The celebration on 8 September 2021began online from 5 - 6am witha short invocation and the chanting of the Sri Hanuman Chalisa, 11 times, being the culmination of the 41-day Vrata. We must note that beloved Pujya Swami Sahajananda had encouraged all to recite the Sri Hanuman Chalisa daily for protection, safety, peace and the welfare of the world. In this critical period faced by the world at large, collective recital of the Sri Hanuman Chalisa will assist in counteracting the scourges of our times. In view of the life-threatening coronavirus pandemic and instability still prevailing, we urge all to continue reciting the Sri Hanuman Chalisa as often as possible
While chanting, devotees respectfully paid homage to our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda, who "by his dedicated life of selfless service and artless love, proved to a sceptic world the infinite potentialities that lay hidden in every human soul. He was a living embodiment of the Gita, the Koran, and all the Gospels of the world. His word was love. His deed was love. His every thought was tinged with mercy and compassion". These moving words were extracted from Sri Ananthanarayanan's book, From Man to God-man.
Our online programme on Friday, 20 August 2021, commenced with Ganga Arati at 5.30pm followed by Satsang. In the book, Hindu Fasts and Festivals, our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda, gives us the following explanation, "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 fresh, clean clothes and make a mandala with a 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.
Om Namo Bhagavade Sivanandaya! Om Namo Bhagavade Vasudevaya!
Sri Krishna Janmashtami, the sacred Birthday of Lord Krishna, was celebrated online by Divine Life Society of S.A. on Monday, 30 August 2021. Ganga Arati commenced at 5.30pm followed by Satsang, which concluded at midnight.
Bhagavan Sri Krishna was the Ishta Devata of our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda, 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."
The sacred Guru Purnima was celebrated online on Friday, 23 July 2021. The morning session ran from 6.00am to 6.25am and the evening programme from 5.30pm to 7.30pm.
On this day, the beloved Guru is worshipped by spiritual aspirants all over the world. This day is also sacred to the memory of Sage Bhagawan Vyasa, who wrote the Mahabharata and the Srimad Bhagavata, one of the greatest spiritual teachers of mankind.
We pay respectful obeisance and gratitude to our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda, and Pujya Swami Sahajananda. We pay respectful obeisance and gratitude, too, to Sri Shankaracharya, from whose divine lineage our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda descended. Furthermore, we acknowledge with deep gratitude, the immeasurable contributions of all Brahma Vidya Gurus, as well as all saints and sages.
This auspicious event was celebrated on Saturday, 10 July 2021 via our online Satsang Programme. The morning programme from 6.00-6.25am began with Ganga Arati and concluded with a short invocation. In the evening, Ganga Arati commenced at 5.30pm followed by Satsang.
On this sacred Birth Anniversary of Pujya Swami Sahajananda, from the Board of Management is as follows," We paid reverence and homage to our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda, for the most precious gift bestowed on South Africa: Pujya Swami Sahajananda. We thank Pujya Swamiji for his inestimable contributions to this country as Spiritual Head of the Society. Pujya Swamiji's contributions to Hinduism and humanitarian initiatives in South Africa are unparalleled in South African history. Pujya Swamiji set the foundation and commenced magnanimous and sterling work in the promotion of our glorious Hindu Dharma, based on the writings of Sri Swami Sivananda. Swamiji devoted himself to printing and distributing the Master's teachings with silent eloquence, building schools, crèches, a hospital, projects for poverty alleviation, poor feeding and assistance to Hindu temples.
The sacred Mahasamadhi Anniversary of our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda began via our online Satsang programme at 6am on 14 July 2021. Devotees paid homage to our Divine Master, in the comfort of their homes! The short morning session, with Ganga Arati & invocation concluded at 6.26am. In the evening, after Ganga Arati at 5.30pm, we had Satsang.
During the evening Satsang, the Board of Management of Divine Life Society of S.A. presented the following message, (adapted for the purpose of this report): "On 14 July 2021, we observed the 58th Mahasamadhi Anniversary of beloved Sri Gurudev, Sri Swami Sivananda, who left his mortal coil on 14 July 1963. He was born on 8 September 1887 and influenced the entire world with his deep and profound thoughts, including his 250 books. On this most auspicious occasion, we acknowledge with deep gratitude, our Divine Master's immeasurable legacy to the world, through his profound writings; Ashrams throughout the world; service activities and spiritual, moral and aesthetic guidance on Hinduism, Yoga and allied topics. Sri Gurudev's direct, godlike disciple, Sri Swami Sahajananda, led Divine Life Society of South Africa with rare dedication, outstanding leadership and total Guru Bhakti for 58 glorious years. Today, Divine Life Society of South Africa is 72 years in existence, and it is rendering yeoman service through poverty alleviation projects, education, health care, youth development and education. Sivananda Ghat continues to act as a beacon light of Divine Life Society of South Africa, especially during this coronavirus pandemic, when families of the deceased find comfort and solace in disposing of the mortal remains of their beloved ones, in a dignified and ceremonious manner at the Sivananda Ghat. We salute our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda for his vision and our Spiritual Head, Sri Swami Sahajananda, without whom we would have been in a spiritual abyss.
The launch programme, which commenced at 5.30pm with Ganga Arati, followed by invocation, reading and the recital, attracted 430 tune-ins. We are also pleased to report that Guru Purnima drew 1662 tune-ins, whilst the month of July itself recorded 19 714. Since March 2020 the total number of tune-ins were 191 904.
The Sri Hanuman Chalisa is very powerful and very effective for the removal of all mental problems. It brings good health, success and prosperity. It cures diseases, counteracts evil forces and the effects of "black magic", which are so prevalent today. It was recommended to Pujya Swami Sahajananda by Pujya Mata Krishnabai of Anandashram, one of the greatest of recent saints.
Ganga Dussehra was celebrated on Sunday, 20 June 2021 via our online Home Satsang programme. Messages from our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda and Pujya Swamiji were read at this Satsang. We reproduce excerpts of their messages below.
In the book, Mother Ganga, our Master wrote, "Taking Her course into the interior of the Himalayas, Ganga was about to wash away Rishi Jahnu's Ashram. Sage Jahnu responded by simply sipping up her water. Bhagiratha was much disappointed. He did severe penance to please Rishi Jahnu. At last, the sage let Ganga through his ears. Flowing from this outlet, Ganga flowed with entire modesty and all-embracing filial love and motherly affection. By Her Divine Grace, She uplifted all the sixty thousand princes to the highest abode of immortal bliss. This day is celebrated as the most sanctifying Ganga Dussehra".
The 21st of June was declared as The International Day of Yoga by the United Nations General Assembly in 2014. Since 2015, this day has been marked with spiritual practices worldwide. Due to the Corona virus pandemic, this prestigious event was hosted online this year by several institutions.
At the Divine Life Society of S.A. Yoga Camp on Sunday, 20 June 2021, a special message on this important day was delivered by our youth. A few excerpts from this message are included below:
Sri Swami Sivananda was a unique visionary who was able to cater for modern society's spiritual and secular needs. Seeing the potential of Yoga to alleviate the imbalance and distress of life in modern society, he took Yoga from the secret realms of mysticism into practice for daily life, giving it to one and all, be it spiritual seeker, student, westerner, postman, milkman, traveller, beggar, businessman, housewife or thief. His simple yet potent practices are intended for the cultivation of virtues, the betterment of character and the development of personality and self. Sri Swami Sivananda taught a synthesis of practical Vedanta and integrated Yoga, as a means to obtain excellence in life. The Divine Master gave the world "Integral Yoga" or "the Yoga of Synthesis".