Ramakrishna Vedanta Society of North Texas

Ramakrishna Sharanam 

October 1, 2010

Dear Friends,

The summer season at the Vedanta Center came to a close with two unexpected private visits by swamis passing through Dallas. On Friday, August 20th, the Ramakrishna Vedanta Society was blessed to receive Swami Sridharananda from the Vedanta Centre of Sydney, and on Saturday, August 28, Swami Shantarupananda from the Vedanta Society of Portland also visited the center briefly.

On Sunday, September 4th, the Vedanta Center celebrated Sri Krishna Janmashtami with a special worship and symposium on “The Bhagavad Gita and Lifestyle Skills.” Each of the four speakers – Ramnath Kini, Arijit Chowdhury, Prasad Sarkar, and Ranjana Chopra – brought unique angles to the subject. Ramnath stressed the importance of cultivating a single-minded purpose in life which, when spiritual, helps us to accept all successes and failures in life without elation or depression. Arijit answered the questions “How important is spiritual practice in fulfilling our day-to-day profession?” “How can karma yoga spiritualize our actions?” and “Is this just theory, or does it work?” Prasad stressed the value of choosing the higher Self as our guide in action and with the power of imagination dedicating all work to God. Lastly, Ranjana focused on the verses in the 2nd chapter of the Gita, which illustrate the behavior of a stithaprajna, verses which are meditations as well as practices to help steady and strengthen the mind in order to make it a perfect instrument of knowledge. The symposium was enjoyed by all who attended the program.

On Sunday afternoon, September 12th, the Ramakrishna Vedanta Society was invited to a two-hour gathering of the major Hindu organizations in Dallas at the Trammel Crow. The agenda included Dallas’ bid for the 2014 World’s Parliament and, in preparation for this event, the increased need for Hindu organizations’ participation in interfaith functions in North Texas. The main presenter, Bill Mathews, who is the Ambassador for the World’s Parliament, invited the Vedanta Society to join the “Partner Committee” of the Interfaith Coalition as an advisor to the Steering Committee for the Council for the World’s Parliament in 2014.

On Sunday evening, September 12th, the Ramakrishna Vedanta Society, along with leaders from various faith communities and civic leaders, participated in Dallas’s 6th annual Unity Day program at the Unity Church of Dallas. Each civic and spiritual leader shared their thoughts on promoting harmonious coexistence in today’s American society. The religious traditions that participated included the Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh, Zoroastrian, Baha’i, Native American, and Earth traditions.

 In September, two professors from UNT Denton invited the Ramakrishna Vedanta Society to speak to their philosophy and religion classes. On Wednesday, September 15th, Dr. Pankaj Jain invited the Vedanta Society to present the Vedanta philosophy and practice to his “South Asian Religions and Ecology” class. The talk was followed by a brief guided meditation and question-and-answer session. Then the following week, on Tuesday, September 28, Dr. George James invited the Vedanta Society to speak to his “South Asian Philosophy and Religion” honors class on Shankara’s monistic School of Vedanta philosophy.

The month of September ended with an inspiring three-day retreat on the Upanishads, which was conducted by Swami Dayatmananda, Minister of the U.K. Vedanta Centre. The retreat, which lasted from Friday, September 24 - Sunday, September 26, included discourses on selections from the Mundaka and Brihadaranyaka Upanishads, devotional singing, and evening satsangs with the swami. It was a great joy for all the devotees to meet with Swami Dayatmananda again after several years.

With all best wishes,
Pravrajika Brahmaprana
Resident Minister