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. 19
|7:00 – 8:45 pm: Arati, Meditation and A Study Class on ‘Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam’ by Swami Yogatmananda
|Sun. Mar. 21
|5:00 – 6:30 pm: Sun service lecture on ‘God Can Be Seen’ by Swami Yogatmananda, followed by the vesper service
|Tue. Mar. 23
|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
Thu Mar 11, MAHA SIVARATRI: A Sankirtan for Lord Siva was done after the evening Arati.
Sun, Mar 14: Sri Ramakrishna Birth-Anniversary Celebration
A special Chanting in the early morning was followed by the worship-ritual from 11am-1:00pm. It also included singing devotional songs, vesper-service, individual flower-offering and Prasad-distribution (in boxes to take home). 53 attended the program in person and a large number on our Youtube channel. The afternoon program, from 4:00 to 7:00 pm started with a video on Sri Ramakrishna, followed by a symposium (synopsis given underneath) and Sankirtan-music. 30 attended it in-person.
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda)
Friday, Mar 12 – Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam
Class 47: God is Born as Kapila
Kardama had been told by Brahma that he would help expand creation. Thus Kardama’s wife Devahuti gave birth to nine daughters. Kardama, having fulfilled the mission, had decided to leave home and become a monk again, assuring a distressed Devahuti that soon the Lord of the Universe would take birth from her. But he remembered that the Lord had mentioned that He will be born as son of both – Kardama and Devahuti! So he decided to stay for the time being till God is born. He advised Devahuti to engage in deep devotional practices, “For making the mind and body congenial for Lord’s advent.” The practice of restraint gradually purifies our mind and makes the mind ready to receive the Lord. In due course, the Lord descended and was born to Devahuti. God’s incarnation is a tremendously important event for humanity: Out of compassion, God has left his abode–the realm of existence, knowledge, and bliss–in order to remove humanity’s ignorance and to liberate bound souls. Kardama prays to Kapila: “…giving up your transcendent exalted abode, you have deigned to be born as a human being in our unworthy family to bless us. I seek shelter in Thee who is the Almighty Lord, repository of countless powers, regulator of all. Prakriti and Purusha in ONE, I am making this humble request. I have fulfilled my duties please now permit me to take up the life of a monk, wandering all over while being internally united in you.” Kapila gives his permission. Ordinarily it is the son who seeks the blessing of the father. In this case, Kapila blesses his father, signifying the superior knowledge of this child who is in fact God.
Sunday, Mar 14 – Symposium on Sri Ramakrishna
The opening song was Eight Quatrains on Sri Ramakrishna, written by Swami Abhedananda, and performed by Abhijit, Sukalyan, Tapas, and Tushar.
Prof. Sukalyan Sengupta: For Sri Ramakrishna, there was no separation between the sacred and the secular. Sri Ramakrishna was very particular about things. He made his horse carriage return to Dakshineshwar to obtain a cloth that someone had forgotten to bring. When someone forgot to return a pair of scissors, he thought of nothing else until they were returned. He scolded a disciple who ate too much in the evening. He did not object to mistreatment at a devotee’s home, so as not to bring misfortune on the family. He was full of compassion. He had tears in his eyes when he saw Hriday, who had been fired from Dakshineshwar for a misdeed. Once, when Girish Chandra Ghosh was drunk, he abused Sri Ramakrishna. Sri Ramakrishna visited Girish the next day, which proved to Girish that Sri Ramakrishna was a Paramahamsa.
Swami Yogatmananda: Sri Ramakrishna had divine intoxication, beyond boundaries, but was practical on the mundane level.
Prof. Gloria Maite Hernandez: William James described the mystical state of consciousness as ineffable, directly experienced, and not intellectual. Sri Ramakrishna had this state all of the time. Steven Katz felt that the mystic belongs to a certain culture, language, and religion. Sri Ramakrishna went beyond being one-sided. There are parallels between St Teresa (The Interior Castle) and Sri Ramakrishna. St Teresa describes seven mansions. Mystical life begins at the fourth mansion. In the fifth mansion, God is the only desire. In the sixth, the mystic has visions of God. The seventh mansion is where God Himself dwells. It is The Delight, with nothing to compare it to. Sri Ramakrishna spoke of the seven planes of kundalini in the similar fashion.
Swami Yogatmananda: Sri Ramakrishna found that the Divine Mother did not let him describe Samadhi. Instead, he demonstrated it.
Ezenwa Onwugbenu: The speaker learned of Sri Ramakrishna in Nigeria, where there was social pressure to conform to a version of Christianity. He was in a receptive state of mind to learn about Sri Ramakrishna. The opportunity for change came from divine grace. He viewed Jesus Christ as a revolutionary. He found St Paul to be the ideal man. He read the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, which initially did not fit in with his idea of Christianity. But the book gradually went deep in him. He came upon new ideas, such as God as Mother, God with and without form, and repeating the name of God. Studying Sri Ramakrishna led him to better understand St Paul’s idea that in God we live and move and have our being. He understood the statement that a man in Christ is in paradise, through Sri Ramakrishna’s idea of being in paradise before death.
Swami Yogatmananda: Sri Ramakrishna leads to understanding Christianity in a better light. There are religions for people at different levels. Sri Ramakrishna, Jesus, and Buddha are the same person in different clothing.
The closing song was Sing the Ramakrishna-Name, O Mind!, performed by Abhijit, Sukalyan, Tapas, and Tushar.
This was followed by songs about Sri Ramakrishna, including Ramakrishna and Ramakrishna Nama Sankirtan and Sharanam (Ramakrishna my Refuge).
Tuesday, Mar 16 – Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play
Page # 601-603 : Pilgrimage and His Association with Holy Men
One can experience the presence of Sri Ramakrishna and His teachership even today by reading His teachings, visiting the places associated with Him and in the company of His devotees.
Specialty of the advent of the Master is establishment of universal religion. At that time the society was infused with western materialism percolating through the education system. The younger generation in India came under the stronghold of western civilization forgetting the teachings of the scriptures. As this happened the scope for true religion vanished slowly. At that time Master demonstrated this unique idea that there can be many ways to realize God and all of them are true.
Master showed that Hinduism and Islam are equally valid to achieve the highest ideal. Master taught how one should stick to his/her own path, ignore the differences in other paths and respectfully accept all other religions. One must cultivate acceptance for other religions rather than mere tolerance. Master experienced this oneness and from that state of Bhavamukha (at the threshold of absolute and relative), he preached the same to others. His catholic views make him universal and not limited to one particular religion, nation or sect.
He proved it in His own life by following all different paths of spiritual practices. Due to his all- embracing attitude people from different religions found him to be their very own and saw their perfect ideal in him. Master demonstrated this harmony of religion by practicing different religions and reaching to the culmination. Swami Vivekananda brought it forward to the whole world through his teachings.