ALL REGULAR programs (daily morning & evening meditations and prayers, Tue & Fri Vedanta class, sun service lecture) are open for in-person attendance (with certain rules/ limitations).
Of course, all lectures/classes will continue to be available LIVE and stored on our Youtube Channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFof5116HcBYIpUFvKet1Uw).too.
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
Weekly Schedule (in addition to Daily Schedule given below)
|Fri. Nov 13||7:00 – 8:45 pm: Arati, meditation and Study Class on ‘Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam’ by Swami Yogatmananda
|Sun. Nov 15||5:00-6:00 pm: Sun lecture on ‘Diwali – The Festival of Lights’ by Swami Yogatmananda, followed by Arati and meditation|
|Tue. Nov 17||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
Day-long Silent Meditation, Sat Nov 07: 13 devotees participated for various lengths of time.
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda)
Friday, Nov 06 – Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam
Class 30: Virata Purusha
The Truth is immutable. Though It is the source of creation, It manifests all forms without any change taking place within It. This is the most important idea in Vedanta. The Sage Maitreya describes to Vidura the sequence by which creation takes place. In actuality there is no sequence as such, since it all in Maya; nonetheless, Maitreya describes the process for the satisfaction of those who are still in delusion. Once the primordial elements were created, they prayed to the Lord for help, since they were unable to combine and recombine on their own. The Lord then entered into them and thereby enlivened them. The lesson here is that nothing happens without the active involvement of God, though He doesn’t do anything. Then the Virat Purusha was made. The Virat Purusha is a big, special being which contains everything in the seed form and is endowed with three powers: consciousness, action, and enjoyment/suffering. The “I” in that Virat Purusha is that which truly enjoys or suffers. Therefore a person like Sri Ramakrishna, in whom there is no “I” as such, neither enjoys nor suffers. Now out of the same material–Virat–groups were formed: one consciousness, five types of energies (pranas), five forms of functioning enjoyment/suffering. This Virat was then activated by the will of God by His Power for giving proper space and functional ability to the presiding deities: Agni (speech), Varuna (taste), two Ashwinis (smell), etc. Rudra got into the “I”-sense (ahamkara) with the power of “will to do”. Brahmaa took place in the intellect when it was formed to perform reasoning and rational thought. All the different beings now took their place in this body of Virat depending on how much Sattva (purity) there was in them. The angels and devas dwell in the higher world; the astral/ghost-like beings with preponderance of Tamas in the naval region; and humans and other animals live in the earth region due to the preponderance of Rajas. Though this process creation lies beyond the scope of human understanding, by thinking about it our minds become purified.
Sunday, Nov 08 – It’s a Small World After All
The opening song was It’s a Small World.
Space, time, and the senses are all installed in the brain. Chhandogya Upanisad says that, if we know one lump of clay, we know everything made of clay. We practice sadhana to experience the absolute Truth, which is experienced in the heart. The majority of minds are addicted to the reality of time and space. To help them, the concept of inner space in the heart is used. Someone dwells in the lotus of the heart to bring the knowledge of the Atman. Swami Vivekananda, in the book Jnana Yoga, says that because we see multiplicity, there is the creation of space/time. Time/space are like shadows of the objects. When we sleep, objects, and time and space as we know them, vanish. Christianity said that the kingdom of heaven is within you. Vedanta states: Thou art That. Most of our energy is spent on ‘I’, which is something deep within the body, and is not biological. The heart is psychologically suitable for spiritual practice. We go to the heart to meet the Indweller. Heaven and earth are contained within the heart. The body ages and dies, but the spiritual aspirant thinks of the imperishable God within. The desire to give up all desires, or the desire for God, is not a desire. Sri Ramakrishna said that the heart is the parlor where the devotee can meet God. There, we are all the same, and the one who experiences this, loves everyone.
Tuesday, Nov 10 – Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play
Page #562-565 : Story of Vaishnavacharan and Gauri
The technique in tantra is to use the name and form to help us take out of the bondage of name and form. In Vamachar tantra (an esoteric form of tantra) there is a great danger of getting addicted to these practices, instead of using these to transcend the attachment of the world. Therefore, Sri Ramakrishna did not advise anyone to take up these practices. However, He suggested that the other forms of tantra should be put into practice.
Vaishnavacharan applied some of the esoteric practices and attempted to test Sri Ramakrishna by tempting Him but realized that He had unbroken chastity and natural awareness of God (Atut Sahaj) and could not be tempted.
Pandit Gauri of Indesh was a distinguished tantric aspirant who had developed special occult powers. He used to loudly utter some mantra before beginning a debate that would awaken a special power in him and overwhelm his opponent. This made it impossible to defeat him in debates. The Divine Mother revealed this secret to Sri Ramakrishna and that power from Gauri got into Himself for Gauri’s benefit. Gauri used to worship his wife during Durga Puja. According to tantra all female forms should be worshipped as forms of Divine Mother. Anyone who looks at a female form with lust and an object of enjoyment insults Divine Mother and harms himself. Gauri could also light the sacrificial fire by keeping 82 pounds of wood on his hand and hold it while performing the oblations. Gauri had tremendous reverence for Sri Ramakrishna and considered Him not only a divine incarnation but someone ‘a fraction of Whose power creates incarnations’! It is not possible for everyone to recognize an incarnation (God in the form of a human being). It is possible only when an incarnation allows it to happen.