The Brahma Kumaris and their World Spiritual University

 

JULY 2/7/29, 2013

The Brahma Kumaris and their World Spiritual University

The archdiocese of Mumbai’s Franciscan brothers-run St Francis Institute of Management and Research (SFIMAR) has made yoga a compulsory subject for its students. On their web site http://www.sfimar.org/ex%20cocurricular.php we read: Stress Management & Physical Fitness

SFIMAR ensures that its students are fit enough to fight the challenges they face. Students are provided enough opportunities to build on their physical fitness and embark on the healthier path. Aerobics, Yoga & Meditation
are also dedicatedly followed in campus.
Also Stress Management sessions by the
Brahmakumaris
are conducted regularly at SFIMAR.

 

Briefly, what is the Brahma Kumaris?

The Brahmakumaris or Brahma Kumaris is a New Age organization. It is also recognised as a New Religious Movement or NRM, and an elitist [only 900,000 will be saved] end-of-the-world doomsday cult. The Brahma Kumaris propagate the form of yoga that is called Raja Yoga. It is pro-abortion and enforces total sexual celibacy of cult members and therefore an enemy of the Catholic Church’s culture of life stand. Its teachings are controlled and guided by a “medium” or “channelled entity the Brahma Kumaris believe is God“. The doctrines of karma and reincarnation are intrinsic to its teachings. Its psychic meditations are dangerous.

Its “World Spiritual University” is NOT an academic institution but the name of its NEW AGE RELIGION.

Yet it is engaged by a Catholic institution to poison the souls of Catholic students. The St Francis Institute of Management and Research provides no safe alternative to Catholics who do not want to be subjected to Hindu yogic meditation. Instead, if they do not participate in the yoga/Brahma Kumaris programme, they are “disciplined” with fines and loss of attendance, and face being debarred from writing their examinations.

See YOGA AND THE BRAHMA KUMARIS AT A CATHOLIC COLLEGE IN THE ARCHDIOCESE OF BOMBAY http://ephesians-511.net/docs/YOGA_AND_THE_BRAHMA_KUMARIS_AT_A_CATHOLIC_COLLEGE_IN_THE_ARCHDIOCESE_OF_BOMBAY.doc

 

Cardinal Oswald Gracias, the archbishop of Bombay
and

other senior clerics of the Indian church — and of the Vatican — have
been consorting with the Brahma Kumaris. For example:

a. Conversion focus of inter-faith talks

http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report_conversion-focus-of-inter-faith-talks_1264434
EXTRACT

By Linah Baliga, June 13, 2009

Mumbai: An inter-faith interaction between Hindu and Catholic religious leaders, held at Mumbai’s Shanmukhananda Hall on Friday, appears to have focused a lot of time on the issue of conversions and the killings at Kandhamal in Orissa last year.
While the Hindu side was represented, among others, by the Sankaracharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham, Jayendra Saraswati, and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the Christian side was represented by Mumbai Archbishop Cardinal Oswald Gracias, and Cardinal Jean Louis P Tauran, the Pope’s representative from the Vatican.
[…] Among the other Hindu leaders who attended the dialogue were Swami Chidananda Saraswati of Uttaranchal, Swami Vishveshwarananda Giri Maharaj of Mumbai, Swami Nikhileshwarananda of Vadodara, the Prajapita of
Brahmakumaris
from Rajasthan, and Chaturvedi Swami of Chennai.
The Catholic side was represented, apart from Cardinal Gracias and Cardinal Tauran, by Archbishop Quintana of the Vatican Nunciature in Delhi, Cardinal Topno of Ranchi, Archbishop Gali Bali of Guntur, Archbishop Felix Machado of Nashik, and Bishop Thomas Dabre of Pune.
Cardinal Tauran had this to say: “India is a cradle of many religions. What impresses me is that Indians are open minded and tolerant with positive values. We know this inter-faith meeting will have a positive outcome. It gives an orientation and a beginning of something.”

 

b. A positive Hindu-Vatican dialogue

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/a-positive-hinduvatican-dialogue/476103/0
By Sudheendra Kulkarni, June 14, 2009
Stupendous two days. {June 12th/13th}
“I’ll never forget these two days lived in love and trust and engaged in Hindu-Christian dialogue.”

 

 

This is how Jean-Louis Pierre Tauran, president of the Pope’s Council for Inter-Faith Dialogue, Vatican City, described the interaction between Hindu and Christian representatives in Mumbai on Friday and Saturday. Coming from someone who experienced the depth and breadth of the spiritual tradition in India for the first time, this effusive response seemed natural.

Hindu participants too were unanimous that this was a fruitful dialogue.
There have been several useful dialogues in the past between Hindu religious leaders and representatives of the Catholic Church. By and large, the themes of these dialogues were “academic” in nature, as they sought to explore the theological common ground between the two faiths. But the Mumbai meet was different for three significant reasons.

[…] this was for the first time that the Catholic delegation was led by the Pope’s highest emissary heading the department of inter-faith dialogue.

Third, this was also for the first time that Hindu religious leaders of high eminence participated in the dialogue, sending a clear message that the Hindu side is ready to engage in a constructive dialogue with Christians of all denominations.
Swami Jayendra Saraswati, the Shankaracharya of Kanchi Mutt, led the Hindu delegation, which included Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the Art of Living movement; Swami Chidananda Saraswati of Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh; Rajayogini Dadi Janki of Brahmakumaris; Swami Nikhileshwaranandaji and Swami Vigishanandji, two senior monks from Ramakrishna Mission; Sri Venkatachariar Chaturvedi Swami of Sri Ramanuja Mission Trust and Mahamandaleshwar Swami Vishveshwaranand Giri Maharaj of Sanyas Ashram, Hardwar.

Catholic participants included Pedro Lopez Quintana, the Vatican’s ambassador in India; Archbishop Felix Machado of Nashik; Bishop Thomas Dabre of Pune and Bishop Raphy Manjaly of Varanasi.
I was surprised to be invited to participate in the event, which was hosted by the Archbishop of Mumbai, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, a genuine bridge-builder between the two communities. […]

The genuineness of the interaction was also evident from the fact that, after the first day’s closed-door deliberations, Cardinal Tauran led the Christian delegation on a goodwill visit to Mumbai’s famous Siddhivinayak Temple. This was followed by the Hindu delegation visiting the Holy Name Catholic Cathedral. […]

About the Brahma Kumaris:

1. Christianity Refutes the New Age

Interview with Teresa Osorio of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue

http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/christianity-refutes-the-new-age
EXTRACT

VATICAN CITY, February 7, 2003 (Zenit.org) A new Vatican document on the New Age movement has stirred up great interest in the media. The report, entitled “Jesus Christ, Bearer of the Water of Life: A Christian Reflection on the ‘New Age’,” was presented February 3 by a team of members of different Vatican organizations, including the Pontifical Council for Culture and the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue. The signatories acted with the assistance of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
To lend a greater appreciation of this important document, ZENIT interviewed one of its authors, Dr. Teresa Osorio Goncalves, of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, coordinator of the working group on Sects and New Religious Movements.

Q: Does New Age speak about changing the world?

Osorio: A pamphlet of the Indian Brahma Kumaris movement says: “Something is going to happen … You can make it happen by associating at the same time with millions of others, gathered in a type of new communion of saints, who by their strength and intrinsic creativity have the force capable of tipping the world over to the side of righteousness.”

But will thought be enough to change the world? The way proposed to us by Jesus Christ is far more exacting and fascinating: it is the one of reciprocal love, that is translated into concrete works and creates living communities that build a new world.

 

2. The United Nations, the unity of religions, the new world religion and the New Age Movement

Source:
DHARMA BHARATHI-NEW AGE IN CATHOLIC EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS
August 2002/August 2003/June 2009 by Michael Prabhu

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/DHARMA_BHARATHI-NEW_AGE_IN_CATHOLIC_EDUCATIONAL_INSTITUTIONS.doc
EXTRACT

As the New Age Movement prepares man for his role in the New World Order, the vehicles and philosophies are also being prepared. One is the United Nations.

In order to bring about a one-world order it is necessary to justify ever increasing government interference in our private lives… Here we look where one eventual focus will be- the United Nations. Robert Muller is the Asst. Secretary-General and has served under numerous Secretaries-General. His book “New Genesis- Shaping a Global Spirituality” is an eye-opener for those who will see the spiritual direction the UN is headed.

Let us see Muller’s way of “shaping a global spirituality”:

“…as vividly described in the story of the Tree of Knowledge, having decided to become like God through knowledge… we have also become masters in deciding between good and evil… This gives Catholic, Christian and all spiritual educators a marvelous opportunity to teach a new morality and ethics…”

Some Christians will question the negative view of the UN,
yet in any reading about the UN it is never long before the New Age and occult spirituality is encountered.

 

 

 

Paul Henri Spaak, former President of the UN General Assembly once said “Send us a man who can hold the allegiance of all the people, and whether he be God or devil we will receive him.

One booklet based on Alice Bailey’s (of the Theosophical Society) teachings which deals with the United Nations and entering the “Global Age” points to the new way of thinking and behaving… The view is taken that the UN stands not only as the vehicle for this change but as the catalyst.

When we turn to the UN we are able to see for ourselves the diabolical evidence. The Meditation Room at the UN Headquarters in New York is shaped like a truncated pyramid (the Illuminati insignia) laid on its side.

“To those versed in esoteric understanding, the crescents and triangles present a definite form that takes shape, in the centre and outer circle of the mural as the Illuminati eye.” (The Broken Cross, Piers Compton, 1981) The New Order is political, social and religious, and we see the hand of the UN in all three… The evidence for the
UN being central in Satan’s plan is almost endless1 (The author provides several pages of supporting evidence.) Recently
the Brahmakumaris were granted Consultative Status by the United Nations. It is the first spiritual institution to be given such status
. Referring to this, Dr. Muller said… stressed the need for evolving spirituality to usher in peace. “Such spirituality will be based on a happy blend of spiritual values of the East and the material progress of the West“, he said.2

A prestigious “Universal Peace Conference” was held in India in 1983 at the World Spiritual University, headquarters of the Brahmakumaris’ Raja Yoga Society, a United Nations affiliate. Among the 3000 delegates from 42 countries was Robert Muller. In his keynote speech to the delegates, he said: The time has come to obtain peace on this planet… The U. N. Charter has to be supplemented by a charter of spiritual laws… I think that what is wrong… we have forgotten that… we have a cosmic evolution and [spiritual] destiny.3

NOTES

1 Understanding the New Age, Roy Livesey, 1986, pages 27-36

2 Zero Update No.3, Maranatha Revival Crusade, Secunderabad, India, 1983

3 The Seduction of Christianity, Dave Hunt and T. A. McMahon, 1985, pages 53, 54

 

3. Brahma Kumaris

http://brahmakumaris.info/w/index.php?title=Drishti

During meditation, Brahma Kumari sisters give
drishti*,
a spiritually-charged gaze which is beneficial to the recipient. Shiv Baba himself gives drishti when he appears through the medium.

*Drishti is a point of focus where the gaze rests during asana and meditation practice. Focusing on a drishti aids concentration, since it is easier to become distracted when the eyes are wandering all over the room. Each yoga pose has a specific drishti, which also aids in alignment. For instance, in Extended Side Angle Pose – Parsvakonasana the gaze is towards the raised hand, which also reminds us the turn our heads up towards the ceiling. Drishtis are particularly emphasized in
Ashtanga yoga. In Downward Facing Dog, the drishti is your navel.

Source: http://yoga.about.com/od/howtospeakyoga/g/drishti.htm. [*See also page 27]

 

4. What Brahma Kumaris don’t want you to know

http://hiddendoctrine.wordpress.com/2010/01/29/about-brahma-kumaris/

January 29, 2010

Brahma Kumaris’ Raja Yoga is now promoted behind the facade of new age, positive thinking, values based and corporate training courses. Many individuals experience benefit from these. Indeed, some individuals can look back at their time as a “student” of the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University [BKWSU] positively. However, whether right or wrong, at the core of BKWSU teachings and lifestyles are identical elements to recognised cult behaviour. Elements that are hidden from the general public and slowly introduced during the process of indoctrination.

Whilst claiming to have 8,500 centres in 100 countries, the vast majority of these are privately owned residential homes and apartments, many taking donations to pay for personal mortgages. The Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University is not an educational institution but an unaccredited
new religious movement.

 

Brahma Kumari beliefs include:

» belief in the imminent destruction of this world by an unavoidable Nuclear Holocaust (now overdue by 30 to 50 years)

» belief in themselves as the only true messengers of God.

» belief that God only speaks to them and them alone in person at their Indian headquarters via a mediumistic channeller.

» hypnagogic, trance-like practises and repetitive auto-suggestion.

» fixation on attracting VIPs to enhance their credibility and act as “microphones” for their message.

» exaggerated distinction between “pure” (their teachings and activities) and “impure” (the rest of the World’s opinions and leaders)

» exaggerated sense of self-importance (they being topknot “Brahmins”), the rest of the World (Untouchables or “Shudras”)

» belief in an unrealistic view of science, e.g. all of time existing within one endlessly repeating 5,000 year timeframe.

» a slow and gradual re-writing of their core beliefs as they fail.

» unquestionable and unaccountable non-democratic leadership.

» amassing of considerable wealth from followers under such pressures.

» complete separation from non-BKs by complete control of diet, demanding lifestyle, celibacy.

 

3.

 

 

» graphic exaggeration of the plight of those that leave the group: “grinding of teeth like the sound of mustard seeds … crying tears of blood at Destruction”, sexual activity being like “throwing one’s self from a 5-storey high building”, having to face a severe God at Judgement Day.

» secrecy, revision and disguise of the nature and process of teachings.

» intense and long lasting social and psychological problems within individuals leaving the organisation.

 

The Brahma Kumaris encourage followers:

» not to eat food cooked by impure non-followers such as physical relatives.

» to practice detachment from parents and children.

» to separate from non-Brahma Kumari partners and family so as not to make any more “karmic accounts” with them that would be obstacles to their path.

Under these pressures, individuals are willing to put aside reason and surrender themselves mind, body and wealth, to the will of senior members of the BKWSU. Most of these senior members are professionally untrained in any manner whatsoever. Despite dabbling with perhaps the deepest levels of the human mind, many of these senior members have only ever had a basic education, e.g. 3 years schooling, and no professional experience. One senior BK recently estimated that in India there were as many as 20,000 so-called teachers that have had no training whatsoever. The curriculum and teaching methods have been likened to that of a primary school or kindergarten where followers are infantilized as children.

In this situation, individuals are open to manipulation, the influence of the group or other psyches. Major life decisions are taken on their behalf under the guise of “God’s instructions”. They take on many new, extreme and unproven beliefs unquestioningly in a wish to be accepted. At the point of the failure in these beliefs, or the failure in trust of those self-elected senior practitioners, ex-members are almost without any social support mechanism whatsoever.

Ex-Brahma Kumaris (female) and ex-Brahma Kumars (male) are often unable or unwilling to accept the help of family, or even the help of professionals, who have not gone through the same experience. The strength of mind, developed will or depth of ill explained experience make ex-BK Raja Yogis very independent, detached and resilient.

The organization’s mental training roots distrust of non-BKs at a deep, even sub-conscious level. It is suggested that perhaps only others that have gone through similar experiences can help to explain these, share their pain and make suggestions on how to survive.

 

5. What the Brahma Kumaris don’t want the United Nations to know: How “Shiv Shakti Army” seeks to “conquer over the world, 3 square feet at a time” – From http://www.brahmakumaris.info

http://griess.st1.at/gsk/fecris/pisa/BK_EN.htm [Only the emphases in red are mine –Michael]

The Brahma Kumaris have, to date, largely been able to slip underneath the radar of New Religious Movement or Cult Watch groups.  This is partly due to their passive front but largely because of their secrecy and highly centralised structure of control. Secrecy and control especially over its actual mediumistic teachings given to mass séances at its India headquarters. Teachings which the rest of humanity have “intellects too impure” to understand.

The Brahma Kumaris have, for decades, exploited a heavily invested but superficial relationship with the United Nations for the sake of their credibility and to gain access to politicians and VIPs.

It seems strange that an organization whose leaders teach that their followers will bring about the “Destruction” of the world, including the death of 6 Billion “impure” human beings by nuclear holocaust, should be accepted by the United Nations.

The Brahma Kumari teachings have, for 70 years, clearly and specifically stated, that the Brahma Kumaris will “give courage” or inspire the scientists to detonate the nuclear devices in order to “purify” an “impure” humanity, so that they – the Brahma Kumari leadership – might rule as emperors of a heaven on earth for 2,500 years.

Indeed, according to original documents held in the British Library, in its first decade, the Brahma Kumari leadership actually wrote to political and military leaders exhorting them to enact martial law and practise scorched earth. 

  
 

This letter is not about BK philosophies but rather their values. Whether the cycle is 5000 years long, is neither here nor there, but the way I was taught to feel and perceive my concerns, doubtless the two are connected. My observations and concerns about the Brahma Kumaris have built up over the last few years and if none of you knew how I was feeling despite the many years I’ve known you, well what does that show about the organisation? How can an organisation call itself your family if it knows nothing about you? For twenty odd years, I was unable to talk to my father because he was someone that needed to be served or saved. If he were lucky enough he would get a ticket to heaven just because he knew of me or us”, (his mother was a member, his father wasn’t, the parents were divorced. The Brahma Kumaris have a 70 years record of breaking families); “can you imagine trying to make small talk with your own father as a child because he was some kind of “Shudra”. (Shudra is the word that the Brahma Kumaris use for non-Brahma Kumaris it comes from the Indian which means untouchable. All other human beings are untouchables to the Brahma Kumaris. It’s used with the same sort of influence as perhaps nigger would be used in current society).

 
 

“And now to look back and see that I had a father but in my own head I didn’t, how much did I miss? When my parents split up because of Raja Yoga what did the seniors do for me then? Did they hold me when I cried? I might have been given an apple, although I am sure that I’d rather have had my parents back. As a BK child I was bullied at school and I found I had no ability to deal with people or confrontation. All I could do was cry and my mother would have to sort it out. I had no ability to socialise with people. That made me very lonely. I could never have any close friends and when I told other school children about the end of the world I was ridiculed for years after. Childhood in general was very mixed up for me. I do believe that it is for many Brahma Kumaris children. On one level it was taken away from me.

4.

 

I was told “you are an old soul” a-84 birth. People thought that I was like an old man when I was 12 and the responsibility of the world was placed on my shoulders. Let alone that of saving my own father it was not fair to give the children this kind of superiority complex and burden and yet treat them as children. Then again we were never allowed to grow up. For example my sister was always “the angel” until she became a teenager and fell from grace in the eyes of the others. However could she love herself when she could see herself changing from being a perfect angel to a menstruating, acne riddled teenager?”

You may not be aware of this, the BK actually believe they are becoming angels. They believe that all the memorials in history, all the renaissance paintings of angels are pictures of them. That through their practice they are actually going to become angels of light, saving the world. I am not using these words metaphorically they actually believe this.

“When everybody else can only remember that little angel that she was how the hell was I going to understand puberty? The beginning of sexual energies could inspire nothing less than self-hate and denial, what advice could the sisters give me then?”

The BK is run by a handful of virgin crones essentially from the same community of the Sind in Pakistan, a very repressed society for both male and female. “Whatever advice the seniors gave to me would only make me feel worse about me. Who could I even tell? Neither my own parents nor my BK friends, there was too much shame and what about fun? I only had fun because others and I were naughty; otherwise it was certainly not condoned.”

Though there were certain days when you could dance in a circle they had this angelic way of dancing that is prescribed whereas ordinary play isn’t. The arts were always looked down upon. Perhaps it was also an Indian thing. And then there was destruction”. Destruction, is the word that the Brahma Kumaris use internally for the end of the world; any of the terrible things that we heard in this morning’s session apply equally to the Brahma Kumaris they use that word with a capital D. and I’ll use it through this talk. It’s a total destruction its an annihilation 6 billion people to clear away the world so that 900,000 of them can live in a paradise on earth and that’s meant to happen about 2036 although its already about 70 years over date. “Destruction has been an important part of my upbringing and it has done nothing but damage. I can only feel helplessness, fear, panic, guilt and pain. I was never supposed to be able to do anything meanwhile with my life if it was all to be over soon. I should have sat and meditated alone until I became perfect, yet I supposed I lived in the world as well. What was I supposed to do? How confused can that make a child? If destruction is coming then you may as well see the world and have some fun. There’s no point in studying, as I heard so often, or go to go to university or to develop one self? I have never known basic human rights even to have them taken away from me. Look at it: the right to eat, drink, sleep, feel, fornicate, defecate, speak freely, have friends of your own choice, have a family, none of these things could I do without feeling bad or guilty about them. I even had to remain constipated until I could find a shower because after they defecate the BKs have to wash and change all their clothes. Did any of you know this about me? I doubt it. Emotions had to be kept under the wraps unless the peace and harmony be spoiled. The Brahma Kumaris are such a peaceful organisation, so humble and caring, but its only skin deep. Scratch the surface and push the right buttons and they’re just as angry as the next person, indeed more so, because they’re delusional about it. The only thing that’s wrong is the hypocrisy and BKs take the meaning of the word to extremes.

The Brahma Kumaris are a charity. Charities donate things to other people that are worst off. Does is require such a vast acquisition of wealth and property to do service of the mind? They collect money but they donate virtues and good wishes.

 
 

Let me talk about sex now. In fact why has that always been so hard to speak of, are you now cringing inside you as I was for so many years? Externally, I could not talk about the efforts I made to conquer lust, but inside I hoped no one would ever see my real feelings. I put it to you that most of the problems in the BKs come from unresolved sexual desires manifesting for example in perversion, power struggles and grown people flirting like 12 year old children. Repressed sexuality also opens doors to all kinds of abuse. My sister and her friend, as young children, were sexually abused on several occasions by different people in Madiban and Delhi. Madiban is where god incarnates on to earth, in case you don’t know. Delhi is the number one centre outside of Madiban. They’re the no. 1 and no. 2 centres in the Brahma Kumaris. These incidents happened in consequence with different people involved, which suggests a paedophile network within it. Now we know that things happen in life but we are more concerned about the response, the response of leadership to that. Their response was to do nothing. The individuals perpetuating this sexual abuse were left in the position for years. The child was blamed, it was her karma to be sexually abused because obviously she had been sexually abused in her past life and in fact, because it happened in Madiban, which is the god city, it was actually better for her because she had cleared away more of her past karma. They then went on publicly to deny this had ever happened, blaming it on a taxi driver. She was travelling alone within friends at the time.” When one of our four members went to struggle to establish a child protection programme within the BKs he fought for over five years before they would actually consider putting down to paper anything near child protection. It’s unfortunately typical part of their modus operandi. “My mother was powerless to do anything. Do not look too closely; do not listen to many stories, lest the fragile dream be shattered. What makes it worst was that the seniors have always been aware of these all too common travesties within the organisation, yet they have done nothing but hide them away. I find I had to split my personality all I learned from the BKs were to suppress things so that the surface is calm.”

 
 

“What the Brahma Kumaris don’t want the UN to know”… this is a deliberately provocative statement and I have to admit that throughout this presentation, I am going for a populist message. I am capable of producing an academic paper and we do have endless academia. We have collated a bibliography of all academia on the Brahma Kumaris which is still unfinished. As I say, I am one of 4 moderators and administrators of a website http://www.brahmakumaris.info. Primarily we are ex-members, there are some concerned current members, there are members of break-away groups and there are friends and family of the group who come to the website, to get help, support laugh with one another and we have dedicated ourselves to documenting what the Brahma Kumaris actually are because they have managed to delude academia, the media, politics, the press and to rise to a very, very high place in society.

 
 

 

This is the actual web site[1]. I really want to offer this not just about the Brahma Kumaris but about ways similar groups to our own deal with NRMs. When first I stepped into this, I was quite stunned to realise that for every NRM you had a similar sort of dynamic. You had the culties, the ex-culties, the anti-culties and a load of sociologists and journalists making a living of it all. Whether it was Sai Baba, the Moonies, Scientology or whatever, almost the same dynamics existed. What we set out to do was to realise something different and we created an open, independent and ecumenical forum to bring together all the parts of this dysfunctional society: the Brahma Kumaris, their ex-members, the general public effected by them and actually discuss together. We also have, on our site, the very first public opinion poll about the Brahma Kumaris for people to vote about.

