!!! HEALTHY & HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL !!!
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Day-Long Meditation – Sat. Jan 06, 12 noon – 5 pm
All are welcome to participate in the monthly day-long meditation-only program, which begins promptly at 11 until 5:00 pm. (Not till 8 pm as other long meditation days). Simple vegetarian food will be provided.
Swami Vivekananda Birthday Day – Sun. Jan. 07, 11am –7pm
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. All are welcome.
Salutations! – Mon. Jan. 08
Actual B’day of Vivekananda according to the lunar calendar
Hath Yoga Classes –
Tuesday Jan 09, 5:30-6:30 pm, Friday Jan. 19, 5:30 – 6:30pm
No HATHA YOGA CLASS ON TUE JAN 16.
Appropriate for all levels. $10.00 per Class; $40.00 for a two-month session
Vedanta Bookstore Timings:
Tuesdays & Fridays: 6:15 – 7:00 PM;
Sundays: 4:00 – 5:00 PM and 6:15 – 7:00 PM
Please note that, books, CDs etc. are available for sale at the Vedanta Society bookstore only. Shipping services are not available.
Weekly Schedule (in addition to Daily Schedule given below)
|Friday, Jan. 05||7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation
7:30 – 8:30 PM: Study Class by Swami Yogatmananda on Jnana Yoga (based on the book of Swami Vivekananda)
|Saturday, Jan. 06||8:30 – 10:30 AM: Karma Yoga/Cleaning
11:00 AM – 12 noon: Guided meditation and singing
12 noon – 5:00 PM: Day-long Meditation
7:00 – 8:30 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & Meditation
|Sunday, Jan. 07||11:00 AM – 7:00 PM: Swami Vivekananda Birthday Day Celebration (See details above)
5:00 – 6:00 PM: SYMPOSIUM ON SWAMI VIVEKANANDA
|Tuesday, Jan. 09||7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation
7:30 – 8:30 PM: Study Class – Swami Saradananda’s book – ‘SRI RAMAKRISHNA & HIS DIVINE PLAY’ (Tr. Swami Chetanananda)
|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.
|Evening||7:00 – 7:15 PM: Aarti (devotional music), with a short reading from ‘Towards the Goal Supreme’ by Swami Virajananda
7:15 – 8:00 PM: Meditation. Open to all.
Kalpataru/Wish-fulfilling Day Program – Sun. Jan. 01, 2018, 11AM –2 PM
The Kalpataru Day was celebrated along with the birth anniversary of Swami Turiyananda, a direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna. The program consisted of ritual worship, devotional singing, readings from ‘Sri Ranakrishna & His Diveine Play’ and Swami Turiyananda’s biography, and a talk by Swami Yogatmananda, followed by Aarati and flower offering by devotees. This was followed by prasad luncheon. A short video of the Kalpataru Day program that happened at the Cassipore Garden House, Kolkata, India was shown. About sixty devotees attended.
Click here to see photos.
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda, unless otherwise stated)
Study class on Jnana Yoga – Fri. Dec. 29
Class #78 – Ch: The Cosmos (Microcosm)
Vedanta accepts the theory of evolution, but it also accepts the theory of involution. The evolved state of the universe keeps changing, whereas the cause of the universe remains unchanged. It is here that we have the idea of immortality: All of the evolved manifestations spring from a single immortal source. Swami Vivekananda states, “Soul is not a force; neither is it thought. It is the manufacturer of thought, but not thought itself; it is the manufacturer of the body, but not the body. Why so?” We feel that this body is alive, but where is the life in the body? What makes us alive? The body is not really alive on its own. What makes us alive is the same one substance which is evolving and involving, that substance which involved appears to be THE ONE without second and when evolved appears as the manifold forms of creation. The same Atman—that sameness, that oneness—is in everything. That oneness is where the essence of our being, the essence of our life, is. And that is immortal.
What comes? What goes? What stays? It is the form that comes and goes; life is beyond space and time, and is therefore the one without second automatically. There is no change possible in that oneness because the changes only take place in time and space. Here our quest for immortality comes to final fulfillment.
Sunday Talk – ‘From Human to Divine’ – Dec 31
Humans are the only species that stands upright, which frees the use of our hands for work and creativity. For human beings, knowledge accumulates over time, which gives us science and technology. Animals live the same way they did before humans came on the scene. Humans are the only species that have so much greed, and killing of each other. The biologist Julian Huxley felt that the evolution of the mind was a big leap for humankind. Apes, the closest species to humans, cannot retain images or control their feelings. They have no imagination, and no ability to plan ahead. Animals have likes and dislikes, but humans also have a sense of right and wrong. This is the source of religion. There is a gap between our technical efficiency and our moral efficiency. We need to think about what should be our goal in life. We want to achieve ultimate happiness, peace, freedom, and knowledge, even when we are not aware of it. Yoga is training to control the body and mind. Through yoga, we achieve the ideal of freedom from the body and mind, and from time and space. Sri Ramakrishna said that God-realization is the goal of human beings. We have made the leap from ape to human, and now we need to make the leap from human to divine.
After the lecture and customary Aarati (Vesper Service), everyone was invited to join in singing ‘Old Lang Syne’ in the basement while having soup supper. Devotees had fun opening the fortune cookies too.
Study Class – Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play – Tue. Jan. 02
Page 397: Sri Ramakrishna in Bhavamukha
Sri Ramakrishna was a perfect Guru – a key aspect of his divine play. A true guru must clearly know the ideal (what is right) and also understand where the disciple stands and the obstacles that the disciple is facing. Being in Bhavamukha, Sri Ramakrishna had clear knowledge of Reality underlying the multiplicity of the world. And He could clearly see through the mind of the disciple – He used to say that He could clearly see the inside of a person as if it is in a case of glass. He could see the obstacles in a disciple’s spiritual progress and remove these obstacles. Sri Ramakrishna did not only do this during His living presence; He guides His disciples in this way even today.
Sri Ramakrishna sang a song – “Brother, joyfully cling to God, Thus striving someday you may attain Him…”. We need to be very persistent in our spiritual practices. It takes a long time and requires patience. We lack the tenacity to hold on to God. While we may take up spiritual practices with a lot enthusiasm, we tend to give up after a few years – either because we don’t see the progress or we see some intermediate signs (some visions or intellectual understanding) and get egotistical or proud that we have accomplished a lot. But we end up missing the mark. One should persevere and stop not till the goal is reached. The song says that a number of “ordinary” people have realized God so it should be possible for us too, in this very life.