Past Special Guests - 2018
Visit from Pravrajika Shuddhatmaprana
January 20 - 26, 2018
216 19th Avenue South East St. Petersburg, Fl 33705
Pravrajika Shuddhatmaprana visited the Vedanta Center of St. Petersburg from Saturday, January 20 to Friday, January 26, 2018. She is a nun of the Vedanta Society of Southern California, serving at the Vivekananda Retreat, Ridgely, New York.
Pravrajika gave a lecture on Sunday, January 28th on “The Expert Dancer.” These very words conjure up images of Kali or Shiva, but the essence of her message was not about this imagery. She suggested that an expert dancer never makes a wrong step. An expert dancer is you and/or me. She used the remainder of her talk to weave this concept of an expert dancer - one that we all can become through sadhana (self effort).
Quoting from the Bhagavad Gita (Duryodhana asking Lord Krishna why we should work at all since we are at the mercy of God's will), she mentioned that if we are all God's instrument, where does the notion of sin come from? Further, what is the notion of free will and what is the point of effort? Actions however, have to be selfless, not selfish. Selfless actions further enable us to become better instruments of God. Further, selfless actions have to be complemented by speech and thought. Speech that is continually refined by mantras and the spoken truth. If the body (through actions) and speech are trained, thoughts will follow.
Now, the actions, thoughts and speech are all synchronized thus life becomes a dance and you are the expert dancer. You are now a true instrument of God.
Pravrajika Shuddhatmaprana also conducted our weekly chanting class on Monday, January 22nd and spoke on “Essence of the Gita” at our Wednesday night study class on January 24th. We also were able to show her some of the sights in and around St. Petersburg during her stay here. This was her first visit to the Center and we look forward to seeing her again in future.