The idea of an International Day of Yoga was proposed by Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi. On 11 December 2014, the United Nations proclaimed 21 June 2015, as the International Yoga Day. The first ever! Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General said "By proclaiming 21 June as the International Day of Yoga, the General Assembly has recognized the holistic benefits of this timeless practice and its inherent compatibility with the principles and values of the United Nations."
Sivanandashram in Reservoir Hills and the Sivananda International Cultural Centre in La Mercy attracted a large number of devotees, donors, patrons and well-wishers over the weekend, 10 July and 12 July to celebrate birth anniversary of Pujya Swami Sahajananda, Spiritual Head of the Divine Life Society of South Africa. Swamiji was appointed as Spiritual Head of the Society by the Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda in 1949 and served in this capacity for 58 long years till his passing away on 10 December 2007.
THE MASTER’S SANNYAS ANNIVERSARY
On 1 June Divine Life Society of S.A. observed the sacred day when our Master, Sri Swami Sivananda, donned the ochre robe in 1924.
Divine Life Society of South Africa will celebrate the 90th Birth Anniversary of Pujya Swami Sahajananda, Spiritual Head of the Society, who was born in Estcourt on 10 July 1925 and attained Mahasamadhi (shed his mortal coil) on Monday, 10 December 2007.
The 10th Anniversary of Sivananda Ghat was celebrated on Friday, 1 May 2015. The function attracted a large gathering from all parts of KwaZulu-Natal. Two hundred and fifty devotees participated in the Havan to pray for the peace of departed souls.
Ganga Saptami and Ganga Dussehra were observed on Saturday, 25 April and on the Thursday, 28 May, respectively.
Ganga Saptami commenced with Havan at Sivananda International Cultural Centre at 2pm, followed by a Yatra to the four sacred pools at SICC. The large gathering of devotees was given the opportunity to offer Ganga Jal in each of the four pools, paying homage and seeking Mother Ganga's blessings. The waters of Mother Ganga bless, purify and heal. Ganga Jal was also offered for those who are ill and for the peace of the souls who have departed. Our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda wrote about the healing powers of Mother Ganga. It is possessed of mysterious powers which are not found in any other river in the world.
The Sunlit Path Programme in Raisethorpe, Pietermaritzburg on 17 April 2015, was a great success. Two hundred and fifty six learners (256) from the following ten schools attended: Arthur Blaxall, Carter High, Raisethorpe Secondary, Woodlands Secondary, EPS Secondary, Northbury Park Secondary, Kharina Secondary, Eastwood Secondary, Haythorne Secondary and Silver Heights Secondary. We are indeed extremely pleased to report that 215 learners (83.98%) heeded our call to fill in the pledge to try to stay away from drugs and other social ills.
Pujya Swami Sahajananda's 59th Sannyas Anniversary was observed on Friday, 10 April at Sivanandashram, Reservoir Hills. It was on this day in 1956 that the Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda initiated Pujya Swamiji into the Holy Order of Sannyas. After the Sannyas Ceremony in 1956, the Master said, "Swami Sahajananda is styled as the spiritual king of South Africa, Durban. He is also called the African Chota Guru. He does not want anything. He is a silent worker. He is a man of renunciation, Vairagya and meditation. He is a very good organizer."
The Sunlit Path follow-up programme for Verulam learners was held at the Kraydeb Conference Centre in Verulam on Friday, 6 March 2015. The following five schools participated: Verulam Secondary, Mountview Secondary, Glenhaven Secondary, Sacred Heart Secondary and Waterloo Secondary.
The Kumbha Mela has gained international fame as "the world's most massive act of faith." In India, pilgrims come to this holy event with such tremendous faith and in such overwhelming numbers that it boggles the mind. Faith is the most important thing for the pilgrims at Kumbha Mela, they have an "unflinching trust in something sublime". In India, they came by the millions! Wave after wave, they formed a veritable river of humanity that flowed onto the banks of the Ganges to celebrate the greatest spiritual festival ever held in the history of the world, the Kumbha Mela.