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Spreading the word of peace: Brahma Kumaris

Spreading the message of one love. Image Source: http://bkinfo.in

BY VRITIKA JHUNJHUNWALA

Brahma Kumaris is a worldwide spiritual movement dedicated to personal transformation and world renewal. Founded in India in 1937 by Dada Lekhraj Kripalani, who later took the name Brahma Baba, Brahma  Kumaris has spread to over 110 countries on all continents and has had an extensive impact in many sectors as an international NGO.

The Philosophy

The organization believes that all souls are intrinsically good and that God is the source of all goodness. Our true identity is not the physical form, but the spiritual being which embodies love, peace, purity and understanding. The university teaches one to transcend labels associated with the body, such as race, nationality, religion, and gender and aspires to establish a global culture of mindfulness.

Head Quarters and other office centres

The spiritual headquarters of Brahma Kumaris is in Mount Abu, India. The Brahma Kumaris spiritual headquarters is known as Madhuban (Forest of Honey). Activities of international interest are coordinated regionally from offices and retreats in London, Moscow, Nairobi, New York and Sydney, Philippines and Brazil. The movement claimed to have more than 825,000 regular students, with over 8,500 centres in 110 countries

The Founder

Brahma Kumaris was founded by Dada Lekhraj Kripalani, a retired Indian businessman, in 1937 in Hyderabad, a city now in Pakistan. Lekhraj was brought up within the disciplines of the Hindu tradition and after different jobs; he entered the jewellery business to earn a considerable fortune as a diamond trader. In 1936, around the time when most people his age start to plan retirement, he entered into the most active and fascinating phase of his life.

After a series of deep spiritual experiences and visions, he felt an extremely strong pull to give up his business and dedicate his time, energy and wealth to laying the foundations of what later would become the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University. Between 1937 and 1938, he formed a Managing Committee of eight young women and surrendered all his property and assets to a Trust administered by them. After guiding the creation of many Brahma Kumaris centres throughout India, he passed on in January 1969

Courses and other Activities

The courses and subjects range within a variety of technical and gradual processes that include ‘The study of spiritual knowledge’, ‘Raja Yoga meditation’, ‘Conscious assimilation of virtues’, ‘Serving others spiritually’, ‘Overcoming anger’, ‘Positive thinking’, ‘Self-esteem’, ‘Stress-free living’ and other residential courses.

Lifestyle

Brahma Kumaris recommend a specific lifestyle in order achieve greater control over physical senses. This comprises of complete celibacy in or out of marriage, Sattvic vegetarianism, abstaining from alcohol, tobacco and non-prescription drugs, early morning meditation and wearing white clothes to symbolize purity.

Brahma Kumaris International Headquarters in Abu Road. Image Courtesy: http://www.brahmakumaris.com

The role of women

Brahma Kumaris is the largest spiritual organization in the world led by women. Although women hold the top administrative positions, they make decisions in partnership with the men. It is a consensus model of leadership based on respect, equality and humility. As such, it stands as an exemplar of accomplished and harmonious jurisdiction.

The United Nations and other activities

Brahma Kumaris is an international non-governmental organization (NGO) of the United Nations accredited by General Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

In promoting the purpose and principles of the United Nations, the spiritual trajectory of awareness, attitude, vision and action is used by Brahma Kumaris in the areas of the Millennium Development Goals, Climate Change, Food Crisis, Gender Equality, Global Public Health, Humanitarian Emergencies, Human Rights, Women, Children, Youth, International Decades and Days.

Current Leaders

Dadi Janki, born in 1916, she is the active Spiritual Head of Brahma Kumaris. Engaged in the mission since 1937, she spent 40 years based in London from 1974. Deep and insightful, she is an absolute joy to listen to and observe.

Dadi Hirdaya Mohini is the Additional Spiritual Head of Brahma Kumaris and stands true to her name that means ‘the one who attracts the heart’. She was one of the original members of the boarding school set up in 1937 by Brahma Baba.  Simple, silent and profound, she also inspires millions throughout the world.

Dadi Ratan Mohini is the Joint Spiritual Head of Brahma Kumaris and is one of the backbone members residing at the Headquarters. Dedicated and forthright, her focus has been the development and training of teachers throughout India that serve as the spiritual resource to the team of young people responsible for the personal development of youth. Now in her eighties, she remains lively and young at heart.

Meditation being the core teaching of these enlightened women, they also believe that spiritual awareness gives us the power to choose good and positive thoughts over those which are negative and wasteful. If these practices are adopted in one’s daily life, we begin to live in harmony, create better, happier and healthier relationships to change our lives in the most positive ways.

For more information on the Brahma Kumaris and their organisation, please visit their official website. 

Vritika lives in India where she immersed herself in authentic principles of Yoga and meditation through intense study, reference reading and oral teaching. Having learnt and taught the benefits of meditation in modern life, she aims to bring peace and well being to people in innumerable ways demonstrated by Yogic wisdom. To read more of her writing visit her blog 

Fundamentals about the 5 branches of Yoga

Pranayama at Bihar School of Yoga in Munger. Photo Credit: Coni Hörler

BY SUSHANT PANDEY

Yoga is a path; a philosophy to harmonise the interactions and expressions of consciousness and energies in an individual. There are numerous methods and tools employed to reach a state of inner poise, balance and harmony. These interactions of energies and consciousness express onto different layers of existence; creating various dimensions of human functioning and experiences. In our lives, we experience dimension of expressions in the physical, mental, emotional, intellectual and behavioural plane. From the grossest level; it is the physical body where both energy and consciousness interact on the plane of gross energies, vitality and senses. Then on subtle plane, we have the expressions of mental energies. The existence of emotional energies makes us experience the emotional dimension of being. And then we do experience more subtle expressions of intellect in the form of clear, detached and refined perspective to life and events. The cumulative interactions of these various energies and consciousness present there result in the outcome of certain behavioural patterns and interaction with the external environment. (more…)

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