Beginning Wednesday morning, June 21, 2017, the Center’s daily and weekly activities will be suspended until FRIDAY, September 08.
The new seesion will begin on Sept. 9, 2017, with a day-long spiritual retreat by Pravrajika Satchitprana, a nun of Sri Sarada Math of India.
Please check back later for registration.
Swami to New Jersey – June 17
Swami will go to Vedanta Center Voorhees NJ and Adyapith Temple, Somerset, NJ to deliver talks. He will return by Sat night.
Yesenia & the MC’s Concert – Sun June 18
Immediately following the 5-6pm Sunday Lecture, there will be an Afro-Cubano- Latin-fusion concert performed by Yesenia and the MC’s. All welcome. No entry fee. Donations appreciated.
The last Hatha Yoga class for this session on Tuesday June 20, 5:30-6:30 PM
Fee: $10/Per Class
The LIBRARY and book-store will be open only on Tuesday evenings (July 11 – August 22) through the summer.Please return any/all books by Next Tuesday, June 20, that you might still have signed out.
Independence Day– Tues. July 04, 11:00am – 1:00 pm
All are welcome.
Tuesday evening Summer Classes – July & August 2017
Swami will conduct Tues evening summer classes- July 11 through Aug 22, from 7:15 – 8:30; on Khalil Gibran’s ‘The Prophet’. All are welcome to attend.
Weekly Programs (in addition to Daily Programs given below)
|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)
|8:30 AM – 10:30 AM: Karma Yoga/Cleaning
11:00 AM – 12 noon: Guided meditation and chanting/singing
|5:00 – 6:00 PM:Lecture: ‘What Do We Know? & How?’ by Swami Yogatmananda
6:00 –6:15 PM: Aarati
6:15 – 7:30 PM – Music Concert, See details above
|7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation
7:15 – 8:30 PM: Study Class by Swami Yogatmananda on ‘The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna’, Ch 52, pp 996
There will be no daily formal open meditation/chanting/reading program after June 20 till Sept 08.
|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.
Day-Long Meditation – Sat. June 10
About ten devotees began participation in this monthly day-long meditation session, which started with guided meditation at 11:00 AM till 8:00pm.
Swami to CT Vedanta Group – Sun. June 11, 10:30AM – 12:30PM
About a dozen devotees attended this Canton CT Vedanta class on ‘Work to Transcend Work’ (based on Bhagavad Gita) conducted by Swami Yogatmananda.
Annual General Meeting of the Society – Sun. June 11, 6:15PM – 7:00PM
About thirty people attended the Annual General Meeting immediately after the Sunday Service. A report of activities, a summary of Income-Expenditure of 2016 and a slide-show of photos of various events in 2016 were presented with power-point presentations. The board members Ann G, Viswanath A, Chet B read the reports. Joan C, chaired the meeting. Visiting Swami Sumanasananda from Ramakrishna Order Durban South Africa, spoke for a few minutes. Swami Yogatmananda thanked all donars and volunteers for their support and encouraged others to also get involved.
Click here to see the the report of activities and a summary of Income-Expenditure of 2016. (pdf file)
Guest lecture by Swami Sumanasananda– Mon. June 19
Swami Sumanasananda, from Vedanta Center South Africa, sang a devotional hymn, and talked about the history and services of South Africa’s Ranmakrishna Center through the years .He also answered some questions. One of the devotees traveling with him, Aarti, also beautifully sang.
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda, unless otherwise stated)
Study Class on ‘Jnana Yoga’ – June 09, Friday
Class #66: (Chapter – Freedom of the Soul)
Who am I? sometimes I feel I am the body; at other times, I feel I am something more. When we purify our understanding, we see the truth: that we are that ever-perfect, ever-free, all-pervading divine Self. We have two notions about freedom which can be described with analogies. The first conception of freedom is that we are caged, like a bird. We feel bound by society, work, relationships, etc. But although we have all these constraints on our lives, we feel assured that someday the shackles will be gone and we will be free, like that bird. The second concept of freedom is that of the fish in a pot of water. To claim its freedom, the fish jumps out of the pot, and ultimately dies because it is no longer in the water. The fish attains its freedom in death. The “little I” that we cling to is our bondage, the pot that confines us. When we rid ourselves of the limited “I,” we will be free.
