Coronavirus Alert: Worship-places in RI are ALLOWED TO OPEN with restrictions, from coming Saturday.
All classes and lectures can be then attended in person, BUT THERE ARE RESTRICTIONS GIVEN UNDERNEATH.
Of course, all lectures/classes will be available, as before, live online on YouTube channel of Vedanta Society of Providence.
(Connect to https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFof5116HcBYIpUFvKet1Uw).
All other daily and weekly programs (meditations, prayers) can also be attended in person, BUT WITH RESTRICTIONS.
- Guest attendance is limited to 20
- All-time wearing of facial mask is mandatory
- Try to maintain a distance of at least 6ft from any other individual
- New seating arrangements in effect to maintain social distancing. Please don’t relocate the chairs
- Please refrain as far as possible from touching any items
- No paper song-sheets are in use
- Basement and kitchen/dining area are not accessible
- Only rest-rooms in use are the ones in the same floor as the chapel
- Book store, library and children’s room are closed
Entrance door remains open for limited times as follows:
- Tue & Fri lectures: 6:45 – 7:05 pm
- Sun services: 4:45 – 5:05 pm
- Morning meditation : 5:45 – 5:55 am
- Evening meditation: 6:45 – 7:15 pm
- Doors are locked promptly after the above-mentioned time-window.
- Please make a note of the conditions being displayed at the entrance for using the facility. Your entrance implies your acceptance of those conditions.
Of course, everyone can join-in – riding on the electromagnetic waves!
Sat, May 30, 8:00 pm: A special lecture on Youtube by Swami for the Colorado devotees on How to Practice Meditation. Others too can join.
|Fri. May 29||7:20 – 8:45 pm: Meditation and Study Class on ‘Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam’ by Swami Yogatmananda. ONLINE ONLY|
|Sun. May 31||5:00-6:00 pm: Sun lecture on ‘Non-duality – THE EXPERIENCE’ by Swami Yogatmananda.|
|Tue. June 02||7:20 – 8:45 pm: Meditation and A Study Class on ‘Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play’ by Swami Yogatmananda.|
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda, unless otherwise stated)
Friday, May 22 – Study Class on Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam
Class 20: ONE to MANY
That which never had existence cannot be destroyed. The world is unreal, never existed – so it can never be destroyed! But because of the covering of our intellect, we are not able to grasp this. The multifarious universe seems to us to be more real. We don’t ask for proof of the existence of the world, we ask for proof of the existence of God! Sage Shuka is telling the story of Brahma and his son, Narada. Brahma tells Narada: Just as the sun illuminates everything and yet remains apart, the Lord remains absolute, unchanging, in-divisible sat-chit-ananda. God alone exists in this cosmic form, being the material and efficient cause of everything. Brahma tells that, after he came out of the navel of the Lord, the Lord ordered Him to create the universe. Since there was no material available other than God, parts of the body of God were used. Everything has its source in God. The objects of the world are just the One, unchanging Reality, appearing as many. In Practical Vedanta and Jnana Yoga, Swami Vivekananda is asked, “Can we see God?” He answers that we are seeing God all the time and, in fact, have never seen anything else BUT God.
It is efficacious to chant the name of the Lord, since the name gradually makes the form appear. If we repeat the name of God, God will be continuously in our consciousness, our thoughts and words will always tend toward the truth, the mind will not take a wrong turn, the senses will not lead us astray. But we can never “know” God, because God is not an object of knowledge. Even Brahma tells Narada that He cannot know God, though he is the embodiment of Vedic knowledge. Instead, we can connect to God through devotion.
Sunday Service, May 24 – How to Overcome Fear
The opening song was Madalasa’s Advice, performed by Srikanth Srigiriraju and Abhijit Sarcar.
Fear is hardwired in the brain for our protection. Fear becomes a pathology when we run away from challenges instead of facing them. Knowing that One ALONE IS, eliminates all fear. Love removes fear, while being hateful increases fear. In phobias, there is nothing wrong with the object that is feared. Phobias go away with practice. Fear is a direct result of separation between ‘I’ and the ‘world’. Separation leads us to think that I am weak, and that I am a sinner. We need to keep asserting that I am not the body and the mind. Identification with a heap of flesh (=body) keeps us away from the Truth. We need sadhana (spiritual practice) of sravana (keep listening to the Truth) and manana (meditating on the Truth). Swami Vivekananda said that we get strength when we know that I am the Self. He said that this is the way to teach a practical God. Sri Ramakrishna said to: “Feel God as your very own.” Holy Mother said: “Why be afraid? Surrender everything to Sri Ramakrishna.” God is taking care of us. Real love is feeling Oneness. Everything gets decided by God. Everything in the world is coming and going, and nothing is ours. We need a connection with The God of Love. Pain is inevitable, but suffering comes when we identify with the body.
Tuesday, May 26 – Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play
Pg # 530 – 531: Master’s relationship with His Gurus
Sri Ramakrishna shared a very unique relationship with his Gurus. He learned different spiritual practices from them and also helped them in attaining perfection. His Gurus, in spite of their lofty spiritual attainments, had some human weaknesses lingering in their body and mind. They could realize these weaknesses in the light of Master’s life, who was an embodiment of purity and perfection. His life served as a mirror to Bhairavi Brahmani, who helped Sri Ramakrishna practice the Tantra.
Brahmani looked at Sri Ramakrishna as her disciple and showered her affection upon him. She could never appreciate, if he showed love and respect towards other saintly persons. Brahmani became very possessive about Sri Ramakrishna. She could not understand Master’s infinite love which was not fragmented or transient. True love is freedom. It doesn’t bind the beloved. We try to label the petty devilish possessiveness as love and never even try to overcome it. This example should be looked upon only to critically introspect our own lives and try to remove the intense attachment for me and mine. One should not equate love with attachment or possessiveness. Jealousy, covetousness are human weaknesses which are the result of attachment. They become great obstacles in realizing God.
True love is where the lover cares only about the happiness of the beloved. Such true love can be found in the lives of Gopis. Theirs is pure and selfless love.
By the grace of the Master, Bhairavi Brahmani realized her inadequacy and left to practice austerities.