Vedanta Center of Atlanta: April events

4/29/2018 10:00 AM

Vedanta Center of Atlanta: April events

Vedanta Center of Atlanta: ​​​April events

Times:
10:30am-11am: silent meditation in the Chapel before each Sunday’s talk.
11am-noon: talk and worship in the chapel.
noon-1:30pm: devotees and friends meet in the Monastery for tea, coffee, snacks and a continuation of our spiritual fellowship.
Please join us!
PS: Please be on time. The service starts promptly at 11AM.
Venue: 2331 Brockett Rd, Tucker, GA 30084
Contact: (770) 938-6673 ; http://vedantaatlanta.org, http://vedantaatlanta.org/calendar-of-activities-events/
See Calendar for details about any particular Sunday.

Normally, March would be a month for our regular study of Raja Yoga. However, we’ll do something quite different: Our congregation will study, together, a truly remarkable short book by Swami Ranganathananda — Divine Grace. What fun! As we did our reading in Divine Grace this week,* we heard the Swami begin to explain a deep spiritual truth: to become fully human is to become fully divine. Based on a talk given in Perth, Australia in 1978, Divine Grace is a commentary on Bhagavad Gita. The Swami said, “That great book expounds a complete philosophy of life; and the more we understand it, the more we get an insight into, and grasp on, this complex phenomenon called human life …
“Spiritual life, according to Vedanta, … covers the whole range of man’s life, including its so-called worldly stage, when man is the sole and supreme agent of his life with no partner called God.”
According to Ranganathanandaji, the Gita’s first lesson for us is: “Gain physical and mental strength; develop your talents and capacities and work-efficiency; gain self-confidence, practice self-reliance; and earn knowledge and wealth by hard honest labour; and share your wealth and happiness with others and earn their good-will and appreciation. All this is part and parcel of the spiritual training of man in the early stages …”

April is a month for study of Jnana Yoga (Advaita Vedanta). A jnana yogi practices discrimination, reason, detachment, and satyagraha (insistence on Truth). The goal is freedom from all limitation (mukti). Our teachers say that the miseries of life are caused by seeing inaccurately, due to our innate ignorance. As a jnana yogi, you may gain control of your mind, dissolve your delusions and see only the Divine Presence everywhere, in everything and everyone. As Swami Yogeshananda told his students, “Consciousness is not plural.”

Prodigal Son, by Eugène BurnandApril 1, 11am-noon
Easter Service: Short talk by Br. Shankara on “Christ the Refuge,” and a short worship
12:15pm-2pm – Potluck Prasad Lunch
Each of the Divine Incarnations makes promises about what happens if you accept and follow their teachings. Students of Bhagavad Gita are familiar with Sri Krishna’s assurance, “Quickly I come to those who offer me every action, worship me only, their dearest delight, with devotion undaunted. Because they love me they are my bondsmen and I shall save them from mortal sorrow and all the waves of Life’s deathly ocean.” (Ch. 12)

Christ said this: "Come to Me, all you who are weary and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11: 28-30)

One of Christ’s most powerful lessons of redemption and refuge is the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11–32). On Sunday morning we will review the story in detail, and explore its significance for you and your life, and your everyday spiritual practice.

After the talk there will be a short worship that celebrates the phrase, “He Is Risen!” This will be followed by a potluck prasad lunch in the Monastery and Fellowship hall. Please join us.

Illustration: Prodigal Son, by Eugène Burnand


Patrick_HornApril 8, 11am-noon
Talk: My Approach to Vedanta
w/Patrick Horn
Patrick Horn is an initiated disciple of Swami Swahananda and member of the United Religions Initiative, Religion Communicators Council, and Religion News Association. He is a contributor to American Vedantist and Reading Religion, a publication of the American Academy of Religion. He lived with monastics in Hollywood, Trabuco Canyon, and San Francisco. Now a resident in Atlanta, he will share how he came into this spiritual lineage, a history of the seven generations since Swami Vivekananda spoke at the 1893 Parliament of World's Religions, and personal experiences that inspire his work as an interfaith actor.

April 14, 10-10:30am
Chandi Hymns (in English) – led by Br. Shankara
Beginning April 14th 2018, four Hymns from the Chandi (Devi Mahatmyam) will be read in English every Seva Saturday, from 10 to 10:30am. Please join us in the Chapel if you can — these hymns are deeply informative about the nature of the Divine Mother, and therefore about the universe and the world we share.

Many of your spiritual questions may be answered by what you read and hear. What is said about the Mother can help free you from restless desires, fear, and other forms of ignorance. Both Swami Swahananda and Swami Sarvadevananda have emphasized the benefits of reciting these Chandi hymns. Br. Shankara will organize and guide this activity, and lead our readings.

