HAPPY, HEALTHY, ‘ PEACEFUL’ THANKSGIVING TO ALL!
- The Tuesday & Friday online live-streaming of classes will now be from our YouTube channel (instead of Twitter). Please follow the link:
- Volunteer Work: Cleaning, Maintenance, webcasting of lectures, etc.
- Vedanta Library and Bookstore: Open 30 minutes before every class/program.
Guest Lectures This Week:
Sun. Nov. 25, 5 – 6 pm: ‘Now and Then: Thoughts from Our Congregation’ led by Chet Boncek
Tue. Nov. 27, 7:30 – 8:30 pm: ‘Pilgrimage Sites associated with HOLY MOTHER’ – by Prof. Sukalyan Sengupta, UMass/Dartmouth.
All are welcome. No fee.
Swami Yogatmananda visits India and Europe – Nov. 07 – Nov. 30
Swami Yogatmananda is travelling and delivering lectures in India, Germany, Ireland, England.
Click here to see his itinerary. Swami will resume classes from Fri. Nov. 30.
During his absence, all classes, Saturday guided meditation-hour; karma yoga/work-service; daily morning/evening meditation programs, Sun soup supper etc will continue as usual.
Daylong Retreat – Sat. Dec. 08, 9:30am – 5:00pm
– by Swami Yogatmananda
Topic: ‘Kingdom of God is Within You’
Fee: $30.00; Discounted fee $20 if paid by Nov 30 (Fees are non-refundable)
Prior Registration Required; Can be done online or in person at the Society’s office, or by mail. For detailed information and online registration:
SALUTATIONS! – Thurs. Nov. 22
The birth anniversaries of Swami Vijnanananda, direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, will be observed on Thurs Nov 22 , in the morning meditation with a chant, and after the evening Aarati-singing with a song and a short biographical reading and meditation.
Hatha Yoga Classes – Every Tuesday, beginning Oct 02, 5:30-6:30 PM
Fee: $40 — PREPAID For 2 Month Course, $10/Per Class
Contact Vedanta Society by phone or email or contact Roshni Darnal at 401-226-5421
Weekly Schedule (in addition to Daily Schedule given below)
|Fri. Nov. 23||7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation.
7:30 – 8:30 PM: NO STUDY CLASS TONIGHT!
|Sat. Nov. 24||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. Nov. 25||5:00 – 6:00 PM: Lecture: ‘Now and Then: Thoughts from Our Congregation, led by Chet Boncek – followed by Aarati and soup-supper and meditation till 8:00pm|
|Tue. Nov. 27||7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation
7:30 – 8:30 PM: Study Class – ‘Pilgrimage Sites associated with Holy Mother’ by Prof. Sukalyan Sengupta
|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||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.
SALUTATIONS! – Tues Nov 20
The birth anniversary of Swami Subodhananda direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, was observed on Tues Nov 20 in the morning meditation with a chant, and after the evening Aarati-singing with another song, a short biographical reading and meditation.
Synopses of Past Classes
Friday Study Class: ‘Spiritual Unfoldment and The Pantanjali Yoga Sutras’ – Part 2 by Chet Boncek – Nov. 16
The session began by discussing the symbolism and the psychological state of the wandering jiva as described in two verses from the Shvetashvatara Upanishad.
In those verses the Sages explain the condition of life, the mind and the wanderings of the Hamsa (swan) which does not yet know itself to be the same as Brahman.
The spiritual unfoldment of this swan from its current state mired in maya to the final Advaitic experience of the Absolute (oneness with Brahman) was presented in an adapted form of Swami Yatiswarananda’s spiritual unfoldment diagram. Next the first four aphorisms of chapter one of the Patanjali Yoga sutras were reviewed. First, by a cursory look to establish the general flow of the ideas, followed by a detailed explanation of the same four. The listeners participated in visualization exercises and contributed to the discussion by sharing their thoughts after each exercise. To see the soul, which Swami Vivekananda describes as ‘the seeing of the bottom of a lake’ the mind must be pure and absolutely quiet. Patanjali Yoga sutras verses five and six were taken up. We are in our current state due to past habits and thought patterns. The way out is to establish new thought patterns and new habits. This requires regular, disciplined and constant practice of the technique(s) given to us by our spiritual teachers all while keeping the goal ever in mind. The center will be open for aarati and meditation on Friday Nov 23rd but there will be no Vedanta Study class. The next Vedanta Study class will be Friday Nov 30th when Swami Yogatmananda will resume his teachings on the Shvetashvatara Upanishad.
