Daylong Spiritual Retreat: Saturday, Oct 19, 9:30 am to 7:00 pm.
Swami Ishadhyanananda from Vedanta Society, Sacramento, CA will give classes on 2nd Chapter of Bhagavad Gita. Prior registration required. Registration can be done by email, mail or in person in the book-store. Reg fee $30
Click here for Online Registration and more information.
Monthly ‘Satsanga’ of Vedanta Society of Connecticut, Sunday, Oct 20, 10 am to Noon. Short worship, music and discourse on Divine Mother. At 100 Chery Brook Rd, Canton, CT.
Sunday Guest Lecture, Oct. 20, 5:00-6:00 pm: Spiritual Approach to Suffering by Swami Ishadhyanananda, Vedanta Society of Sacramento, CA
Sitar-Tabla Concert, Sun Oct 20, 6:15-7:45 pm: Josh Feinberg, an expert Sitar player from Oregon will be joined by eminent Tabla Maestro Amit Kavthekar.
Weekly Schedule (in addition to Daily Schedule given below)
|Fri. Oct. 18||7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation.
7:30 – 8:30 PM: Study class on ‘Svetasvatara Upanishad’, conducted by Swami Yogatmananda
|Sat. Oct. 19||9:30 am to 7:00 pm: Daylong Spiritual Retreat|
|Sun. Oct. 20||5:00-6:00 pm: Prayers and talk on Spiritual Approach to Suffering by Swami Ishadhyanananda, followed by Music concert|
|Tue. Oct. 22||7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation
7:30 – 8:30 PM:Study Class on Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play
|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||(Except on Sundays)
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.
Thu, Oct 010, 6:30-7:30 pm: Swami spoke on Durga Saptasati (700 verses on Durga) at the Hindu Temple of RI at 40 Crystal Rd, Warwick. About 25-30 attended.
Swami Traveled to Indianapolis and Detroit-area Sat Oct 12-Mon Oct 14: Swami gave a retreat in a devotee’s home in Indianapolis on Taittiriya Upanisad on 12th afternoon-evening (25-30 attended); then on 13th morning gave a discourse in the Hindu Temple of Indianapolis (150 attended) and then came to Detroit where he spoke to about 20-25 devotees. On Mon, 14th he spoke at a devotee’s home in the morning and then at the Ann Arbor University in the evening. He returned on Tue (15th) morning.
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda, unless otherwise stated)
Friday, Oct. 11 – Study Class on Svetasvatara Upanisad
Chapter 5, Verses 8-11: Each of us possesses an individual soul—a jiva—that is “the size of the thumb but brilliant like the sun.” This “little I” has volition and egoism. As human beings we create and then protect our self-image, often refusing to understand something if that would bring harm to our self-image. Consequently, we refuse self-transcendence and become caught in a vicious cycle. We can transcend the negative self-images we create, by making concerted efforts to do what is right. By engaging in virtuous activities, the true image of ourselves will come into proper focus. The individual soul is endowed with the qualities of both buddhi and atman, the discriminative faculty and the ego. It is smaller than the atom and yet bigger than any object we can imagine. According to our understanding and our capability, we utilize the intellect to divide creation into smaller and smaller parts. All knowledge is classification; as we know more we divide things into more classes. Nonetheless, the creation remains ONE in essence. The all-pervading ONE reality appears in various forms in creation, and controls all created things from within. The indwelling reality does not change, and yet each shape has a specific and important functionality. The goal is to transcend the shapes and to feel the inner reality. Each of us is actually God, the divine, “packaged” in the name and form of a human being. When our awareness shifts from the shape to the content, then we will have realized the goal of life and will become bliss itself.
Sunday Service, Oct. 13 – Human Mind: Interface between the Inner and the Outer Worlds – by Prasanta Pal, PhD
The senses take us outward. The wise turn inward. The world does not exist without our perception. It is difficult to do something with the mind, like trying not to think of a monkey. Cognitive faculties of the mind include awareness, perception, imagination, thinking, judgment, feelings, emotions, tendencies, language, and memory. Examples of perception in the inner world are awareness, joy, curiosity, and awe. Science cannot measure the Atman. The brain has a physical structure that is not based on race or religion. Meditation is the active mental process to explore mental and emotional states. Swami Vivekananda said: “Meditation can turn fools into sages, but unfortunately, fools never meditate.” Jon Kabat-Zinn defined mindfulness as paying attention in the present moment purposely but non-judgmentally. Craving is like a child’s tantrum. A way to quit smoking is not to say to give up smoking because it is bad for you, but to be mindful of smoking, upon which it may go from being pleasant to being disgusting. Brain regions light up on the screen when someone is meditating. Scientists can provide a mirror of the brain. It can provide feedback, helping someone to get in the zone of meditation. This is not a belief imposed on you, but scientific measurement. We should not trust in science but require that science validate its conclusions. Judgment/decision is a quantum measurement process that collapses into a limited state. Science has validated what the Buddha found by sitting under a tree.
Tuesday, Oct 15 – Study Class on Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play
Manifestations of Power as a Guru Pg 468-470:
World teacher – Sri Ramakrishna was the happiness itself. He didn’t depend on anything external to obtain that happiness. Not only that but he had the ability to give the same bliss to others approaching him. He can be compared to a philosopher’s stone. The only difference is, a philosopher’s stone can convert any base metal into gold but not into another philosopher’s stone. Master had the capacity to render the inherent blissful state to everyone around him.
Sri Ramakrishna was always immersed in Divine awareness and Holy Mother was a constant witness to that state. They both always lived at a very lofty awareness enjoying the blissful state. This divine relationship was devoid of any physical contact. There was no need for any external enjoyment, even from the conjugal relationship to this ever-blissful divine couple. Some people criticize Sri Ramakrishna for depriving Holy Mother of Motherhood. Even Holy Mother’s mother expressed this concern once, that her daughter will never have anyone calling her Mother. But Sri Ramakrishna assured her that Holy Mother will get countless children calling after her. Even though she was not a biological mother, she became the spiritual mother of everyone.
Some people advocated based on scriptures, having at least one child after marriage. Due to our own desires we try to distort the scriptural message to fulfill our own desires. But in the case of this Divine couple, there were no desires to fulfill or any incompleteness to complete. The understanding was totally different. Holy Mother looked at the Master as veritable manifestation of the Divine Mother. This relationship serves as the ideal for all the householder devotees of Sri Ramakrishna and Holy Mother. This relationship depicted how to lead a spiritual life even after marriage. The two partners can support each other in this journey rather than being an impediment. The ideal is very lofty but each one of us can try to achieve the same with our own pace and ability.