Sat, Mar 06, Noon to -8pm: Day-long Silent Meditation. One needs to enter between 11:45-am -noon. Doors will close after that. You should bring your own lunch; tea/coffee/snacks will be available.
Thu Mar 11: Shivaratri: Sankirtan on Shiva after evening Arati.
SRI RAMAKRISHNA’S BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION: SUN MAR 14, 11AM-1:00 PM (Could be extended to 7:00 pm)
In-person attendance will need prior registration which begins from Mar 01. Please email [email protected] to register after that declaring that you have no covid-symptoms in last 2 weeks. Reg will stop when seats are full. The usual COVID restrictions like wearing mask etc. will have to be followed.
All lectures/classes will continue to be available LIVE and stored on our Youtube Channel. (
Limited in-person attendance. 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
Weekly Schedule (in addition to Daily Schedule given below)
|Fri. Mar. 05
|7:00 – 8:45 pm: Arati, Meditation and A Study Class on ‘Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam’ by Swami Yogatmananda
|Sun. Mar. 07
|5:00-6:30 pm: Lecture on ‘Love – The Tool of Spiritual Transformation’ by Swami Yogatmananda, followed by Arati and meditation
|Tue. Mar 09
|7:00 – 8:45 pm: Arati, meditation and A Study Class on ‘Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play’ by Swami Yogatmananda
|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, but one must enter before 5:55 am
|(Except on Sundays)
7:00 – 7:15 PM: Aarti (devotional music), with a short reading from ‘Uniqueness of Sri Ramakrishna’ by Swami Bhuteshananda
7:15 – 8:00 PM: Meditation. Open to all, but one must enter before 7:10 am
Sat Feb 27: Swami Adbhutananda’s Birthday was observed with a special morning chant and the usual birthday song and bio-reading after the evening Arati.
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda)
Friday, Feb. 26 – Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam
Class 45: Sage Kardama
The story of secondary creation continues after the interlude-story of Hiranyaaksha (in which Vishnu in the form of the boar, Varaha, retrieved the earth from the bottom of the cosmic ocean and slayed the demon Hiranyaaksha). The earth was now out of the cosmic waters, and Creation proceeded as an expression of Brahma’s cosmic moods. Brahma adopted various bodies and then gave them up for other creatures. Brahma created demons who were full of lust, and, therefore, capable of creating; however, this didn’t work because the demons went after Brahma himself. Facing this obstacle, Brahma became introspective and realized that something else needed to be done. So he prayed to Lord Vishnu, who deluded the demons by becoming a pretty woman. Brahma then created Manu, or human beings. These human beings possessed unique features, which distinguished them from the rest of creation. Namely, human beings were endowed with a body and mind, capable of logic, reflection, and introspection. On the basis of these tools, human beings can change the course of their lives. In this context, this is called sacrifice. Then Brahma got into a meditative mood. He was fully established in self-control, austerity (tapas), and spirituality, and thus he created Rishis (sages) endowed with all the qualities of self-control, austerity, and sacrifice and were going to be the instruments of further creation. These Rishis were delighted to be in possession of human bodies, for they knew that the human body was capable of sacrifice, and was therefore capable of renouncing the ego for the purpose of realizing God. One of the sages, Kardama, who was particularly devoted to Brahma, was summoned by Brahma to participate in the act of creation. Prior to serving Brahma in this capacity, Kardama performed austerities (tapas) on the banks of the Saraswati River. This signifies that the practice of patience is needed to achieve anything tangible in life. Even after 10,000 years of austerity, Kardama couldn’t realize God. So he took to the path of devotional practices. These purified Kardama and generated in him an intense love for God, by which he was able to have the vision of God.
Sunday, Feb. 28 – Ups and Downs in Spiritual Life
We may feel like we are stuck in our spiritual practice, or that we are going downward. We want to meditate on God, but aches and pains take away our focus. We may face long work hours, fatigue, or financial or family problems, which put our soul in despair. This is a universal problem. We have to persevere, especially when we are feeling down. Even Sri Ramakrishna had to ask of Mother Kali: Is it just an image? Yearning became his spiritual practice. He felt his heart being wrung like a wet towel. He felt that his life was going to waste without a vision of God. His days were spent in despair, which was exemplified for our sake. We may feel that spiritual progress happens only to a few fortunate souls, and we are not one of them. By giving up, will we move forward? If we go toward the reflections of happiness, we move away from the source of happiness. Daydreaming is a way of dwelling on worldly desires. We expect that spiritual life will have progress only, but negative reactions are to be expected. Holy company is the medicine for these problems. Our obstacles are self-made. We should not blame God or the government, or we will not find the cure. We know that we will reach the goal, because we are divine. Yearning for God increases when we see that nothing in life is necessary but God.
Tuesday, Mar 02 – Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play
Volume 4, Chapter 2, Page #597 – 599 : Sri Ramakrishna as a Guru, and Sadhus of Various Orders
Sri Ramakrishna’s unique state, referred as Bhavamukha, was at the threshold of relative and Absolute. He looked at the world in its essence without getting deluded by the names and forms. His teachership means imparting this complete wisdom to everyone. He tailored His teachings according to the mental condition and receptivity of each individual.
Sri Ramakrishna was attracted to Padmalochan not because of his scholarship but because of his devotion and renunciation. Even Padmalochan noticed Master’s lofty spiritual state. It is said that to truly understand scriptures one must follow three things – Shruti – to listen to the words of sages, Yukti – to reason it out with the use of intellect and Anubhuti – then try to experience the truth of it. Following these, Padmalochan tried to compare Master’s spiritual condition with the scriptures. Gradually he understood Master’s real nature and started considering Master as his Chosen Deity particularly after the incident of Master’s knowing the secret of his power received as a boon to remain invincible at innumerable conferences of scholars. When Padmalochan found this out, he could see the Master identical with his Chosen Deity. He praised the Master with hymns and looked at Him as an incarnation of God.
Padmalochan was ready to transcend the social conventions to attend the meeting convened by Mathur to debate on Sri Ramakrishna being an incarnation of God. Mathur was considered as a low caste as per the social fabric then. Generally, transgressions from the accepted spiritual practice are not advisable but in such uniquely special case, one can do it.
In addition, Narayan Shastri and Padmalochan, Sri Ramakrishna met some other well known Pandits of that time as well. Those include Dayananda Saraswati, Pandit Jayanarayan, Maharshi Devendra Nath Tagore, Pandit Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar – to name a few.