‘The Art of Living’ at Vedanta Society
By SEETA PERSAD Friday, August 3 2012
US-based Swami Ishtananda will be at the Vedanta Soiciety, 17 King Street, Princes Town to lecture on “Narada Bhakti Sutra – the Art of Living” tomorrow (August 4) at 6.30pm.
Narada Bhakti Sutra (book on philosophy) is venerated within the traditions of Hinduism, purportedly spoken by the famous sage, Narada. The text details the process of devotion or Bhakti yoga.
Topics to be explored include “The Value of Devotion,” “Defining Bhakti,” “The Means of Achievement,” “Pure and Mixed Devotion,” and “Attaining Perfection.”
Swami Ishtananda, who was born in India, has been in the United States since 2000 and worked at the Vedanta Society of Southern California, the largest centre outside India.
He was assigned to the San Diego branch as its resident minister, though his responsibilities were broader. The centre drew about 35 regular members to Sunday services, he said. He was instrumental in building up a congregation at San Diego where the regular members could come closer to each other feeling as if they belonged to one spiritual family. Another achievement during his stay there was the development of a temple choir that is very popular today. Ishtananda also devoted time to inter religious activities.
The Vedanta Society was one of the founding members of Inter Religious Council of San Diego and he represented the Hindu faith in that council. “We are monks and serve wherever our calling is,” he said, adding that the same reason, he doesn’t count anything as his accomplishment. It is God’s work, he says, and he feels blessed that he was chosen as an instrument to serve the western countries.
Vedanta Society was founded in 19th Century and was brought to the US in 1893, by Sri Ramakrishna. The religion teaches that the goal of life is to manifest the divine and that an underlying harmony unites all religions. The faith evolved from the teachings of the Vedas (text of Hindus), a collection of ancient Indian scriptures.