How Brahma Kumaris rose from a small spiritual group in pre-Partition Sindh to a global organisation

Hyderabad, Sindh is famed for a number of things, including The Bombay Bakery’s legendary cakes, the city’s windy and cool afternoons, and the beautiful wind catchers that used to be a hallmark of its distinctive architecture.

However, only very few people would know that Hyderabad was once home to an indigenous feminist movement, first called Om Mandli and later renamed Brahma Kumaris.

Brahma Kumaris is a spiritual organisation predominantly led and managed by women, and presently has its headquarters in Mount Abu Rajasthan, India.

Interestingly, this mainly female-based organisation was not founded by a woman but by a man, Lekhraj Khubchand Kriplani (1876-1969), also known as Dada Lekhraj of Hyderabad, in the 1930’s.

In the beginning, it was a gathering, headed by Dada Lekhraj, of a small number of devotees, which gradually grew larger, and eventually transformed into a worldwide organisation with offices in 110 countries.

To explore how this obscure group went on to become a global spiritual organisation, we must go back to pre-Partition Hyderabad.

During the British rule, Hyderabad’s Hindu merchants, Bhaibands, had an international network of firms and were known as Sindworkies (one who works in goods from Sindh)

Many of these men joined the Sindwork firms that were working across the globe and would spend several years in foreign countries, leaving their womenfolk behind.

Lawrence Babb, in his article Indigenous Feminism in a Modern Hindu Sect, writes: “But if the world was wide for Sind Worki men, for their wives and daughters matters were very different. The world of women was the household, within which most of them were secluded.”

Perhaps it was the isolation and sense of being left behind, stranded in a house without men, that prompted women to explore avenues that would enable them to live more purposeful and spiritually meaningful lives.

Dada Lekhraj was a follower of Vallabhcharya Vaishnavism (a Hindu sect) and was a jeweller by profession. As part of his trade, he met many women and observed their far-from-healthy social conditions.

He eventually proclaimed that he was having visions and was receiving instructions from deities. He began organising a small gathering in his home where the attendees would participate in satsang (devotional singing) and would read the Bhagavad Gita.

Most of the attendees were women and children and the gathering especially attracted Bhaiband women whose menfolk were away on business and who found spiritual contentment in religious activities.

Dada’s followers called him Om Baba and the group that he formed was known as Om Mandli. The Om Mandli gradually expanded its activities and its membership also increased.

Om Mandli committee picketing in Hyderabad.
Om Mandli committee picketing in Hyderabad.

Because the Om Mandli’s teachings stressed religious devotion, celibacy and chastity, it was perceived as a threat to family life and patriarchy, and soon the Bhaiband community rose in protest.

Inaugural Session (Media Wing ) in Gyan Sarovar 2018 -VIDEO

माउंट आबु के ज्ञान सरोवर में मीडिया विंग की ओर से मीडिया के भाई बंधुओं के लिए एक रीट्रीट का आयोजन किया गया। इस रीट्रीट में मीडिया में किस तरह से आध्यात्म को सामने रखकर कार्य किया जा सकता है, किस तरह से इस भागती दौड़ती जिंदगी में अंतर्मुखी हुआ जा सकता है इसपर चर्चा हुई। मीडिया के दिग्गज इंडिया टूडे हिंदी के संपादक अंशुमान तिवारी और जयपुर विश्वविद्यालय के प्रोफेसर संजीव भनावत जी मौजूद थे।

Detoxing the Mind is Key to Any Success, Says Brahma Kumaris’ Sister Shivani

The term time management is viewed by many people as a silver bullet for better efficiency and good outcomes in any field.

But the Brahma Kumaris’ motivational speaker Sister Shivani would challenge that notion.

What is needed to achieve best results in any endeavor, she maintains, is “thought management.” The less cluttered the mind, the better the outcomes. And clarity of mind gives it emotional stability. That state comes with feeding it spiritual knowledge and meditation.

