Ramakrishna Vedanta Society of North Texas

Ramakrishna Sharanam 

October 1, 2009

Dear Friends and Devotees, Please accept my heartfelt greetings to you all.
September began with an enthusiastic turnout for Swami Swahananda’s three-day spiritual retreat on “Meditation and Spiritual Life.” The swami is one of the most senior monks of the Ramakrishna Order and the only disciple of a direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna in America. Many devotees and friends came to the monastery to pay their respects to the swami and attend the retreat.

Swami Swahananda also gave informal spiritual talks in a devotee’s home. His schedule was busy with the three-day retreat private interviews, book signings, and he presided at the Board of Trustees Meeting of the Ramakrishna Vedanta Society of North Texas. The swami stated that he was very happy with the progress of the Center and ended the meeting by invoking the blessings of Sri Ramakrishna, Sarada Devi, Swami Vivekananda—that all may have success in their private lives and progress in spiritual life.

 The Vedanta Center was engaged in various outreach programs in September—interfaith initiatives, college and university talks, and a radio interview. On September 10th, the Ramakrishna Vedanta Society was invited, along with representatives of other religious traditions and organizations, to an interfaith luncheon at the Northaven United Methodist Church. The purpose of the luncheon was to discuss the continued program in 2010 of this year’s well-attended interfaith Contemplative Life Series.

Two professors from academic institutions in the Dallas Metroplex invited the Ramakrishna Vedanta Society to speak to college students on Yoga and Vedanta. On September 1st, at North Lake College, Dr. Christan Amundsen scheduled a talk in his Developmental Psychology class on “Eastern Psychology: a Vedanta Perspective.” Then on September 17th, Dr. Robert Hunt invited the Vedanta Society to present an “Introduction to Vedanta” to graduate students in his World Religions class at Perkins School of Theology, SMU. Some of the SMU students will participate with Vedanta devotees in an interfaith dialog at the Vedanta Center during four Tuesday-evening sessions in October.

From 8-9am, on Saturday, September 12th, Radio Salaam Namaste (now 870 AM) invited the Ramakrishna Vedanta Society to participate in an interview entitled “Vedanta and its Relevance in the Modern World.”

And as the fall festival of Mother Durga approached, the Bengali community of Dallas-Fort Worth invited the Ramakrishna Vedanta Society to two separate and equally impressive Durga Pujas—one in Plano, sponsored by Antorik, and the other in Dallas, sponsored by the Bengali Association of Dallas-Fort Worth. They were both two-day pujas, performed by two highly qualified pujaris. The decorations were beautiful, and the food offerings were delicious, as many devotees attended these two masterful pujas. The Ramakrishna Vedanta Society had book exhibits at both events.

On Sunday, September 27th, the Ramakrishna Vedanta Society held its Durga Puja observance from 9am - 4pm. The Center celebrated a two-hour worship and one-hour Homa ceremony, after which there was a sprinkling of Shanti Jal (“Sacred Water of Peace”), arati, and a grand potluck. Many devotees enjoyed the day’s celebration in honor of Sri Durga, the culmination of Navaratri (September 18-28), wherein our Dallas devotees vowed to perform 202,000 japa, or repetitions of Mother Durga’s name—an amount equivalent to over two Durga Pujas! Our special gratitude for all those who contributed to this spiritual endeavor.

With prayerful regards to each and every one of you,
Pravrajika Brahmaprana
Resident Minister