Hollywood Temple

Our Hollywood location is home to a temple, monastery, convent, bookshop, library and the society’s administrative offices. Our minister, Swami Sarvadevananda, and other monks reside in the Hollywood monastery.

The temple is open daily to the public from morning meditation through evening classes. Daily puja, worship, is observed at 12:00 noon every day. Daily arati, vespers, is at 6:00 pm. We also host Sunday morning spiritual talks, Sunday School, scripture and chanting classes, kirtans, karma yoga days, and special pujas. The library is open before and after Sunday morning talks. Members may search for titles in our catalog and borrow books.

Contact Information

Hours:

6:30am to 7:00pm daily

Puja (Worship) Noon daily

Arati (Vespers) 6:00pm daily

Bookstore:

Phone: (323) 465-7114
Hours: Mon-Sat 10:00am to 12:30pm
2:00pm to 5:00pm
Sunday 10:00am to 11:00am
Noon to 5:00pm
CLOSED WEDNESDAYS

Closed Wednesdays, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

Calendar of Events

View weekly events

August 2018

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
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  • Class: Gospel of Sri Ramakrish…
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  • Chanting for Beginners
  • Kirtan with Swami Nirvananda
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  • Sanskrit Class
  • Children's Program
  • Spiritual Talk: Swami Mahayoga…
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  • Class: Nectar of Supreme Knowl…
  • Class: Upanishadic Meditation
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  • Class: Gospel of Sri Ramakrish…
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  • Sanskrit Class
  • Children's Program
  • Spiritual Talk: Swami Sarvadev…
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  • Class: Nectar of Supreme Knowl…
  • Class: Nectar of Supreme Knowl…
15
  • Class: Gospel of Sri Ramakrish…
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  • Chanting for Beginners
19
  • Sanskrit Class
  • Children's Program
  • Spiritual Talk: Swami Purnatma…
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  • Class: Nectar of Supreme Knowl…
  • Class: Nectar of Supreme Knowl…
22
  • Class: Gospel of Sri Ramakrish…
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  • Vigil
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  • Sanskrit Class
  • Children's Program
  • Spiritual Talk: Swami Vedarupa…
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  • Class: Nectar of Supreme Knowl…
29
  • Class: Gospel of Sri Ramakrish…
30
  • Special Talk: Swami Tyagananda…
31

Facebook Posts

Two long-time devotees left the body recently: Barbara Piner and Bill Fray. Barbara and Bill attended talks at Trabuco and gave much service to the Vedanta Society and others in need. We will post full obituaries and tell you about plans for memorial services in the coming days. Om Shanti, shanti, shantih. #vedantaorg #barbarapine #billfray ... See MoreSee Less

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Pravrajika Dayaprana will be in the Green House living room at 2:30 this afternoon for the Chanting for Beginners class. Come join us! #vedantaorg #sanskritchanting #vedicchanting ... See MoreSee Less

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5 days ago

Vedanta Society of Southern California Hollywood Temple

16th August 1886, Bhagavan Sri Ramakrishna attained Mahasamadhi.

Here are details on how He prepared for this.

Saturday, 14 August 1886: In the morning Balaram, Ramlal, and an Ayurvedic doctor were present in the Master’s room.
He went into deep Samadhi in front of them.
After returning to a normal state he said to Balaram: “Do you know what I see? It is Brahman. It looks like a calm ocean of light, like a roof of molten sterling silver”.
At noon Rakhal Mukherjee of Baghbazar arrived.
The Master went into Samadhi again and then he said: “I see a lake of mercury and I am there as a lead doll”.

***
Sunday, 15 August 1886: Lakshmi Devi, Sri Ramakrishna’s niece, recalled: “He was reclining against a pillow on his bed. There was silence all around, and all were worried about him. Earlier he could not speak, but when Mother and I went to him, he feebly whispered: “You have come. You see, I feel I am going somewhere, to a distant land through water”.
Mother started to cry.
Then the Master said to her: “Don’t worry. You will live as you are living now. As Naren and the others are serving me, so they will also take care of you.
Look after Lakshmi and keep her with you. She will manage herself and will not be a burden”.

***

Swami Ramakrishnananda left this account of the Master’s last day:
“We all thought he was better, because he ate so much more supper than usual, and he said nothing of going. In the afternoon (actually eight or nine days earlier) he had asked Jogin to look in the almanac and see whether it was an auspicious day.
Also he has been telling us for some time that the vessel, which was floating in the ocean, was already two-thirds full of water, and soon the rest would fill up and plunge into the ocean.
But we did not believe that he was really going. He never seemed to mind the pain. He never lost his cheerfulness. He used to say that he was all well and happy, only there was “a little something here” (pointing to his throat). “Within me are two persons”, - he would declare: “One is the Divine Mother, and the other is Her devotee. It is the devotee that has been taken ill”.