The 45-year-old Raja Yoga teacher from India, who is currently on a multi-city “awakening” tour of the United States and Canada organized by the Brahma Kumaris, was speaking to a packed hall here at the San Ramon Marriot Hotel June 3 on how to detox our emotions.

Shivani made her two-hour presentation interactive, encouraging everyone, including a child as young as 10, to participate.

She used the short kickoff skit enacted by some followers that focused on a domestic turmoil that ensues when a doctor- husband fails to remember until much later in the evening that it is his wedding anniversary, despite the many “hints” given by his wife before he leaves for work.

Later in the evening, his choice of a movie to make up for his lapse irritates her to the point that she feels physically sick. Halfway through the movie she tells her husband she wants to go home.

But her sickness magically vanishes when he pulls out a “pill” from his pocket and asks her to keep it under her tongue and not swallow it. The pill, he would later tell his by then mollified wife, was just a button he yanked from his shirt.

“You were able to laugh at the situation when you saw it on the stage,” Shivani told the gathering. “But you are not able to laugh when you face similar situations in your own life.”

That’s because the audience watched the skit in a detached fashion, allowing themselves to be entertained. The wife in the skit, on the other hand, because of her emotional entanglement with her husband, blew the situation out of all proportion. She could only view his behavior as a failure on his part.

“In any scene of life, sit as a detached (spectator) for even just five minutes and view what’s happening around you. Until you do that, you will feel that I am right and everybody else is wrong,” she said.

Making a “mental shift” from being attached to being detached is possible for everyone, she said, provided they turn inward. “Spirituality gives us the power to withdraw from the scene, connect with our inner self and see the complete picture.”

A person who has made that shift can help those around him who are entangled in worldly pleasures.

She urged the gathering – which included many Indian Americans – to take advantage of the numerous Brahma Kumaris centers in California and other parts of the United States.

The organization is open to anyone, but since its founding has put women in leadership roles. It has around 8,500 centers in 120 countries. Its stated mission is to create an inner world of peace, love and happiness amid an outer world often filled with stress and strife, factors that cause toxic buildup in one’s mind.

Meditation helps the mind to let go, said Shivani.

Walnut Creek resident Lalita Subas, who attended the June 3 talk, said that prior to it, she was confused and worried about a domestic issue that had been bothering her for a while. But after hearing Shivani, she said, she was able to put herself in an observer mode and the problem seemed to go away. “I’m so much at peace now,” she said.

The organization has worked with governments, police agencies, schools, hospitals, prisons and businesses around the world, teaching them the Raja Yoga practice of meditation.

Group members meditate every day at 4 a.m. for 45 minutes, and later attend classes. They wear all-white clothing as a symbol of the purity they seek.

Sister Shivani, who trained as an electronics engineer at the University of Pune, worked as a lecturer at the Bharati Vidyapeeth College of Engineering for two years, before she fully embraced the movement.

In 2014, she was presented the Woman of the Decade Achiever Award by the Associated Chamber of Commerce of India for “excellence in empowering spiritual consciousness.”

She co-hosts the television show, “Awakening With Brahma Kumaris.

Aside from Shivani’s talk on “Emotional Detox,” she also spoke on “Purpose of Life” in San Ramon; June 2 at the Santa Clara Convention Center on “Creating Your Destiny” and “Harmony in Relationships”; June 4 at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center in Sacramento on “Unlocking Your Inner Freedom” and “Celebrating the Lightness of Life,” as well as June 6 at the Visalia Convention Center in Visalia on “The Art of Saying Recharged Always.” She will be speaking June 8 at the Bren Events Center at UCI, Irvine; June 9 at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood; and at the Anubhuti Meditation Center in Novato June 15 on “Gift of Happiness” and June 16 on “Love and Forgiveness.”

