PUJYA SWAMI SAHAJANANDA'S 16TH MAHASAMADHI ANNIVERSARY: SUNDAY 10 DECEMBER 2023 (ENGLISH CALENDAR)
Divine Life Society of South Africa observed Pujya Swami Sahajananda's 16th Mahasamadhi Anniversary on Sunday 10 December 2023 (English calendar) at Sivanandashram, Reservoir Hills. Hundreds of devotees, well-wishers and donors paid homage to one of the great saints of South Africa. Amongst the guests were Mr and Mrs Vivek Katare (Consulate and Community Affairs) from the Indian Consulate, Durban.
The programme commenced with a morning Sadhana Programme from 6am to 7am, which included the recital of the Sri Hanuman Chalisa three times, for peace, protection and the well-being of the entire world. Devotees paid obeisance at the sacred Sahaja Kutir, Pujya Swamiji's Kutir and the Sivananda-Sahajananda Diamond Jubilee Centre. This was followed by breakfast and a tour of the Society's printing presses and the Sivananda Expo. It was in the printing presses where Pujya Swamiji worked tirelessly for 58 years printing Sri Swami Sivananda's books and distributing these to all parts of the country and across the world, with distinction.
Divine Life Society of South Africa celebrates its anniversary on three days. Our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda, 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. Hence, the 74th Anniversary of Divine Life Society of South Africa was celebrated on Saturday 11 November 2023 at Sivanandashram, Reservoir Hills. The programme comprised Kirtans, Bhajans, an audio message by Pujya Swami Sahajananda, Spiritual Head of the Society, and the reading of three letters written to Pujya Swamiji by Sri Swami Sivananda, urging him to open a Branch of the Society in South Africa (including the letter dated 11 November 1949).
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.