The auspicious Maha Sivaratri Satsang will be observed by Divine Life Society of S.A. as per the details on the banner above. Devotees are lovingly invited to attend.
Divine Life Society of South Africa joined the world in commemorating the Pran Pratishtha of the historic Ram Mandir in Ayodhya on Monday 22 January 2024, led by Prime Minister of India, the Honourable Narendra Modi.
Lord Rama has been glorified extensively by our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda, and is the Ishta Devata of Pujya Swami Sahajananda. Hence, devotees of Divine Life Society of South Africa hold Lord Rama in great reverence and close to their hearts.
In his article in a chapter from the book Essence of Ramayana, Swami Sivananda says:
"Rama was Lord Hari Himself, incarnate on earth for the destruction of Ravana. He was well accomplished, beautiful and endowed with royal marks. He was the foremost of those who were skilled in the use of bows and arrows. He was born of the Ikshvaku line. He had his sway all over the world...
"He was wise and virtuous. He was effulgent like the sun, in forgiveness like the earth, in intelligence like Brihaspati, in frame like Vasava, in prowess like Indra. He observed ascetic vows and honoured saints. He would forget hundreds of evils done to Him but would gratefully remember a single act of kindness, ever shown.
"In the leisure of his martial exercises, he had discussions on the Sastras with the wise and the aged people. He always followed the right in every walk of his life and never swerved from his royal duties.
"Sri Rama is an Avatara of Lord Hari. Lakshmana is an Avatara of Adisesha. Bharata and Satrughna are Avataras of the conch and discus. Sita is an Avatara of Sri Lakshmi.
"Sri Rama's life was a life of holy obedience, of stainless purity, of matchless simplicity, laudable contentment, commendable self-sacrifice and remarkable renunciation. He paid equal respect to his mother and his stepmothers and revered his Guru".
The programme for the commemoration of the Ayodhya Ram Mandir Consecration at Sivanandashram, Reservoir Hills, comprised Akhanda Chanting of the Om Sri Ram Jaya Ram Jaya Jaya Ram Mantra from 5.00am – 4.00pm, a Homa from 4.30 to 5pm, followed by circumambulation of the beautiful Ganga Rani pool with chanting of the Om Sri Ram Jaya Ram Jaya Jaya Ram Mantra. Ganga Arati commenced at 5.30pm followed by Satsang. The Satsang programme comprised readings, Kirtans and Bhajans dedicated to Lord Rama, chanting of Lord Rama's Mantra and a video on the Pran Pratishtha ceremony in Ayodhya, held earlier in the day.
Readings from N. Ananthanarayanan's book From Man to God-Man, were appropriate to this momentous occasion, and aptly captured the greatness of this historic event. The Master embarked on a two-month tour of India and Sri Lanka on 9 September 1950, "to preach and teach, to serve and love, to console, comfort and cheer, and to bring new hope into the lives of millions all over India". Ananthanarayanan says that "the main object of the tour was to disseminate spiritual knowledge, to spread the glory of the Lord's Name, to awaken the masses from the slumber of ignorance, and to teach the younger generation the methods of maintaining celibacy and a high standard of health through the practice of Asanas, Pranayama and other Yogic Kriyas". The author quotes the Master's wish in the course of a discourse near the Janmabhoomi Temple in Ayodhya, when the Master said, "Sri Rama is not only the son of Dasaratha. He is the all-pervading Para Brahman. His name is all powerful. On this sacred spot, which was trodden by the Lotus Feet of Lord Rama, I wish there were a Sanskrit college, and a college where people will learn the Ramayana. By His Grace this will come to be". Indeed, the Master's prediction some 74 years ago has materialised, for indeed, by His (Lord Rama's) Grace, the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya has come to be after hundreds of years of uncertainty, perseverance and sheer determination of His devotees.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his inaugural address on 22 January 2024 said that the construction of the Ram Temple is a reflection of the maturity of the Indian society. He added that Ayodhya's temple is a temple of national consciousness in the form of Ram.
May the illustrious life and spirit of Lord Rama inspire us all to aspire to emulate his Divine qualities. May the Ram Mandir be a beacon of hope for thirsting humanity and guide us all to greater spiritual heights. Swami Sivananda's most profound words resonate for posterity. Of the Ramayana and Lord Rama's life, the Master says, "The noblest lesson embodied in the Ramayana is the supreme importance of righteousness in the life of every human being. Righteousness is the spiritual spark of life. Cultivation of righteousness is the process of the unfoldment of the latent divinity in man. The glorious incarnation of the Supreme Being, as Lord Rama, has exemplified through his own life, how to follow the path of righteousness. Let mankind follow in His footsteps and practise the ideals cherished by Him, for it is only thus that there can be everlasting peace, prosperity and welfare in this world".
The first event of Divine Life Society of South Africa's Centenary Celebrations (2024 – 2025), was hosted by our Rydalvale, Westham and Stonebridge Branches at the Rydalvale Ramayan Mundalee (Shree Raam Mandir) in Phoenix on Sunday 11 February 2024. The Celebration was attended by approximately 450 - 500 devotees, well-wishers, members of the public, members of other Hindu organisations, and donors.
It is important to preface this report with the reasons for the Society's Centenary Celebrations. A 100 years ago on 1st June 1924, His Holiness, Sri Swami Sivananda Saraswati was ordained as a Sannyasin. His spiritual aura spread across India and the world, and in 1949, Divine Life Society of South Africa was formed by our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda, with Sri Swami Sahajananda as the secretary. Hence, the Society is celebrating the centenary of Sri Swami Sivananda's Sannyas Anniversary, and the 75th Anniversary of Divine Life Society of South Africa in 2024. In 2025, the Society will celebrate the 100th Birth Anniversary of Sri Swami Sahajananda.