Vedanta Center of Atlanta: ​​​​December events

12/31/2019 11:30 PM

Vedanta Center of Atlanta: ​​​​December events

Vedanta Center of Atlanta: ​​​​December 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 ;,
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.

December 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 is the freedom promised by Karma Yoga.

As Sri Krishna tells Arjuna in Ch. 2 of Bhagavad Gita:
“Even a little practice of this yoga will save you from the terrible wheel of rebirth and death …”

This month we’re exploring spiritual teachings that promise you freedom from the small, dark prison of self-centeredness. We are told that there is a life of bliss and joy, beyond all our pain and suffering. And we hear that to live this life, you should learn to surrender your actions and their results, and be of noble character. 


Dec. 1, 11am-12pm (Sun)
Sunday Talk w/Swami Yogatmananda

Topic: The Story of Prahlada

Dec 5, 12, 19, 26, 7:30pm (Thurs)
Class: Sanskrit

Dec 7 9am (Sat)
Chandi Hymns in Sanskrit; All are welcome, no previous experience required. Meets in the Chapel. Led by Rita Bhandarkar Mathew.

Dec 8 11am (Sun)
Sunday Talk: Complexity and Simplicity w/Br. Shankara

John R. Macduff, a widely read 19th Century Scottish preacher and author, wrote:
“Character is the product of daily, hourly actions, and words, and thoughts; daily forgivenesses, unselfishness, kindnesses, sympathies, charities, sacrifices for the good of others, struggles against temptation, submissiveness under trial…”

Yet, can you actually act, speak, and think like that? Life seems too complex and demanding: Aren’t you constantly busy, nearly overwhelmed by duties, concerns, conflicts, and situations that require an immediate response? You may even suffer constant psychological pain. Doesn’t it sometimes feels like you’re barely hanging onto your sanity by your fingernails?!

Great Teachers gently tell us this need not be so. Swami Vivekananda once wrote to a deeply troubled friend: “Herein lies the whole secret of Existence. Waves may roll over the surface and tempest rage, but deep down there is the stratum of infinite calmness, infinite peace, and infinite bliss.”

Hanging on by your fingernails …
Infinite calmness, peace, and bliss …
Two different levels of reality.

The first is the realm of mind, where — as Sri Sarada Devi said — human beings are “endowed not only with goodness, but with profuse quantities of materialism and vanity.”

The second is the province of the heart, with its powers of love and compassion, and its insight into the spiritual nature of our sisters and brothers in human and other forms.

This Sunday, we’ll expand on what is meant by these two statements, and discuss how the practice of Karma Yoga can tame your restless mind and open your joyful heart.

This Sunday evening, December 8th, from 6-9pm, there will be a 'soup 'n' songs' music concert and light supper with our wonderful friends of Mockingbird's Wing. Click image below for details....


Dec 14 9am (Sat)
Chandi Hymns in English w/Br. Shankara

Dec 14 10am-2pm (Sat)
Seva Saturday; Help clean and prepare the Center for the Holidays. Pizza served for lunch at 12:30pm. No need to stay the entire 4 hours — come when you can, stay as long as you like.

Dec 14 6:30pm (Sat)

A Welcome Holy Days Surprise!

This coming Saturday, December 14th, Shri Kuljeet Singh will offer a Concert of Hindustani and Gurbani Music, from 6:30 to 8:30pm in the Center’s Chapel.

Guru_NanakShri Kuljeet is an accomplished Hindustani classical musician and Shabad singer. Shabad is devotional music of the Sikh tradition founded by Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji. Shabads are soothing not only to the ears but also to your heart, as the treasures of Sikh gurus’ teachings are in these songs.

There is no charge for this concert. Of course, your kind free-will donations are always welcome, and help support the Center.

Please note that dinner will be served immediately after the concert, in the Monastery’s Fellowship Hall.

Dec 15 11am (Sun)
Talk: Open Forum on Meditation - Tom Carr

We will discuss our actual experience. We will ask lots of questions such as: Why do you meditate? How do you meditate? What happens? How has your life changed due to meditation? How has your life not changed in spite of meditation? What difficulties have you had in meditation? If you could go back in time what would you like to have told yourself when you first started meditating? We will focus on our own actual experience and will avoid theory, avoid talking about what we have been told or what we have read in books.

Tom Carr has been practicing meditation regularly for over 30 years. He has tried lots of techniques. His practice is currently focused on what is called mindfulness meditation, insight meditation, or Vipassana meditation. In a recent discussion he said "Meditation is one of the most important and most wonderful things in my life. I would like to work with anyone else who is interested in meditation. I would like to help in any way I can." When asked what he believes, Tom Carr responded "I believe I don't know much."​​

Dec 22 10:30 am (Sun)
Holy Mother’s Birthday Celebration:
A short talk on Sri Sarada Devi w/ Br. Shankara, then Her Puja w/ Aditya Chaturvedi. From 11am-12:30pm, followed by a potluck prasad lunch in the Monastery.

Dec 24 7pm (Tues)
Christmas Eve Worship and Celebration
In the Chapel, followed by prasad snacks, caroling and other Christmas festivities in the Monastery, until 9:30pm.

Dec 29 10:30am (Sun)
Jesus Christ and Sri Ramakrishna
w/ Br. Shankara

Swami Prabhavananda wrote, “When I joined the Ramakrishna Order, I had an interesting experience. A few days after my admission we held a Christmas celebration at our monastery; Christmas is celebrated at all the monasteries of the Order …. In one of the large halls the monks had built an altar, upon which was a picture of the Madonna and Child. Seated around the altar were many of the direct disciples of Sri Ramakrishna. Imagine, if you will, the physical presence of Peter, James, John, Mathew, and so on. This is how we felt, as though the counterparts of Christ’s disciples were present before us.

A disciple of Swami Vivekananda, who had dressed himself up as a Christian padre, performed the worship. He offered candles, flowers, and, strange as it may seem, a fruitcake—the kind you buy in a Western market … As the worship proceeded, all of us remained silent. Then my master, Swami Brahmananda, told us: ‘Meditate on the Christ within and feel his living presence.’ We all felt—suddenly—that a spiritual atmosphere had been created.”

Sri Ramakrishna had direct experiences of Christ’s presence, and believed that Christ is an incarnation of God. Swami Brahmananda and other direct disciples of the Master saw and talked with Lord Jesus. The Ramakrishna Order of India was founded on Christmas Eve.

This coming Sunday morning we will discuss these and other reasons why we think of Jesus Christ and Sri Ramakrishna, together, at this Holy Season of the year.

Dec 31-Jan 1 (Tuesday-Wednesday) Midnight Mediation from 11:30pm to 12:06am, followed by fellowship and snacks in the Monastery

Jan 1 (Wednesday) Kalpataru Day observance from 2:30-3:30pm — reading and discussion, followed by fellowship and snacks in the Monastery

On New Year's day, from 2:30 to 3:30pm we'll observe Kalpataru Day*. Join us in the Chapel. Followed by snacks and fellowship in the Monastery, 3:30pm to 4:30pm.

*In the Ramakrishna Vivekananda tradition, Kalpataru Day is an extremely significant occasion. It was on this day (January 1st) in 1886 when Sri Ramakrishna revealed himself as ‘Kalpataru’ (the 'wish-fulfilling tree') and spiritually awakened a large number of devotees who were present at the Cossipore Garden House on that sacred day. This event is commemorated annually to invoke the blessings of Sri Ramakrishna and to pray for the spiritual awakening of the devotees.

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