Book-store is now OPEN: During the Tue/Fri Classes and Sun Services!
Of course, one must enter within the stipulated time given below.
Sun Mar 28: 5:00 to 6:30pm: Birthday of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. A special song and Sun lecture.
Sun Mar 28, 7:30-8:30 pm: Swami will give a talk on the Hymn ‘Meditation on Sri Ramakrishna’ on the Vedanta.Providence channel of YouTube. This talk is mainly for the devotees from Queens/Bronx area of New York. Of course, others can listen too.
Attending Programs at Vedanta Society in Person: (Only those, who have no COVID symptoms and are wearing face-mask allowed)
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 (Except Sunday)
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. 26||7:00 – 8:45 pm: Arati, Meditation and A Study Class on ‘Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam’ by Swami Yogatmananda
|Sun. Mar. 28||5:00 – 6:30 pm: Sun service lecture on ‘‘Power of NAME’’ by Swami Yogatmananda, followed by the vesper service|
|Tue. Mar. 30||7:00 – 8:45 pm: Arati, meditation and A Study Class on ‘Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play’ by Swami Yogatmananda|
|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 5:55 am
|Evening||(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
Sun Mar 21, 10:30-11:30 am: Swami spoke at the Monthly Meeting of Vedanta Society of CT on YouTube channel of Vedanta.Providence on How Knowledge is Acquired. 30+ attended.
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda)
Friday, Mar 19 – Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam
Class 48: God is Born as Kapila
Maitreya continued to narrate the story of Kapila to Vidura. After saying goodbye to home life, Kardama with one-pointed devotion united his mind with Brahman, the Lord who is beyond all cause and effect. Devahuti, the wife of Kardama, was now left with her son Kapila. One day she said, “Oh Lord, I have been in the grossness of dark infatuation.” She approached Kapila for instructions: “Getting thee as the guide I seem to have reached the end of the vicious cycle of birth and death. Thou are an excellent eye to penetrate this dark barrier of infatuation.” She was not going to miss the opportunity to attain to the highest illumination while her son, the Lord, was there in human form. We can converse and connect with God only when He appears in human form: this is the only opportunity for us to learn this secret for how to attain to liberation and to transcend the bondage that we are caught in. We must feel that our bondage IS such: we are caught in it. The problem with most of us is that we don’t feel our bondage to be bondage, and the intense hankering for liberation doesn’t come. The guru is the teacher who makes us see the unseen. We are not able to see the God who is in fact right here. We must learn to see through the eyes of the teacher, and our vision of the Lord will open up. Devahuti felt blinded, infatuated by the pull of the senses. Then free from those longings, she was possessed by the desire for liberation. She knew that God was the only source of permanent and real shelter.
Sunday, Mar 21 – God Can Be Seen
There are innumerable opinions about God. There is no sure evidence unless we experience God. Ideas on the warpath create more disturbance. We cannot see God due to impurity in our device of perception, like we need to get the dust off a mirror to be able to see our reflection. Jesus said: Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. Swami Vivekananda said that if only this one statement remained, it could support humankind. Religion may take on a social agenda, but the only purpose of life is to see God. We say that we try to see God, and that God cannot be seen. We conclude that only some sages may see God. Our priorities get distorted into things like our livelihood, name, fame, and sense pleasures. We can make efforts to see God. We have to seek out holy company and be receptive to its holiness. Some people saw Sri Ramakrishna and their life did not change. We have to practice prayer and listen to the instructions of the Guru. Devotion for God has to be there. We should not waste time in seeking philosophical ideas and opinions. There is no need to know everything about God. We see God when we see the incarnation of God, like there is no need to touch the whole river to touch the Ganges. Sri Ramakrishna said that the mind and intellect become pure when we are free from attachment to lust and greed.
Tuesday, Mar 23 – Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play
Page # 604-606 : Pilgrimage of the Master as a Guru Pages
When Sri Ramakrishna went on the pilgrimage, His teachership got manifested and blossomed and it happened spontaneously. As various aspirants came in contact with Sri Ramakrishna, they got illumined and carried the flame wherever they went. The advent of an incarnation is to spread the religion. Their life helps us understand what the goal of life is and work toward that goal. Without the life of an incarnation, religion becomes rather empty. The substance of religion is to achieve this fulfillment in life as demonstrated by an incarnation.
A little bit of this experience is good enough for a spiritual aspirant to learn from these experiences and reach God. But this is not adequate to remove the darkness of others. To be a world-teacher one needs a lot more depth of experience. In incarnations, the power to spread illumination is specially manifested. They are specially equipped to understand long term consequences of their actions. For example, they need understand how the previous rishis introduced spiritual ideas, what were the benefits of these ideas and their drawbacks. Incarnations need these experiences and insight to be able to diagnose the diseases of others and prescribe the medicine. Some people want to develop their oratory skills to become preachers of religion. It doesn’t work this way. One needs to be endowed with a special power to preach religion and illuminate the lives of others.
An incarnation of God goes through a vast diversity of experiences: worshipped as God one moment and next moment is ridiculed as insane person. Rama was about to be coronated one moment and was send to the forest the next moment. Ordinary people cannot sustain this swing of fortune. An incarnation stays calm and guides others under these circumstances. Sri Ramakrishna encountered various people during His pilgrimages, understood their current situation and prescribe remedies to help them advance spiritually. Sri Ramakrishna had a tremendous power of observation. Through their words He could clearly see what’s inside their mind. His pilgrimages also helped enhance the glory of these holy places.