Prajapita Brahma Kumaris
Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya
A university for life-long
By B.K. Chandrakala
Few organisations have stimulated
as much change and discussion at the time of their inception, or have undergone
such expansion in succeeding decades, as the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual
University. Yet, throughout its growth and development, the BKWSU has managed
to maintain its original principles and adhere to its original purpose.
The Brahma Kumaris World
Spiritual University acknowledges the intrinsic goodness of all people.
We teach a practical method of meditation that helps individuals understand
their inner strengths and values.
A worldwide family of individuals
from all walks of life, the Brahma Kumaris are committed to spiritual growth
and personal transformation, believing them essential in creating a peaceful
and just world.
Acknowledging the challenges
of rapid global change, the Brahma Kumaris nurture the well-being of the
entire human family by promoting spiritual understanding, leadership with
integrity and elevated actions towards a better world.
Brahma Kumaris History
Perhaps few organisations
have stimulated as much change and discussion at the time of their inception,
or have undergone such expansion in succeeding decades, as the Brahma Kumaris
World Spiritual University. Yet, throughout its growth and development,
the BKWSU has managed to maintain its original principles and adhere to
its original purpose.
When the University came
into being under the name "Om Mandali" it consisted of only a handful of
men, women and children living in Hyderabad, Sindh (now part of Pakistan,
but at that time part of colonial India). After a respected and wealthy
member of their community, Dada Lekhraj, experienced a series of visions
in 1936, these spiritual pioneers were inspired to transform their lives.
Dada Lekhraj's visions revealed
a body of knowledge about the nature of the soul, of God and of time -
concepts so simple in their expression but so profound in meaning that
they awakened a powerful sense of recognition in those with whom the visions
A year after Om Mandali's
establishment, the organisation moved from Hyderabad to Karachi. For fourteen
years, until two years after the Partition of India and Pakistan, the founding
group of nearly 400 individuals lived as a self-sufficient community devoting
their time to intense spiritual study, meditation and self transformation.
In 1950, the community moved
to Mount Abu, a quiet place reputed for its ancient heritage and regarded
as a sacred destination by many in search of spiritual rejuvenation and
empowerment. Nestled high in the Aravali Mountains of Rajasthan, it provided
an ideal location for reflection and contemplation. After a few years in
a rented building, the community moved to the site which remains the University's
world headquarters: Madhuban (meaning 'Forest of Honey').
Expansion of Brahma Kumaris
In 1952, Brahma Baba, as
Dada Lekhraj had become known - being aware of the devastating scars the
troubled independence process and Partition had left on peoples' lives
- felt that it was time to share with the rest of India the knowledge that
he had received. He therefore sent a few young women members to Bombay
and Delhi 'on service'. Their task was to establish study centres where
the knowledge of Raja Yoga could be taught. Today there is scarcely a town
in India without a Brahma Kumaris (BK) study centre.
Since the fifties, the organisation
has progressed in leaps and bounds. In 1971, permanent centres were established
in the UK and Hong Kong, which soon led to worldwide expansion and consistent,
progressive growth, both geographically and in overall membership.
World Spiritual University
Today there are hundreds
of thousands of students attending thousands of meditation centres in nearly
one hundred countries. While Madhuban itself serves as the nucleus of these
BK centres, the Madhuban complex currently includes two other campuses,
The Academy for a Better World, also known as Gyan Sarovar (Lake of Knowledge)
located elsewhere on the mountain, and Shantivan (Forest of Peace) located
at the mountain's base. Altogether every year the three campuses attract
over 2.5 million individuals (students and visitors) from all ethnic and
From humble beginnings, the
organisation has come a long way.
On a physical level, Brahma
Baba was a man of stature, with soft white hair and a handsome visage.
On a spiritual level, his presence was soothing and gentle, and from his
eyes emanated wisdom, understanding, compassion and strength.
Brahma Baba, born into a
humble home as Lekhraj Kripilani in 1876, was the son of a village schoolmaster.
Lekhraj was brought up within the disciplines of the Hindu tradition. He
did not follow in his father's footsteps as a teacher; instead he entered
the jewellery business, earning considerable fortune as a diamond trader.
As a businessman and as a family man, father of five children, Dada Lekraj
maintained a highly respectable position within the local community and
was known for his philanthropy.
Then, in 1936, at the age
of 60, when most of his colleagues were planning their retirement, Dada
Lekhraj entered into the most active and fascinating phase of his life,
during which he became known as Brahma Baba.
The intensity of the messages
conveyed by the visions was such that Brahma Baba felt compelled to wrap
up his worldly business and devote himself to understanding the significance
and application of this revealed knowledge. Although the visions ceased,
their Source remained with him for the next three decades, guiding his
transformation as well as that of those around him.
Brahma Baba's Legacy
The living skills that Brahma
Baba taught have stood the test of time. The young women that he put to
the forefront, now in their eighties and nineties, have become beacons
of love, peace and happiness in a world increasingly troubled by disordered
relationships, greed, addiction, anger and violence.
Brahma Baba - Tower of
Brahma Baba passed on in
1969 at the age of 93. The Tower of Peace on the Madhuban campus is a tribute
to the invincible spirit of this ordinary human being who achieved greatness
by rising to the challenge of the deeper truths of life.
One of the first questions
frequently asked upon encountering the Brahma Kumaris is, "Is this a women's
organisation?" The answer is "no". Although primarily administered by women,
it is an organisation in which both women and men participate equally.
The Role of Women
In October 1937, Brahma
Baba formed a Managing Committee of eight young women and in February 1938,
he surrendered all his property and assets to a Trust administered by them.
