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.
“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.
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.
On Monday, 1 June 2020. these two auspicious events were observed via online Satsang, being our Divine Master's 96th Sannyas Anniversary and Ganga Dussehra. Today we offer gratitude to our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda for the immense Tapas that he did. Through his tremendous Tapas he was able to get all his knowledge and he passed it on to us, says Pujya Swami Sahajananda. It also paved the way for the redemption of and blossoming of countless seekers the world over.
In his pre-recorded audio message Pujya Swamiji said, "One of the tasks that was set forth by Gurudev for the Divine Life Society was the publication of literature. It could not have been an accident because that was the task that was set by him and from the very beginning of the inauguration of Divine Life Society, printing became the most important item of its work. Gurudev has said in the Gospel that the most important thing for him is the dissemination of knowledge by means of literature. You can do it by touring and you can do it by literature also. But Gurudev felt that the literature was more important because the written word was always left behind. He would say 'If I visited people's homes and went on tours, they would say 'Aye Maharaj, Aye Maharaj' and give me a cup of tea. But if I remain in my Kutir and do some writing, then that written word would go to the homes and remain there.'
Click on the link below to read our Divine Life Magazine No.123, released on the auspicious occasion of our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda's 96th Sannyas Anniversary.
We are happy to report on our COVID-19 initiatives. Many tearfully expressed their feelings of gratitude for our assistance in providing nutritious grocery hampers during this period of deprivation. In all, 2500 grocery hampers and scores of fresh produce hampers were distributed to needy families. Through the Grace of our Master, and your kind support, the various organisations that we supported were able to continue with their service activities. The Sivananda King Dinuzulu Hospital Screening Centre in Sydenham, Durban, continues to render much-needed support to the community. More than 2000 cloth face masks were distributed via our grocery hamper distribution programme and to members of the public using the Sivananda Ghat during the pandemic. This is an ongoing project and masks are now being manufactured at our Sewing Centres for the public. These masks will also be distributed to schools. Our gratitude to all those who provided assistance to this programme.