Om Namo Bhagavade Sivanandaya

Established in 1949 by Sri Swami Sivananda

News & Reports

News & Reports (308)

The Day of Descent of Divine Grace was celebrated at all Divine Life Society of S.A. Ashrams on Tuesday, 1 March, 2022. This Satsang marks two very important occasions: the first one being the Day of Descent of Divine Grace, and the second one, the partial reopening of our Ashrams and branches.

Regarding the Day of Descent, on 29 July 2007, the most auspicious Guru Purnima Day, Pujya Swami Sahajananda publicly shared for the very first time, a significant spiritual milestone in his life. Swamiji describes the experience, "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."

Divine Life Society of S.A. celebrated Mahasivaratri online on Monday, 28 February 2022, commencing with Ganga Arati at 5.30pm and concluding the next morning at 5am. Befitting this sacred night, the programme was a veritable spiritual feast with a variety of presentations and devotional offerings to Lord Siva. Melodious Kirtans and Bhajans, performances and presentations by guest artistes, readings, poems, Sanskrit verses in praise of Lord Siva, sayings from our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda presented by Spiritual Darlings, audio recordings, videos, and chanting of the sacred Om Namah Sivaya Mantra featured on the programme.

The following audio message (in Yoga Lessons for Children) from our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda, was used to introduce the festival and explain details of this event: "This sacred festival is observed in honour of Lord Siva. Sivaratri means the 'Night of Siva'. Devotees observe a strict fast on this day. Some do not take even a drop of water. They keep vigil all night. The Siva Linga is worshipped every three hours by bathing it first in milk, then with curd, then with ghee and, lastly, honey. The chanting of the Mantra of Lord Siva─ Om Namah Sivaya─ goes on without a stop, together with the offering of bael leaves".

Divine Life Society of South Africa lovingly invites you to join us for our online New Year's Day & All Souls' Day Satsang. The Society makes a sincere and earnest appeal to all devotees to participate in the Satsang whilst in the comfort of their homes, so as to imbibe the rich and sacred benefits of Satsang.

There are 2 options to receive the online Satsang links. One is to subscribe to our YouTube channel, and the other is to join our WhatsApp group, where a programme and a link to the pre-recorded audio stream Satsang will be sent out just before Satsang time.

This programme was coordinated by the Pietermaritzburg Branch of Divine Life Society of South Africa on Tuesday, 14 December, being the sacred Gita Jayanti Day. The function was livestreamed from Sivanandashram, Northdale and the recitation was done under the leadership and tutelage of Dr Muralidhar Panda, a Sanskrit scholar who was brought to this country by Pujya Swami Sahajananda to promote the study of the Sanskrit language.Devotees from Pietermaritzburg joined Dr Panda in the recitation.

Regarding Gita Jayanti, our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda has written the following, "The Gita Jayanti (birthdate of the Bhagavad Gita) is celebrated by the admirers and lovers of this unique book on the 11th day (Ekadashi) of the bright half of the month of Margaseersha according to the Hindu Almanac. It was the day on which the scripture was revealed to the world by Sanjaya.

"Glory, glory to the Gita, Glory to Lord Krishna who placed the Gita before men of this world to attain liberation! The teachings of the Gita are broad, universal, sublime. It has a message of solace, freedom, salvation, perfection and peace for all human beings. The study of the Gita alone is sufficient for daily Swadhyaya (scriptural study). Blessed is the man who studies the Gita daily! Twice blessed is he who lives in the spirit of the Gita! Thrice blessed is he who has realised the knowledge of the Gita or attained Self Knowledge! Om Tat Sat".

The programme commenced at 8am with Ganga Arati, followed by a short invocation. The recital of the sacred verses of the entire Bhagavad Gita was conducted from 8.15am to about 11.05am.The Havan, which commenced thereafter, radiated much-needed healing energy to the immediate environment and to the world at large.

Our sincere thanks to Dr Panda and devotees from Pietermaritzburg for taking this initiative to make this offering, for the long hours spent in preparation and for promoting peace and goodwill in the country and the world at large through the recitation of these sacred verses.

This sacred day was observed online on Friday, 10 December 2021, being 14 years since Pujya Swami Sahajananda withdrew from his body. The morning programme was conducted from 6am to 6.30am. In the evening, the Mahasamadhi Anniversary Satsang commenced with Ganga Arati at 5.30pm.

