People often wonder if Brahma Kumari is a religion. It is not a religion but a movement that started in Hyderabad, Sindh, in the 1930s. Lekhraj Kriplani founded the movement, and it became famous due to the crucial roles that women played in it.
The culture of Brahma Kumaris talks about meditation practices that focus on souls. People associated with them strive to transcend labels like nationality, caste, gender and race. Let’s take a look!
History Of Brahma Kumaris
Image Courtesy: Brahma Kumaris/Instagram
Have you ever heard of Satsang? Originally called Om Mandali, the movement of Brahma Kumaris started in Sindh, currently a part of Pakistan. The members used to chant ‘Om’ before they discussed spiritual matters, which were closely associated with the Bhagavad Gita.
Three years after the origination, the committee saw that women played an important role. Soon, a 22-year-old Radhe Pokardas Rajwani became the President of the group that had members irrespective of their caste.
The group increased and started to talk about the rights of women to deny marriage and accept a celibate life. Women of the group faced criticism, abuse and domestic violence at home. In August 1938, the local District Magistrate banned the meetings of Om Mandali.
In November 1939, the Court of the Judicial Commissioner of Sind lifted the ban and criticised the DM for not taking action against the abuse and domestic violence that members of Mandali faced. The committed left Hyderabad and shifted to Karachi.
By May 1950, they expanded to Rajasthan and had always focused on the issue of education of women instead of worship. In 1980, they registered as a Non-Governmental Organisation with the United Nations Department of Public Relations. By 2000, their worldwide membership reached about 450,000.
Beliefs Of Brahma Kumaris
The movement separated itself from its Hindu roots long ago and believes that they are a spiritual teaching group. They see human beings in two parts - the energy of the soul and a visible body. They teach that souls enter bodies to take birth to gain expression for their personality.
They use the term ‘Supreme Soul’ to refer to God and refer to him as living light without a physical body. They want to reawaken the spirits of humanity to overpower negativity and evil.
Brahma Kumaris believe that destiny of the soul to enter the next body depends on the actions (karma) that it performs while in the present body. They believe that meditation can help a soul transform to lead a better life. They do not believe in the start and end of the Universe. Brahma Kumaris follow an eternal life cycle of the Universe.
Practices Of Brahma Kumaris
- The members of Brahma Kumaris teach different forms of meditations so that human beings can purify their minds.
- They believe in finding good in each person irrespective of the stereotypes of race, caste, creed and gender.
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Rules Of Brahma Kumaris
- Whether in or out of the marriage, a member must be a complete celibate.
- The member must attend the morning (how to become a morning person) class at 6.30 A.M.
- The person must follow sattvic vegetarianism strictly
- The member must meditate between 4.00 A.M. and 4.45 A.M.
- The person must refrain from the use of tobacco, alcohol and drugs.
- Students of Brahma Kumaris can stay only in the company of other members of the organisation.
- A member will wear only white clothes as a symbol of purity.
Activities Of Brahma Kumaris
In the field of education, the members of Brahma Kumaris teach their philosophies and open-eyed meditation. They also offer courses on self-management leadership, positive thinking and living values.
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The organisation of Brahma Kumaris has been a part of many initiatives taken in the favour of our environment. They promote renewable and sustainable energy. They are also into the healthcare sector and sustainable yogic agriculture.
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