SPEECH BY ISHWAR RAMLUTCHMAN
1 OCTOBER 2010
PHOENIX OFFICIAL UNVEILING OF THE SIVANANDA PEACE PILLAR
Today marks a special moment in the history of our province and our country at large, as we Officially unveil the 2nd Sivananda Peace Pillar here in Phoenix.
Firstly , I would like to pay tribute and offer my loving Salutations to my Beloved Master’s Sri Swami Sivananda and Sri Swami Sahajananda for having blessed me with the golden opportunities in life to serve mankind and to strive for the highest in life. I am thankful to my Beloved Master’s because without their Divine Grace nothing would be possible.
A few years ago, I made a commitment to the late Swami Sahajananda, my beloved Swamiji, to undertake the installation of eight Sivananda Peace Pillar’s across our country. Today, it is unfortunate as I complete this project in my individual capacity. After the passing away of Pujya Swamiji, I was put through many tests and difficulties and I would like all youth to learn from my experience. We should see each hurdle as an opportunity to grow rather than allow ourselves to be discouraged by others.
Both Sri Swami Sivananda & Swami Sahajananda were firm believers in the Law of Karma, where we reap the fruits of our actions, both positive and negative. I would like to place on record, that I have resigned from all my official duties within my Master’s institution but will always remain a loyal member of the Divine Life Society. It was the most difficult decision that we had to make but it was done after careful consideration and for the harmony of the institution and my own peace of mind. I strongly believe that everything happens by the Will of God and as one door closes another opens. In God’s eyes, we are all equal and His servants. We don’t need positions to serve God in the form of our underprivileged people. I shall still continue to serve the people in my own small way.
The four ton granite pillar, 3,5m high ,is inscribed with prayers from the world’s major religions, and is erected in honor of Swami Sivananda and the late Swami Sahajananda, who contributed extensively towards community upliftment in our country.
Today I pay tribute and Honour my beloved Master’s. His Holiness Sri Swami Sivananda, World Renowned Saint and Founder of the Divine Life Society, World Wide who had an inborn eagerness to serve all and an innate feeling of unity with all mankind. I also salute His Holiness Sri Swami Sahajananda who had an abiding philanthropy and concern for the underprivileged, children in particular, irrespective of their cast, color or creed. Their teachings and actions have been a great inspiration in my life. It is also a humbling experience to have His Holiness Sri Swami Vimlananda accept an invitation to unveil the Sivananda Peace Pillar Monument.
We are indeed Blessed and grateful to have Swamiji in our midst, and wish Swamiji a speedy recovery. Swamiji was initiated into the Holy Order of Sannyas by Sri Swami Sivananda and is the current World President of the Divine Life. I would also like to take this opportunity of thanking Swamiji for making it possible for us to have the Sivananda Peace Pillar in South Africa.
The first Sivananda Pillar was unveiled in 1950 in Rishikesh, India by Swami Sivananda himself. Swami Sivananda had a vision to provide spiritual and material upliftment for people around the world. This Pillar demonstrates the universality of all world religions when it comes to promoting peace and harmony in our country.
The Sivananda Peace Pillar will be a source of inspiration. It reminds us that peace and love must transcend our human limitations that is so prevalent in our society today! I have been given unconditional support from great leaders of our country towards this heritage project and have the Blessings and permission of the Divine Life Society, Rishikesh.
I salute these Great Leaders for their permission, encouragement and support in assisting me with fulfilling my promise to my Guru even though he has left his physical body. I would like to single out The Chairperson of the Ganesha Temple, Mr Dennis Govender and his committee members & temple devotees, who readily & lovingly offered their temple premises as the site to erect the 2nd Peace Pillar. My heartfelt thanks and appreciation go to Mr. Arthur Konigkramer and Mr. Barry Marshal for their support in ensuring the Sivananda Peace Pillar is part of the Heritage of our Province.
