Upcoming Events

Sat, Mar 02, Noon to 8:00pm Day-long Silent Meditation: Immediately after the guided meditation and prayers. Doors close at NOON. One can meditate as long as one wants. But after leaving the building, you cannot come in till the doors open at 6:30pm. Simple veg. lunch, snacks, tea/coffee etc will be available.

Sun Mar 03, 4-6pm: Kids Only; children about 8-12 year old. Drawing-painting, music, science, playing. Snacks.

Mon, Mar 04, 7-8 pm: SHIVA-RATRI: Special reading and singing after the evening Arati.

Sun, Mar 10, 11 am to 7 pm: Sri Ramakrishna’s Birthday Celebration
11:00 am- Worship-ritual, 12:30 pm- Flower-offering & Prasad-lunch,
2:30-4:00 Video, 5:00-6:00 Symposium, 6:00-7:00 Singing, 7:00 Supper-prasad

Sat, Mar 23, 9:30 am to 7:00 pm: Spiritual Retreat by Swami Atmarupananda, Houston
Prior Reg Required. Reg Fee: $30 ($20, if paid by Mar 14);
Click here for more information and online registration.

Weekly Schedule (in addition to Daily Schedule given below)

Fri. March 01 7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation.  
7:30 – 8:30 PM: Study class on ‘Svetasvatara Upanishad’, conducted by Swami Yogatmananda
Sat. March 02 8:30 – 10:30am: Karma Yoga (Cleaning & Work-service)
11:00am – 12:00 noon: Guided Meditation & prayers
12:00 noon 8:00pm: Day-long Meditation. See details above.
7:00pm – 8:00pm – Aarati (devotional singing, a short reading and meditation
Sun. March 03 5:00 – 6:00 PM: Sunday Service Lecture by Swami Yogatmananda on ‘Dharma: Universal & Individual’, followed by Arati, soup supper, meditation
Tue. March 05 7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation
7:30 – 8:30 PM: Study Class by Swami Yogatmananda on Swami Saradananda’s book – ‘SRI RAMAKRISHNA & HIS DIVINE PLAY’ (Tr. Swami Chetanananda)

Daily Schedule

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 (Except on Sundays)
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.

Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda, unless otherwise stated)

Friday, Feb. 22  – Study Class on Svetasvatara Upanisad
Class 19, Verses: Ch 3, 2-4:
Good and evil are relative, for there is only one reality. God is “one without a second” because God pervades everything; it is the one reality on which all the appearances of the world come and go. Everything is connected by the thread of our common divine nature. Everything, from the most enormous galaxies to the tiniest electron is functioning, moving according to the program made, managed and powered by that Supreme One. Let us feel and cultivate a connection to God; through God with all beings, and through this, feel united with all beings. There is no other way of becoming happy in this world than to go to the source of happiness.  Religious laws vary according to tradition and individual needs, but they are all aimed at forming a connection with the divine being and getting our lives on the proper spiritual track.

Sunday, Feb. 24 – Observations and Inferences by Ramakrishna
The opening song was Master, written by Rabindra, and sung by Peter Travisano.

Sri Ramakrishna used the scientific methods of the modern age: observation and inference. ‘Observation’ is more than just ‘seeing’. Most of us cannot verify the divine observations yet, so we look at Sri Ramakrishna’s observations that are accessible to everyone. Sri Ramakrishna’s father passed away when he was a child, which led him to observe the uncertainty and impermanence of the universe. When we truly understand that things are impermanent, we lose our attachment for them, such as we do for a seat on a plane. Sri Ramakrishna observed how people get attached and bound in this world. People go to school to make more money and run after sense enjoyments and get caught in the trap. Sri Ramakrishna observed this predicament and wanted only that education that would make life fulfilled and that would lead to ultimate freedom. He Ramakrishna recommended that householders work like a nanny, knowing that nothing is theirs. When the love of God is directly felt, there is no longer a need for spiritual practice. Our observations are biased by our likes and dislikes, so we cannot draw the right inferences. Sri Ramakrishna had no such selfish desire, so he could see correctly, and his mind was unbiased. We can observe properly by getting free from likes and dislikes. ‘I and the world’ generates likes and dislikes. Spiritual practice curbs likes and dislikes, and makes the mind purer.

Tuesday, Feb. 19 – Study Class on ‘Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play’
Sri Ramakrishna as a Guru, Page 442-445

Freedom is our intrinsic nature. But we look for the freedom/bliss outside in the worldly objects. Sri Ramakrishna taught to look for the freedom within through his own life. He had a special power by which he could scan the true nature of an individual and guide him/her based on that. It is the unique quality in all God-incarnations that they can be on both planes- the divine and the human. It is impossible for those identified with the body, to understand this.

Sri Ramakrishna manifested limitless spiritual moods as he was completely free from bodily identification. He sometimes identified with the mood of a devotee and at other with the mood of a Guru. Sri Ramakrishna’s gurubhaav (teacher-ship) came from Bhaavmukha. He attained the nirvikalpa samadhi –  the transcendental, desireless, yet supremely conscious state. At this state, the mind can’t perceive multiplicity. There is a huge difference between the state of divine ecstasy and the state of sleep. In the state of sleep, the body consciousness is temporarily disconnected. It connects back the moment an individual wakes up. All the worldly desires come back that very moment. But not so after experiencing nirvikalpa samadhi. Master maintained the body for the good of the world after experiencing the nirvikalpa samadhi for six months.
Interesting question-answer session followed after the discourse.