Divine Life Society of S. A. observed this auspicious event online, via audio stream. Our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda explains beautifully, the significance of this Vrata, which is taken from the book, Hindu Fasts & Festivals.
"Lord Siva describes the glory of this Vrata in the Skanda Purana. It is performed by a woman whose husband is still living. Maha Lakshmi is the abode of auspiciousness, prosperity and wealth.This worship of Her is done to obtain good progeny, and for the health and long life of the husband.
"The Vrata is observed on the Friday immediately preceding the full moon day of the month of Sravan (August-September). After a purificatory bath, the lady should put on clean, fresh clothes and make a mandala with the drawing of a lotus upon it. A kalasha filled with rice and topped with fresh mango leaves, and a coconut and cloth are placed in the mandala. Mother Lakshmi is now invoked therein. Fresh grains are used in the worship as they convey the idea of growth and prosperity.
Our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda, shed his mortal coil on 14 July, 1963 and merged with the Supreme. Today, 57 years after this solemn event, we observed this important day via online audio Satsang on 14 July 2020. There was a morning online Sadhana Programme from 6-6.20am. Ganga Arati in the evening commenced at 5.30pm.
On this auspicious occasion, we acknowledge with deep gratitude, our Divine Master's immeasurable contributions to the world, through his profound writings, Ashrams throughout the world, service activities, spiritual, moral and aesthetic guidance on Hinduism, Yoga and allied topics.
Sri N. Ananthanarayanan states in his book, From Man to God-man, "Sri Gurudev blasted old superstitions about God and religion. In equal measure he exploded modern fairy tales about Yoga and Yogis. By teaching and by personal example, he made it plain that there was no easy way to Moksha or liberation, no short-cut to God. The laborious, orthodox way was the only way. It was the way of service and love, of abstraction and meditation, of dispassion and discrimination".
Om Namo Bhagavade Sivanandaya!
The launch of the 41-day Sri Hanuman Chalisa took place on Thursday, 30 July via online audio stream. Beloved Pujya Swami Sahajananda encouraged all to recite the Sri Hanuman Chalisa for protection, safety, peace and the welfare of the world. In this critical period, collective recital of the Sri Hanuman Chalisa will assist in counteracting the scourges of our times. A verse in the Sri Hanuman Chalisa tells us of the power of the Sri Hanuman Chalisa in assisting the world, Naashai Roga Harai Saba Peera Japata Nirantara Hanumata Beera, which translated means, "All diseases are destroyed and pain and sorrow vanish when your great and powerful Name is repeated incessantly".
We are most grateful to the more than 460 devotees who have pledged to participate in the 41-day recital, and encourage others to join in. Several participants are from across the globe. This 41-day Sadhana is an offering to Sri Hanuman and our Divine Master and will culminate on Tuesday, 8 September, which is the 133rd Birth Anniversary of beloved Gurudev, Sri Swami Sivananda.
“If you find humility, that is a sign of a Yogi, and he must be compassionate. His heart should melt like butter when he sees the sufferings of others. If he finds a starving man, and if he has got a tumbler of milk, he will run to him and give it to him. Of all the qualities that are enumerated in the Gita, humility and compassion are the most important. He who possesses these qualities is a Yogi of the first order. These are the test of a Jivanmukta. So, we all pray for his health, long life, peace and prosperity. Such a person is a rare jewel on this earth. He who is not free from selfishness is a burden on earth, but when he becomes selfless and works for relieving the human suffering, when he has dedicated his life for the service of humanity, he is a divine being on earth.” Our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda was paying tribute to Pujya Swami Sahajananda on 10 April 1956, on the auspicious occasion of Pujya Swamiji’s initiation into the holy order of Sannyas. This message will go down as one of the keynote messages in the history of the Society.
