Notice: Beginning Wednesday morning, June 27, 2018, the Center’s daily and weekly activities will be suspended until SATURDAY, September 08. No open-public entry until Sat Sept 08, except for the programs listed here.
Next newsletters: Wed Aug 01 and Wed Sept 05
The LIBRARY and BOOK-STORE will be open only on Tuesday evenings (July 10 – August 22) through the summer. Library Users – Please return any/all books BY SATURDAY, JUNE 23, so library inventory might be updated.
Hatha Yoga Class will be on TUESDAYS from 5:30-6:30pm beginning Tues July 10
Please remember that the ‘Time’ of events during summer programs might alter according to many factors. In order to get the announcements out in a timely manner, the ‘usual-as-in-the-past ‘time slots were printed. Please check.
As per request at Annual General Meeting on Sun June 24, please consider posting your comments, thoughts, poetry on our BLOG and Facebook page at: http://vedantaprovidence.blogspot.com
Thinking of ‘M’ – Sat. June 30, 11:00AM – 2:00PM
The annual gathering of remembering ‘M’, the chronicler of the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, at the home of T.K. Roy, West Wareham MA. Please RSVP at 508-748-9797 or firstname.lastname@example.org only.
The program consists of music, readings and reflections. Bring a song or poem or reading or story/anecdote related to ‘M’ that you would like to share.
‘Independence-Day’ Program: Wed. Jul. 4, 11:00AM – 1:00PM
PLEASE NOTE EVENT TIME-CORRECTION – Correct time: 11:00AM – 1:00PM. Program includes music, readings, short talks, reflections and ‘pot-luck’ luncheon. July-Aug monthly announcement was printed with Incorrect Times.
Swami visits Detroit, MI: Sat June 30 evening to Tue Jul 3 evening – Swami will give Vedanta lectures at Univ of Michigan and other places.
Swami visits Pittsburgh Fri July 06 – July 08
Swami Yogatmananda ( and some devotees) will travel to Vedanta Society Pittsburgh, PA, where swami will conduct a retreat and deliver talks
Tuesday evening Summer Classes – July & August 2018
Swami will conduct Tues evening summer classes- July 10 through Aug 21, from 7:15 – 8:30 on: ‘Original Tao(Nei-Yeh). Classes are in Lower Level (LL). All are welcome to attend.
Adult Silent Meditation Retreat – Fri. July 13, at 6:00PM through Sun. July 15 at 5:00P (note extended time from past years). By permission from Swami only. NO WALK-INS!
Young Adult Retreat (ages 16 to 30) – Fri. July 20, 6:00PM through Sun. July 22, 1:00PM – Residential/Overnight. Bring extra ‘work-clothes/sneakers’ etc for outdoor/indoor karma-yoga service. By permission from Swami only. NO WALK-INS!
Guru Poornima – Sun. July 29, 11:00AM – 1:00P
Worship/puja/music/readings & talks on ‘Guru’ /prasad luncheon
Followed by Shuchita Rao Devotional Music Program 2:00PM – 4:00PM
Both programs are Open to all
Children DAY Camp – Mon. August 13 – Fri. August 17
Daily from 9:30am – 4:30pm – ages 8-12 only Camp
Theme: ‘ Ganesha: The Om’ Contact Swami by phone or email registration
Evening Melodies/Vocal Concert by Pt. Dattatreya Velankar – Sat. August 18 6:30 PM – 8:30PM – Open to all
Krishna Festival – Mon. Sept 03 11:00Am – 3:30PM
Ritual worship, readings, dance, discussions devotional music by M. Rama Rao All are welcome.
Vedanta Retreat, Rochester, NY – Thurs Aug 02, 6:00PM to Sun. August 05, 1:00PM
Five-Day retreat on MEDITATION TECHNIQUES: 6th at Hindu Heritage Summer Camp, Rochester, NY. For registration Visit www.omhhsc.org
‘Devotees Gathering’ – Sat Aug 18 – 10:00am – 1:00pm – At Jhaveri Residence in Framingham MA
RSVP at email@example.com, Ph: 508-345-0345 OR contact Vedanta Society
Daylong Retreat at Canton, CT Vedanta Society – Sun. August 19 from 10:00AM – 5:00PM
Topic: ‘Aparoksanubhuti’ by Sankara
Address: 100 Cherry Brook Rd, Canton, CT
Annual General Meeting – Sun. June 24
About forty people attended this annual meeting of 2017 Happenings. Ann Gnys was chair-person. Chet B. read last year’s report. Vishwanath A read the happenings/events/ distinguished visitors/ all classes & and special-day-program attendances (both ‘in-person’ and ‘e-listeners’)etc; and Vrishali Pal read the 2017 Financial Report ( expenditures In & Out). Power-point Background provided for reading along. Swami Yogatmananda provided introductory and concluding remarks. Sravani B, for her soon upcoming travel to Chicago IL, where she will help the Vedanta Center for an unspecified time-frame, was given a gift for her services here.
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda, unless otherwise stated)
Study class – Jnana Yoga (a book by Swami Vivekananda) – Fri. June 15
Class # 102: Q-A session Part 2
Note: The theme for this evening’s class is questions that devotees have about Jnana Yoga.
