Brahma Kumaris

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The Brahma Kumaris (Sanskrit: ब्रह्माकुमारी, "People of Brahma"), fully known as the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University (BKWSU) is a religious movement that was founded in Hyderabad, Sindh, Pakistan during the 1930s.[1]

The Brahma Kumaris was founded by Dada Lekhraj Kripalani. It is well known for the large role that women play in the movement.[2] The headquarters of the Brahma Kumaris is in Mount Abu, India.[3] It teaches a form of meditation called Raja Yoga Meditation.[4] In 2008, the movement said that it had more than 825,000 members, with over 8,500 centres in 100 countries.[5]

History[change | change source]

The Brahma Kumaris began as a small, caste-specific, spiritual community in Hyderabad, Sindh, India in the 1930s. The community was formally established in 1937, as a trust comprised of young women, but its formation can be traced back to 1932. The precursor to modern-day Sindh was Mohenjo-Daro. One of the world’s most ancient cities, it was the cradle of the Indus Valley. Archeological evidence indicates that region held a progressive society, a well-engineered and designed city. Socially there was equality between women and men, and very low rates of crime.

By contrast, in the 1930s in some parts of Sindh many women were in purdah. Even in the contemporary world, some parts of Sindhi society expect women to wear soft shoes so they are not heard, to live behind blinds so they cannot be seen, and to move according to the instructions of a male relative. For some women, even looking at or speaking to a male outside her family is forbidden. These ideas are not native to Sindh but were adopted by Sindh locals upon arrival of Arabian culture. This tension was vibrant during the time of North West India after British colonisation, and just before the partition of India. This was crucial to the development of the Brahma Kumaris.[6]

The founder of the Brahma Kumaris was a successful middle-aged jeweler, Lekhraj Koobchand Kripalani, residing in Hyderabad (in pre-Partition India). He was of the Bhaiband caste and born into a family who were devotees of Vallabhacharya (1479-1531), a Hindu theologian and philosopher. Vallabhacharya taught Shuddha (pure) Advaita (non-dualism), an interpretation of Vedanta that rejected asceticism and monastic life, suggesting that through loving devotion to God any householder could achieve salvation. This understanding influenced the early teachings of the Brahma Kumaris and may be at the heart of its role as a social reform movement.[7]

Beliefs[8][change | change source]

  • The soul is everlasting and resides within the physical body. However, it is not a part of body.
  • In reincarnation, the soul leaves one human body and enters another. It does not take non-human bodies.
  • The time of destruction is about to come as humanity is close to its end. According to them, the world is going to end and with this, the Golden Age Paradise will commence.
  • Only the Indian subcontinent will survive in the Golden Age Paradise. Hindi is regarded as the original language of humanity. Only Brahma Kumaris who have been spiritually purified will take rebirth in the Golden Age Paradise as gods and goddesses.

References[change | change source]

  1. "Early History - About Brahma Kumaris". About Brahma Kumaris. Retrieved 2017-11-06.
  2. Brahma Kumaris. "Welcome to the Brahma Kumaris - United Kingdom - Introduction". Archived from the original on 2017-11-06. Retrieved 2017-11-06.
  3. Kumaris, Brahma. "Brahma Kumaris - Introduction". Brahma Kumaris. Retrieved 2017-11-06.
  4. Kumaris, Brahma. "Brahma Kumaris - What is Raja Yoga Meditation?". Brahma Kumaris. Retrieved 2017-11-06.
  5. Gordon., Melton, J.; 1960-, Baumann, Martin (2002). Religions of the world : a comprehensive encyclopedia of beliefs and practices. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9781576072233. OCLC 49610953.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  6. "Brahma Kumaris – WRSP". Retrieved 2021-05-18.
  7. "'Yagya' - Brahma Kumaris History and Story". Brahma Kumaris. Archived from the original on 2021-05-18. Retrieved 2021-05-18.
  8. Ramandeep Kaur (2013-10-04). "Beliefs of Brahma Kumaris - India". Retrieved 2021-05-18.