An excellent Health Workshop and Book Fare was organised at Sivanandashram, Reservoir Hills on Sunday, 23 June 2019, providing theoretical knowledge, demonstrations and practical application on various health matters. The theme for the workshop which was "Secrets to Good Health" was well received and focussed in the main on preventative measures and recommending effective treatment in some cases. Our presenters affirmed what our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda said that "Health and Happiness is our Birthright".
The secrets to good health, we were told, lies in unhesitatingly obeying the Laws of Nature. The workshop covered the following topics: Lifestyle diseases, Safe use of medicines, Benefits of Yoga & Pranayama, Value of humour and cheerfulness, acupressure, use of castor oil pack, Namapathy and Yogic Diet. A humorous and educative play on acupressure captured the attention of the audience for about 30 minutes.
In the book fare, Divine Life Society branches each managed a stall, displaying and marketing various books from our Master and other writers. The stalls promoting health, nature cure and home remedies were also received frequent visitors. It was a fun filled day with competitions, quizzes, vouchers and special offers. A healthy competitive spirit prevailed amongst the various stalls.
Ganga Dussehra was observed on Wednesday, 12 June 2019 at Sivanandashram, Reservoir Hills. It was on this day that Ganga, by Her Divine Grace, uplifted all the sixty thousand sons of King Sagara to the highest abode of immortal bliss. Readers would know that the princes were cursed by Sage Kapila because they falsely accused him of stealing the sacrificial horse, dedicated for the Ashvamedha sacrifice by their father, King Sagara.
We learn many lessons from this sacred river. The Ganges starts from Gangotri in the Himalayas. She encounters many obstacles on Her way, but She finally reaches the goal—the ocean. Similarly, the spiritual aspirant should never give up his struggle, however insurmountable the obstacles in the path may appear to be. All difficulties and obstacles will be removed through the Grace of the Lord and, if he is sincere in his Yogic practices, he will reach the goal.
The Ganges always gives you cool, pure water. It does not expect any¬thing from you in return. The sun sheds its light on all without anticipat¬ing any reward. Derive lessons from them. Always give, give and ask nothing in return. Expect nothing in return, not even appreciation or any kind of recognition.
In celebration of 70 years of existence in this country, Satsangs have been organised throughout the year, hosted mostly by branches of the Society. The third Satsang in the series of celebrations was held on Wednesday, 5 June at headquarters, Sivanandashram, Reservoir Hills. This day coincided with one of the three days when the Master wrote letters to Pujya Swamiji instructing him to start a branch of the Society in South Africa. At the Satsang on 5 June, four letters were read. These were written by our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda to Pujya Swamiji and contains precious advice to all seekers on the spiritual path.
The 95th Sannyas Anniversary of our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda was held on Saturday, 1 June 2019 at Sivanandashram, Reservoir Hills. Devotees paid homage to the Master at a short Satsang commencing at 6am.
After reading the book, Jiva-Brahma Aikya Vedanta Rahasyam, our Master developed an ardent desire to tread the path of spirituality. He longed desperately for absolute bliss, for unmixed happiness and for perpetual peace. He resigned from his job as a doctor in Malaya and left for India. On arrival at his home in Pattamadai, the Master went missing as his goods were being offloaded. What happened was that he set out immediately to the railway station to commence his journey to Varanasi, the abode of Lord Siva. The Master had one burning desire and that was to realise God now. To his dismay, the Master discovered that Varanasi was a big crowded city and he was advised by a kind-hearted stranger to go to Pandharpur. The Master visited several holy places. The wandering life helped our Master to develop equal vision, forbearance and serenity of outlook in pleasure and pain. He eventually reached Rishikesh where he met Swami Vishwananda who gave him Sannyas. It was on this day, the 1st of June 1924, 95 years ago, that Swami Sivananda Saraswati was born.
This year marks the 70th Anniversary, the Platinum Jubilee of Divine Life Society of South Africa. Pujya Swami Sahajananda, Spiritual Head of the Society, as well as devotees of the Society affirm that the achievements and milestones of the Society are due only to the Grace of our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda. We are beholden to Pujya Swami Sahajananda for carrying out the explicit instructions of our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda, to start the Divine Life Society in South Africa.
With the celebrations now taken to branch levels, in terms of its outreach programme, Divine Life Society of South Africa has created further awareness in resuscitating any dormancy that may exist amongst the community. On Sunday, 26 May 2019, there was a combined hosting of this milestone event at Sivanandashram, Chatsworth, 2 Ambassador Road, Unit 1, Havenside, by three branches of the DLS SA, namely, Chatsworth, Kharwastan and Shallcross. An intensive planning exercise, together with two radio presentations and an overview in the community newspaper, held a great advantage in creating awareness to the public. As a result of this, the function unfolded with a promise of being a resounding success. Such awareness taken to the community, added much flavour to furthering the aim of the Society, in disseminating our Master's vast reservoir of Spiritual Literature. We observed with joy that about 450 people responded to our invitation.