On this auspicious day, we truly appreciate and acknowledge Pujya Swamiji's vision to initiate the recording of all our Kirtans, Bhajans, Ganga Arati and Mantras on cassettes and compact disks, which has proved indispensable during our online Covid-19 Satsang programmes. This is just one of the numerous ingenious contributions by Pujya Swamiji to the South African Indian diaspora, in the fields of Hindu Dharma and religion. Our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda, reinforced the work done by Pujya Swamiji when he wrote in Bliss Divine, "Every religion has a band of anchorites who lead a life of seclusion and meditation. The glory of a religion will be absolutely lost if you remove the hermits and Sannyasins or those who lead a life of renunciation and divine contemplation. It is these people who maintain and preserve the religions of the world. They give solace to the householders when they are in trouble and distress. They bring hope to the hopeless, joy to the depressed, strength to the weak and courage to the timid".Such indeed, was Pujya Swami Sahajananda!

Let us reflect on just who Pujya Swami Sahajananda is. Pujya Swami Sahajananda, Spiritual Head of Divine Life Society of South Africa was born in Estcourt on 10 July 1925. He gave up his teaching career to embrace the Holy Order of Sannyas. It was on 10 April 1956 that our Divine Master initiated Pujya Swamiji into the Holy Order of Sannyas. After the Sannyas Ceremony in 1956, the Master said, "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".

The third and final in the series of anniversary Satsangs of the Society was held on Thursday, 11 November 2021, commencing with Ganga Arati at 5.30pm, followed by Satsang.

It isnecessary to state that our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda, instructed Pujya Swami Sahajananda, then Srinivasan Naidoo, on 3 separate occasions to establish a branch of Divine Life Society in South Africa. These instructions were on 5 June 1949, 18 October 1949 and 11 November 1949 respectively. Pujya Swamiji therefore celebrated the anniversary on all three dates each year. We pay our deepest respects and gratitude to our Divine Master and Pujya Swamiji for taking us into their folds,and leading us on the spiritual and moral path.

Divine Life Society of S.A. celebrated this joyous occasion via our online Satsang programme on Thursday, 4 November 2021, commencing with Ganga Arati at 4pm.

In the book,Hindu Fasts and Festivals,our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda states, "Diwali or Deepavali means 'a row of lights'. Hindus celebrate this festival on the last two days of the darkhalf of the Hindu month of Kartik (October-November). This festival is attributed to various origins. Somehold that they celebrate the marriage of Mother Lakshmi to Lord Vishnu. In Bengal the festival isdedicated to the worship of Maha Kali. It also commemorates that blessed day on which the triumphantLord Rama returned to Ayodhya after defeating Ravana. On this day also Sri Krishna killed the demonNarakasura."

The celebration of Diwali has a deeper meaning─of the homecoming of God into His kingdom. When we have deep longing and welcome the Lord into our hearts and He takes His seatthere, this is Diwali. He returns when we have one-pointed faith and devotion to Him.

Due to the prevalence of COVID-19, for the first time in its esteemed history, the Parliament of the World's Religions, which is held every 3 or 4 years in different countries, was organised online. The theme for this virtual 2021 Parliament was: "Opening our hearts to the World: Compassion in Action". Thousands of participants attended online and over 500 presenters shared their views on religious philosophy & teachings, compassion in action, justice, climate change, women's dignity, human rights and more. This 8th Parliament provided 48 hours of interactive programming from 16-18 October 2021. Registrants will have 30 days, after the Parliament closes, to experience the diverse, wise and inspiring presentations, heart-opening religious observances, performances, music & films, fascinating panels and workshops. Pujya Swami Sahajananda, Spiritual Head of Divine Life Society of South Africa had advised that the Society be represented at the Parliament. The Society was represented by Dr Rusraj Bharath who spoke on the great sage of Rishikesh, India, Sri Swami Sivananda whose life was one of compassion in action. His talk was entitled, "Swami Sivananda – The Practical Vedantin".In all, eight devotees from the Society registered to attend the various sessions.

In his presentation, Dr Bharath, quoted freely from the life and teachings of our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda on the philosophy of Vedanta, "The world is yourself. Therefore, love all, serve all, be kind to all, embrace all. Behold the Lord in the poor, the downtrodden, the oppressed and the lowly. Feed the hungry, nurse the sick, comfort the afflicted. Lighten the sorrow of the sorrowful, clothe the naked, educate the illiterate, raise the downtrodden. The world is burning with misery and suffering. Wake up, O man, serve with love, serve untiringly". He outlined the various service activities that the Master engaged in daily.

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Gurudev Centenary 2024

Sri Swami Sivananda

(1887 - 1963)

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