Peace pillar unveiled at city hall

2011-04-18 00:00

HIGH-PROFILE dignitaries and the devotees of the Divine Life Society attended the unveiling of the four-ton granite Sivananda Peace Pillar at Carbineers Garden, next to the city hall, on Saturday.

The peace pillar were officially unveiled by KwaZulu-Natal Premier Dr Zweli Mkhize alongside the general secretary of The Divine Life Society World Wide, Swami Padmanabhananda of Rishikesh, India.

The pillars were an initiative of Ishwar Ramlutchman and were erected in honour of Sri Swami Sivananda and Sri Swami Sahajananda.

The Sivananda Peace Pillars represent unity in diversity. Each pillar weighs four tons, is three-and-a-half metres high and is inscribed with prayers from the world’s major religions. Six of these pillars have been unveiled in South Africa. Two more are yet to be unveiled.

Among the dignitaries in attendance were national Communications Minister Roy Padayachee, uMgungundlovu District Municipal Mayor Yusuf Bhamjee, Msunduzi Mayor Mike Tarr, KZN’s First Lady, May Mashego-Mkhize, Independent Electoral Commission provincial head Mawethu Mosery and eThekwini Deputy Mayor Logie Naidoo.

Speaker after speaker highlighted the importance of upholding the principles of peace in ensuring the growth of South Africa’s democracy.

Mkhize said, “I hope that the unveiling of the peace pillar will help strengthen peace in our province and the entire country.”

He said the pillars are another symbol of the strong relationship that South Africa has with India, having celebrated the 150th anniversary of the arrival of Indians in this country.

“The unveiling of the peace pillar could not have been done at a more fitting time as the province and the country at large prepare for the local government election, which should be done in a peaceful manner.”

Mkhize said the pillar must be a reminder of those who died fighting for peace so that peace can prevail in this country. “Let this be symbolic in our efforts to continue upholding peace in our land.;”

Swami Padmanabhananda said it was a great moment for him to be part of the ceremony. He thanked the South African government for allowing him to be part of the occasion.

“Music has always been part of life for the Indian community. Ancients of India thought that life would not be successful without peace, love and unity. So the big prayer is to let the flora, the animal kingdom and humanity be happy,” said the swami.

The holy man said it is important to think alike, walk together and live in harmony with each other. “If we are at one with each other we are able to achieve peace,” he added.

Mkhize, Padayachee, Tarr, Bhamjee, Naidoo, Mosery, Marry Pappaya and Zanele Mbokazi are all recipients of the Sivananda Peace Award.

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