No special upcoming event.
DAYLIGHT-SAVING TIME ENDS FROM COMING SUNDAY. Please move your clocks back by one hour.
ALL REGULAR PROGRAMS (DAILY MORNING & EVENING MEDITATIONS AND PRAYERS, TUE & FRI VEDANTA CLASS, SUN SERVICE LECTURE) STARTED & OPEN FOR IN-PERSON ATTENDANCE (With Certain Rules/ Limitations).
Lectures are also webcast on our Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFof5116HcBYIpUFvKet1Uw
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. Oct 30||7:00 – 8:45 pm: Arati, meditation and Study Class on ‘Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam’ by Swami Yogatmananda
|Sun. Nov 01||5:00-6:00 pm: Sun lecture on ‘Fixing the World’ by Swami Yogatmananda, followed by Arati and meditation|
|Tue. Nov 03||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
Durga Puja was conducted on last Sat, Oct 24, from 11am to 1pm. In all 43 could attend it in person observing social distancing and other measures. Many others joined on-line on our YouTube channel.
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda)
Friday, Oct 23 – Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam
Class 28: Vidura -Maitreya Dialogue
After praising Vidura and his questions, the divine sage Maitreya responds for the benefit of Vidura as well as the whole world: “In the beginning…God alone was. He was all. He—the pure spirit, the master; whatever is called many was dissolved in it, by his own will.” All of humanity seeks to understand the source of creation and the contradictions inherent in earthly life. Though God is One without a second, ever-free, and blissful, the manifested creation is full of bondage and suffering. “How did the ONE Narayana bring about such tremendous diversity of name, form, qualities?” The Lord first generated willpower, knowledge, and corresponding action. Then the Gunas–sattva, rajas, and tamas–were generated. Like the three mirrors of a kaleidoscope, which can produce an infinite variety of patterns, the Gunas create the infinite variety of created things. Then according to the will of God, the five subtle elements got formed, as well as their presiding deities and qualities. The human world as experienced by us is a world of sensations and contains five elements: akash (space), vayu (air), agni (fire), varuna (water), bhumi (earth). Each element beautifully corresponds to a particular sense-perception and sense-organ. For example, agni (fire or light) is associated with vision and the eye. Each sense-organ has a presiding deity, in other words a conscious entity connected with the organ that makes possible perception. It is important to note that sense organs (e.g. eyes) and their corresponding objects (e.g. visible things) are inert. Eyes do not see: there is a conscious entity, known as the presiding deity, that uses the eyes to see. We must understand that everything is imbued with consciousness. The Self, as it were, manifests and functions through all sense-organs, sense-perceptions, and sense-objects. Everything happens by the pervasive and conscious manifestation of God. Sri Ramakrishna used to say that not even a leaf moves without the will of God. As devotees we should remember that God’s power and grace enable us to perform each and every action we undertake.
Sunday, Oct 25 – Prayers to Mother Durga #2
The opening song was Guide and Protect Us, sung by Abhijit Sarcar.
A demon named Mahisasura, who represents the ego, captures the kingdom of the devas. The lights/powers from all of the devas is united together to get the Goddess who eventually fights and kills Mahisasura. We need the fire of determination to defeat the ego. We cannot use the mind and intellect, which are already captured by the demon. Our true divine nature is not touched by the demon. The Goddess is formed by the combined strength of all of the devas. In spiritual life, when we combine all of our faculties, the infinite power in each of us gets awakened. The buffalo demon is annihilated. The devas praise the Goddess, saying: You are pervading the universe as the soul of everyone. Later, two demons Shumbha and Nishumha vanquish the devas, and they invoke the Goddess, who kills those demons. The devas praise the Goddess, saying: You are the power of God, not separable from God. The banished king and merchant, who have been listening to these stories, decide to perform austerities, praying to the Goddess, who appears before them. The king asks for his kingdom back, while the merchant asks for renunciation. This shows that we need psychological evolution to be able to ask for renunciation. The lips say one thing, but God listens to the heart. We think that we alone suffer, while everyone else is happy, but all have their problems. Renunciation means getting away from pain. The merchant ended up merging in the divine Truth.
Tuesday, Oct 27 – Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play
Bhairavi Brahmani recognized the extraordinary physical condition of Sri Ramakrishna was due to Maha-bhaava – the greatest divine mood experienced only by the incarnations and then she proved this point in front of the scholars of that time.
It is not easy for an ordinary human mind to give up the desires and devote the mind for God realization. Hence diluted spiritual life – a lofty spiritual idea mixed up with some rituals – is conducive for most of the people. But one must make sure that such diluted practice culminates into the true spiritual discipline which is attaining a desire-free state. The karma-kanda or the action portion of the Vedas blended yoga and enjoyment. The goal behind performance of these rituals is to ultimately renounce all desires. When we examine our efforts in the world to fulfill various desires, we realize that this process brings limitless suffering along with a little fulfillment of the desires. Running after these desires does not help in spiritual life at all. One should use this as a stepping stone to become desireless. The second part of Vedas – the knowledge part is helpful for people who are, to some extent, desireless. This is a graded course. Since this journey is long and treacherous a graded course is needed.
There is a story of a minister who was abducted in a tall tower, escaped using honey bee and honey, a long silken thread, a twine thread and a rope. Similarly, the disciplines from the action part teaches how to get free from desires and then the highest knowledge is realized with that pure mind. This proves the importance of a graded course practiced with utmost patience.
During Buddhist era, they skipped the ritualistic practices and directly moved to pure spiritual discipline. Since such highest practices were offered to relatively immatures or less prepared minds, the highest ideal was degraded. During that time some people secretly started practicing the rituals, which evolved as tantric sadhana.