Sat, Feb 27: Swami Adbhutananda’s Birthday: Will be observed by a special morning chant and the birthday-song and bio reading after the evening
All lectures/classes will continue to be available LIVE and stored on our Youtube Channel. (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFof5116HcBYIpUFvKet1Uw)
Limited in-person attendance. 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. Feb 26||7:00 – 8:45 pm: Arati, Meditation and A Study Class on ‘Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam’ by Swami Yogatmananda
|Sun. Feb 28||5:00-6:30 pm: Lecture on ‘Ups & Downs in Spiritual Life’ by Swami Yogatmananda, followed by Arati and meditation|
|Tue. Mar 02||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
Sun. Feb. 21 Swami gave a special talk on YouTube for the devotees of Vedanta Society of CT on The Fear of falling in the middle, from 10:30-11:45 am. Many other devotees joined too.
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda)
Friday, Feb. 19 – Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam
Class 44: Hiranyakashipu & Hiranyaaksha
In the last class, we saw that the two gatekeepers of Vaikuntha, Jaya and Vijaya, were cursed by the four sages. Though the four sages uttered the curse, the curse was in fact a natural result of Jaya and Vijaya’s rude and haughty treatment of the sages. We come close to God due to adherence to humility and devotion; arrogance (which is likely to come due to some position of honor) can remove that glory. Therefore, it is important to practice humility. After being summarily cast from their divine abode, Jaya and Vijaya then entered the womb of Diti and were born as twin sons in the forms of Hiranyakashipu and Hiranyaaksha, two horrible demons. Hirayanaaksha ventured to Varuna’s palace and attempted to provoke Varuna, the god of the oceans. Varuna kept his cool and encouraged Hirayanaaksha to seek out the Supreme Lord Vishnu, arguing that the Lord would serve as a worthier opponent. Hirayanaaksha finds the Lord Vishnu who, in the form Varaha (Vishnu’s boar-incarnation), is rescuing the earth from the bottom of the cosmic ocean. A battle ensues and Hiranyaaksha is slain. Thus, his first birth away from God’s abode was done.
Sunday, Feb. 21 – Analyzing Sleep-walking
We are not where the body is. We know that there is a soul in the body, although we cannot pinpoint its location, nor can measure it. As we see that the body and soul are separate, multiple souls can use one body. It is very much like one printer may be used by multiple computers. The soul has to be able to get access to use a body. The gross body has the physical organs and the brain installed on it. The subtle body consists mainly of the internal organ; it has four functions: The mind, or manas, thinks that something could be this or that. Buddhi, or the intellect, comes to a conclusion and is the determining factor. The determination is based on storage of information, in memory, or chitta. The ego, or ahamkara, handles the entity. The causal body has no specification. It is the soul, which is ignorant of its divine, all-pervading true nature. Its erroneous perception leads to desires, which need instruments to carry them out. The instruments are the subtle and gross bodies. In sleep there is a chance for another soul to use the body, which happens in sleepwalking. In sleepwalking, a person can perform complex functions. Knowing that we are not the body helps us get liberated from it. We can lend the body to the saints for prayer and meditation. We can repeat the name of God, even in sleep. We need prayer and meditation to know that we are merely using the body, but are separate from it.
Tuesday, Feb 23 – Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play
Volume 4, Chapter 2, Page #593-597 : Sri Ramakrishna as a Guru, and Sadhus of Various Orders
Narayan Shastri – who came to Bengal to study the Nyaya shastra happened to meet Sri Ramakrishna. In His holy company Shastri realized that knowledge without renunciation is no knowledge at all. In due course, as the spirit of renunciation intensified, Shastri prayed to the Master for initiating him into sannyasa (monastic life). He left to practice austerities and after that there was no further news about him.
Sri Ramakrishna loved to visit monks and spiritual aspirants. He visited Pandit Padmalochan who studied Vedanta after attaining mastery of Nyaya philosophy. He served as a court pandit for the Maharaja of Burdwan. He was extremely talented and his clear understanding of scriptures made him popular. Padmalochan’s extraordinary talent was accompanied by his love for God. The coexistence of pure knowledge and devotion for God is very rare. His knowledge was not merely theoretical. It had a strong backing of devotion to God, noble conduct, austerity and detachment. Because of all his qualities the Master was eager to meet Padmalochan.
In the very first meeting they both recognized each other’s greatness. Padmalochan tried to validate Master’s realizations based on his scriptural knowledge. Initially he couldn’t find validation for the Master’s experiences in the scripture which left him restless.