Ramakrishna Vedanta Society of North Texas
 

Ramakrishna Sharanam 

April 1, 2010

Dear Friends and Devotees,

The highlight of March was revered Swami Swahanada’s visit to our Dallas Center from March 18th - 26th. The swami was the honored guest speaker at the Society’s Third-Year Anniversary Celebration Luncheon on Saturday, March 20th. He also spoke on Sunday at the Vedanta Center on “What to do with the Mind?” and conducted a three-day retreat on “Practical Vedanta.” Each event was well-attended.

On Saturday, March 20th, the Vedanta Society celebrated its Third-Year Anniversary with 130 friends and devotees at the Senter East Park Building. Ranjana Chopra, the Society’s president, opened the event by welcoming all the attendees and special guests. She then gave an informative account of the Society’s history, which began in March 1969 when the world-renowned lecturer and former president of the Ramakrishna Order of India, Swami Ranganathananda, was first invited to speak in Dallas at various universities, churches, yoga centers, and private homes. The swami encouraged his host, Mr. Bhushan Bajaj, to start a Vedanta group in Dallas, which used to meet informally once a month. Other Vedanta groups also sprang up. Finally in October 2006, under Swami Swahananda’s leadership and inspiration, Dallas devotees purchased the Monastery and Chapel on West Scotland Drive. On March 3, 2007, in the presence of revered Swami Swahananda and over a hundred devotees, the Ramakrishna Vedanta Society of North Texas was inaugurated. Swami Sarvadevananda conducted the inauguration ceremony.

Swami Swahananda, spiritual leader of the Ramakrishna Vedanta Society of North Texas, then spoke to the luncheon gathering on the subject “Towards a Meaningful Life.” The swami stressed the importance of setting goals throughout the various stages of our life as well as the value of selflessness in family, social, and political life. Mayor Gears of Irving also spoke briefly on the benefit of a multi-cultural city such as Irving, citing how different cultures can learn from each other as demonstrated by the moving experiences and interactions he and his wife Christina had during their recent trip to India. Other honored guests were Dr. Robert Hunt, Director of Global Theology at Perkins School of Theology, SMU; Mr. Bob Stewart, chairman of the Northaven United Methodist Church’s “Contemplative Life Series”; Mr. Michael Morrow, Vedanta lecturer, author, and pioneer of sustainable and “green” design techniques; and Mr. Arun Ahuja, Southern California devotee and benefactor of the Ramakrishna Vedanta Society. The event was a joyous occasion for all.

On Sunday, March 21st, Swami Swahananda spoke at the Vedanta Center on “What to do with the Mind?” He stressed the importance of observing the mind to understand its nature, the practice of redirecting the mind to a healthy focus, and the basic techniques of concentration and meditation. The lecture, which was well attended, was followed by a potluck and the Vedanta Society’s bi-annual General Board Meeting.

On the following Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, Swami Swahananda conducted a retreat on “Practical Vedanta.” Each evening session focused on a different aspect—karma yoga, mind and its control, and meditation—and was enjoyed by all who attended.

Finally on Palm Sunday, March 28th, Professor Robert Hunt, Director of Global Theology at Perkins School of Theology, SMU, gave a well-researched and thought-provoking talk on “What Christians Have Learned from Interfaith Dialog,” followed by questions and answers. The session was enjoyed by all who attended.

 

With all best wishes,
Pravrajika Brahmaprana
Resident Minister