Sat, Mar 23, 9:30 am to 7:00 pm: Spiritual Retreat by Swami Atmarupananda, Houston
Topic: VEDANTIC MINDFULNESS
Prior Reg Required. Reg Fee: $30
($20, if paid by Mar 14);
Click here for more information and online registration.
Sunday, Mar 24: Swami Yogananda’s Birthday. There will be a special chant reading of his biography in the morning.
Sun, Mar 24, 10 am-12 noon : Vedanta Society of Connecticut
100 Cherry Brook Rd, Canton, CT. There will be worship, singing and Swami Atmarupananda will be speaking on ‘What Is The World?’ All invited.
Sunday, Mar 24, 5:00-6:00 pm: Sunday Service Lecture will be delivered by Swami Atmarupananda on ‘Who and What Is God?’. Will be followed by the Saxophonist Phil Scarff’s concert. He will be accompanied on Tabla by Nitin Mitta.
Mon, Mar, 25; 7:00-8:30 pm: Swami will be speaking at the Emmanuel Church in Newport, RI on Some Cardinal Principles of Hinduism. All welcome.
Weekly Schedule (in addition to Daily Schedule given below)
|Fri. March 22||7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation.
7:30 – 8:30 PM: Study class on ‘Svetasvatara Upanishad’, conducted by Swami Yogatmananda
|Sat. March 23||9:30 am to 7:00 pm: Spiritual Retreat by Swami Atmarupananda, Houston, Topic: VEDANTIC MINDFULNESS. Prior Registration required. See details at the top.|
|Sun. March 24||5:00-6:00 pm: Lecture on ‘Who and What Is God?’ by Swami Atmarupananda. This will be followed by Arati and Concert by Saxophonist Phil Scarff accompanied on Tabla by Nitin Mitta.|
|Tue. March 26||5:30-6:30 pm: HATHA YOGA class: Contact Vedanta Society by email or
contact Roshni Darnal at 401-226-54217:00 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)
|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.
Sat, Mar 16: Regular Karma Yoga Session (8:30-10:30 am) and Guided Meditation & Prayers (11:00-noon) went on as usual.
Swami Traveled to New Jersey, Sat Mar 16: After the Guided meditation session, Swami Yogatmananda left for ‘Adyapith-Temple’ Somerset, NJ. His speech on ‘DHARMA: THE CENTRAL IDEA IN BHAGAVADGITA” was attended by over 40 devotees He came back back in Providence around the noon on 17th.
Sun Mar 17: Active Shooter Training
Prior to the Sunday March 17th lecture, Eric Ulmen a Protective Advisor from the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Infrastructure and Security gave a one-hour training session related to the presence of active shooters at places-of-worship.
The session was attended mainly by those members of the congregation who perform ongoing volunteer support work.
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda, unless otherwise stated)
Friday, March 15 – Study Class on Svetasvatara Upanisad
Class 22, Verses: Ch 3, 7-9:
We offer our prayers to the Personal Brahman. Nonetheless, we must transcend the limitations of name, form, qualities, and attributes that we—personally and individually—associate with God. The ideas every individual holds about God differ, but the Supreme Brahman cannot be limited. The infinite divine principle has to be felt gradually in our consciousness. We have to go on soaring to higher and higher levels of consciousness. While transcending the name and forms, we should be careful not to make the mistake that God literally lies beyond all name and forms. God is transcendent but also immanent. The universe is an illusory appearance projected on that Divine; the Divine alone—without undergoing any change—is appearing as this world. Swami Vivekananda would say, “Don’t seek God, but see God.” When the illusion disappears, we see the Divine. However, we want both God and the world, which is impossible. We must be courageous to let go of the world and to earnestly strive for God, and God alone, keeping up this spirit of transcendence. Until we reach the goal, we cannot be lax in our spiritual practice lest we fall. When we realize the Supreme Brahman, we become free from the cycle of life and death. This cycle of birth and death symbolizes all the bondage we are in; every action has a consequence and that consequence becomes the next action, which again has its consequence. When we know the truth, when we see the self-effulgent Lord that dwells in everything, there is no birth and death.
Sunday, March 17 – Lecture: ‘Enter’-tainment
‘Entertainment’ means ‘to go in’ (enter) and ‘be held together’ (-tainment). We get happiness when we enter within, and not when we go out. The Bhagavad Gita says: “The person who is unattached to external objects of the senses attains bliss.” What is pleasant at one time, such as a relationship or music, becomes unpleasant at another time. Objects are not pleasant or unpleasant, but rather, it is how we look at them. Swami Vivekananda said that the desire for pleasure is the source of suffering. Yet we often forget this, which leads to an addiction, in which we are forced to commit an action, and have no control over it. Though things keep attracting us, we need to make an attempt to control our actions. The Gita says: “Likes and dislikes are like robbers.” In the name of entertainment, suffering is inflicted upon ourselves. The Gita says: “He whose happiness, enjoyment, and light is within, is called a yogi.” Then, we become the source of all happiness. Religion is all about practice, although initially it feels hard. Thomas à Kempis, in the “Imitation of Christ”, advised us to: “Turn to God with all of your heart, forsake this wretched world, and you will find rest.” He said that we have here no lasting home. If we run toward the world, it is difficult to meditate. “Had you tasted Jesus’s ardent love, you would not care about anything else.”-He mentions.
Tuesday, March 19 – Study Class on ‘Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play’
Sri Ramakrishna as a Guru – Page #447
Sri Ramakrishna was identified with the infinite divine awareness. The bodily awareness was a part of that infinite awareness and more importantly it was not forced upon Him like all other ordinary human beings. Sri Ramakrishna looked at everything as ONE appearing in various names and forms. His teacher-ship originated from that Divine awareness. This divine awareness between the Nirguna (formless) and the Saguna (with form) is called Bhavamukha. This idea can be conceived only through meditative mind. Rationality is not the correct tool to grasp this.
Sri Ramakrishna dwelt in the Nirguna (formless) aspect of the Divine Mother when His I-consciousness was dissolved completely. When that I-consciousness manifested a little He could see the multiplicity springing up from the ONE. It is difficult to grasp the idea that the oneness and the diversity coexist. It is beyond any intellectual capacity to understand that two apparently opposite things are in essence the same. We hold on to erroneous bodily awareness and perceive things around us through that faulty awareness. As we perceive many parts of one object (e.g. branches of a tree) and the object as a whole (e.g. tree), similarly at the cosmic level, the various names and forms are part of the one WHOLE. The whole universe sprang from the same I.
The separateness is just perception. I and the body are totally different entities but we confuse these opposite things, consider them to be one and that distorts the entire perception. There is a very basic confusion between I and ‘Not I’. The distinction between ‘I’ and ‘Not I’ can be understood through spiritual practices by developing correct understanding.