Day-long Silent Meditation: Sat, Feb 02, Noon-8:00 pm
The doors close at noon. One should meditate SILENTLY. Can leave the building anytime but cannot enter back till 6:30 pm, when the doors re-open for the evening prayers. Simple veg lunch, snacks, tea etc will be available.
Just Kids: Special Children Program – Sun, Feb 03, 4:00-6:00 pm
Weekly Schedule (in addition to Daily Schedule given below)
|Fri. Feb. 01||7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation.
7:30 – 8:30 PM: Study class on ‘Svetasvatara Upanishad’, conducted by Swami Yogatmananda
|Sat. Feb. 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. Feb. 03||5:00 – 6:00 PM: Sunday Service Lecture by Swami Yogatmananda on ‘Addiction to Doubting’, followed by Arati, soup supper, meditation|
|Tue. Feb. 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)
|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||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.
Sunday, Jan 27 – Swami Vivekananda Birthday Celebration
The program started with worship-ritual, singing devotional songs about Vivekananda, reading from Teachings of Swami Vivekananda, flower-offering, Prasad-lunch. (attended by 70). This was followed by a video on Vivekananda, symposium on Vivekananda and Shiva-naama Samkirtanam(80+ verses on Lord Shiva), followed by Prasad-supper. 50+ attended this part of the celebration.
Click here to see the photos.
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda, unless otherwise stated)
Friday, Jan. 25 – Study Class on Svetasvatara Upanisad
Class 15 , Verses: Ch 2, 10-12:
Meditation allows us to integrate our personality and connect to our true nature. We will have moments of joy and moments of pain, but in and through all these the Self does not change in the slightest. If we can find a peaceful, serene place to meditate, that is best; but meditation can be done anywhere, and we must not delay our meditation practice while we search for the right place. Those whose minds are always set in meditation feel that every place is congenial for meditation! After we practice assiduously, as directed by the guru, the results of our efforts will start to be seen in our lives. The 5 elements (body, perception, etc.) start coming under control, because we are progressing toward the Self. We start becoming the master of the mind, body, and senses, rather than being their slave. We begin living in a more self-assured, even-tempered way. The body becomes “fired by yoga,” instead of “fired by bhoga” (the hunting out pleasures in the world). We no longer fear old age and death, because then we no longer identify the self with the body.
Sunday, Jan. 27 – Symposium on the Life and Teachings of Swami Vivekananda
The program began with the opening song composed by Swami Abhedananda and was presented by devotees.
Swami Yogatmananda: Swami Vivekananda came for the whole universe, because his truths are not confined to any one cultural background.
Arunim Roy: Swami Vivekananda was like the syringe, and Sri Ramakrishna was the medicine. At the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago, Swamiji was the one speaker who spoke on behalf of all of the religions in the world. He felt that we need the spirituality of the east, and the organization of the west. He never believed in anything without verifying it. He pointed out that the mystics of all religions teach religion from experience, and all teach the same truth. Religion is an applied science. He wanted us to become fearless by knowing who we truly are.
Prof. Tridib Roy: Margaret Noble, Swami Vivekananda’s chief disciple, became Sister Nivedita. Margaret’s grandfather was a priest, and a revolutionary for Irish home rule. This influenced her to be independent. Swamiji needed people with character, which impressed Margaret. He wanted someone to educate the women of India. When she got to India, neither shivering cold nor extreme heat got in her way. Sister Nivedita encouraged the Indians to revere their traditions rather than British customs. She was a lioness, and did not respect those who were scared. She said that the truth that Swamiji preached would have been just as true if he had not been born, but it would not have been as accessible.
The program ended with a closing song.
Tuesday, Jan. 29 – Study Class on ‘Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play’
Bhaava, Samadhi and Darshana 1/29/19 Page 437-438:
The life and teachings of Sri Ramakrishna can be understood only by knowing the divine as well as the human aspect of His personality. One must try to understand His internal awareness to follow the external actions. Ordinarily, ego and desires are the driving force behind every action in us due to ignorance. But Sri Ramakrishna was devoid of any ego or selfish desire. His actions were only for the good of the world and to guide earnest spiritual seekers.
A debate always goes on in spiritual aspirant’s mind – whether the God is with form or without form? Due to this, one can’t associate easily with the God with form and can’t even understand the abstract idea of God without form. As long as we identify ourselves with body, look upon ourselves with many worldly attributes, one cannot understand the formless aspect of God. Sri Ramakrishna advised that God can be realized with steadfast devotion. One can develop the steadfast devotion by developing a particular relationship with God. When the focus of all the emotions is turned from the world to the God, devotion (Bhakti) develops. We get involved in the world and focus all our energy in taking care of worldly attributes born out of ignorance. The world of ‘I and mine’ is the result of identification with the body. One must turn the direction of the love and emotions from the outside world to the God. It changes the direction of life and shifts the awareness of reality from ‘I and mine’ to God. That should be the primary purpose of spiritual practice.