Day-long Meditation – Sat. Feb. 03, 12 noon – 8pm
In continuation of the Guided meditation/prayers from 11am to noon, one can meditate SILENTLY till 8 pm. (one can leave anytime, but can’t enter then till 6:30 pm. Simple veg. lunch, tea-coffee will be available.)
Children’s Program – Sun. Feb 04, 4pm– 6pm
All young children (ages 6-12 only) welcome.
Hath Yoga Class – NO CLASS on Friday Feb. 02
Weekly Schedule (in addition to Daily Schedule given below)
|Friday, Feb. 02||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, Feb. 03||8:30 – 10:30 AM: Karma Yoga/Cleaning
11:00 AM – 12 noon: Guided meditation and singing
12 noon – 8:00 PM: Day-long Meditation
7:00 – 8:30 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & Meditation
|Sunday, Feb. 04||5:00 – 6:00 PM: ‘REDUCING WEIGHT, GETTING INTO SHAPE’ – Lecture by Swami Yogatmananda, followed by Vesper Service (Aarati) & soup supper
7:00 – 8:00 PM: Meditation
|Tuesday, Feb. 06||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.
Swami Yogatmananda at Vedanta Center in North Carolina – Jan. 27-28
Swami conducted a retreat on VIVEKA-CHUDAMANI on Sat and Sun, did Puja at a devotee’s place before returning to Providence on Sunday night.
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda, unless otherwise stated)
Study class on Jnana Yoga – Fri. Jan. 26
Class #82: The Atman
The schools of dualism, qualified non-dualism*, and absolute non-dualism all accept that God is the ONE independent existence of all. Dualists see God as the efficient cause of creation. Nature is the material for creation. But the qualified nondualists see God as both the efficient and the material cause of everything. The whole universe is part and parcel of God. Although each part appears unique and separate from other parts, it is both one and many. God is like the thread connecting a strand of pearls. Each pearl is unique but is connected by the same thread.
According to qualified non-dualism, the world and the jivas (embodied souls) do not have independent existence from God. They were created by God, but God alone has an independent existence. Along with dualism, qualified nondualism asserts that the soul, our true nature, is pure. We are trying to manifest the purity, the intelligence, and the power that is intrinsic to the soul. The results of our past actions, or karmas, create impurities which taints the soul. The only way to get rid of our karmas: devote ourselves to God. This way the soul can attain to its original purity and blessedness. Through association with God, the soul will become almost like God. However, the soul cannot become omniscient and omnipotent, as these qualities are reserved for God alone.
(*The name is qualified non-dualism, but for all intents and purposes it is actually a dualistic school.)
Sunday Talk – The Making of Swami Vivekananda – by Abhijit Sarcar – Jan 28
When they first met, Sri Ramakrishna told Narendranath that he had been waiting for him, and that he was Narayana, having come to the world to save people. Narendranath asked Sri Ramakrishna if he had seen God, and Sri Ramakrishna replied that he saw God more clearly than he was seeing him. Narendranath had an analytical mind, and did not accept Sri Ramakrishna as his Guru right away. Eventually, Narendranath understood that Sri Ramakrishna had been training him. A number of times, Sri Ramakrishna touched Narendranath, and sent him into spiritual experiences. Because Narendranth was not egocentric, Sri Ramakrishna would praise him to the point where Narendranath was embarrassed about it.
When Narendranath’s father died and left the family in debt, he briefly appeared doubting the existence of God, but Sri Ramakrishna never doubted his God-seeking nature. Narendranath went three times to ask Mother Kali for financial support, but each time he asked instead for devotion and knowledge. He had an experience of nirvikalpa Samadhi, but Sri Ramakrishna kept it under lock and key, so Narendranath could do Mother’s work. When Sri Ramakrishna died, Narendranath became a monk, and traveled around India, meeting both the rich and powerful and the poor and destitute. Relating with the poor aroused his love for humanity.
This is how Narendranath became Swami Vivekananda, and how he became the big banyan tree under which he influenced the spiritual life and cultures of both India and the west.
Study Class – Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play – Tue. Jan. 30
Page # 401-402
Human beings are extremely attached to the identity of changing names and forms. That attachment makes them forget their true divine identity. But we can witness the oneness with the divine in the Master’s life.
Master was a great teacher. He could connect very easily with the students’ mind and teach them accordingly. This was seen from his interactions with grief stricken Manimohan and with a young disciple. The young disciple came to him asking how to get rid of lust. Master shared one of his own experience while giving the disciple a solution. That empathy connects Him directly with the other person. Lust can’t go away completely as long as the body lasts. God realization removes lust to a large extent as after that no desire remains for the unreal objects. As a person realizes that there is no point in running after the mirage to quench the thirst, similarly a God realized person does not run after the objects of so called pleasures. The false identification with the physical body and the ego generated from this false identity give rise to desires and lust. As one surrenders oneself to the Lord and gives up the false ego he/she can get rid of desires and lust. Master could impart such profound knowledge very easily due to his capacity to transform himself and feel one with the student. But ordinary mortals are imprisoned into the cage of this body and hence it is difficult for them to go beyond the limitations of this body and understand other human beings.