Divine Life Society of S.A. celebrated the holy Navaratri Festival via online Satsangs from 17 October to 25 October. In all, there were 3 950 views. In the book, Bliss Divine, our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda states, "During Navaratri or the nine nights, devotees adore the Divine Mother and worship Her with great devotion. On the first three nights, Durga or the destructive aspect of the Mother is worshipped. On the succeeding three nights, it is the creative aspect or Lakshmi that is adored. On the last three nights, the knowledge aspect or Saraswati is invoked. The tenth day is the Day of Victory.
The 71st Anniversary of Divine Life Society of South Africa was celebrated via our online Satsang programme on Sunday, 18 October 2020. There were 430 views.
Divine Life Society of South Africa was founded in 1949 by our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda. He was one of the greatest of all modern saints. His teachings which are universal, practical, simple and timeless, have transformed the lives of countless people the world over, who have been searching for peace, happiness, comfort and above all, a higher truth in life. The Society's motto of "Serve, Love, Give, Purify, Meditate and Realise", encapsulates the principles that we as devotees of Divine Life Society of South Africa, try to follow.
The Master had written three letters to Pujya Swami Sahajananda to start the Divine Life Society in South Africa. According to the dates of these letters, the anniversary of the Society is celebrated every year on 5 June, 18 October and 11 November.
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.
Durga Puja or Navaratri is the most suitable occasion for doing intense Sadhana. These nine days are very sacred to Mother. Plunge yourself in Her worship. Practise intense repition of the Divine Name, having a regular "quota" of repitions per day and the number of hours spent on it. Navaratri is an occasion symbolising the victory of the higher, divine forces over the lower, negative qualities that find their expression in injustice, oppression, aggrandisement, greed, selfishness, hatred and a host of other undivine forces that add to the suffering of man. Perform special worship on Navaratri days.
As a humble offering at the Lotus Feet of our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda, on the sacred occasion of our Master's 133rd birth anniversary, we release the next issue of our Divine Life Magazine.
This sacred event was celebrated online on Tuesday, 8 September 2020, commencing with Ganga Arati at 5.30pm. The morning session, which commenced at 5am with the final chanting of the Sri Hanuman Chalisa, 11 times, saw the culmination of the 41-day recital. This was followed by Havan which was live-streamed from Sivanandashram, Chatsworth. More than 500 devotees signed the pledge form to undertake the 41-Day chanting of the Sri Hanuman Chalisa. 1881 devotees viewed the Havan ceremony and participated online.
In respect of the birthday of a saint, the Master said: "Few events are more auspicious than the celebration of birth anniversaries of saints." Regarding the celebration of his birthday, the Master explained: "The devotees take delight in celebrating the birthday and are uplifted and benefited. A spiritual wave is created year after year when the birthday is celebrated, and more and more people get a chance of knowing the existence of Divine Life Society and my teachings. The pious, receptive attitude prevalent on such an occasion draws forth the Grace of the Guru and God upon the devotees. The thoughts of peace, devotion, love, etc., sent out by the innumerable devotees that assemble to celebrate the birthday, go a long way to promote peace, harmony and spiritual well-being in the country."
On 6 September, a special cultural programme, dedicated to the Master, was screened, depicting his life and teachings. There were 550 views. It featured the day-to-day activities of the Master, with a voice over by Pujya Swami Sahajananda. Our children from grades 4 – 7 also participated in various readings.
Sri Ganesha Chaturthi, the birthday of Lord Ganesha, is one of the most popular of Hindu Festivals. Divine Life Society of South Africa celebrated this auspicious event online on Saturday, 22 August 2020. Our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda wrote, "Lord Ganesha is worshipped first in any kind of prayer. His Names are repeated first before an auspicious work is begun, before any kind of worship is begun. Without the blessings and Grace of Lord Ganesha, nothing whatsoever can be achieved. No action can be undertaken without His support. Lord Ganesha is an embodiment of wisdom and bliss. He is the Lord of Brahmacharins. He is foremost amongst the celibates".
Sri Krishna Janmashtami, the sacred Birthday of Lord Krishna, was celebrated on Wednesday, 12 August 2020 via an online Satsang. There were 1671 views. The programme commenced at 5.30pm with Ganga Arati and concluded at midnight with the celebration of the Birth of the Lord. Bhagavan Sri Krishna was the Ishta Devata of our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda who wrote the following in Lord Krishna and His Lilas: "Lord Krishna was the highest incarnation of the great Lord 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".
Through the grace of our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda and Pujya Swami Sahajananda, the Society has contributed towards the establishment of the Sivananda RK Khan Hospital Screening Centre (images below), to assist in the control and eradication of the coronavirus pandemic. This initiative was in partnership with the Divine Health Forum, an NGO doing humanitarian work.
The Society has also contributed towards the establishment of the Sivananda King Dinuzulu Hospital Screening Centre and the Sivananda Wentworth Hospital Flu Clinic, to assist in the control and eradication of the coronavirus pandemic.