LAST WEEK BEFORE SUMMER-BREAK BEGINS FROM MON JUNE 22
Only some summer programs will be there; no daily morning-evening prayer meetings, no Sun service. Summer Tuesday classes will start from July 07.
All classes and lectures and meditation/prayer meetings can be attended in person, with some rules and restrictions.
Of course, all lectures/classes will still be available, as before, live online on YouTube channel of Vedanta Society of Providence.
(Connect to ).
- 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.
Sunday, June 21, 8:30-10:30 am: Swami will speak at the online function to celebrate the International Yoga Day at the Ganesha Temple, Flushing, NY. One can watch the function, which includes Hatha Yoga demonstrations and some speeches with the following links.
Facebook – Facebook.com/nyganeshtemple or YouTube – YouTube.com/nyganeshtemple
Sunday, June 21: Annual General Meeting of the Society, after the regular Sun Service.
Sunday Jul 05, 11:00 am -1:00 pm: Independence Day and Guru Poornima Combined Program
This year, due to the unprecedented situation, we are going to observe a combined function of Independence Day and Guru Poornima on Sunday, July 5.
Registration: (THE REGISTRATION STARTS ONLY FROM JUNE 19)
Devotees are welcome to the event in Vedanta Society with prior registration due to limited space availability (the social-distancing requirement has reduced the space to less than 50%).
The registration can be done by email ([email protected]) or phone. Registration will stop once the seats are full. Absolutely no walk-ins without registration on the event day.
Streaming: For convenience of everyone, the event will be streamed live online on our YouTube channel.
Event: 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM – All devotees are expected to leave the premises by 2:00 PM.
Entry: 10:45 AM to 11:15 AM – Doors shut at 11:15 AM and no entry thereafter. Re-entry for those who leave the building is also not possible.
You are suggested to check the traffic delays before you travel to reach on time.
Devotees will have to follow these guidelines:
- Face mask should be always on the face covering both the nose and the mouth
- Sanitize front and back of the palms of the hands with a hand sanitizer at the entry door
- Maintain a good separation distance of at least 4ft from another person
- Minimize touching surfaces and no hand shaking
- No flowers or food to be brought by devotees (home-cooked or store-bought)
- No switching chairs once taken
- Entry only in Chapel & restrooms. No entry in bookstore, library, kitchen and dining areas in basement.
- Only a few designated singers with assigned seating and microphone arrangement due to shortened program and social distancing.
- The Prasad-sanctified food will be given in boxes – no dining at the Center.
Number of attendees (Family members):
I declare I/we have no fever, cough/cold for last 14 days and have not been in physical contact with any Covid 19 patient.
THE REGISTRATION STARTS ONLY FROM JUNE 19. YOU CAN PROVIDE THE ABOVE INFORMATION BY EMAIL ([email protected]), or by phone.
PLEASE REGISTER ONLY IF YOU ARE REASONABLY SURE OF COMING.
|Fri. June 19
|7:20 – 8:45 pm: Meditation and Study Class on ‘Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam’ by Swami Yogatmananda.
|Sun. June 21
|5:00-6:00 pm: Sun lecture on ‘Ideals of Vedanta Society’by Swami Yogatmananda, followed by Annual General Meeting
|NO REGULAR CLASSES, LECTURES, PRAYER/MEDITATION.