 
 

When we look at the actual forums on line you can see that there’s a common room, an ex- BK room, a Pbk room (a
Brahma Kumaris little known reform group). We’ve actually deliberately tried not to make this an anti-party because that’s what the Brahma Kumaris want: they have self-fulfilling prophesies that say that coming the end of the world there will be anti-parties and I struggled very hard not to be that. This is a standard forum where individuals are at liberty to post. We have a number of guideline which are really about protecting ourselves legally, more than anything else, but largely they are allowed to do what they want. They do it themselves and it is self sustaining.

 
 

This actually comes from “Ex-Brahma Kumaris Chat” xBKChat.com which was the place where I first found support myself. It was the first web site and it was an incredibly hidden site on the Internet for ex-members of the Brahma Kumaris. It was shut down by the Brahma Kumaris under legal threat of libel with a confidentiality agreement signed. We actually basically saved the information contained in the site because it had some incredibly important thought about the Brahma Kumaris and NRMs and now we have an archive with this material. It was shut down and exactly at the same time they managed to shut it down we kicked into action and they probably regret that deeply.

 
 

Returning to the main part of this website: up at the top there’s a series of banners and links which take you to the different parts of the site and we have a portal front, a forum and a news section which is basically like a blog. Then we have the real specialist areas for newcomers, politicians, academics, VIPs, all the people that the Brahma Kumaris want to get to first so as to influence them. That tells them what the Brahma Kumaris are actually all about.

 
 

The first thing I want to flag up here is that the Brahma Kumaris are highly involved in various psychical beliefs. They call themselves a spiritual organisation, a “Spiritual University”. They are not university. There’s no university there. “It’s a kindergarten” to quote academic Lawrence Babb[2]. What they are really doing is channelling and mediumship. This is a difficult issue to discuss because I am sure that it divides you as it divides academia. They’re involved with “spooks” and that is what I essentially respond to. Whether we understand them as ghosts, the collective unconscious or whatever we just call them “spooks” because that what they think they are. On the right of the screen, you can actually see God being channelled through one of the Senior Sisters and when I say that, I don’t mean an incarnation of God, God’s vibrations, an inspiration of God. I mean that a little “light bulb” called god comes into her head, takes over her body and moves it about and talks and meets the Brahma Kumaris. That is certainly what they believe. Whether it is or not, of course, we will have to wait and find out. It’s unusual within the realms of channelled beings to actually claim to be God I think it only happened maybe one or two times. You get everything spacemen, Atlantians, Napoleon but to actually claim to be God is something quite unique.

 
 

Destruction, the end of the world, this is for real. The Brahma Kumaris are not just notionally involved about the end of the world; they are in a constant state of incantation about the end, the end, the end, which has always been two to three years, four to five away.

The dates at the top of the web page: I was involved with the organisation back in the 1980s; I never discovered the dates until 20 years later. They are so hidden to all the members, only now since we’ve been doing our work, can people see that these are definite dates. The Brahma Kumaris say “Oh, God has never given us a definite date” but actually we’ve discovered that there have been a series of them, they have just erased them from their history.

 
 

So these are the static front ends of the web site pages. What the most important thing we have next is the Wikipedia. This is the encyclopaedia to decipher the language of the Brahma Kumaris. People fall into the trap fooled with the delusion that the BKs are Hindus. The Brahma Kumaris have essentially nothing to do with Hinduism.
They use the language, they adopt the metaphors, but their meanings are completely different and that’s something that academia has not understood. They think the BKs are Hindus. So basically we’ve established that you could put in a search for any crazy word that they use and that will come up with a page and a picture. We’ve put up training manuals so that the public can know what the Brahma Kumaris are telling before they go through the soft cell presentation. We also put up a set of channelled messages: these are 5-6 page long rants that God has spoken through the various mediums; these are utterly secret nobody gets to see them unless they’re properly ready. And we’re taking them straight to the public because ultimately if you’re going to make a life commitment you should know ahead about what you are doing, not once you’re inculcated and the Stockholm syndrome has grabbed you and taken you away from your family.

 
 

The Shakar Murli[3]: this is one of the early channelled messages; we have plenty of examples on the web site. This is one of the benefits of the Wikipedia software which is open source free software, which anybody can use, in that it provides a very documented back end of “who made what” “who changed what”. If we look at one article we can actually see “who edited what” and then if we make choices, we can see the difference between the edits and the theory here.

6.

 

We can actually check to see how they are rewriting and revising their messages from God. These were 5 years worth of messages in the 1960s which they say are the only messages that God gave at that point and of course, they are chopping and changing them to suit themselves as predictions fail. That’s not something that has been made generally known to the public. So we can actually see side-by-side the changes they make. We have an extensive download section that we are building up. It’s a 1.5 gigabyte of information, so far. People can go to different sections. Again we have the Murlis to download. Now the Brahma Kumaris will not even allow their own followers to have these messages, they won’t let them take them out of the centres, they will only be allowed to read them in certain places and we actually have BKs emailing us, desperate to have these messages because they’re in love with this spiritual being that is God. We’re building up the place of all the academia that has ever been done about the Brahma Kumaris so that everyone can get everything straight away. Partly, this is because of a war that we have had on the Wikipedia proper with them. We are, of course, also looking at their finances because at the bottom line where does the money go?

 
 

Wikipedia article: If anybody wants to know who the Brahma Kumaris really are look at the back end of the discussion pages, the arbitration committee, the moderations. We have had a two year war with them in order to present the truth and not a PR version of what we do and even now it is modest, verging on academic. It is not a polemic, it’s not pejorative. I have tried to do well but you should see the deviance, the manipulation, the lies, I cannot express what we have been through with these people just to get something that’s accurately honest. At the bottom of it there is a set of references about this long struggle because we have had to fight over basically every word to get it up there. So this is our website!

What was the BKWSU’s[4] response to it? The same week that they sent a letter to the United Nations telling them how the U.N. and how the leaders of the world had to act and listen to criticism and take on the views of common people they started legal action against us to shut us down and I joined the ranks of the people who had been sued by a cult and thankfully an even smaller club of people that won. They tried to knock us out. It was a horrendously expensive and painful, mentally and emotionally. The level of deviance they got up to, I would never have expected it!

 
 

Betrayals: they have an international spy ring. People, ex-members, talk about the Brahma Kumaris in terms of the “mafia” that’s not hysterical. The closest thing in terms of “business models” to the Brahma Kumaris is the mafia. They have a series of reputable, seeming respectful, even legal fronts but inside that it’s a completely different game, an international game, as some of the speakers said today.

 
 

Now this is actually an appeal. You’ve seen the website. You can see the concept behind it. Most of the ex-cult groups fall into the “anti-ex” profile and I think they defeat themselves in that, because they get caught in the polemics, the Hegelian dialectics of two sides fighting. Our website is held together by bits and pieces of free software.  It looks good, but behind it we’ve had to fit all these bits together because nothing existed which was accessible to us.  It has absolutely broken the Brahma Kumaris open and it is actually helping them to improve and what we are trying to do, what we are doing, is to lobby them directly to implement duty of care and reform programmes. We are not antis, we are not attacking them. I think this could be taken as an example and used for other groups and in fact. I think there should be an international data base of all groups using this model. Largely because the people concerned themselves contribute to the work. You don’t have to do the work.  You put the forum up and it happens. There exist commercial operations which carry out what we call “social networking”
in the internet world, this is just one example which has all the parts that fit and work together. Ours could be improved. I would just like to make a call to somebody among the universists to speak to some software developers in the open source community who provide software for free to work on some model like this to apply to all NRMs.

 
 

The Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University: This is what they say about themselves “The BKWSU is a Non-Governmental Organisation, affiliated to the United Nations, working towards world peace through personal change.” The Brahma Kumaris are in love with the United Nations. If I could ask for anything, I would like to separate them from that. If you look on Google you will discover that there are something like 77,000 pages connecting the Brahma Kumaris with the U.N. They have actually been punished by U.N. for over using the connection, over exaggerating it. They have relentlessly used this connection to validate their teachings, but the United Nations know nothing about such teachings. You can look at the BKWSU International web site: very sleek and well marketed. The Brahma Kumaris have invested a tremendous amount of money, energy and time into becoming something at the U.N. which really comes down to a table and a chair. They have a dedicated Brahma Kumaris at the United Nations web site. Now the purpose of the United Nations association is that the groups that associate with U.N. are meant to be doing what the U.N. wants and I think we all have a basic idea about what the U.N. is about. We presume that the U.N. are trying to bring countries and nations and people together. This is actually a quote from the Brahma Kumaris own web site: “During the tense years that preceded WWII, a group of spiritual men and women came together in the East, united by their commitment to the welfare of humanity as the founding fathers of the United Nations formulated a blue print for world peace and security, the founding members of the Brahma Kumaris were researching universal core values which they considered as necessary to restore individual worth and human dignity.” This is the wonderful sort of padding that they are capable of. That’s what they say they were doing. Luck had it that I found a text in the British Library of what they actually had said at that time. This is a new find. Nobody in academia has gotten to this until now. Brahma Kumaris in 1942 wrote to the Military marshals of the world, in the middle of WWII, and they are telling them “to suspend civilian law to enable martial law and practise a scorched earth policy”. So in 1942 Brahma Kumaris were writing to people like the Viceroy of India, Gandhi, Kings, and this is the sort of messages they were sending out telling them to basically destroy the world…  They actually believe that they are destroying the world they believe that WWII was a manifestation of their purification ritual of the world and of course they are going to inherit the world. So, typical of their predictions, the Indian Government is going to hand over power to the Brahma Kumaris soon, the whole world will recognise the Brahma Kumaris as God’s own instrument and that God has come to earth.

 

 
 

 

The Thar Desert which is this vast desert around their headquarters on the Pakistan border is to be full of millions of people, devotees coming to worship them. These people, their devotees (the words they use for worshipper or devotee is actually “baggot” which is a disparaging word) they would not use this word to describe another Brahma Kumari because they are Brahmans, they are enlightened, they are self realised, they are pure, you are impure not self realised, unenlightened…. All of you, everybody, every other religion…they are the only true religion.

 
 

So, what do the Brahma Kumaris actually believe behind this kind of New Age “Peace and light”? Destruction! The announced death of 6 billion impure untouchables to make way for a Golden Age of heaven on earth for 900.000 of their faithful followers.

 
 

I would like people to separate the leadership of the Brahma Kumaris from the followers. They like to say they that they are all one – they’re not. There’s a tight little personality cult
within the movement that I really call the Brahma Kumaris.  We are at present trying to analyse who they actually are. What they do believe is that they have started this destruction and that they’re going to make it by their Yoga Power. As a reward for that, they are going to get the best seats, which means that they are going to become the deities of this Golden Age world. And they will have a very specific hierarchy: emperors, kings and queens, subjects all the way down to cremators, depending on one’s efforts, what you do and don’t do, you’re going to be reborn. Of course these little old ladies that we know as the Brahma Kumaris are going to be the ruling class and if you stick in with them you might become one of their family or perhaps their courtiers or if you do something wrong such as going off and falling in love and having a relationship, well the best you might become is an undertaker – a body burner. So what they encourage people to do on the basis of this, is surrender their mind, body and wealth, everything. Dadi Janky, who is a star in New Age circles, has made jokes about this “the Brahma Kumaris say: we give our teachings for free but once you’re in we will take everything” and they really mean that, I’m talking about everything not just physically but also mentally and spiritually.

 
 

This screen shows one of their old themes which is how they picture present day earth as a hell and the destruction of it by a war between America and Russia. The big joke is that they’ve denied this in public. However we are collating all the media as they come along and they’ve denied that they actually believe this any more, they call it a transformation – Its OK guys, the world is going to be “transformed” – by nuclear wars, civil wars, natural disasters, continents are going to sink, the only places that will be left apart from India will be places where there have been Raja Yoga centres and they’ll become picnic spots for the deities, for the reincarnated Brahma Kumaris, to go to in their nuclear powered flying machines. I am not making any of this up; I am actually toning it down to fit in time.

Well take a step, a step back, here we go again: “Wild science-proud Christian cats”, that’s us guys “fighting for the butter of world sovereignty” they’re doing this, picking a lot of Hindu metaphors and churning them up with their spiritualistic messages.

 
 

So what do they teach? They teach a 5000 year cycle. That means that in 5000 years time we will be sitting here among each other again, you will listen to me as you are doing today. This screen is an older version of the cycle, what the cycle means is that the first 2.5 thousand years was heaven, 2.5 thousand years was hell and somewhere around 2.5 thousand years ago the dinosaurs existed. They teach that there are three worlds. That God exists in the top world. We are a soul and instead of evolution they teach devolution. Humanity has come down from a Golden Age state to a hellish state and we see the Brahma Kumaris saving the world. This talks about 1976 destruction they’ve since removed this poster. Who is teaching this? God himself. And this is Lekraj Kripalani
being possessed by God. The little point in his eye going red he is Adam his Brahma Kumaris partner was Eve. He is also Brahma, Vishnu and Shankar (which is ridiculous to a Hindu) he is being slowly deified. Their God is the God of all other gods. You can see how they are building these images: drawing in all religions to their religion. There are various different versions of the same message of course they are the supreme religion. This is the medium and in the middle here we have Dadi Janky feeding God which is one of their little shows that they have put on before. On this screen what is going on concerns various sorts of mediumships of previous members, of deities from the Golden Age, of deceased Brahma Kumaris. Actually, I think that the Brahma Kumaris are being possessed or overshadowed by spirits, whether real spirits if you believe in that, whether subconscious energies. From my own experience I would accept this. They have very powerful visions and lights and so on and though I don’t understand this and I don’t think people do but if people want to start understanding channelled beings they should look at two books which are the best ones on the subject – Joe fisher
[5] and M. Scot Peck[6].

The 8,000 branches of the Spiritual University are actually houses that people live in. There is no university. They say they are not a religion yet their founding articles say that they are there to ordain and maintain clergy. They say they are a Spiritual University and a registered charity to alleviate poverty. They have an income of £1 to 2 million a year, in the U.K. assets of £16 million and they have never distributed any wealth at all. They say they are promoting Hindus. They teach that they are not Hindus that Bakti Hinduism is ignorance.

I went to a lot of trouble here to actually show people that the Brahma Kumaris life is relentless. Every hour from 3.30 a.m. thru’ to 10.30 p.m. is taken up with meditation class, meditation, meditation, that’s a seven-day a week schedule, 7 days, 52 weeks there are no holidays. You don’t just go to church on one day a week. It is every day of the week. No sex, no touching, segregation, showering after going to the toilet, washing genitals after urinating, only keeping Brahma Kumaris company, no gods apart from theirs, no practises apart from theirs, no novels, no cinemas, no medias. You can only eat food that’s cooked by Brahma Kumaris, you can only eat vegetarian no eggs no onions and then inside that single day, your day is then broken down to hourly sections. This is a chart they use each week, cut into daily sections each month and then it is set into annual sections.
So, I think if we were to look the standard definitions of cults they would score fairly high.

8.

 
 

 

This is actually their own copy of their principles. All through this talk we are relating to original documents, nothing made up. One of the things I am most concerned about is that in India, they’re actually requiring parents to hand over the dowries of young girls who want to join them in their teen ages so that they don’t run away and that their parents are not dumping unwanted daughters on them and to me that’s tantamount to slavery.

They are not teaching Raja Yoga. They claim to be teaching ancient Raja Yoga. It is not, it only existed after 1950. I want to tell you about was a friend of mine. This is all that’s left of her, it’s a death certificate. The coroner’s report says she died of multiple injuries consistent with a fall from a height. What he didn’t know is that she jumped from a five storey building. She killed herself on her second attempt after falling in love with one of the other members. The symbolic version of that is that God says that to have sex is like falling from the fifth floor of a five storey building and she killed herself in this way.  We are tracking suicides within the organisations. People hanging themselves in God’s house, women burning themselves in their houses, people that have financially given to the organisation killing themselves. One beautiful one in Delhi where someone killed himself in Baba’s room, that’s Gods room and then the sister in charge locked the door, went off to give class for one hour and a half, offered food to God, fed the people and then went back to take care of the corpse that she had left. On our website we list all of the names of all of the different fronts that they use and we are keeping them up to date. What we found luckily were some documents from the 1930s and 1940s which show the hidden truths of their religion. They had destroyed them, luckily I found them: letters to Gandhi, Queen Elisabeth, Viceroys of India and these original books and teaching posters. The significance of this is that they utterly contradict what they are teaching now. And among examples I’ve given, the biggest one is that for the first twenty years of their existence there was no God Shiva. So for twenty years they had a different God and nobody knows anything about their transformation. What happened was completely hidden and I mention this quickly really in order to question the credibility of the leadership and to show their modus operandi. It’s a fake history.

 

NOTES

[1] Comments from here onwards are directly concerned with screens of the website.

[2] Lawrence A. Babb, “Amnesia and Remembrance in a Hindu Theory of History”, Asian Folklore Studies, Vol. 41, No. 1 (1982), pp. 49-66.

[3]
Murlis : according to Wikipedia “mediumistic messages”

[4] Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University

[5] Fisher, Joe, Hungry Ghosts: An Investigation into Channelling and the Spirit. World. Toronto: Doubleday Canada Limited, 1990.

[6] Scott Peck, is a Psychiatrist he wrote a best-seller ‘The Road Less Travelled’,” Brain/Mind Bulletin, 26 May 1986

    

6. Brahma Kumaris: A New Religion?

http://www.cesnur.org/testi/bryn/br_kranenborg.htm



By Reender Kranenborg, Free University of Amsterdam, 1999
A preliminary version of a paper presented at CESNUR 99, Bryn Athyn (Pennsylvania).

1. New Religious Movements and New Religions

The expressions ‘new religious movements’ and ‘new religions’ are mostly used as synonymous terms for one and the same phenomenon. On the one hand, this habit can be justified. After all, a ‘new religion’ is always a new religious movement. On the other hand, however, is every new religious movement a new, that is, independent religion? Of course, every ‘new religious movement’ is religious, but is it thereby also a ‘new religion’? I would like to argue that the two concepts should be distinguished and not considered as synonymous. The term ‘new religious movements’ refers to the many different groups that are found within the different religions and traditions. ‘New religions’ should be used to refer to groups that offer something new with respect to religion in comparison with the tradition from which they emerge and in the end become a separate organization. ‘New religions’ are, in fact, ‘new world religions’ (note: I do not mean new world religions in the sense of New Age, but world religions that are presented as new.) It is a separate category.

I will explore this further. In 1970 Needleman published The New Religions. Was this book actually about new religions? With respect to content one must say no. He mentions Zen Buddhism and the Tibetan Vajrayana which, as is well known, are both very old religions; he discussed Gurdjieff, Krishnamurti, Transcendental Meditation and Meher Baba, which are indeed new movements but not really to be characterized as ‘new religions’, for these persons and groups remain emphatically within existing religious traditions. He also mentions Subud, which is perhaps the only one which could take the predicate ‘new religion’. Needleman used the concept ‘new religion’ in a purely formal way in the sense of new in America. Indeed, that is what they all were: it was only recently that they are to be found in the United States. I do not view the expression ‘new religions’ in this way.

When I speak of ‘new religions’ I mean a specific category which is clearly to be distinguished from that of ‘new religions movements’ by means of a number of criteria. I use the term ‘new religion’ only if the phenomenon in question displays the following characteristics:

a) The group presents something new with respect to content, something that was not found previously in the tradition in which it originated. This ‘something new’ is not only a renewal of old truths or a revival of old forgotten practices: it is something essentially other.

b) This leads to the group deviates clearly from the existing views and practices within the tradition in a decisive way. Of course, the group will take over much from the tradition, but these beliefs and practices are not decisive.

9.

 

 

c) A consequence of this is that a break with respect to content and practice is noted both by the group itself and the tradition within which it originated. If any group whatsoever breaks with the tradition on its own initiative, this does not have to entail that it becomes a new religion. There does not have to be any break concerning content. This is clear from the many groups called ‘sects’ in the sense of the classical sociology of religion. Neither can we claim that we have to do with a new religion if the tradition itself initiates the break, for the group can participate to a large degree in the tradition as far as content is concerned and does not, in many cases, recognize its excommunication from the tradition. We encounter this in what traditionally have been called ‘heresies’.

d) In addition, the group must have an all-encompassing, complete program. It must, regarding content and practice, encompass all aspects of life and doctrine. If, for example, a certain groups offer only a new method for self-realization via regular sessions, this is, in principle, too limited.

I will illustrate this with a few examples. We can begin quite simply with Christianity, which arose within the tradition of Judaism. Here something new is offered, namely, the belief that a certain person was very God himself. In this or because of this great differences in views (for example, on reconciliation) and praxis (the law was no longer valid) arose and the break was established at a specific time by both sides and young Christianity had clearly a complete program. Behold the birth of a new religion. Another example is that of Bahai, which originated within the tradition of Shi’ite Islam. Here certain revelations were received, something that was both formally and materially new and here also various differences arose as to what must be believed or done and both sides signaled a break (the Shi’ites could not view Baha’i as Islamic nor did Baha’i itself want to be called Islamic). The movement also had a clear, all-encompassing program, as can be claimed right up to the present.

If Baha’i serves as an exemplary model, in most cases it is difficult to determine whether we have to do with a new religion. Take, for example, the Unification Church. In the first instance it is, I would say, a ‘new religion’: it arose within Christianity, but it does present something new: Moon as the returned Jesus, in combination with a new book, The New Principles. One can claim that there are essential differences in teaching and practice with Christianity. It is also clear that Christianity broke with the Unification Church, but it is less clear as to whether the reverse is true, because the Unification Church is inclined to see itself as the true expression of Christianity, i.e. as it was essentially intended to be. Finally, the Unification Church has a complete, all-encompassing program. Is it therefore a new religion? Yes, but with this proviso: the Unification Church’s view of Christianity can lead to its becoming continually more ‘christian’. It is very much conceivable that after Moon’s death the church will assimilate itself more into the whole of the Christian tradition and will thereby become a ‘new religious movement’. We can indicate something similar in connection with ‘The Family’.

We can conclude that most ‘new religious movements’ are by far certainly not ‘new religions’. Very different groups like Hare Krishna, the Order of the Solar Temple, the Family, the Branch Davidians, Rajneeshism, New Age, etc. can be characterized as ‘new religious movements’. They remain within their own tradition, the deviations are too minor, what is presented as new is not specific enough, and the break is not fundamental. Thus, there are not very many truly ‘new religions’. But they do exist. In a certain respect, we must also include the modern groups in the category ‘new religions’, which, as it were, originated out of nothing. An example is the Heaven’s Gate. It had the potential to become a ‘new religion’ but died because of its exclusivity and extremism. In this connection Scientology could also be mentioned (if we take its religious claims seriously). It did not originate within a certain tradition and there can therefore be nothing said of deviations or of a break, but it does offer something new, both with respect to intention as well as to views. In addition, it also offers in principle a complete program. The converse, however, is that it can be considered as an exceptional variant within the gnostic-esoteric tradition—and is thus ultimately not truly new—and that the group has the tendency to orient itself more and more to the technical aspect, thereby neglecting other aspects.

In short, I hope that I have shown that it is worthwhile to introduce a separate category ‘new religions’, which is clearly to be distinguished from the broader ‘new religious movements’. And it is clear that the number of ‘new world religions’ is not large in comparison.

On the basis of the preceding I wish to present a case study of a possible ‘new religion’. It concerns the movement, Brahma Kumaris, which originated in India. My question is whether Brahma Kumaris represents a new Hindu religious movement or whether it is more proper to speak of a ‘new religion’? If the latter is the case, why?

