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Report: Sri Ram Navami 2024

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The most sacred Ram Navami was celebrated at all our Sivanandashrams in KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday 17 April 2024. At Sivanandashram, Reservoir Hills, Ganga Arati commenced at 5.30pm followed by Satsang, which comprised Kirtans, Bhajans, the reading of a Ram Navami message of the Master, Sri Swami Sivananda, a Ramayana recital and Pujya Swami Sahajananda's audio message.

Lest the magnitude of Sri Swami Sivananda's Ram Navami message be diluted, the message is reproduced below, almost in its entirety.

Referring to Lord Rama's character and personality, the Master said, "Deep and unfathomable like the ocean, firm and steadfast like the Himalayas, valiant like Vishnu, He was the joy of Kaushalya. Though fierce like fire on the battle-field, He was calm like the cool breeze of the Mandara Hills, patient- like Mother Earth, bounteous like Kubera, the God of Wealth, and righteous like Dharma, the Lord of Justice himself. In pain or grief of his people, His heart swiftly sympathised with the sufferer. In the festive scenes which held them in joy, He, like a father shared their joy. By His honour and heroism, as well as by His gentleness and love for his subjects, He endeared Himself to the hearts of his people".

The Master continued to sing the glories of Lord Rama, when he said, "Think of Lord Rama, and your entire being is pervaded by a thrill of joy and peace - the joy and peace that belongs to Rama Rajya. Forget not that Lord Rama who took the human form out of mere play and in order to place before man an ideal of human perfection, was in reality the Supreme Brahman Himself.

"Whatever be your attitude towards the Lord, if you think of Him and Him alone intensely, Moksha is certain. Narada states this fact very clearly in his Bhakti Sutras. Even Vaira-Bhakti, where intense hatred for the Lord is produced, leads one to His Lotus-Feet. In this kind of Bhakti, the mind is pervaded by the thought of the Lord so fully that the one who hates the Lord sees Him alone everywhere. What then to say of those who have intense loving devotion to His Feet! No doubt about it; it leads one to eternal bliss and supreme peace".

The Master is quite candid in saying that we should use the occasion of Ram Navami for self-transformation. He said, "Establish the Rama Rajya in yourself; when each individual thus converts himself into a walking, talking and moving Ram Rajya, then the entire world will be converted into one huge Rama Rajya. The essentials of Rama Rajya have been wonder¬fully laid before you in the Ramayana. Truth, purity, an indomitable will to conquer evil, an unshakable faith in and adherence to Dharma, obedience, forbearance, sympathy and love - these constitute Lord Rama. With the birth of these in you, be sure that Lord Rama has enthroned Himself in your heart. Ramayana is replete with lessons which every aspir¬ant should learn and assimilate".

The Master highlighted the brotherly love between Lakshmana and Lord Rama, and the unconditional loyalty of Sri Hanuman to the Lord. Sri Gurudev's advice to women is as follows, "Every woman should get before herself the ideal of Sita to perfection. Pativrata Dharma is the only Dharma for a woman. She need not perform austeri¬ties or observe other Vratas. She need not practise Yoga or engage herself in worship of the Lord. If a woman sticks to this one Pativrata Dharma, she gets Mukti easily. Her might then becomes unchallengeable. Even gods will bow to her, and the elements will obey her commands. O fashionable woman, O immodest lady, turn away from the path which leads to ruin; follow Sita's example. You will be ever remembered, even as Sita is".

In reference to governance and management, Swami Sivananda said, "Rama Rajya was based on truth. Dharma was its foundation. Shastras were the guiding principles. Rishis, Yogis, Munis and Brahma Jnanis were the guiding lights. The Vedas were always respected and followed. Therefore, Rama Rajya endured and pros¬pered. And, it is even now spoken of as the most perfect form of government. Here is a lesson for all the rulers of the world. If you base your government on true religion, on Dharma and on eternal verities, the government will be an ideal one, and all your subjects will enjoy peace and prosperity; if you build it on the shifting sands of materialism, then the structure will collapse, destroying the inhabitants. Learn a good lesson from the Ramayana. Abandon the path that your perverted intellect impels you to tread. May the blessings of Lord Rama be upon you all!"

Pujya Swamiji's audio message gave profound advice to aspirants and devotees of the value of the Divine Name. He said, "A true faith in the Divine Name, an unmistakeable faith in the Guru, and follow one method, will take us to the goal. Changing the method will not help us at all. We should take whatever method the Guru has chalked out, and whatever method you get, you should stick to it with all your heart, with all your mind, and all your soul, and see if you don't make any progress". Pujya Swamiji explained that various methods in Sadhana were adopted by saints like Swami Ramdas, Mother Krishnabai and Mahatma Gandhi. If one chants the Divine Name constantly, it becomes ingrained in one's subconscious mind.

The mellifluous recital of the Ramayana by our Rishikumaris, extolling the virtues of Lord Rama was inspiring and beautiful. Accompanied by a power point presentation, the item captured Lord Rama's life, qualities and teachings succinctly.

May the blessings of Lord Rama always be upon us all.

Last modified on Tuesday, 23 April 2024 16:03
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