Holy Pilgrimage - Hindu temples in USA -48

Holy Pilgrimage - Hindu temples in USA

Vedanta Scoeity of Providence, Providence, RI
A Branch of Ramakrishna Order

Vedanta Society of Providence
227 Angell Street
Providence RI 02906 USA

Phone: (401) 421-3960
email: info AT vedantaprov.org

Minister: Swami Yogatmananda
he Vedanta Society Of Providence is a branch of the world-wide twin organization Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission. This twin organization was founded by Swami Vivekananda, the most illustrious disciple of Sri Ramakrishna. It has currently 12 branches and a few sub centers in USA.
This center is located in the heart of the city of Providence and in the neighborhood of Brown University.

Regular activities at this Center:
  • Daily prayers & meditation in the morning and evening in the Chapel
  • Weekly service on Sunday afternoon (5:00 PM)
  • Weekly classes on Tuesdays and Fridays (7:30 PM)
  • Birth-Anniversary celebrations of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Sarada Devi, Swami Vivekananda and Sri Krishna
  • Celebrations of Durga Puja, Guru Purnima, Thanksgiving day, Christmas and New Year
  • Quarterly Spiritual Retreats.
  • Occasional Music Concerts
  • A small library of religious and philosophical books open to members
A Vedanta Book Store: Books/ CDs/ DVDs available for sale
Origin of Vedanta in Rhode Island (1890s)
Swami Saradananda, one of the direct disciples of Sri Ramakrishna, was the first Ramakrishna-order monk to give a lecture in Rhode Island at Manning Hall of Brown University on the topic, "Philosophy of India" on April 20, 1897. In his talk, he explained to his audience, "The interchange of thought between the West and the East is bringing them closer together. It will show that truth is not included in any single religion." Swami Saradananda is thought to have stayed as a guest at 9 Arlington Avenue on the East Side of Providence, less than a half-mile from the current location of the Vedanta Society of Providence.
Origin of Vedanta Society of Providence (1920s-1930s)
A constellation of relationships and events ultimately culminated in Swami Akhilananda's arrival in Providence in 1928, which marked the genesis of the Vedanta Society of Providence. Swami Akhilananda delivered his first lecture on the fifth floor of the Biltmore Hotel in downtown Providence on September 9, 1928, addressing the topic, "Psychology of Religion." He would later give many lectures on topics related to psychology. At the first lecture, the Swami found himself an ardent follower in Italo Pellini, who would be helping him in his work of establishing the Vedanta Society of Providence. Miss Helen Rubel (who provided most of the funds), Mrs. Anna Worcester, and Bertha and Edith Hawkhead were the other core members of the society. Public response to the first three lectures led Swami Akhilananda to conduct regular services and classes in a rented space at 241 Weybosset Street, beginning on December 9, 1928.

Growth of Vedanta Society of Providence (1930s-1940s)
Due to an increasing number of attendees to these activities, in late 1930, a house at 224 Angell Street was purchased and suitably remodeled, and this became both the chapel and the Swami's living quarters. The weekly schedule of Tuesday and Friday evening classes and the Sunday evening service started then is still followed today. From 1937 to 1938, Swami Satprakashananda, who went on to found the Vedanta Society of St. Louis, temporarily stepped in to head the Providence Center in Swami Akhilananda’s absence. During the 1940s, Swami Akhilananda gave radio talks on stations WJAR and WFCI and spoke at various colleges, including Rhode Island College, Providence College, and Brown University.
Swamis in Providence (1950s-1990s)
On October 6, 1954, Swami Sarvagatananda arrived from India to fulfill the role of assisting Swami Akhilananda, marking the beginning of his many years of devoted service in both Boston and Providence. He would stay primarily in Providence while Swami Akhilananda stayed in Boston and visited the Providence center only for his lectures. After passing away of Swami Akhilananda in 1962, Swami Sarvagatananda, who then became the Head of both Providence and Boston centers, continued the interfaith activities by actively participating in the Universal Club of Ministers and the World Affairs Council of Rhode Island besides delivering lectures at churches and colleges, including Brown University and Barrington College. In October 1985, Swami Sarvatmananda came to the United States India to serve as Swami Sarvagatananda's assistant. Until April 1997, he accompanied Swami Sarvagatananda to the Providence Center for the weekly Sunday lecture, giving at first one, and then two of the lectures each month there. After Swami Sarvatmananda’s departure, Swami Tyagananda arrived in 1998 from India to assist Swami Sarvagatananda with managing both the Providence and Boston Centers.
Improvement in Center’s facilities (1990s)
The 1990s brought new challenges as efforts were made to improve the Center's facilities, to make the space more accommodating for both local devotees and visitors from other places. In 1996, the Vedanta Society acquired the house at 221 Angell Street, which was then renovated mainly as a women's guest house. In an arrangement with the Wheeler School in 2000, the building at 224 was exchanged for the property at 227 Angell Street. The vacant lot at 233 Angell Street was also purchased to provide space for parking.
Full-time resident Swami in Providence (2000s)
In 2001, Swami Sarvagatananda handed over the responsibilities at the Providence Center to Swami Yogatmananda who arrived from India to serve as its minister. Swami Sarvagatananda eventually passed away in 2009. Swami Yogatmananda is the minister in-charge since July 2001
The Vedanta Society of Providence continued to offer the regular weekly programs besides augmenting them with occasional special retreats and talks by visiting Swamis from across the United States and the rest of the world. New programs like the daily morning and evening meditations, guided meditations on Saturdays, and special programs like the weekend residential retreats attract many interested participants. Many devotees attend the special worship days on the occasions of the birth anniversaries of Sri Ramakrishna, Holy Mother, and Swami Vivekananda, Durga Puja and Guru Purnima. The Center also has hosted many classical Indian and western music concerts with musicians of all hues.

