This profile was last updated in 2005
Activities and Schedule
Sunday Service: 5:00 P.M. Tuesday and Friday Study Groups: 7:30 P.M. The Swamis are also available for individual spiritual instruction by appointment.
The Vedanta Society of Providence was founded by Swami Akhilananda in 1928 and met at the Providence Biltmore Hotel until it established its first chapel on Angell Street in 1931. (This was ten years before the opening of the Ramakrishna Vedanta Society in Boston, with which it is closely affiliated.) Swami Sarvagatananda came from India in 1954 to serve as the official spiritual leader to both the Providence and Boston societies. In 1998, Swami Tyagananda came to the U.S. and eventually assumed responsibility for leading all of the religious services. In June 2000, Swami Tyagananda assumed full-time spiritual leadership of the Boston society, and the recently-arrived Swami Yogatmananda assumed leadership of the Providence society.
The regular weekly activities of the Providence society include a formal Sunday Service with prayer, music, and an extended sermon, and more informal Tuesday and Friday Meditation and Vedanta Study Groups. Sunday prayers are taken primarily from the Hindu Vedas and the music from a Vedanta hymnal, and the Tuesday and Friday classes involve a combination of scriptural study, commentary, questions and answers, and discussion. In addition, the society celebrates roughly thirty festivals throughout the year, including the birthdays of various Vedanta philosophers and swamis, Siddhartha Gautama, Zarathustra, Krishna, and Jesus, as well as Hindu holidays such as Shivaratri, Guru Purnima, Durga Puja, and Deepavali. The Boston and Providence societies share a retreat in Marshfield, MA, which they use during the summer.