“Dare to be free, dare to go as far as your thought leads, and dare to carry that out in your life. ”
“God is everywhere but He is most manifest in man. So serve man as God. That is as good as worshipping God.”
"As clouds are blown away by the wind, the thirst for material pleasures will be driven away by the utterance of the Lord's name."
The Vedanta Society of Portland, Oregon is an affiliated branch of the Ramakrishna Math, Belur Math, Howrah, India. The Center was established in the year 1925 by Swami Prabhavananda. It gradually developed into its present stature through the efforts of illustrious monks such as Swamis Vividishananda, Devatmananda, Aseshananda, Shantarupananda, and many dedicated devotees.
The city of Portland is at the confluence of two perennial rivers - the Willamette and the Columbia making it equivalent to a Prayag. It is surrounded by snow-clad Mt. Hood, Mt Adams, Mt St. Helens, other mountains of the Cascade range, and the Pacific Ocean. It is the largest city in the state of Oregon, the seat of Multnomah County in the Pacific Northwest, situated at about 45.52 latitude and - 122.68 longitude.
The Center offers encouragement and guidance to spiritual seekers through lectures, readings, discussions, publications, retreats, rituals, and personal guidance based on Universal teachings of various scriptures and teachers by cultivating Self-knowledge and building character. Karma Yoga, the selfless offering of services, is encouraged through a few programs such as "Serve God in Man", "Friends of the Vedanta Retreat" etc. Hatha Yoga is promoted for physical well-being and other cultural activities are promoted for intellectual expansion such as the study of Sanskrit and other languages. It has the following facilities-
a) A Vedanta Temple at 1157 SE 55th Ave, Portland,
b) A room for a retreatant guest at 7207 SE Salmon St, Portland,
c) A 289-acre beautiful forest sanctuary at 23000 NW Gilkison Road, Scappoose for promoting the Harmony of Religions in the lap of Nature by maintaining shrines of various religions and by organizing interfaith meetings inviting religious leaders from various streams. It also provides space for personal retreats. This beautiful, pristine forest was developed by dedicated volunteers on a parcel of clear-cut land of 120 acres and the adjacent 169 acres of land property has been added to the Vedanta Retreat on March 17, 2020. It is open to the general public to enjoy the peace and beauty of this hallowed place. It takes a lot of resources to maintain its facilities, its trails, and shrines. Support from generous public and benevolent institutions will be appreciated and acknowledged.
All the services are available
for all interested devotees
At the Vedanta Temple, Portland
Daily Hours 7:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Everyday from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
Morning Worship and Meditation
Everyday from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Evening prayers, and Meditation
(Singing songs, readings from the Gospel of
Sri Ramakrishna, meditation
on Sundays: singing Rama-Nama after Vesper)
All our classes and special events are suspended now due to Summer Recess. It will reopen from September 2, 2023
Please click the links on the mentioned day at the Pacific Standard Time
Regular weekly classes
All are welcome
Please check the monthly Bulletin given at the bottom of this home page for exceptions
Sundays at 11 a.m. Srimad-Bhagavad Gita
5:00 - 6:15 pm Guided Meditation
Thursdays at 7:35 p.m. Vedantasara
Fridays at 7:35 p.m. Sri Sarada Devi and Her Divine Play
Sundays: 8:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. for Young and adults
Veda Chanting and singing of Bhajans
1st and 3rd Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. Satsanga near Bethany area. Please contact for details.
What is Vedanta?
Vedanta is the broadest and most rational religious philosophy. It teaches a universal way of living accommodating all paths leading to God. It is the essence, the gist, or the conclusion of knowledge enshrined in the Vedas, the most ancient and sacred scriptures of India.
The pure-hearted seers (Rishis) sought the Truth with an open and earnest heart. These spiritual principles were revealed to them who passed them on to their disciples through oral tradition and later were recorded. These seers were like spiritual scientists who discovered these spiritual principles which are universal and rational and can be practiced in our day-to-day lives.