Swami Yogatmananda is routinely invited to speak at local colleges and serves Chaplain at both Brown University and the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. Each year, Universal Brotherhood Day is celebrated at the Providence Center, bringing together local clergy from many different religious paths to share their perspectives with the broader community.

Swami Yogatmananda grants interviews for spiritual instructions. All appointments must be made in advance.

New Shrine-Chapel building (2010s)
The need for a larger Chapel was increasingly felt during some of these activities that had a very large attendance. Plans to begin new programs also necessitated such an expansion. With generous support and help from the devotees, a new Shrine-Chapel with a few residential guest rooms was built after the demolition of 221 building that was serving as women’s guest house. After the finalization of the design involving changes and approvals from various authorities spanning two years, the ground-breaking ceremony for this new building was held on October 15, 2010 and the construction itself began on December 17, 2010 and continued up to April 2012.


Vedanta Society of Providence, a branch of the Ramakrishna Order in India, was founded by Swami Akhilananda in 1928, with the idea of spreading the universal message of Vedanta in this region.  .

It preaches the ancient teachings of Vedanta in a modern way, as propogated by Sri Ramakrishna and his most illustrious disciple Swami Vivekananda. The motto of the Ramakrishna Order is, 'for the liberation of the self and for the good of the world' :

Thus, like all the centers of Ramakrishna Order, the Vedanta Society of Providence is also engaged in preaching the spiritual truths and serving the society.

Calendar of Events for May 2013

Sunday Services 5:00 - 6:00 PM
May 05 -
- Swami Yogatmananda
(Will be followed by the music Concert)
Mar 12 -
Psychology of Meditation
- Prof. Harold Roth, Director, Contemplative Studies Initiative, Brown University
Mar 19 -
Sankara’s Presentation of Superimposition
- Swami Yogatmananda
Mar 26 -
Prajna-Paramita: The Intelligence Supreme
- Swami Yogatmananda
Indian Classical Vocal Concert on Sunday, May 05, 6:00-7:30 PM
Smt. Shashwati Mandal Paul, a prominent vocalist of Hindustani Classical Music from India will perform. Accompanying her on Tabla- Pt. Ashis Sengupta & on Harmonium- Pt. Sanatan Goswami; No fee; Suggested Donation $15.

Monthly Discourse on Bhagavad Gita on Sunday, May 26
From 10:30 - 11:30 AM, Swami Yogatmananda will conduct the monthly class on Bhagavad Gita at Sri Satyanarayana Temple, 11 Training Hill Rd, Middletown, CT. All are welcome.

Spiritual Retreat on Saturday, Jun 01, 9:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Speaker: Swami Atmajnanananda, Resident Minister, Vedanta Center of Gr Washington DC
Subject: VIVEKANANDA’S Song on Samadhi
Prior registration required. Registration fee: $20.00 per person. (For online registration: $21 per person)
For more information and Online Registration:

Weekly Programs:
7:30 PM: Vedanta Study Class on 'The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna'

7:30 PM:Vedanta Study Class on 'Bhagavad Gita, Ch. 18'

8:30 - 10:30 AM: Karma Yoga (Cleaning work)
11:00 AM - 12:00 noon: Guided meditation and devotional music

Daily Programs:
Morning :
5:45 - 6:45 AM: Meditation
6:45 - 7:00 AM: Chanting followed by a short reading from The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda
Evening :
7:00 - 7:15 PM: Aarti (devotional music), with a short reading
7:15 - 8:00 PM: Meditation

Personal Guidance: The Minister grants interviews for guidance in meditation & spiritual life.
Appointments must be made in advance by phone/ email.

