!!! Happy New Year !!!
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Fri, Jan 01 2021, 11 am – 1 pm: Kalpataru (Wish-fulfilling Tree) Day & Worship for Holy Mother’s Birth Day
IN-PERSON ATTENDANCE IS FULL. ALL OTHERS HAVE TO ATTEND IT ON-LINE ON OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL.
Sat, Jan 02, Noon to 8:00 pm – Day-long silent meditation
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. Jan 01||11am – 1pm: Kalpataru Day & Holy Mother birthday Celebration
7:00 – 8:45 pm: Arati, meditation
NO Study Class on ‘Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam’ this Friday
|Sun. Jan 03||5:00-6:00 pm: Sun lecture on ‘Symposium on Holy Mother’, followed by Arati and meditation|
|Tue. Jan 05||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 25 – Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam
Class 37: Secondary Creation
Brahmaa 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.” Through Brahmaa, God assures all of us that if we work with the awareness that God alone is the doer we will remain free from bondage. The more we are focused on God during the course of our daily work, the better our work will be accomplished and it will not bind us. Brother Lawrence exhorts us to do things for the “Love of God.” By feeling the presence of God in everything, one remains free. Vidura now asks Maitreya to tell him about the nature of time. We all feel intrigued by the idea of time. Many assume space-time is absolute; however, if we probe deeper, a startling answer emerges: both Vedanta and modern science hold that space-time is not absolute and possesses no reality of its own independently. Space-time gets form or expression when it causes disturbance in the gunas/prakriti. Time is an automatic simultaneous expression of multiplicity. In Truth, which Vedanta asserts as non-dual (not ‘one’ – as one is always related to many), there is no time-space. Time has no specifications. No reality of its own. It is the relative situation that gives one a sense of the ‘time’. BUT, once thus established, space-time becomes our ruler. We have to abide by time. Multiplicity (and thus ‘time’ too) is a product of our ignorance, but now we’re governed by that. Swami Vivekananda says that time, space, and causation cannot exist separate from other things.
Sunday, Dec 27 – ‘The Life of a Non-Dualist’
Non-dualism does not mean to be against dualism. Non-dualism is a way of sadhana and experience, not of philosophical/logical understanding and debate. All of our perceptions have non-dualism in them as a background. Throughout changes, something does not change, which is beyond time and space. We have the fractured awareness that ‘I’ am this body and apart from it, is the ‘world’. I run after the world, leading to more dissatisfaction and anger. With non-dual awareness, there is no selfishness. Saints have no identification with the body, and they use it as an instrument. Non-dual experience is recorded in all of the major world religions. One day, Ramana Maharshi, although very healthy, had a sudden fear of death. He lay down and felt that he was the spirit transcending the body, whereupon the fear of death vanished, never to return. He had an unbroken absorption in the Self. He was not swayed or perturbed by comfort or discomfort, or by good people or bad people. He proceeded to serve the world as the God. He taught to meditate on the identity of the individual and the Lord and change the life by practice of the four Yoga-s. His composition ‘Upadesha Saram (Substance of teachings)’ gives these wonderful teachings.
Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi lived the life of a true non-dualist. Sri Ramakrishna worshipped her as the Divine Mother, whereupon they both merged in Samadhi. She had universal love; no identification with the body. She served her devotees over their protests, saying that she was their Mother, and she had to do this.
Tuesday, Dec 29 – Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play
Page #576-579 : Volume 4, Chapter 2 – Sri Ramakrishna as a Guru, and Sadhus of Various Orders
Sri Ramakrishna and Babaji (a visiting sadhu) could see the living form of baby Rama in the metal image and interact with it. Others saw it, but couldn’t see anything but the metal image. We may be inclined to think of these visions as mere imaginations. In reality, all sense perceptions are images created by our senses and the mind and are, therefore, our imaginations. These experiences are dependent on our state of awareness. When we look at this world, we don’t see Brahman but only the gross material objects because we get caught in names and forms because of our attractions of the world. We need purity and spiritual growth to have these divine experiences. Our knowledge remains in our head and doesn’t go deeper. When we truly know that we are not this body but an all-pervading Reality, we become pure and our behavior changes. Anyone who gets this knowledge will get this same benefit. When this knowledge percolates into our heart the life becomes very joyful – the life changes from the life of suffering and bondage to the life of bliss and freedom as it is not dependent on external things.
We argue that we may not be able to make a spiritual leap. We may fall in the middle, neither accomplishing the spiritual goal, nor enjoying worldly pleasures. Rishis discourage this pursuit of worldly enjoyments and advise us to renounce them. People don’t like this idea of renunciation, as it may be difficult and painful for us. But, renunciation is a joyous thing. We only need to renounce things that have no real value, we renounce them mentally realizing that our attachments bring suffering to us. We don’t add anything from outside to become blissful. We are Bliss, don’t need to add anything to us to make us happy, so we should not chase these worldly things. These are truths revealed in Sri Ramakrishna’s life and people may take as much as one can accept from the extra-ordinary story of this Godman.