U.S. Brahma Kumaris Celebrates 40 Years of Service by Welcoming Sister Shivani to a Tour on ‘Awakening’

On June 2, Brahma Kumaris’ Sister Shivani, the world renowned spiritual speaker, will begin an 11-city tour of the U.S. and Canada, with the theme of “Awakening.”

Sister Shivani’s North American tour, organized by the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual Organization, is as follows:

In Santa Clara, Calif., June 2; in San Ramon, Calif., June 3; in Sacramento, Calif., June 4; in Clovis, Calif., June 6; in Irvine, Calif., June 8; in Hollywood, Calif., June 9; in Vancouver, Canada, June 10; in Surrey, Canada, June 12; in San Francisco, Calif., June 14; in Novato, Calif., June 15-16; and in Seattle, Wash., June 17.

Sister Shivani, according to a press release, has transformed millions of lives through her inspiring life-changing talks. She became a popular presenter on the TV show, “Awakening with the Brahma Kumaris,” by applying the principles of Raja Yoga to the common challenges of life.

Airing in 160 countries, “her unique blend of common sense practicality and unarguable spiritual principles has endeared her to an international audience thirsty for solutions that really work,” added the press release.

A recipient of the ‘Woman of the Decade’ Achievers Award by ASSOCHAM’s Ladies League for her excellence in empowering spiritual consciousness, and a goodwill ambassador of the World Psychiatry Association, Sister Shivani holds a degree in electrical engineering and is a gold medalist from Pune University.

Her YouTube Channel has more than 56 million views and her Facebook page has 1.7 million followers. She has been studying the spiritual knowledge of Raja Yoga meditation, as taught by the Brahma Kumaris, for the past 20 years.

Sister Shivani has traveled throughout India, the U.K., Asia Pacific, Africa and Middle East to conduct lectures, workshops, and TV and radio shows on themes such as emotional intelligence, leadership skills, parenting and relationships, self-realization and Raja Yoga meditation.

The Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual Organization in the U.S. is part of a worldwide network of learning and retreat centers dedicated to peace and transformation through meditation. They offer instruction in Raja Yoga meditation and spiritual living free of charge as a community service.

Founded in India in 1937, the Brahma Kumaris centers are now in more than 110 countries.

On June 8, Sister Shivani will be speaking at UCI’s Bren Events Center in Irvine, on the topic of “Awakening Inner Potential, Power and Joy.” The program will begin with meditation at 6:30 p.m. On June 9, she will be presenting two programs in Los Angeles, at the Dolby Theatre, on the topic of “Awakening to the Call of Time for a World in Transition.” The 11 a.m. program will be in Hindi and the 6:00 p.m. program in English. The Brahma Kumaris will be offering these public programs free of charge in 11 cities of the U.S. and Canada.

Brahma Kumaris take out anti-tobacco rally

Apollo Reach Hospital organises awareness programme in Karimnagar

Brahma Kumaris took out an anti-tobacco awareness rally on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day here on Thursday. The rally was organised under the aegis of Brahmakumaris Seva Kendram to spread awareness on the devastating consequences of tobacco consumption. More than 250 Brahma Kumaris took part in the rally.

The participants displayed banners and placards bearing thought-provoking slogans against the global health epidemic of tobacco usage. Earlier, District Medical and Health Officer Kondal Rao flagged off the rally at Ramalayam street.

In Karimnagar, Apollo Reach Hospital organised an awareness programme on tobacco use on the hospital premises. Pulmonologist Ch. Praveen Kumar explained to the attendants of patients how tobacco consumption causes various diseases. Pointing out that over seven lakh people were succumbing to tobacco-related diseases in India every year, he called upon people to desist from smoking. He also warned of the diseases caused by passive-smoking.

