Om Namo Bhagavade Sivanandaya

Established in 1949 by Sri Swami Sivananda

Divine Life Society of South Africa hosted a Deepavali Satsang at Sivanandashram, Reservoir Hills on Sunday, 12 November 2023. Ganga Arati commenced at 4pm followed by Satsang. The programme comprised Kirtans, Bhajans and a reading entitled, "The Indestructible Divine Seed" by Sri Swami Sivananda. Excerpts from the reading are captured below, and aptly capture the significance of this auspicious festival.

"Light, light, dazzling light everywhere! May our obeisance be to the Light of Lights, Brahman or God!

"Deepavali is one of the numerous celebrations to which we are heir and which takes us at once back to the thought of our Godhead. This particular festival has a deep significance in several directions.

The 74th Anniversary of Divine Life Society of South Africa was celebrated on Wednesday 18 October 2023 at Sivanandashram, Reservoir Hills. Sri Swami Sivananda, founder of the Divine Life Society in Rishikesh, India, sent three letters to Sri V Srinivasan (later Sri Swami Sahajananda) to start a branch in this country. The first letter was sent on 18 October 1949, the second on 11 November 1949, and the third on 5 June 1951. Divine Life Society of South Africa thus celebrates its anniversary on 3 days.

The Anniversary Satsang on 18 October 2023 coincided with the Navaratri celebrations. The programme comprised Kirtans, Bhajans, Pujya Swami Sahajananda's audio message, a reading on the "Glory of the Divine Mother" and letters by Sri Swami Sivananda to Pujya Swami Sahajananda.

Navaratri was observed by Divine Life Society of S.A. from Sunday 15 October 2023 until Monday 23 October 2023, and Vijaya Dasami was celebrated on Tuesday 24 October 2024. At Sivanandashram, Reservoir Hills, the Vijaya Dasami programme comprised Kirtans, Bhajans, a poem by Sri Swami Sivananda and adapted articles from Sri Swami Sivananda's book, Hindu Fasts and Festivals.

Navaratri will be celebrated from Sunday, 15 October 2023 until Monday, 23 October 2023. Daily Satsang will take place at some of our branches and Ashrams. Daily Satsang at Sivanandashram, Reservoir Hills commences at 5:30pm with Ganga Arati. All are lovingly invited to attend this sacred period of devotion to the Divine Mother. 

In respect of Sri Ganesha Chaturthi and the Ganesha Vrata, the Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda says in Hindu Gods and Goddesses, "Ganesha Chaturthi is one of the most popular of Hindu festivals. This is the birthday of Ganesha. It is the day most sacred to Lord Ganesha. It is observed on the fourth day of the bright fortnight of Bhadrapada throughout India. Clay figures of the Deity are made, and after being worshipped for two days, or in some cases ten days, are thrown into water.

"The yearly Ganesh Chaturthi Puja that is thus observed throughout India is the festival version of the Ganesh Vrata that has become enjoined as a compulsory observance, as a matter of tradition. Apart from this annual Puja, the Ganesh Vrata–also known by the name of Siddhi-Vinayaka Vratam – is done as a special Vrata for the attainment of some particular end in view, usually for clearing oneself of false and unjust accusations and charges, recovering lost objects, regaining lost status, and removal of obstacles in an enterprise. It is to be performed on the fourth day of the dark fortnight. It consists of elaborate worship of Lord Ganesha with Shodashopachara (a 16- step worship) and various offerings, after appropriate Sankalpa (desire).

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