Thu, Nov 26 – Birth-anniversary of Swami Subodhananda – an intimate, direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna. There will be a special morning chant and the birthday-song and bio-reading after the evening Arati/prayers.
Blog: See the new post by Joan Chadbourne http://vedantaprovidence.blogspot.com/
HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL! PLEASE FOLLOW THE COVID-GUIDELINES
As per the present directive from the City and RI State administration, our services, classes, meditation sessions will continue as before – with the same Covid-19 restrictions.
Of course, all lectures/classes will continue to be available LIVE and stored on our Youtube Channel () 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 27||7:00 – 8:45 pm: Arati, meditation and Study Class on ‘Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam’ by Swami Yogatmananda
|Sun. Nov 29||5:00-6:00 pm: Sun lecture on ‘The Psychology of WE’ ’ by Swami Yogatmananda, followed by Arati and meditation|
|Tue. Dec 01||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 20 – Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam
Class 32: Secondary Creation
Vidura was told that there is no “how, when, why, etc.” about the illusory creation. Vidura understands it and affirms the truth that the company of holy people alone is to be sought to get free from all doubts. If we approach the devotees of the Lord with a devotional urge, our devotion becomes enhanced and firmly established—this is the tremendous benefit of holy company. Nonetheless, through the deluding power of Maya, doubts assail us about the world’s creation. Vidura is a wise and holy man, yet for our sake he is asking Maitreya about the details of creation and the interconnectedness one sees in it. The so-called interconnectedness makes us get entangled further in Maya’s terrible net. Vidura requests the following to Maitreya: “Tell me about the creation getting populated with people who get related to each other…” We easily become connected and attached to ‘our’ kith and kin. Once entangled in “I and My,” we feel the unreal world to be quite real, and our attachment to this world increases many-fold. Therefore, we must be very cautious about getting entangled into these things. We must strive to remember that even these so-called interpersonal connections are not apart from God—they are all the same Divine principle manifesting. All of our human tendencies are to be turned towards God. This is the science of devotion: we must turn our natural curiosity from the entangling variety of creation to the liberating unity of God. Though logic is limited, we must use our logic properly, that is to understand the reality and to discriminate between what is real and unreal.
Sunday, Nov 22 – Thank God
We say Thank God when something good unexpectedly happens, or when something bad could have happened, does not happen. The speaker once had a car that backed up with no one in it, that could have done major damage, but it did not. He exclaimed: Thank God. With the Coronavirus, we become aware that everything is in the hands of God. Our scope is limited. Sri Ramakrishna told a story about a cow that was tied to a rope. The farmer determined how much freedom the cow had. If the cow ran out of grass to eat, it would pull at the rope or make noise, which is similar to our praying. Our individual freedom is connected to God. We have as much as is given to us by God. Sri Ramakrishna said that God is our very own. He does things that are ultimately good for us, whether we know it or not. We must trust that God is protecting us and guiding us at all times. In Hinduism, God is seen as not only controlling the universe from inside, but also being within us. To worship God as the Self is the greatest idea in Vedanta. We can worship whatever form of God we like as our true Self. If not, we are like a slave. What makes us remember God is good, and what makes us forget God is bad, no matter how pleasant it is. Thomas à Kempis and Swami Vivekananda both said that adversity has more potential to teach us than pleasure.
Tuesday, Nov 24 – Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play
Page #568 – 570 : Story of Vaishnavacharan and Gauri
Certain tantric disciplines are not advocated for all the seekers as there can be a risk of drifting away from the highest spiritual goal and getting dragged into lower level worldly enjoyments. The other practice, which can be easily followed by most of the seekers, is to look upon the object of attachment as God. Initial step is to imagine God in the beloved or the object of attachment. Gradually this imagination is converted into reality and the reality of the names and forms vanishes. Slowly that changes the perspective to look at the world. We look at the world as originated from the Lord and He is the controller of the world. Praying and propitiating this Lord, our desires are fulfilled and the faith in the Lord as controller is strengthened as well. As one’s spiritual practices mature , he/she propitiates the Lord not to fulfill any desires but for the sake of the Lord alone. These are the steps of the progression.
Sri Ramakrishna taught a unique truth to mankind – “As many faiths, so many paths.” He practiced that in His life, took one path, reached its culmination and then followed the other path. After realizing the ideal following different paths, He promoted this novel doctrine to humanity.
Genuine faith in one’s path and sincere practices as prescribed by that path are two important factors. One should not try to copy someone else’s path and/or criticize their path. One must sincerely hold on to one’s own attitude (Swa-dharma of Gita). It is better to die following Swadharma rather than imitating the ‘Paradharama’ – someone else’s path.
This idea is further explained with a song to Mother Kali, written by Kamalakanta.