You are welcome to contribute your thoughts about Vedanta, Spiritual Life, etc. on:
Vedanta Society’s Blog – http://vedantaprovidence.blogspot.com or
Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/Vedanta.Providence
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Weekly Programs (in addition to Daily Programs given below)
|7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation
7:30 – 8:30 PM: Jnana-Yoga Study Class by Swami Yogatmananda
|8:30 – 10:30 AM: Karma Yoga/Cleaning
11:00 AM – 12 noon: Guided meditation and Chanting/singing7:00-8:30 PM – Aarati (devotional music) & Meditation
|5:00 – 6:00 PM: Lecture: ‘Vivekananda’s Idea of Universal Religion’ by Swami Yogatmanand
6:00 – 6:15 PM: Aarati
6:15 – 7:00 PM: Soup Supper
7:00-8:00 PM – Meditation
|7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation
7:30 – 8:30 PM: Study Class by Swami Yogatmananda on ‘The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna’, Ch 52, pp 978
|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, Vol. 7’
7:00 – 7:25AM – A short ritual worship/Puja. Open to all.
|Evening :||7:00 – 7:15 PM: Aarti (devotional music), with a short reading from ‘THE STORY OF AN EPOCH: Swami Virajananda and his Times’, by Swami Shraddhananda
7:15 – 8:00 PM: Meditation. Open to all.
Fighting Poverty With Faith: Annual Vigil at the State House: Wed. Jan. 4
This annual interfaith program at the State House was attended by over 60 Religious Leaders of various Faith-traditions from the State of Rhode Island. Governor of RI, many state Senators, House-representatives, other elected officials spoke/attended the event. The Swami joined too. The Elected officials were exhorted to rule with justice, care and compassion.
The Attleboro Interfaith Meeting: Thu. Jan. 5
The meeting was held at the 2nd Congregational Church in Attleboro. The question for discussion was “How can I have a closer relationship with God? What can I do differently in 2017 to become a better person, a better leader of my church?” The discussion was very charged and feelingful, with many personal examples.
Children’s Program, Sun. Jan. 8
6 children attended the program under the guidance of Prof Dorothy Abram and Chester Boncek.
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda, unless otherwise stated)
Study Class on ‘Jnana Yoga‘ – Jan. 06, Friday
Class #46: Most of us don’t have the patience to commit ourselves to spiritual practice. We want to make progress right away, but progress is slow. We make excuses for not committing ourselves fully to work towards our goal. We should remember the following three things: First, we must continuously hear the message that God is the one-without-a-second reality; this keeping the awareness present in our mind. Second, we should practice contemplation and let this awareness permeate our personality. Through contemplation, we remove our resisting thoughts which are opposed to the truth. For example, our likes and dislikes will come in the way of seeing God in all- we may see God in some people but not in others, but we should keep reminding ourselves that God, actually, is in everything. Third, we should cultivate an earnest desire to realize God. Without urgency, our goal will remain unaccomplished. If we can do these three things, the direction of our lives will change from delusion and hatred to all-absorbing love.
Sunday Talk -‘I’ and ‘God’ Connection – Jan. 08, Sunday
Despite attempts to do away with God, humanity has always been connected to God. In the novel Moby Dick by Herman Melville, there is discussion of a ‘monkey rope’, in which two people are tied to each other by a rope, in a precarious situation, in which they are mutually dependent. Like the people tied to the monkey rope, we have a dependent existence. We try to anchor ourselves to the most secure, unchanging relationships. If our connection is with changing people and things, then it is insecure. God, though, is not changing at all. To understand God as our mother, father, sibling, or friend, we have to establish a connection with the unchanging. We don’t have to form this relationship, because we already have it. We just have to become aware of it. Non-dual Vedanta goes one step further, saying that we are all divine, and we are all One. All can realize connection with God. People vis-à-vis God can be compared to shadows vis-à-vis an object. Many lights may cause many shadows of one object, but the shadows disappear if the light is turned off. When we remove our identity with the attributes (the shadows), then we see the unchanging identity (the object). In this case, the unchanging is God, the goal of life. As Jesus said, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Yoga is the practice to be able to feel the unchanging. When people connect to God, they can love all others.
Study Class – The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna – Jan. 10, Tuesday
Page # 977-8, Feb. 21 1887
Before leaving his mortal frame, Sri Ramakrishna worked on two things particularly – 1. Disseminating the spiritual message and, 2. Creating a band of powerful ‘radiators’ (monastic and lay disciples) to spread his message. They propagated his message to the entire world. Even today if we try to absorb the life and the message of Sri Ramakrishna then automatically we become the radiators of that life and message in our own capacity.
Sri Ramakrishna’s disciples rented a dilapidated house that served as a monastery for the all-renouncing monastic disciples to live and practice spiritual disciplines. . Even for the householders, Monastery provides a favorable atmosphere for the same. The monastery was formed based on the ideal of “Salvation of the individual self and for the welfare of the world”.
M visited this monastery – Baranagore Math, on the Shivaratri day. All the disciples were observing austerities on this special day. It is the day of communion of matter and the spirit. Austerities are followed to control the desires. Nothing can be achieved without the renunciation of the lust and greed. Due to the tremendous attachment to the lust and greed many theories are there which preach co-existence of lust and greed with spiritual aspiration. But one can’t realize God if he/she has even an iota of lust and greed. Everyone who seeks God realization must subdue the animal tendencies of lust and greed.