Vedanta Center of Atlanta: ​​​​June events

6/30/2019 11:00 AM

Vedanta Center of Atlanta: ​​​​June events

Vedanta Center of Atlanta: ​​​​June 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.

 June 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.

June 2 @ 11am
Talk: Seven Sayings of Swami Prabhavananda

w/ Br. Shankara

Swami Prabhavananda headed the Vedanta Society of Southern California (VSSC) from 1931 until his death on July 4, 1976. He had many disciples to whom he gave private instruction. Some of these teachings came to the attention of Edith Tipple (Nalini), a devotee working on the VSSC’s Archives Project.

A skilled writer-editor, Nalini selected seven of the swami's instructions to publish, by themselves, on the last page of her book, “Realizing God.” Those notes will be the subject of Sunday morning's talk:

  1. So long as we feel we can do it, so long God remains hidden.
  2. As you proceed further, you will say, I don't understand anything — until the darkness goes away and there is the light of Brahman.
  3. I know it's hard to hear but, as I have repeated many times over the years, there is absolutely no one who is your own but the Lord.
  4. People have a right to their pain and suffering. Don't try to remove it. Sustain and comfort.
  5. The secret of meditation is fourfold: 1) The chosen ideal is you, yourself, no different; learn to feel that living presence. 2) Patience. 3) Perseverance, and 4) expectation.
  6. If each one of us would see ourselves as the Atman, the true Self, and look at the things of the world objectively, everything would pass by, and be all right.
  7. At the moment we become completely free from cravings and we are overpowered by the one desire for God, that very moment God becomes revealed to us.

On Sunday morning we will explore and discuss these 20 lines of instruction, from the perspective of Bhakti Yoga.

June 8 (Sat) @ 9:45am
Chandi Hymns recited in English

w/ Br. Shankara

June 8 (Sat) @ 10am to 2 pm
Seva Saturday for June: 
Join us as you are able to care for and improve your Center; lunch served at 12:30pm.

June 9 (Sun) @ 11am   
Talk: Holy Mother’s Assurances

w/ Br. Shankara

The affectionate term Holy Mother refers to Sri Sarada Devi; she was Sri Ramakrishna’s wife and spiritual counterpart, and his first disciple. She lived from 1853 to 1920. After the Master passed away in 1886, Holy Mother carried on his ministry, serving as guide and inspiration for his new monastic order, and for numberless disciples.

Holy Mother was the ideal disciple, nun, wife, teacher, and mother to her many spiritual children. The Master said that Holy Mother was an incarnation of Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of knowledge, music, art, wisdom and learning. Yet, she did not write books or play a musical instrument.

Instead, Holy Mother served others so simply and humbly that many took this Mistress of the Universe to be an ordinary village woman. Inwardly, she regarded the whole world as her own, and every living being as her child. Holy Mother loved and accepted everyone.

Many of her close disciples recorded their conversations with her. As spiritual aspirants, we can all take great solace in the memories they left for us. Here are a few of Holy Mother’s assurances, which we will discuss on Sunday morning:

Here is a message from Swami Sarvadevanandaji, received here on June 9th:
My loving namaskar and pranams.

This is an update on the health condition of our dear and revered Swami Yogeshanandaji, who is 96 years old. He was admitted to the Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Irvine, CA on 24 May, and diagnosed with kidney failure.

His kidney function did not respond to medical treatment. The kidneys are still functioning at 9% capacity. Moreover, he has become very weak, and is unable to walk. He also suffers from severe pain in his right foot.

He was released from the hospital on 6 June, and brought back to the Trabuco center, under home hospice care with Vitas Healthcare. As you know, hospice care can be started if doctors feel there is no possibility of further treatment and that life expectancy is less than six months, and if the patient also agrees to end aggressive medical treatment. Only palliative care is provided, with the goal of keeping the patient as comfortable as possible.

The brothers of the center, along with some close devotees, and two hired nurses (by rotation), are caring for him at the monastery. He is not expected to live much longer. But he is peaceful. He has expressed his eagerness to leave the body on numerous occasions. I visited him today. He is very cheerful, and ready to go.

Yours in Mother,

June 16 (Sun) @ 11am     
Talk: Swami Vivekananda’s Bhakti Yoga

"Your Spiritual Father's Guiding Hand" w/ Br. Shankara

When you were a small child, did you ever walk with your father on a path that was narrow or uneven? Weren’t you more comfortable — less likely to fall — when he held your hand?

If you held his, you might let go at just the wrong moment and take a tumble. When he held yours, that wrong moment was the time when he gripped your hand more tightly, making sure that even if you stumbled you would keep your feet.

Sri Ramakrishna used this relationship as a metaphor, encouraging us to offer our “hand” to our spiritual father. Religious literature is rich with this personalization of the Divine Presence, from the Hebrews’ God the Father to the Incas’ Tata Inti. Our cultural celebration of Father’s Day seems a natural time to discuss the Divine’s paternal aspect. This Sunday, we’ll explore the Fatherhood of God.

June 23 (Sun) @ 11am    
Annual Meeting of the Congregation: 
Reports from your Chairman and Treasurer, and from the Resident Minister; election of Board Members; followed by a catered lunch in the Monastery. RSVP required.

June 30 (Sun) @ 11am
Talk: Your Bhakti-Karma Cocktail

w/ Br. Shankara

“After so much austerity I have known that the highest truth is this: He is present in every being! These are all … manifold forms of him. There is no other God to seek for! He alone is worshipping God, who serves all beings! …

“Let all our passions and emotions go up unto Him. They are meant for Him, for if they miss their mark and go lower, they become vile; and when they go straight to the mark, to the Lord, even the lowest of them becomes transfigured. All the energies of the human body and mind, howsoever they may express themselves, have the Lord as their one goal …” — from the Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda

From The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna: “The English people always exhort us to be active. Isn't action the aim of life then?”

Sri Ramakrishna: "The aim of life is the attainment of God. Work is only a preliminary step; it can never be the end. Even unselfish work is only a means; it is not the end.” (P. 453)

Your Bhakti-Karma Cocktail

A close friend of the Center takes a daily “cocktail” of drugs to treat his Parkinson’s Disease. Cocktail has become a common term for a prescription of two or more medicines. We’re giving the word a “Godward turn.”

Sri Ramakrishna once said to some visitors: “Go and enjoy the world. When you are sick of it, come back to me. I have the cure.” As we read elsewhere in his Gospel, the Master’s prescription often was a “cocktail” of bhakti and karma.

This Sunday morning, we’ll explore the connection between the deep reverence that comes from practice of Bhakti Yoga and the abandonment of selfishness that arises from Karma Yoga.

July 4th Celebration — Thursday, July 4 at 12 noon. There will be a short talk on Swamiji plus songs and readings by the congregation, followed by a potluck lunch on the Monastery sunporch and outdoors, or in the Fellowship Hall, depending on the weather.

Please mark your calendar for a weekend Retreat  on the 20th and 21st of July. Swami Chandrashekharanandaji, who is Head of the Portland, OR Vedanta Society, will visit with us on that Saturday and Sunday to offer his wisdom on Karma Yoga.

Please note that your Center will be closed in August — no activities except Arati. This will be our routine, each summer.

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