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May events at Vedanta Center of Atlanta
5/23/2020 10:00 AM
Dear Devotees and Friends,
Here are a few important announcements:
Coronavirus: Your Center will remain closed to visitors in May, except for evening Arati, which is now at 6:30, and private practice of meditation. All classes, talks, and first and second Saturday Chandi readings are live-streamed using Zoom (instructions for using Zoom are at the bottom of this page). Recordings of all classes and talks are available, soon after they are given, on the Center’s YouTube channel.
Please plan to attend the Center’s Annual Meeting of the Congregation on May 17th at 11am, using Zoom. You will hear reports from your Board of Trustees, and from Br. Shankara. And, as usual, we will elect Trustees for the coming year.
During May and June we have guest speakers offering us talks, using the Zoom app. We are happy to report that on May 24th, Br. Dhruva will talk with us, via Zoom, about Chapter 12 of the Bhagavad Gita. And on June 14th, we’ll hear from Ryan NeuCollins about her experience as a householder, following the teachings of Nisargadatta Maharaj.
Sunday's Online Talk
May 10th @ 11am to noon
A Mother's Love
w/ Br. Shankara
May is a month for study of Karma Yoga, a spiritual path leading to the abandonment of selfishness. As a karma yogi, you practice offering your actions and their results, as well as your perceptions, thoughts, and feelings to the Divine Presence.
Even before fully knowing this Presence, you hold firmly to the belief that the Presence is within each person or other living being that you interact with or serve. Working and abiding in this spirit, you are increasingly able to release attachment to your activities and their results. This yields the freedom and contentment promised by Karma Yoga.
“Even a little practice of this yoga will save you form the terrible wheel of rebirth and death …” — Sri Krishna, Bhagavad Gita, Ch. 2
When Swami Yogeshanandaji retired in 2008, Swami Swahananda, head of the Vedanta Society of Southern California (VSSC), took responsibility for the Vedanta Center of Atlanta. Swahananda was devoted to the Divine Mother.
He encouraged some of his disciples to study the Devi Mahatmyam (Chandi — 700 Verses in Praise of the Goddess of the Universe). When Swahananda left the body in 2012, Swami Sarvadevananda took charge of the VSSC, and our Center. He also encourages some disciples to read the Chandi, and discover what it teaches us about the Divine Mother.
The Chandi tells of three instances in which the Goddess rescues the world from demonic forces (asuras and daityas). In each story these beings, who are said to “hate righteousness,” have overcome the Mother’s servants (devas or gods). “Robbed of their prowess,” the devas can no longer protect and sustain Earth, with all its forms of life.
The devas go to the Mother for help. She is moved by their plight and Her love of all Her children. Drawing every deva’s power unto Herself — in tales told of great carnage and destruction — the Mother defeats the demonic forces and restores order.
From here, what is happening around the world right now looks like the opening of another chapter of the Chandi. On Sunday morning we will explain why that thought has arisen, and discuss how the Goddess may be purifying and lifting up all of Creation — including Her children of demonic nature.
Regular Weekly Activities
Worship & Silent Meditation
Daily except Sundays. In the Chapel. 6:30-7:30pm Special Instructions: Although the Center is closed to visitors, the Chapel is open for Arati, and accessible for meditation at other times. If you come to the Chapel we ask that you wash your hands before and after entering the Chapel, and that you give others who may be present plenty of space (at least six feet). Do not come to the Center if you are sick or feeling poorly.
Classes Classes meet via Zoom using the links provided below for each class.
Tuesday Evening, 8-9pm Sri Sarada Devi and Her Divine Play
Please join us for this inspiring study of Holy Mother’s life. We meet ONLINE to read and discuss this definitive biography of Sarada Devi by Swami Chetanananda. Informal, no prerequisites, everyone is welcome. Class is led by Br. Shankara. Join us via Zoom at: https://zoom.us/j/437771560
Wednesday Evening, 8-9pm The Song of God (Bhagavad Gita) translation by Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood
We are reading Bhagavad Gita, a foundation of our spiritual lives. We meet ONLINE to read and discuss the Prabhavananda-Isherwood translation, titled Song of God. Informal, no prerequisites, everyone is welcome. Class is led by Br. Shankara. Join us via Zoom at: https://zoom.us/j/915076724
Saturday Morning, 11am-12:30pm Realizing God, a collection of talks by Swami Prabhavananda
We meet ONLINE to read and discuss Realizing God, a collection of talks by Swami Prabhavananda, the head of the Vedanta Society of Southern California from the 1930s to the 1970s. Prabhavananda was a disciple of Swami Brahmananda (Raja Maharaj), the spiritual son of Sri Ramakrishna and Sri Sarada Devi. The book is available from vedanta.com and other sources, including our bookshop. Informal, no prerequisites, everyone is welcome. Class is led by Br. Shankara. Join us via Zoom at: https://zoom.us/j/437771560