The weeping and uncontrolled grief of relatives gives departed souls pain and drags them down from their astral planes. This may seriously retard them on their way to the heaven world. This produces serious injury to them. While they are sinking peacefully, and when they are ready to have a glorious awakening in heaven, they are aroused into vivid remembrance of the mundane life by the weeping and wailing of their friends and relatives. The latter's thoughts produce similar vibrations in their minds and produce acute pain and discomfort.
Therefore, relatives and friends should do Kirtan and prayers for the peace of the departed souls. Then only can they really help and comfort them. Collective prayer and Kirtan exercise a tremendous influence."
We also read an inspiring message from Pujya Swami Sahajananda emphasising the importance of meditation in our quest for peace and happiness. Herewith a few excerpts:
"According to Hinduism, in reality we are one with the Eternal Being, and the goal of life is to attain union with the Eternal Being through meditation and prayer. We are all looking for peace and happiness, but the peace and happiness we enjoy in this world is not lasting. To attain everlasting peace and happiness we have to pay the full price, because the bliss we enjoy when in union with God is so marvellous and stupendous that it is indescribable. Therefore, to attain this bliss we have to pay the full price by engaging in arduous meditation and prayer for many years. All the saints had to practise daily meditation for many hours to realise God.
"The inspiring sayings in Sivananda Ghat will definitely make many individuals to begin seeking God. Many are going to change their lifestyle. The sayings will also bring peace and solace to bereaved families. Today, sudden calamities shatter the minds of people. Sivananda Ghat will definitely help such individuals."
Our Guest Speaker, Sri Ganas Lalbahadur, had a long-standing association with Pujya Swamiji and was deeply involved in the negotiations and planning during the development of the Sivananda Ghat building, to make it a reality. In his address, he paid tribute to our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda and Pujya Swami Sahajananda. He also said, "The system of ash disposal has proven itself to be extremely successful. Since it's official opening in 2005, almost 25000 ash disposals and 7000 rituals have taken place at Sivananda Ghat to date. People from far and wide and from around the globe—Australia, Canada, Switzerland and others have come to the Sivananda Ghat to use the facility. Families from other provinces have also come through to use the facility. Some have taken overnight trips to Durban, carrying the ash of the departed ones and meeting family and friends at the Ghat in the morning to do the final disposal.
"In perusing the Visitor's Book, I was pleased to see warm messages of gratitude from many, including Muslims and Christians. I am told that other South African nationalities have also brought ashes of their loved ones to the Ghat. The Sivananda Ghat is bringing people from various faiths and cultures together and putting Sri Swami Sivananda's all-embracing teachings into practice. Apart from the ash disposal, there are vast cultural and educational inspirations in the Sivananda and the Vishwananda halls.
"I was fortunate to serve under Pujya Swamiji during the construction of the Ghat. I am most grateful to Sri Gurudev and Pujya Swamiji for this opportunity. From the very beginning of the project, our Society has had utmost support from the Clare Estate Umgeni Hindu Crematorium and other religious and cultural bodies. In the undertaking, many environmental regulations and decisions from town planning had to be adhered to. The environmental scoping report had to follow public process and thereafter followed with awe-inspiring support for a much-needed facility for the public."
About the disposal of ashes, Pujya Swami Sahajananda wrote, "One of the greatest blessings that departed souls receive is the Grace of Ganga Mata, whose holy water is poured in the basin by members of bereaved families while the ashes of their beloved one are being deposited into it."