Q. Swamiji says the universe is hurrying on to return to that state of equilibrium again.That would mean we would all return to God, the ultimate goal. When we do busy work or work done just for the sake of work, with no practical effect, we do not feel fulfilled. Wouldn’t bringing balance to the world be a better goal then busy work? If we are all one, then why not try for the liberation of everyone?
A. The world is in a state of contradictions. Although our natural tendency is to have one law, the division between “I and world” causes desires to arise. When we cultivate the desire to give as opposed to the desire to get, we will feel fulfilled in life.
Q. While we intellectually understand the insights of the Yoga of Knowledge (e.g. the world is really divine; there is no I and Mine; one has to go beyond ignorance to realize the truth, etc.) how do we experience these truths in life?
A. Most of us are not capable of practicing pure jnana yoga by itself, because our intellects are not powerful enough to hold onto the truth. For this reason, Swami Vivekananda emphasizes the importance of harmonizing all of the Yogas. If we practice Karma Yoga and Bhakti Yoga by directing our actions and emotions towards that which is real, we will experience the same truths revealed through the practice of pure Jnana Yoga.
Q. When we see the world to be unreal, what do we do with that knowledge? What is the meaning of the wooden apple analogy?
A. The analogy is to show that we should not have the desire to eat the wooden apple. This world should not be looked upon as an object of enjoyment. It is not. If we look at the world like that, we get caught in the snares of the world. If we do our duty in the world without the idea of proprietorship, we will become free.
Q. What are the fourfold levels of manifestation of speech and their relation to consciousness according to Vedanta?
A. In Vedanta there is the beautiful idea that there are four levels of manifestation from consciousness. The first is Para, in which pure consciousness exists without any division. The second is Pasyanti in which separate awareness exists but without any specifics. In other words, there is awareness of distinction, but there are no boundaries because the tools for measurements have yet to be created. The third state is Madhyama, in which the measuring tools, so to speak, are available and all things are perceptible, but not at the gross level. The fourth state is Vaikhari. At this level, all distinctions are present, and, therefore, so many limitations come. Through deep meditation, we develop the tools to see how these distinctions manifest and to then go to the level of Para, in which there are no distinctions and everything is merged in the Self.
Next Class after Summer break – Friday, Sept 14th
Sunday Talk – Learning to be Humble – Jun 24
The feeling of being insignificant in the universe gives us humility. Yet we often think that we are going to change the universe. Lord Krishna gives humility as the first virtue necessary to attain knowledge of the Self. The ego is an obstacle, because we feel that we know everything. The reason we need to learn humility, is because its opposite comes to us spontaneously. Swami Vivekananda says not to have pride that we are a good person, because we are good only by the grace of God. Feeling that we are better than others actually makes us worse off. In the Kenopanisad, the gods (or angels) defeat the demons and become proud of this accomplishment. God then takes the form of a lustrous heavenly being, makes them understand that their victory over the demons was not due to their own powers, but due to the Lord. Learning humility is a process, and is not an all-or-nothing experience. Sri Ramakrishna exemplified humility, saying that he did not know anything, and was just an instrument of the Divine Mother. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Eight Verses on Education, says that we are eligible to think of God when we consider ourselves to be lowlier than a blade of grass, but have compassion like a tree that gives shelter to many. Taking the name of God without humility becomes an expression of pride, and we start slighting others. When we see that we are all children of God, and that we are a servant of God, ego and pride get diminished, while compassion increases.
Study class – Sri Ramakrishna & His Divine Play – Tue. June 26
Bhava is the mood or the attitude with which we approach God. It is very difficult to understand Bhava. For ordinary persons the interaction with God is indirect as we use various other objects and methods to express this attitude. But Sri Ramakrishna had a direct connection with God. He communicated directly with God, laughed and cried in what appeared to be an interaction with something strange. There are many layers of psychic existence that we are not usually aware of. But, we can experience these layers if we develop our finer senses. Darshana means perception, in this case it means extra-sensory perception as it transcends human senses. Sri Ramakrishna traveled freely between various layers and had mastered them all the way to the ultimate layer of non-dual existence and had variety of perceptions. He could see divine expressions at these various levels. These extraordinary phenomena in Sri Ramakrishna’s life could not be explained by contemporary medical science and many thought that this was a neural disorder. But these were states of super consciousness and not those of diminished and no consciousness. Lives of incarnations and divine personages must be studied and understood in the context of the divine awareness that drives the day to day events. In the absence of understanding of this awareness it may appear to be nothing more than a mundane life with trivial events.
Sri Ramakrishna experienced the various movements of Kundalini and once made a number of attempts to explain the experiences in various stages of Kundalini. He expressed Kundalini movement as tingling sensation that moved up through the body along the spine. As it moves up through the various centers it has various manifestations. When it reaches the throat, it is impossible to speak. When it reaches the center between the eyebrows one gets the vision of Paramatman and attains Samadhi. But, despite making multiple attempts, Sri Ramakrishna could not describe what happens when the Kundalini reaches the top most point. Little do we understand that Sri Ramakrishna was trying to make the impossible possible because of His tremendous love of us.
Next Class after Summer break – Tues Sept 11th