Children’s Program – Sun. June 10, 4:00-6:00PM
All children ages 5-12 welcome.
Hindustani Classical Vocal Concert – Sun. June 10
Pradeep Shukla, teacher at Learn-Quest Academy MA will perform at Providence Vedanta in the Lower Level (LL) from 6:15pm -7:45pm. He will be accompanied by Rajesh Pai on Tabla and Ravi Torvi on Harmonium. All are welcome; No entry Fee; Donations Accepted. Flyer here.
Day-long Retreat – Sat. June 16, 9:30AM –6:30PM
Topic: Yoga Psychology – Managing the Mind (2 discourses)
Speaker: Pravrajika Brahmaprana, Resident Vedanta nun from Vedanta Society, Dallas Texas
Fee: $30.00 per person; $20.00 if paid by June 05
Click here for online registration and more information.
Registration also available in the Bookstore before/after classes, OR send us check by Mail.
Hatha Yoga Class – Fri. June 08 from 5:30—6:30pm with Roshni
Weekly Schedule (in addition to Daily Schedule given below)
|Friday, June 08||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, June 09||8:30 – 10:30am – Karma Yoga (Cleaning & Work-service)
11:00am – 12:00 noon – Guided Meditation & singing Hour
12noon – 6:30PM – Day-long Meditation (see above for details)
7:00pm – 8:00pm – Aarati (devotional singing & a short reading) & continued meditation
|Sunday, June 10||5:00 – 6:00 PM: A talk – ‘Dialogue with God’ by Swami Yogatmananda, followed by Vesper Service (Aarati).
6:15 — 7:30 PM – Hindustani VOCAL Concert with Pradeep Shukla , Ravi Torvi (Harmonium) & Rajesh Pai (Tabla)
|Tuesday, June 12||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 ‘BOOK OF DAILY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS’ by Swami Paramananda
7:15 – 8:00 PM: Meditation. Open to all.
Sat. June 02 – Day-Long Meditation
Thirteen people began participation in the day-long-Silent- meditation, beginning at 12 noon. (by 3:30pm, 5 participants remaining) Luncheon/snacks were provided. Front door re-opened at 6:30 for (public entry) for 7:00pm singing of Aarati & continued meditation.
Swami visits Vedanta Center of Greater WA/DC – Sat June 02 – Mon June 04
Swami conducted a retreat on: ‘From Day-Dreaming to Meditation’ to about 70 attendees from 10am -5pm, and delivered the 11:00AM Sun. Service Lecture on ‘ Psychology of Violence’ to about one hundred (100) attendees at the Vedanta Center of Greater WA/DC in Silver Spring MD. He returned late Monday evening.
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda, unless otherwise stated)
Study class – Jnana Yoga (a book by Swami Vivekananda) – Fri. June 01
Class #99: The Real and the Apparent Man (Ch 16)
Good and evil are both part of our delusional thinking. While both are bondages, both are necessary, for we must pass through good and evil to reach the Self. Evil is ignorance, in which there exists the sense of “I and mine.” “I and mine” is where all evil springs from. Good can be seen as love, as putting others’ interests ahead of our own, but there are countless other interpretations of “good.” This is also rooted in “I and mine,” including “my opinions.” We must cast these aside. The three gunas are also to be overcome. Tamas manifests as indolence and violence. Next is rajas, which is activity motivated by selfish desires. Finally, there is sattva, which is marked by peacefulness and calmness. However, even in sattva there is ignorance which must be pushed away. Then one becomes trigunatita– beyond the three gunas. Swami Vivekananda prescribed rajas to overcome tamas, then sattva to overcome rajas. Why prescribe a “lower” state like rajas? That which is good for a high soul like Sri Ramakrishna is not necessarily what many of us need in order to progress to the next level. We first need to develop a healthy ego; then we can progress to a stage where we remove the ego altogether. Once the ego is gone, there is no purpose left for concepts of good and evil. These both evaporate when a person goes beyond all relativities and reaches the state of the absolute realization of the Self.
(Note: Start gathering your questions for several question-and-answer sessions that will take place when we have completed our reading of Jnana Yoga. You may email these to Swamiji if you can’t attend the class.)
Sunday Talk – Vairagya (Dispassion): An Essential Spiritual Practice – a talk by Prof. Sukalyan Sengupta – Jun 03
Vairagya means having freedom from worldly desires. It exists where dispassion, renunciation and detachment overlap. Shankaracharya defined vairagya as discrimination between the Real and the unreal, aversion to enjoyment of the fruits of one’s actions here and in the hereafter and having a strong yearning for liberation. Lord Krishna, in response to Arjuna saying that the mind is as difficult to curb as holding the wind, replied that the mind may be curbed by untiring practice and detachment. When a Ramakrishna Order monk, Swami Jagadananda, faced physical problems, he said that the body had served its purpose, so it didn’t matter how it ended up. Swami Akhandananda felt that his father’s renunciation was greater than his, because his father nurtured him and encouraged him to regard the world as unreal and to attain unflinching devotion to God. Some myths about dispassion are that it is only for monks (Sri Ramakrishna said that householders too can have a vision of God); that it will come when we retire (Yayati got a younger body to be able to carry out his desires, only to find that nothing can satisfy the desires of a lustful man); that we will have no ambition (we actually become more productive); and that we will be like a robot and not love anyone (dispassion will actually make us more loving). We develop vairagya through analyzing what is Real and what is unreal, having holy company, having a Guru, and checking our progress from time to time (not to bemoan a lack of achievement, but to ask: What do I need to do?).
Study Class – Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play – Tue. June 05
Page # 421-2 – Discourse on Bhava, Samadhi and Darshana
God assumes form of man so that mankind can be taught. We do not easily understand this. We wonder how can infinite God be compressed into a small body of man? One way to understand this is that, if God has infinite power, then He can use this infinite power to compress Himself into the human body. Swami Vivekananda used to say that every soul is potentially divine and needs to manifest this divinity. So, just as Sri Ramakrishna is God in human form, we too, in essence, are God with the form of a human. We have forgotten our identity. We think of ourselves as heap of flesh.
Our body and mind are deeply interconnected. Our moods manifest as physical changes and bodily changes impact the mind. There is also a deeper level of interconnected-ness among various bodies and minds. Our thoughts affect others and actions of the aggregate affect us. Whatever happens to one, gets to another. When we meditate, we do tremendous good as our holy thoughts have positive impact on others. This is the reason why there is tremendous emphasis on holy company. A holy person has a holy field around, that leads to holy thoughts in anyone who comes in contact with the field. Whether we find holy company intentionally or unintentionally, it has its effect on us. Our actions also remain with us in the seed form. The seed has the capability and propensity to give birth to another similar action, impelling us to again perform the same action. Even if the body dies, the seeds are carried over to the next birth. This happens until we realize God and realize our infinitude. Then, you know that you are Perfect; all desires are gone; you realize that you never had any birth; you realize that the “I” in your body is the same as “I” in any other body.