Ramakrishna Vedanta Society of North Texas

Ramakrishna Sharanam

November 1, 2008

Dear Members and Friends,

Please accept my heartfelt greetings to you all. October was a wonderful synthesis of Bhakti Yoga (path of devotion) with Jnana Yoga (path of knowledge). It began during the fall festivities of Navaratri (September 30 – October 8) with the Ramakrishna Vedanta Society devotees’ enthusiastic pledge of 202,000 extra japam (repetitions of the Lord’s name) in honor of Mother Durga. This number, according to the Ramakrishna-Vedanta tradition, is equivalent to two large-scale Durga Pujas!

During the fall festivities, the Antorik Bengali Association invited our Center to its four-day Durga Puja celebration. To commemorate its 10th anniversary, Antorik published a special souvenir magazine, Stabak (“Flower Bouquet”), which included articles by the monks, nuns, and devotees of the Ramakrishna tradition.

Our Center’s Durga Puja celebration was a memorable occasion. Along with Sri Sarada Devi, a photo of an original painting of Sri Durga that once hung in the home of Kali Pada Ghose, a disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, was also worshiped. When Sri Ramakrishna first saw this painting, he began to chant hymns in praise of Mother Durga. It is said that the painting became living at that time.

Many devotees attended the Vedanta Society’s Durga Puja, homa ceremony, arati, flower offering, and potluck, followed by a DVD presentation of the Durga Puja at our headquarters in Belur Math, Kolkata. At this auspicious season, Rev. Swamis Atmasthananda and Smaranananda, the President and Vice-President of the Ramakrishna Order, sent their Vijaya blessings for our Center.

Revered Swami Swahananda introduced Jnana Yoga during the second half of the month in his special four-day Self-Knowledge Intensive. Many devotees enjoyed the topic and discussions. The swami also spoke one evening on his reminiscences of great swamis with whom he had associated in India. Swami Swahananda’s visit was a wonderful occasion for all.

Dr. Michael Morrow, author of Non-Dualism: A New Experiment in Living, was again our special guest speaker. Dr. Morrow first spoke at our Center in July 2008 on “Science and Spirituality.” His October topic, “Sarada Devi and Non-Dualism,” was also very well received.

As we now approach November, a time of Thanksgiving, we encourage all our devotees to again join with us and the Lily Foundation in feeding the homeless at the Union Gospel Church in Fort Worth. For details, please see the special announcement.

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