The Sunlit Path follow-up programme for schools in Newcastle was held on Thursday, 20 February 2020 at the Lincoln Heights Secondary School. Twenty-six learners from the following schools participated: Lincoln Heights Secondary, Panorama Combined School and Hope High School.
In the welcome address, Principal of Lincoln Heights Secondary School, Mr R. Naicker, thanked the Sunlit Path team for their guidance and support in coming together to help learners who are affected by various social ills. He intimated that educators are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of problems experienced by learners. "It is absolutely essential that social partners like yourselves come aboard to assist us in helping our young learners who experience difficulty," he said.
The motivational address drew the learners' attention to the two videos presentation they viewed at the initial workshop in 2019, the importance of the diary and the pledge forms as well as the harmful effects of consuming alcohol, the impact of depression in their lives and the consequences of suicide. The address also focussed on the acronym PASTED, the power of prayer, celibacy, and health & diet. Learners were amazed to learn that 10% of Grade 12 girls fall pregnant in their matric year.
We also painstakingly revisited the importance of the diary/checklist. As part of our coping skills programme, four videos on positive thinking were presented. During the breakaway session, learners responded to questions based on this presentation. It was gratifying to note that two learners mentioned the changes they experienced after adopting methods advocated in the Sunlit Path programme.
We sincerely trust that learners will implement the lessons learnt in their daily lives and we pray that God will grant them the strength to maintain the resolves they made at the Sunlit Path Workshop.
This auspicious event was celebrated on Sunday, 1 March 2020 at Sivanandashram, Reservoir Hills. It was on this day in 2007 that a power from our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda, descended into Pujya Swamiji. Pujya Swamiji spoke about this marvelous experience, on Guru Purnima Day, on 29 July 2007, "I myself had the Grace of our Divine Master when an unusual power of his descended in me. It happened on 1 March this year. When the power descended there was a little disturbance in the beginning but within a few days it settled down. Now there is no change in the descent of the power. I could not believe that the Master would grant me such Divine Grace, a Grace that I do not deserve. If devotees saw my attitude some five years ago and my attitude now, they would be quite surprised that such a tremendous change could take place."
Mahasivaratri was observed at all Ashrams of Divine Life Society of S.A. on Friday, 21 February from 5.30pm to 5am, attended by large gatherings at many DLS centres. Mahasivaratri was a veritable spiritual feast, comprising a variety of presentations and devotional offerings to Lord Siva on this sacred night. Messages from our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda and Pujya Swamiji, Mantra Chanting, Bhajans & Kirtans, classical dances, DVD presentations, an audio recording of a play, and readings all contributed to a vibrant and inspiring Satsang in honour of Lord Siva.