In Path of Divine Grace, Volume 3, published on 10 December 2012, Pujya Swami Sahajananda wrote, “When you pass away‒especially devotees of Gurudev‒you will have absolutely no trouble at all. Your transition will be smooth because the Guru appears before you and he makes the transition smooth. That is, of course, provided you don't stray away from Gurudev and you don't do evil deeds. So, all of Gurudev's disciples have absolutely nothing to fear about death. In the case of Yogis, they have a conscious death. They don't get unconscious like us. While they are fully conscious, the Prana leaves and nothing seems to have happened. When they asked Ramana Maharishi what the Yogi thinks, he said the Yogi will either impose his will and stop death or he will just watch the fun. So, if you meditate a lot, you need not have an unconscious death. I don't think I will have an unconscious death but I am sure that I will watch and see how the whole business takes place. At least, I get a free show”.
Today, 10 December 2019, we once again observed this solemn day. Commencing at 6am with the first session at Sivanandashram, Reservoir Hills for 45 minutes, followed by Ganga Arati and Satsang at 5pm, we paid homage to Pujya Swamiji and our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda. At the Satsang, in the evening, we had a fitting reading entitled, “Awake, Arise, and Know Thyself”, by our Divine Master. The Master states, “Within every heart there twinkles a spark of Divinity. Within every mind there shines a ray of hope for betterment. Within every soul there is fervent aspiration to return to one's original source, the supreme abode of eternal peace, perfection, cosmic consciousness and perennial bliss. This is your goal, the ultimate objective, to attain this for which you are born on this earth. Those who wish to be bound to this earth and subject themselves to birth and death, to likes and dislikes, pleasure and pain, choose the path of Preyas (that which is pleasant). But all objects are transitory, and one cannot expect a permanent and perfect result from an impermanent and imperfect source. Hence the objects of the world cannot give you real, lasting peace and happiness. The man of right knowledge and discrimination knows for certain that the path of Sreyas (that which is good) alone raises one from this world of misery and death, and brings true happiness and joy, here and hereafter, and real good to the people around”. It is this second path that Pujya Swamiji chose and tread assiduously, thereby attaining the summon bonun of human existence.
In the audio message, Pujya Swamiji focussed on the efficacy of the Divine Name. He said, “Throughout the day, we should try to repeat the Name as many times as possible‒mentally. If you have the opportunity of repeating it loudly, you can do so. If you are travelling in a car, if your work involves travelling, then you have ample opportunity. So, really, no one can say that they have no time for Sadhana. Sadhana does not necessarily mean that it should be done only in the morning. In one of the best verses in the Bhagavad Gita, the one that I like very much, the Lord says, “He attains Me easily who remembers Me constantly and daily”. Now every repetition of the Name brings about purification of the heart, takes us nearer God, creates spiritual vibrations and improves conditions. We can never say how the Name helps us. No doubt, if the Name of God did not have marvellous powers, then our great Saints will not be writing about it so often. All the great Saints have extolled the greatness and glory of God’s Name”.
The Spiritual Darlings of the Sivananda Sunday School of Reservoir Hills presented items in commemoration of Pujya Swamiji. The short inspirational sayings, so innocently delivered, as well as the singing of Pujya Swamiji’s two favourite Bhajans, touched the hearts of Satsangis, who applauded enthusiastically.
In commemoration of the legendary and unparalleled work done by Pujya Swamiji in this country, we released a CD containing Slokas from the Bala Kand of the Tulsidas Ramayana. It is a fitting offering as Lord Rama was Pujya Swamiji’s Ishta Devata. Our gratitude to our Rishikumaris and youth girls for the painstaking hours of practice in preparing these Slokas. This CD, together with the accompanying booklet, was released by Sri Manesh Ramjathan. We are indeed grateful to Sri Manesh for his harmonic accompaniment on the Santoor, not only for the Slokas of the Ramayana, but for his assistance in the past. Our sincere thanks also to Sri Tansen Nepaul and his wife, Umita, for training our team and for the professional recording and editing. Our Divine Master states, “The sacred and most inspiring Ramayana is one of our greatest scriptures. Read a small portion of the holy scripture every day. You will be constantly inspired. You will derive valuable guidance in your day-to-day life. You will without fail, imbibe in your own being, the lofty qualities embodied therein. Within a short time, you will surely find yourself a different person, filled with the divine spirit of truth and purity”.
We offer our gratitude to our Divine Master and Pujya Swamiji for a successful 70th Anniversary. Our final message to all devotees on the occasion of our 70th Anniversary, is to have faith in the Guru, to be loyal to him and to follow his teachings to the letter.
As 2019 draws to a close, let us reflect on our successes and shortcomings and offer them to the Lord. Let the New Year bring new happiness, new goals, new accomplishments, new inspirations and most importantly a deeper aspiration for the Divine. And, as we approach the festive season, we remind all devotees to heed the rules of the road, show tolerance at all times and drive with extreme caution. May all be aware of the dangers on the road and elsewhere and take effective steps for safety and personal well-being.
Report: Pujya Swami Sahajananda's 12th Mahasamadhi Anniversary (according to the Sanskrit calendar)
On this, the 12th Mahasamadhi Day of Pujya Swami Sahajananda, according to the Sanskrit Calendar, 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 unparalleled contributions to the country for the 58 years as Spiritual Head of the Society. These contributions relate to prayer and Satsang, social upliftment, education, poverty alleviation and health care programmes and projects.
A beautiful, thought provoking message entitled, "Seek the Immortal", written by our Divine Master was read. Herewith two paragraphs from this message: "If you oppress a man you will suffer oppression in another life, and reap the fruit of the seed you have sown in this life. If you injure the eye of a man, your eye will be injured in another life. If you break the leg of a man, your leg will be broken in another life. If you feed the poor, you will have plenty of food in another life. If you build rest-houses, you will have many houses in another life. Action and reaction are equal and opposite. Such is the law of Karma! Such is the law of birth and death! Such is the circle through which you must pass on your way!
"Your character is built by your thoughts. As you think so shall you become. If you think nobly, you will be born with a noble character. If you think badly, you will be born with a bad character. This is the immutable law of nature. Desire determines what kind of objects you will have in your next life. If you desire wealth very much, you will get it in your next life. If you desire power very much, you will get it in your next life. But money and power cannot give you eternal bliss and immortality. You must be very careful in your choice. Entertain one strong desire, the desire for liberation or final emancipation. Shun worldly desires ruthlessly. You will soon be freed from the round of births and deaths".
In the audio message, Pujya Swamiji stated, "I did not turn to the spiritual path because I wanted God. My mind had deteriorated so much that it is impossible to describe. The intellect was there but the deterioration was tremendous. I wanted to find out how to control the mind. Perhaps the samskaras in the previous birth were surging up. The mind was uncontrollable. And, that is how I was looking for a remedy that will help me to control the mind, not knowing that there is a state called God-realisation. Somewhere I read in the theosophical books, that if you want to succeed then you will have to have a Guru. So, I said I must try to find a Guru. If I find a Guru, he must be the best Guru in the world, nothing less than that. I went to a Vedic Bookshop in Prince Edward Street (Durban). I picked up Gurudev book. It was called Practice of Karma Yoga. The moment I touched that book, I knew that this is the Guru I was looking for."
The great faith and devotion that Pujya Swamiji 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.