By the grace of Pujya Gurudev and Lord’s blessings, Chinmaya Mission South Africa (CMSA) has been on an expansion spree under the able guidance of Pujya Swami Abhedanandaji in the last one decade. With the magnificent Chinmaya Shivam temple and residential ashram expansion in Durban already in place; now CMSA is expanding geographically across various other cities of South Africa. The newly established centre of Chinmaya Mission in Cape Town came abuzz with Pujya Swami Abhedanandaji’s maiden visit to this hugely sought-after tourist destination. From 17th to 22nd May, Swami Abhedanandaji packed his visit with numerous programs across Cape Town, connecting with people from all walks of life, thus ensuring that maximum devotees and new people come in close contact with Chinmaya Mission and Pujya Gurudev’s divine vision. Aside from his deep knowledge and spiritual wisdom, people felt immensely touched by his overwhelming love and craved for more by the end of Pujya Swamiji’s visit.
On 17th May Pujya Swamiji addressed devotees of Satya Sai Organzaton at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial School premises on the topic “Importance of Seva and Sadhana in Daily Life”. Citing the examples of great masters like Satya Sai Baba, Swami Shivanandaji Maharaj and our Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayanandaji, Pujya Swamiji beautifully explained how we can make our lives truly purposeful by adding the dimension of Seva (service of others). He explained that service should be done with the sole purpose of pleasing the Guru or Lord, and not for self-gratification of the Ego. He elaborated how only a person who is truly happy within himself is capable of serving others. For being a good sevak, one must be devoid of ego, anger and sorrow. These 3 negativities deprive us of our opportunity to serve. Pujya Swamiji emphasised that Seva is possible only when we love all, and accept everyone inspite of any faults or imperfections. In Seva, we feed others more with our love and emotions than with food. A large gathering of devotees attended this talk and also felt greatly inspired to support Chinmaya Mission Cape Town in our local activities.
On the same day Swamiji also addressed a multi-racial group of Yoga students belonging to the Art of Living foundation. It was a wonderful informal satsang interspersed with thought provoking questions by the audience on “what is detachment?” and “how to deal with anxiety and overcome fear?. Pujya Swamiji explained that anxiety comes only when we remember our personal desires while undertaking any pursuit. Associating ourselves with a higher goal and greater purpose makes one free of anxiety. All actions should be an expression of impersonalization of desire. Fear arises mainly out of sense of insecurity of losing something. We should remember that not everything is in our control. Surrendering to the will of the Lord and the belief that God’s plans will work out in our ultimate benefit, will eradicate all our fears. On 18th May Pujya Swamiji addressed a group of students from the Engineering Faculty of University of Cape Town. Swamiji spoke on the topic “From Stress to Success” and inspired all the students greatly. Aside from this, Swamiji was also invited by the Sri Siva Aalayam Temple of Cape Town where a large number of devotees gathered on Sunday afternoon to receive Pujya Swamiji and attend his talk on the topic of “10 aspects of Dharmic Living”
From 19th to 22nd May Pujya Swami Abhedanandaji conducted a Gyan Yagna for 4 days at Shri Vishnu Temple in Rylands, Cape Town on the subject “Vision of Geeta for Joyful Living”. This was the first ever Gyan Yagna by Chinmaya Mission in Cape Town and it was overwhelming to see such a wonderful response. The satsang hall was packed with devotees of Afrikaans and South African origin besides local Indians. Pujya Swamiji covered the essence of Shrimad Bhagavad Geeta and elaborated on the importance of living a inspired life. Pujya Swamiji said that Spiritual life is what makes us non-vulnerable to the onslaughts received from the outside world. It teaches us how to live with emotional freedom and joy; how to live with a smile so that worldly sorrows don’t affect us. Spiritual life alone makes us shock and sadness proof! The 4 day talks ended with increasing turnout every single day, and on the last day devotees spent informal time with Pujya Swamiji along with “Samashti-bhiksha”
During Pujya Swamiji’s stay in Cape Town, the Deputy High Commissioner of India to South Africa Mr.Abhishek Shukla came to meet Swamiji and personally extend his support for the Mission’s great work and ongoing activities in Cape Town.
As one of the devotees put it on the last day of Pujya Swamiji’s talks “Swamiji, after listening to you I feel we really need to clone you – one for Cape Town, one for Johannesburg and one for Durban… we will really be waiting for your next visit”. The experience of all the devotees was that aside from immense knowledge and depth, they received Pujya Swamiji’s unconditional love which made them feel yearning for more and more.
Brni. Madhvi Chaitanya – student of the 2 year Vedanta Course conducted by Pujya Swami Abhedanandaji in Durban, has now been posted in Cape Town centre. Owing to her dynamic work, more and more devotees are now getting associated with the Mission.