 

2. Brahma Kumaris: An Overview

It is important to give a broad overview of the movement that is known internationally as ‘Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University’.

a)
The Founder and the Foundation of the Movement

The movement was founded in 1936 in Karachi by Lekh Raj who was born in 1876. He grew up in a devout Hindu environment which placed heavy emphasis on the Bhakti. For a long time Narayana was the object of his piety. Lekh Raj was a diamond merchant and attempted to live in accordance with the praxis of the ashramas. When he wanted to withdraw from this life in 1936 so that he could devote himself to the spiritual life, he had a radical religious experience. He had the feeling that he had come into contact with the Supreme Soul or God; at the same time he experienced himself in this encounter as an eternal soul and the connectedness of that soul with the Supreme Soul. In this event he acquired insight into himself and into the true nature of reality. He felt himself to be an instrument of the Supreme Soul who had passed on the knowledge to him or had him experience it, intending that Lekh Raj pass it on to others. Or, as it was stated, he experienced the love of God who gave him the highest spiritual knowledge. This experience was different than that with which he was acquainted from his Bhakti: there God was the other who was outside of him, whereas here he experienced that that Other was also very close to him, without it being the case that his own eternal soul merged completely with the Supreme Soul. The experience that he himself was involved in the Supreme Soul was new, different from previously. Lekh Raj had such encounters for some time, in which he experienced the Supreme Soul who passed knowledge on to him. The knowledge that Lekh Raj received is written down in the so-called Murli.

 

 

The experience was described by the movement as follows: During meditation “he felt a warm flow of energy, surrounding him, filling him with light and exposing him to a series of powerful visions” (26); “… giving him new insights into the innate qualities of the human soul, revealing the mysterious entity of God and explaining the process of world transformation.” For Lekh Raj the experience was so radical that he wanted to pass it on. For that reason in that same year he founded the organization of Brahma Kumaris. He himself was the inspiring force in the background, called Brahma or the comforting Brahma Baba by the adherents. It was striking that he surrendered the leadership within his organization emphatically to women. Women are still the main leaders in the movement (the present leaders are Dadi Prakashamani and Dadi Janki, who have been involved since the very beginning). After Pakistan split from the former British India the movement was re-established on Mount Abu, where the headquarters of the movement are still situated. Brahma died in 1969.

 

b) Ideas about God

The ideas concerning God deviate considerably from what we encounter within Hinduism as a whole. Not only is God eternal, the eternal power or energy but matter is also eternal—it is not created by God. But the souls that we encounter in human beings are also eternal. They do not emerge from God and are not created by him. God is seen as one of the souls, even though he is the ‘supreme soul’ or the ‘all-highest soul’. He therefore has all knowledge and is in that sense omniscient, although he is not omnipresent. Different names and epitaphs are given to God: Father, Shiva, sometimes also in combination ‘God Father Shiva’, Brahma, Baba, ‘ocean of bliss’, ‘ocean of love’, ‘ocean of virtues’, liberator and redeemer, guide and liberator. God, Shiva, the All-Highest, is the creation of the trimurti, which together represent three aspects of God. Traditionally, Hinduism speaks of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, and these three are seen as a unity. In Brahma Kumaris, however, Shiva stands above the trimurti and the third aspect is termed Shankar. On the one hand, this notion of trimurti is understood in line with the traditional Hindu view, namely as creator, preserver, and destroyer. But on the other hand the movement gives a more specific content to these terms. The meaning of the ‘creator aspect’ means that God, whenever humanity is at a low point, will come into the world, awaken humanity and thus restore primal harmony; such an act of creation will preferably occur via a messenger, whereby one can think of someone like Lekh Raj. Shiva’s ‘preserver aspect’ becomes visible in the energy that he gives through, for example, the power of the raja yoga and through the knowledge that is derived from him in this last period, through which one can develop a balanced personality. The ‘destroyer aspect’ is expressed in the fact that evil and negativity will be eliminated, particularly by the meditative activities of those who walk along the way.

 

c) Ideas about Human Beings

As has already been remarked, the human being is essentially an eternal soul. In the beginning all souls lived together, with the All-Highest Soul in a non-material world, but because of the law of karma the souls left this world for the material world and entered into human bodies. All souls play their own roles in the material world and therefore assume a body in order to give expression to their original positive qualities. Only in the body is the soul able to experience life. Apart from the connection to the physical, the soul has three aspects: intellect, conscious mind, and subconscious mind. The intellect is the guiding and determining part of the soul; it determines the thoughts and the condition of the human being, with the intention that it become independent of the human being and does not allow itself to be influenced by external factors. The mind is that part of the soul that produces thoughts and ideas; emotions, feelings and experiences are also located in this part of the soul. It is of great importance to discover how and why thoughts are created, for if they are determined or created by external negative influences, the individual becomes spiritually darkened. It is very important to understand the origin of thoughts. The unconscious mind contains the so-called sanskars, i.e. the impressions or consequences of everything that one undergoes or has undergone in this life or has undergone in previous lives. It is in particular this unconscious mind that primarily bears on the origin of the thoughts. It is the intention of Brahma Kumaris that the origin of thoughts and thinking itself become increasingly determined by the orientation to the All- Highest Soul. If this contact exists, people will become freer and the sanskars will be purified.

It is necessary in this context to discuss karma and reincarnation. Brahma Kumaris holds that souls are continually reborn in other bodies but exclusively in human bodies. The re-born souls are determined by the law of karma of action and reaction. When the soul enters into matter, in the world of action, the game of action and reaction between intellect, mind and subconscious mind begins. The sanskars from the unconscious mind inspire one to actions and thoughts, which in turn call sanskars down upon themselves, for all deeds have their consequences. The purpose of this life and future lives are determined by this whole process. The human being must learn to distinguish between the fact that he produces karma and that the intention is that he, by attuning himself to the All-Highest Soul, produce positive karma. Through this negative karma is burned away, after which positive karma is formed and the human being or soul is liberated. In other words, only through knowledge of God and the connection with God is a human being liberated and no longer has to enter into this liberated world. (For the rest, no distinction is made between mukti and jivanmukti: in the former one is liberated from life and in the latter one is liberated in life).

 

d) Ideas about the World Cycle

In accordance with classical Hinduism, there is within Brahma Kumaris the doctrine of the four or five world ages: the golden age (sat yuga), the silver age (treta yuga), the copper age (dvapar yuga) and the iron age (kali yuga). Within this last age, however, as a kind of preparation for the new golden age, there is the diamond age (samgam yuga). The content of the ages is about the same as in Hinduism; the most striking difference is that for Brahma Kumaris the whole cycle lasts 5000 years in total. At the moment the world is now in the kali yuga, although this age is near its end. After the kali yuga the world will be completely different and transformed into a new golden age. This transformation for the better depends on there are being a sufficient number of people now who possess the spirituality or mentality of that future age.

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The more people there are who are on that level, the better and smoother will be the transition. We can speak here of the ‘diamond age’, that which entails that God is very much involved with people and returns the soul again to its original form. This happens emphatically through what Brahma Kumaris presents and achieves. (If there are not sufficient people on the proper level, the transformation will not take place and we will remain in the kali yuga for now.)

In principle, all souls enter into the new golden age. One has the impression that the souls that have contact with the All-Highest Soul in the diamond age will return to the primal world of the beginning after the end of this world, in which they can live in an eternal relation with the All-Highest Soul. In this way they are back with God in order afterwards to start anew with and in a golden age.

In short, for Brahma Kumaris the whole notion of the world cycle entails that it is believed that old world in which we now live will be transformed, after which a new age begins, a new cycle of human life, a new beginning.

 

e) The Practice of Raja Yoga

The entire way of the Brahma Kumaris can be characterized as raja yoga. One should not think here in the first place of classical yoga, as described by Patanjali. The name raja yoga is only the name of a specific way which is travelled. Central to raja yoga is that one becomes connected with the Highest Soul and with the highest in oneself. It is a way to the true self, which is to be expressed in everyday life (which is why one hears of Karma Yoga). Above all, raja yoga has to do with meditation, whose content consists in that one is occupied with the understanding that the soul is on the way to God. The meditation strengthens this understanding, increases one’s knowledge and strengthens the connectedness. The meditation and the knowledge leads to the formation of character and to service. Meditation makes a person internally and personally stronger and leads others to be inspired to follow the way and to become purified as well. Raja yoga also entails a ‘spiritual lifestyle’, which includes that one be a vegetarian, seek good company, be regularly occupied with study and have as many fixed moments as possible during the day for meditation and live a life oriented towards celibacy. The meditation practice of the raja yoga consists of sitting properly, eyes open but directed internally, possibly listening to a text or music, preferably under the supervision of a (female) guide. There are different stages in the meditation: first, the preparation within which visualization plays a role, followed by the initial meditation in which one is conscious of one’s soul and of God, next is concentration in which one experiences the purity and directness of the One and finally, realization, in which the unique connectedness of the soul with the Supreme Soul is attained.

Raja yoga is very closely bound up with ‘positive thinking’. In any event, it concerns going to the origin of one’s thoughts and letting one’s thoughts be generated by the pure source. When these thoughts come and work in the individual, he becomes a positive being that can influence his environment in important ways. On account of this he also performs the right acts. Because of raja yoga, one can succeed in receiving and using positive thoughts.

 

f) Different Activities

Brahma Kumaris has been active, primarily in recent years, in many different areas. A number of these activities need to be mentioned. Of course, courses are given which are connected to raja yoga. One should mention here the course ‘Positive Thinking’. Related to this is the course, ‘Stress-free Living’ which is also concerned with developing a proper way of thinking and a proper tuning in to one’s most profound nature. Courses such as ‘Self-Managing Leadership’, ‘Secrets of Self-Esteem’, ‘Self-Management for Quality of Life’ have a similar orientation: the emphasis continually falls on understanding who the human being is at bottom is how the human being is connected with the All-Highest and how rest, power and balance can be brought into life.

Another category of activities is more global in nature. BK has been involved in the activities of UNO, UNESCO and UNICEF, it has supported human rights, the importance of a good education, and defended more equality among people. Within this framework there are a number of connected programs, such as ‘The Million Minutes for Peace’ (in which the intention is that for a few minutes every day several people think positively of world peace), ‘Global Cooperation for a Better World’, ‘Sharing our Values for a Better World’. The latter project has been continued in the still existent ‘Living Values’. The ‘interfaith’ projects should be mentioned in this same context: the unity of all religions is sought and members are active in organizations that promote or pursue this. Finally, the attempt is made to be active in different sectors of social life. Thus there are programs dealing with art, organization of academic conferences (it is not for nothing that Brahma Kumaris is called the Spiritual University), contacts within the world of medicine, and programs for working with prisoners, etc.

 

g) The Murli

Formally, the movement does not have any ‘holy book’. Nevertheless, there is the so-called ‘Murli’, a work that has originated since Lekh Raj received his messages. It contains the words of the Highest Soul itself. These messages have been written down and are largely to be found in the Murli. The work is thus to be used for teaching and study. This material is therefore extremely important, for it provides the truth and true knowledge. The truth content of the book also has a continual effect in the experiences of the disciples: one does not accept the words in a purely intellectual way but learns in one’s own life that the knowledge is completely true. The Murli is read and studied carefully. Nevertheless, the Murli did not close with the death of Lekh Raj. Messages continued to be received from the other world via one person, Dai Gulzar. The messages are becoming increasingly more rare, but they still occur. The knowledge that has been passed on also appears in the Murli.

It has become an important text. Brahma Kumaris does not discuss it right away in courses and the text is not available for sale, but in later stages it plays an important role. In the course of time the book is discussed in advanced courses. It is not discussed until this point because a certain spiritual level has to be attained before one can work with it. The adherents are to take it very seriously and study it carefully. The degree of seriousness with which it is to be studied is apparent in the fact that the participants are engaged in study of this text for a long time from six o’clock in the morning.

 

 

3) A New World Religion or a Hindu Movement?

The question is: how should we see Brahma Kumaris? Is it a (neo-)Hindu movement or can we speak here of a ‘new (world) religion’?

On the one hand, it is clear that Brahma Kumaris has emerged from Hinduism. Lekh Raj was a Hindu, devoted to the Bhakti. The All-Highest Soul can be called Shiva, the name of a well-known Hindu divinity. The idea that a close connection with God is possible is also found within Hinduism. The tripartite division of the human being falls with broader Hinduism as well. The views of karma, reincarnation, the four yugas with the fifth yuga clearly have Hindu roots. Whoever looks at the raja yoga of Brahma Kumaris will discover that many aspects of this are inconceivable without traditional yoga. In short, the Hindu background is clear.

On the other hand, we can indicate a number of aspects in which the relation to Hinduism is considerably less clear and which signify a certain newness. It is not possible to speak here directly of a break, but the differences are sometimes great.

a) The way in which the revelations or messages to Lekh Raj have occurred is not typically Hindu. Of course, people in India have received and do receive revelations, as occurs in every religion, but the way in which Lekh Raj received it is not a frequent occurrence. It occurs in a way that can be encountered elsewhere in other religions. In a certain respect it seems as if this is ‘channeling’, a way of contact that is not strongly culturally bound.

b) The idea of God as an independent being, in combination with the idea that the human being is an eternal soul, who can essentially live together with the All-Highest Soul is not specifically Hindu. In a certain respect it resembles certain teachings within Bhakti spirituality, in which the divinity is also eternally the other, but the aspect of emotional love and devout worship is lacking here altogether. In certain respects the philosophy of Lekh Raj resembles the old samkhya philosophy, which is essentially dualistic and thus holds to an image of God, human beings and matter that appears to resemble what Lekh Raj has advanced. But although this philosophy is known within modern Hinduism, it generally no longer finds any adherents in contemporary India. It is, in a certain respect, a reasonable teaching of its own which shows a strong similarity to Western gnosis.

c) Here we have to point to the specific ideas between Shiva and the Trimurti. Traditionally within Hinduism Shiva is the third aspect of the Trimurti, next to Brahma and Vishnu, but the Brahma Kumaris make a clear distinction between both. Shiva is the Supersoul or the highest God, and has a position above the Trimurti, which is his creation. The third aspect of the Trimurti is a new god, called Shankar (traditionally a epithet of Shiva, but here an independent personality) These ideas about Shiva I never have met within Hinduism.

d) The idea of the four ages is given different content here. The teaching that in total they add up to 5000 years is striking and cannot be found in other groups in India. Thus Brahma Kumaris gives its own content to this idea. Remarkably, this content is in a certain respect related more to old Persian teachings than to Hinduism. But it is very improbable that Lekh Raj would have been influenced by this old and almost non-existent religion. If at all, such influence would have come via Parsis, but it is not known to what extent Lekh Raj was acquainted with them and, if he was, whether he was informed about their older religious teachings.

e) Remarkable is the idea of the fifth age. Within the hinduistic yuga-ideas we cannot find an idea like this. Sure, we can find the idea that within the fourth yuga the seeds are sown of the new golden age, the beginning of a new cycle, but never this seed is viewed as a new fifth age. This idea is unique.

f) The idea of karma and reincarnation has also received a content that deviates from Hinduism. Whoever reads the view of Brahma Kumaris concerning these matters carefully is inclined to conclude that this is almost entirely in line with the Western belief in reincarnation as found in the theosophy of that time than in line with Eastern teachings. The most striking aspect of this can be seen in the fact that reincarnation is not seen as a relapse into life forms other than those of human beings. The way by which one is released from karma is also different.

g) Interesting—and almost unique in India—is the position of women. Women are placed emphatically in the highest position for principial reasons. To my knowledge, there are no parallels to this in India. In Bhakti spirituality women are indeed viewed as equals in many cases but never socially and certainly not structurally. In Brahma Kumaris this equality is structural and it seems that women have a higher position than men. This does not exist in Hinduism up to the present. We do see ‘female gurus’ in increasing measure in India, ‘enlightened’ women who gather a circle of disciples about themselves and are seen as avatars of a kind, but they remain exceptions. Their success is often stronger in the West than in the East. In short, with respect to the position of the woman, Brahma Kumaris is distinctly unique.

h) The interpretation of raja yoga in terms of ‘positive thinking’ and positively affecting the environment is not to be found within Hinduism. In this the movement has been strongly influenced by Western thinking. We do find in Hinduism the idea that there is a subtle energy that people can absorb and which they can also radiate, and we also come across the idea that a guru has a specific spiritual power that he can give to his disciples, but none of this is identical with the ‘power of thought’ of ‘positive thinking’. This idea has its roots in the West. For the rest, there are also other movements stemming from India that have gone in this direction, such as Transcendental Meditation. This movement goes considerably further than Brahma Kumaris in this respect and has even deepened the Western idea of positive thinking even more. Transcendental Meditation, however, is an exception. In short, the idea of ‘positive thinking’ can be combined with a certain side of Hinduism, but it is not identical to it.

i) In its presentation of itself Brahma Kumaris comes across increasingly as a general spiritual movement without any specific connection to a certain religion. If the name would be different, if its headquarters were not in India and if Sanskrit terms were not used, one would quickly have the idea that this is a generally more or less Western religious movement which does not have any relationship with the East. The impression is strengthened even more through the fact that Brahma Kumaris, in my view, seems to be inclined more towards a ‘psychological movement’ in its presentation of itself.

The question is now: can one, on the basis of the above, state that Brahma Kumaris is not so much a new religious movement within Hinduism as a ‘new religion’? On the basis of the above, I would not go that far.

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In any case, it must be stated that it does introduce relatively new elements, which are not explicitly Hindu, just as it can be stated that they represent a general religiosity, broader and sometimes more fundamental than Hinduism. There is, however, nothing of a break or conflict. The latter can have something to do with the fact that Hinduism is extremely tolerant and a break has occurred only rarely. It can also have to do with the fact that Brahma Kumaris is universalistic and thus recognizes and values a great deal in Hinduism. On the basis of both considerations a break is not obvious. I have the inclination to say that in Brahma Kumaris we encounter in principle a ‘new religion’ in the process of being born. A few decades are still needed to be able to make a good assessment. However, we can see that in a certain respect Brahma Kumaris has become more ‘Western’ in recent years and also that it has gone more in the direction of the ‘psychological line’, more or less joining the company of many modern New Age psychological movements. If this tendency continues it could become clear that Brahma Kumaris is in fact a new religion, originating within Hinduism but going its own way.

 

7. The Brahma Kumaris as a ‘reflexive Tradition’: Responding to late modernity

http://www.arsdisputandi.org/index.html?http://www.arsdisputandi.org/publish/articles/000108/index.html

By John Walliss (Ashgate New Critical Thinking in Religion, Theology and Biblical Studies), Aldershot: Ashgate, 2002; xiv + 131 pp.; hb. £ 35.00; ISBN: 0-7546-0951-0.

Review by Paul van der Velde, Nijmegen University, The Netherlands

1 Reflexive Tradition

In this study John Walliss tries to incorporate the results of various recent social theories into the scientific study of religious traditions – especially that of Anthony Giddens on the emergence of a post-traditional society – and he tries to take into consideration how traditions may persist and even flourish in modern society. He combines this with fieldwork on a neo-Hindu tradition, the Brahma Kumaris. In his introduction the author draws the relations between sociology, religion and sociology of religion itself. He signals a ‘gradual divorce’ over the last decades between mainstream sociology and sociology of religion. The last couple of years, however, we may find a kind of ‘partial resynchronization’ in two ways: ‘Firstly, there is a growing interest in aspects of contemporary religiosity within more mainstream work…Secondly, partly as a reaction to the above, sociologists of religion and religious studies have begun to explore the relationship between religion and issues within social theory. (viii)’ Walliss completely bypasses the secularization debate because he considers this discussion to be partisan and ‘frankly boring’ in the way in which it has developed over the last decades. More than just secularisation is at stake when it comes to the position of religiosity in the Western world.

In the introduction (Responding to Late Modernity) and the chapters I (Beyond Tradition and Modernity) and II (Reflexive Traditions and the New Age Religious Life) we find lucid descriptions of themes like ‘Powers of Traditions’, ‘Tradition and Modernity’, ‘De-traditionalisation’, ‘New Age Religion’, and ‘Reflexive Traditions’, to name just a few. ‘Reflexivity’, ‘Reflexive society’ and ‘Reflexive Tradition’ are key concepts used by Walliss in his study. In industrial society, the main focus was on the distribution of products, or ‘goods’. The successor of this society can be said to be ‘reflexive’, because while continuing this production, it is concerned primarily with the distribution – prevention, minimisation, channelling – of the ‘bads’, i.e. the dangers resulting from industrial society. These dangers can no longer be denied and it is no longer possible to hold one group in society responsible for them. Moreover, the products from industrial society have such drastic side-effects that they lay a heavy burden on the shoulders of posterity. This is especially true if we think of the environment and nuclear waste for instance. In short this is what can be said to be that ‘reflexive’ about reflexive traditions or society. This Reflexiveness is then further linked in this study to personal reflexivity.

In chapter II, Walliss relates the concept of ‘reflexive traditions’ – which he derives from Philip Mellor – to the New Age religious life. It is important to keep in mind, however, as Walliss states on p. 19, that New Age is not a unity and that even though the term New Age might suggest a rather homogeneous religious group, in fact New Age has developed into a general term to denote a wide variety of (semi)religious or spiritual groups and movements. It is even unlikely that any of the instigators of what by outsiders could be described as typical New Age movements, would appreciate to see his or her chosen path designated as such.

Walliss (p. 27) locates New Age religions between de-traditionalisation and re-traditionalisation because in the process of constructing the ‘new’ and rejecting the old, elements are taken from the ancient material handed over by older traditions, and in these strands of old traditions and the applications of these we may recognize many of the characteristics of this ‘new thinking’. Walliss finds evidence for this in the process of how New Agers use the ‘old way of thinking’ in reconstructing their reflexive (spiritual) biographies.

Following Reender Kranenburg (1999)*, Walliss calls the Brahma Kumaris a neo-Hindu sect, but in the meantime, over the last decade, the movement has actively embraced many of the aspects identifiable as ‘New Age’ (p. 29) and he carefully links these developments to the conceptual framework worked out in the first chapters.

*See the previous article, page 9 ff.


 

2 The Brahma Kumaris

As a movement the Brahma Kumaris predate the New Age movement, but over the years the Brahma Kumaris have developed characteristics that link them to New Age thinking proper. Walliss points out in chapter III ‘From World-Rejection to Ambivalence: A Genealogy of the Brahma Kumaris’, how the Brahma Kumaris developed and got their recent characteristics which, in his view, legitimise the choice to designate them as ‘reflexive’.

The Brahma Kumaris were founded by Dada Lekhraj, who is considered by members to be ‘the incarnation and descent of God, the World Father, into the corporeal world’ (p. 33). He was born at Sindh in 1876 as a member of the Kripani family, the members of which usually were devotees of the Vallabhasampradaya. Lekhraj was a man of considerable education. He worked as a wheat trader and later on his business concerned diamonds.

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Due to these undertakings he became aware of the particular sufferings of women in his society. On the other hand, as Walliss says (p. 33), he also came into contact with royalty, above all the noble families of the Raj, mainly due to his activities as a diamond trader. He is even said to have known the British Viceroy and the king of Nepal. Being a Vallabhite he originally worshiped Narayan, a form of Vishnu. He disapproved, however, Lakshmi’s low position compared to that of her husband Vishnu. Lekhraj was a devout Hindu, he was a vegetarian, and frequently went on pilgrimage tours. He became sensitive to the aforementioned position of women in traditional Indian society and one aspect in this matter Walliss does not mention: in imitation of Krishna having liaisons with the for the most part married or at least engaged gopis (i.e. cowherd girls), the main gurus of the Vallabhasampradaya, the Maharajas, had adulterous affairs with the wives of their devotees. This led to discrimination and misuse of women within the Vallabhite community and it even gave rise to the notorious Maharaja Libel case that came to trial in Bombay in the late 19th century. These traditions within the Vallabhasampradaya may as well have contributed to Lekhraj’s eye for the role of women and his attempts to improve their status. In 1936, at the age of sixty, his wife advised him to retire and to direct his life towards spiritual pursuits and it is at this time that he begins to receive his visions of Vishnu and Shiva. One of his main visions concerned the establishment of a perfected paradise after a kind of universal destruction of the cosmos. This destruction was necessary for an ideal world to be established. Lekhraj received a message that he was an avatar (i.e. incarnation) of Krishna. Here we see one more parallel with the Maharajas in the Vallabhite community who are considered to be amsha (i.e. partial) incarnations of Krishna. Lekhraj got messages about hidden interpretations of the Bhagavadgita and yet another parallel came to be established between Lekhraj and Krishna. As Krishna found his counterpart in Radha, his favourite girlfriend, Lekhraj found his counterpart in one of the group’s prime female followers named Radha, later Om Radhe and still later Jagadamba Sarasvati. Lekhraj himself changed his name into Prajipita Brahma (the father of humanity) and later on into Brahma Baba, ‘Father Brahma’. He himself claimed these changes of his name to be inspired by divine intervention. Lekhraj’s teachings and his growing group of followers faced many difficulties from the very beginning. Lekhraj attracted many female followers that gave him the reputation of being a womaniser who kept a big harem. Once more it might be important to keep the erotic symbolism of the Vallabhasampradaya in mind. The husbands of the women who had joined the group formed anti-Om mandli groups who even attacked the settlements of the group at times. Lekhraj took his retreat to Kashmir and from there he started to give his sermons and messages to his followers. These messages were called Murlis, ‘flute-playing’ in reference to Krishna’s calling of his beloved by his magical flute play.

