In the Divine Life Society of South Africa all children are referred to as "Spiritual Darlings". This most beautiful and endearing term was used by our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda, when he wrote to one of his disciples.
Swami Sivananda says that the bringing up of Spiritual Darlings is a great art and science. It can only be successfully accomplished if parents have right knowledge and adequate training.
Parents should take advantage of all the facilities provided by the Divine Life Society, both at Reservoir Hills and at the Sivananda International Cultural Centre, La Mercy. Many Spiritual Darlings regularly attend the one day monthly Yoga Camp at the SICC, where the teachings of the holy scriptures and of our Divine Master are imparted to them. These teachings play a very important role in their mental, emotional and spiritual growth.
The most beautiful Sivananda International Cultural Centre is located at La Mercy, about half an hour drive from Durban. Situated amidst rolling hills and green canefields, it overlooks the Indian Ocean.
At this centre various facilities have been provided for Spiritual Darlings. "Ganga Rani", the large enclosed swimming pool is a great attraction. The magnificent "Sivananda Stadium", sportsfields and playparks provide healthful recreation. Training in the recently introduced gymnastic drill programme enables the Spiritual Darlings to develop qualities like discipline, concentration, how to interact with others, etc. This type of physical training, together with instructions on prayer, moral and ethical values will help Spiritual Darlings to grow into successful and strong adults, well equipped to meet the challenges of life. Various arts and crafts programmes help to develop their talents further.
There are lovely shrines to uplift and inspire Spiritual Darlings. A section next to a shrine houses beautiful pictures of animals, birds, flowers, scenic wonders, etc. This is called the "Sivananda Nature Reserve". It teaches Spiritual Darlings to protect Nature and to show love and compassion to birds, animals and even to plants. This section, too, is a great attraction to all Spiritual Darlings as well as to adults. The attractive water fountain "Bhagirathi", with water cascading from one fountain to another, uplifts the hearts of Spiritual Darlings. Darlings.