Vedanta Center of Atlanta: November events
Vedanta Center of Atlanta: November events
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.
Note: 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.
Spiritual talks and classes are open to the public and free of charge.
November is a month for study of Bhakti Yoga. A bhakti yogi (bhakta) establishes a devotional relationship with God through study, prayer, ritual, and worship. As a bhakta, you practice giving every action, thought, emotion, perception and tendency “a Godward turn.” All your energies and attributes, both positive and negative, are offered to the Divine Presence. Your prayer is for self-surrender and, ultimately, union with your Belovèd.
Nov. 2, 9-10am (Sat)
Chandi Hymns chanted in Sanskrit
w/Rita Bhandarkar Mathew
Nov. 3, 2019 - 11am-12noon
"Fall Festivals & the Goddess Kali"
w/ Br. Shankara
This Thursday is Hallowe’en — a contraction of All Hallows Eve. In Old English, hallow meant saint, and indicates the Roman Catholic church had incorporated an ancient Northern European tradition — Samhain — into its calendar of ritual observances.
In the early 8th Century, Pope Gregory III designated the 1st of November as All Saints Day, honoring saints and martyrs. He also decreed October 31 as All Hallows Eve, a night-time vigil of prayer and veneration. (Note: Samhain means summer’s end — the end of the “light” half of the year, and the beginning of the fearsome “dark” half, with its needs for ritualistic protection.)
This Sunday, we’ll take another journey through the ages, visiting fall festivals that celebrate the dead, and explore some mythology and artistic expressions that can be traced back to the Goddess Kāli. We’ll talk about Samhain, All Souls Day, All Saints Day, Hallowe’en (All Hallows Eve), Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead), Diwali, and the Festival of the Lanterns, and identify how some of these celebrations have ancient astronomical and ritualistic connections to Kāli Ma.
Nov. 9, 9-9:30am (Sat)
Chandi Hymns recited in English
w/ Br. Shankara
Nov. 9, 10am-2pm (Sat)
Join us as you are able, to care for and improve your Center. Vegetarian lunch served at 12:30pm.
Nov. 10 @ 11am
Talk: The Objects of Devotion in Late Medieval France
w/ Donna L. Sadler, PhD
Donna Sadler has spent most of her career teaching at Agnes Scott College and her research focuses on medieval sculpture ranging from Reims Cathedral to the art commissioned by Philip the Bold to late medieval altarpieces. Her publications focus on issues of royal and ecclesiastical patronage, performative piety, ritual, and audience reception. Her books include Reading the Reverse Façade of Reims Cathedral: Royalty and Ritual in 13th-century France (Ashgate, 2012), Stone, Flesh, Spirit: The Entombment of Christ in late medieval Burgundy and Champagne (Brill, 2015), and Touching the Passion---Seeing Late Medieval Altarpieces through the Eyes of Faith (Brill, 2018). She is currently at work on a book on models of nuns’ cells created for their families as souvenirs of their way of life once they professed their vows, tentatively titled The Nun’s Cell (A Room with a View): Mirror, Memoir, and Metaphor in Convent Life.
Nov. 17 @ 11am
Talk: Framing Shakti: Mother Worship
w/ Rita Bhandarkar Mathew
Sadhana is worship that takes you from the state “Love is never having to say you’re sorry” to that love which is adoration of Shakti, God as Mother, the Great Goddess (Mahadevi), the Supreme Power behind this Universe. In Tantra philosophy, Shakti worship is Shakti Sadhana or spiritual practice.
Shakta texts, such as Devi Mahatmyam (Chandi), frame Shakti by use of various symbols, metaphors and allegories. Cognitive psychologists and linguists point out that metaphors are not just tools of descriptions in language, but are the foundation on which our conceptual framework is built.
This foundation represents 98% of our unconscious selves and it lies embedded as a deep narrative in our psyche. By studying the language of Chandi, we can infer how the framework is synthesized from parts into a network of concepts in the individual and collective unconscious. For example, King Suratha (Su=good, Ratha=chariot) is an allegory for the body. Merchant Samadhi (Sam=integrated, Dha=to hold) is a focused mind in meditation. Sage Medha represents intellect or knowledge. Tantric worship with yantra, mantra, tantra are really Spiritual Sadhana using our Body, Mind and Intellect.