I have no hesitation in saying that each one of us is intimately attached to the soil of this beautiful country. The spiritual and physical oneness we all share with this common homeland explains the depth of the pain we all carried in our hearts as we saw our country tear itself apart in terrible conflict, and as we saw it spurned, outlawed and isolated by the people of the world, precisely because it had become the universal base of the practice of racism and racial oppression. We, the people of South Africa, feel fulfilled that humanity has taken us back into its bosom, that we, who suffered from oppression, today been given the rare privilege to be host to the nations of the world on our own soil in 2010. This is true spirit of reconciliation. Peace and harmony have dawned over our Country. We call for tolerance in religious and cultural activities undertaken by people of all races. Accept each one as a brother ,sister or a child of God .Together we can stand united and let Peace Prevail on our sacred soil of South Africa.
I Pay Special tribute to my King ,His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini ka-bhekuzulu, Bayethe Hlanga LomHlabathi, Hlanga leswe, Zulu Eli Phezulu, King of the Zulu Nation, for His wonderful message and for all the encouragement during my dark days. His Majesty is a True leader in the fight against poverty amongst our people. I have also come to pay my respects to my King, whom I consider to be one of the greatest Kings of our land since the reign of the Kings Shaka ka Senzangakhona, His Majesty has been the most consistent voice and campaigner for peace and unity among his people. It is largely due to his ceaseless commitment to peace that relative stability and peace that has come to the province of KwaZulu-Natal. I know that nothing troubles His Majesty more than strife among his people, I urge all , more specially in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, to give His Majesty the gift he will cherish for the rest of his life – the gift of enduring peace.
There are many individuals within South Africa, such as our Former President Nelson Mandela, who have fought against oppression and supported the process of peace and stability in our country. Today I would like to single out three great leaders who I have admired and respected and they are H.H Sri Swami Vimlananda, His Majesty the king,Bayete , Silo Sama Zulu, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi. We feel honored to bestow upon these Special Peace Awards for their dedication and commitment to the welfare of the Nation.
In conclusion, my eternal gratitude and heartfelt thanks goes to my Beloved Masters, Sri Swami Sivananda and Pujya Swami Sahajananda for all their guidance and inspiration and using me as an instrument within their Divine Mission. I would like to thank, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, Deputy Minister Roy Padayachie, His Holiness MV Shembe, Mr Sheik Walid El Saadi, Deputy Mayor of the City of Ethekweni, Cllr Logie Naidoo ,Dr.BV Mthethwa, Mr Dennis Govender and the members and devotees of the Ganesha Temple, internet guy, marque person__________________, 1860 Leagacy Foundation , Barry Marshal & Mr Konigkramer of Amafa. I Salute our Dignitaries for their assistance in serving the poorest of the poor in our Country through their partnerships. I also thank all my family and friends, and all of you that lovingly attended today’s historic event.
We share in the common motto of “service to mankind is worship of God.” I WOULD LIKE TO EMULATE THE TEACHINGS OF MY DIVINE MASTER SRI SWAMI SIVANANDA ,GIVEN BY HIM IN THE FOLLOWING WORDS, AND I QOUTE
“TO SEE GOD IN ALL NAMES AND FORMS. TO SERVE THE POOR AND NEEDY, SEEING GOD IN THEM. TO RELIEVE THE PAINS, SORROWS AND SUFFERINGS OF OTHERS. TO SHARE WHAT YOU HAVE WITH OTHERS. TO BE A COSMIC FRIEND AND A COSMIC BENEFACTOR, A FRIEND OF THE POOR, THE FORLORN, THE HELPLESS AND THE FALLEN, IS MY CREED.”
UNQOUTE. I TRY TO PRACTISE THIS ADVISE OF MY MASTERS IN MY OWN SMALL WAY TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE UPLIFTMENT OF MANKIND. May you have a pleasant day and a safe and journey home AND MAY THE GRACE OF GOD BE UPON YOU ALL!