April 14, 10am-2pm
SEVA SATURDAY
Please join us for gardening, cleaning, organizing, lunch, and lots of camaraderie. It's not necessary for you to stay the entire time... come and join us as long as you can! We can really use your help, indoors and out. Pizza from Mellow Mushroom for lunch or something equally delicious!

April 15, 11am-noon
Open Forum: Divine Grace (Swami Ranganatananda)
Reading Assignment #4 Discussion (pages 60 - 78)
w/Br. Shankara
Since the beginning of March, our congregation has been studying, together, a truly remarkable short book by Swami Ranganathananda — Divine Grace.

Based on a talk given in Perth, Australia in 1978, Divine Grace is a commentary on Bhagavad Gita. The Swami said, “That great book expounds a complete philosophy of life; and the more we understand it, the more we get an insight into, and grasp on, this complex phenomenon called human life …

“Spiritual life, according to Vedanta, … covers the whole range of man’s life, including its so-called worldly stage, when man is the sole and supreme agent of his life with no partner called God.”

According to Ranganathanandaji, the Gita’s first lesson for us is: “Gain physical and mental strength; develop your talents and capacities and work-efficiency; gain self-confidence, practice self-reliance; and earn knowledge and wealth by hard honest labour; and share your wealth and happiness with others and earn their good-will and appreciation. All this is part and parcel of the spiritual training of man in the early stages …”

Please join us this Sunday morning for our fourth and final Open Forum for discussion of these and other ideas in Sections 21 - 24 (pages 60 – 78) of Divine Grace. Br. Shankara will not give a talk, but will serve as moderator for our conversation. Your comments and questions will be most welcome!

April 22, 11am-noon
Talk: “If Consciousness is Not Plural, Then What Are You?”
w/Br. Shankara
Indeed. What are we? Answers to this question will be offered this coming Sunday morning. Some will be familiar, yet within a different frame of reference. Others will be surprising, to many of us. There will be quotes from Sri Ramakrishna, Holy Mother, and Vivekananda. Toltec wisdom, as taught by the Yaqui Indian master Don Juan Matus, will be discussed. Poems by St. Teresa of Avila and Walt Whitman will be read. Altogether, this is meant to be a follow-on to our month-long study of Swami Ranganathanandaji’s book Divine Grace, in which he invited us to join him in the belief that to be fully human is to be fully divine.

Sage_VasisthaApril 29, 11am-noon
Talk: “Why Should You Care What Vasistha Said?”
w/Br. Shankara
The great Sage Vasistha lived many thousands of years ago. He was spiritual counselor to the court of King Dasaratha, the father of Lord Rama. While still a young prince, Rama makes a a tour of Ayodhya, the kingdom he will inherit. When Rama returns home depressed and disillusioned, his father worries that the prince is about to renounce the world.

Dasaratha asks advice from Vasistha, who assures the king that Rama’s dark mood is auspicious — that the prince has begun to grasp the human condition and other spiritual truths, and is ready for enlightenment.

Vasistha instructs Lord Rama for 21 days; his teachings are known as Yoga Vasistha. The essence of that long conversation was translated into English by Swami Sarvadevananda as, “Nectar of Supreme Knowledge.”

Vasishta tells Prince Rama: “O my dear child! How strange is this world-bewitching maya! Being deluded by this maya, one cannot know the Self; though the Self has pervaded all through the limbs of the body … As (a magic show) or as the mirage water in the desert, are not true, in the similar manner this observable universe is not true.”

Vasistha explains: “This creation, which is merely of the form of a vibration of consciousness alone, is dissolved by accurate knowledge.”

On Sunday we will explore the meaning of those verses, and others that teach us how to experience maya’s “magic show” and still realize the all-pervading, ever blissful Self that is our true original nature.

May 6, 11am-noon
Talk: “Practicing the Freedom of Love”
with Br. Shankara

May 11, 7-8pm (Friday)
Talk: “Vedanta and Old Age”
with Swami Ishtananda, Minister and Spiritual Head of the Vedanta Center of St. Petersburg, FL. Immediately following we will have a potluck reception for the Swami from 8-9pm in the Monastery and Fellowship Hall.

May 20, 11am-noon
Annual Meeting of the Congregation
Followed by a catered luncheon!

June 2, 10am-2pm
SEVA SATURDAY will be on the 1st Saturday in June!

June 3, 11am-noon
Talk: “Seeing the Living Photos of Sri Ramakrishna”
with Swami Harinamanandaji

June 9 (Sat), 9:30am-4:30pm & June 10 (Sun), 11am-12pm
Weekend Retreat Workshop: The Enneagram
with Jill Ulrici
Note: The book The Wisdom of the Enneagram by Don Hudson and Richard Russo is recommended,  not required.

June 17, 11am-noon
Talk: “Bhakti According to Sri Krishna” (Bhagavad Gita Chapter 12)
with Br. Dhruva

June 24, 11am-noon
Talk: “The First Step to Freedom”
with Patrick Horn


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