राष्ट्रपति के हाथों सम्मानित रूपा उपाध्याय का माउंट आबू पहुंचने पर अभिनंदन


स्वास्थ्य सेवाओं में उत्कृष्ट सेवाओं के लिए राष्ट्रपति रामनाथ कोविंद के हाथों सम्मानित ग्लोबल अस्पताल की मुख्य परिचारिका बीके रूपा उपाध्याय के माउंट आबू पहुंचने पर अभिनंदन किया गया। इस मौके प्रजापिता ब्रह्माकुमारी ईश्वरीय विश्वविद्यालय की खेल प्रभाग उपाध्यक्ष बीके शशि बहन ने कहा कि निस्वार्थ रूप से की गई सेवा ही मानव को महान बनाती है। ग्लोबल अस्पताल विशेषकर आदिवासी बाहुल्य क्षेत्र के लोगों को बेहतर स्वास्थ्य प्रदान करने को लेकर सदैव तत्पर रहता है।

मुंबई से आई राजयोग प्रशिक्षिका बीके कमलेश बहन, वरिष्ठ राजयोग प्रशिक्षिका बीके शीलू बहन, ग्लोबल अस्पताल के प्रशासनिक अधिकारी बीके महेंद्र, डॉ. इंदू बेन आदि ने भी विचार व्यक्त किए। माउंट आबू|स्वास्थ्य सेवाओं में उत्कृष्ट सेवाओं के लिए राष्ट्रपति रामनाथ कोविंद के हाथों सम्मानित ग्लोबल अस्पताल की मुख्य परिचारिका बीके रूपा उपाध्याय के माउंट आबू पहुंचने पर अभिनंदन किया गया। इस मौके प्रजापिता ब्रह्माकुमारी ईश्वरीय विश्वविद्यालय की खेल प्रभाग उपाध्यक्ष बीके शशि बहन ने कहा कि निस्वार्थ रूप से की गई सेवा ही मानव को महान बनाती है। ग्लोबल अस्पताल विशेषकर आदिवासी बाहुल्य क्षेत्र के लोगों को बेहतर स्वास्थ्य प्रदान करने को लेकर सदैव तत्पर रहता है। मुंबई से आई राजयोग प्रशिक्षिका बीके कमलेश बहन, वरिष्ठ राजयोग प्रशिक्षिका बीके शीलू बहन, ग्लोबल अस्पताल के प्रशासनिक अधिकारी बीके महेंद्र, डॉ. इंदू बेन आदि ने भी विचार व्यक्त किए।

बुराई पर अच्छाई का माध्यम है गीता: महेश शर्मा

maheshगीता के ज्ञान द्वारा न केवल हमें अपनी आत्म ज्योति को पहचानना व दैवी शक्ति को जगाना होगा बल्कि देने के भाव को बढ़ाना होगा, तभी हम अपने अंदर की बुराइयों पर जीत प्राप्त कर सकते हैं। इससे जीवन सुखमय होगा। उक्त बातें संस्कृति राज्यमंत्री (स्वतंत्र प्रभार) ने रविवार देर शाम तालकटोरा स्टेडियम में प्रजापति ब्रह्माकुमारी ईश्वरीय विश्व विद्यालय द्वारा आयोजित ज्ञानोदय वर्ष 2018 के अंतिम सत्र को संबोधित करते हुए कहीं।

महेश शर्मा ने कहा कि एक डॉक्टर होने के नाते वह महसूस करते हैं कि मरीजों का दर्द मिटाना और हर्ष लौटाना, यह दो मुख्य जिम्मेदारी डॉक्टरों की हैं। आध्यात्मिक स्तर पर यही काम ब्रह्माकुमारी संस्था कर रही है। जबलपुर से पधारीं गीता विशेषज्ञ डॉ. पुष्पा पाण्डेय ने बताया कि हम गीता को सर्व शास्त्र शिरोमणि मानते हैं और सदियों से पढ़ते आ रहे हैं, लेकिन गीता के सत्य ज्ञान से अभी भी दूर हैं। उन्होंने कहा कि गीता में वर्णित योग द्वारा कर्म में कुशलता, मन और बुद्धि में एकाग्रता, स्थिरता, दृढ़ता और संतुलनता प्राप्त होती है।

