Vedanta Center of Atlanta: September events

9/24/2017 10:30 AM

Vedanta Center of Atlanta: September events

Vedanta Center of Atlanta: ​​September 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.

September is a month for study of Bhakti Yoga. As a yogi (bhakta), you establish a devotional relationship with God through study, prayer, ritual, and worship. You practice giving every action, thought, emotion, perception and tendency “a Godward turn.”

All of your energies and attributes, both positive and negative, are offered to the Divine Presence. Your constant prayer is for complete self-surrender, in ecstatic union with your Belovèd.

Sun ​9/​3“Vivekananda’s Bhakti Yoga” w/ Br. Shankara
This Sunday morning, we begin another month’s study of Bhakti Yoga. One who follows this path may become a lover of God — a bhakta, or devotee.

Sri Ramakrishna said, “You should remember that the heart of the devotee is the abode of God. He dwells, no doubt, in all beings, but He especially manifests Himself in the heart of the devotee. … The heart of the devotee is the ‘drawing-room’ of God.”

Swami Vivekananda taught, “The great quality of Bhakti is that it cleanses the mind … The one great advantage of Bhakti is that it is the easiest and the most natural way to reach the great divine end in view …The path of devotion is natural and pleasant. … It is a longer way, (yet at its end the bhakta says), ‘Thine am I for ever; henceforth whatever I do, it is Thou doing it. No more is there any me or mine.’”

On Sunday morning we’ll explore these and other instructions on Bhakti Yoga, and discuss how your efforts on this path can result in a life of greater contentment, self-fulfillment, and God realization.

Sat 9/9  10am-2pm - Seva Saturday Please join fellow devotees and friends as we work together to help revitalize Your Center and keep the premises beautiful. Lunch provided. Come as stay as long as suits your schedule.

Sun ​9/1​0 :“Say Thou - Thee - Thine” w/ Br. Shankara
What happens when you consciously, repeatedly replace the words “I – Me – Mine” with thoughts of “Thou – Thee – Thine?” Not as a pretense, but as a stand you take for what you have begun to believe is a higher Truth.

Perhaps your belief is based on what Sri Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita: “The illumined soul … thinks always, ‘I am doing nothing.’ (Ch. 5) … Every action is performed by the gunas. Man, deluded by his egoism, thinks ‘I am the doer.’ (Ch. 3)” Or perhaps you are persuaded by what Swami Sridharananda teaches us: “The concept of “I am” is experienced by us all the time. This awareness of I am-ness has to be converted to ‘He Is.’ I don’t exist; He Is, He exists.”

Sridharanandaji promises that, if you are persistent in this spiritual practice, “… slowly and slowly the awareness of His presence overwhelms the awareness of my am-ness.” Then, as Sri Krishna tells Arjuna in Ch. 9 of the Gita, “Holiness soon shall refashion (your) nature to peace eternal …”

This Sunday morning we will explore and discuss these ideas, and tie them to what Sri Ramakrishna says in Ch. 5 of his Gospel: “The bhaktas accept all the states of consciousness. They take the waking state to be real also. They don’t think the world to be illusory, like a dream. They say that the universe is a manifestation of God’s power and glory. God has created all these — sky, stars, moon, sun, mountains, ocean, men, animals. They constitute His glory. He is within us, in our hearts. Again, He is outside.”

POSTPONED: Pr. Vidyaprana will continue her talks on consciousness and Advaita Vedanta. The Weekend Retreat topic will be Cracking Consciousness: Current and Classic Approaches.

Sun 9/17: “Finding Reverence” w/ Br. Shankara
In the first act of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the Prince laments, “How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable seem to me all the uses of this world!” Perhaps, at times, you also feel that way.

What will you do? Sometimes, during such a period of dejection and discontent, something totally outside your normal way of living seizes your attention. For one woman, it was a car speeding through a crosswalk that missed her by less than 6 inches. For another, it was standing on a forest floor among giant sequoia redwood trees, suddenly being truly overwhelmed by their age, their majesty and splendor.

The first was barely spared from death, the second given an entirely new sense of life. For both, it was a life-changing moment, the effects of which lasted for weeks. During those weeks, their gratitude and awe became reverence, and a strong desire to penetrate the mystery of what had happened to them. That yearning led them to explanations offered by the great teachers of religion, and to a life of daily spiritual practice.

This Sunday morning we will explore and discuss this mood of reverence, and its essential role in the dawning of a devotee’s God-centered life.

9/20-30
Following the inspiration and foot steps of Revered Swami Swahanandaji Maharaj, we invite and encourage the devotees everywhere to pledge for extra "Jai Sri Durga" Japam during this coming auspicious Navaratri to Vijaya Dashami (20 to 30 September) of this year 2017.

The idea is to pledge a certain amount of Japam (repetition of a mantra) for each day, above one's regular number. This has at least two benefits:
1) It helps us to stretch ourselves to have a greater capacity for spiritual practice.
2) The spiritual energy produced and the merit that it brings for each 100,000 repetitions is equal to one Grand Durga Puja performance.

Though it is best to be as consistent to do japa everyday, as far as possible, yet if one gets behind the number pledged one day, one can make up that difference the next day.

Counting may be done by using a Mala (Rosary) or by tally counter or simply by observing how long it takes to do one thousand (thereby one does not have to focus on the counting but can know the number by watching the time only).

Mother's blessings,
Sarvadevananda
Request from Br. Shankara —
Please email me right away at shankara@vedantaatlanta.org, so I can let Swami Saravadevanandaji how many of our devotees are participating, and the amount of each devotee’s pledge. Your cooperation with the Swami’s request will be very much appreciated!
Tip from Br. Shankara: For most people, it will take five minutes to chant “Jai Sri Durga” 300 times (1 per second = 60 per minute times 5 minutes = 300). This calculation was suggested by Swami Swahanandaji.

Sun 9/24 : "Mother’s Universe: Is It Real?” w/ Br. Shankara
Is what you perceive really “out there” — at your fingertips, so to speak? Is it a reality made of matter and energy, that your five senses grasp and correctly interpret? Or is it a projection you’ve learned to construct, based on sensory and super-sensory stimulation, memory, and other information?

For thousands of years, yogis have taught that the second explanation is much closer to the truth: You continuously and interactively create the particular universe in which you live. In the last century, many neuroscientists found reasons to agree. Some quantum physicists also read their findings as proof that all being arises from consciousness. These scientists believe that your continuity of experience, especially your sense of self as “bound,” is a conditioned response — a learned behavior, a choice among possibilities.

Implications for you as a spiritual seeker are enormous: What you have learned, you can unlearn. You can, with practice, replace what you believe today with an ever-greater and more accurate experience of reality. You can move, as Swami Vivekananda said, from lesser truth to the highest truth.

On Sunday morning we will explore and compare the yogic and scientific explanations for self-awareness, and review what Vivekananda and Sri Ramakrishna taught about how you can realize your True Original Nature, or God.

October 14 (Saturday) - Seva Saturday! Please join us.

11/18-19 - Swami Harinamananda is scheduling a long weekend with us for this Fall, program TBA.

December 16 - 17 (Saturday & Sunday) - Swami Yogatmananda will be with us for the weekend (details TBA).


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