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Report on Guru Bhakti Yoga Workshop & The Masters's 92nd Sannyas Anniversary

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Our second Guru Bhakti Yoga Workshop for 2016 was held on Saturday, 28 May and Sri Swami Sivananda's Sannyas Anniversary was observed on Wednesday, 1 June 2016. Both these events were held at Sivanandashram, Reservoir Hills.

The Master's message at the Guru Bhakti Yoga Workshop was taken from the article entitled, "The Importance of Sadhana". The theme in this article is: If you want spiritual bliss and realization you must do Sadhana

In the DVD message on 28 May, Pujya Swamiji urged devotees to practise Sadhana regularly to enjoy the benefits of peace and bliss. In the audio message of 1 June, (taken from the recording done on 1 June 1981) Pujya Swamiji read from the book Necessity for Sannyasa, written by Sri Swami Sivananda. We reproduce excerpts from this reading: "Sannyasa destroys all worldliness, all evil Samskaras and establishes you in Advaitic meditation. Remember that all you see in this world and get attached to is the object of your own imagination. Where is mother, where is father, where is wife, where are children? There is no way in this world to get eternal happiness and supreme satisfaction." 

The main thrust of the workshop and the Sannyas Day was to introduce some of the items that will be the focus of our Centenary Programmes and Projects. In 2024 we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Sri Gurudev's Sannyas Diksha, and in 2025 we will celebrate the Birth Centenary of beloved Pujya Swamiji. The theme of self-transformation and Sadhana has been chosen for this auspicious period.

As we launch this "Divine Decade" we must ask ourselves, firstly, what is the motivation behind this celebration. Various suggestions were made but the primary motivations were that we must show our deep gratitude to our Divine Master and Pujya Swamiji for all that they have done for us —materially and spiritually. We want their legacies to be appreciated and benefitted by future generations. It is an act of Guru Bhakti to promote the Name and teachings of our beloved Gurudev. Our Gurudev, Sri Swami Sivananda is a spiritual force who has transformed and saved countless individuals and will continue to do so through His literature. We owe a debt of gratitude to our Master for His Grace in our lives.

In the case of Pujya Swamiji, we owe it to the younger generation and the souls yet to come to the earth to inform them of this great Being who once walked this country. It is our duty to present before their eyes, this super spiritual role-model for Guru Bhakti, supreme loyalty and devotion to the Guru. Future generations must know more about Pujya Swamiji —his surrender and obedience to the Master, his Tapas, his great compassion and his concern for the plight of the underprivileged, the distressed and the devotees of Sri Gurudev.

In keeping with the theme of self-transformation and Sadhana, the onus rests on each one of us to make concerted efforts to intensify our Sadhana. Although we can make suggestions, in Pujya Swamiji's words, "each one will have to chalk out their own programme".

To officially launch this auspicious event, the honour fell upon one of our most senior devotees, Mother Sharda to light the centenary lamp and place it before the shrine. It is hoped that the flame for this "Divine Decade" will continue burning, not only up to 2025, but long thereafter.

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The book, The Divine Personality of Swami Sivananda was fittingly the first centenary publication to be released on 1 June. The "Publisher's Note" contains the following revealing words, "The Master's influence spread to all parts of the world, and many disciples from the West also, started practising Yoga and meditation through his writings. They were very appreciative of the personal guidance given to them in the form of letters and they spoke in glowing terms of the Master's divine nature. 'To find a divine personality like Swami Sivananda, who lives what he preaches, is a hope and comfort in our times', wrote one disciple".

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Following on the theme of self-transformation, the value of the Spiritual Diary was reinforced in our Guru Bhakti workshop. It was emphasised that the Spiritual Diary must be enforced if we wish to do our Sadhana for our purification. 

The group discussion at our Guru Bhakti Yoga Workshop was based on the "Ups and Downs of Sadhana". Devotees brainstormed various ways in which to make an offering to Sri Gurudev and Pujya Swamiji. One group advised us to start in a small way and grow steadily. They advocated that we increase our meditation by 5 minutes per annum and by the end of this period our meditation would be increased by 45 minutes.

Two life-transforming experiences with Pujya Swamiji were narrated at the workshop. Herewith, the salient points of one presentation: "In 1996 I took ill with a kidney condition diagnosed as nephritic syndrome which is essentially the loss of protein through the kidneys leading to low protein levels in the blood and water retention, causing a variety of secondary problems. I was ill for about 3 years and seldom attended Satsangs at the Ashram.Our Sadhana should be designed to take us towards God.

Last modified on Wednesday, 08 June 2016 13:39
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