The organisers of the Sunlit Path Programme are pleased to report that the programme held on Friday, 14 August 2015 in Phoenix, was a success in many respects. Although this was a follow-up programme, the organisers did not want to deny enthusiastic new learners the opportunity to attend. This decision was justified by the fact that 40 new pledges were signed by the newcomers to try to stay away from drug addiction and other social ills. The behaviour of the learners was exceptional and their ability to respond to questions was also praiseworthy. Our host school, A.M. Moolla Spes Nova School, attended for the first time and the committee gladly incorporated 20 new learners from this school into the programme. The following seven secondary schools participated: A.M. Moolla Spes Nova School, Stanmore, Havenpark, Sastri Park, Grove End, Palmview and Solvista.
The most auspicious Guru Purnima was observed by Divine Life Society of South Africa on Friday, 31 July. This day of worship of one's preceptor is a day of pure joy to the sincere spiritual aspirant. Thrilled by the expectation of offering their reverent homage to the beloved Guru, devotees assembled with eagerness and devotion at Sivanandashram, Reservoir Hills at 6am. After Ganga Arati and a short invocation, they proceeded to Sahaja Kutir, the little abode where Pujya Swamiji meditated for many years. They imbibed the peaceful vibrations from these precincts. Thereafter they went to Pujya Swamiji’s sacred room and to the Sahajananda Diamond Jubilee Centre for Darshan. The monthly Havan also fell on this day and devotees present received the blessings of the Deities and our Divine Master during this sacred ceremony. Special Mantras for rain were also chanted during the Havan ceremony.
“Today is a special day in your lives—a day, when you will embrace change and decide to accept responsibility. Today, you will ignite the process in your minds that will light up the path of your life.” These are the inspiring words of Mr V. Motheeram, Principal of Crossmoor Secondary and educator with 38 years experience.Mr Motheeram was addressing 128 learners in the Chatsworth region who attended the follow-up Sunlit Path workshop organised by Divine Life Society of South Africa at Sivananda Sunlit Path Centre in Rose Heights Road, Arena Park on Friday, 24 July. The following secondary schools attended: Apollo, Arena Park, Montarena, Crossmoor, Southlands, Meadowlands, Wingen Heights and Marklands.
The idea of an International Day of Yoga was proposed by Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi. On 11 December 2014, the United Nations proclaimed 21 June 2015, as the International Yoga Day. The first ever! Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General said "By proclaiming 21 June as the International Day of Yoga, the General Assembly has recognized the holistic benefits of this timeless practice and its inherent compatibility with the principles and values of the United Nations."
Sivanandashram in Reservoir Hills and the Sivananda International Cultural Centre in La Mercy attracted a large number of devotees, donors, patrons and well-wishers over the weekend, 10 July and 12 July to celebrate birth anniversary of Pujya Swami Sahajananda, Spiritual Head of the Divine Life Society of South Africa. Swamiji was appointed as Spiritual Head of the Society by the Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda in 1949 and served in this capacity for 58 long years till his passing away on 10 December 2007.
THE MASTER’S SANNYAS ANNIVERSARY
On 1 June Divine Life Society of S.A. observed the sacred day when our Master, Sri Swami Sivananda, donned the ochre robe in 1924.
Divine Life Society of South Africa will celebrate the 90th Birth Anniversary of Pujya Swami Sahajananda, Spiritual Head of the Society, who was born in Estcourt on 10 July 1925 and attained Mahasamadhi (shed his mortal coil) on Monday, 10 December 2007.
The 10th Anniversary of Sivananda Ghat was celebrated on Friday, 1 May 2015. The function attracted a large gathering from all parts of KwaZulu-Natal. Two hundred and fifty devotees participated in the Havan to pray for the peace of departed souls.
Ganga Saptami and Ganga Dussehra were observed on Saturday, 25 April and on the Thursday, 28 May, respectively.
Ganga Saptami commenced with Havan at Sivananda International Cultural Centre at 2pm, followed by a Yatra to the four sacred pools at SICC. The large gathering of devotees was given the opportunity to offer Ganga Jal in each of the four pools, paying homage and seeking Mother Ganga's blessings. The waters of Mother Ganga bless, purify and heal. Ganga Jal was also offered for those who are ill and for the peace of the souls who have departed. Our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda wrote about the healing powers of Mother Ganga. It is possessed of mysterious powers which are not found in any other river in the world.
The Sunlit Path Programme in Raisethorpe, Pietermaritzburg on 17 April 2015, was a great success. Two hundred and fifty six learners (256) from the following ten schools attended: Arthur Blaxall, Carter High, Raisethorpe Secondary, Woodlands Secondary, EPS Secondary, Northbury Park Secondary, Kharina Secondary, Eastwood Secondary, Haythorne Secondary and Silver Heights Secondary. We are indeed extremely pleased to report that 215 learners (83.98%) heeded our call to fill in the pledge to try to stay away from drugs and other social ills.