Sun Mar 21, 10:30-11:30 am: Swami will speak at the Monthly Meeting of Vedanta Society of CT on YouTube channel of Vedanta.Providence. Topic: How Knowledge is Acquired. ALL CAN JOIN.
Attending Programs at Vedanta Society in Person:
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
For a personal meeting with the Swami, please seek an appointment by emailing: [email protected]
Weekly Schedule (in addition to Daily Schedule given below)
|Fri. Mar. 12
|7:00 – 8:45 pm: Arati, Meditation and A Study Class on ‘Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam’ by Swami Yogatmananda
|Sun. Mar. 14
|5:00-7:00 pm: Symposium on Life and Teachings of Sri Ramakrishna followed by
|Tue. Mar. 16
|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, Mar 06, Noon to 8:00 pm – Day-long Silent Meditation: 15 devotees participated.
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda)
Friday, Mar 05 – Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam
Class 46: God is Born as Kapila
Maitreya continued to recount the story of creation. First Brahma created the Manus. Then in a meditative mood, and fully established in self-control, austerity, spirituality, Brahma created the Sages. He entrusted the Sages to continue the act of creation. Before undertaking the act of creation, the Sage Kardama meditated for 10,000 years. Still he did not get the vision of God. Therefore, he decided to pursue devotional practices, singing the name of God and performing God’s worship sincerely. Overtime, these devotional practices generated in him an intense love for God. As devotees, it is important to remember that out of love one can get the grace of God not by mere austerities etc. Being very much pleased with Kardama, the Supreme Being appeared before him, in the form of Sat-Chit-Ananda and then the form of Vishnu. God takes the form that appeals to his devotees and assumes different forms, which are appropriate for the different ages. After receiving the vision of God, Kardama began praising him. In our world, that which is real appears to be unreal. And that which is unreal appears to be real. That which is impermanent appears to be permanent. That which is impure appears to be pure. That which is a sure cause of suffering appears to be a pleasurable thing. And that which is “not I” appears as “I”. Everything is turned on its head. The Lord gives us the “eyes” to have His vision. To liberate oneself by holding onto God is the special feature of the human body. The Sage Kardama confessed that although one should not ask for worldly things after obtaining the vision of the Lord’s unsullied, pure form, he felt compelled to ask for a suitable woman to become his wife, as per Brahmaa’s plan for creation. The Lord was already aware of Brahmaa’s plan and informed Kardama that soon a couple will give their daughter to him in marriage. Kardama married Devahuti, the daughter of Manu and Satarupaa. Devahuti gave birth to nine daughters, which were actually nine forms/aspects of Kardama. Kardama saw that his mission was fulfilled, and, without procrastination, resumed his monastic life. The Lord incarnated as the son of Devahuti, Kapila.
Sunday, Mar 07 – Love is THE Tool of Spiritual Transformation
The opening song: Morning has Broken, sung by Alexis Houston.
Spirit is the inner invisible essence, the animating force in all things. It is what makes us conscious. It is the source of happiness and thus the goal of us. Yet, we run after outer objects to get happiness. There is no use taking a nice plane trip if it is not going to the destination. We are spiritual babies because we think of the external as the basis for happiness. Change requires initiative and hard work. We are not satisfied with what we have, because there is no joy in material life. Material life is full of contradictions, because it is not real. What we want keeps shifting. We all want peace, love, and happiness, means we need spiritual transformation. Oneness is the essence of spirituality. Love is where we feel Oneness. Everyone has love within. Resonance happens, like it does between stringed instruments. The lives of the saints were transformed by love. The intellect is not an instrument of transformation. Hafiz said that we do not get love because we are haggling over the price. Swami Vivekananda said that Sri Ramakrishna was L-O-V-E. Monks leave their families because the love they find in spiritual life is much more than what the parents can give.
Tuesday, Mar 09 – Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play
Volume 4, Chapter 2, Page # 600 : Pilgrimage of the Master as a Guru and His Association with Holy Men
This biography presents Sri Ramakrishna’s life keeping in mind the mental attitude behind the physical actions. It is called Leela-prasanga. Leela means a drama or play wherein a script is written beforehand and acts are performed according the script. The birth of Sri Ramakrishna is an act. He is born but not really born. He assumes a body to enact as if He is born but there is nothing real about it except that it is an act in His divine play. Sri Ramakrishna is performing this play so that we can learn from it. The play teaches us that people are suffering only because of their ignorance and not due to something outside. We may suffer because we have no money but if we get a lot money we suffer with a lot of money. If we learn that our ignorance causes suffering, we learn everything. If we don’t learn this then all other learning is useless. We read about the life of Sri Ramakrishna so that we can learn from His life. Sri Ramakrishna had a unique capability to be in both the planes: of the absolute and of the relative without any contradiction. He could see the differences between names and forms while seeing the underlying oneness at the same time unlike us where we see only the differences and not the underlying oneness. We need to learn this and become free from suffering. It is a matter of experience that helps us evolve and not a matter of academic learning. We all learn differently based on our psycho-spiritual stage of evolution and evolve on our own paths and at our own speed. Sri Ramakrishna could clearly see where each one is on the path is – this is the highest form of psychology.
Many things in this biography are written in passive voice because there was no ego and the sense of doer-ship in Sri Ramakrishna, things are getting done by Sri Ramakrishna (through Divine Mother). The Divine mother made Him walk on various paths and experience the same ultimate truth by each of them. He could therefore teach with authority of experience that various paths lead to the same goal.