The principle of freedom is reflected in the evolution of religions. Swamiji encourages us to remember that we have never actually lost our freedom. There are two possibilities: either freedom is my nature, or freedom is not my nature. If freedom is not my nature, I will not be able to get it. For then I will depend on someone else to get freedom and then I’m not really free. We should remember that WE ARE EVER FREE. If we feel we are bound, then nothing can free us. If we feel we are free, then nothing can bind us.
How are the “World” and “I” experienced? There is dualism, qualified non-dualism, and non-dualism. According to dualism, ‘I and God’ are connected You are subservient to God, you and God are a unit. When the sense of oneness between I and God becomes more pronounced, we feel that I and God are two parts of one entity. There is still some separation there. When the loving connectivity increases further then there is no separation whatsoever. This is Advaita, or non-dualism. The nondualist understands that we have always been inherently free, but our freedom was just covered by ignorance.
Sunday Talk – Unflinching Devotion Sans Bigotry – June 11
When we choose a religious path, we do so because we think that it is the best path, and we feel that this determination is universal on moral grounds. Then, it gradually follows (not very logically) that those who are following other paths are evil, and need to be eliminated to make the world safe. There are also people who think all religions are the same, because they do not follow any path. To stick to a path with firm devotion, and not swerve from it, is necessary for progress. But while doing this, one must guard against the thought that others are deficient. Bigotry often happens in the preliminary stages of following a path. When we are always thinking bad things about others, and about how to destroy them, what we are doing is meditating on the evil that we think others are doing, instead of meditating on God. In monotheism, the other God is seen as the false God. We need to be vaccinated against bigotry. Just as in India, the moon is seen as everyone’s uncle, God is related to us all. God is the common existence in everyone’s heart. Other people are learning the same thing as us, in other ways, in other churches. Swami Vivekananda said that we approach divinity in different ways, and all are true. He said that by studying different faiths, our understanding of our own faith becomes deeper and stronger. He pointed out that all religions have a central core of understanding the Ideal, along with different philosophies, rituals and mythology. It is recommended that we read the chapter on the Chosen Ideal in the book Bhakti Yoga. Religious unity comes not by forcing everyone into one path, but by respecting diversity.
There was the Annual General Meeting of the Society afterwards. At the end of it Swami Sumanasananda, from Durban, South Africa, gave a short speech.
Study Class – The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna – June 13, Tuesday
P 995-6, Sunday May 8, 1887
Householder devotees visit to the monastery to reinforce on their mind that the sole purpose of life is God realization and all the efforts must be directed to accomplish this sole purpose. Rakhal, who later became Swami Brahmananda, was the spiritual son of the Master. He received the spiritual wealth from the Master. He, along with all the other direct disciples were busy practicing the spiritual discipline as prescribed by the Master. They all had a singular purpose of realization of the Truth and then to propagate the teachings given by the Master to all. They were demonstrating the methods of spiritual practice for the benefit of the other spiritual seekers.
Narendra was talking to a few devotees. He mentioned that there is no specific time to practice Sandhya. It is advisable to conduct the spiritual practices at an appointed hour of dawn, noon and dusk. But if one misses that particular time, then instead of skipping it, one must do it whenever possible. It’s the tendency of mind not to do spiritual practice voluntarily. We work only if there is an external disciplinary force. Work can be used positively to discipline our minds for spiritual practices. When one has very busy schedule, he/she will try to find time for spiritual practices. But one must make sure not to get entangled in the work so much that he/she will forget the spiritual practices.
Narendra sang a few verses from the Guru Geeta which filled up the atmosphere with the powerful spiritual vibrations.