Of primary importance in the revelations Lekhraj is said to have received is that the members of the Brahma Kumari ‘university’ should undergo ‘death-in-life’, they should ‘die towards the outer world’. They had to renounce their families and thus they got the opportunity to be ‘divinely reborn’ in a ‘divine family (p. 37). To stress this spiritual rebirth the members were given new divinely inspired names. Hindu mythology was reinterpreted by Lekhraj in order to lay a foundation for his teachings and to connect these to greater Hinduism, an ancient tradition often built upon by Indian teachers and founders of new religious groups. Thus, the number of Krishna’s wives, i.e. 16,108 was interpreted as referring to the total number of Brahma Kumaris that would be there at the end of times. The stainless saligram stone, a fossil ammonite that symbolises Krishna or Vishnu in his marriage to Tulsidevi, the sacred basil plant, symbolises the soul of the Brahma Kumaris while the 108 beads of the mala, or rosary, represent the 108 stainless followers of Lekhraj. The Mahabharata was reinterpreted and the Brahma Kumaris came to be considered as the Pandavas while the entire Indian population came to be seen as the Kauravas. The Yadavas, whose entire tribe was according to the Mahabharata addicted to alcoholic drinks and was rooted out by interior struggles by the means of a magical iron club, were identified with Western scientists. The period of thirteen years at the beginning of the Mahabharata during which the Pandavas were to remain in hiding was equated to the years during which the Brahma Kumaris were to keep their activities more or less hidden from the outside world.

Community life was very strict and listening to the Murlis was an essential part of the daily routine. So were meditation and other activities considered to be spiritual. Weeks of silence could be part of the process of spiritual purification and interior control could be stretched to the extreme. Delinquents could be summoned to nightly courts in which the offenders had to defend themselves versus Lekhraj and the whole community.

In the beginning of the 1950’s, however, this was about to change. Lekhraj had given warnings that the division of the subcontinent into India and Pakistan would imply an outbreak of violence between Hindus and Muslims. The Brahma Kumaris moved their headquarters from Sindh – which became part of Pakistan after 1947 – to Mount Abu in Gujarat, the place where according to Hindu mythology Brahma and Sarasvati had done their penances 5000 years ago. By this time Lekhraj’s fortunes had run out and he started to accept gifts from well-wishers and even dowries of parents who understood their children would never marry. This change of attitude implied a shift in emphasis as well. Up to now the attitude of the Brahma Kumaris towards the outside world was best characterised as ‘world-rejection’. After the earlier mentioned essential destruction of the world there would follow a golden age, so it was believed. The shift to Mount Abu, however, implied a renewed outlook on the universe that is rightly called ‘ambivalence’ by Walliss. In 1952 Lekhraj launched his active proselytising and ‘world service’. Later on other centres were founded all over India and ‘world service’ even became one of the most important activities of the Brahma Kumaris. Radha who was by now called ‘Mama’ died in 1965, Lekhraj in 1969. The university was taken over by two women, Dadi Prakashini and Didi Manmohini who continued the activities as introduced earlier by Lekhraj. By now there are some 450,000 active members of the movement spread out over 77 countries. In the 1980s and 1990s the movement tried to become more and more affiliated to, among others, the Department of Public Information of the United Nations and UNICEF. After the university’s original centre in London was demolished another centre was set up there, the Global Co-Operation House. In the meantime medical centres with a spiritual objective were set up in various places. At present the movement is deeply involved in a range of activities that strive after the creation of a better, an idealized world in the process of which workshops on stress reduction are organised in schools, prisons, hospitals, drug clinics, homes for the elderly et cetera. In the teachings a selection of Western Christian ideas or ideas prevalent in New Age religion are combined with the Brahma Kumaris’ teachings with selective traditional Hindu values. Walliss calls the latest development in the Brahma Kumaris’ attitude towards the world ‘utopian’ in that they are actually trying to change the world into an ideal utopia, a ‘reflexive utopia’.

 

 

 

After Lekhraj’s death, problems arose as to the exact position and authority of his teachings and the Murlis. During his life, Lekhraj claimed that he was ‘just a soul selected by god to be a medium’. After his death, however, he became a main focus of devotion. After death, he was thought to be part of an angelic realm, from which he at times would continue to spread messages. This idea led to various members of the community claiming to receive visions and messages from Lekhraj. In order to prevent the community from falling apart, it was decided that only the Murlis – received by the trance medium Sister Gulzar – were to be regarded as real visions and true revelations. She received these messages at specific times on Mount Abu. Thus Lekhraj gave his first Murli after his death on the 21st of January 1969.

Chapter IV deals with some of the essential teachings of the Brahma Kumaris that are often called Raja Yoga and are – as is to be expected – at times adjusted to fit in with the later ideological developments taking place within the movement itself. For studying Raja Yoga and other practices, Walliss participated in courses but also relies on literature and videos produced by the movement itself. He relates the Brahma Kumaris to traditional Hinduism and describes some of their spiritual practices: Positive Thinking and Stress-Free Living. Chapter V provides us with a typology of the members of the Brahma Kumaris, which Walliss divides into Instrumental users, Eclectic Users, Interpretative Drifters and Spiritual Searchers, while chapter VI deals with what and how the world of the future is to be. Millenarianism is a central concept in Raja Yoga.

The conclusion, ‘In Search of Post-Traditional Religiosity’ brings us back to the concepts described in the Introduction and first chapters, and the theories on post-traditional society. ‘Late Modernity’ has its heavy demands on the individual human especially in a society characterized as it is in this book as ‘de-traditionalized’. Yet the Brahma Kumaris movement shows that there are forces such as ‘Tradition Persistence’ as well as ‘Rejuvenation’. ‘Moreover, at another level the example of the Brahma Kumaris demonstrates both the re-invigoration and the ongoing re-creation of tradition…(p. 115)’. Due to this Raja Yoga was reinterpreted and a milieu of reinterpretation came into being, to ‘suit a world affirming cultic milieu (elaboration), such as the ongoing globalisation, New Age-ification and instrumentalisation of the original, world-rejecting theodicy’ (etcetera, p. 116).

In his conclusion Walliss questions whether the tools developed in the form of the ‘reflexivity’ of traditions are applicable to other traditions as well. In the final words of his conclusion he argues that the study of contemporary traditions needs to address three important issues: the need to move beyond the either/or of the radical de-traditionalisation debate and to take both aspects of traditionalisation and renewal into account. Secondly he points out the importance to study the developments and changes within particular traditions themselves by the means of detailed ethnography. The last issue concerns the need to examine the continuing appeal of certain traditions for individuals and by extension, social groups. In his study, Walliss has been successful in constructing a theoretically firmly based foundation for his target set. He does not go too deeply into theoretical issues and endless conceptualizations wherein the religiously inspired individuals and the group or groups in which they participate – after being the object of research of so many religious studies – seem to be outcasted.

 

8. World peace organization appears to be doomsday cult

Brahma Kumaris listed as dangerous cult

http://bkwatchers.wordpress.com/2008/10/13/brahma-kumaris-exposed/

YouTube video 12:36 minutes

There has been an increasing amount of confusion created by the so-called “World Spiritual University” using such classical terms as “Brahmin” or “Raja Yoga” for its practises. Likewise, despite its inception 70 years or less ago, “senior faculty members” are increasing claiming its teachings to be “ancient” or centuries old when they are not. Again trading on other quite separate traditions. The BKs run a considerable number of front organizations to give credibility to what are the same evangelic ambitious, that it was thought time to start documenting these on the internet.
Given that significant controversies over child abuse cover up, violence towards breakaway groups and the experience of ex-members have arisen, an independent website on the BKWSU has been established, run by a variety of ex-BKs with teacher and administrator experience within the organization, please see; http://www.brahmakumaris.info/   For a support discussion site on the BKWSU Brahma Kumaris, please see;
http://www.brahmakumaris.info/indexbb.html
This website makes public most if not all of the teachings, practises and personal experiences of BKs, ex-BKs and PBKs allowing individuals to make up their own minds, including copies of the core scriptures – allegedly channelled messages direct from God – called Sakar Murlis.
What ever good may exist within the BK community, one should realise that it is an “End of the World” cult based on channelled mediumship. A channelled Spirit that claims to be the one God of humanity and predicts the Destruction of the world by Nuclear Holocaust, death of 6 Billion people, the sinking of the continents followed by a Heaven on Earth for its BK followers only. This spirit that is, or claims to be, “God” predicted this “Destruction” would happen in 1975 or 1976. The date keeps being pushed back but business keep becoming better for them. Likewise, the population figures of the world are regularly revised as actual figures increase. Currently, they are speculating on the virgin birth of their leader Lekhraj Kirpalani who is going reincarnate as Shri Krishna immanently. As one recruiter for the group writes on many web forums, “the bombs have been made … they will be used”. They expect their heaven to follow a nuclear holocaust. This is all a far cry from the “Peace of Mind”, “Values Education”, “Self Management Leadership” that they use as a New Age front to their many organizations but, scripturally it is accurate. The main concern is that the seniors within the organization are re-editing the original channelled teachings. The channelled Spirit is, it claims, the Supreme God and the process of channelling continues at the organizations headquarters in India via a little old Indian lady. They claim that not just “God” comes into but that the spirit of their dead founder Kirpalani does so too. They are engaged in a continual process of revising their history and re-editing their God’s teachings.

16.

 

 

The BKWSU is also sees itself as the single, true source of all other religions. It teaches its followers that all other religious leader must and will come to it to learn spirituality. Its god is the only one Supreme god that all other religions worship and the BKWSU are the only true teachers. The God states that only the BK Brahmins are pure and the rest of the world is Impure, or Shudras. That is the Hindi word for lowest class Untouchables. Consequently, it hides the teaching of its god, called Sakar Murlis, and does not allow public access to them as the general public has “Impure Intellect” and would not understand them.
Central to their faith is belief in time being only 5,000 years long. In fact, one identically, eternally repeating 5,000 years Cycle; a pure elevated heaven on earth with Krishna and Radha for them 5,000 years ago becoming a “devil-filled” hell on earth at the end of the 20th Century for us now. Hell on earth destroy by their God coming and the power of their yoga making way or their Heaven again in approximately 2036 with Krishna.
They teach that dinosaurs existed only 2,500 years ago. Followers must be strictly vegetarian and celibate, no procreation nor even masturbation. Followers can only eat the food cooked by themselves or other followers.
Physical relatives are no longer seen as family, only other BK Brahmins are, and relatives are referred to as “lokiks, or “worldly”, shudras if they do not become members.
Lifestyle involved getting up at 4 am every day to meditation for 45 minutes, daily class at 6.30 am, more meditation or service in the evenings and weekends. No days off, no holidays as such. Followers are expected to visit the headquarters to meet “God”, hear the “Murli”, God speaking and be recharged.

Sadly, the BKWSU has not been immune to controversy and, indeed, is increasingly finding itself exposed to more mainly due to the power of the internet:
. the cover up of the child sex abuse
. organized violence in numerous states of India targeting break away
revisionist group called PBKs
. validity of charity status
. criticism from UN due to it’s over exaggeration of relationship with the UN
that it has used to establish its credibility.
. suicides of ex-members
. knife murder in center
. many broken marriages and families
. acquisition of properties
. targeting of recently bereaved women etc

So, is the BKWSU Brahma Kumaris a cult?

Perhaps the question is not to ask, “does it have cult-like nature?” but “Does God need to run a cult in order to teach humanity?” It may be that humanity needs and likes being in one cult or another. It is worthwhile mentioning what you are likely to experience in dealing with BKs. In the early days of “Knowledge”, they go through a kind of high called “The Honeymoon Period. They are very pleasant to deal with in a kind of spaced out, peaceful innocent manner. This high does not last and they experience a come down from where they are encouraged to “make efforts” in order to reach the high. It is really in this period that they enter into denial and dealing with many BKs becomes difficult.
They do operate in groups internationally, they do pool information about individuals outside of the organization and share it, they will press ex-members for information about others and tend to target critics with ad hominem attacks, e.g. the founder of the PBK movement was apparently subjected to many trumped up police charges. Their global IT team is a classic example of this behavior. In such attacks, they will use and have the co-operation of part-time members or associates that are unaware of the full teachings.
The BKWSU also uses institutional pressure to remove critical articles and control the media produced about them. They will work in groups to hunt down sources of information, using ex-members as contacts, targeting media people. In this manner, the organization is starting to appear more cult-like, as per the Scientologists. They are becoming more paranoid about their Murli teachings being revealed on the internet and hide them security-encrypted behind pass-worded websites. When “God” speaks in India via the old Indian lady that is the channel medium, he is streamed by secure audio video channels only. Students are discouraged from emailing Murlis.
In the beginning of their history there was a strong “Anti-Party” movement against them that hounded them out of Pakistan. Their teachings predict similar events towards the end of the time/Destruction. Any inklings of natural disaster, war, resistance tend to trigger off “End of the World” speculations within them.
They are very precious about the United Nations affiliations which have in the past been exaggerated to the point where the UN had to caution them.
These are used universally to give status and credibility to their front organizations which tend to hide the actual claims or teachings they follow.


From the Wikipedia article on the BKWSU:

A list of BKWSU front organizations and business that are run and staffed by BKs involved in promoting BKWSU beliefs. At events promoted by any one of these entities, one might find other BKs present under the mantle of “representing” one of the other organizations rather than the BKWSU in a self-reciprocating manner.

The Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual Organization
Inner Space
Living Values Education Program
Self Management Leadership

Visions of a Better World Foundation

17.

 

 

The Janki Foundation
Brahma Kumaris Spiritual Study Foundation
Brahma Kumaris Educational Society
Global Retreat Centre
Oxford Leadership Academy
BK Publications [BKIS Limited]
Relax 7
Soul Power Seminars
World Renewal Trust
– and others.

 

9. The Hidden Face
of Brahmakumaris – A beginner’s guide to the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University

http://www.scribd.com/doc/17344482/The-Hidden-Face-of-Brahmakumaris

Introduction: Who wrote this and who is it written for?

This is a “Beginners Guide” to the Brahma Kumaris. A simple, plain English but comprehensive introduction to the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University: its beliefs, lifestyle and mode of operation. Everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask, in neat bite sized pieces without the requirement of specialist knowledge and surrendered BKs within the organization with direct contact and involvement with the leadership over a period of decades.

 

How do you know all this?

Our collective experience goes back to the beginning of BK evangelism in the Western World. Other information is gain through our discussion forum which is supported internationally.

 

Why are you doing this and are you members of any group or religion?

The Brahma Kumaris leadership has misled generations of followers whilst exploiting them financially and for their free labor and, in our opinion, misrepresents itself to well meaning outsiders in a manner that benefits them in many way including financially. It would seem to many that having secured their position, the leadership now hides the truth of the religion behind a polished PR machine, various fronts and diluted versions of their teachings. It can take months of involvement before newcomers discover what they really believe and teach. By that time, individuals have become assimilated and conditioned in a way to reduce their critical faculties. Few academics studying the group have even gotten this far. Likewise, for friends and families of Brahma Kumari adherents it is impossible to gather from “official” websites what the organization is really about, how the leadership works or for them to gain an understanding about the changes that their loved ones are undergoing. In order to balance the secrecy and manipulation, we believe that individuals have a right to know what is going and access to all the teachings of the BKWSU. To put it simply, we do not believe that truth can be established on the basis of lies and cover ups. No. We have no alternative religious agenda and are not a member of any other group. We believe in freedom of speech, the right to information and society’s right to know. Brahma Kumari teachings are based on mediumistic messages given through trance mediums or channels. These are called Sakar Murlis (pre-1969 death of the founder), Avyakt Vanis or Avyakt Murlis (post-1969 death of the founder). Over 1,000 examples of these are offered on this website in a number of formats including searchable data bases. Brahma Kumari believe that another spirit entity, or soul, possessed firstly their founder Lekhraj Kripalani and now other adherents to speak through their bodies and act. Outside of the BKWSU, this is known as “channelling”. It is an advanced form of mediumship. Since the death of Lekhraj Kripalani, BKs belief that both he, the spirit guide they believe is the God of all religions and other senior deceased BK adherents are channelled through “trance mediums”. These mediums are said to go into a deep trance and allow the other spirit entities to possess their bodies and, again, speak and act through them. Whereas BKs claim that the founder was able to remain conscious whilst the spirit did so, the lesser mediums are not able to and must remain in trance not knowing what is being said or done through them.

 

The Hidden Teachings called “the Murlis”

The core teachings of the Brahma Kumaris called “the Murli”, after a magic flute that God Krishna was supposed to play to bewitch his female followers. These are channelled mediumistic messages allegedly spoken by God directly through the mouths of BK mediums. The BKWSU is becoming increasingly secretive about these due to their controversial nature and given that they are often in opposition to activities carried out by the leadership and does not as a rule allow non-BKs access to them. And certainly not in anything but a watered down manner. Examples are not available on any BKWSU websites, adherents are not allowed to send them as emails, generally no longer allowed copies to take for home study and may only be given access in specific areas of the their center There is further controversy within the movement that the leadership is editing, revising and re-writing them
removing contentious elements, failed predictions, changing dates and so on.

 

Are there any other forms of psychism going on within the BKWSU?

Yes. Newly deceased senior Brahma Kumaris are said to be channelled by the organization’s mediums following their death, even returning from beyond the grave to speak to their old friends and be fed via the medium’s body. Additionally, previously deceased Brahma Kumari adherents are said to make up an Advance Party which, along with founder Lekhraj Kripalani, acts psychically in some manner through current members influencing events.

 

 

Many BKs report having varied psychically induced visions. Individual followers are (allegedly) being used unconsciously as mediums or channels for these spirit entities, and “energy” or “vibrations”, during meditation and whilst evangelizing for the BKWSU. The main spirit guide, or god of the Brahma Kumaris, clearly claims to enter into followers to do “work” or influence atmospheres in the channelled messages. With the likelihood that the current medium of God is going to die before “Destruction”, the BKWSU is said to be training up young women to take over her role as a mediums for God on her death. Wealthy followers can pay to have special food offerings made for their deceased relatives during which time the BK medium will return with some special message often relating to the condition of their rebirth elsewhere or meeting God. Special attention is given to food and BK believe that they can fill food or sweeties with special spiritual energy that affects individuals that eat it. These are often given to IPs or VIPs as gifts. The organization will consult with the spirit guides via their trance mediums to receive their guidance before any major building, business or evangelistic project.

 

How do the Brahma Kumaris refer to this?

The Brahma Kumaris do not tend to refer to this as channelling or even mediumship but obscure the practises to outsiders with vague references to “being used as an instrument”, “inspired” and so on. On occasions, VIPs or politicians will be introduced to “God” speaking through a medium without knowing who it is they are supposed to be meeting, e.g. President Patil of India or Dr. Robert Muller, formerly Assistant Secretary General to the United Nations. Whilst maintaining their faith that is God Himself speaking through their mediums, general terms such as “the Light” or “the Supreme” will be used to non-adherents.

 

Why Nuclear War, natural disasters and civil wars?

The BKWSU has taught since it beginning that present day that all life on earth and humanity must be destroyed in a series of events it calls “Destruction”. This is required to “purify” the world of vice. The core Brahma Kumari teachings claim that the external destruction of the world will come about by their inspiration and efforts. Specifically, it has been said that this means they will give the scientists courage to release the nuclear weapons that will destroy civilization and that Destruction emanates from their efforts. These include Nuclear War, natural disasters and civil war. All other continents except for India are to sink below the oceans except for islands where present day Brahma Kumari centers are located. India is to be the scene of a bloodbath after which all bodies are washed away into the ocean by floods. Following Destruction, an army of special individuals including scientists and Brahma Kumaris will rebuild civilization to its highest, high technology Golden Age in less than 30 years. Brahma Kumari adherents, reborn as “deities” will enjoy palaces of gold and diamonds, nuclear power flying machines and live to be 150 years old. Previously, BKs taught followers that Destruction would take 50 years and Creation 50 years. References to this have been removed from their teachings.

 

The BKWSU engage in many forms of deception. To this end they disguise who they really are and engage with the world wearing a variety of masks, using a variety of methods, and includes tax fraud and pretending to be a charity. This is covered in the next few pages.

The BKWSU has an agenda. They want to fill their ranks to 900,000 dedicated members. According to their teachings, that is the number at which the world will be destroyed. Soon after that paradise will arise from the radioactive ashes of hell and they will live as deities. However, there is a dilemma: how to openly and honestly reveal such an agenda and still be taken seriously? Clearly they have realized they can’t and have opted to be taken seriously even if they have to engage in a process of deception to achieve this. It is also a consideration that the collective ego of BKWSU management simply cannot cope with any accusation that they are nutters. But what else would you think if they told you that God is teaching them directly and exclusively, that the world was supposed to end in 1976 but that they are still waiting, that time repeats identically every 5000 years (yes you read all of this 5000 years ago and will do again in another 5000 years). Senior management is deeply concerned with the public persona of the BKWSU. It has been determinedly managed and is protected with ferocity. They do not tolerate dissent within their ranks and are especially sensitive to public dissent. They simply don’t want the public to know what they truly believe or what their true motives are. The irony appears to be lost on them, but their primary effort is to hide what they truly believe – their very reason for existing in the first place. This is evidenced by the fact that nowhere in the BKWSU websites, advertising material, or anywhere in their public presence will you find any reference to what they truly believe. Instead they hide behind a deception of concern for you and the world.

 

This is the cynical type of deception for which Pol Pot was noted. This is only the beginning however. The nature and form of deception continues to evolve. It begins with the claim to be teaching Raja Yoga.

Raja Yoga

One of the most prominent and effective marketing tools the BKWSU has employed for decades is its false claim to be teaching Raja Yoga. Patanjali is regarded in India as the creator of Raja Yoga, which is well respected in India and considered one of the highest paths to enlightenment by many. Patanjali created Raja Yoga before Christ. The BKWSU do not teach anything resembling Patanjali’s Raja Yoga or anything from the Yoga Sutras. Quite the opposite. The BKWSU teach that all knowledge created by humans – including Patanjali – is impure and flawed. Cynically they advertise that they teach “ancient Raja Yoga” playing on peoples’ interest in the genuine Raja Yoga. A gullible general membership will say that it is ancient because they taught it 5,000 years ago. The meditation centres in Australia and other countries went under the banner of “Raja Yoga Centres” for many years before switching cover and referring to themselves as a university. It is still the favourite marketing tool however and a search on the internet will take you to many sites labelled Raja Yoga that are BK fronts.

 

 

A University?

The use of the term “university” is not only misleading but in most countries illegal. It is certainly not a university. There are no publicly accredited courses, qualifications or even a basic structure that might identify it as a place of learning at all. One has to be a cult member to even attend regular classes which are nothing other than a process of mind control anyway.