Essential Teachings: Rigveda says- "That which exists is One; sages call it variously. Swami Vivekananda put it in a nutshell- "Each soul is potentially divine, the goal is to manifest this divinity within by controlling nature: external and internal. Do this either by work, or worship, or psychic control, or philosophy -- by one, or more, or all these -- and be free. This is the whole of religion. Doctrines, or dogmas, or rituals, or books, or temples, or forms, are but secondary details."
Vedanta philosophy is the philosophical foundation of Sanatana Dharma, the Eternal religion ordinarily known as Hindu Dharma. Hindu Dharma includes aspects of Indian culture, and Vedanta is universal in its approach and application. It is equally relevant to all countries, all cultures, and all religious backgrounds. Vedanta affirms-
1. The unity of Existence,
2. The divinity of all individual Selves
3. The harmony of all religions, different paths to reach the same Goal,
4. Sincerely and earnest yearning is essential for progress.
5. The Goal of Life - Freedom, Devotion, Knowledge, and Bliss.
6. Ultimate Reality is the source and cause of the whole existence. Reality is all-pervading, Uncreated, self-luminous, and Eternal. It is the only Truth behind all tangible and intangible, sentient and non-sentient, animate and inanimate. Does it mean it is beyond our reach? No. This is closest to us. This Truth is present within our hearts so It is accessible to all.
Cause, the way, and our Birthright: Everyone is Divine. It is as tangible a truth as a fruit lying in the palm of one's own hand. But it is the desire for worldly enjoyment that drags one down to the lower nature. These desires are to be cleansed either by renouncing them from one’s heart or by deifying them. Real nature manifests itself in the absence of the lower nature. Through the experience of God, one's doubts about oneself disappear totally, the 'knots of the heart are cut asunder’. One achieves immortality, one becomes 'perfect as the Father in Heaven is perfect'.
Not only everyone can realize one's own real nature, one's real identity, or God but also it is our birthright to do so. This attainment of immortality is not the prerogative of a chosen few, but the birthright of all. This is the conviction of Vedantin.
Realization is essential: From the religious standpoint Advaita Vedanta is monotheistic and from the philosophical standpoint it is Non-dualistic. It also admits all other views such as Qualified non-dualism, Dualism, etc. According to Vedanta, religion is experiential and not mere acceptance of certain time-honored dogmas, doctrines, or creeds. To know God is to be one with Him. One may study scriptures, engage in rituals, perform social services, or pray with regularity, yet, unless one is lifted to the Divine awareness in one’s own heart, he/she is still a phenomenal being and a victim of distorted identity.
Unity in diversity: The Vedanta philosophy asserts that God, the individual Self, and this seemingly diverse universe are essentially One. The apparent distinctions are being created by names, forms, and utilitarian values. These distinctions vanish when realized from the Ultimate standpoint. According to Vedanta, Existence is non-dual and universal. Therefore, all isms (Dualism, Qualified non-dualism, and Non-dualism) are true and all religions are true and so many paths to reach the Supreme Goal. Accordingly, various deities of the different faiths are in fact diverse manifestations of the same Divine or God. In modern times Sri Ramakrishna, a Godman from India realized this Unity in variety in His own life by practicing various spiritual ways one by one and taught to the world through Swami Vivekananda and other disciples.
Other Weekly Programs
1st Saturday - 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. (April - October)
Karma Yoga by the Friends of Vedanta Retreat
2nd Saturday - 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Karma Yoga Vedanta Temple, Portland
2nd Sunday - 5 pm. -6 p.m.