मूलनिष्ठ समाज की मशाल वाहक है नारी- ब्रह्माकुमारीज

अपना वजूद भूलाकर न जाने कितनी रिवायतें निभाती है
सलाम हर उस नारी को जो घर को घर बनाती है
ऐ औरत तुझे क्या कहूं, तेरी हर बात निराली है
जिस घर में तू रहे वहां हरियाली ही हरियाली है

नारी जो चाहे वो कर सकती है, हर रिश्ता निभा सकती है, अगर वो चाहे तो आसमान की उडान भर सकती है। हम सालों से नारी सशक्तिकरण की बात करते हैं, लेकिन कहीं न कहीं आज भी हम पीछे हैं। बाल विवाह,रेप, नारी पर अत्याचार , दहेज को लेकर प्रताड़ना, ऐसी कोई घटनाओं की शिकार वो रोज हो रही हैं। क्यों उसे आज भी आजादी से जीने का हक नहीं मिल रहा है। कहीं वही तो अपने मूल्यों को पीछे नहीं छोड़ रही है। ऊंची उड़ान भरने के लिए वो अपने अस्तित्व को भूल रही हैं। ऐसा नहीं होना चाहिए।

भले ही समाज या कोई और उसे पीछे छोड़ दे उसका सम्मान न करे कोई फर्क नहीं पड़ता, लेकिन अगर वो अपनी नजरों में गिर जाए और अपने मूल्यों से समझौता कर ले तो ये एक बड़ा पतन है । आज यही हो रहा है। ये बातें बीके उषा दीदी ने प्रजापिता ब्रह्माकुमारी ईश्वरीय विश्वविद्यालय की पहाड़गंज सेंटर द्वारा नारी सशक्तिकरण पर आयोजित कार्यक्रम में कही।

दीदी ने नारी के कई रूप के बारे में बात करते हुए कहा कि उसे बचपन से ही कई तरह के संस्कारों के साथ बड़ा किया जाता है, इसलिए कभी वो प्यार की मूरत बनकर साइलेंट से सभी समस्या का समाधान करती है तो कभी दुर्गा बनकर समाज की मशाल थाम लेती है। वो बलिदान की एक मूरत है। नारी ही किसी भी देश या समाज को आगे ले जा सकती है। नारी का पूजन होना ही है, बस शर्त है वो अपने संस्कारों से दूर न हो जाए।

इस कार्यक्रम में पहाड़गंज की पार्षद बबिता बनेजा, सुप्रीम कोर्ट की वकील रीमा भंडारी और बीके डॉक्टर मंजू गुप्ता ने भी अपने विचार रखे। कैंडल लाइट और कई तरह के सांस्कृतिक कार्यक्रम के साथ समारोह संपन्न हुआ।Soul

आध्यात्मिक ज्ञान के साथ ब्रह्माकुमारियों ने ली स्वच्छता की शपथ, VIDEO

हिन्दुस्तान के स्वच्छता अभियान को लेकर लगातार लोगों व संगठनों का साथ मिलता जा रहा है। इसी कड़ी में सोमवार को  प्रजापिता ब्रह्माकुमारी ईश्वरीय विश्वविद्यालय में लोगों ने आध्यात्मिक ज्ञान के साथ स्वच्छता का संकल्प लिया। बीके पद्मिनी बहन ने आध्यात्मिक ज्ञान को लेकर आये लोगों को स्वच्छता की शपथ दिलाते हुए कहा कि लोगों के जीवन मे स्वच्छता अनिवार्य है। उन्होंने कहा कि मन कि शुद्धता जिस प्रकार परिवार में शांति देती है। उसी प्रकार घर के साथ आस-पास की स्वच्छता घर परिवार के साथ पूरे वातावरण को शुद्धता व शांति प्रदान करती है। रोज स्कूलों के बच्चे संगठनों के लोग सफाई के लिए जागरूकता फैला रहे हैं।

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