The honour of unveiling the 2019 Centenary Picture of the Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda, which took place at the first Sivananda Day Satsang for 2019 at SICC on Sunday, 5 January, was accorded to Sri Rabichand Deonarain, a senior devotee who was associated with Pujya Swamiji since 1950. We reproduce herewith the speech delivered by Sri Deonarain before the unveiling:
“The dates 1 June 2024 and 10 July 2025, mark the centenary of two important events in the calendar of Divine Life Society of South Africa: the Sannyas Anniversary of Sri Swami Sivananda and the Birth Anniversary of Sri Swami Sahajananda, respectively. The Society will be releasing a number of publications as part of the centenary celebrations.
Om Namo Bhagavade Sivanandaya
Om Sri Ram. Salutations and loving adorations.
Pujya Swamiji's 11th Mahasamadhi Anniversary was observed on 8 December (according to the Sanskrit Calendar) and on 10 December (according to the English Calendar). Pujya Swamiji, who was the torch-bearer of the Divine Master's teachings in the country and also abroad, withdrew from his physical body on 10 December 2007. At the time of his passing, scores of tributes were paid to this godlike disciple of the Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda, but perhaps none more significant than the one paid by the Divine Master himself on 10 April 1956, when Pujya Swami was initiated into the Holy Order of Sannyas. The Master said: "So we rejoice today heartily, because we have amidst us a noble personality, a spiritual personality, a Bala Yogi, a Bala Swami, Sri Swami Sahajananda. Whenever a noble function takes place, the Devas are pleased. So, we had a very good shower today, and now we have a cool atmosphere. So, we are able to celebrate the function joyously. You may ask, "Why there is no rain of flowers?" That also there is. The Devas rain flowers. Swami Sahajananda is styled as the spiritual king of South Africa, Durban. He is also called the African Chota Guru. He does not want anything. He is a silent worker. He is a man of renunciation, Vairagya and meditation. He is a very good organizer. He has organized some 20 branches of the Divine Life Society in South Africa".
The Parliament of the World's Religions which took place in Toronto, Canada, from 1-7 November, was represented by 220 faiths and about 8 000 delegates. The delegation from Divine Life Society of S.A. presented a successful workshop entitled, "Eradicating the Universal Scourge of Drug Addiction and other Social Ills: A Spiritual Solution". The workshop was well attended with one attendee making detailed notes while the workshop was in progress. Another individual, who also attended our practice session, said that the workshop had its desired impact on him. He asked for a copy of the pledge form and the checklist, used in our Sunlit Path Programme.
NAVARATRI OR DURGA PUJA- SRI SWAMI SIVANANDA
During Navaratri (literally meaning "nine nights") Earnest spiritual aspirants of Durga observe a fast or take milk and fruit only on all the nine days, or at least once in each of the three-day periods. Brahmins are fed and prayers are offered for the protection of health and property. Durga Puja is the greatest Hindu Festival in which God is adored as Mother. Hinduism is the only religion in the world which has emphasised to such an extent the motherhood of God. One's relationship with one's mother is the dearest and the sweetest of all human relations, Hence, it is proper to look upon God as mother.