No special event scheduled.
We are monitoring the fast worsening pandemic situation. If it does not improve, the society will have to take the hard decision to close it for all visitors after coming Sunday for everyone’s safety. It will be notified on Sun accordingly.
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 20||7:00 – 8:45 pm: Arati, meditation and Study Class on ‘Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam’ by Swami Yogatmananda
|Sun. Nov 22||5:00-6:00 pm: Sun lecture on ‘Thank God…’ by Swami Yogatmananda, followed by Arati and meditation|
|Tue. Nov 24||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
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda)
Friday, Nov 13 – Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam
Class 31: Secondary Creation
God is beyond our intellect, but He is not beyond our experience. By enhancing our devotion, we can overcome Maya and better understand the Lord. One may wonder how the supreme, all-pervading, changeless Lord, enacts the Lila or “sport” of creation. The Self and Its spontaneous power Maya, , are in actuality not two different entities, though they are apparently incompatible. God alone has become the individual soul also. Vidura asks: how can God enjoy or suffer? Maitreya explains that though it goes against rational thinking it nonetheless happens. All of the questions Vidura previously asked have only one answer: we can never find the answer to the question but the question itself disappears. Our awareness goes beyond, just as when we wake up from a dream and see that the dream was illusory. When the mind becomes glued to the truth, our defective understandings simply vanish. The shift has to happen—dedication to God—and when that shift happens then alone one goes beyond these doubts. Maitreya again re-kindles the need of devotion to overcome these doubts. Vidura says: “Those who are utmost deluded and therefore do not have any inkling of anything beyond the world of sense-enjoyment, do not have problem, nor those who have transcended reason—”Only those in between are bothered by doubts.” Maitreya further explains that by being in touch with and serving the devotees our devotion is enhanced and we become aware of God’s presence.
Sunday, Nov 15 – Diwali – The Festival of Lights
The opening song was The Light Divine, written by Subrata from Florida, and sung by Peter Travisano.
Diwali is the most celebrated Hindu festival. Diwali means the line of lamps. Light is an important religious symbol of the divine. Moses saw God in a burning bush. Zoroastrians symbolize God as fire. The Buddha told his disciples to be lights unto yourselves. On the first day of Diwali, the cow is worshipped as a symbol of prosperity and wellbeing. On the second day, the divine treasurer, the deity of wealth, and the divine doctor are worshipped. On the third day, people get up very early in the morning to practice self-control. The crushing of the demon of hell (Narakasura) by Krishna and Kali is celebrated by crushing a fruit under the foot. The fruit is the symbol for our evil tendencies which lead to hell. Food is given to friends and relatives, and trespasses are forgiven. Rama’s return to Ayodhya is celebrated. The fourth day is the New Year’s Day. On the fifth day, the sanctity of the brother/sister relationship is celebrated.
Abhijit Sarcar sang the song Sadanandamayi Kali, which celebrates the ever-blissful nature of Mother Kali. Kali consumes both good and evil when we rise to the universal spirit. Worship goes on for the whole night.
The Jewish festival of Hannukah is also a festival of lights. An additional candle is lit on each of eight days. Jesus said: I am the light of the world. In Genesis, God said: Let there be light. And there was light.
The closing song was the spiritual This Little Light of Mine.
Tuesday, Nov 17 – Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play
Page #565-568 : Story of Vaishnavacharan and Gauri
Gauri Pandit believed that Sri Ramakrishna is the Supreme Reality, by whose power the God-incarnations come in this world. The company of Sri Ramakrishna had a powerful impact on Gauri Pandit. His whole life changed. Due to his intense faith, the divine company of the Master and his knowledge of scriptures, Gauri resolved to renounce this world. The scriptures say that the true Knowledge gives rise to renunciation. The knowledge must be accompanied by the relevant practice. When one acquires real knowledge, that the names and forms are unreal and the attachment to those causes bondage, one gives up the worldly enjoyments. Sri Ramakrishna used to despise scholarly people who possessed theoretical knowledge but did not practice it in their lives.
Master used to share many stories of Gauri Pandit and Vaishnavacharan with the his disciples. He told how Gauri Pandit resolved to see Kali and Guranga as one following the teachings of the Master that one should connect to various forms of God through his/her Chosen Ideal. Based on Vaishnavacharan’s opinion, the Master also taught to consider the object of love as the Chosen Deity.
Worldly attachments drag us away from the goal. To avoid that, the Master recommended to some of his devotees to change their attitude towards the world and learn to love the world as a manifestation of the Lord. This approach should bring a complete change in one’s attitude. It has to be done with sincerity and should not become an excuse to indulge in worldly attachments. Then alone the attachment will go away and develop true love for God. A reference from Brihadaranyaka upanishad – dialogue between Yadnyavalkya and Maitreyee – is provided to reinforce that everyone is loved for the sake of the Self and not for the sake of that individual or that object. When we investigate the true cause of the love or attachment, we realize that self is the only reason which gives rise to that love. This realization initiates the real discovery of the Self. One must continue that journey by shravan (listening), Manan (concentration), and nididhyasana (dogget determination).
The teachings of the Master were unique, simple to follow and suitable for the seeker. But by no means they were against the scriptures. He believed in and respected all the religions and that was the central idea of His teachings.