Fronts

The BKWSU have more fronts and disguises than can be counted. They also present public programs, projects, conferences, services and the like under a variety of banners as well. The latest is a program, initiated in Wembley and transported around the world, called “Just a Minute”. The program is typically innocuous and encourages people to take just one minute at a time to meditate and be calm. Nice idea. In reality it is just an exercise in working their VIPs’ – giving them a stage and an audience, making them feel all warm and fuzzy and a bit closer to the final entrapment. They are also casting their nets as they look to increase their numbers and to replace the devastated people they have left behind.

Oxford Leadership Academy and Relax7

These two programs are run by long term senior ‘brothers’ who have refined the art of entrapment to a high degree and manage to turn a profit at the same time. Relaxkids is a business operated by a ‘sister’ who was indoctrinated as a child and who allows the BKWSU to exploit her business for the recruitment of children.

Why do the Brahma Kumaris call it “Transformation”?

“Destruction”, remains the word used by the God of the BKWSU, Brahma Kumari teachers and adherents internally. It has recently been euphemistically relabeled “Transformation” for non-BKs, especially in the West where the BKWSU appeals to the New Age market and is conscious of its public representation. It means the same: Death for all life on earth in order to purify it so that the world can be reborn as a perfect Heaven on Earth for 900,000 faithful Brahma Kumari followers.

 

Who is going to inherit heaven on earth after “Destruction”?

Only Brahma Kumaris or their followers!!!

The current Brahma Kumaris leadership is said to become the Emperors and Empresses of the Golden Age heaven on earth. Each Brahma Kumaris follower will take a position in their 2,500 dynasty depending on the efforts and donations of time and money they make in this current life. No other religions will experience a suffering free existence in a heaven on earth. All other religions will experience suffering for all their existence. Heaven on earth is strictly hierarchical, an empire ruled by royal families which will consist of high ranking BK leaders past and present. To enjoy a high status in heaven, BK adherents are told to ensure good relationships in this life with senior BKs through conformity and submission. Just prior to Destruction, Brahma Kumaris believe that the Indian Government is going to hand over power to their control and be recognized by governments internationally.

 

What is going to happen to other religions after the End of the World?

The Brahma Kumaris teach that, following the suffering of Destruction and Judgement Day, the souls of other religions go back to a spirit world where they remain inert and unconscious until they are reborn again to play their part again in the future. That is to say that Christian souls will remain “like eggs” for 3,000 years until they are reborn again following Jesus Christ’s rebirth in the future. There is no afterlife, no eternal release (Moksha/Nirvana) nor any other spirit worlds or heavenly realms. No other religion but the Brahma Kumaris will experience the Golden Aged ‘heaven on earth’. All other religions, prophets and religious leaders are merely reborn in time to replay their lives identically as they have done so in recent history. See the BK’s philosophy of an identically repeating 5,000 Year Cycle.

 

What about other countries except for India come Destruction?

The Brahma Kumaris belief that a greater India is the original heavenly paradise on earth and that Hindi is the original language. During Destruction, all other continents will sink below the oceans except for where there are BKWSU centers which will become islands for the reborn Brahma Kumaris to fly to in their thought-control, nuclear-powered flying machines.

 

Identifying the BKWSU as a Cult

Rather than reinvent the wheel or limit this discussion to a perhaps subjective point of view this discussion has been cross referenced with other sites that are exploring cult issues. Here we look at ‘cult identifiers’ and see how they relate to the BKWSU. Typically these identifiers include: totalitarian control of members, elitist perspective, ownership of a revelation, psychological manipulation and abuse of members, exploitation of members, and the willingness of members to blindly support the organisation to the point of personal crisis.

A Universal Definition

CULT – Any group which has a pyramid type authoritarian leadership structure with all teaching and guidance coming from the person/persons at the top. The group will claim to be the only way to God; Nirvana; Paradise; Ultimate Reality; Full Potential, Way to Happiness etc, and will use thought reform or mind control techniques to gain control and keep their members. This definition covers cults within all major world religions, along with those cults which have no OBVIOUS religious base such as commercial, educational and psychological cults. Others may define these a little differently, but this is the simplest to work from.

 

 

 

The BKWSU have a hierarchical management system with a clearly defined lineage. At the very top are God Shiva and Brahma Baba (the spirit of the late Dada Lehkraj) who are channelled by Dadi Gulzar. The senior most people in management are referred to individually as “Dadi”(meaning Senior Sister). The Dadis then direct the organisation and its members through a network of preferred members. To be a preferred member one must be worthy, that is, co-operative, obedient and totally support the Dadis and the system. Dissenters are marginalised by default and considered to be lacking in realisation and struggling in their relationship with God. There is also a powerful committee that has a high level of control. This committee includes a number of Senior Brothers. The exact role of the committee and its influence is not made public but its members were not elected nor are they accountable to the general membership. Like all religions, sects and cults, the BKWSU base their lifestyle and practises on a belief system that is the basis of their reality. This reality is formed in the minds of members through constant study and hours of daily meditation. The members believe that they are the true children of God, who is teaching them directly and exclusively. They believe that through their relationship with God Shiva they will become pure and achieve Nirvana. They will then reincarnate into the new world (Golden Age) as deities and rule that world as divine kings – the product of the pure karma they accumulated at this time through their renunciation (of money and personal resources) and service (expansion of the organisation).The main method for becoming pure is meditation, which means to concentrate on the love and purity of Shiva and Brahma and the ‘spiritual knowledge’ to the exclusion of all ‘worldly thoughts’ – a very effective system of indoctrination and mind control.

A Secular Definition

CULT – From the Latin ‘cultis’ which denotes all that is involved in worship, ritual, emotion, liturgy and attitude. This definition actually denotes what we call denominations and sects and would make all religious movements a cult.

A Christian Definition

CULT – Any group which deviates from Biblical, orthodox, historical Christianity, i.e. They deny the Deity of Christ; His physical resurrection; His personal and physical return to earth and salvation by FAITH alone. This definition only covers those groups which are cults within the Christian religion. It does not cover cults within other world religions such as Islam and Hinduism. Nor does it cover Psychological, Commercial or Educational cults which do not recognize the Bible as a source of reality.

The Orthodox Bible-Based Cult

A group is called a cult because of their behaviour – not their doctrines. Doctrine is an issue in the area of Apologetics and Heresy. Most religious cults do teach what the Christian church would declare to be heresy but some do not. Some cults teach the basics of the Christian faith but have behavioural patterns that are abusive, controlling and cultic. This occurs in both Non-Charismatic and Charismatic churches. These groups teach the central doctrines of the Christian faith and then add the extra authority of leadership or someone’s particular writings. They centre on the interpretations of the leadership and submissive and unquestioning acceptance of these is essential to be a member of good standing. This acceptance includes what we consider non-essential doctrines i.e. not salvation issues (such as the Person and Work of Christ.) The key is that they will be using mind control or undue influence on their members.

 

Other Identification Marks:

(a) The group will have an ELITIST view of itself in relation to others, and a UNIQUE CAUSE .i.e. THEY ARE THE ONLY ONES RIGHT – everyone else is wrong. THEY ARE THE ONLY ONES DOING GOD’S WILL – everyone else is in apostasy.

Integral to the Brahma Kumaris philosophy is the notion that they are a special group of souls, those whose good fortune brings them eternally back to God. They are the souls who will achieve the highest state of purity and spiritual power. They will uplift all the souls of the world and bring about the new Golden Age of humanity – which they will rule as divine kings and queens. The BKWSU consider themselves the most fortunate souls of the world for all of time. They are the only ones who know God, the Truth or who can save the world from sorrow. They are by default the ones who are right and that all other religions, sects etc are the domains of partial truth and exist for weak souls who need that type of limited support. They typically counter accusations of elitism by claiming that as anyone can become a member they are not so. It is an argument that only works for them.

(b) They will promote their cause actively, and in doing so, abuse personal rights and freedoms. This abuse can be THEOLOGICAL, SPIRITUAL, SOCIAL & PSYCHOLOGICAL.

Promoting themselves as a great spiritual organisation that makes a unique and critical contribution to humanity is a major preoccupation. They hold courses, seminars and conferences etc. and they have meditations centres to run. They are a very busy group of people. The members take on this workload as a way of creating good karma and purifying themselves. They start with meditation at 4.00am and are occupied from then until the end of their day. To not participate is a sign of weakness, lack of innate “fortune”, lack of recognition of God or their inherent responsibility as a child of God. Failure to cooperate with the hierarchy in the fulfilment of the “elevated purpose” of the BKWSU carries guilt and implications of being a lesser, weaker and poorer soul. Obedience is seen as a sign of strength, disobedience is bad karma. To leave is eternal damnation, eternal loss. The fear of failing is referred to as a “sweet fear” and therefore a good thing. Throughout their time as a member they will have been promised rewards of purity, peace, bliss and a kingdom in heaven whilst being patronised with lessons on failure and loss. The hierarchy takes ownership of the individuals self esteem and manipulates them with concepts of reward and loss. Members must confess their weakness and doubts to the Seniors, ostensibly in order to overcome them.

 

 

 

Ultimately the Hierarchy exerts influence on everything a member will think, say or do, and how they spend their time and with who. They are told to renounce all past relationships, attachments and money and belong only to “Baba” (God Shiva).The BKWSU practise all the types of abuse mentioned, but because it is not violent, or loud, but carried out from behind a facade of pity and benevolence no one sees it for what it is.

 

How They Do This?

1.
Their leader/s may claim a special, exclusive ministry, revelation or position of authority given by God.

The bureaucracy of the BKWSU is a hierarchy of “exceptional souls” who are the dispensers of “Shrimat” – the divine directions of god – to the general membership. Ones’ seniority within the organisation is seen as an indication of one’s past good karma and current good efforts, and of ones overall “fortune”. It would also suggest that one’s “yoga” or connection with God, is of a higher quality and therefore one is able to receive “touchings” from God and would also have a clearer understanding of what God wanted or expected of his “beloved children” at any given moment. Thus the senior is worthy to dispense shrimat and, effectively, control the lives of members under their “care”.

2.
They believe they are the only true path and take a critical stance regarding the Christian church while at the same time praising and exalting their own group, leader/s and work.

The BKWSU believe that God has incarnated directly into the body of their founder, Dada Lehkraj, and is teaching them personally and exclusively. From 1936 to 1969 BKWSU religious philosophy was “channelled” in daily sermons known as Murlis. As there is only one God and they are the only ones who know him or the Truth, then definitely they are the only one true path. The Senior members (known as Dadis) are praised as angels, and as the highest and purest souls of all time. Everyone else is patronised as good souls but without the power of purity or greatness that the Seniors have.

3.
They use intimidation (albeit subtle) or psychological manipulation to keep members loyal to their ranks. This could be in the form of threats of dire calamity if they leave; certain death at Armageddon; being shunned by their family and friends etc. This is a vital part of the mind control process.

Members are continuously reminded that the world is to end soon and to leave would be the greatest misfortune and lead to “a thousand years of suffering in a second” as a result. They are told to break their attachments to the “old world” (family, friends, career, money etc) because that is only bondage to a life of suffering. They are instructed by Seniors, on behalf of God, to dedicate themselves to their new spiritual life exclusively. Their self-respect is based entirely upon being a committed child of God Shiva who is obedient to Seniors. The Seniors are very much in control of the minds and hearts of the members. A simple example of group manipulation is one of Dadi Janki, now head of the BKWSU. In 2006 it was known to many that the then head of the BKWSU – Dadi Prakashmani – was seriously ill with Alzheimers. Dadi’s Alzheimers was creating some confusion in the ranks for a variety of reasons. Typically Dadi Janki used the philosophy to pull members back into line. In 2006 Dadi Janki, in a typically moving and emotive lecture, told everyone that “the time is close? (Meaning that the world is about to end) and that as sick as Dadi Prakashmani is, she would be there with all of them until the end. Suddenly all the doubters are ‘inspired’ to refocus on their personal efforts for purity. If they do not become pure in time, they will have to suffer judgement, punishment and a lower status in the new world.

In fact, Dadi Prakashmani died in early 2007. Dadi Janki has been made head of the organisation, and everyone has forgotten the guarantee that she gave in that lecture.

4. Members will be expected to give substantial financial support to the group.

This could be compulsory tithing (which is checked); signing over all their property on entering the group; coercive methods of instilling guilt on those who have not contributed; selling magazines, flowers or other goods for the group as part of their ministry. At the same time bible-based cults may ridicule churches that take up free-will offerings by passing collection plates and/or sell literature and tapes. They usually brag that they don’t do this. This gives outsiders the intimation that they are not interested in money.

The BKWSU is a very wealthy organisation. Vast sums of money, property, jewellery and other assets have been ‘donated’ to the organisation. Hapless members who are convinced of the truth of the BKWSU teachings believe that the world is soon to be destroyed and that they will reincarnate in paradise in the very near future. A new member who is experiencing the “honeymoon stage” of their “new life” will be encouraged to give all they can in this context. In some cases this can be houses, cars and bank accounts. Ultimately all funds and assets received by the BKWSU have been solicited – BKWSU are lectured on the good karma of giving and are reminded regularly of the need to ‘donate’ to the Godly purpose. It was uncommon for any new person to be asked for money. The public or interested parties were always told that all services of the BKWSU are free and that the organisation is funded entirely by donations. The general perception of ‘outsiders’ is that the BKWSU are not interested in money and that the property they do have is really a sign of the integrity of the organisation and the donations they have received as a result.

5.
There will be great emphasis on loyalty to the group and its teachings.

The lives of members will be totally absorbed into the group’s activities. They will have little or no time to think for themselves because of physical and emotional exhaustion. This is also a vital part of the mind control process.

A member’s day begins with meditation at 4.00am. It is known as “Amrit Vela” and is one of several [“Mariadas”]. Mariadas are the basic rules by which a good member should live their lives. In reality someone is only considered a true or real member/student/child of god if they are following these rules. The list of mariadas includes celibacy, vegetarian diet (with no eggs, onions or garlic) and daily morning class (Murli class).There is a real if unspoken pressure to conform to these Mariadas (and thereby demonstrate one’s loyalty) if one is to be taken seriously by the group, especially the Seniors.

 

 

 

Additional to Mariadasis Shrimat (the supposed directions of God)

Shrimat coerces members to think and behave according to the directions spoken by god in the murli, and directions given by seniors. Supposedly mariadas and shrimat are to ensure the ‘child’ receives maximum benefit from god, their true father. The main benefit is to be purity of the soul. To not follow Mariadas and Shrimatis a great sin – very bad karma. Shrimat requires obedience, submission and compliance from the member. The member who follows Mariadas and Shrimat will start their day at 4.00am and will be busy until they sleep at night. If they are not busy meditating or earning an income they will be kept busy doing “service”. There is no room for free will, only loyalty, obedience and “cooperation”. The net effect is an almost permanent state of tiredness or exhaustion.

6. There will be total control over almost all aspects of the private lives of members.

This control can be direct through communal living, or constant and repetitious teaching on how to be a true Christian (or member) or being obedient to leadership. Members will look to their Seniors for guidance in everything they do. A good student will follow Shrimat. They will not make a decision about their lives without consulting Seniors in order to get shrimat. Their lives are heavily influenced by seniors in this way, and in the process the Seniors will come to know the detail of the member’s life. A good student would not risk making a mistake and accumulate even more bad karma by either not consulting a senior or by disobeying shrimat. Shrimat will commonly include instructions to donate money, to dissociate from family and friends, to give up ones career, to only eat food cooked by other members, to not watch television and movies or read books and magazines, and to give up all “worldly interest”.

7. Any dissent or questioning of the group’s teachings is discouraged.

Criticism in any form is seen as rebellion. There will be an emphasis on authority, unquestioning obedience and submission. This is vigilantly maintained. Questioning or doubts are the sign of a weak intellect. Dissent means the soul is under the influence of past bad karma and is the proof of past sin. The senior sisters especially are to never be challenged. To do so is proof of ignorance. Any member who continues to dissent will be excommunicated. [8 is not to be found –Michael]

9. Members are required to demonstrate their loyalty to the group in some way. This could be in the form of informing on fellow members (including family) under the guise of looking out for their ‘spiritual welfare’. They may be required to deliberately lie (heavenly deception) or give up their lives by refusing some form of medical treatment.

In the BKWSU members would demonstrate their loyalty through their financial support, commitment to service and obedience. They would follow the party line publicly and talk the talk. They adopt the view that they are one family – a divine family of future deities and act according to the rules of the family [Mariadas].

10. Attempts to leave or reveal embarrassing facts about the group may be met with threats.

Some may have taken oaths of loyalty that involve their lives or have signed a covenant and feel threatened by this.

Ranjana and Sharad both demonstrated the state of mind one experiences when leaving the BKWSU. They were indoctrinated into the belief that any form of dissent is a mortal sin that they will be burdened with it for all eternity. Therefore the system is never challenged and the status quo within the organisation is not interrupted. People leave, are crushed by the belief system that they had been manipulated by during their membership, and will suffer severe depression and may suicide. But they do not dissent. The BKWSU have generally maintained a ‘softly softly’ approach in public to all issues. They have no concern for those who leave. Former members may be encouraged to return, but BKWSU teachings recommend leaving ex-members alone in case existing members become “trapped” trying to help them and leave as well. Ex-members are so affected by guilt that they rarely become dissenters even after they leave. Or so they teach adherents.

 

Brahma Kumaris and families

Do Brahma Kumaris break up families or split apart husbands and wives?

Yes. Brahma Kumaris have quite correctly been accused of interfering with other individuals’ marriages and bringing about the breaking up of families since the 1930s, every decade since and on every continent. Unlike orthodox religions, as a celibate religion, its expansion has only come about by individuals leaving their families or by families converting to it. In the West, the latter is extremely rare. The BK Leadership has throughout their history been active in encourage and advising its adherents on how to achieve breaking heterosexual and homosexual partnerships. Very specifically, yes, and gradually if necessary. Brahma Kumari leaders and other followers will give specific advice to males, but much more likely female adherents, on how to split apart from their partners. This will graduate from stopping physical and sexual contact and changing sleeping arrangements and has in some circumstances even involved support in initiating divorce proceedings. This has included avoiding skin contact, sleeping in separate rooms, refusing to eat food cooked by relatives, refusing to socialize or attend other religious events and so on. In other cases, this has involved senior sisters advising on how and when followers should satisfy their partners’ sexual demands until leaving them and even advise to have an abortion in order to avoid the distraction of having children. It is accurate to say that leading Brahma Kumaris have also left family, partners and children behind to join the group.

 

Can I have a BK as a partner?

Basically, no. Our experience is, do not even try. Brahma Kumari adherents can appear to be very attractive and a perfect potential partner but their purpose and intents is supposed to be single heartedly promoting the religion without any such distraction. If a BK is being attractive to you, it is far more likely that they are using their personality or even their sexuality on a discrete level, to draw you into the religion. Even if you were to accept such limitations as complete celibacy, separate sleeping arrangements, lack of socializing and the not eating of food not cook by BKs, it is likely that your role could only become supporting them evangelize their religion.

 

 

Within the BKWSU there is the expectation that BKs leaving to form partnerships will return at some point with their partner and children.

 

Can I make a partnership with another BK?

Basically, no. Extreme celibacy is the norm which excludes even normal affection and socializing. Males and female live separately. All efforts and intentions are aimed toward expanding the religion and earning a high status and good fortune for the next lives. Anything else is seen as “maya” or an evil distraction. “Attachment” to another human being as a sin is probably only second worst to having lustful thoughts.

Some very rare marriages have occurred within the BKWSU for a variety of reasons, e.g. to save a female adherent from an arranged marriage, for the sakes of immigration and BKWSU evangelistic service.

 

Are children of adherents indoctrinated into the BKWSU?

Yes. Non-BK parents should be aware that BK adherents will subtly and persistently attempt to indoctrinate their children and grand-children with BKWSU teachings and initiate them into BKWSU practise. Brahma Kumaris beliefs are seen to be the one and only savour of humanity. The BKWSU also used a number of discrete methods targeted at both children within families and disadvantages children such as orphans or street children such as “Relax Kids” products and Values in Education. Additionally, the channelled entity the Brahma Kumaris consider to be God has specifically encouraged followers to target children and schools.

 

Brahma Kumaris and money

How are the Brahma Kumaris funded?

The Brahma Kumaris both claim in public, and are instructed by their spirit guide, that they do not accept donations from non-BKs. However, increasingly they are seeking funding from external sources. Whilst the majority of funds supporting their property acquisition and evangelistic activities come from adherents, the BKWSU leadership has for some time successfully sought land, property and funding from governments internationally, and wealthy non-BK outsiders. They have largely benefited from Hindu tradition, or superstition, to give to the holy and have marketed themselves in such a manner providing recognizable religious services such as Raksha Bandhan to Indian communities. Adherents are encouraged to give for 10% of their income; many center-in-charges will spend considerably more. The aim is to surrender 100%.Their native Sindhi community is also a well known, successful and wealthy business community and has been known to support their activities whilst not always following their principles. Financiers and donors or property have also been sought from wealthy individuals of other religions, such as Islam, who are likely not to know of the real nature of their teachings. Tax systems have been used and abused to their benefit as a charity or a religion.

 

Do the Brahma Kumaris accept donations?

Yes. Although strictly their philosophical teachings tell them not to accept money from non-BKs, recently the Brahma Kumaris have been seen increasing not just to accept donations from non-adherents but also rent their properties out to other business and religious groups and allow adherents to provide professional services as long as a commission is paid back to the organization or one of its fronts such as the Janki Foundation.

 

Financial policies and investments

Financial dealings with the Brahma Kumari movement are bound with secrecy and obscurity. Adherents are discouraged from requesting details and few if any public statements are made. Financial matters are dealt with by an elite inner circle without any democratic process. Invariably any serious matters will be referred to the organization’s mediums to request advice and clearance from its spirit guides. A number of charitable front organizations have been established to channel materials and funds back to the main organization. Increasingly, the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University and its leaders are being discovered to hold investment and considerably large bank accounts. In the case of the UK branch, a surplus in excess of £3,000,000.Global leader Janki Kripalani, despite having surrendered to the organization in the 1930s and have never held a job, was recently reported to have private a bank account at a private meeting. Whilst encouraging followers to surrender their money and insurance policies, even donate property, work for free and give up both education and career ambitions, other Brahma Kumaris leaders have been found to depend on private pensions in order to support their privileged position. The BKWSU organization, at the very least, also appears to have profited from property speculation and development at its Mount Abu headquarters. Running largely a “cash economy”, at one point the Indian government acted to remove donation boxes from BK centers. Indian followers especially have been encouraged to give gifts of silver and gold jewelry some of which has been given as gifts to VIPs, it is not know what happens to the rest. There have been other reports of individuals and the organization having profited from property speculation and development especially around their Rajasthan headquarters.

 

How wealthy is the BKWSU?

In India, the Brahma Kumaris are thought of as a wealthy religion and to target wealth followers. In the UK, as an example, the BKWSU holds approximately £3,000,000 hold in bank accounts, £16,000,000 worth of property, £2,000,000 donations annually. Figures for India are not known but the BKWSU is known as a wealthy religion targeting a middle class following. If you know of local amounts, please contact us.

 

 

Does the BKWSU distribute charity?

As a rule, no. It is seen as bad to create such “karmic accounts” to give money to charity, whereas the highest karma and liberation is achieved by donating wealth, property and free labor to the Brahma Kumaris. As what many see as a face saving effort, the BKWSU did donate some money and goods following the Tsunami in India. It is understood that these were taken from special donations by adherents and not from the existing or general collection. In one year, whilst the BKWSU (UK), a charity established to “alleviate poverty” collected over £2,000,000 in donations for its own use, it distributed just over £20,000 in emergency relief aid. No records of any programmes of alleviating poverty can be seen in the public accounts. None have happened.

 

Wills and property

The BKWSU leadership regularly encourages all followers to write their last will and testimony completely in favor of the organization, leaving property to the cult even when their are living dependents and descendants in order to “earn a fortune” and high status in the future heaven on earth. It offers followers a standardized will to do so. While the organization does offer geriatric support to its followers and leaving caring to the physical family, some widows in such situations have been offered live in cooking positions within centers.

