Om Namo Bhagavade Sivanandaya

Established in 1949 by Sri Swami Sivananda

Divine Life Society of South Africa held the Sivananda Conference on 1 and 2 June 2024, as part of its Centenary Celebrations commemorating Sri Swami Sivananda's 100th Sannyas Anniversary. The Sivananda Conference was held at Sivanandashram, Reservoir Hills on Saturday 1 June from 1pm to 6pm, and at Sivananda International Cultural Centre (SICC) on Sunday 2 June 2024 from 6am until 3pm.

Divine Life Society of South Africa is hosting its Centenary Celebrations in and 2025, because the Society celebrates three significant events during 2024 and 2025, namely: Swami Sivananda's 100thSannyas Anniversary in 2024, the 100th Birth Anniversary of Sri Swami Sahajananda (1925 – 2007), Spiritual Head of Divine Life Society of South Africa in 2025, and the 75th Anniversary of Divine Life Society of South Africa in 2024.

It is with deep and profound gratitude to Sri Gurudev and Pujya Swami Sahajananda that we report on the Sivananda Conference.

Almost a year of planning and preparations saw the realisation of a cherished dream of ardent devotees, when almost 1 850 devotees, well-wishers, donors, members of the public and patrons of the Society graced the Sivananda Conference over the two days, and paid tributes to one of the foremost saints of the 20th century. The theme of the Conference was, "Our Glorious Hindu Dharma: Swami Sivananda's Life and Legacy".

Hundreds of devotees, well-wishers, donors and members of the public gathered at Sivananda Ghat on Wednesday 1 May 2024 to observe the Special All Souls' Day Satsang and Mahayajna. The programme commenced at 2pm with Ganga Arati, followed by Invocatory Mantras, readings, a message by the guest-speaker, Sri Ish Prahladh, Kirtans, Bhajans and a Mahayajna (Havan). The soulful and divine ambience of the Satsang and Havan, was a fitting tribute to departed souls.

Two inspiring messages were read. The importance of prayer and Kirtan for departed souls was the theme of Sri Swami Sivananda's message. The Master said, "Prayer and Kirtan, good thoughts or good wishes become very helpful to departed souls. They can be of invaluable assistance to the dead. Prayer acts on the principle of a radio station and broadcasts the waves of good thoughts just as the radio station broadcasts waves of sound.

Sixty-eight years ago, on 10 April 1956, a young man named V. Srinivasan was initiated into the holy order of Sannyas by Sri Swami Sivananda. His monastic name is Swami Sahajananda. Pujya Swamiji led Divine Life Society of South Africa for 58 years until his Mahasamadhi on 10 December 2007. As Spiritual Head of the Society, Pujya Swamiji's indomitable will, tenacity and iron courage to spread his Divine Master's, Sri Swami Sivananda's teachings, saw a virtual Hindu renaissance in KwaZulu-Natal; perhaps a rare feat in Hindu spiritual history in this province, for the message of Sri Swami Sivananda, the message of Divine Life, has reached countless homes in the province and beyond, attributed, almost single-handedly, to Pujya Swami Sahajananda.

Divine Life Society of South Africa celebrated Pujya Swami Sahajananda's 68th Sannyas Anniversary at Sivanandashram, Reservoir Hills, on Wednesday 10 April 2024. The morning Sadhana programme at 6am was followed by devotees taking Darshan at Pujya Swamiji's Kutir, his sacred room and the Sivananda-Sahajananda Diamongd Jubilee Centre. In the evening, Ganga Arati began at 5.30pm followed by Satsang. The Satsang programme comprised Kirtans, Bhajans, a reading on Renunciation (Sannysa) from Bliss Divine by Sri Swami Sivananda, an audio message by Pujya Swami Sahajananda, and Ramayana recital by our Rishikumaris.

The Richards Bay Branch of Divine Life Society of South Africa hosted the Society's Centenary Celebrations' Satsang at Sivanandashram in Brackenham, Richards Bay. The programme comprised a Havan at 8am, Ganga Arati at 9.40am and Satsang from 10am until 12.20pm.

The spiritual ambience of the sacred Havan set the tone of divinity for the day's events. Many devotees, well-wishers, donors and members of the public participated in Ganga Arati, some for the very first time. The Satsang programme consisted of Kirtans, Bhajans, a children's item, "Gurudev Says", and a youth item, "Take a Packet of Grace Home Today", which captured some of Swami Sivananda's salient teachings, namely, Satsang, prayer, meditation, Sadhana, Brahmacharya, the Spiritual Diary and the Law of Karma. A delightful and humorous play, "An Obedient Wife", by Swami Sivananda brought out the importance of harmony in the home, mutual respect and understanding, especially between spouses. The Bharatanatyam Dance to the Bhajan, "Ayodhya Vasi" Ram was well choreographed and professionally executed.

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Gurudev Centenary 2024

Sri Swami Sivananda

(1887 - 1963)

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