Memorable visit – Last Six days

Swami Smarananandaji with Swami Saradanandaji at Newcastle in deep discussion

Sri Swami Smarananandaji Maharaj, one of the Vice-Presidents of the world-wide Ramakrishna Order completed his South African tour on 4th June, 2008. He and his Secretary Swami Jnanavratanandaji left Durban on 5th June morning by a homeward bound SA flight to Mumbai and onto Kolkata. Here is a short Report on his memorable visit – the Last Six days (30th May to 4th June) in South Africa. The holy visit brought about a remarkable enthusiasm among the Ramakrishna devotees and Hindus in general. The spiritual atmosphere was palpable wherever he went. Many sincere spiritual seekers got his invaluable guidance. 

Swami Smarananandaji with his Secretary Swami Jnanavratanandaji and Swami Saradanandaji of Ramakrishna Centre of South AfricaThe morning of 30th May saw the departure for Northern Natal centres. The team – consisting Most Revered Vice-President Maharaj accompanied by Swami Jnanavratanandaji, Swami Saradanandaji, Dr H B Parbhoo, Dr Seebaran and Bhavanesh – arrived at Newcastle by 1 pm. In the evening a special Satsang was arranged in the Centre’s Shrine where to the packed hall, Swami Smarananandaji Maharaj spoke on ‘Peace in Daily Life’. Next day morning after breakfast, the team drove to Ladysmith where the poor children of Ramakrishna Quedisisi Crèche, situated in the Black Settlement Area warmly greeted Revered Maharaj. He distributed packets of breads, biscuits, cakes and juices along with writing materials among the children.

Swami Smarananandaji giving breads etc to the Black children of Ramakrishna Quedisisi CrecheAt 11 am he reached a School premises where more than 500 indigent Black/Indian people gathered. He gave away the hampers and also spoke a few words of consolation first in English and then for a few minutes spoke, to the delight of the aged people assembled there in Tamil and Hindi. In the evening, he visited the Ladysmith Sub-centre and prostrated at the beautiful shrine before the Holy Trio. He met devotees and also the newly initiated disciples and gave them spiritual guidance.

On 1st June, a public Reception Programme had been arranged by the Ladysmith Sub-centre in the famous 115-year old stately Town Hall where Revered Maharaj spoke on ‘Contemplation in Active Life’. The centre’s children-devotees presented an interesting folk dance item.

Swami Smarananandaji at sunrise in DrakensburgIn the evening, he with Jnanavratanandaji left Ladysmith and reached Ramesh Ishwarlaal’s Retreat Home at Drakensberg. The assembled devotees had meditation and Readings from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. 2nd June was spent on discussion on Upanishads, Conversations of Holy Mother and Meditation. In the day time Revered Maharaj and the devotee team went to see the Bird Show in Drakensberg where the well-trained birds like vultures, falcons, owls and also dogs performed to the delight of tourists.Swami Smarananandaji conducting a Retreat in Ladysmith

On 3rd June, Revered Maharaj and the team while returning stopped for an hour at Pietermaritzburg Sub centre. In this beautiful shrine Revered Maharaj was received with arati and traditional welcome with garlands. While speaking to the devotees there he paid homage to Swamis Nischalanandaji and Shivapadanandaji for their endless efforts in spreading ‘Ramakrishna thoughts’ among the public. He added that Ramakrishna has become a ‘permanent citizen’ of this country.

Reaching Durban back at the headquarters centre, he went to Sri Sarada Devi Ashram located at Asherville in the evening. He was accorded a warm reception by Pravrajika Ishtaprana and other nuns and women devotees. He spoke in the beautiful shrine on ‘Katha Upanishad’ underlying the prominent ideas chapter-wise.

There was no outing on the 4th June which was the last day in his itinery. The day of course saw numerous devotees having darshan as well as receiving spiritual guidance from the Most Revered Vice-President Maharaj. His visit will ever remain etched strong in our memories as it gave enormous opportunity for all of us to see, walk and laugh too, besides drawing inspiration in our onward spiritual journey.

11 comments

  1. Revered Maharaj,

    Please accept my respectful pranam. It was a very nice report on Revered Vice President Maharaj’s visit to South Africa. While reading your blog I was, as if, travelling with Rev. Maharaj in different sub-centres of South Africa and enjoying his holy company.

    With respectful pranam again,

    Yours affectionately,
    Kripamayananda
    Toronto, Canada

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  2. Maharaj graciously touched our hearts and stirred our souls with his radiant shakti and caring fatherly nature.

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  3. Respected Swamiji,

    Sadar Pranam on your holy feet.
    It really gives me pleasure to go through the velubale message & thnak you for sharing with us.

    Your’s truely
    Bijay Tripathy
    Dubai

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  4. Respected Maharaaj, The pictures are really wonderful, as if we are there and watching him. All of the topics of his lecture were indeed interesting, especially when he explaining Upanishada.
    Pronaam,
    Sucheta

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  5. Pranaam Maharaj

    The articles that are presented by Sri Swami Vimokshanandaji Maharaj are Wonderful and Well appreciated. The Spiritual Power in the words of God Inspired Saints is wonderful Indeed! and Swami Smarananadaji Maharaj,is a glowing example of this statement, as we have been uplifted to heavenly heights at His discourses! It was also a Great Blessing to be in His Holy Company many times! It was sad to say Goodbye to Maharaj, but He has left an Indelible mark in our hearts!!

    Kind Regards
    Avithaa

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  6. Dear Swamiji
    My prostrations to thee, This is such a wonderful resource. I thank you for taking the time to capture these wonderful moments and sharing same with us.
    I am deeply inspired.
    Om Namo Narayanaya
    Yogan Naidoo

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  7. It is so wonderful and spiritually uplifting to read the blog of yours. While reading the report of the visit of the Most Rev Swami Smaranandaji’s visit to South Africa, I began to travel with him to the most wonderful country. I anticipated that the Rev Maharaj would have a memorable time in SA as most of the devotees of the ashramas of SA are real gem. I hope and pray that the Trustees of the Math will send a few swamis to assist you in continuing the work of the TRIOS.
    Sastanger Pranam, my Maharaj

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  8. I keep visiting your blog from time to time and I always find many intresting articles to read. Thank you Swamiji for sharing with us all the wonderful moments of the visit. Though I am here in India but I am in touch with your Ashram kind courtsy my friend Avitaa.
    With my pronams.

    Purnendu Mukerjee

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  9. Reverred Maharajji,
    I felt very happy for the fortunate devotees of Durban who were bleesed by the most reverred Vice-President Maharaj. My thoughts went back to 1997 when the then Vice-President Srimat Swami Ranganathanandji Maharaj had visited Ranchi and we had the privilege to be blessed by Him.
    With Pronam
    Jayanta.

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  10. Revered Swamiji,

    Pranams at your lotus feet! I really feel very grateful to you for sharing your thoughts of wisdom through this blog also. It is a great source of inspiration to read beautiful articles and fuel ourself with the great work happening in Africa. My sincere thanks to Avitha didi who introduced me to you. The seva of distribution and the topic – Contemplation in Active life along with Kathopanishad has instilled a desire to read these great texts. Thank you Swamiji. Love you. Prayers.

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  11. Gurudev,(Srimat Swami Smarananandaji).
    I bow down to your feet. My heartful Pranam, Gurudev!.
    Shribash Bhattacharjee.
    Dewan Tea Estate.
    Silchar. Cachar. Assam, India

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