The programme commenced at 6am with the recital of the Sri Hanuman Chalisa 11 times. Thereafter, the local chapter of the Arya Samaj conducted the sacred Havan ceremony, which brought together participants representing various Hindu organizations in Estcourt.
For the second session of the programme, the venue shifted to the adjacent Maha Gayatri Mandir where continuous chanting of the Sri Ram Mantra was conducted for 45 minutes. Thereafter, a senior devotee from Sivananda Clinic, Reservoir Hills, presented a health talk on the effective use of the castor oil pack to assist with the negative effects of various ailments. Excerpts from the Society’s publication ‘Secrets to Good Health’ were also read, and a lively question and answer session followed thereafter. A youth member from our Pietermaritzburg branch kept the audience attentive as they witnessed a simple yet professional Yoga Asana demonstration. The presentation included techniques for the daily performance of the Asanas, as well as the benefits of practising the spiritual exercises.
The main programme took place at 10am at the Swami Sahajananda Community Centre. In their combined message, Sri Gurudev and Pujya Swamiji spoke on the glory of our Hindu Dharma and importance of daily prayer. Sri Gurudev said the following; “0 Hindus, only when all of you are united will you have the proper strength to defend yourself and do good to the country. United you stand, divided you fall. Unity is strength”. It is against this backdrop that various Hindu organizations from Estcourt participated in the programme. One such organization was the Ramakrishna Centre of SA, Estcourt Satsang Group, who rendered soulful Bhajans. One of the Bhajans was a dedication to Mother Ganga, which Pujya Swami Sahajananda was very fond of.
In the programme overview, mention was made regarding the role of youth as torch bearers of Hindu Dharma. The Spiritual Darlings of Estcourt offered 3 presentations at the Lotus feet of our Master and the Deities. Items included, a delightful dance rendition set to the popular Bhajan ‘Saraswati Ma Sharade’, an entertaining yet thought provoking and educational play on Hindu symbols and rituals, and the last presentation was the recital of verses from the sacred Ramayana, which was set to musical accompaniment. All the items were of a high standard and were well-rehearsed. Some Spiritual Darlings participated in all 3 items which required them to memorize by heart all the content for their items.
As the function drew to a close the teachings of our Divine Master contained in the following words summarized the proceedings for the day. Our Master said, “The more you know of the great Hindu religion, the more you will honour it, love it and feel proud of it. The more you study and practise its various teachings, the more will it enlighten and satisfy your heart”. Pujya Swami Sahajananda introduced these campaigns to equip Hindus with the knowledge of Hindu Dharma in an effort to curb conversion without being ‘anti any religion’.
We are also delighted to announce that Divine Life Society of SA was instrumental in erecting the super structure for a hall at the Drakensburg Secondary School in Estcourt. Once the project has been completed, the hall will be named after our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda.