Divine Life Society of South Africa has been participating in the Parliament of the World's Religions since 1999. Pujya Swami Sahajananda advised that Divine Life Society of South Africa be represented at all Parliaments to inform the world of the divine personality of Sri Swami Sivananda, his contributions to South Africa and the world at large, and to promote and disseminate his spiritual literature. In 2023, the Parliament of World's Religions was held in Chicago at the McCormick Place Convention Centre from 14 to 18 August 2023. The theme of the Parliament was "A Call to Conscience: Defending Freedom & Human Rights". Gurudev's books were sold at the Divine Life of Society of S.A. Exhibition Booth in conformance with Pujya Swamiji's directive to take Sri Gurudev's literature across the world.
The Society made 3 presentations, namely 2 workshops and one panel discussion. The Society also printed a 42-page brochure containing the life and works of Sri Swami Sivananda and Pujya Swami Sahajananda, the Society's initiatives and work, our Ashrams, a book catalogue and a Donation Pledge Form. Three hundred brochures were distributed at the Parliament, namely at the bookstore, at our presentations, and to visitors who showed an interest in the Society's work. This ensured the awareness of our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda, his work in South Africa, Pujya Swami Sahajananda's contributions to the religious, spiritual, social, cultural and moral regeneration of South Africa.
Divine Life Society of South Africa observed the auspicious Varalakshmi Vratam on Friday, 25 August 2023 at Sivanandashram, Reservoir Hills. Ganga Arati commenced at 5.30pm, followed by Satsang. The programme comprised Kirtans and Bhajans in praise of the Divine Mother and a reading on Mother Lakshmi from Yoga Lessons for Children (Volume 1) by Sri Swami Sivananda.
The Divine Master says, "The Vedas describe Mother Lakshmi as the Goddess of riches. God now manifests in the form of wealth. There is material wealth as well as spiritual wealth. Mother Lakshmi provides us with both, but many people think of Her as a symbol of material wealth only; and it is true that She will grant us this if we so desire. But on the spiritual path, we pray to the Divine Mother for something lasting, something more precious – it is the divine spiritual wealth of God.
Divine Life Society of South Africa celebrated Sri Krishna Janmashtami at Sivanandashram, Reservoir Hills, as well as at all its Sivanandashrams on Thursday 7 September 2023. At Sivanandashram, Reservoir Hills, Ganga Arati commenced at 5.30pm followed by Satsang which concluded at midnight. The programme included Kirtans, Bhajans, readings from the Srimad Bhagavata, an audio message by Pujya Swami Sahajananda, a DVD entitled, Wisdom of Sivananda, video recordings on Lord Krishna, guest artistes, readings on the significance of Sri Krishna Janmashtami, Pujya Swami Sahajananda's Bhajans on Lord Krishna, Bhagavad Gita recitals and the Krishna Arati. It was indeed a spiritual feast!
Divine Life Society of South Africa celebrated the 136th birthday of Sri Swami Sivananda on 8 September 2023 at Sivanandashram, Reservoir Hills. There was a morning Sadhana programme from 6am until 6.25am. Thereafter devotees took Darshan at Pujya Swami Sahajananda's sacred Kutir and the Sivananda Sahajananda Diamond Jubilee Centre. There was Akhanda Chanting from 5am until 4pm. Ganga Arati commenced at 5pm followed by Satsang. The Satsang programme comprised Kirtans, Bhajans, Pujya Swami Sahajananda's audio message and a dance.
It is significant that on this auspicious day, the sod-turning and concrete pouring of our new Ashram in Buccleuch, Sandton, was done. This marked the official commencement of the construction of our Gauteng Ashram.