Setting the Records Straight
The Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University (BKWSU) is an international non-governmental organization with spiritual headquarters in Mt. Abu, Rajasthan, India. Founded in 1936, the organization’s leadership is primarily women although membership is open to both women and men. It is believed that the core values based on traditionally feminine qualities – patience, tolerance, sacrifice, kindness and love – would increasingly become the foundation of progress in personal growth, human relations, and the development of caring communities. The theology and practice of the organization is focused around restoring and affirming the dignity of all people, without distinction. It is about building spiritual partnerships in which there is harmony between the sexes based on trust and respect. Although women head the organization, there are many men coordinating centers and playing other key administrative roles.
“In 1936, when I was 20 years old, I had an experience that instantly showed me the way forward. I was out walking with my father, when ahead of us, walking towards us, was Brahma Baba, who I knew from social settings in the past. He was a highly respected diamond merchant and jeweler and a frequent guest in the homes of the wealthiest and most influential people. I knew that he had recently come into some new knowledge and that those around him had begun to hold spiritual gatherings to be in his presence and take from this new knowledge.
“As he came closer to us, my vision of him became transfused with light. It was as if his face and body dissolved into light. The experience, though fleeting, moved me deeply, and I resolved to go myself to these gatherings. When I began attending these gatherings, I realized I was hearing knowledge that I had never read in any scripture or heard from any guru. The sound that kept coming in my mind was that these must be messages of the Supreme Soul. This knowledge cannot be coming from a human being; this one is telling me the truth. After so many visits to gurus and hearing so many scriptures, here finally was the crystal clarity of the truth about the most important knowledge in the universe – the soul, the Supreme Soul, the home of souls, the history of the world, everything.
“He explained how the imperishable soul plays a part in the perishable body. He showed us that we can create a connection with the Supreme Soul and attain those qualities and powers that are imperishable. I would observe the way Brahma Baba would explain. Concepts that had been vague before and hard to grasp fell into place, giving me an understanding of the unfolding of time and the experience of souls in time and of our relationship to the Supreme. Brahma Baba made it clear to all present that he, Brahma Baba, was not the Supreme Soul, but that the Supreme was using his body as a sort of chariot to give these truths to the souls of the world at this time.”
(Dadi Janki, Administrative Head, Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, Mt. Abu, India.
Excerpted from “The Story of Immortality:A Return to Self-Sovereignty.” ISBN: 978-1-886872-51-6)
Spiritual Leadership: Dadi Janki
(Excerpted from “Weavers of Wisdom, Women Mystics Of The Twentieth Century” by Anne Bancroft. Published by Penguin Books — Arkana)
‘The community in which I was born was very strongly against women playing any part outside the home, yet I had always had a powerful wish to serve others, accompanied by a feeling of mercy. If anyone has such a powerful wish, it usually takes a practical form. One needs renunciation or sacrifice for service. For some it was a renunciation of fashion when they decided to adopt a simple costume of white clothes, but generally it was more the attachment to home and children which could interfere with a woman’s desire to serve. To be a woman and to go beyond the fear of what society will say and simply serve requires courage. At that time, whatever a woman’s desire was, it was very quickly pushed down by parents or social conditions. Women have very often been influenced by external pressures. What is required is a connection with God in which an internal power develops, so that the spirit is strong enough to withstand other pressures and influences. …
‘The things Brahma Baba was saying were a practical help in my life. At the age of twenty-one, I knew it was the time for total surrender and the dedication of myself to that work. I was receiving knowledge about God and about the self, and what to do with human life — how to make it “elevated” — it was such a training! I felt this was the highest thing I could do with my life. The whole thing of knowing God was totally without ego because it meant going deep into silence and using the mind in a positive way to know the self, and to know God. Knowing the truth made me very fearless! …
‘I too am a messenger, but not from any desire for importance in life, just the opposite. The desire to be God’s messenger is one in which there is truly no feeling of ego. And yet there has to be a preparation of surrender to God for it is in that way that the human soul itself becomes filled with divinity. It’s a very powerful experience being God’s messenger. It is only when one has made that preparation to detach oneself from the things of the world, the attractions of the world, that one is able to become the messenger.
‘The first and most important way is to go beyond the attitude of male and female, into the awareness of my own eternal identity, and secondly, to ask oneself the question, “what is my role?” Generally for women, there is the feeling of wishing to serve as much as possible through mind, body, and wealth. The motivation of service is very strong. “I am a human being within this female form, what service can I render to others?” …
‘Things will continue to happen, but I must not be distracted from my aim. If my own aim is clear and I have taken power from God, then nothing can interfere. That is the way in which I can serve.
‘For my true aim is to be a lighthouse — to be filled with light and a feeling of lightness — one in which there’s no pressure or burden, and because of that one is able to share light with others and show them the path. The lighthouse shows the way to safety. The world is going through such a crisis of suffering, so many negative thoughts, that it’s important that my life as a yogi should be able to guide others to safety.
‘What is most needed at this time is a change of perspective; a change of vision in the way we see ourselves, others, and the world. If we just stop for a moment and peel away all the layers of social, cultural, and sexual definitions, which up to now have been a restrictive force, it is possible to reach a subtle dimension of the self that is constantly free from all limitations. And while many governments are concerned about the future of the world with an ever-diminishing supply of resources, there lies within each one of us a natural resource which has remained so far virtually untapped. We call that energy the spirit or soul. …
‘My one desire is that the attention should be drawn towards God so that souls can experience a personal relationship with God. They should not worry about the future, for the cycle of the world is eternal and will not end, but the world, itself goes through different phases. It is in Kali Yuga now, the worst phase, but this will finish and a golden age will come. Instead of worrying, people should start doing positive things now, so that the future can be a good one. And so that we can all cooperate with each other to make a better world. It is very important for people to develop feelings of good will for the world, feelings of mercy for the world. The transformation of the world is in our hands.’