Sat, Mar 30, 1:00 pm: Swami will be giving the concluding talk at the Gita Chanting Session, Chinmay Maruti Temple in Andover, Ma
Sat. May 11, 9:30 am to 7:00 pm: Spiritual Retreat by Swami Atmajnanananda, Vedanta Center, Gr Washington DC
Topic: Parliament of Religions (Christianity and Sikhism)
Prior Reg Required. Reg Fee: $30; ($20, if payed by April 28)
Online registration will be available soon.
Weekly Schedule (in addition to Daily Schedule given below)
|Fri. March 29||7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation.
7:30 – 8:30 PM: Study class on ‘Svetasvatara Upanishad’, conducted by Swami Yogatmananda
|Sat. March 30||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 31||5:00-6:00 pm: Lecture by Swami Yogatmananda on ‘Skipping the Sweet Snares’.
This will be followed by Arati and soup supper.
|Tue. Apr 02||5:30-6:30 pm: HATHA YOGA class: Contact Vedanta Society by email or
contact Roshni Darnal at 401-226-5421
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)
|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.
Wed Mar 20: Swami gave a class on Hinduism to Brown University students taking a course on Religious Literacy.
Sat, Mar 23: Spiritual Retreat by Swami Atmarupananda, on ‘Vedantic Mindfulness’. The Retreat, attended by 60+ devotees, started with introductory prayers by Swami Yogatmananda, followed by the Guided Meditation; Bernadette Pace then led the attendees into a Hatha Yoga Session. Then Swami Atmarupananda gave two discourses, separated by some singing, ‘Vedantic Tale’ by Yogatmananda. A general q-a session followed by Rama Nama Samkirtan concluded the retreat.
Sun, Mar 24, 10 am to noon, Swami Atmarupananda with Swami Yogatmananda and some devotees, traveled to Vedanta Society of CT, 100, Cherry Brook Rd, Canton, CT. After a short worship, Swami Atmarupananda gave a talk on ‘What is the World’. There was prayer singing and prasad lunch, to conclude the program. 28 attended.
In the afternoon, Atmarupananda gave a talk on ‘Who and What is God’ at Providence Vedanta; it was followed by the Arati and a music concert by Saxophonist Phil Scarff and Tabla Maestro Nitin Mitta.
Mon, Mar, 25; 7:00-8:30 pm: Swami spoke at the Emmanuel Church in Newport, RI on ‘Some Cardinal Principles of Hinduism’. 25+ attended.
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda, unless otherwise stated)
Friday, March 22 – Study Class on Svetasvatara Upanisad
Class 23, Verses: Ch 3, 8-10:
The screen and the movie are not separate. The waves are not distinct from the ocean. These are commonly-used images which invoke the truth that the names and forms we see are pervaded by the Divine. Purusha is the in-dwelling, conscious being beyond matter but permeating it. All that we are experiencing is that Being, and that Being is luminous; full of consciousness. We are not the body, the mind, the intellect. We are the blissful reality, the one existence. When we realize that we are beyond time and space, we have no birth and no death. Without the transcendence of name and form, there is NO other way to go beyond the cycle of birth and death. One can meditate on these great ideas: “Yes, the one divine principle, the Self, pervades everything. It’s the same self in all.” We can be free of misery if we realize the Self, but if we don’t, we’ll have to suffer misery alone. We must be courageous, adventurous! This world of appearances is one of suffering; let us try to go beyond the realm of name and form. This is where we can become free and be enshrined in our true, blissful 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 24 – Who and What is God? – a talk by Swami Atmarupananda
Every civilization until the 20thcentury was founded on religion. Nothing has meaning if there is no God, and if death is the end. If this fleeting existence is all there is, there is no basis for morality. Religion is in society because of the insufficiency of this life. The religious impulse comes from seeking to break through the limitations of life. We want infinity. We desire the removal of all obstacles. Everyone seeks infinite being, and seeks to know, and wants to be good. Even criminals justify what they have done, and want to be seen as good. Those who have realized God say that God is infinite beauty, love, joy, and knowledge. In monotheism, the universe is separate from God, and it was created from nothing, to save the notion of God’s infinity. Sri Ramakrishna felt that we should go beyond praising God’s universe, and go to God Himself. Being is God’s nature. Vedanta brings my being and God together. There is a Mother heart in the universe that loves each of us, because we exist. Yet we have turned our mind away, so we do not see God. Holy Mother had a vision of Sri Ramakrishna after his passing, and said that nobody knows how he suffers, sitting in the heart of everyone, and that while he comes to liberate everyone, he does not get liberated himself.
Tuesday, March 26 – Study Class on ‘Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play’
Sri Ramakrishna as a Guru – Page #447-448
Divine personages have no desires behind their actions. Hence, we cannot determine the reason for their actions as we are used to action driven by desire. We aspire to get infinite happiness, knowledge and immortality. But because of our identification with the limited self, the infinite dimension is not available to us. We seek this happiness in worldly objects but when we get these objects, we find that happiness is not there.
Great teachers are always aware of the infinite dimension but they come to our plane of finite dimensions to show us the possibilities beyond our limited view. This intermediate state is called the state of Bhavamukha. We cannot quite understand this state. But, we should make an attempt to understand it. Through effort and practice, our understanding evolves and we become aware of our infinite nature. Our Father is Infinite and so are we Infinite. We must claim our inheritance (enlightenment) from our father – God, who is our true Father. Our earthly parents are only secondary instruments. They have very little knowledge or control over our birth and growth. Swamiji says that we are heirs to immortality (amritasya putrah). Sri Ramakrishna used to say that we should tie this knowledge of non-duality (that God and I are one) to our cloth – i.e. always keep this knowledge with us and then engage in the world.
Somehow we have forgotten that we are divine – we have lost the memory of our divinity. Chhandogya Upanishad provides 3 step approach to reviving this memory: 1) Keep the intake pure (intake into the mind); 2) This clears up our memory, making us remember that we are divine and 3) As the memory becomes clear, our bondage to the world is removed.
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.