The Day of Descent of Divine Grace was celebrated on Friday, 1 March 2009 at Sivanandashram Reservoir Hills. About this auspicious day, Pujya Swamiji wrote: "I myself had the Grace of our Divine Master when an unusual power of his descended in me. It happened on 1st March this year. When the power descended there was a little disturbance in the beginning but within a few days it settled down. Now there is no change in the descent of the power. I could not believe that the Master would grant me such Divine Grace, a Grace that I do not deserve. If devotees saw my attitude some five years ago and my attitude now, they would be quite surprised that such a tremendous change could take place."
The Sunlit Path maintenance programme that was held on Thursday, 21 February 2019, at the Sivananda Sunlit Path Centre in Chatsworth, was attended by 53 learners from the following schools: Meadowlands Technical High School, Crossmoor Secondary and Woodhurst Secondary. In the welcome address, we informed learners that this programme will not only assist them to overcome drug addiction and other social ills, but will also contribute to academic success and enable them to enjoy a well-balanced life.
Mahasivaratri which means "the great Night of Siva" was observed at all Ashrams and branches of Divine Life Society of S.A on Monday, 4 March 2019. The programme at Sivanandashram, Reservoir Hills comprised messages from our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda, an audio message from Pujya Swami Sahajananda, a DVD by the Master entitled, Wisdom of Sivananda, recorded Bhajans by our Master and Pujya Swamiji, Bhajans & Kirtans by devotees, chanting and offering of bael leaves to the sacred Siva Linga, video & power-point presentations, an audio recording of a play, "Old Drum New Palace" written by Sri Swami Sivananda, dances, readings, sacred Mantras in praise of Lord Siva and classical dances. The programme was further enhanced by the melodious Bhajans and Kirtans, classical dances and musical renditions by the following guest artists: Ketan Parshotam and daughter Jiya, Sri Solly Pillay & Troupe, Sri Manesh Maharaj, Kumari Roanna Moodley, Sri Jay Udith & team and Sivananda Dance Academy. We express our heartfelt gratitude to them for their divine outpourings and professionally executed presentations.
In the reading on the "Glory of Sivaratri" written by our Divine Master, Lord Siva told Parvati, "The hunter was able to enter My abode and ward off death by simple fasting and offering of a few Bilva leaves, however involuntary it might be, because it was the night of Sivaratri. Such is the solemnity and sacredness associated with the night!"
This most auspicious event was observed at the Sivananda International Cultural Centre, La Mercy, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa on Sunday, 3 March 2019. The function commenced with a Ganga Havan at 7am at the Bhagirathi Hall which has three Ganga fountains with water cascading from one fountain to the other. It is extremely beautiful. The sound of cascading water has a soothing effect on the mind.
The honour of unveiling the 2019 Centenary Picture of the Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda, which took place at the first Sivananda Day Satsang for 2019 at SICC on Sunday, 5 January, was accorded to Sri Rabichand Deonarain, a senior devotee who was associated with Pujya Swamiji since 1950. We reproduce herewith the speech delivered by Sri Deonarain before the unveiling:
“The dates 1 June 2024 and 10 July 2025, mark the centenary of two important events in the calendar of Divine Life Society of South Africa: the Sannyas Anniversary of Sri Swami Sivananda and the Birth Anniversary of Sri Swami Sahajananda, respectively. The Society will be releasing a number of publications as part of the centenary celebrations.
Pujya Swamiji's 11th Mahasamadhi Anniversary was observed on 8 December (according to the Sanskrit Calendar) and on 10 December (according to the English Calendar). Pujya Swamiji, who was the torch-bearer of the Divine Master's teachings in the country and also abroad, withdrew from his physical body on 10 December 2007. At the time of his passing, scores of tributes were paid to this godlike disciple of the Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda, but perhaps none more significant than the one paid by the Divine Master himself on 10 April 1956, when Pujya Swami was initiated into the Holy Order of Sannyas. The Master said: "So we rejoice today heartily, because we have amidst us a noble personality, a spiritual personality, a Bala Yogi, a Bala Swami, Sri Swami Sahajananda. Whenever a noble function takes place, the Devas are pleased. So, we had a very good shower today, and now we have a cool atmosphere. So, we are able to celebrate the function joyously. You may ask, "Why there is no rain of flowers?" That also there is. The Devas rain flowers. Swami Sahajananda is styled as the spiritual king of South Africa, Durban. He is also called the African Chota Guru. He does not want anything. He is a silent worker. He is a man of renunciation, Vairagya and meditation. He is a very good organizer. He has organized some 20 branches of the Divine Life Society in South Africa".
The Parliament of the World's Religions which took place in Toronto, Canada, from 1-7 November, was represented by 220 faiths and about 8 000 delegates. The delegation from Divine Life Society of S.A. presented a successful workshop entitled, "Eradicating the Universal Scourge of Drug Addiction and other Social Ills: A Spiritual Solution". The workshop was well attended with one attendee making detailed notes while the workshop was in progress. Another individual, who also attended our practice session, said that the workshop had its desired impact on him. He asked for a copy of the pledge form and the checklist, used in our Sunlit Path Programme.
NAVARATRI OR DURGA PUJA- SRI SWAMI SIVANANDA
During Navaratri (literally meaning "nine nights") Earnest spiritual aspirants of Durga observe a fast or take milk and fruit only on all the nine days, or at least once in each of the three-day periods. Brahmins are fed and prayers are offered for the protection of health and property. Durga Puja is the greatest Hindu Festival in which God is adored as Mother. Hinduism is the only religion in the world which has emphasised to such an extent the motherhood of God. One's relationship with one's mother is the dearest and the sweetest of all human relations, Hence, it is proper to look upon God as mother.
Sri Krishna Janmashtami, the sacred Birthday of Lord Krishna, was celebrated at all Divine Life Society of S.A. Ashrams on Monday, 3 September. Bhagavan Sri Krishna was the Ishta Devata of our Divine Master, who wrote the following in Lord Krishna & His Lilas: "Lord Krishna was the highest incarnation of the great Vishnu. He was the unique and crowning incarnation of all. He was the world teacher. He was the one Lord of love. His divine form holds the heart of India captive in chains, even today. The Bhagavata, the Mahabharata, the Vishnu Purana—all proclaim with one voice that there was none to match Sri Krishna in beauty and elegance of form in all three worlds."