The doors open 30 min before any program begins (except the early morning meditation). Children’s room will be available during all lectures.

Swami Yogatmananda's Programs in 2013

Sun. 07: 12:30 - 1:30 PM
New Jerusalem Church, Bridgewater, MA
A lecture on Vedanta

Fri. 12 -
Sun. 14
Vedanta Societies, St. Louis & Cansas City
Vedanta Classes

Fri. 19 -
Sun. 21
Vedanta Society of Greater Washington D.C.
Inauguration Ceremony

Sat. 27
Princeton University, NJ
A talk on 'Swami Vivekananda'

Sun. 28:
10:30 - 11:30 AM
Sri Satyanarayana Temple, Middletown, CT
Monthly Bhagavad Gita Class
Sat. 18
Vedanta Society, New York
A lecture on Vedanta

Sun. 26:
10:30 - 11:30 AM
Sri Satyanarayana Temple, Middletown, CT
Monthly Bhagavad Gita Class
Sat. 08 -
Mon. 10
Huntsville, Alabama
Vedanta Classes

Sun. 16:
10:30 - 11:30 AM
Sri Satyanarayana Temple, Middletown, CT
Monthly Bhagavad Gita Class

Fri. 28 -
Sun. 30
Vivekananda Monastery & Retreat, Ganges, MI
Retreat on 'Purusha-Suktam'

Sun. 30
Hindu Temple, Lemon, IL
A lecture on Vedanta
Ramakrishna Math & Ramakrishna Mission
Belur Math
District Howrah - 711202
West Bengal, India
E-mail Address: rkmhqbm@cal.vsnl.net.in
Phone: (91-33-) 2654-1144 / 1180 / 5391 / 9581 / 9681
Fax: (91-33-) 2654-4346

Headquarters: rkmhq@vsnl.com, rkmhqbm@cal.vsnl.net.in  
Centers in USA

Vedanta Society of Berkeley
2455 Bowditch Street Berkeley
CA 94704
Phone: (510) 848-8862
Vedanta Society of Northen California
2323 Vallejo Street, San Francisco,
CA 94123
Phone: (415) 922-2323
Email: temple@sfvedanta.org
Vedanta Society of Sacramento
1337 Mission Avenue
Carmichael, CA 95608
Phone: (916) 489-5137
Email: society@vedantasacto.org
Vedanta Society of Southern California
1946 Vedanta Place
Hollywood, CA 90068-3996
Phone: (323) 465-7114
Email: info@vedanta.org


The Vedanta Center of St. Petersburg
216-19th Avenue, South East St. Petersburg, FL 33705
Phone: (727) 896-9840

Vivekananda Vedanta Society
5423 S. Hyde Park Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60615
Phone: (773) 363-0027
Email: info@vedantasociety-chicago.org
Vedanta Center of Greater Washington, D.C.
3001 Bel Pre Road, Silver Spring, MD 20906
Phone: (301) 603-1772
Email: vedanta-dc@juno.com
Ramakrishna Vedanta Society of Massachusetts
58 Deerfield Street, Boston, MA 02215
Phone: (617) 536-5320
Email: boston@vedantasociety.net
Vedanta Society of St. Louis
205 South Skinker Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63105
Phone: (314) 721-5118
Email: vedantastl@prodigy.net
New York

Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center of New York
17 East 94th Street, New York, NY 10128
Phone: (212) 289-1710, (212) 534-9445
Email: rvcnewyork@worldnet.att.net
Vedanta Society of New York
34 West 71st Street, New York, NY 10023
Phone: (212) 877-9197
Email: vedantasoc@aol.com
Vivekananda Retreat, Ridgely
101 Leggett Road Stone Ridge, NY 12484
Phone: (845) 687-4574
Email: info@ridgely.org

Rhode Island
Vedanta Society of Portland
1157 S.E. 55th Avenue, Portland, OR 97215
Phone: (503) 235-3919
Email: swami@vedantasociety.org
Vedanta Society of Providence
227 Angell Street, Providence, RI 02906
Phone: (401) 421-3960
Email: providence@vedantasociety.net

Vedanta Society of Western Washington
2716 Broadway East, Seattle, WA 98102
Phone: (206) 323-1228     Email: society@vedanta-seattle.org

How to Contact Us

Vedanta Society of Providence
227 Angell Street
Providence, RI 02906
Phone: (401) 421-3960
Thought of the Day
  The moment I have realized God sitting in the temple of every human body, the moment I stand in reverence before every human being and see God in him -- that moment I am free from bondage, everything that binds vanishes, and I am free.
     - Swami Vivekananda

Om Tat Sat

(My humble  salutations to the great devotees ,  wikisources  and Pilgrimage tourist guide for the collection )


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