Om Namo Bhagavade Sivanandaya

Established in 1949 by Sri Swami Sivananda

Sri Swami Sivananda's 99th Sannyas Anniversary was observed on 1 June 2023 at Sivanandashram, Reservoir Hills. There was a morning Sadhana programme from 6am until 6.25am, when devotees gathered for a short Sadhana programme, followed by circumambulation of Sahaja Kutir and a visit to Sivananda Sahajananda Diamond Jubilee Centre. There was Akhanda Chanting of the Sri Ram Jaya Ram Jaya Jaya Ram Om Mantra throughout the day from 5.00am to 5.00pm. Satsang commenced with Ganga Arati at 5.30pm.
The Satsang programme comprised Kirtans, Bhajans, a reading based on N. Ananthanarayanan's book, From Man to Godman, Pujya Swami Sahajananda's audio message and a multi-media presentation by our youth boys.

In the inspiring reading, we learnt of the Master's longing to tread the spiritual path, his burning dispassion for the world and his yearning for God. The real aim of human existence was made apparent to the Divine Master in Malaya (now Malaysia) after reading the book, Jiva-Brahma Aikya Vedenta Rahasyam, given to him by Swami Satchidananda. The Master now developed an ardent desire to tread the spiritual path and unlock the realms of immortality.

Sivananda Ghat is a post-cremation public facility situated in Durban alongside the Umgeni River, and is fulfilling its primary function of providing a safe and dignified facility for the disposal of the cremated ash of all race groups since 2005. The monthly All Souls' Day Satsang and Havan is held at Sivananda Ghat on the 1st day of each month. Since inception of Sivananda Ghat in June 2005, a Special All Souls' Day Satsang and Mahayajna is held on 1 May of each year. However, during the lockdown, the Special All Souls' Day Satsang and Mahayajna was suspended for three years – the last such function being held in 2019. Against this background, the All Souls' Day Special Satsang and Mahayajna held on Monday 1 May 2023 at Sivananda Ghat was a welcome opportunity for those who lost loved and dear ones during the lockdown through the Covid-19 pandemic, to find some degree of closure. Approximately 500 persons attended this function.

The programme on 1 May 2023 commenced with Ganga Arati at 2pm, followed by Satsang. The Satsang programme comprised of Kirtans, Bhajans, messages by our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda and Pujya Swami Sahajananda, chanting of the Om Namah Sivaya Mantra, and an address by the guest-of-honour, Mr Thegraj Kassie, an official of the Clare Estate Umgeni Hindu Crematorium.

In the article, Ganga, Sri Swami Sivananda says, "The Ganga is the most sacred river of India. The origin of the Ganga is ascribed to celestial glory. Lord Krishna says in the Gita: 'I am the Ganga among rivers'".

The Master continues in the aforementioned article, "For a Hindu, the word Ganga has its own sacred association. Every Hindu thirsts for a dip in the Ganga, and for a drop of its water at the time of his death. Aspirants and mendicants build their huts on the banks of the Ganga for practising penance and meditation. Bhishma spoke very highly of the glory of the Ganga in his parting instructions to the Pandavas from his bed of arrows.

"In the Satya Yuga, all places were sacred. In the Treta Yuga, Pushkara was considered the most holy place. In the Dvapara Yuga, Kurukshetra was regarded as the most sacred place. In Kali Yuga, the Ganga has that glory. Devi Bhagavata says: 'He who utters the name of Ganga even from hundreds of miles afar is freed from sins and attains the abode of Lord Hari'".

On 10th April 2023, the 67th Anniversary of Sri Swami Sahajananda's Sannyas was observed by devotees, donors and well-wishers of Divine Life Society of South Africa. At Sivanandashram, Reservoir Hills, devotees gathered for a short morning Sadhana programme from 6am until 6.25am, and thereafter imbibed the sacred vibrations of Pujya Swamiji's sacred Kutir, followed by a visit to Sahaja Kutir and the Sivananda Sahajananda Diamond Jubilee Hall. Akhanda Chanting continued from 5.00am to 4.00pm in the sacred and serene surroundings of Ganga Rani, with circumambulation of the Ganga Rani pool, and the soothing sound of flowing water in the background.

The evening Satsang commenced with Ganga Aarti at 4.00pm. The programme comprised Kirtans, Bhajans, a reading from Bliss Divine written by our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda, and an inspiring audio message by Pujya Swami Sahajananda. Devotees had the opportunity to visit Pujya Swamiji's Kutir and the Diamond Jubilee Hall after the evening Satsang as well.

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Gurudev Centenary 2024

Sri Swami Sivananda

(1887 - 1963)

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