Coronavirus Alert: Worship-places in RI are ALLOWED TO OPEN with restrictions, now.
All classes and lectures can be attended in person, with some rules and restrictions.
Of course, all lectures/classes will be available, as before, live online on YouTube channel of Vedanta Society of Providence.
(Connect to ).
All other daily and weekly programs (meditations, prayers) can also be attended in person, BUT WITH RESTRICTIONS.
- Guest attendance is limited to 20
- All-time wearing of facial mask is mandatory
- Try to maintain a distance of at least 6ft from any other individual
- New seating arrangements in effect to maintain social distancing. Please don’t relocate the chairs
- Please refrain as far as possible from touching any items
- No paper song-sheets are in use
- Basement and kitchen/dining area are not accessible
- Only rest-rooms in use are the ones in the same floor as the chapel
- Book store, library and children’s room are closed
Entrance door remains open for limited times as follows:
- Tue & Fri lectures: 6:45 – 7:35 pm
- Sun services: 4:45 – 5:05 pm
- Morning meditation : 5:45 – 5:55 am
- Evening meditation: 6:45 – 7:15 pm
- Doors are locked promptly after the above-mentioned time-window.
- Please make a note of the conditions being displayed at the entrance for using the facility. Your entrance implies your acceptance of those conditions.
On Saturday, June 13, 7:30-9:00 pm, Swami will speak on ‘Developing Devotion (bhakti)’ on the Youtube channel of Vedanta Society of Providence for the devotees in the Queens and Bronx suburbs of New York. Others can of course join too.
On Sunday, June 14, 10:30-Noon, Swami will give a Youtube talk for the Vedanta Society of CT on ‘Making Gradual, Steady Progress’ based on 6th Chapter of Bhagavad Gita
|Fri. June 12||7:20 – 8:45 pm: Meditation and Study Class on ‘Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam’ by Swami Yogatmananda.|
|Sun. June 14||5:00-6:00 pm: Sun lecture on ‘It IS Matter of Grace’ by Swami Yogatmananda.|
|Tue. June 16||7:20 – 8:45 pm: Meditation and A Study Class on ‘Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play’ by Swami Yogatmananda.|
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda, unless otherwise stated)
Friday, June 05 – Study Class on Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam
Class 20: God-Incarnations
God has appeared in many incarnations through the ages. The ten incarnations of Vishnu, along with many more experimental and localized incarnations are described in the Srimad Bhagavatam. These beings are pure and full of self-knowledge. Therefore, they have no impetus to create, since they are already satisfied. Similarly, when the mind starts moving towards God, we care about the Creator (God), not the creation (the world). The world is a reflection of the Self. We serve the world so that we can purify ourselves and see the Lord in the whole universe.
The description in Bhagavatam about God-incarnations, can be seen as evolution of species in Vedantic light. The beginning of cellular life began in water – so the 1st incarnation of God is Fish. Then came those that are aquatic and on ground too. This form of God is tortoise. Boar form – which Bhagavatam described as 1st,but many other works of Indian epic, describe it as 3rd. Half-lion Little man Vamana, then Rama, Krishna and Buddha followed. Kalki looks like representing the future evolution. All these are God manifesting as an ideal for human beings to follow.
Brahma says to Narada: “One may be able to count the number of dust particles on the earth, but not the powers and excellences of God.” Everything else is moving; God is not moving. Brahma describes “in a nutshell” the glorious incarnations of God and entreats Narada to sing God’s praises so all develop a love for Hari in their hearts.
Sunday Service, June 07 – That is Not Enough for Me
Our lives are led by ideals based on 1) our aspirations (how far there is to go) 2) our awareness of potentials (how much I can do) and 3) our attachments (things I do not want to give up). We say that we are limited people, and that we are not saints. But nothing is higher than Brahman, and that is the only thing that can fulfill us. For anything in time and space, there is always something higher. In Brahman, there is no risk, and there is the guaranteed highest gain. Even if we get the whole universe, that cannot fulfill the criterion of an ideal, because the universe comes and goes, and has problems. The Kabbalah says that we are in exile if we do not know our divine nature. The Chhandogya Upanishad says that for one who knows the Self, all desires are fulfilled. In the world, one desire gives rise to three more desires. It took Indra 101 years to realize the Self, so we should pursue this path even if it takes a million lifetimes. We try to hold on to only what we like in the world, but when we get it, we no longer like it. We should tell ourselves: I am not the body or the mind. Jesus and the Buddha were both tempted with having power over the world, but both rejected this. Swami Vivekananda says that we should elevate our life to the Ideal, and we should give up selfishness. Only that is enough.
Tuesday, June 09 – Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play
Pg # 534 – 536: Master’s relationship with His Gurus
The primary purpose of the life of an incarnation is to be a teacher/Guru and lead the way towards God realization. Sri Ramakrishna never attended any school or college and hence he used to consider himself illiterate per se. He never cared for education to earn livelihood. But since his childhood, he was focused on God realization. He became a world teacher and always practiced what he taught. Even his Gurus perfected their lives in the company of Sri Ramakrishna. We were studying the account of Totapuri.
Very little is known about Totapuri’s birthplace and his family. He was from the northwestern part of India. A later research has shown that the place mentioned is very likely to be Ladana, in present state of Haryana. He lived with his Guru in a monastery and studied Vedanta. A real Paramahansa was selected as the leader of this monastery. Paramahansa literally means a supreme swan. All individual souls are considered as swans freely floating in the lake of body and mind. In case of the Supreme Swan, there is no ignorance that there separate consciousnesses and the self is bliss. There is no dependency on other objects or entities to get the bliss. A realized person understands that there is nothing worth enjoying in the world and has no attachments or desire for the worldly objects. We have to take efforts to develop that realization. Intellectual understanding is different from the realization.
Tota was brought up under the loving care of his Guru in a heavenly environment. He had virtuous impressions from earlier life. He was blessed with, what are referred to as three rare things in human life – human birth, the longing for liberation and the company of an illumined teacher. Human birth gives the capacity of discernment, the longing for liberation propels one to take efforts in that direction and the Guru shows the path of God realization.