Arati, meditation and A Study Class on ‘Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play’ by Swami Yogatmananda
|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
|(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 18 – Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam
Class 36: Secondary Creation
Last class, we saw that through meditation Brahmaa discovered higher knowledge and found the Lord within. He then praised the Lord and prayed to remain unattached while engaged in the act of creating the world. Brahmaa prayed to be attached only to God. We easily become attached to work. The feeling of “I and My” spontaneously arises when doing or creating. The only way to free ourselves from the bondage of work is to perform the work with the knowledge that God is all-pervading. Keeping this awareness in the background, we should work with the attitude/awareness that God is the doer and we are merely His instruments. The non-recognition of this fact creates bondage. After Brahmaa’s prayer, the Lord tells him the following: “I am interpenetrated in each and every atom. The whole universe can be seen in me! I am NOT knowable for any being, as I AM PURE SPIRIT, the Soul of the souls of all.” God alone pervades all of creation. The Lord explains to Brahmaa that knowing this truth one will not get bound. The Lord further explained that the entire universe exists within the Self. The Lord stated: “You are the embodiment of Veda (knowledge); are born of me. Without external aid, proceed to create as in previous cycles. All is latent in me, you just have to bring it out.” Brahmaa was aware that God was doing everything. Therefore, he again went into a deep meditation on the Supreme Being, which lasted several hundred divine years. Brahmaa then saw his seat–the lotus and the waters surrounding it–become tremendously agitated. The lotus filled the whole space, and he could create from the lotus itself.
As sage Maitreya was telling this story, Vidura asked him about the principle of TIME. The reply will be studied in the next class.
Sunday, Dec 20 – ‘The Story of the Prodigal Son’
Grace, which is not really a law, has no cause and effect, and is a divine embrace. Even if we have done bad things and rebelled against God, God is waiting for us. In this parable from the Bible, the younger son took his share of the property, went away, wasted it, was left with nothing in a land of famine, and sought to go back to become a servant to his father so he could at least survive. He felt that he had no hope of being accepted by his father. His father saw him coming from a distance and ran and embraced him with great joy. We separate ourselves from our Divine origin and waste our life, adhering to name and form alone. Life comes to an end and we stare at death. However far away from God we go, we cannot get away, because God is everywhere. God loves us. To return to God, we learn to live our life with awareness of our divinity. The older son in the parable was angry because he felt that he had been faithful, and he never received such a reward as his younger brother was getting. The true miracle is that God transcends the human law under which a person does wrong and should be punished. Lord Krishna said that a person who did bad things, repents, and worships Him, should be called a saint. Over the opposition of a brother disciple, Swami Vivekananda said that God incarnates for people who have done bad things.
Tuesday, Dec 22 – Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play
Page #574-577 : Volume 4, Chapter 2 – Sri Ramakrishna as a Guru, and Sadhus of Various Orders
Sri Ramakrishna’s experiences and perceptions were very different from the experiences of the common people. But that doesn’t mean they were hallucinations or play of His mind.
One of such experiences is about an image of child Rama – Ramalala brought by a monk (Babaji or Jatadhari) to Dakshineshwar. The image was very much alive for Sri Ramakrishna and that monk. They both could see little Ramalala eating, playing and even demanding like a naughty child. It is very difficult for us to relate to the experiences of the Master with Ramalala. He used to look at all the images of the gods and goddesses as congealed consciousness and not made up of clay or metal. With the same perception he looked at Ramlala – the metal image of the child Rama. Over the period, Sri Ramakrishna realized that Ramlala’s love for Him was more intense than his love for the Babaji, who had been taking care of him like his own child for so many years. Even Babaji, who was of high spiritual stature, sensed that and left Ramalala with Sri Ramakrishna and continued on his spiritual journey.
The stories about Ramalala astonished all the direct disciples when the Master narrated those to them. They could not believe or understand these experiences. Even if we force ourselves to understand and believe, our limited awareness which is glued to sense organs, is completely incapable to fathom this. We look at the names and forms and don’t see the reality beyond the names and forms. When we hear about Brahman from the great sages, it is impossible for the human mind centered on the senses, to perceive the Oneness. We see the diversity outside due to the diversity within. Not only it feels impossible to attain the Oneness but we prefer to stick to the so-called sense pleasures which appear to be easily attainable. But actually, these sense pleasures are only causes of suffering.