SPECIAL TUE CLASSES BEGIN FROM JUL 07, 7:00-8:30 pm:
Prayers, meditation and Study of ENNEADS of Plotinus
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda, unless otherwise stated)
Friday, June 12 – Study Class on Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam
Class 21: Parikshit’s Questions
God pervades the entire universe. Whatever we see is superimposed on that one divine principle. Thus, that Divine principle is the governor/controller of whatever happens. In that, all this appearance dissolves. The mind should be turned towards God. The purpose of the Bhagavatam is to teach the devotee how to pay attention to God, to love God, to hold onto God, to make the mind go to God. After King Parikshit listens to the sage Suka, he has an unending stream of questions, which flow from his devotional attitude. King Parikshit asks: “Whom then taught Narada the Bhagavatam? In what manner? Please tell me about Hari, so that I may have my mind fixed in Him, and I may pass away in that state of mind.” The king desired to know all about Hari so that his mind could become fixed on Him. The glories of the Lord are to be heard again and again. Parikshit continues his series of questions: “How can the Atman—the pure Spirit, free from any touch of matter—assume a body which is matter? What is the purpose? Is it just an accident? If God is also having similar limbs like a man, then what is the difference between man and God? In what form does the Supreme Being remain when dissociated from Maya? What is the length of time in a complete cycle of creation? What makes the divisions of past, present, future? Please tell me about the life-spans of various beings—like humans, celestial etc., what are the internal dimensions of this universe? What is beyond it?” As the chapter concludes, the Sage Suka, being pleased with King Parakshit’s questions, provides an answer to each question, one by one, by expounding the Bhagavatam before the entire assembly. That will be discussed in the next class.
Sunday Service, June 14 – It Is a Matter of Grace
Grace comes into picture when we do not get what we truly want by our own power even though we put in intense efforts. Even our efforts happen because of grace. If we ask why we should make an effort in spiritual life if it is a matter of grace, that means that we do not really want it. After all, we make an effort for sensual pleasures. We buy lottery tickets with almost nonexistent odds. We have to do our meditation and put in intense efforts. We should not be cowed down by obstacles. The Lord showers grace on the person intensely looking for the vision of God. It will not happen if we do not put in efforts. Sri Ramakrishna said that the breeze of grace is blowing all the time, but we have to unfurl our sails. We are not ready for grace because it will take away our sense enjoyments and multiplicity: our children, our spouse, our home, our wealth, etc. We are cheating ourselves. When we know that God alone is, the ego gets dissolved. In other matters we do not wait passively for grace to come. We have to exert ourselves tremendously. If an honored guest is coming, we clean our home. Who is more honored than God? When all efforts have been exhausted, we turn to prayer. We can pray as in Ishopanisad: I am not able to see Your face. Please uncover Your face. You are One without a second. The only desire I have is to realize the Truth.
Tuesday, June 16 – Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play
Pg # 536 – 542: Master’s relationship with His Gurus
Totapuri was expert in the path of nondual Vedanta. This path is based on well directed discerning thought and is a very clear and swift path. By discernment you clearly see the truth and what is unreal quickly fades away from our awareness. This path not only requires sharpness of intellect but also its strength. A sharp intellect that does not have the strength to overcome the onslaught of emotions and passions keeps us entangled in the unreal, even though we intellectually understand what is Real. Therefore, the path of knowledge does not work for those who have carnal desires. The path of devotion is more efficacious for such people. It requires you to love the Reality and gradually you start giving up what is unreal. In the path of devotion, the idea is to direct all our passions to God – love God, work for God and turn yourself towards God.
Totapuri was endowed with immense sharpness and strength of discernment. He did not understand how men behave due to onslaught of passions and emotions. He had been able to take up whatever he wanted and accomplish it with little difficulty. He didn’t understand the needs of the common people and criticized the devotional activities. He did not understand that it takes the grace of God to see the Truth. Once he was discussing the lofty principles of non-dual Vedanta with Sri Ramakrishna but the very next moment he became angry with someone who came to take some fire from his sacred Dhuni fire. Sri Ramakrishna pointed the contradiction between his lofty philosophy that everything is verily Brahman and his anger towards a stranger. Totapuri immediately realized his mistake and resolved to never get angry again. He had never seen bodily illness and suffering. But, after living in Dakshineshwar for 10 months he had a severe attack of blood dysentery and experienced immense pain. He resolved to give up the body that was proving to be an obstacle in his attempts to merge in Brahman. He attempted to drown himself in the Ganga but couldn’t find enough water in Ganga to drown. He then experienced the Omnipresent and Cosmic aspect of the Divine Mother. He was filled with immense devotion and realized that he had been ignorant of this aspect of the Truth – The Divine Mother and had experienced this through Her grace. Thus fulfilled spiritually He took leave of Sri Ramakrishna. Sri Ramakrishna had deep respect for his teachers, yet He became the teacher of his teachers.