Sunday Talk – The Essence of All Vedanta– a talk by Swami Sarvapriyananda – Nov 18
The Mandukya Upanishad is the smallest, but most powerful, of the Upanishads. Lord Rama told Hanuman that the Mandukya Upanishad is enough to attain liberation. If that does not work, he was told to read all 108 Upanishads. The Mandukya Upanishad is embedded in the Mandukya Karika, four chapters of which Shankaracharya said was the essence of all Vedanta. Like all Vedanta, its message is That Thou Art. The Mandukya Karika describes four states: waking, dreaming, deep sleep, and turiya, or the fourth state. We can attain the fourth state, or Brahman, right here and now. The waking state is externalized awareness. In sleep, the waking universe and the body disappear, and we forget the body asleep on the bed. Deep sleep is not absence of awareness, but awareness of absence. King Janaka once had a dream in which his kingdom was overthrown. When he awoke, he kept asking: “Was that true or is this true?” A sage was able to answer his question, when he said that neither this nor that is true, but you experience it, so you are the Truth. Just like we do not have to dispense with ornaments to find gold, we are Brahman right now. Brahman is free of all suffering. Just like the screen does not burn or get wet from the movie, we are free of samsara. This is difficult to grasp though it is present all the time. We are used to grasping objects, and the turiya is not an object. We can ask: “What are objects appearing to?” Turiya is completeness, rather than nothingness, and it is bliss itself.
Tuesday Study Class: ‘Pilgrimage Sites Associated with Sri Ramakrishna’ by Prof. Sukalyan Sengupta – Nov. 20
People undertake pilgrimage for variety of reasons including atonement of sins, fulfillment of a vow, continuation of a family tradition, spiritual fulfillment etc. Pilgrimage is different from tourism in that austerity and divine association are key to any pilgrimage. A place of pilgrimage is a threshold between heaven and earth where not only can humans go upwards towards the heaven but the gods descend downwards for us. A pilgrimage is not just about a visit to a particular place but the preparation before and absorption afterwards (“chewing the cud” as Sri Ramakrishna called it) are essential. It is only after prolonged absorption after the pilgrimage that the impressions from the pilgrimage become permanent in one’s mind.
Pilgrimage sites associated with Sri Ramakrishna are of two kinds: sites that Sri Ramakrishna visited and the ones that are deeply associated with His life. Association of Sri Ramakrishna with these locations elevates the spiritual value of these locations. Sri Ramakrishna visited Baidyanath with Mathur Babu and felt deeply for the poor people there and asked Mathur babu to provide them with clothing and food. At Manikarnika ghat in Banaras He had the vision of Siva untying the knots of the departed souls, that validated the belief that Siva confers nirvana for those who die in Kashi. At Vrindavan Sri Ramakrishna went into ecstasy at the sight of cowherd boys reminding him of Krishna. At Navadwip, the birthplace of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Sri Ramakrishna had a divine experience that confirmed to Him that Sri Chaitanya was an incarnation of God. Places associated with Sri Ramakrishna’s life are also a great source of spiritual fulfillment. These include: Kamarpukur, where He was born, Jhamapukur, where His elder brother first lived in Kolkata, Dakshineshwar, where Sri Ramakrishna lived for most of His life and practiced several spiritual austerities, Shyampukur and Cossipore garden house where he spent His last few days. Sri Ramakrishna visited Balaram Bose’s house, now called Balaram Mandir, Keshab Sen’s house – Lily Cottage among others. The house of M, who is the author of Kathamrita is also very serene and a great place of pilgrimage.