Pujya Swamiji's 11th Mahasamadhi Anniversary was observed on 8 December (according to the Sanskrit Calendar) and on 10 December (according to the English Calendar). Pujya Swamiji, who was the torch-bearer of the Divine Master's teachings in the country and also abroad, withdrew from his physical body on 10 December 2007. At the time of his passing, scores of tributes were paid to this godlike disciple of the Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda, but perhaps none more significant than the one paid by the Divine Master himself on 10 April 1956, when Pujya Swami was initiated into the Holy Order of Sannyas. The Master said: "So we rejoice today heartily, because we have amidst us a noble personality, a spiritual personality, a Bala Yogi, a Bala Swami, Sri Swami Sahajananda. Whenever a noble function takes place, the Devas are pleased. So, we had a very good shower today, and now we have a cool atmosphere. So, we are able to celebrate the function joyously. You may ask, "Why there is no rain of flowers?" That also there is. The Devas rain flowers. 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. He has organized some 20 branches of the Divine Life Society in South Africa".
The Parliament of the World's Religions which took place in Toronto, Canada, from 1-7 November, was represented by 220 faiths and about 8 000 delegates. The delegation from Divine Life Society of S.A. presented a successful workshop entitled, "Eradicating the Universal Scourge of Drug Addiction and other Social Ills: A Spiritual Solution". The workshop was well attended with one attendee making detailed notes while the workshop was in progress. Another individual, who also attended our practice session, said that the workshop had its desired impact on him. He asked for a copy of the pledge form and the checklist, used in our Sunlit Path Programme.
NAVARATRI OR DURGA PUJA- SRI SWAMI SIVANANDA
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.
Sri Krishna Janmashtami, the sacred Birthday of Lord Krishna, was celebrated at all Divine Life Society of S.A. Ashrams on Monday, 3 September. Bhagavan Sri Krishna was the Ishta Devata of our Divine Master, who wrote the following in Lord Krishna & His Lilas: "Lord Krishna was the highest incarnation of the great 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."
One hundred and thirty-one years ago, on 8th September 1887, a baby boy was born to saintly parents, Sri Vengu Iyer and Srimati Parvati Ammal, at Pattamadai in the Tirunelveli District of Tamil Nadu, South India. This child, a direct descendant of the great 16th century Saint Appayar Dikshitar, was named Kuppuswami. It was Kuppuswami who later became Sri Swami Sivananda Saraswati. With the pen as his sword, and every letter and word blessed by Mother Saraswati, Swami Sivananda began the great mission of Divine Life Society, of spreading the much-needed divine knowledge far and wide through books and pamphlets. Such was his greatness that he moulded and guided scores of disciples to become great spiritual leaders in many parts of the world, all of whom are doing sterling work. One of the most illustrious amongst these disciples is Sri Swami Sahajananda, Spiritual Head of Divine Life Society of S. A. All that we see around us here in South Africa, is a manifestation of Pujya Swami Sahajananda's vision, arising out of his dedication, intense Guru Bhakti and Sadhana, being inspired by our Divine Master.