Serve God in Man Food offering
3rd Saturday - 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (TBA)
at the Vedanta Retreat, Scappoose
Anniversary Puja, or Unwind in Nature, or Antar Yoga,
4th Saturday - 10 a.m. to 1 pm - (TBA)
Or Mother's Cooking Tips
5th Saturday* - 5 p.m. - 6 p.m. (TBA)
Open Devotional Music session
at Holy Mother's House Other functions
*occasional/ To Be Announced
For annual and monthly programs please see Annual activities and monthly bulletins below
Upcoming Special Events
Please browse down to find the flyer near the bottom
Puja in the morning along with daily Puja
Reading after the Vespers
Swami Premananda on December 21, 2023
Christmas Eve, December 24, 2023
Kalpataru Day January 1, 2024
Birth Anniversary of Sri Sarada Devi
January 6, 2024
Swami Shivananda on January 7, 2024
Swami Saradananda on January 16, 2024
Swami Turiyananda on January 24, 2024
Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda
February 3, 2024
Swami Brahmananda on February 11, 2024
Swami Trigunatitananda on February 13, 2024
Sri Saraswati Puja February on 14, 2024
Swami Adbhutananda on February 24, 2024
Shivaratri on March 8, 2024
Birth Anniversary of Sri Ramakrishna on March 16, 2024
Please follow the CDC directives and precautions.
These programs do not need registration and are free, donations are welcome.
Whatever we are today it is due to the effect of our past actions and accumulated impressions. Our past actions were inspired by our thoughts and beliefs. So, if we want to be a better human being we need to improve our thoughts. Our actions will follow our thoughts which in turn will improve our habits, and then will transform our behavior patterns and character.
The misery, weakness, and incompleteness that we experience today are due to the ignorance of our Real Self. The following ways are practiced to remove these weaknesses
Jnana Yoga: By cultivating the right knowledge of our Real Self. The following methods are practiced:
(A) Shravana (hearing, absorbing) —repeated hearing of the Truth with one-pointed devotion that our Real nature, the Innermost Core is Divine.
(B) Manana (cogitation, contemplation) —removal of all doubts by positive contemplation based on robust common sense. Vedanta emphasizes leading a life of virtue and righteousness and also seeking guidance from our Innermost Core. Following this method one sheds off ignorance and a strong conviction grows within for goodness and the Divinity of the Self.
(C) Nididhyasana (being and becoming) —Realization comes to an aspirant based on this conviction. It is being and becoming by constant meditation on the Real Self then translating those thoughts into one’s own natural behavior pattern.
Bhakti Yoga: Same Goal can be achieved through devotion to the personal God with nine kinds of endeavor where wholehearted total surrender to God is the essential part.
Karma Yoga: Similarly, the same Goal can be achieved through selfless service to God that reside in all beings.
Raja Yoga: An aspirant may achieve the same Goal by cessation of all mental waves through meditation and one-pointed concentration.
The Ramakrishna Order, with headquarters in Kolkata, is one of the largest and most respected religious orders in India and in the world. The Order was inspired by the great saint, Sri Ramakrishna, who was born in Bengal in 1836. Shortly before his passing away in 1886, Ramakrishna encouraged his young disciples to formally renounce the world by giving them the ochre cloth of renunciation. He entrusted the care of these young men to his foremost disciple, Swami Vivekananda, who later, in 1897, founded the Ramakrishna Order.
All sincere seekers are cordially welcome to participate in our programs. There is no need of obtaining prior permission to attend our programs.
A newcomer who is interested to know more about Vedantic way of life should seek an appointment with the minister between 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. or between 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., on weekdays. Please write an email and give 2/3 options.
Please park your vehicle at the SW side of the Vedanta Temple.
Please visit the following websites
For Audio lectures of Swami Aseshananda Maharaj
For Videos https://www.vedanta-portland.org/video
The Vedanta Temple of Harmony
at Vedanta Retreat, 23000 Gilkison Rd, Scappoose OR
First Saturdays: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. (April - October) Karma Yoga by the Friends of Vedanta Retreat
The Vedanta Retreat is open from dawn to dusk.
There is no need to obtain prior permission to visit it. Please browse the Retreat section for your other questions and important information.
If you are visiting the Retreat, please park your vehicle on Gilkison Road. Please do not block the two gated fire lanes at any time.
Please be contemplative and do not bring pets.
Please click the above video to watch the history of the Vedanta Society of Portland.
Please click the above video to watch the trails and shrines of the Retreat.
Swami Chandrashekharananda and Swami Aparananda