Vedanta Center of Atlanta: November events

11/30/2014 10:30 AM

Vedanta Center of Atlanta: November events

Time: There is silent meditation in the Chapel from 10:30-11am, before each Sunday’s talk. After the talk, devotees and friends meet in the Monastery from noon to 1:30pm, 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.

Dates:
*11/1 -  Remember to set your clocks back on Saturday night, November 1st!
11/2 - "Elijah the Prophet" - Steven Gold
11/9 - "The Four Seasons" - Br. Shankara
11/16 - "Vivekananda’s Raja Yoga" - Br. Shankara (and special activity below)
11/23 - "Giving Thanks" - Br. Shankara
11/27 - (special activity below)
11/30 - "How to Know God" - Br. Shankara

11/2/14: Elijah the Prophet (and Enoch, Phinehas, Elisha and the Archangels Metatron and Sandalphon).

Who was/is Elijah the Prophet, Eliyahu Hanavi, whose story is contained in the Jewish Bible? Where did he come from, what did he do, and where did he go? The Jewish Bible and supplemental sources weave an interesting story-line about Elijah and his co-horts/alter-egos/incarnations. Included are swashbuckling tales mixed with displays of extraordinary yogic-like powers and underlying mystical and spiritual lessons. Come hear about this hero/these heroes of old and ponder what his/their stories may mean for us today.

11/9/14: The Four Seasons.

The Four Seasons of the year are a strong metaphor — artists from ancient to modern have used them again and again in songs, poems and musical compositions. For us, the seasons also can illumine such familiar ideas as  • The four houses of life: Student, householder, retiree, renunciate, and • The four fruits of life: Righteousness, prosperity, pleasure, liberation.  These and other significant “fours” will be explored this Sunday morning, using the seasons of the year as the warp and weft upon which a tapestry of spiritual understanding can be woven.

11/16/14: Vivekananda’s Raja Yoga.

Swami Vivekananda wrote the book Raja-Yoga as a commentary on Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. In the Preface, he said:  "Raja-Yoga declares that each man is only a conduit for the infinite ocean of knowledge and power that lies behind mankind. It teaches that desires and wants are in man, that the power of supply is also in man; and that wherever and whenever a desire, a want, a prayer has been fulfilled, it was out of this infinite magazine that the supply came, and not from any supernatural being … There is no supernatural, says the Yogi, but there are in nature gross manifestations and subtle manifestations. The subtle are the causes, the gross the effects. The gross can be easily perceived by the senses; not so the subtle. The practice of Raja-Yoga will lead to the acquisition of the more subtle perceptions."

That last sentence is a big promise, with even bigger implications: Once causes are understood, their effects can be stopped. This can yield relief from the bondage of self, since even thoughts are the effects of subtle causes. This talk by Br. Shankara explores these ideas, with emphasis on the step-by-step spiritual growth that comes from the practices of Raja-Yoga.

11/23/14: Giving Thanks

America’s beloved Holiday of Thanksgiving is just a week away.

To a spiritual aspirant who accepts both the world of matter and the realm of spirit as Real (vijnani), this surely can be a festive and uplifting occasion. Yet, someone who believes God alone is Real (jnani) might ask, “Who is giving thanks to whom?” And ponder that question, we hope, while enjoying the holiday feast and fellowship. For those who think of themselves as servants of the Lord — a wave on the Ocean of Being (karmis) — the day is another happy opportunity for selfless service. And for aspirants who see God as their sustainer and provider, the Life of their lives (bhaktas), an outpouring of thanks is part of their daily spiritual practice.

Our love of celebration seems part of the fabric of being human. This Sunday we’ll take a close look at Holiday Spirit, and what that joyous impulse offers us as seekers of freedom and truth. Br. Shankara will lead the discussion.

11/30/14: “How to Know God” through the power of Patanjali’s Raja Yoga

“Each soul is potentially divine. The goal is to manifest this Divinity within by controlling nature, external and internal. Do this either by work, or worship, or psychic control, or philosophy — by one, or more, or all of these — and be free. This is the whole of religion. Doctrines, or dogmas, or rituals, or books, or temples, or forms, are but secondary details.” — Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902)

When Vivekananda said psychic control, he was pointing to the aims and practices of Raja Yoga. Patanjali’s Yoga Aphorisms (Sutras) teach the practice of this yoga — spiritual aspirants learn, step-by-step, how to control the mind and achieve inner peace and freedom.

Swami Prabhavananda (1893-1976) wrote a translation and commentary on Patanjali’s aphorisms, titled “How to Know God.”* The swami said that, though these methods have been taught for over 2,000 years, they are “as alive and effective today as they have ever been.” He also said to a disciple, “I poured everything I am and everything I know into this book.”

Swami Prabhavananada served as Head of the Vedanta Society of Southern California from 1931 until his death on July 4, 1976. A disciple of Swami Brahmananda (“Raja Maharaj,” who was a direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna), Prabhavananda also served and learned from many of the Master’s other direct disciples.

This Sunday morning, Br. Shankara will discuss “How to Know God” and its very practical lessons on yogic techniques of spiritual realization.

* This book is available in our Bookstore.


Special Activities

SACRED SONG CIRCLE

Sunday, November 16, 2014, 5:00pm to 6:30pm
In the Monastery Library

GATHERING for THANKSGIVING - POTLUCK HOLIDAY FEAST
Thursday, November 27, 2014, 2:00pm to 5:00pm
In the Fellowship Hall
If you are bringing food to share, please come at 1pm, or no later than 1:30pm.

Construction on our Guest & Visitors Retreat
began this morning (November 3rd) !

 

The construction is scheduled to take 6-8 weeks. Meanwhile, the Center will be open and fully operational for all regular classes and activities, as well as special events (such as Thanksgiving) during the construction, but you will need to enter the Monastery from the Adrian Street side porch for at least the first 3-4 weeks. You may park in the parking lot and walk down along Adrian, or park right on Adrian Street. If you're coming only to the Chapel, you may use the parking lot and enter the Chapel as you normally do.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.

Thank you for your patience and support!
-- Your Vedanta Center staff


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