The soundness of his decision to choose women and young girls as administrators
and spiritual teachers has been born out by the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual
University (BKWSU) becoming a respected global institution under their
leadership. Brahma Baba also correctly foresaw that core values based on
traditionally feminine qualities - patience, tolerance, sacrifice, kindness
and love - would increasingly become the foundation of progress in personal
growth, human relations, and the development of caring communities.
Dadi Janki : Administrative
Head - Brahma Kumaris
As Administrative Head of
the Brahma Kumaris, Dadi Janki provides a working leadership model for
all women and men who are seeking to integrate both male and female qualities
into their personal and professional lives. Dadi Janki lovingly engages
people of all faiths and walks of life to be true to their spiritual self;
to undertake their unique and individual part in the play of creating a
future world worthy of the generations to come. In short, Dadi Janki calls
us all to our potential.
Dadi Hirdaya Mohini:
Additional Administrative Head - Brahma Kumaris
The name Hirdaya Mohini
means 'The one who attracts the heart', and perhaps because she attracts
the hearts of one and all, Dadi is popularly known by the name Gulzar,
which means 'rose garden'. At the age of eight, Dadi Gulzar was one of
original members of a boarding school set up in Sindh in 1937 by Brahma
Baba. Her concentrated training in spiritual principles and practice has
continued ever since. Dadi Hirdaya Mohini became a member of the committee
of women that administers the Brahma Kumaris and, in doing so, paved the
way for many other women to develop leadership skills.
Brahma Kumaris Students
Students are individuals
aged 18 or above who support the philosophy and teaching of the BKWSU,
are committed to its objectives and attend its daily classes at least twice
a week on a regular basis. They reflect a diversity of backgrounds, levels
of education, occupation and age. Enrolment is free and open to individuals
wishing to participate in an active change process through personal growth
based on spiritual knowledge and the practice of meditation.
Present statistics indicate
that the University has 825,000 students and over 8,500 centres in 100
countries and territories.
Sources of Financial Support
The University and its centres
are supported financially by the voluntary contributions of its teachers
and students who live and work in the local community. All activities are
free of charge and offered as a community service.
Headquarters: Mount Abu
India is a country rich
in tradition and legendary stories of the intrigues that depict the wars
and romances of its ancient kings and their kingdoms of unimaginable wealth.
Many of these kings or 'rajas' lived in the state of Rajasthan, 'The Land
of Kings'. During the hot summers the Rajput kings travelled across the
desert plains to the cooling heights of their summer palaces in the Aravali
Mountains. Today, winding their way up the serpentine mountain road away
from the desert, travellers are wonderstruck by the magic of these mountains.
Global Hospital &
Western Rajasthan is one
of the least privileged areas of India. Much of it is desert, water is
in short supply and the illiteracy rate is high. The majority of the population
has long been deprived of basic health measures. This situation began to
change in 1990 with the establishment of the J. Watumull Memorial Global
Hospital and Research Centre, a Brahma Kumaris initiative. Designed to
provide high quality, modern, holistic healthcare services in a tranquil,
rural environment, the hospital offers free or subsidised treatment and
medicine to 100,000 people, of whom 54,000 are tribal residents inhabiting
855 primitive villages. The hospital is managed and run by a charitable
trust established and supported by members of the Brahma Kumaris.
The Brahma Kumaris Peace
Park is both lovely and serene, a natural environment where silence and
recreation co-exist. The park offers a perfect recreational environment,
with level playing fields, picnic areas, swings, and nature walks. Nestled
between two famous peaks of the Aravali hills-the well known spiritual
pilgrimage destinations of Guru Shikhar and Achal Garh-Peace Park is an
oasis of natural beauty only 8 kms from the Madhuban campus.
Meditation is taught as a
method of raising self-awareness leading to self-realisation. Meditation
stills the mind and empowers the intellect to achieve insight and understanding
of the spiritual laws and principles which sustain harmony and can bring
natural renewal at all levels of life on earth.
Raja Yoga Meditation
directed, makes God accessible to everyone." -Sr. Jayanti, God's Healing
Power (Michael Joseph, Penguin Group, 2002)
Raja Yoga meditation redefines
the self as a soul and enables a direct connection and relationship with
the Supreme Source of purest energy and highest consciousness. Raja Yoga
can be translated as 'supreme union', or as 'highest connection'. Every
soul has a right to experience this ultimate relationship.
The Foundation Course
in Raja Yoga Meditation
At the heart of the University's
teachings is The Foundation Course in Raja Yoga Meditation. This course
provides a logical and practical understanding of the relationship between
spirit and matter, as well as an understanding of the interplay between
souls, God and the material world. The series of classes in this course
will facilitate your inward journey in an efficient and effective way.
Positive Thinking Course
If you are not sure that
you're ready for meditation but would like to understand your mind better,
gain greater clarity and learn how to manage your thoughts, the Positive
Thinking Course is for you.
Stress Free Living Seminars
Stress getting to you? Everyone
experiences difficult periods in their lives when deadlines, family worries,
financial pressures and or turbulent relationships take their toll on our
sense of mental and physical well-being. Calm down and learn to relax through
a Stress Free Living Seminar.
Brahma Kumaris (BKs) at
the United Nations
Through its international
network of centers, the BKs organize special activities, seminars, workshops,
dialogues, conferences, and exhibitions to provide people with spaces to
voice their opinions on critical matters that impact their daily lives
and to ensure that their messages make their way back to the UN.
(The Headquarter of Brahma
Kumari: World Head Quarter), Pandav Bhawan, Post Box No. 2, Mount Abu.
Rajasthan: Phone: 02974-238261-68, The web site is www.bkun.org)
Send your comments to
B.K. Sudhir Kumar at