Upcoming Events

Sun, Mar 10, 11 am to 7 pm: Sri Ramakrishna’s Birthday Celebration
11:00 am- Worship-ritual, 12:30 pm- Flower-offering & Prasad-lunch,
2:30-4:00 Video, 5:00-6:00 Symposium, 6:00-7:00 Singing, 7:00 Supper-prasad

Sat, Mar 23, 9:30 am to 7:00 pm: Spiritual Retreat by Swami Atmarupananda, Houston
Prior Reg Required. Reg Fee: $30 ($20, if paid by Mar 14);
Click here for more information and online registration.

Weekly Schedule (in addition to Daily Schedule given below)

Fri. March 08 7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation.  
7:30 – 8:30 PM: Study class on ‘Svetasvatara Upanishad’, conducted by Swami Yogatmananda
Sat. March 09 8:30 – 10:30am: Karma Yoga (Cleaning & Work-service)
11:00am – 12:00 noon: Guided Meditation & prayers
7:00pm – 8:00pm – Aarati (devotional singing, a short reading and meditation
Sun. March 10 11 am to 7 pm: Sri Ramakrishna’s Birthday Celebration
11:00 am- Worship-ritual, 12:30 pm- Flower-offering & Prasad-lunch,
2:30-4:00 Video, 5:00-6:00 Symposium, 6:00-7:00 Singing, 7:00 Supper-prasad
Tue. March 12 7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation
7:30 – 8:30 PM: Study Class by Swami Yogatmananda on Swami Saradananda’s book – ‘SRI RAMAKRISHNA & HIS DIVINE PLAY’ (Tr. Swami Chetanananda)

Daily Schedule

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
7:00 – 7:25 AM: A short ritual worship/Puja. Open to all, but one must enter before 7 am
Evening (Except on Sundays)
7:00 – 7:15 PM: Aarti (devotional music), with a short reading from ‘BOOK OF DAILY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS’ by Swami Paramananda
7:15 – 8:00 PM: Meditation. Open to all.

Past Events

Sat-Mar 02: The Monthly Day-long Meditation – Was participated in by only 6 devotees; most devotees could not come due to snowfall throughout the day.

Sun Mar 03: Kids Only – Only ONE child came; the teacher reports: introduced the meaning and presence of common patterns in nature and art as sacred mandalas. Looking at mandalas, we can learn to meditate, organize and calm our mind.

We explored a table of objects such as bells, flowers, basketry, body types, yoga asanas and spirals in shells and woven pots.

We discussed asanas as we created original mandala artwork from paper and markers. We practiced a yoga posture (Padottonasana) and drew it into the center of our pattern. We started to see mandala designs everywhere…. woven into the rug, clock, Shiva Nataraja statue and more!

We also created a Taj Mahal building from legos and discussed the goddesses and daughters who would be placed inside.

Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda, unless otherwise stated)

Friday, March 01  – Study Class on Svetasvatara Upanisad
Class 20, Verses: Ch 3, 4-6:
God dwells in the heart of every individual as the inner controller. All created things move in their fashion according to particular rules. Whereas external governance can be evaded, internal governance cannot. God governs all from within. For a light-bulb to light, it must be connected to electricity; similarly, spiritual aspirants must connect to God through loving surrender. Throughout our sadhana, our spiritual practice, we must cultivate a prayerful attitude. To that end, the upanishad leads us through a series of prayers—the prayers of sincere spiritual aspirants. The first prayer is a prayer for good thoughts. The second is for God to bless us with knowledge. The third prayer is a prayer for fearlessness. Because of fear we do not dare to do the right things. We know something is right, but are afraid to do it. Swami Vivekananda repeatedly exhorts us to be brave in spiritual life. We must feel God’s protection around us. The fourth prayer is a prayer to cleanse our sins and for the purification of one’s mind. And lastly, the fifth prayer is a prayer for happiness—that we may continue on the spiritual path until we reach God realization and that hurdles do not hinder our progress. Through the powerful means of sincere prayer, we will feel a deeper and deeper connection to God.

Sunday, March 03 – Dharma: Universal and Individual
The opening song was That Man God Loves, from the Bhagavad Gita, translated and set to music by Joe Dwyer, and sung by Peter Travisano.

Religion is understanding and subsequently realizing the goal of our life. Everything/everyone has its specific dharma, which is its purpose. A profession may have a code of conduct, violating which is not respecting its dharma. There are universal values for ALL human beings, whether they are a millionaires or beggars. In the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna faces a temptation to give up his dharma. What we do not have, becomes more attractive to us. Arjuna knew very well that his duty was to fight the war, as all hopes and aspirations of an entire clan for victory rested upon him. Arjuna wanted the kingdom, and to avenge the insults against his family. But he due to his attachment, he caught cold feet at the last moment. He wants to adapt to sannyasa, giving up his own Dharma. Lord Krishna said that it is better to die, following your own dharma. Every caste and vocation has its plusses and minuses, and if we follow our path, we will progress. Every being is going toward the goal of freedom. The pursuit of an ideal separates humans from other animals. Conscience is in human beings but not in animals. Even the ‘bad guys’ in the Bhagavad Gita were doing what they thought was right. The principle of dharma is subtle, so it is best to do what the sages have exemplified.

Tuesday, March 05 – Study Class on ‘Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play’
Sri Ramakrishna as a Guru – Page # 445- 446
Sri Ramakrishna always described himself as a humble devotee of God. But at the same time he lived on other plane where his existence was completely merged with the Divine, without any identification with the body and mind. From this level he could very easily scan through the minds of his disciples and advise them depending upon the state of their mind. It is very difficult to understand that awareness, especially when we are intensely identified with the body and mind. He remained in that state for six months. He had no awareness to maintain his body. His body was maintained for the good of the world by the Divine Mother. Even though Master was devoid of any worldly awareness, he had complete awareness of the Divine Mother. Mother commanded Sri Ramakrishna to remain in Bhavamukha. No one else could validate this as no one else could have even perceive that command. It was an inner direct experience of the Master. He maintained Himself as per the instructions of His Mother. He remained in Bhavamukha for the rest of His life. This concept is difficult to understand for people who are caught up in the ignorance and the bodily awareness. This will be discussed in the next class.