Devotional Music – Thurs. May 11, 7:15 PM – 8:30PM
Ram Deshpande, classical vocalist from Mumbai, will sing devotional songs from 7:15 PM – 8:30PM, immediately after 7PM Aarati. All are welcome. No entry Fee.
Swami to CT Vedanta Group – Sun. May 14, 10:30AM – 12:30PM
Swami Yogatmananda will go to Vedanta Society Connecticut, 100 Cherry Brook Rd Canton CT to teach ‘What is Better-Work or Meditation-#2 (based on B’Gita). All are welcome
Sitar & Tabla Concert – Sun. May 14, 6:15PM – 7:30PM
Partha Bose (famed sitarist) and Indranil Mullik (tablaris) will perform in the lower level (LL), immediately following 5pm -6pm Sun. Service Lecture. All welcome.
Hatha Yoga Classes – Every Tuesday 5:30-6:30 PM from May 02
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
Daylong Spiritual Retreat – Sat. June 03
– by Swami Kripamayananda, Vedanta Society of Toronto. Theme: Loving God.
Prior Registration Required; Can be done at the Society’s office, or by mail or online.
Fee: $30.00; $20 if registered by May 21. (Fees are non-refundable)
(For online registration, $1.00 additional)
Weekly Programs (in addition to Daily Programs given below)
|7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation
7:30 – 8:30 PM: Study Class by Swami Yogatmananda on Jnana Yoga (based on the book of Swami Vivekananda)
|8:30 – 10:30 AM: Karma Yoga/Cleaning
11:00 AM – 12 noon: Guided meditation and Chanting/singing
|5:00 – 6:00 PM: Lecture: Lecture: ‘The Mother Form of Buddha’ by Swami Yogatmananda
6:00 –6:15 PM: Aarati
|7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation
7:15 – 8:30 PM: Study Class by Swami Yogatmananda on ‘The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna’, Ch 52, pp 991
|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, Vol. 7’
7:00 – 7:25AM – A short ritual worship/Puja. Open to all.
|Evening :||7:00 – 7:15 PM: Aarti (devotional music), with a short reading from ‘THE STORY OF AN EPOCH: Swami Virajananda and his Times’, by Swami Shraddhananda
7:15 – 8:00 PM: Meditation. Open to all.
Day-Long Meditation – Sat. May 06
The day started with about twelve participants; by evening about six devotees continued on.
Swami to Wayne, NJ – Sat. May 06
Swami traveled to Vivekananda Vidyapith, Wayne NJ, in the afternoon, to deliver a lecture there from 5PM – 8PM. About two hundred-fifty (250) people attended. He returned Sunday early afternoon.
Children’s Program – Sun. May 07
Five children attended. Activities included reciting the Gayatri Mantra, doing limbo to the calypso rhythm of the Vedanta favorite: ‘The Namaste Song’ and some jump rope games. After a short discussion on the year’s theme “Friendship” and “The Art of Spiritual Living” the students made incense sticks using scented oils. They adjourned about 6:15 after sharing soup supper.
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda, unless otherwise stated)
Study Class on ‘Jnana Yoga’ – May 05, Friday
Class #61: (Chapter – UNITY IN DIVERSITY)
We have a deep, intrinsic desire to seek unity. All our cravings—for happiness, peace, love, etc.—lie in our desire for oneness. But we must not only see the ocean, just as we must not only see each individual wave; we should see the ocean upon which waves come and go. At the core of the multiplicity we see is our sense of “I and the world.” This is an illusory perception, which we can understand with some critical examination, but it is upon this misperception that all our other perceptions are based. Our sense of separation from the world generates likes and dislikes, which lead to confusion, contradiction, and bondage. There is nothing intrinsically good or bad in the world; good and bad are reflections of each other. In this chapter Swamiji addresses Darwin’s evolutionary theory, which was relatively new at the time. Unlike most other religious leaders, Swamiji accepts evolutionary theory but believes that it is incomplete; it provides no solution to the problem of good and evil; Swamiji shows that it is wrong to claim that eventually, via evolution, all evil will disappear and only good will remain. Vedanta tells us to give up that which is evil AND that which is good, which requires great courage. We should go deeper, beyond good and bad, to see the common thread that runs through these diverse forms. If we commit to it, seeking the unity in diversity fills our life with illumination. If we make this our living experience it will fill our life with true bliss.
Sunday Talk – ‘Parables of the Buddha’ – May 07, Sunday
We are celebrating the thrice-blessed full moon day, on which Lord Buddha was born, got enlightened and passed away. The end of his physical presence was not his end. When someone absorbs his teachings and gets enlightened, a Buddha is born. Lord Buddha was compassionate, getting to the root cause of people’s suffering, and not just giving them what they asked. The parable of a children’s sand castle, which is kicked and trampled at the end of the day, illustrates impermanence. The parable of a man having been shot by an arrow, illustrates the need to eliminate suffering through spiritual practice, rather than spending time on philosophical questions. The parable of letting go of a raft after using it to cross a river, illustrates the need to not hold onto a spiritual practice after one reaches the step it was intended to reach. When his disciple Ananda succumbed to temptation, he used the parable of a king who could not root out robbers, as he was not able to locate their hiding place to illustrate how we forget our own pure, essential nature. We need to know the impermanence of all worldly things, and not be tempted. We often blame people around us, or society, for our suffering, and not our ignorance. We have to feel pinching-ly that life itself is suffering, to be able to attain liberation.
Study Class – The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna – May 09, Tuesday
Sunday, May 8, 1887
After Sri Ramakrishna passed away, his householder devotees used to often visit the monastic disciples to rejuvenate their understanding about the Master’s teachings. Their interaction led to spiritual osmosis – a process of knowledge transfer from the minds of the monastic disciples to the householders. Life of householders is not very conducive to the spiritual practices. They can’t lead a life focused only on the spiritual ideals in the midst of worldly responsibilities and duties. Sometimes they also get deluded that they can finish the worldly responsibilities first and then can focus on the spiritual practice. But unfortunately the worldly duties never come to an end. Hence an earnest seeker must find his way out while taking care of his/her worldly responsibilities. The interaction with the monastic disciples, who have renounced everything for the sake of God alone, provided an inspiration to lead the spiritual life in spite of the problems and challenges of world.
On this occasion of M’s visit to the Baranagor monastery, disciples were reading Yoga Vasishtha. This book very powerfully advocates the doctrine of non-duality. It is very difficult to understand non-duality till the mind does not go beyond the subject object relationship. In this book Rama is portrayed as a human being and not as a divine incarnation. Spiritually advanced minds, who are very rare, can understand the abstract ideas and they do not need help of divine incarnation to progress on the spiritual path. But for vast majority, divine incarnations serve as an example to lead their spiritual lives. As long as one has the awareness of the body, it is difficult to follow the path of non-duality. One must take care of the body and use it as a tool to progress on the spiritual path. If one is identified with the body then it will create an obstacle in the spiritual journey.