11am Sunday Talk: Fall Festivals and the Goddess Kāli, with Br. Shankara
~ Join via Zoom at https://tinyurl.com/y7veshzt ~
On Sunday morning, Nov. 7th at 11am, Br. Shankara will give a talk on Fall Festivals and the Goddess Kāli. Join us online (no in-person activities at this time) and participate in the discussion!
November is a month for study of Karma Yoga, a spiritual path leading to the abandonment of selfishness. As a karma yogi, you practice offering your actions and their results, as well as your perceptions, thoughts, and feelings to the Divine Presence.
“No matter what I may have done, said or thought, in waking, dreaming or dreamless sleep, with my mind, my tongue, my hands or my other members, may all that be an offering to the Divine Presence.” — Chanted by the congregation, in unison, at the end of a puja’s homa fire ceremony
Even before fully knowing this Presence, you hold firmly to the belief that the Presence is within each person or other living being that you interact with or serve. Working and abiding in this spirit, you are increasingly able to release attachment to your activities and their results. This yields the freedom and contentment promised by Karma Yoga.
“Even a little practice of this yoga will save you from the terrible wheel of rebirth and death …” — Sri Krishna, Bhagavad Gita, Ch. 2.
This past Sunday was Hallowe’en — a contraction of All Hallows Eve. In Old English, hallow meant saint, and indicates the Roman Catholic church had incorporated an ancient Northern European tradition — Samhain* — into its calendar of ritual observances.
In the early 8th Century, Pope Gregory III designated the 1st of November as All Saints Day, honoring saints and martyrs. He also decreed October 31 as All Hallows Eve, a night-time vigil of prayer and veneration. (*Samhain means summer’s end — in Northern Europe, the end of the “light” half of the year and the beginning of the fearsome “dark” half, which brought with it a need for ritualistic protection.)
This Sunday, we’ll take a journey through the ages, recalling fall festivals that celebrate the dead. This will include discussion of mythology and artistic expressions that can be traced back to the Goddess Kāli. We’ll talk about Samhain, All Souls Day, All Saints Day, Hallowe’en (All Hallows Eve), Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead), Diwali, and the Festival of the Lanterns, and identify how some of these celebrations have ancient astronomical and ritualistic connections to Kāli Ma.