 

Brahma Kumari beliefs and experiences

Brahma Kumaris believe that they are unique amongst all religions in that God speaks to them, in Hindi with a few English words, directly through their mediums. They believe that God has come to earth in person. Prior to 1950, the Brahma Kumaris had no knowledge of this God and thought that millionaire businessman founder Lekhraj Kripalani was God, the Inventor of the Gita and a reincarnation of Krishna. Since approximately 1950, the BKWSU has believed that the channelled entity, spirit guide that speaks through their mediums is the God of all religions. This God is called Shiva, his form an infinitesimal point of light and that he possesses first the body of millionaire founder Lekhraj Kripalani and other Brahma Kumaris to speak through to humanity. Each Year, Brahma Kumaris make an annual “pilgrimage” to listen and meet “God” in person speaking through their main medium in their Indian Headquarters. By habit, the Brahma Kumaris do not make it obvious to non-BKs that they mean that their god is the God of all religion. Instead, BKs tend to talk in general terms about; “the Light”, the “One”, the “Supreme” and so on. What they specifically believe is that God meets and speaks to them directly via their mediums in India and does not do so to any other religion.

The Self

The Brahma Kumaris believe we are souls, infinitesimal points of light, existing in the physical body. They teach that human re-incarnate into a maximum of 84 bodies declining with each birth. The maximum number of rebirths is limited to Brahma Kumari followers, no other religion or practise having become enlightened or having gained liberation from rebirth.

The Three Worlds

The Brahma Kumaris believe that there is only life on Earth, that the universe is limited in size and is only 5,000 year old. They teach adherents that there are Three Worlds; the physical universe, an infinite spiritual world of red light using classical terms such as Brahm or Nirvana to describe it, and between the two a temporary world of white light in which there are visions but no sounds and in which BKs can exits, travel around as angels, receiving and giving psychic visions. This last world they call “The Subtle (or Angelic) Regions”. “The Three World” is one of the core original classes of BK philosophy and often referred to. No mention of any other “spirit worlds” or heaven realms are made nor are they accepted as existing and they do not correlate to the Subtle Regions.

Karma

The BKWSU has its own unique and simplified understanding of Hindu Karma philosophy which includes the theory that ever misfortune was originally caused by the victim themselves, e.g. whether child sex abuse, as happened at the organizations headquarters, or the Jewish Holocaust etc. It believes that ill fortune can only be removed by suffering or BK Raja Yoga and that this time is the only time to earn the greatest material good fortune which will lead to a maximum of 2,500 years in heaven on earth.

The 5,000 year Cycle of Time

The Brahma Kumaris believe that, although matter is eternal, time is at most 5,000 years old and that it repeats identically ever 5,000 years in a cyclic fashion. What that means is that, literally, you read this identically 5,000 years ago and will read this again in 5,000 years time. This Cycle starts off pure and perfect and declines until it is 100% impure and imperfect in a series that goes; gold, silver, copper, iron as by classical Hindu and Greek philosophies. BKs believe that dinosaurs existed 2,500 years ago at the same time as Abraham and offer no scientific explanations for the numerous anomalies arising from this faith. At the end of each Cycle, there is an age of upliftment called the Diamond or Confluence Age which was originally 12 years long but currently stands as 10 years long, 70 of which have finished.

Tree of religions

A common metaphor deployed by the BKWSU is the Tree of Humanity, human civilization visualized as a tree of which the Brahma Kumaris, as reborn gods and goddess, form the trunk, all other religions, the branches of the tree and all sects and cults, the twigs.

Spiritual Powers

“Spiritual powers” with the BKWSU generally relate not to siddhis, magic or occult abilities but to virtues or moral values.

 

 

 

However, many psychic and supernatural abilities are suggested of their founder and leadership such as the ability to travel to other dimensions and speak with the deceased or enlightened, the ability to travel to different parts of the world out of their bodies to inspect centers and followers homes, the ability to read adherents’ souls, predict the future, “give blessings”, clear karma etc. The BKWSU leadership believes that it can speak directly to God and that God speaks directly back to them and directs them through their mediums. Senior sisters are empowered within the group to be able to give advice “equal to God’s” that if adherents follow their safety and success is guaranteed and no negative karma is incurred. Many claims are made of their practise being able to cure illnesses, save lives and so on in which remarkable personal testimonies on behalf of BK adherents are important faith devices.

 

How and why do people join?

Whilst many neophyte adherents are at a vulnerable period in their lives and directly targeted by the Brahma Kumaris, such as experiencing the death of family members, young individuals away from home, break up of relationships or suffering from addictions according to the traditional model of cult inductees, others would consider themselves to be genuine “spiritual seekers” attempting to answer the questions of life and existence that they have been unable to find in orthodox religions. Many of the original BK adherents in the West came through established interests in yoga, spirituality, India and alternative lifestyles. In the West, the Brahma Kumaris originally marketed themselves as providers of ‘peace of mind’ and promoting ‘peace’, albeit in contradiction to their specifically millenarianist beliefs in the imminent and desirable “Destruction” of humanity that they are bringing about. More recently, they have remarketed themselves as providers of discussion about “values”. Whereas originally, the Brahma Kumaris offered intensive 7 days courses in which they presented the totality of their perfected “knowledge” and initiated individuals into their meditational practise, individuals are now usual enculturated through a process of vague and general seminars, e.g. retreats, business or artistic events on a variety of topics consciously targeted at different groups within society, e.g. women, mother and children, educators, sufferers of depression, executives, jurists etc which introduce lightweight version of their practises.

These meetings are generally organized by individuals who have a specific interest or experience in the relative field and act as filters or “honeypots” for new potential BKWSU recruits who. For a considerable period, potential recruits will have no idea about the Brahma Kumaris’ real beliefs or intentions. Gradually, BK leaders or adherents will “take the pulse” of these individuals (assessing their recruitability), for potential interests in a deeper commitment. At this point, they will be invited to take more private lessons in the BKWSU beliefs, which may still be spread over weeks, and incorporate intense one-to-one meditation session where adherents will sit staring into the potential recruitee’s open eyes in which the experience of a connection the spirit entity they consider to be God is transmitted. Whereas the Brahma Kumaris have always been instructed to seek out famous or important people, to act as a draw for the general public, increasingly the BKWSU is involving non-BKs in their evangelical events to change the impression given by such programs. The intention remains within the organization is to bring it into contact with influence others, potential recruits and act as generally good PR for the group.

 

What do people experience and why do they stay?

Generally, the psychic experience individuals experience following the practise is very strong in comparison to other religions. Individuals can experience feelings of deep inner silence, contentment and love, and a light, “bodiless” sensation.
This is understood to be due to their direct connection with the channelled spirit entity that the Brahma Kumaris believe is God.
Adherents find spiritual comfort, inspiration and intellectual satisfaction in the mediumistic messages called Murlis that take the place of scriptures, or “word of God”, within the movement and consider all their questions answered. Many individuals benefit from the effects of the new disciplined lifestyle giving up alcohol or drugs, rising early, becoming vegetarian and so on although for many the daily routine of waking at 4 am and constant evangelism become exhausting. Others benefit from, and find comfort in, life within the highly disciplined and conformist environment in which major life decisions are handed over to the leadership. For Indian families, the BKWSU should be seen in a different light as it provides for Hindus a more simple, modern and ascetic analogue for classical Hinduism whilst also providing a recognizable environment for traditional expressions of devotion, e.g. darshans, satsangs, spiritual discourses, donating money in which the Brahma Kumari leaders take the place of priests and gurus. For Indian women, it can be a great escape and an apparent empowerment from unwanted husbands, arranged marriages and a patriarchal society. Around the main core, a ‘lay’ community of part-time or less committed followers and supporters has developed. For Westerners, the Brahma Kumaris originally provided an easier, more accessible analogue for a traditionally ascetic “yogi” lifestyle for mainly “hippie” or “new age” type individuals, an association that did not fit easily with the leadership, allowing them to follow a disciplined spiritual lifestyle without physically renouncing their comforts. Latterly, that has been modified by adherents and the organization has consciously re-marketed it. Anew attraction has arisen within the organization presenting itself under the guise of professional or corporate empowerment by way of “management leadership” seminars and “values” trainers which has included financial opportunities for some chosen ones. These opportunities have been extended in an attempt to hold on to young adherents growing up within the organization as children of followers. The Brahma Kumaris specifically and persistently encourage followers to detach from their “impure” and unenlightened physical relatives, old friends and even children, to express the emotions of “all relationships” with their channelled entity and to consider other Brahma Kumari followers to be their true spiritual family. This is persistently ingrained into adherents’ minds during the daily scripture reading.

 

 

 

After a short period time, almost all contacts and relationships will be within the religion and almost all free time will be spent in some BKWSU related activity whether listening to or giving sermons, teaching and evangelizing, maintaining centers and regular services or developing “service” programs. The Brahma Kumaris provide for their followers an environment that satisfies many to most of their social needs, including the possibility to travel.

 

The “Honeymoon” Period and “Intoxication”

The beginning of adherents’ involvement with the Brahma Kumaris is generally marked by an experience referred to as the “Honeymoon Period” by BKs. This is a short period lasting a few months where the individuals feel unnaturally “high”, or “intoxicated” in BK speak. This period does not last although neophytes will not believe this. It is likened to “childhood” within the movement and in the future and followers will be encouraged to remember these experiences as an inspiration to continue when they wear off. The experience is often similar to a ‘manic’ phase or falling in love and is likely to concern friends and family as it is usually combined with radical lifestyle and personality changes, and often tireless evangelical enthusiasm. The individual will feel light, rushes of love or strong emotions and experience strong psychic experiences such a visions of light or “body-lessness”. Dangers occur of mental and personal breakdowns if the individual does not follow the prescribed disciplines that the religion sets during this period. Adherents will separate from their friends and family and become difficult to impossible to reason with or relate to outside of their new found religious interests. This period tends to wear off after 6 months or so after which the individual will be persistently encouraged to “make efforts” to regain it and increasingly surrender their mind, body and wealth to the organization.

 

How does BK meditation work?

BK meditation is primarily an open eye meditation designed to induce within the individual a state of mind that can be carried at all time during the waking day. It is initially taught as a gentle stream of thoughts or vague visualization to be followed by newcomers, often to soft, quiet meditational music and in slightly darkened or red lit room, which have a potentially hypnotic effect on individuals. These calm the individual and open their minds to suggestion and psychic influences. These are recorded as tapes, CDs or digital files for downloads for playing back later. Within a formal teaching environment, and latter at ever stage of involvement, the meditation experience is initiated and reinforced by the direct “transmission” from a committed Brahma Kumari adherent. This is called “dhrishti” and involves the adherent to a newcomer, or a senior practitioner to a junior adherent, staring directly into the open eyes of the lesser individual and transmitting the “vibrations”, spiritual energy of the channelled entity the BKWSU considers is God, or the mental experience of the more experienced individual. This practise of staring will start as a matter of a few minutes but gradually be increased until as a full BK, it will be practised for anything up to hours at a time in intense group mediations. During this experience, individuals will often experience visions of light, a pressure on their foreheads, waves of love or spiritual energy leading to a feeling of separation from their body and a state the Brahma Kumaris call “soul consciousness”, the experience of the self as a spirit being and not a body. In theory, one this state is experienced and mastered, the individual is then able to connect directly to the God of the Brahma Kumaris in rapturous union. The followers imagines or experiences themselves to be a soul, travel to a golden red world of spiritual light and be pulled into direct contact with the living god within it. BK adherents are encouraged to remember this state and their god at all times experience a gentle communion or being “touched” it. It would appear that elements similar to hypnosis and autosuggestion, NLP, spiritual healing, trance and psychic channelling are all involved to different degrees.

 

VIP service

The God of the Brahma Kumaris places a persistent encouragement for BK adherents to attract and recruit important people or VIPs to act as “microphones” for the organization broadcasting its message to a wider audience. Brahma Kumaris leaders will specifically target the involvement of VIPs in their evangelical programmes offering them gifts and privileges within the movement.

A member of the Brahma Kumaris – a ‘BK’ – adopts a highly regulated and controlled lifestyle. Based on the belief that the burden of karma is either decreased or increased with every thought, word and action, every moment and every aspect of ones’ behavior should be governed. One must be very careful to ensure that one is inculcating purity at every step. Any mistake must be confessed in order to be empowered to not repeat that mistake. (This confession would be to one of the seniors and is an essential part of mind control).”Obedience is freedom” is key to a BKs’ thinking and living.

The concept of becoming a completely pure soul free from the burden of past sin dominates a member’s thinking. Whilst many people would see this as an impossible expectation it is the basis of a BKs’ lifestyle. Thus the member’s day starts with meditation at 4.00am for 45 minutes. This is known as “Amrit Vela” and is one of the “Mariadas” – the basic rules for living a pure life. This may be done alone or in a group.

Having completed the 7 day course one is entitled to start attending the general class. Starting time varies from around 5.00 am to6.30 am depending on the demographic. The general class starts with a short meditation, then a class from the head teacher followed by the reading of a murli. Good students will takes notes and study them with vigour trying to imbibe as much of the thinking from the murli as they can. They are effectively engaging in an active process of self indoctrination. The rest of the day will take on an appearance of normality for ordinary students.

 

 

 

They will go to work or to take care of home duties – but their personal agenda is now completely at odds with a normal environment. They will be practising detachment, internally separating themselves from those around them in preparation for their deaths in the impending global destruction. They will be practising “traffic control” – a timetable of short meditations in which the member practises thinking “correctly”. Another of the “Mariadas” is a strict vegetarian diet that incorporates no alcohol or tobacco. The BKs’ also require that the food they eat be prepared with “pure vibrations” – and such pure food can only be prepared by a conscientious BK. This means that a BK cannot eat the impure food cooked by their mother or wife and restaurants are not an option. The ramifications of this can be very serious in certain cultures. It certainly separates a BK from family and friends as food is integral to ongoing family and social relations.

If a member is “surrendered” then from morning class they will continue to do service throughout the day. It is normally fairly relaxed agenda of office work, preparation for planned events, dealing with day to day issues, all hopefully accomplished in a meditative state of consciousness. This changes when they are busy on a major program and this is when the seniors are most likely to reveal their dark side – something for which the faithful will forgive them too easily. A new member will ordinarily continue to live in the same environment as they were when they came across the BKWSU. After attending morning class and following all the mariadas for six months a member is considered ‘pukka’. However their new beliefs will inevitably bring changes. Diet is one example. Conflict often occurs in the case of celibacy when both partners are not members. This has lead to a common accusation against the Brahma Kumaris as home breakers. There has been many a divorce as a result of this “Mariada”. As celibacy is one of the “Mariadas” it is an absolute requirement for any member to be taken seriously by the group or to be allowed to travel to Madhuban. At the end of the working day a BK will normally attend evening class. This will include meditation and a lecture. It is not compulsory as morning class is but a BK will demonstrate his worth as a BK by attending. Such pukka students will be rewarded with opportunities in service and by implication a higher status in the BK family. A member who has trouble attending morning or evening class due to protests from husbands, wives, other family members, or due to sickness, would be considered to be in “bondage” – this means that the soul has a severe karmic burden as a result of past bad actions. They are, by implication, very impure. A BK will spend their spare time in study and meditation, or be at the centre helping in service projects, giving courses or even just cleaning or doing handiwork. At the end of a day that started before 4.00 am they will go to bed exhausted – only to wake up a few hours later to sit in meditation to cement their beliefs and do it all over again – day after day, 7 days a week. Once a year, a BK will go to the BKWSU headquarters in Mt. Abu, India, for about 3 weeks. There they will immerse themselves in all things BK surrounded by other BKs and actively engaging in the indoctrination process. A member who has been a BK for some time will have removed themselves from family and friends and will now move only in BK circles. They will have cut back on work commitments, careers, old interests and hobbies. They will not watch television, go to the movies or any form of public entertainment. For a pukka BK, there is nothing for them outside of the life and work of the BKWSU. They live in a very small world engaging in a very limited and reductionist belief system. After many years of living in this tiny bubble their lives are shattered when that bubble bursts. They find themselves in an alien world unable to grasp the social codes of a world that has changed so much in the time they were out of it. Many find this traumatic because they are unable to cope. Some will take their own lives.

 

What are the aims or purpose of the BKWSU?

Theoretically, the aim of the Brahma Kumaris is to return to their perceived perfect state of being in this life in order to prepare themselves for a life in a Golden Aged heaven on earth that is going to follow the Destruction of the current world. The purpose of the BKWSU is to find all the original heavenly souls they called Brahmins, and help them not just to prepare for Destruction and the Golden Age after but to gain a high status within it. In doing so, BK Brahmins believe that they will either become angels of light who will serve the world with their, or their god’s, love, peace and light or help practically create heaven on earth after an imminent nuclear war.

 

Historical Revision

Has the BKWSU re-written its history?

Yes, extensively and regularly in numerous hagiographic histories and biographies. This has been hidden from followers. Please see our BKWSU History forum for details and discussion. Evidence clearly shows where the current leadership has colluded in passing on a falsified version of the organization’s development.

 

Has the BKWSU re-written its philosophy?

Yes. Extensively. This, and its process of development, has been hidden from followers. The BKWSU largely claims that its philosophy is derived from mediumistic channelled messages they believe are God speaking directly to them. During its history, especially in the early years, it used a number of different mediums some of which, such as the “Golden Circle”, left the organization and are no longer officially discussed or acknowledged. It is believed that Global Chief Janki Kripalani’s sister was a member of such a group. The organization now presents Lekhraj Kripalani as the chief medium.

 

Lekhraj Kripalani as God

For the first 20 years, adherents thought millionaire founder Lekhraj Kripalani was God on the basis of visions of him as Krishna. It was only after 1950 that the BKWSU re-wrote its philosophy to include an incorporeal God it named Shiva. This has been hidden from adherents and the hagiographic histories and biographies written by the organization fictionalizes the early history of the organization.

 

 

Destruction – failed predictions of the End of the World

The Brahma Kumaris have predicted the End of the World, known as “Destruction” to them, on a number of occasions notably World War II, 1950, 1976, mid-1980s, 2000, 2012 (Pointing Science)…..20xx…20xx…2036….

The failures of these predictions have been kept hidden from followers and new adherents. At the time of failure, many adherents left the movement. Generally, the organization responds by saying that “Baba (God) has never given a specific date for Destruction” which is true to the extent that he has never stated a specific day. But the spirit guide has made these predictions to specific years.

The channelled messages and teaching aids have since been “revised” to correct, alter or remove these predictions.

 

From Monism to Dualism and God Shiva

For the first 20 years, the Brahma Kumaris were a monist tradition in the form of orthodox Advaita schools believing that there was only one ultimate substance or principle called the Brahm or Braham. They practised faith in “Aham Brahm Asmi”, literally “I am Brahman” or “I am God”.

At some point after 1950, the Brahma Kumaris introduced an individual personality they called the “supreme soul”, WITHIN that Brahm element or “soul world”, into their theodicy calling him “Shiva Baba”. As of this date, (2008) here is no reference within their official media or publications how, why or when this happened. It is thought that the leadership is sworn to secrecy about this.

The BK use of the terms Brahm and Nirvana for the same are unique and not according to the orthodox beliefs of Hindus or Buddhists.

 

Timeline

1884 Lekhraj Kripalani born

1932 Lekhraj Kripalani retires and starts holding Satsang at his home in Hyderabad, Sind

1937 Om Mandli face public criticism and legal action, Kripalani creates committee of women including his wife and ‘Om Radhe’

1938 Kripalani said to surrender his wealth and property to an unnamed trust

1950 Om Mandli moved to Mount Abu

1950 (approx) God Shiva is introduced into Brahma Kumari beliefs

1952 Service in India

1965 Om Radhe dies and B.K. Manmohini become ‘Controller of Service’

1969 Lekhraj Kripalani dies of a heart attack the day after a trust of formed by others to control his religion.

1971 Service in London and Hong Kong starts

1974 Janki Kripalani goes to London

1985 head of organization Didi Manmohini dies

1986 Million Minutes of Peace

1991 J. Watumull Memorial Global Hospital and Research Centre established

 

Hinduism and Ancient Raja Yoga

Do the Brahma Kumaris teach Ancient Raja Yoga?

No. The Brahma Kumaris do not teach Ancient Raja Yoga.

The famous Raja Yoga has been taught for over 2,000 years and is recognized as being by documented by Patanjali. It bears no relationship to the beliefs and practise of the Brahma Kumaris.

The current form of initiation practised by the Brahma Kumaris dates back to approximately 1950. Not even the 1930s as claimed by the organization. Prior to the 1950s, the Brahma Kumaris had a different practise based around the belief that Lekhraj Kripalani was God and faith in a universal spiritual element called the Brahm they called Aham Brahm Asmi, after the traditional Hindu mantra.

 

How can the Brahma Kumaris claim their form is Ancient Raja Yoga?

It is only according to their philosophy of a 5,000 Year identically repeating Cycle of Time. Brahma Kumaris believe that no time exits longer than 5,000 years. 5,000 Years ago, they were teaching their form exactly as today. Therefore theirs is the oldest form. Further more, the Brahma Kumaris teach that all other religions are imperfect and incomplete memorials of them and their practises, therefore Patanjali’s Raja Yoga was a imperfect and incomplete memorial of them from 5,000 years ago.

 

Where can I find a traditional Raja Yoga teacher?

Try searching for Ashtanga Yoga.

 

Are the Brahma Kumaris Hindu?

No. Brahma Kumarism is not Hinduism. To understand Brahma Kumarism, it is better to look at and understand the Sindhi community in Pakistan from which they first arose. Although the majority of BKs are born into Hindu families, the Brahma Kumaris use Hindu terminology, puts on events during Hindu festivals to attract followers and has definitely been inspired by it, the Brahma Kumaris specifically claims that they are not Hindus.

 

Neither are they representatives of the Hindu religion despite forming charities to “promote Hinduism”. The Brahma Kumaris do not follow Hindu rites or festivals faithfully but offer their own interpretation of them. Not all religions from India are Hindu. These points are clearly stated in the channelled messages the Brahma Kumaris base their teachings on and confirmed by the most senior teachers. The Brahma Kumaris believe that “Bhakti”, the Hindi word for the devotional path is impure and degraded and that no one else but them teaches the truth. All other religions including Hinduism are but an imperfect, partial memorial of their religion from 5,000 years ago. The Brahma Kumaris are also told by their god, and believe that the Hindus are their worshippers and will recognize them as their deities or gods that they worship in temples. “Bhakti”, the term used for religious devotion has negative connotations within the BKWSU. It is the path of ignorance or “stumbling in darkness”. Within the movement, there is the expectation of a Hindu backlash when the general population discovers that they teach that god Krishna did not speak the Gita but that their god Shiva did. For approximately the first 20 years, the BKs believed that LK was literally the inventor of the Bhagavad Gita.

 

What is BK style Raja Yoga?

The Brahma Kumaris own practise is experiential based on hypnotic contemplation and visualization of themselves and God as tiny points of light.

 

Other religions

What do the Brahma Kumaris and their God think about other religions?

In the original teachings, other religions are called, “impure, devilish, the ‘path of ignorance'” and soon. According to the Brahma Kumaris and its spirit guide, all other religions bring about degradation of humanity. Specifically, it believes that other religions are all incomplete reflections of Brahma Kumarism from which the religious founders studied and experienced 5,000 years ago. Only Brahma Kumarism has a direct relationship with and knowledge of God.

What do the Brahma Kumaris think about Muhammad and Islam?

As with other religions, the BKs believe that Muhammad learned about God religion from the BKWSU 5,000 years ago. He is then said to have reincarnated 1,400 years ago. A second soul is said to have descended from the spirit world, possessed him and together they started their Islam. In essence, that Muhammad was a medium and channel for another entity, just as Lekhraj Kripalani was for God Shiva. Both Muhammad and this other spirit entity are then said to have continued to reincarnate within the Mohammedan religion guiding it in human form until the present day. At no point since his birth did Muhammad leave earth, join God, nor did he have perfect knowledge of God, nor did God inspire him directly. Strangely, the God of BKWSU called Abraham the founder of Islam 2,500 years ago and did not mention Judaism until its expansion into the West.

