Divine Life: Swami Sivananda follower finds crime in SA distressing

2011-06-01 00:00

THE general secretary of the spiritual organisation, the Divine Life Society, is visiting the city. Sri Swami Padmanabhananda Maharaj has been touring the different centres of the South Africa to assess the work his organisation is doing.

“It’s wonderful. The work is going wonderfully well,” said the 76-year-old swami.

He unveiled a peace pillar at the City Hall last month, before touring through the country.

“People are working hard and spreading the message of goodwill.”

The Divine Life Society has various charity projects across the country, and has built more than 300 schools and crèches in rural communities.

They also build community centres and old age homes, as well as run skills development programmes and produce literature of the late Swami Sivananda.

“Charity is part of spirituality. If someone is hungry or wants for something, that has to be given first. It is an expression of love,” said Swami Padmanabhananda.

He highlighted his pride in the ongoing infrastructure projects, such as the building of schools and providing meals for children and the elderly or ill.

Trained as an engineer, Swami Padmanabhananda gave up his position to devote himself to the following of Swami Sivananda, who established the Divine Life Society.

The first South African branch was opened in Durban at his request, by Swami Sahajananda in 1949.

Swami Padmanabhananda has fallen in love with the beauty of our country.

“Where I come from, it is very green,” he said referring to the ashram in Rishikesh, India.

“But when I got off the plane, I saw it was the same thing here. It is very beautiful — the sea, the beaches, the mountains.”

“It is a very good country. The only problem is that there should be more peace,” he said, referring to the high crime rate which he finds distressing.

His message, which he says is a universal one is: “Lead a good life. Be good and do good.”

To request a meeting with Swami Padmanabhananda while he is in Pietermaritzburg, contact Prem Singh at 083 777 7880.

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