Ayurveda Unveiled, Movie Screening: Jan 16, 7:30pm: Jane Pickens Theater, Newport RI. www.ayurvedaunveiled.com followed by Skype w/Gita Desai. Ticket -$12.00
Thu. Jan 09: Birth-day of Swami Turiyananda. Special morning chant, worship. Birthday song and Bio reading.
Weekly Schedule (in addition to Daily Schedule given below)
|Fri. Jan. 10
|7:00 – 8:45 pm: Arati, meditation and Study Class on Stories from ‘Srimad Bhagavatam’
|Sat. Jan. 11
|8:30 – 10:30am: Karma Yoga (Cleaning & Work-service)
11:00am – 12:00 noon: Guided Meditation & prayers
|Sun. Jan. 12
|5:00 – 6:00pm: Sun Service Lecture on ‘Vivekananda Explaining Evolution’ By Swami Yogatmananda; followed by Arati, Soup Supper.
|Tue. Jan. 14
|7:00 – 8:45 pm: Arati, meditation and Study Class on Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play
|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
|(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.
Interfaith Vigil at the RI State House ‘Fighting Poverty with Faith. Tue, Jan 07:
Swami participated in calling the elected public representatives to govern with wisdom, care and compassion.
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda, unless otherwise stated)
Fri Jan 03 – Study Class on Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam
Class 1 – Introduction:
The Srimad Bhagavatam is a text of supreme devotion, yet it also contains great philosophy and wisdom. The first line of the Bhagavatam acknowledges the “Supreme Truth” that we meditate upon; supreme truth implies that there are also relative truths, which are manifestations of the supreme truth in a given limited context. The truth is thus: all is one. If we look deeply, all our actions, despite their seeming variety, depend on our desire to experience an underlying oneness. The satisfaction of worldly desires end in “pseudo-oneness,” which is only apparent and doesn’t last long. When we achieve that supreme oneness, all desires get fulfilled. All religions and sects are grounded in the search to understand and experience this truth.
The Srimad Bhagavatam is part of the puranas, special, spiritual texts which take the form of stories. Stories make the highest philosophy easy to comprehend. Spiritual life, as described in stories, appears practical. It generates conviction- “Yes, I too I can do that.” The stories of the puranas are told to take the mind gradually from multiplicity to oneness. They don’t really answer our burning spiritual questions (eg. Why is there suffering in the world?); the stories make them disappear, by transporting us into the glorious presence of God so that we see everything is the one divine being and thereby lose our sense of multiplicity. We find true peace and real love, in the source of oneness.
Sunday Service, Jan 05 – Is Yoga a Science? – Swami Yogatmananda
The opening song was the Shaker song In Wisdom’s Lovely Pleasant Ways, sung by Peter Travisano.
Yoga means experiencing truths that have been understood intellectually. Physical science is science in a limited way because it is dependent on the instruments of the sense organs and intellect, which have never been calibrated. We blindly accept what the sense organs experience. The Kathopanisad points out that the senses do not see the inner reality. Yoga is a path for everyone who wants happiness. Science is universal and impersonal. It does not depend on a person’s nationality, race, age, religion, or what galaxy someone is from. Physical science cannot prove anything because more facts might be discovered that would disprove a finding. But the truths of yoga are eternal. Authorities in institutionalized religions preach a belief system, which is not science. The instruments to find the ultimate truth are yoga and meditation. The result of yoga is that we will have bliss all of the time because we will discover that we are happiness itself. Yoga leaves it up to the individual to practice or not and does not say that those who do not practice are condemned to hell. All religions are true in that they lead to God, but they are not the same. We approach the same goal in different ways from different directions. Religions, when taught as ‘understanding and experiencing’ is a perfect science.
Tuesday, Jan 07 – Study Class on Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play
Chapter 5 As Guru, His Attitude Towards Mathur, Pages: 489-493
Mathur’s many special experiences with the Master increased his devotion towards Him a thousand-fold. One of these special experiences can be witnessed through the following incident. Mathur was watching the Master, from his bungalow, pacing up and down the veranda. The Master was completely oblivious to Mathur’s observing him. (The Master’s heedless behavior, which was limited not only to this incident, was viewed as queer by the other temple employees.) After a while, Mathur suddenly hurried out of his bungalow and fell at the Master’s feet. After composing himself, Mathur described his wonderful vision. He had seen Mother Kali and Lord Shiva in the Master. This vision strengthened Mathur’s perspective of the Master. He believed that the Divine Mother resided in the Master’s body. Mathur completely surrendered at the feet of Sri Ramakrishna.
It was predicted in Mathur’s horoscope that his chosen deity (Ishta) would accompany him in a human form. Having a chosen deity is helpful because conceiving a formless all-pervading God is harder than relating to a particular form. Connection to a form brings connection to the infinite divinity. Holding onto the chosen ideal is essential for spiritual progress. The chosen deity is received from the Guru.
According to the scriptures, the effects of good and bad actions of a liberated person are experienced by those who love and hate these beings. Mathur received this good fortune because of his extraordinary love and service towards the Master. He continued to serve the Master with single-pointed devotion until the end of his life