Vedanta Center of Atlanta: February events

2/22/2015 10:30 AM

Vedanta Center of Atlanta: February 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 ;,

See Calendar for details about any particular Sunday.

John M. Schlenck
Resident Composer and Choirmaster
Vedanta Center of Atlanta
March 9, 1936 - January 26, 2015
Dear Members and Friends,

John Schlenck, a dear friend for 34 years, passed away yesterday afternoon at 3:58pm. He suffered a massive brain hemorrhage in the Center’s Monastery at about 8pm on Sundayyevening. Doctors from Grady Hospital’s Trauma Unit diagnosed John’s condition as unsurvivable later that night. According to his written instructions, John’s body was kept viable only long enough to allow him to be an organ donor.

John lived with us in Tucker for the past eighteen months, after living in the Vedanta Society of New York’s monastic quarters for 53 years. He told many of us that his time here was one of the happiest and most productive periods of his life. A more detailed obituary will be sent to you soon.

A wake and informal memorial was held for John last night; it was attended by about 20 of our congregation. John’s cremation ceremony will take place Thursday evening, Jan. 29th: Time - 7 pm; Place - Wages and Sons, 1040 Main Street, Stone Mountain GA 30083. Please attend if it’s at all practical. We have tentatively scheduled his formal Memorial Service for 10 am on Saturday, February 14, 2015.on Saturday, February 14, 201

This is a great loss to our Center, very heartfelt by the many members of our congregation who had come to know and love John.

With every best wish for you and yours,
Br. Shankara


2/1 - “Lord Shiva and Death” with Dr. Bhagirath Majmudar

Is John Schlenck really not with us?

Points to ponder over Life, Death, and Immortality based on the most eloquent symbol of Lord Shiva, The Master of Dance, Drama, Death, and an Ascetic Detachment.

John, like the Phoenix, should be urged to fly from the Ashes (Lord Shiva's cosmic cosmetic) to prompt some intriguing interrogations:


Is Death full of Fear or Forewarning?
What does our customary prayer,"From Death to Immortality" really mean?
Why is Vedanta our steadfast Beacon when our vessel gets wobbly in a High Tide ocean?
What, When, Why, Why Not, and What For?
This Sunday, Dr. Majmudar and we shall take a good look at all of this.
The Choir, by the way, will be singing one of John Schlenck's songs to Lord Shiva... we hope you will be there with us to sing along.

Feb 8 - Sri Ramakrishna's Karma Yoga - Br. Shankara; Sri Ramakrishna
Manifestation! “Manifest the divinity within you and everything will be harmoniously arranged around it,” Swami Vivekananda said. From our point of view, the degree of that manifestation is the significant difference between one human being and another. It is the goal of our spiritual practices.

Swami Swahananda* often said, “The only true measure of spiritual progress is change in behavior.” Each of the yogas is a step-by-step system of practices which can enable us to make that progress. Karma Yoga focuses on action. Its methods change how and why we act, and encourage us to think differently about the results of our actions.

According to Vivekananda, Sri Ramakrishna took Karma Yoga to a new and higher level when the Master taught, “Serve jiva as Shiva!” (Serve the individual human being as the Divine Being.) Naturally, this practice begins as a concept; we do not ordinarily witness the divinity of another person. Yet, as we faithfully put that idea at the center of our acts of service to others, something extraordinary happens. Both that which is acting — our own divinity — and the divine presence within those we serve become more and more apparent to us.

And, life becomes increasingly harmonious, as Vivekananda promised. We will discuss the Mater’s Karma Yoga, and the lives of some women and men who who embodied his teachings, this Sunday morning. 

*Swami Swahananda served as Head of the Vedanta Society of Southern California from December 1976 until his death in October 2012.

The John Schlenck Memorial Choir looks forward to singing a selection of John's.

Feb 13 - Talk on Swami Yogeshananda by Swami Kripamayananda, Minister and Head of the Vedanta Society of Toronto – 7:30 pm,
Reception & Dinner – 8:30 pm;
Feb 14 - John Schlenck Memorial – 11 am; potluck luncheon follows.
Feb 15 - Human & Divine Love, w/Swami Kripamayananda;
Om asato ma sat gamaya …
Om Lead us from Thy lesser truth to Thy highest Truth …

As Swami Vivekananda (Swamiji) pointed out, spiritual seekers do not progress from untruth to truth; instead, we move from lower forms of truth to realization of of the highest ideal. Therefore, with regard to love, he said, “All … is the manifestation of that One Love, more or less expressed.”

Human love is a lesser expression. As Swamiji said, “(It) is seen to flourish only in places where it is returned; where love is not returned for love, cold indifference is the natural result …

“In the highest love, union is only of the spirit. All love of any other kind is quickly evanescent. Only the spiritual lasts, and this grows …

“Let nothing stand between God and your love for Him. Love Him, love Him, love Him; and let the world say what it will. Love is of three sorts — one demands, but gives nothing; the second is exchange; and the third is love without thought of return — love like that of the moth for the light.”

Swami Kripamayananda will develop and expand on these ideas, this Sunday morning.

Feb 22 - Sri Ramakrishna Birthday Celebration

Join us for the veneration and worship of Sri Ramakrishna! Our pujari for Thakur’s Puja will once again be Dhruva. He knows the ritual and the Sanskrit mantras well, having served for years as a brahmachari in the Ramakrishna Order. Br. Shankara will assist, and read English translations of the mantras. Members of the John Schlenck Memorial Choir and Parvati Mahmi will sing and lead the congregation in song.

The puja will be followed by a potluck lunch at noon; we will share food brought by devotees and offered to the Lord during the worship. Please note: If you bring something to be offered, please leave it in the monastery kitchen no later than 11am.

10:30am – Shrine Decoration
11:00am – Puja Worship & Celebration – Dhruva will be our pujari
12:00pm to 1:30pm – Potluck Prasad Lunch in the Fellowship hall.

Sri Ramakrishna

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