The three episodes of Chandi, praise of MahaKali, MahaLakshmi, and MahaSaraswati, offer a means for internal purification so that we can attain the feet of Mahadevi. Worship of Divine Mother, according to Paramahansa Ramakrishna, is nothing other than worshipping the inherent Power of the Supreme Divine, Sat-Chit- Ananda, the unifying force of Existence-Consciousness-Bliss.
Once considered a secret, Sri Ramakrishna has made this practice available to all, so that using the body as yantra, repetition of divine names in mantras, and remaining open to extending our deep narratives we can find the pathway to bliss in this very life time. We will conclude by learning 9 Mudras, and 9 Mantras to extend our spiritual repertoire.
Rita has been leading Chandi worship in Sanskrit every month for over three years at the Vedanta Centre. She has a graduate degree in business and accounting, with an interest in Sanskrit, and Hindustani Classical Music. Her academic interests include use of technology in microfinancing and sustainable development. She has been invited twice to Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi: in 1971, to meet President V.V. Giri, and in 2006, to meet President Abdul Kalaam.
Nov. 24 @ 11am
Talk: Giving Thanks
w/ Br. Shankara
This Sunday morning we will talk about Giving Thanks, as a spiritual aspirant.
Here are some thoughts from Henry David Thoreau: A 19th Century American spiritual teacher, Thoreau offers us a very practical kind of spirituality:
“Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.
“If you advance confidently in the direction of your dreams, and endeavor to live the life which you have imagined, you will meet with a success unexpected in everyday circumstances.
“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.
What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals. Things do not change; we change.”
The practice of greater kindness and compassion are very beneficial ways to change. So, as we offer our gratitude at this Season of the Year, let’s keep this in mind; it’s from Mark Twain: “The observance of Thanksgiving Day — as a function — has become general of late years. The Thankfulness is not so general. This is natural. Two-thirds of the nation have always had hard luck and a hard time during the year, and this has a calming effect upon their enthusiasm.” That’s from Following the Equator, published in 1897.
Thanksgiving Day will mark the beginning of our annual food and clothing drive — a way to be of service to those who are having a hard time. Food will be given to the Atlanta Community Food Bank for distribution; warm winter clothing will go to the Threshold Ministry in Decatur, which serves the homeless.
Nov. 28, 1:30-3:30pm (Thu)
Thanksgiving Celebration and Potluck Feast in the Monastery
Swami Yogatmananda's Visit
Nov. 30 - Dec. 3rd
Swami Yogatmanandaji will visit with us from Saturday to Tuesday. There will be a potluck supper and reception for the Swami on Saturday evening, after Arati (7:30pm). He goes to Augusta, for an overnight stay, on Sunday after lunch.
About the Swami: Born in 1953 in Karnataka state (India), Swami Yogatmananda joined Ramakrishna Order in 1976. He received his monastic vows in 1986. After serving at Ramakrishna Math at Nagpur (Maharashtra state, India) for 20 years, he was posted as the Head of Ramakrishna Mission, Shillong, (Meghalaya state, India). He came to United States in the summer of 2001 as the Minister of the Vedanta Society of Providence.
Swami Yogatmananda’s present responsibilities include conducting Sunday service, weekly study classes and organizing spiritual retreats. He is invited to preach Vedanta at different places in the United States. He also serves as the Hindu Religious Affiliate at the Brown University, Providence, RI and the Hindu Chaplain at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, MA.
Nov. 30, 10am-4:30pm (Sat)
Saturday Retreat w/Swami Yogatmananda
Topic: The Vedantic Teachings of Meister Eckhart
Morning session 10am - 12:30pm
Lunch and Rest Break 12:30 - 2pm
Afternoon session 2 - 4:30pm
Dec. 1 @ 11am
Talk: The Story of Prahlada
w/ Swami Yogatmananda