Now, 130 years later, devotees of Divine Life Society of S.A. from all parts of the country, gathered in large numbers to pay homage and celebrate the glorious life of this great saint who bestowed bountiful gifts on the country and the world at large. The 130th Birth Anniversary of our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda was celebrated on two days. The actual day, being 8 September at Sivanandashram, Reservoir Hills and on Sunday, 10 September at the Sivananda International Cultural Centre in La Mercy. For the purpose of the website, the report is divide into three parts. The Celebrations on the Friday, 8th, Sunday 10th and reports from viewers on the live streaming of these celebrations.
This report is devoted to the spiritual activities of 8 September. The day commenced at 6am. Devotees from various parts of the country gather at Sivanandashram, Reservoir Hills, to pay homage to the Master. The programme in the evening commenced at 5pm. After a special Birthday song on 8 September, the DVD, Wisdom of Sivananda, Volume 2 was released by a senior devotee. It contains the teachings and philosophy of our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda. In these 10 episodes, the Master administers spiritual injections to his disciples, sometimes in serious tones and when the occasion demanded it, in a jocular style. His interaction with children also brought out his godlike personality. This multi-media production should be treasured as a guide for spiritual seekers.
The Master's autobiographical message was extracted from the article "How God Came into my Life". We quote an excerpt from this inspiring article: "Cosmic Consciousness is not an accident or chance. It is the summit, accessible by a thorny path that has steep, slippery steps. I have ascended them, step by step, the hard way; but at every stage I have experienced God coming into my life and lifting me easily to the next step."
In an audio message Pujya Swami Sahajananda said, "People are not going towards God, so we have to suffer. It applies to all of us. It's necessary in this period that you will think about Gurudev and call for him. Wherever you are, if your feel there is trouble and you are afraid, then you must silently call for him within and you will feel that you will get the strength. The whole secret in spiritual life can be given in one word, it is to surrender. If you want peace in the shortest possible time, immediately−if you want instant peace, then you must give instant surrender. But, that instant surrender won't come until you practise it for a long time. Perhaps if you are very advanced, it might suddenly come, but in most cases, it has to be practised again and again until you are perfect and when you are perfect you will find that it will never go away. Whatever calamity takes place, your faith and self-surrender will not be shaken because it settles in the heart and not in the head."
Two professionally executed dances by Sri Manesh Maharaj added to the grandeur of the celebrations. The Dance "Gayiye Ganapati", in praise of Lord Ganesha was vibrant and energetic. With graceful movements, Sri Manesh Maharaj highlighted and expounded the visual beauty of the Lord's qualities in Sri Ramachandra Kripalu.
Our Chief Guest of Honour, Sri Rajesh Lutchman, Chief Operations Officer of Hindi Shiksha Sangh, beautifully explored four qualities in the life of Sri Swami Sivananda: Humanity, Bhakti, Education and Discipline. He said, "Swami Sivananda's discipline was not a discipline of the rod but emanated from a deep sense of love−an inherent goodness that wanted to awaken the goodness in others." He said that Swami Sivananda left behind a message of love and goodwill. He ended with the words, "Your salvation is dependent upon your own effort."
We conclude this report with the thought provoking words of the Master, taken from his autobiography, parts of which were read at the Satsang: "When man gets entangled in selfishness, greed, lust and hatred, he naturally forgets what is beneath his own skin. Materialism and scepticism reign supreme. He gets irritated by small things and begins to fight. In short man is miserable. The doctor's profession gave me ample evidence of the sufferings of this world. I renounced the world, and felt that I belong to the whole world.
"A course of severe self-discipline and penance endowed me with enough strength to move unscathed amidst the vicissitudes of the world-phenomena. And I began to feel the great good it would be to humanity if I could share this new vision with one and all. I called my instrument of work 'The Divine Life Society'."