Guru Purnima, the most auspicious day in the calendar of spiritual seekers, is 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 spiritual resolves. This day also marks the Birth Anniversary of the great sage, Sri Vyasa. We pay obeisance to the great sage for his tremendous service to humanity: he performed the awesome task of editing the four Vedas and writing the eighteen Puranas, the Mahabharata and the Srimad Bhagavatam. His legacy is priceless. On Guru Purnima Day, we pay obeisance also to all the Divine Incarnations, Brahma Vidya Gurus and Vedic Rishis, saints and sages for their inestimable contribution to the peace, harmony and spiritual evolution of the planet.
On this most auspicious day of 10 July 2022, we celebrated the 97th Birth Anniversary of one of the foremost Bhaktas and direct disciples of Sri Swami Sivananda, Pujya Swami Sahajananda. Satsangs were held at DLS Ashrams and branches. This report focuses on the online Satsang which began at 5.30pm.
As a young teacher, Sri Srinivasan's soul memory began to stir. He began awakening to his soul mission for this human birth and was drawn to seeking spiritual knowledge. He also began intensifying his spiritual practices. His spiritual journey was catapulted when destiny drew him to a Vedic bookshop in Durban and he was drawn to a book written by Swami Sivananda, whom he had never heard of. This book, Practice of Karma Yoga, teaches the importance of selfless service. Young Srinivasan had the inner realisation that Swami Sivananda was his Guru. When Pujya Swamiji learnt that there was a state of God-realisation, all his academic studies were renounced immediately for a higher life. Swami Sivananda's first injunction was to 'serve'. Thus began the young aspirant's journey to Sannyas and selfless service. It was also a life of spiritual success, rooted in Karma Yoga, and Guru-Bhakti Yoga.
The launch of this most auspicious 41-day Sri Hanuman Chalisa recital took place on Saturday, 30 July 2022 via online audio stream as well an in-person Satsang at Sivanandashram, Reservoir Hills. The programme commenced at 5.30pm with Ganga Arati, followed by invocation, reading and the recital.
To celebrate International Yoga Day this year, Divine Life Society of S.A. Yoga Camp team had a special programme on Sunday, 19 Jun2 2022 to promote and increase awareness of this invaluable gift to mankind. The programme consisted of demonstrations and explanations on specific Hatha Yoga poses. These simple yet effective exercises are for each one to follow and to take up this ancient gift to mankind provided to us by Lord Siva and our ancient sages and seers. This year the theme is "Yoga for Humanity" because this priceless discipline is there for all of mankind to benefit. Yoga is a practice that combines physical, mental and spiritual pursuits to achieve harmony of the body and mind. The net result of Yoga is complete rejuvenation of the entire system of man. Who wouldn't want this?
The theme for the International Youth Day which was celebrated on 12 January 2022, was "It's all in the mind", a key teaching of Swami Vivekananda. On 16 June 2022, Youth Day was celebrated in South Africa. The theme: "Promoting sustainable livelihoods and resilience of young people for a better tomorrow".
The youth of Divine Life Society of South Africa arranged a special online programme on 16 June to celebrate this day. The programme included messages, short stories, meditation on the Peace Series, Bhajans & Kirtans, recital from the Ramayana, an audio message from Pujya Swami Sahajananda and musical & dance items by guest artistes.
In the book Enlightened Education, the Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda, had the following to say about youth: "The youth are the most precious treasure of the nation. Students are an important asset to the country, for leaders all over the land recognise that they are to guide the nation of tomorrow. The present generation of students are the potential leaders in all the different fields of national life of the future.
Ganga Dussehra was celebrated online as well as at Sivanandashram, Reservoir Hills on Thursday, 9 June 2022. In the book, Mother Ganga, our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda gives us a detailed account of the origin of this festival, "Ganga came out of the Supreme Being. She entered the Feet of Lord Hari and reached Vaikuntha. She issued from Go-Loka and passed through the regions of Vishnu, Brahma, Siva, Dhruva, Chandra, Surya, Tapa, Jana and Maha and reached Indra-Loka and flowed as Mandakini. From the celestial regions, Ganga was brought to the earth by rigorous penance of Bhagiratha. It came about like this.
The 73rd Anniversary of Divine Life Society of South Africa, as well as the 17th Anniversary of Sivananda Ghat was celebrated on Sunday, 5 June 2022.
Pujya Swami Sahajananda stated many times, "We are not tired of reiterating that the formation, growth and present status of Divine Life Society of South Africa is due entirely to the Grace of our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda". Regarding the activities of the Society, the Divine Master gave his assurance in his own handwriting: God will look after the divine work. Lord will look after everything.
Some of the main aims of Divine Life Society of South Africa are the dissemination of our Master's literature, humanitarian relief aid projects and the promotion of our glorious Hindu Dharma. Pujya Swamiji worked seven days a week to get the books distributed far and wide. This momentum is being maintained by our press as it continues to churn out the Master's books by the thousands. We are most grateful to all our donors, patrons, well-wishers and devotees who continue to sustain and nurture our Master's Mission in South Africa.
On Wednesday, 1 June 2022, the 98th Sannyas Anniversary of our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda was celebrated online, as well as at Sivanandashram, Reservoir Hills. The morning online programme was held from 6-6.25am with Ganga Arati and a short invocation. The evening online programme commenced with Ganga Arati at 5.30pm.
On 1st June 1924, Sri Swami Vishwananda, observing the burning dispassion in the then Dr Kuppuswamy, initiated him into the Holy Order of Sannyas, as Sri Swami Sivananda Saraswati. Every year on the first of June, we celebrate and observe this most sacred anniversary, this momentous event when our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda, entered into Sannyas. No greater homage to the Master can be conceived than a sincere determination to lead the life that he himself led, a grand life of deep devotion to God.
Ganga Saptami or Ganga Jayanti is celebrated to worship Goddess Mother Ganga. The festival marks the rebirth of Mother Ganga on earth. Devotees offer prayers and take a dip in the holy waters of Ganga at the pilgrimage sites in Rishikesh (Uttarakhand) and Triveni Sangam (Prayagraj). Divine Life Society of S.A. celebrated Ganga Saptami on Saturday, 7 May 2022.
In the book, Lord Siva and His Worship, our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda states, "The Ganga is the most sacred river of India. Lord Krishna says in the Gita: 'I am the Ganga among rivers'.