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
Sun Jan 19, 11 am to 7 pm: Birth-day Celebration of Swami Vivekananda.
11:00 am worship-ritual, 12:30 flower-offering & Prasad-lunch, 2:30-4:00 pm Video, 5:00-6:00 Symposium, 6:00-7:00 Singing, 7:00 Supper-prasad
Weekly Schedule (in addition to Daily Schedule given below)
|Fri. Jan. 17||7:00 – 8:45 pm: Arati, meditation and Study Class on Stories from ‘Srimad Bhagavatam’
|Sat. Jan. 18||8:30 – 10:30am: Karma Yoga (Cleaning & Work-service)
11:00am – 12:00 noon: Guided Meditation & prayers
|Sun. Jan. 19||11:00am – 7:00pm: Vivekananda Birthday Celebration, see details above|
|Tue. Jan. 21||7:00 – 8:45 pm: Arati, meditation and Study Class on Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play|
|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 ‘Uniqueness of Sri Ramakrishna’ by Swami Bhuteshananda
7:15 – 8:00 PM: Meditation. Open to all.
Thu, Jan 09: Swami Turiyananda’s Birthday was observed with Special morning chant & worship, and Birth-day song and Bio readings.
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda, unless otherwise stated)
Fri Jan 10 – Study Class on Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam
Class 2 – Glory:
The sages mediate upon the Supreme Truth, the one without second which is beyond time and space and the relative truths of the world. When one develops discernment—which is obtained through bhakti, knowledge and dispassion— The Truth and the appearance become separated. The truth then stands clearly before us. Many of us are in a state of psychological/moral degradation due to a lack of understanding of the goal of life and about the path. This state is figuratively referred to as the Kali-Yuga in the Srimad Bhagavatam. What is righteous and what is unrighteous is not seen. The values themselves are confused. Therefore, to walk on the path of righteousness becomes so difficult. In this world what appears as a source of joy is in truth a source of suffering. Life then becomes like a rudderless ship. Narada describes the degradation during the Kali Yuga to sage Sanaka: “No truth, no restraint, no purity, no compassion, intellectually myopic, external showiness. These vices have even captured the religious organizations and hermitages. Heedless indulgence in pleasures without responsibility.” To walk the path of righteousness, we must cultivate bhakti, the one-pointed love of God. Bhakti is always accompanied by knowledge and dispassion. With knowledge and dispassion the attractions of the world lose their pull. Although the Kali Yuga is referred to as a degraded age, it possesses one great advantage: the austerities performed in past ages are no longer required to achieve transcendence; all that is required is to remember the Lord and to sing His glories.
Sunday Service, Jan 12 – Vivekananda Explaining Evolution
Charles Darwin’s book on evolution caused a big stir, because it was written in a popular style and read by the general public. It was meticulously researched. There had been previous beliefs in evolution, by the pre-Socratics, Aristotle, and St. Augustine, who said that everything is created by God in seed form, and that the seeds evolve in a divine plan. Most clergy condemned Darwin’s book. When Swami Vivekananda was asked about evolution at the World Parliament of Religions, he said that Darwin’s theory was not wrong, but incomplete, because it did not speak about involution. If something evolves, it must have involved. Erwin Schrödinger defined life as negative entropy, or that which creates order. The Buddha and Jesus were more evolved than marauders with a lust for power, showing that competition with others is not necessary for evolution at human level. Swami Vivekananda said that the goal of evolution is to manifest our Divinity; at the higher levels, we evolve through education and culture. Virtues lead to divine manifestation. Human beings have the special faculty of conscience, wherein we feel good when we do what is right and feel guilt when we do what is wrong. We need to remove the obstacles to connect to the Divine, through work, emotions, knowledge and/or self-control. As bodies, other species have survived longer than humans, and may do so in the future. The human superiority is that we find the Truth of Oneness, which makes us immortal.
Tuesday, Jan 14 – Study Class on Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play
Chapter 5 As Guru, His Attitude Towards Mathur, Pages: 493-497
Can God take a human form? God is all pervading reality that does take human form (incarnation). While everything is manifestation of God, there is a special manifestation of God in an incarnation and shows us the way. Incarnation is necessary for us because, as John says in the Bible, you cannot see the Father without the Son. An incarnation serves as a ship that ferries us across from one shore (the world) to the other (God). If we are too attached to our shore, then we will refuse to board the ship and continue to suffer. Incarnations come to communicate to us that we are not body or mind but transcend these. And, this is not meant to be an abstract idea but an experiential reality. Sri Ramakrishna’s life is teachership incarnated for our benefit.
Mathur was a worldly man and with keen intelligence. He suspected and tested Sri Ramakrishna. But, each time Mathur tested Him, Sri Ramakrishna’s life came to him with more and more brilliance and his devotion and respect for Sri Ramakrishna kept growing. Mathur perceived Siva and Kali in the person of Sri Ramakrishna. He once bought gold plate for Sri Ramakrishna but noticed that He simply finished His food and walked away as if it was only a leaf plate. Once Mathur bought and expensive shawl for Him that Sri Ramakrishna badly trampled under his feet thinking that such things may lead to a sense of vanity. Mathur proposed to transfer the temple’s property to Sri Ramakrishna and He rebuked Mathur and asked him if he was going to make Him a worldly person. He even tempted Sri Ramakrishna with women but was surprised to learn of the extent of His purity. Once Sri Ramakrishna was kicked by Mathur’s family priest but He did not reveal it to Mathur fearing that he may be harmed by him. These new evidences piled up and proved Sri Ramakrishna’s divinity to Mathur. With all these experiences, Mathur worshipped Sri Ramakrishna as God. But even such an honor from a rich man did not create any ripple in His mind. Mathur and his wife, in turn, did not hide anything from Sri Ramakrishna. God is watching everything so we should not hide anything from Him. Sri Ramakrishna used to say that He could see things in one’s mind as clearly as if they were kept in a glass case.