And now, 64 years later, on 10 July 2020, as we celebrate Pujya Swamiji’s 95th Birth Anniversary via online audio Satsang, we reflect upon these qualities that the Master had enumerated and pray that we too, will one day imbibe these divine qualities. Pujya Swamiji was an exceptional Being. The great faith and devotion that he had in the Divine Master, was second to none. He did not question the Master but carried out his instructions implicitly. It is this faith, devotion and obedience that contributed to the growth and development of the Society. It is this faith, devotion and obedience that we should all aspire for.
On this most auspicious Guru Purnima day, the day on which the Guru is worshipped and glorified, the Society arranged four programmes designed to rekindle faith and devotion and to re-dedicate ourselves to our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda and his Mission. Guru Purnima, the most auspicious day in the calendar of spiritual seekers, is also celebrated the world over to worship and offer gratitude and appreciation to the Spiritual Masters for their guidance, spiritual wisdom and enlightenment. It is the day when seekers make fresh resolves on the spiritual path. This day also marks the Birth Anniversary of the great Sage Sri Vyasa. We pay obeisance to the great sage for his unforgettable service to humanity for editing the four Vedas and writing the eighteen Puranas, the Mahabharata and the Srimad Bhagavata.
The first programme commenced at 6am where 767 devotees joined the online programme to pay homage to our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda.
The second programme, a special online cultural programme was video-streamed from 8.30am–9.30am. There were 1269. The video opened with the holy voice of Pujya Swami Sahajananda who outlined details of a Guru-disciple relationship. Beautiful verses are given in the Guru Gita about the glory and the position of the Guru, said Pujya Swamiji. Against the melodious singing in the background of the Bhajan "Deva Deva Sivananda" and "Satgurudev Sivananda",viewers were moved as they had the rare privilege of being witness to the sacred Pada Puja of our Divine Master.
Divine Life Society of South Africa partnered with the Divine Health Forum to establish the Sivananda Wentworth Hospital Flu Clinic to assist in the control and spread of Covid 19. The clinic is operational and is playing a pivotal role in the health care of patients at the hospital. We express gratitude and appreciation to our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda and Pujya Swami Sahajananda for the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to the control of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Society urges all devotees, well-wishers and patrons to participate in our online Satsang programmes during this most auspicious Guru Purnima period. Please find below, a schedule of special Satsangs in July (Table A), as well as a Suggested Home Satsang Programme (Table B) which can be used by devotees for home Satsangs.
Om Namo Bhagavade Sivanandaya! Our Youth Day was celebrated online on Tuesday, 16 June 2020. The Programme was compiled and directed by our youth with the view to giving them the opportunity to develop and share ideas. As future leaders of our Society and the community at large, investing in the moral and spiritual education and training of the youth to enable them to assume responsible positions to lead the nation in a spirit of selflessness is imperative. There are right now 1.8 billion youngsters between the ages of 10 and 24 on the planet. This is the biggest youth populace ever. Youth symbolises high vitality and energy and if guided properly, they will offer much to the world. The youth at Divine Life Society of S.A. have shown that they are capable of selfless and silent leadership, which is one of the core teachings of our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda and Pujya Swami Sahajananda.
The 71st Anniversary of Divine Life Society of S.A. and the 15th Anniversary of Sivananda Ghat was celebrated via our online Satsang programmes on Friday, 5 June 2020. It must be reiterated, wrote Pujya Swami Sahajananda, that the growth and development of the Society is due entirely to the Grace of our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda. We are deeply indebted to our Divine Master and Pujya Swamiji for their much-needed guidance these past 71 years.
A very appropriate article (Blessings in Disguise) was selected from the booklet, Solving the Problems of Kali Yuga, which was edited and adapted by Sri Swami Sahajananda. It goes as follows, "Adversities, trials, difficulties, calamities, diseases, afflictions, pains and sufferings are all blessings in disguise. They strengthen the will and increase the power of endurance. They turn the mind more and more towards God. They instil in us discrimination and dispassion. They draw out our latent faculties. They force us to perform even beyond our ability. They develop all the talents and capacities lying dormant within us.