What do the Brahma Kumaris think about Jesus Christ?

As with other religions, the BKs believe that Jesus learned about God religion from the BKWSU 5,000 years ago. Jesus is then said to have reincarnated, probably in the lowest ebb of heaven on earth. 2,000 years ago the Christ soul, a second soul descended from the spirit world, possessed him and together they started their religion. In essence, that Jesus was a medium and channel for Christ, just as Lekhraj Kripalani was for God Shiva. Both Christ and Jesus are then said to have continued to reincarnate within the Christian religion guiding it in human form until this present day.

 

Brahma Kumari lifestyle

Celibacy

BK adherents, even married ones, are made to follow strict celibacy including not looking, thinking about or touching other bodies. Total celibacy excludes masturbation or any other form of stimulation. Human love or sex is seen as “the Ocean of Poison” or “the sword of lust”. It is the worst vice and the greatest obstacle. Members carrying on sexual or emotional relationships will be advised to split apart, disallowed from making the annual visit to the Indian headquarters or barred. In theory, there is no procreation at all within the BKWSU.

Food

BK adherents are encouraged to follow strict sattvic vegetarianism (lacto-vegetarian without onions and garlic related food stuffs) and are discouraged from eating any food that is not produced by themselves or another Brahma-Kumari adherent. Even their own physical families. BKs do not drink alcohol, smoke, use non-prescription drugs, eat out in restaurants and so on but will allow themselves machine made foods such a bread, drinks or sweets.

Daily routine

A typical BK routine would involved: Wake and prepare for a 45 minute meditation at 4 am. Daily class and meditation from approximately 6.30 am to 8 am. Regular meditation breaks during the day called “traffic Control” Keeping a detailed diary called a chart of their efforts Teaching classes and general evangelism as time allows.7 days a week, 365 days a year. BK adherents are discouraged from taking any holidays except an annual retreat to their Mount Abu headquarters where they meet en masse with their God speaking and acting through one of the organization’s psychic mediums, and to work on other outreach programmes.

Additional disciplines

Depending on their level or commitment, Brahma Kumari adherents are slowly encouraged to follow various other additional disciplines such as; body washing after defecation to include a complete change of clothes, washing before cooking, menstruating women are discouraged from entering center kitchen areas as are weaker followers, confession of weakness and impurities to senior teachers.

 

Going to Madhuban

Each year, during a limited season, Brahma Kumari adherents are encouraged to visit the movement’s headquarters in Mount Abu, Rajasthan called “Madhuban”. It is here that adherents are able to listen directly to God speaking to them via the organization’s chief medium, an elderly Indian women follower called Hirday Mohini or “Gulzar”. Followers are encouraged to make donations here for increased karmic benefit.

Evangelism

The core activity of Brahma Kumari lifestyle is service which is the evangelism of the religion innumerous ways. This is called “Service” to BKs although generally it performs no other function to society or any individuals but to promote the organization. As a rule, the Brahma Kumaris do not do charity although recently a number of members have started to do so against the resistance of the organization’s leadership.

 

Brahma Kumaris and the United Nations

What does the BKWSU do at the United Nations?

The Brahma Kumaris promotes itself through the United Nations, uses the opportunity to meet important people and increases both its leadership’s status in the eyes of its followers and the organization’s status within the political arena. The BKs have a small office space currently understood to be a couple of desks in the New York headquarters of the United Nation Organization. Adherents attend numerous events internationally to promote their religion, in some cases claiming to be “UN advisors”. The organization often dedicates meditation events which it already carries out “to the United Nations”. From time to time the BKWSU will produce a light weight article on some peace or spiritual values related subject but in general, the United Nations association is mainly used and abused to the BKWSU benefit establishing credibility for beliefs and activities the United Nations Organization has no knowledge of.

How can an “End of the World Cult” be supported by the United Nations?

Ask the United Nations. They have probably have not been told.

Does the United Nations know what the BKWSU teaches?

Does the United Nations know that the BKWSU believes the world must be destroyed by Nuclear War in order to purify it and that 6,000,000,000 humans must die?

We suspect not.

Does the BKWSU believe in the Universal Declaration of the United Nations’ Human Rights?

The Brahma Kumaris beliefs and organizational structural are in many cases entirely contradictory to the Declaration and work of the United Nations. Central to this is the Brahma Kumaris’ belief that humanity is doomed and will only decrease in spiritual values until the forthcoming, immediate and desirable final “Destruction” during which 6,000,000,000 human beings will be killed in nuclear war and natural disasters. Heaven on earth, peace amongst humanity is the Brahma Kumaris preserve only after the world has been “purified” in this manner. Furthermore, attempts to save or improve the present world or environment are futile.

 

Brahma Kumari organizations

Is the BKWSU a real University? No. It is a new religion movement or cult depending on whose opinion you accept. It does not offer accredited course nor meet education requirements as a formal university. The Brahma Kumaris were informed by the channelled entity they believe to be God to name themselves as a “university” so as to avoid controversy. It has been a very successful promotional device.

A member of the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University cult would fit a fairly typical profile – intelligent, thoughtful, passionate, concerned by the injustices and prejudices of the world, and also concerned by their own inadequacies or shortcomings and a perception that they need to be better than they are.

They tend to be people of integrity, capable of self control, sacrifice and commitment. They are so committed that they volunteer their time and energy without material reward or even compensation. These characteristics may not have been obvious before they “found their faith” because typically a degree of confusion, anger, resentment or depression, insecurity or negativity may have compromised their emotional state.

The majority of westerners who became members in the 1970’s and 1980’s were in their twenties although with the new style of recruitment this has changed. Many of those who are older are educated and professional. But there is a common denominator – childhood discontent. Cult members are often the product of less than functional childhoods and see the world as an unhappy place – for example they may have come from dysfunctional families, or single parent families, or negligent (although possibly wealthy) families.

Almost inevitably cult members have reached adulthood emotionally compromised. And they are aware of it. And they want to do something about it. That is the trap. If it all sounds too corny, or pathetic (like it wouldn’t happen to you) don’ be fooled – it is not just in the packaging, nor is it about gullibility. It is about being human and our need and ability to believe. Hitler, Mao Tse Dong, Pol Pot all convinced their followers of the truth of their ideology. Those same followers then went on to murder millions of people on their behalf. So how hard is it then for some of us to be convinced by a spiritual ideology that we should make an effort to be better people and to contribute to a collective that is trying to uplift the world and make it a better place to live? How hard is it to believe that renunciation and dedication would be necessary to achieve this? Who doesn’t want to be better than they are and to make a difference? When you meet the members you will be impressed by their ‘niceness’ – they are very dedicated to being pleasant people. This is very disarming and is a primary reason they have developed such great influence as a group. It is obviously a different story when they are falling apart – but you won’t get to meet ex-members.

 

 

What other names or front organizations does the BKWSU use?

Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University

Prajapita Brahma Kumaris

Ishwariya Visha Vidyalaya

Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual Organization

Academy for a Better World

World Renewal Spiritual Trust

Brahma Kumaris Educational Society

Brahma Kumaris Association

Brahma Kumaris Spiritual Centre

Brahma Kumaris Spirituele Akademie

Rajyoga Education & Research Foundation

Learning Center for Peace

The Meditation Center

Inner Space

Awaken with Brahmakumaris by BK Shivani

Anubhuti Retreat Center

Living Values Education Program

Self Management Leadership

Visions of a Better World Foundation

The Janki Foundation for Global Health Care

Global Forum for Public Relations

Point of Life Foundation

Brahma Kumaris Community Education Resources

Brahma Kumaris Spiritual Learning Centre

Eternity Ink

Just-a-Minute

Peace Village

Bahrain Meditation Centre for Self-development

Center for Spiritual Learning, and others

 

Who runs the BKWSU and how?

A small group of elderly male and female adherents some of whom have been followers since the1930s, others having joined in the 50s and 60s. The BKWSU puts great emphasis on the leadership being all female but this is not so. And notably not on the financial side. There is controversy over the establishment of the main trust that governs the organization. The BKWSU is very largely undemocratic and the leadership is almost entirely unaccountable. There is no duty of care towards adherents as they consider themselves to run organizations which have no members. Internationally, it is split up into various geographic zones which run somewhat autonomously as personal fiefdoms of the senior sister in charge. Individual centers are mostly private homes. The BKWSU does not publicly offer any constitution or operating manual even to its donors and followers.

 

Are the Brahma Kumaris a “cult”?

Probably, yes. The Brahma Kumaris have many elements which match identically attributes ascribed to cultic religions. Increasingly, against the advice of their own philosophy, they are becoming a personality cult based around the worship of their founder and senior sisters.

 

Is the Brahma Kumaris fanatic in their approach?

Emphatically Yes!!! The Brahmakumaris are very fanatic and sometimes too far in their approach wherein their knowledge of god is considered. They consider themselves as the only proprietor of godly knowledge and stretch themselves far and wide with their kind and compassionate speaking approach to the general public and the local families.

Masses get subsequently brainwashed over a period of time with the fear of coming destruction/end of the world. The centers go on making the people aware by introducing well known people from outside, that this is the only true knowledge of god and are prevented by teaching them remaining all else outside Brahma Kumari education are false. The teachers cut the questions from the followers such as topics on kundalini, pranayama, hatha yoga…etc by giving them wrong understanding and that all this is waste of time and of no use without having any knowledge of the ABCs of those systems. One more interesting aspect is that although they say that all religions are one and god is one(true) they don’t entertain people or accept people who don’t want to accept the Brahma Kumari teachings and some followers although very good as good people loses the power of self discrimination within close relationships and finally drop close relationships.

 

Controversies and criticism

Dr. John Wallis notes the re-editing of mediumistic messages and failed predictions of the End of the World which had been removed from the teachings and hidden from those that came later on.

 

 

•In a paper for the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Howell wrote that teenage girls surrendering to the organisation are required to pay the equivalent of a dowry to the organization. The payment was meant to prevent parents from “dumping” their daughters at the BKWSU as a way to avoid the costs of ordinary marriages. Return to the world for women who have has such a dowry paid for them is difficult.

•BK followers believe that the BKWSU is the precursor to all world religions, even those that predate it, which are seen as being only facets of “the complete diamond”

•The institution uses Hindu terminologies such as Raja Yoga and Bhagavad Gita to attract people but what is taught in the organization is completely different from what they supposed to mean n Hindu system of belief.

•Followers are encouraged to undergo a ‘death-in-life’ and ‘die towards the outer world’ renouncing their families and thus be ‘divinely’ reborn in the ‘divine family’. Consequently, the Brahma Kumaris have been accused of breaking up marriages and families since the 1930s. In 2007, the British tabloid newspaper The Daily Mail reported Graham Baldwin, a former university chaplain and army officer who is president of the educational counter-cult organization Catalys, stating that the former members and the families of members had told him that BKWSU has driven a wedge between husband and wife and that there were complaints that it encourages single women and widows to donate property and savings. The BKWSU, an organisation being notable for its sex ban, was said to have “used pernicious methods to control its followers”. Ian Howarth of the Cult Information Centre was further quoted about complaints that people have gone undergone personality changes after joining BKWSU and become alienated from their families. A BKWSU spokeswoman replied, “This is very much a minority thing”, declining to comment on allegations that BKWSU encourages followers to donate property and savings.

•Questioned how dinosaurs fit within a 5,000 year Cycle of Time: Neville Hodgkinson, a former scientific correspondent for an English national newspaper, questioned the existence of dinosaurs on the basis of the lack of bones.

•The Brahma Kumaris have featured in the ‘Wissen schützt’ reports of Austria (edited by then Austrian Minister for Family Affairs Mr. Martin Bartenstein), Russia (International Conference “Totalitarian Cults- Threat of Twenty-First Century”, Nizhny Novgorod, 2001) and in a MIVILUDES report submitted to the French National Assembly as a “sectes dangereuses”(harmful cult) and “groupe d’enfermement” (group of confinement).[94]This has leading to the persecution of followers in local media leading to job losses after it discovered that they belonged to a sect] and denouncement for their influence on children under their care.

•The BKWSU is accused of falsifying claims internationally, since 1978, that its current leader and relative of the founder Dadi Janki Kripalani is “the most stable mind in the world”. Journalists quoted archivists at the University in question and “found no mention of the experiments performed on Dadi Janki in 1978”. Indeed, they could not even “find any University of Texas organization called the Medical and Science Research Institute.”

•Pratibha Patil , the UPA-Left candidate and current President of India, said on camera during the Indian presidential election, 2007, that she had communicated with the spirit of the deceased leader of the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University at their headquarters in Mount Abu, Rajasthan. Patil added that she had received a mediumistic message indicating great responsibility coming her way. She had gone to seek the blessings of Hirday Mohini, also known as Dadi Gulzar or Dadiji.

 

Lifestyle Summary

The movement teaches that the world is approaching a time of great change that will be heralded by war, natural calamities and suffering. As a form of developing inner spiritual resilience, the Brahma Kumaris adopt a disciplined lifestyle which involves:

•Celibacy, including no sex within marriage. So long as chastity is followed, existing marriages and family life are allowed but not the creation of new partnerships.

•Sattvic vegetarianism, a strict lacto-vegetarian diet (excluding eggs, onions, garlic) cooked only by the self or other members] even excluding their own mother or relatives.

•Abstaining from alcohol, tobacco and non-prescription drugs.

•Daily early morning meditation at 4:00to 4:45 am, called ‘Amrit Vela.’

•Daily morning class at approximately 6:30 am.

•Men and women traditionally sit on separate sides of the room at the centers during classes.

•Brahma Kumaris can be identified by their frequent adoption of wearing white clothes, to symbolize purity.

•Recommends that companions be other BK Brahmins as opposed to those given over to worldly pleasures (non-BKs), known as bhogis or shudras (meaning ‘untouchables’).

•All except the very senior BKs in the Western branches must support themselves (most work), most BKs live in shared accommodation with other members enabling the organization to powerfully reinforce its beliefs.

 

Summary of Beliefs

In 1952, after a 14 year period of retreat during which the Brahma Kumaris published numerous pamphlets, newspaper articles and wrote letters to important national and international figures, a more structured form of teaching began to be offered to the public by way of a seven lesson course. The movement does not associate itself with Hinduism but projects itself as a vehicle for spiritual teaching rather than a religion.

Central beliefs

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 which is dualistic “I am a soul, my body is a garment”.

•God is considered to be such an eternal soul too and not omnipresent.

•Reincarnation happens only from one human body to another.

•There are a fixed number of human beings reincarnating. BKs currently claim this number to be exactly 7 billion, although earlier they said it was 5 and then 6 billion. The number of souls incarnated gradually increases throughout the supposed 5,000 year cycle and just before the ‘end of the world’ all these souls are incarnate.

•There was one single ‘heavenly’ continent on Earth, which broke into pieces (the current continents) at the end of “Silver Age” which, accordingly to BKs, was around 2,500 years ago.

•Humanity is currently reaching the end of the current cycle and thus the world will be destroyed, a time referred to as “Destruction”.

•Indian subcontinent will be the site of the future Golden Age paradise and that a form of Hindi is the original language of humanity, all other continents being destroyed.

•Followers are taught that only they will live in the coming Golden Age paradise as Gods and Goddesses.

•God has incarnated into Dada Lehkraj, the founder, and is teaching them directly and exclusively.

 

NOTES

1. University Press. “What must be noted is that the sect generated fierce hostility in Hyderabad, which led it to transfer its seat to Karachi after a few years.”

2. Barrett, David V (2001). The New Believers: A Survey of Sects, Cults and Alternative Religions. Cassell & Co. “‘sex is an expression of ‘body-consciousness’ and leads to the other vices’, probably stems in part from the origins of the movement in 1930s India, when women had to submit to their husbands.”

3. Babb, Lawrence A. (2002). Redemptive Encounters. University of California Press. “Service requires active support of the movement, especially by participating in its many proselytizing activities … Great emphasis is placed on the value of bringing converts into the movement, particularly converts who stick… Meditation is the movement’s most significant ‘effort’. Efforts to reform the Kali Yug are not in accord with Shiv Baba’s will”.

4. Babb, Lawrence A. (1987). Redemptive Encounters: Three Modern Styles in the Hindu Tradition (Comparative Studies in Religion and Society). “Sexual intercourse is unnecessary for reproduction because the souls that enter the world during the first half of the Cycle are in possession of a special yogic power (yog bal) by which they conceive children”

5. Hinduism Today. Retrieved on 2007-07-28. “”The most strict will not eat food which is not prepared by a Brahma Kumaris. While traveling they abstain from public fare and carry their own utensils for cooking.””

6. Smith, Dr Wendy A. (Autumn 2007). “Gender Role Experimentation in New Religious Movements: clarification of the Brahma Kumari case”. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 45: 16–17. “Strict adherence requires that they only eat food cooked by themselves or other Brahma Kumaris in order to benefit from the pure vibrations of the person cooling the food. This has meant that some members do not eat food cooked by their mothers or other relatives who are not in the movement thus challenging one of the most basic social activities which fosters social relationships, eating together.”

7. Howell, Dr Julia D (April 1997). “ASC induction techniques, spiritual experiences, and commitment to new religious movements”. Journal of Beliefs and Values, 58 (2): 149. “”All accept the very senior BKs in the Western branches must support themselves (most work), but the pressure to adopt the BKs “purity rules” (non-commensality with non-members; avoidance of meat and certain other foods, alcohol, and sex), and most Brahmins live in shared accommodation with other members … enabling the organization to powerfully reinforce its beliefs.””.

8. Kelegama, Keerthi (1998). Year 2000 doomed: Mankind destroyed’ [Exclusive report on imminent world destruction]. Cambridge Press, Delhi. “Brahmakumaris say that the world destruction takes place in every 5000 years and that 5000 years have already passed after the previous destruction. Soon the new world order would be started with 900,000 people after destroying the rest”. “Brahmakumaris World Spiritual University affiliated to the United Nations Department of Public Information as a non-governmental organisation teaches that in every 5000 years world destruction takes place and now is the time for it.” “Brahmakumaris also expect the world destruction to take place immediately followed by the birth of Krishna once again”. “There must be 900,000 pure souls who are ready to take over the new world order (Golden Age) before the destruction would begin. When the Golden Age [Sath Yug] comes after the world destruction, it would only be heaven on earth. People there would literally be deities”

9. Babb, Lawrence A. (1987). Redemptive Encounters: Three Modern Styles in the Hindu Tradition (Comparative Studies in Religion and Society).””The real issue is what one’s status will be in the coming paradise … Those of the highest status will not only be the rulers of heaven, but will be close to Lekhraj throughout their world-careers.””

10. Howell and Nelson (1998). “On celibate marriages: the Polish Catholics’ encounter with Hindu spirituality”. Glancing: Visual Interaction in Hinduism”, Journal of Anthropological Research. “in order to progress to the next stage of membership – the visit to the University’s headquarters in Rajasthan during the period where its deceased founder communicates via trance-medium – they have to not only demonstrate their commitment by following the recommended lifestyle but also, more importantly, be seen to be doing so by the university. This is intrinsically linked with the second technique, the utilisation and negotiation of different metaphors or readings of the university’s theodicy at the different events and in different types of literature in relation to its intended (core or periphery) audience” … “amongst committed, core members “…the tradition is lived [and expressed] without apology, translation or dilution”.”

 

 

 

11. Walliss, John (September 1999). When Prophecy Fails: The Brahma Kumaris and the Pursuit of the Millennium(s). p. 5. “…The Million Minutes of Peace which raised over one billion ‘minutes of peace’ people in 88 countries participating in prayer, meditation and positive thoughts. For this the University was awarded one International and six UN National ‘Peace Messenger’ Awards.”

12. Walliss, John (September 1999). “When Prophecy Fails: The Brahma Kumaris and the Pursuit of the Millennium(s)”. British Association for the Advancement of Science, Sheffield. “In addition, they accuse the University hierarchy of actively censoring or altering murlis that could potentially undermine their privileged position or which ‘don’t suit their philosophy’. The ‘Special instruments’ (senior members are, they allege ‘constantly revising Murlis” to the extent that, for example, a passage from a 1969 murli referring to Shiva being unable to ‘mount a virgin’ was altered in the 1990 revised edition before being removed completely in the 1993 revision…” Dr. Walliss also notes that while the BKWSU was, “originally a reclusive, world-rejecting organization, over the last 30 years the Brahma Kumaris have begun a campaign of active proselytizing and international growth. Thus, whilst still retaining its original millenarianism, currently within the West the organization promotes itself as part of the New Age movement and emphasizes ideas around the issues of self-development, empowerment and personal success.” Finally, Dr. Wallis disputes BKWSU’s belief that Raja Yoga is the precursor to all world religions, including those that historically predate it. Specifically, “This is part of a lengthy answer to the question of how the University could claim that Raja Yoga is the precursor to and influence of world religions that historically predate it often by a few thousand years. Again, ‘Baba’ is cited as the source of ultimate authority.””.

13. Walliss, John (2002). The Brahma Kumaris as a Reflexive Tradition: Responding to Late Modernity. Ashgate Publishing. “Destruction did not materialise … many Brahmins left the (University) because their hopes were dashed. Those who stayed had their faith reduced by half. They sacrificed their lives in this godly institution, left their families and invested all their wealth in this cause.”

 

Life Positive, India’s leading New Age magazine on the Brahma Kumaris:

10. An article on the sect of the Brahma Kumaris in Rajasthan, India

http://www.lifepositive.com/spirit/spirit-centers/bramha-kumari.asp
EXTRACT

By Suma Varughese

The BKs believe that as the millennium approaches, and the calamities of Kaliyug assume more fearsome proportions, more and more will reach their doorstep, all of whom must be accommodated. So what horrors lie ahead of us and what will Satyug be like? The BKs have all the answers. The Kaliyug scenario is grim enough. America and much of Europe will be destroyed by a nuclear bomb, and Australia will become an island. Much of the earth’s land mass will be submerged. India will suffer a civil war. Mumbai will return to the sea. As time goes on, grain will become inedible and there will be no drinking water. Money will be valueless.
In order to withstand those days and give succor to the suffering, the BKs are urged to develop themselves and become spiritually powerful. But cheer up. All this is necessary for the glorious dawning of Satyug. And the prognosis is good. Laxmi and Narayan will be the ruling deities. Under them, all will live like a happy family, without regard for status and hierarchy. There will still be servants and masters, but the arrangements will be informal, as in a family. While some will be wealthier than others, all will be prosperous. There will be no courts, jails, judges or lawyers because there will be no criminals. Likewise, since all will be free of desires, there will be no accounting.
People give what they have and those who want take. The weather will be perpetual spring. Fruits of all flavors will ply year round, so that instead of cooking, all we will need is to use the juice of whatever flavored fruit we wish for. Cooking, if any, will be by solar power and planes, our main form of locomotion, will be sourced by atomic power. Birdsong will be as melodious as a musical instrument, and musical instruments themselves will play at a touch. Everyone will be an artist, and there will be an abundance of music, art and games.
Life spans will increase to 150 years on an average. Males will not have a beard. And yes, reproduction will transpire through yogic power and not sexual union. Now for the catch. Only 900,000 souls will make the grade. If you would like to be one of them, you know where to go and what to do.

 

11. Doomsday cult? You be the judge

http://forum.rickross.com/read.php?12,40300,40300

June 28, 2007
This book was given to me. It is a very well written and informative book. But the real truth about the Brahma Kumaris is hidden to the public, very much as Scientology is hidden to the public.

Here are some of the hidden real truths about the Brahma Kumaris:
Are they a doomsday cult or a nation of sheep? They believe the more money you give to their organization, the better your position in heaven will be, or as they insist, “the greater your fortune will be”. Wealthy individuals and celebrities are considered to be VIP’s by God. Since when did God consider bank accounts more important than virtues? If Members fail to follow their principles they will become a servant in heaven (“Golden Age” as they call it). Servants in heaven? Aren’t we all equal in heaven (Golden Age)? Speaking of heaven, they believe they will be the first and only ones in heaven. Not even Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, Princess Diana, John Kennedy, Jimmy Stewart, etc. will be in the Golden Age.
The Brahma Kumaris (B.K.) believes that God told them the world is only 5,000 years old and will be destroyed soon. This is why many of them will quit college or will make no effort in earning promotions at work. If the world is only 5,000 years old, when did the dinosaurs appear? When were the pyramids built? How about the meteor craters in the Southwest?

