Times of India
the seer’s steps, after 50 years!
Fifty years back, when Swami Sivananda of The Divine Life Society arrived in Ahmedabad on a countrywide visit, 20 year-old Haribala Dave was there to sing hymns for the visiting saint. Half a century later, on Tuesday, Haribala, now 70 years old, sang the same hymns for touring devotees who are following the same path that the revered saint had tread. Replicating the tour of Swami Sivananda, his followers are carrying the seer’s sandals on a tour which started from Rishikesh on September 8. After traversing through the route which the Swami had taken through Lucknow, Varanasi, Patna, Calcutta, Bhubhaneshwar, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Colombo, Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra, the team arrived in Ahmedabad on Tuesday evening.
During his visit to Ahmedabad, Swami Sivananda was accorded
a public reception at the Premabhai Hall on November 1, 1950. A
satsang programme was organised later at Gita Mandir by a
reception committee consisting of the elite of the city. The
swami had also visited Sabarmati Ashram.
The team of disciples, now on the countrywide yatra,
were also received at
Gita Mandir by the chief of the temple and head of Akhil
Bharat Sadhu Samaj, Swami Mangalanandji Maharaj. Later, a massive
reception was organised at the Sivananda Ashram at Jodhpur Tekra
where the minister for higher education, Bharat Barot was
present. Early on Wednesday morning, the travelers joined the yoga
camp being conducted by the present head of the ashram, Swami
Adhyatmananda, a renowned yoga exponent. A candle-light meditation
and prayer for the peace in the world were also held on the occasion. Swami Adhyatmananda
quoted Swami’ Sivananda as saying during his visit to the city
50 years back, “there is a lot of material wealth in Ahmedabad,
you all should acquire the inexhaustible spiritual wealth and seek
the truth, purity character, work hard, selflessly, love the
nation and love Mother India.” The Sivananda Ashram was
established in 1975 by the present head of The Divine Life Society
Swami Chidanandji Maharaj. The ashram is currently celebrating
silver jubilee programme with the 569th yogasan and meditation
camp which is held from 5 am to 7 am and ‘sundarkand’
discourses by Swami Adhyatmananda from 6.30 pm to 8 pm every day.
The ashram will
conduct a special yoga camp for diabetics from November 14,
observed as World Diabetes Day. The camp will be organised in
association with leading city-based diabetes specialist Dr Mayur