Om Namo Bhagavade Sivanandaya

Established in 1949 by Sri Swami Sivananda

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).

Divine Life Society of South Africa has been participating in the Parliament of the World's Religions since 1999. Pujya Swami Sahajananda advised that Divine Life Society of South Africa be represented at all Parliaments to inform the world of the divine personality of Sri Swami Sivananda, his contributions to South Africa and the world at large, and to promote and disseminate his spiritual literature. In 2023, the Parliament of World's Religions was held in Chicago at the McCormick Place Convention Centre from 14 to 18 August 2023. The theme of the Parliament was "A Call to Conscience: Defending Freedom & Human Rights". Gurudev's books were sold at the Divine Life of Society of S.A. Exhibition Booth in conformance with Pujya Swamiji's directive to take Sri Gurudev's literature across the world.

The Society made 3 presentations, namely 2 workshops and one panel discussion. The Society also printed a 42-page brochure containing the life and works of Sri Swami  Sivananda and Pujya Swami Sahajananda, the Society's initiatives and work, our Ashrams, a book catalogue and a Donation Pledge Form. Three hundred brochures were distributed at the Parliament, namely at the bookstore, at our presentations, and to visitors who showed an interest in the Society's work. This ensured the awareness of our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda, his work in South Africa, Pujya Swami Sahajananda's contributions to the religious, spiritual, social, cultural and moral regeneration of South Africa.

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Gurudev Centenary 2024

Sri Swami Sivananda

(1887 - 1963)

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