May is a month for study of Bhakti Yoga. As a bhakti yogi, you establish a devotional relationship with God through study, prayer, ritual, and worship. You practice giving every action, thought, emotion, perception and tendency “a Godward turn.” All of your energies and attributes, both positive and negative, are offered to the Divine Presence. Your prayer is for self-surrender, union with your Belovèd.Chaitanya’s Prayer, as interpreted by Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood, is recited here during morning Arati. This is also done in the temples, convents and monasteries of the Vedanta Society of Southern California, at Vivekananda Retreat Ridgely, and at other Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Vedanta centers in the U.S.
This prayer brings the goal and results of devotional spiritual practice into sharp focus in about three minutes. It is a primer in the truest sense of the word. The prayer’s tone and language are intense; it can be thought of as one of the most beautiful love songs ever written.
Chaitanya calls forth the heart’s bliss, instructs the mind in how to overcome obstacles, and, in the voice of a spiritually awakening heart and soul, speaks lovingly and directly to the Divine within.
Br. Shankara will explore the prayer and its teachings in detail, including some discussion of Sri Chaitanya himself, and the high regard in which he was held by Sri Ramakrishna and Holy Mother.