Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual Organisation

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The Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, also known as ;

  • the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual Organisation
  • the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual Organization
  • Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya or
  • the BKWSU.

Teachers of a form of meditation, involving spirit channeling, called Raja Yoga and not to be confused with classical Patanjali's Raja Yoga. Administrators of Raja Yoga Centers worldwide.

A New Religious Movement with core Millenarianism beliefs concerning the imminent destruction of the current impure Kali Yuga world by a World War between America and Russia, civil war in India, widespread natural disasters and nuclear holocaust followed by the reward of a paradisiacal Sat Yuga or " Golden Age " which will take place on the Indian subcontinent for its faithful followers. Followers of the BKWSU are known as " BKs ", Brahma Kumaris [female] or Brahma Kumars [male]; literally, the daughters or sons of Brahma.

Contents

Origins

Formed in Sindh, now Pakistan, during 1937 by businessman Lekhraj Kripalani, a Sindhi follower of the Vaishnavite Vallabhacharya Sect. Kripalani experienced a series of what he considered to be divine visions and then possession by a spirit he considered to be God, the Supreme Soul, [1]. This spirit the B.K.s name as " Shiva Baba ", took over control of his bodily organs in order to express a message to humanity and teach their form of Raja Yoga. Followers, known as his " mouth born progeny ", believe that Lekhraj Kripalani is God's only direct medium or instrument. God being a soul which cannot express its message other than through this human body and this time being the only time in history that God intervenes in human destiny. B.K.s believe that their god " Shiva Baba " renamed Lekhraj Kripalani " Brahma Baba " and that he was the incarnation of the Hindu god Brahma, Prajapita or, literally, the Father of Humanity. Baba means " father " in Hindi.

Originally called "Om Mandali" or " Rajswa Ashvamegh Avinashi Geeta Gyan Yagya ", in the early days Lekhraj Kripalani attracted mostly women and their children belonging to the exogamous Bhaiband business caste of Hyderabad and along with them created much controversy until the Indian Congress party and the Arya Samaj denounced the Om Mandali community. Dada Lekhraj, known then as " Om Baba ", in turn denounced the Congress as "Kansa" or wicked and under pressure of Hindu public opinion, the Sindh government reluctantly banned the Om Mandali, which went to court and had the ban order quashed[2] .

A year after its establishment, the organization moved from Hyderabad to Karachi for fourteen years, now part of Pakistan but at that time part of colonial India until after the Partition of India and Pakistan. The founding group of approximately 300 individuals lived as a self-sufficient community spending their time in intense spiritual study, meditation and alleged self-transformation. During this time, mediumistic female followers known as " Sandeshputris " or trance messengers helped add to their spiritual knowledge through psychic visions and allegedly direct contact with God. In 1950, the community moved to Mount Abu, mainly due to the religious resistance to its activities in Pakistan. In 1969 it was formally establish as the World Renewal Trust with a male trustee. Colloquially known as " Om Shanti Organization ".

  • The Indian version of the religion's history is found here ; http://www.brahmakumaris.com/aboutus/history.htm
  • The version made more vague and palatable to Westerners is found here; http://www.bkwsu.org/whoweare/history.htm

Global Expansion

From its modest beginnings, the organization kept progressing in leaps and bounds to reach by early 1996 about 3,200 meditation centers in 70 countries with over 450,000 students. The nucleus of the Brahma Kumaris’ centers worldwide is " Madhuban " in Mount Abu, " the Father’s Mountain " and is regarded as a pilgrimage place by many who are in search of spiritual rejuvenation. The BKWSU now claims to have more than 5,500 Raja Yoga centres in 90 countries and over 800,000 students whilst still expanding. No details as to the level or of length of commitment are given.

A multi-million dollar registered " educational " charity that in 70 years has only been known once to distribute aid outside of its operations. There is no data on how many Brahma Kumaris leave the organisation annually, nor the average time members stay active before leaving and no verifiable data as to how many adherents each centre hosts. Most centres outside of India are located in followers' homes and or domestic apartments.

Fundamental Beliefs

Although borrowing much symbolism and terminology from traditional Hinduism, Brahma Kumaris Raja Yoga see themselves entirely as separate from Hinduism and unique as the only true instruments of God. They state that they are only religious group to have direct instructions from God. Followers believe that this Supreme Soul or God and Lekhraj Kirpalani continue to be channeled on a regular basis by a senior sister at the headquarters in India, and that Lekhraj Kripalani's soul will reincarnate as Hindu god Krishna in his next birth.

Central to its faith are the beliefs that:

  • The human being is an eternal soul living within a physical body and is not the physical body.
  • Reincarnation happens from one human body to another only.
  • Time is not linear but rather cyclical and the physical world manifests as an eternally repeating and identical 5,000 year cycle at which the end of it is destroyed and then re-created every time.
  • Each repeating cycle is exactly the same as the previous one.
  • Humanity is currently reaching the end of the current cycle and thus the world will be destroyed, a time their scriptures call " Destruction ".
  • God incarnates personally onto the Earth and speaks only through their founder Lekhraj Kripalani which was the same individual that was historically or mythically known as " Krishna ", Adam " and " Adi Dev " but is now known as "Brahma".
  • All other religious founders such as Christ, Buddha and Moham