 

 

Where was Moses? The irony here is that although they preach that the world is coming to an end, they themselves will invest in the stock market and in retirement plans such as IRAs and 401Ks. Why lose weight, buy a house, or get an education when the world is coming to an end? They are brainwashed into serving the leaders of the organization in order to gain a higher status in heaven (“increasing their fortune”) before the world ends.
B.K. follows a strict vegetation diet in which food can be eaten only if cooked by their members. You are not allowed to eat food even if your grandmother cooked it. However, many cheat and are not vegetarians; they dine in fast food chains and restaurants. Their unbalanced diet creates obesity and malnutrition among men and women. Many women become human hippos or end up looking like extremely flat-chested skinny boys. This could be the reason why so many women (even those in the “higher status according to God”) will leave the organization and become sexually insatiable when they regain their former healthy figure and once again experience lust (which is forbidden because celibacy is required to enter the Golden Age.)
The once timid women will soon begin to shop at Victoria’s Secret because they were required to cover themselves in drab white clothing. They flaunt themselves in extremely revealing clothes as a means of defiance. The men and women that leave the Brahma Kumaris can once again enjoy going to the movies, rock concerts, reading newspapers or novels, watching television, dating, sports, exercise, shopping, and traveling. All of these are forbidden to the Brahma Kumaris lifestyle in order to go to the Golden Age.
After being told daily by “God” that “you are impure and degraded souls”, there is eventually a need to escape and return to peace and happiness in the life before the Brahma Kumaris. This explains why so many of them start partying with alcohol and drugs after experiencing such brainwashing. Many of the “deserters” become leaders, managers, start their own business, graduate from college, earn promotions at work, and most importantly, gain self-esteem and the ability to think and reason for themselves once they leave the Brahma Kumaris. However, their return to society is always haunted with guilt and hatred due to remembrance of their once abusive and perverted lifestyle. Although the suicide rate is low, this data hidden from public view.
World’s largest doomsday cult or a nation of sheep? You be the judge.

From Amazon.com

 

COMMENTS ON THE ABOVE

I am an ex-member of this organization. I do believe that the so-called “Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University” should be included in any discussion about Cults because, on the basis on my experience, the patterns of their behavior matches mostly closely to that of cultic religious movements.
They are not a sect of any pre-existing religion and whatever their original roots where, basic group psychological influences have caused them developed in a cult-like fashion. –Ex-BK

 

I encountered them a few months ago, and wrote an article my adventures. A doomsday cult with many similarities to Aum

Not a cult? I have to laugh at that, BK lies and manipulates with the best of them. The BK member who gave a lecture on my campus was a total fraud whose resume distributed to university staff was a total fiction.

His doomsday predictions nothing but superstitious nonsense designed to lure in the gullible to break from family and friends and join his disgusting little doomsday cult.

An absolute disgrace that such a fool was able to give a lecture on campus.

Here’s my article…

gazette.gokmu.com

And here’s a teaser…

Quote:

…Dadi Janki, now in her nineties, has been a member of BK from the beginning. Her current official title is Joint Administrative Head of the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University. According to the BK website, http://www.companionofgod.com, and the Korean BK site promoted at the lecture, Dadi Janki was declared by scientists from the University of Texas’ Medical and Science Research Institute in 1978 as having the most stable mind in the world.

The Gazette contacted an archivist at the University of Texas Archives who replied, “I have searched the likely places and found no mention of the experiments performed on Dadi Janki in 1978. Indeed, I didn’t even find any University of Texas organization called the Medical and Science Research Institute.” Despite evidence that the institute that ran those experiments never existed, Dadi Janki recently described to the Indian news site http://www.tribuneindia.com the experiments carried out on her and repeated the claim that University of Texas scientists declared her mind the most stable in the world.

While Mr. James acknowledged that BK had come under severe criticism, he added that BK was making changes as a result. Critics of the group, however, remain skeptical that any changes of worth have taken place. The use of the lecture to promote BK without giving any information about BK and especially the messianic claims of its leader suggests that they still have a long way to go until they become an open and transparent group worthy of trust. It is worth noting that one of the criticisms leveled at BK on the Internet is that they use non-religious introductory courses in “positive thinking” to recruit new members and only introduce them to Baba once membership has been cemented. That is a description that would seem to apply to Mr. James’ “meditation” lecture.

Wow, the new president of India, Pratibha Patil, is a member of the BK doomsday cult and has admitted to speaking to its dead founder.

www.youtube.com

news.bbc.co.uk

Quote:

 

 

 

The milder criticism of her comes from a curious admission that a dead guru had given her a premonition that she was destined to become India’s first citizen.

A doomsday cult with nukes, isn’t that nice

The site http://www.brahmakumaris.info, a cult awareness site run by former members, is being challenged by Brahma Kumars in Texas.
Here’s the thread about the upcoming legal action on the above site:


brahmakumaris.info

A few trademarks were registered by the cult in Texas [www.uspto.gov] A search on Brahma Kumaris finds them.
It seems they are trying to trademark the word of God.
These are the lawyers acting on behalf of the Indian Doomsday cult.
Kelly McCarty Esq. or Dustin Edwards Esq. 1111 Louisiana St. 25th Floor, Houston, TX. 713-787-1400


mccartyk@howrey.com

edwardsdustin@howrey.com


Hopefully this will lead to some more publicity, exposure and awareness of this cult. -Capt. Porridge

UPDATE, JULY 7, 2013

Catholic students want Brahma Kumaris out of their school

http://www.ucanews.com/story-archive/?post_name=/1994/10/18/catholic-students-want-brahma-kumaris-out-of-their-school&post_id=46142

October 18, 1994

Students at the biggest Catholic school in the northern Philippines have protested membership of the principal and some teachers in Brahma Kumaris, a Hinduism-based spiritual organization.

Wearing black arm bands, 200 high school students at St. Louis University (SLU) in Baguio City, walked out of classes Oct. 6 demanding that their principal and some teachers resign because they are Brahma Kumaris members.

The school chaplain and some teachers joined the students.

St. Louis University, run by the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Scheut Fathers), has more than 20,000 primary, secondary and tertiary students. Baguio City is 200 kilometers northwest of Manila.

The day after the student walkout, the school parent-teacher association called for an investigation into teachers´ membership in Brahma Kumaris.

These teachers, parents said, were “creating undue confusion and disturbance” among students and “division” on the campus.

“If they want to teach their beliefs, they should do it outside the campus and not inside the classrooms,” the parents said.

Parents’ council president Edgardo Bilog said that as a Catholic school, SLU should not allow other religious groups to propagate their tenets on campus.

SLU president Scheut Father Jozef Vanden Daelen ordered university personnel Oct. 7 to “abstain from public display of non-Catholic symbols in the classrooms, offices and other places within the campus.”

“Proselytizing and similar activities in favor of affiliations with unacceptable organizations that may tend to undermine our specific Catholic character are to be avoided,” Father Daelen said.

SLU vice president Emitt Manantan, who has begun an investigation, said the principal and teachers cannot be suspended without valid grounds. SLU high school principal Lourdes Lucero went on leave October 12, citing health reasons.

The Union of Faculty and Employees of SLU asked the administration for an official stand on the Brahma Kumaris.

“Continued silence in the face of the steady recruitment of members to this group greatly undermines the philosophy of education as enunciated by the university,” the faculty union said.

The union also noted that SLU would have a double standard if it allowed the Brahma Kumaris, since it banned all fraternities from campus this year.

Brahma Kumaris spokesperson Rebecca Ortega said the group is not a religious sect teaching non-Christian values, but a non-governmental organization teaching meditation and positive thinking and that spirituality is beyond religion*. *This, as we have seen on the preceding pages, is a downright lie -Michael

Its objectives, she said, are “harmony, peace, respect, brotherhood and love in the world.” It has been accredited by the United Nations department of international economic and social affairs, she said.

According to Ortega, India-based Brahma Kumaris has 3,700 branches in 60 countries including the Philippines. It has 30 members in Baguio.

 

Religion, Spirituality and ‘Mumbo-Jumbo’

http://www.catholicassociates.com/Talk%20ProFide%20Apr_07.pdf
EXTRACT

By Michael Akerman, 2007

The following is the text of a New Age update talk given by Michael Akerman to the Pro Fide Forum at St Vincent’s Convent in Central London on 26th April 2007

…It is worth recalling in this context (and I have quoted this in previous talks) that Pope John Paul the Second issued a warning about New Age spirituality back in 1993 referring to it as ‘a vague vision of the world expressed in myths and symbols’. Speaking about meaningless ritual, mystifying language and myths and symbols I must tell you about what was a ‘first’ for the New Age movement that occurred last year.

 

 

 

It was a two-day event called The Mystic Arts Show – at Olympia here in London. It was advertised as ‘an exhibition covering the Spiritual, Psychic and Paranormal’ featuring ‘mystic arts which transcend ordinary human knowledge.’ My wife Rita and I spent most of one day there. As we entered the exhibition area we were greeted by a line-up of witches and wizards. The hall was packed with people of all ages but mostly of the younger, articulate, professional-looking kind. There were over one hundred stands, as well as lectures, workshops and even two ghost walks in the locality. There were demonstrations of trance mediumship; you could connect with your spirit guide – or with your guardian angel; you could learn about the practical use of crystals – and develop your psychic awareness. We saw a lot of families there and a number of products aimed especially at children…
Another of the many organisations represented at The Mystic Arts Show was The Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University whose International headquarters and main UK teaching centre is at a building called Global Co-operation House in Willesden, North London. Founded in India in the 1930’s the Brahma Kumaris claims to bring together people of all cultural, religious and ethnic backgrounds. They define ‘spirituality’ as simply ‘knowing how to live with meaning and purpose.’ That sounds fine until you discover that their spirituality is based on Raja Yoga Meditation (Raja Yoga is mental or meditative yoga) and involves lessons in consciousness, the Law of Karma, reincarnation and self-realisation. By the way, this term – ‘self- realisation’ is a key phrase in the New Age vocabulary. It is their equivalent of ‘fulfilling your potential’. In fact, the term ‘self-realisation’ refers to a personal recognition of one’s own ‘divinity’. It is their synonym for God-realisation. The World Spiritual University has over 7,000 centres in more than 90 countries with over half-a-million regular students worldwide. 15,000 people attended courses in Willesden alone in 2005. When we visited their stand at the Show, my wife Rita asked one of the ladies if they had any centres in Ireland. ‘Oh, yes’ was the enthusiastic response: ‘we have several.’

 

The Focolare Movement and its international ramifications

http://www.catholicapologetics.info/modernproblems/currenterrors/focolar.htm
EXTRACT

By Dr. Regina Hinrichs

This article was written from a conference given by the author to the congress “Theologisches”, at Fulda, in October 1997.

For many years, Dr. Hinrichs has undertaken researches regarding contemporary subversive religious movements.  During her works, she was naturally led to put her attention to the powerful organization of the “Focolari” (in Italian, hearths, homes) and to its “Charismatic” founder, Chiara Lubich.

The “Focolari” (whose original name is “Opus Mariae”- The Work of Mary) defines itself as a militant movement for unity, open to persons of all convictions.  Today, its influence spreads to the whole world.  They are very active propagators of ecumenism and inter-religious dialogues. – Le Sel de la Terre, No.25

[…]THE
BRAHMA KUMARIS
UNIVERSITY
*

Among the international and religious organizations that we have named and to which the movement of the Focolari is connected, there has been mentioned of the Brahma Kumaris, a society founded in Karachi in 1936, and which describes itself as a ” spiritual university  the world” (Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University).

This university has had foundations in the whole world, especially in Asia and in Europe (in eighteen countries). Its primary aim is to encourage meditation and spiritual apprenticeship by the development of the “Ego –the I”. But beside these preoccupations concerning the individual, this university pursues the same ends as the organizations we have spoken of, about world peace, the advent of a harmonious world, the collaborations with the world religious organizations, with UNICEF and the U.N. (it also has a consultative voice at the economic and social council of the U.N. and it was received also as NGO).

We find then the same milieu and the same frequentations with which the Focolari movement is connected.

Moreover a publication of the Council of the
Parliament of World Religions (for which the Lucis Trust makes some publicity!) explicitly mentions the links uniting all these international organizations . We find there documents published by these organizations, and numerous proofs that they all belong to same vast network linked more or less tightly.  It is true that neither the Focolari movement nor Chiara Lubich appear in this publication, but all their mondialist friends with whom they collaborate are there. […]

See FOCOLARE, ‘THE WORK OF MARY’-IS IT GOOD FOR CATHOLICS?

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/FOCOLARE_THE_WORK_OF_MARY-IS_IT_GOOD_FOR_CATHOLICS.doc

 

Catholic Brahma Kumaris

http://www.saint-mike.net/qa/sw/viewanswer.asp?QID=380

July 14, 2007

Least I expected, one year ago I fell in love with a woman. Not so long I learnt that she is a devotee of Brahma Kumaris (BK) including her family for a long time and guess what… they are Catholics. The executive director of our organization is also a Catholic and a devotee of BK and he has a brother who is a RC priest.

What will happen to them? What is the stand of the Church?

I have been praying the rosary, offering masses for her because I love her including her family but it is as if my prayers are not heard. The more I do this the more she becomes devoted to BK. I tried to tell her about the incompatibility of BK and her Catholic faith but to no avail. What must I do?

Can’t leave her with BK? She, well most BK-Catholics (I guess) believe that the two are compatible. –Macky

Brahma Kumaris is one of the many Indian Hindu sects. There is no way it is compatible with Christianity. Further, the meditation taught in this “BK” is also incompatible with Christianity.

 

 

The Church issued a document about meditation called, On Some Aspects of Christian Meditation. It would be good for your friend to read that.

It would be nice if a priest could also explain that one cannot be a “Catholic-Hindu”. Brahma is the Hindu god (deva) of creation and one of the Trimurti, the others being Vishnu and Shiva. This is part of a theology that is poly-theistic (many gods).

Your friend, in essence, is committing idolatry by involvement with this group. This is a grave sin.

In addition, the BK teaches heresy. They believe that God the Father shares a body with Brahma Baba (a.k.a. Lekh Raj Kripalani born in 1876), in the same way they believe Christ had entered the body of Jesus. The groups says it was Jesus who suffered on the cross, not Christ, the pure Son of God, but that “Christ” left the body early and went to take rebirth to help guide his fledgling religion into maturity. They claim that many more secrets about Christ revealed by this so-called Baba (Lekh Raj Kripalani). This is outright heresy.

If your girlfriend believes this then she is risking being a heretic and thus suffering an automatic excommunication from the Catholic Church.

You can try to convince her that what she is doing is contrary to Catholic teaching, try to convince her to return to the Catholic Church, the way one is supposed to be Catholic, but you cannot save her from this. She has to make her own decisions. Not even God will force her to change her mind. She has to change her mind according to her own free will. You can pray for her deliverance from this, of course, but you cannot save her from it.

You may not want to hear this, but you may have to leave her behind. You will have no choice. You absolutely should not marry her when she is involved in this idolatry and heresy.

If she will not be convinced, then the best thing for her may be for you to leave her. Then she will see how much her errant beliefs are costing her, and you will have stood up for Truth and Christ as you are obligated to do.

St. Paul tells us in Titus 3:10-11: “After a first and second warning, break off contact with a heretic, realizing that such a person is perverted and sinful and stands self-condemned.”

We will be in prayer for her and for all those caught up in this delusion, idolatry, and heresy. -Bro. Ignatius Mary OMSM


Related reports and articles at this ministry’s web site:

REPORTS

1. CARDINAL OSWALD GRACIAS ENDORSES YOGA FOR CATHOLICS

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/CARDINAL_OSWALD_GRACIAS_ENDORSES_YOGA_FOR_CATHOLICS.doc

2. CATHOLIC YOGA HAS ARRIVED

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/CATHOLIC_YOGA_HAS_ARRIVED.doc

3. DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE ERRORS-05
YOGA PROMOTED

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/DIVINE_RETREAT_CENTRE_ERRORS-05.doc

4. FR JOHN FERREIRA-YOGA, SURYANAMASKAR AT ST. PETER’S COLLEGE, AGRA

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/FR_JOHN_FERREIRA-YOGA_SURYANAMASKAR_AT_ST_PETERS_COLLEGE_AGRA.doc

5. FR JOE PEREIRA-KRIPA FOUNDATION-WORLD COMMUNITY FOR CHRISTIAN MEDITATION

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/FR_JOE_PEREIRA-KRIPA_FOUNDATION-WORLD_COMMUNITY_FOR_CHRISTIAN_MEDITATION.doc

6. FR ADRIAN MASCARENHAS-YOGA AT ST PATRICK’S CHURCH BANGALORE 

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/FR_ADRIAN_MASCARENHAS-YOGA_AT_ST_PATRICKS_CHURCH_BANGALORE.doc

7. FR JOHN VALDARIS-NEW AGE CURES FOR CANCER

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/FR_JOHN_VALDARIS-NEW_AGE_CURES_FOR_CANCER.doc

8. NEW AGE GURUS 1 SRI SRI RAVI SHANKAR AND THE ‘ART OF LIVING’

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/NEW_AGE_GURUS_1_SRI_SRI_RAVI_SHANKAR_AND_THE_ART_OF_LIVING.doc

9. PAPAL CANDIDATE OSWALD CARDINAL GRACIAS ENDORSES YOGA

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/PAPAL_CANDIDATE_OSWALD_CARDINAL_GRACIAS_ENDORSES_YOGA.doc

10. YOGA AND THE BRAHMA KUMARIS AT A CATHOLIC COLLEGE IN THE ARCHDIOCESE OF BOMBAY

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/YOGA_AND_THE_BRAHMA_KUMARIS_AT_A_CATHOLIC_COLLEGE_IN_THE_ARCHDIOCESE_OF_BOMBAY.doc

11. YOGA IN THE DIOCESE OF MANGALORE

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/YOGA_IN_THE_DIOCESE_OF_MANGALORE.doc

12. YOGA, SURYANAMASKAR, GAYATRI MANTRA, PRANAYAMA TO BE MADE COMPULSORY IN EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/YOGA_SURYANAMASKAR_GAYATRI_MANTRA_PRANAYAMA_TO_BE_MADE_COMPULSORY_IN_EDUCATIONAL_INSTITUTIONS.doc

 

ARTICLES

1. TRUTH, LIES AND YOGA-ERROL FERNANDES

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/TRUTH_LIES_AND_YOGA-ERROL_FERNANDES.rtf

2. WAS JESUS A YOGI? SYNCRETISM AND INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE-ERROL FERNANDES

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/WAS_JESUS_A_YOGI_SYNCRETISM_AND_INTERRELIGIOUS_DIALOGUE-ERROL_FERNANDES.doc

 

 

 

3. YOGA

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/YOGA.doc

4. YOGA-02

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/YOGA-02.doc

5. YOGA AND DELIVERANCE

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/YOGA_AND_DELIVERANCE.doc

6. YOGA IS SATANIC-EXORCIST FR GABRIELE AMORTH

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/YOGA_IS_SATANIC-EXORCIST_FR_GABRIELE_AMORTH.doc

7. YOGA-SUMMARY

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/YOGA-SUMMARY.doc

8. YOGA-THE DECEPTION-FR CONRAD SALDANHA

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/YOGA-THE_DECEPTION-FR_CONRAD_SALDANHA.doc

9. YOGA-WHAT DOES THE CATHOLIC CATECHISM SAY ABOUT IT

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/YOGA-WHAT_DOES_THE_CATHOLIC_CATECHISM_SAY_ABOUT_IT.doc

10. YOGA-WHAT DOES THE CATHOLIC CHURCH SAY ABOUT IT?

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/YOGA-WHAT_DOES_THE_CATHOLIC_CHURCH_SAY_ABOUT_IT.doc

 

DOCUMENTS

1. LETTER TO THE BISHOPS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ON SOME ASPECTS OF CHRISTIAN MEDITATION CDF/CARDINAL JOSEPH RATZINGER OCTOBER 15, 1989

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/LETTER_TO_THE_BISHOPS_OF_THE_CATHOLIC_CHURCH_ON_SOME_ASPECTS_OF_CHRISTIAN_MEDITATION.doc

2. JESUS CHRIST THE BEARER OF THE WATER OF LIFE, A CHRISTIAN REFLECTION ON THE NEW AGE COMBINED VATICAN DICASTERIES FEBRUARY 3, 2003

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/JESUS_CHRIST_THE_BEARER_OF_THE_WATER_OF_LIFE_A_CHRISTIAN_REFLECTION_ON_THE_NEW_AGE.doc

 

TESTIMONIES

1.
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER YOGI-01
MIKE SHREVE

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/TESTIMONY_OF_A_FORMER_YOGI-01.doc

2. TESTIMONY OF A FORMER YOGI-02
TERRY JUSTISON

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/TESTIMONY_OF_A_FORMER_YOGI-02.doc

3. TESTIMONY OF A FORMER YOGI-03
KENT SULLIVAN

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/TESTIMONY_OF_A_FORMER_YOGI-03.doc

4. TESTIMONY OF A FORMER YOGI-04
MICHAEL GRAHAM

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/TESTIMONY_OF_A_FORMER_YOGI-04.doc

5. TESTIMONY OF A FORMER YOGI-05
BRAD SCOTT

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/TESTIMONY_OF_A_FORMER_YOGI-05.doc

6. TESTIMONY OF A FORMER YOGI-06
JANICE CLEARY

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/TESTIMONY_OF_A_FORMER_YOGI-06.doc

7. TESTIMONY OF A FORMER YOGI-07
CARL FAFORD

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/TESTIMONY_OF_A_FORMER_YOGI-07.doc

8. TESTIMONY OF A FORMER YOGI-08
ANONYMOUS

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/TESTIMONY_OF_A_FORMER_YOGI-08.doc

9. TESTIMONY OF A FORMER YOGI-09
DEBORAH HOLT

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/TESTIMONY_OF_A_FORMER_YOGI-09.doc

10. TESTIMONY OF A FORMER YOGI-10
DANION VASILE

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/TESTIMONY_OF_A_FORMER_YOGI-10.doc

11. TESTIMONY OF A FORMER YOGI-11
MICHAEL COUGHLIN

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/TESTIMONY_OF_A_FORMER_YOGI-11.doc

12. TESTIMONY OF A FORMER YOGI-12
LAURETTE WILLIS

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/TESTIMONY_OF_A_FORMER_YOGI-12.doc

13. TESTIMONY OF A FORMER YOGI-13
KEITH AGAIN

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/TESTIMONY_OF_A_FORMER_YOGI-13.doc

14. TESTIMONY OF A FORMER YOGI-14
VIRGO HANDOJO

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/TESTIMONY_OF_A_FORMER_YOGI-14.doc

15. TESTIMONY OF A FORMER YOGI-15 PURVI

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/TESTIMONY_OF_A_FORMER_YOGI-15.doc



Categories: Eastern Meditation, Hinduisation of the Catholic Church in India, new age

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EPHESIANS-511.NET- A Roman Catholic Ministry Exposing Errors in the Indian Church Michael Prabhu, METAMORPHOSE, #12,Dawn Apartments, 22,Leith Castle South Street, Chennai – 600 028, Tamilnadu, India. Phone: +91 (44) 24611606 E-mail: michaelprabhu@vsnl.net, http://www.ephesians-511.net

EPHESIANS-511.NET- A Roman Catholic Ministry Exposing Errors in the Indian Church

Michael Prabhu, METAMORPHOSE, #12,Dawn Apartments, 22,Leith Castle South Street, Chennai - 600 028, Tamilnadu, India. Phone: +91 (44) 24611606 E-mail: michaelprabhu@vsnl.net, http://www.ephesians-511.net

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