Swami Travels to New Jersey, Sat, Nov 02 afternoon: The Swami will be leaving for New Jersey on the afternoon of coming Sat (Nov 2); he will speak at the home of Rajarshi and Parna Sarkar at Princeton, NJ in the evening and will come back to Providence by Sun afternoon.
PULL THE CLOCKS BACK: FROM MIDNIGHT OF SAT NOV 02, THE DAYLIGHT SAVING IS OVER AND CLOCKS WIL GO BACK BY 1 HOUR. GOOD THING ABOUT IT IS YOU WILL GET 1 HR EXTRA SLEEP, BUT THEN IT WILL BE DARK 1 HR BEFORE.
DAY-LONG MEDITATION: SAT NOV 02: After the regular Guided Meditation & prayers 11am-noon, the meditation will continue till 8:00 pm. One can meditate as long as one wishes till 8:00 pm, but once one leaves the building, one cannot get back in till 6:30 pm.
JUST KIDS- SUN, NOV 03, 4:00-6:00 pm: Children of age 7 to 13 are welcome to learn art, some educative stories, have some snacks.
Weekly Schedule (in addition to Daily Schedule given below)
|Fri. Nov. 01||7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation.
7:30 – 8:30 PM: Study class on ‘Svetasvatara Upanishad’, conducted by Swami Yogatmananda
|Sat. Nov. 02||8:30 – 10:30am: Karma Yoga (Cleaning & Work-service)
11:00am – 12:00 noon: Guided Meditation & prayers
Daylong meditation till 8pm
|Sun. Nov. 03||5:00-6:00 pm: Prayers and lecture by Swami Yogatmananda on Internal Pranayama; followed by Arati and Soup Supper.|
|Tue.Nov. 05||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.
Swami Travels to New York, Sat, Oct 26 evening: The Swami reached Vedanta Society in New York on Sat late evening, gave the Sunday lecture there in the morning and came back to Providence by Sun afternoon.
A group of Hatha-Yoga teacher-trainees from One Yoga Center came to discuss questions about Yoga and Vedanta with the Swami. Sat Oct 26, 3:00-5:00 pm.
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda, unless otherwise stated)
Friday, Oct. 25 – Study Class on Svetasvatara Upanisad
Class 43 : Chapter 6, Verses 1, 2 :
By our very nature, as human beings, we are compelled to ask questions about the nature of existence: Who made the universe? What are the sources of our desires? Why do we suffer? Science is the systematization of our common sense perceptions, and—although it can provide us with some understanding of how the universe functions—it cannot solve our fundamental questions about the nature of existence. Why so? Our understanding of nature’s causes is conditioned by the limitations of the very instruments we use to understand them–namely, the senses, brain, and mind. A microscope is useful when studying biology but is a hindrance when studying of astronomy. Similarly, to understand the nature of existence we must push the instrument of the senses, brain, and mind to the side and instead utilize the instrument of meditation. We must transcend the tremendous stranglehold of the senses and brain. Dhyana is the process by which we transcend layers and layers of our personalities to see the truth. The truth, the one reality that by its own capability is appearing manifold, cannot be expressed in words; it is one and yet appears as many. Our addiction to this world is the cause of our bondage and the consequent suffering we endure in life after life. Therefore, the sages have prescribed various forms of devotional practices. Gradually we must train our minds to see the efficacy of devotional practices. As we meditate on God, we begin to feel that the God who is enveloping everything and is our very self. The more we glimpse God through meditation the more our bonds are loosened. This last chapter emphasizes what is hidden in the subconscious. Our doubts may have been resolved at the conscious level, but we live very little of our lives by our conscious mind. Therefore, it is essential to illuminate subconscious too. God alone appears as everything; it is pure consciousness by which everything is enveloped. We may attempt to leave God, but God will never leave us.
Sunday Service, Oct. 27 – Songs on Mother Kali – Singing by Swapna and Rahul Ray – Oct 27
Swami Yogatmananda: Kali is the feminine of Kala, or time, that consumes everything. Kali is adored, worshiped, and meditated upon. Kali kirtan is sung by great saints who saw Mother Kali. Their songs are soaked with devotion. These songs were made immortal by Sri Ramakrishna singing them.
The opening song was Kali Durga, sung by Peter Travisano.
All of the rest of the songs are sung by Swapna and Rahul Ray, with Abhinav Sur on tabla. All commentary is by Swami Yogatmananda.
Shyama ma ki amaar kalo re by Kamalakanto Chakrabarty
Commentary: This song was often sung by Sri Ramakrishna and combines devotional fervor with philosophical truths. Mother Kali wears a garment of all space. All colors are included in Mother Kali, but she is not confined to them. She appears as man, woman, or formless, but not confined by them.
Chai na maago raja hotay by Ramprasad Sen
Commentary: A real devotee of God despises earthly wealth. The singer feels that if Mother Kali makes him wealthy, he will be bound by money and the craving for more that comes with it, making life miserable. Then, devotion would go out the window.
Jenechhi jenechhi tara by Ramdulal Bandopadhyay
Commentary: As devotion ripens, we see many people worshiping the divine principle under many names. Life is like a sea that is difficult to get across, and Tara means the one who ferries us across.
Mown ray krishi kaaj jaano naa by Ramprasad Sen
Commentary: Life is analogous to the land, and the mind to the farmer. Life is in vain if we are running after sense pleasures. We need to sow the seed of the name of the Lord that we get from our Guru. The Buddha told a disciple who wanted to meditate alone that he was taking with him the mind full of distracting thoughts, so he was in evil company. Normally, we need holy company so that people support each other.
Ami mayer naam aar korbo naa ray by Kamalakanta Chakrabarty
Commentary: People will call a devotee insane and say that he uselessly chants the name of the Divine Mother. If we want to be devotees, we have to be ready for the scorn of society.
Shyama naamer laglo agun by Kaji Nazrul Islam
Commentary: Although a Muslim, he wrote songs full of devotion for Mother Kali. The fire of the Mother’s name burns the identity with the body. Although it is often disparaged, religion is the most practical thing to become happy. ‘I and mine’ has to be burned completely to realize the divine principle.
Tuesday, Oct 29 – Study Class on Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play
Chapter 5, As a Guru in His Youth, Page 472-473
This biography portrays Sri Ramakrishna’s true nature, which was bliss itself. It shows the desireless personality of Sri Ramakrishna. This was not an outcome of laziness or lack of motivation to work, but was an outcome of divine illumination. He was, out of compassion, eager to share that with everyone around. His personality was completely devoid of any ego. Though he was in the body his consciousness was not bound by that physical limitation. The Cosmic I – HIRANYAGARBHA manifested through him. Due to this unison with the Divine, afflicted people were pulled to Sri Ramakrishna to become blissful.
Our limited I comes out of selfishness. When the limited I is removed, we get closer to the infinity and gradually, we get merged in Divine existence. If we want to validate our essential nature being infinite, then we must look at the lives of the Divine incarcerations. Their lives work as a model based on which we can mold our lives. They demonstrate practically what is told in scriptures.
Sri Ramakrishna did not look at people’s wealth, social status or intelligence. From his lofty perspective he could see the same oneness in all. As we don’t notice the relative difference in the distance between the stars, they all look at the same level to us. Sri Ramakrishna looked at every individual with the same perspective. He didn’t notice the so-called differences arising out of amount of wealth and the level of intelligence.