Ramakrishna in Song

Ramakrishna in Song: An Oratorio based on
the Teachings of Sri Ramakrishna

Wednesday, November 9, 2011, 7.30–9 pm
Pot-luck supper to follow

Words and Music by Swami Atmavidyananda of the Vedanta Society of Southern California.

Swami Atmavidyananda, the composer, will be present to talk about and play recorded selections from his Oratorio.

Printed programs with all the lyrics will be available, making it easy to follow the words of the songs.

The libretto is based on some of the basic teachings of Sri Ramakrishna such as the nature of God, One Truth – many paths, faith, and spiritual practice. The Oratorio also includes the musical portrayal of three of Ramakrishna’s parables: the story of the chameleon, the pundit who could not swim, and the pot of curd. The words have been set to music in a variety of musical styles, and the work is sung by an 18-voice, mixed choir and soloists.

The oratorio was presented live at the Vedanta Society of Southern California in Hollywood, San Diego, and Santa Barbara, as well as at USC. As the work was widely acclaimed, Swami Atmavidyananda was invited to present it at other Vedanta centers.

Since it is impractical to tour with an 18-member choir, “Ramakrishna in Song” is the touring edition of the oratorio. This is a unique experience because the audience can experience the oratorio in the presence of the composer, who will provide a commentary on the work – its libretto and style.

The orchestral accompaniment is a synthesized recording produced from the work scored using Sibelius software.

We are planning for a potluck dinner, If you can bring a small dish of your choice that will be greatly appreciated.

We look forward to seeing you at the program.

Swami Atmavidyananda

Swami Atmavidyananda joined the Ramakrishna Order of India in 1978. Currently he is the treasurer and general office manager of the Vedanta Society of Southern California, as well as the Society’s organist and choir director. Swami Atmavidyananda is a prolific composer, having written two operas, two oratorios, numerous choral works, and over 20 instrumental works, including one symphony.

Swami Atmavidyananda gives talks at Vedanta centers, academic institutions, and church groups, and also conducts classes and religious seminars in the US and abroad. Swami Atmavidyananda is currently serving as the campus minister for Hinduism at USC and president of the University Religious Conference at UCLA.

Please join us at the Vedanta Society on Wednesday November 9, 2011, at 7.30 pm, for Swami Atmavidyananda’s presentation of “Ramakrishna and Song,” featuring recorded selections from the swami’s oratorio, “Ramakrishna and His Teachings,” with live commentary by the composer.

Swami Swahananda

Swami Swahananda joined the Ramakrishna Order in 1947 and was head of its Delhi center before coming to the US in 1968. Besides the North Carolina center, he is also the spiritual leader of the Vedanta Society of Southern California, the Vedanta Center of Greater Washington, DC, and Vivekananda Retreat, Ridgely. He is the author of several books on religion and spirituality and is a past editor of the magazine Vedanta Kesari published by the Ramakrishna Math, Chennai.

Swami Swahananda is authorized to grant spiritual initiation (mantra diksha) to sincere seekers who are ready to commit to a program of daily spiritual practice.

Kali Puja 2011

We will observe Kali Puja on Saturday, October 29, at the Society on Globe Road. Swami Mahayogananda will be in residence, and will conduct the puja and homa. If weather permits, the homa fire will be conducted out-of-doors, behind the building. There will be additional parking available across the street with our kind neighbor. A tent will be raised for additional seating, and a portable toilet will be available.

Please note the adjusted time for evening Arati:

6 pm: Arati
7 pm: Puja
10 pm: Prasad

All are welcome. Please contact us if you would like to volunteer with any aspect of the Puja including cooking, serving prasad, or bringing any special offerings.

Swami Ishtananda

SwamiIshtanandaSwami Ishtananda is Minister of the Vedanta Center of St Petersbug, Florida. He joined the Ramakrishna Order in 1977, and served for many years in the Northeast of India, at the Order’s centers in Cherrapunjee and Along, before being posted to the Vedanta Society of Southern California. He was appointed the Minister of the Vedanta Center of St Petersburg in December 2007.

Swami Yogatmananda

swami ySwami Yogatmananda is Minister and President of the Vedanta Society of Providence. He joined the Ramakrishna Order in 1976, and received his monastic vows in 1986. After being at Ramakrishna Math Center at Nagpur, India for 20 years, he was posted as the Head of Ramakrishna Mission, Shillong, Meghalaya, India.

Swami Yogatmananda came to United States in the summer of 2001 as the Minister of the Vedanta Society of Providence. His present responsibilities include conducting Sunday service, weekly study classes and organising spiritual retreats. He is invited to preach Vedanta at different places in the United States.

Swami Yogatmananda is the Hindu Religious Affiliate at the Brown University, Providence, RI and the Hindu Chaplain at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, MA.

Swami Mahayogananda

Swami Mahayogananda joined the Ramakrishna Order in 1997 at the Ramakrishna Monastery in Trabuco Canyon, California. From 2002 to 2008, he stayed in India, first at the Ramakrishna Mission Headquarters in Belur Math, West Bengal, and then at Narottam Nagar, Arunachal Pradesh; Advaita Ashrama, Kolkata; and Advaita Ashrama, Mayavati, Uttarakhand. He returned to the United States in 2008, served at the Vedanta Center of Greater Washington, DC, and since 2013, has been serving at the Vedanta Society of Southern California.

First Day of Class—Pupils of Practical Vedanta

The first day of class for the Vedanta Society’s value-education program for children was offered on Sunday, September 26, 2010. The class was attended by 14 students. The first day of class began with the children standing in front of the shrine and reciting a couple of Upanishadic chants. Thereafter, each child offered a flower to Thakur, Maa, and Swamiji and received a tilak on their forehead from Mrs. Santi Dutta who is the mother of one of the teachers and a former principal of a school in India. At the conclusion of this ceremony, the children went to their respective classes and had 30 minutes each of instructions in Music, Yoga, and Knowledge.

While the children were in their classes, their parents assembled in the Library and watched a video entitled “Science and Consciousness – Swami Vivekananda” publised by the Mysore center. A brief discussion followed the video.

At the end of classes, the children recited “Brahmarpanam” and received a snack (Oreo cookies and juice) marking the end of their first day. Dr. Uppal came all the way from Goldsboro and met with some of the children, their parents and the teachers.

Dowload a pdf file with photos of the first day.