When Sri Ramakrishna gave up his body, I think, it was the most blissful moment of his life. A thrill of joy ran through him. I myself saw it. I remember every incident of that last day.
Our Master seemed very well and cheerful. In the afternoon he talked for fully two hours to a gentleman, who had come to put some questions to him about yoga. A little later I ran some seven miles to bring the doctor. …

On that last night Ramakrishna was talking with us to the very last. For supper he had drunk a half glass of payasam (pudding) and seemed to relish it.
There was, no doubt, a little heat in the body, so he asked to fan him, and some ten of us were all fanning at once. He was sitting up against five or six pillows, which were supported by my body, and at the same time I too was fanning. This made a slight motion and twice he asked me: “Why are you shaking?” It was as if his mind were so fixed and steady that he could perceive the least motion.
Narendra took his feet and began to rub them and Sri Ramakrishna was talking to him, telling him what he must do. “Take care of these boys”, - he repeated again and again, as if he were putting them in Naren’s charge. Then he asked to lie down.
Suddenly at one o’clock (1:02 a.m.) he fell towards one side. There was a low sound in his throat, and I saw all the hairs of his body stand on end.
Narendra quickly laid his feet on a quilt and ran downstairs, as if he could not bear it. A doctor, who was a great devotee and who was feeling his pulse, saw that it had stopped and began to weep aloud. "What are you doing?" - I asked, impatient with him for acting as if the Master had really left us.
We all believed that it was only Samadhi, so Naren came back and we sat down, some twenty of us, and began repeating all together: "Hari Om! Hari Om!"
In this way we waited until between one and two the next day. Still the body had some heat in it, especially around the back, but the doctor insisted that the soul had left it. About five o'clock the body had grown cold”.

***

Reminiscence of Swami Adbhutananda:
“Gopal Dada and I left immediately for Dakshineswar, and Ramlal Dada came back with us. He examined the Master and said: “The crown of his head is still warm.
Please call Captain (Vishwanath Upadhyay)”. Shortly after that Captain arrived. He asked us to rub the Master’s body with ghee. Shashi rubbed his body and Vaikuntha massaged his feet, but it was to no avail. Later that morning Doctor Mahendra (Dr. Mahendralal Sarkar) came to examine the Master and said: “He has given up the body”.
Holy Mother was unable to restrain herself.
When she came to the Master’s room, she cried: “O Mother Kali, what have I done that you have left me?”
Seeing the Mother weeping, Baburam (Swami Premananda) and Yogin (Swami Yogananda) went up to her, and Golap-ma took her to her room.
In the meantime the Calcutta devotees had received the news, and one after another they began to arrive.
A photograph (actually two) was taken of the Master with the devotees. By that time it was afternoon.
The Master’s body remained on a cot, beautifully decorated, until it was carried to the cremation ground at Cossipore.
Ram Babu told me to stay at the garden house until Akshay Babu returned from the cremation ground. So I stayed there while the others went. Only once did I hear Holy Mother weeping. After that she was silent. Never have I seen a woman with such strength.
That night I went to the cremation ground. I saw many people sitting quietly on the bank of the Ganga.
Shashi was near the funeral pyre with a fan in his hand, and Sharat (Swami Saradananda) was with him. Both Sharat and Loren sought to console Shashi. I took him by the hand and tried to lift his spirits a little, but he remained motionless with grief”.

***

Reminiscence of Swami Abhedananda:
"At that time we all felt completely helpless. We felt that our entire source of strength and hope had gone. We thought: "Now what shall we do? On whom shall we depend? And how shall we pass our days?"
It was an unforgettable day in our lives. It was not apparent that the life force had left the Master's body. There was a sweet smile on his face, and it seemed as if a divine glow were emanating from his whole body. ...
Gradually the crowd began to grow. At 5:00 p.m. the Master's body was carried by his disciples from the Cossipore garden house, and a large crowd followed the funeral procession singing kirtan (devotional songs).
The sounds of drums, cymbals, and singing reverberated everywhere.
In that procession people carried emblems of different religions, such as OM symbol, the Trident, the Cross, the Crescent, and so on.
At last we reached the Cossipore cremation ground.
According to custom, the Master's body was washed with Ganga water and then covered with a new cloth and garlands. Finally it was placed on the funeral pyre. ... The disciples and devotees showered flowers into the fire. The cremation ground also reverberated then with drums, cymbals, and kirtan. It was an indescribable sight! The disciples and devotees gazed at their Master's divine body for the last time and then bowed down to him with reverence. Hymns were also chanted.
At last the Master's body was reduced to ashes. Three of us collected the relics of the Master and put them in a copper urn, which we carried to the Cossipore garden house with heavy hearts.
We then placed the Master's relics in his bedroom and passed the whole night in japam and meditation. Trying to assuage our grief over the Master's absence, we talked about his divine life.
Narendra sat in front and occasionally consolled us by telling stories of the Master's unselfish love and wonderful grace.
Holy Mother was in her room overwhelmed with grief.
She decided to remove the bracelets from her arms, which signified that her husband was alive. Just as she was taking them off, Sri Ramakrishna appeared before her in his physical form and forbade her to do so. Pressing her hand, he said: "Do you think I have gone elsewhere? I have just gone from one room to another".
Holy Mother realized that though the Master's earthly body was destroyed, he was ever present in his divine form. After that, she continued to wear her bracelets as well as a sari with a small red border.

(Prabuddha Bharata, March 2011, Swami Chetanananda “Mahendra Nath Gupta: Last Days With Sri Ramakrishna”, pp. 319-20;
Swami Chetanananda “Ramakrishna: As We Saw Him”, First Indian Edition, 1992, pp. 157-8, 96-7, 226-7)
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Our special, honored guest, Swami Purnatmananda is giving the spiritual talk at 11 o'clock this Sunday morning on "Religion According to Swami Vivekananda". Swami Purnatmananda is head of Vivekananda’s Ancestral Home
 in Kolkata, India. Sanskrit class meets in the library at 9 o'clock and the children's program meets in the puja dining room during the talk. All are welcome. #vedantaorg #advaitavedanta #ramakrishna #vivekananda #purnatmananda ... See MoreSee Less

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