Table of Content
About Brahma Kumaris HQ Daily eNewspaper
15 April 2018
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With Loving regards to Global Divine Family,
Rajayogi Karuna Dadaji
Interesting Article about BK History: "How a small feminist group led by Hindu women in pre-Partition Sindh went on to get global renown"
20 March 2018SOURCE: DAWN (Pakistani online news from the DAWN Media Group), 28 February, 2018. Author: Zahida Rehman Jatt.
Hyderabad, Sindh is famed for a number of things, including The Bombay Bakery’s legendary cakes, the city’s windy and cool afternoons, and the beautiful wind catchers that used to be a hallmark of its distinctive architecture.
However, only very few people would know that Hyderabad was once home to an indigenous feminist movement, first called Om Mandli and later renamed Brahma Kumaris.
Brahma Kumaris is a spiritual organisation predominantly led and managed by women, and presently has its headquarters in Mount Abu Rajasthan, India.
Interestingly, this mainly female-based organisation was not founded by a woman but by a man, Lekhraj Khubchand Kriplani (1876-1969), also known as Dada Lekhraj of Hyderabad, in the 1930’s.
In the beginning, it was a gathering, headed by Dada Lekhraj, of a small number of devotees, which gradually grew larger, and eventually transformed into a worldwide organisation with offices in 110 countries.
To explore how this obscure group went on to become a global spiritual organisation, we must go back to pre-Partition Hyderabad.
Lekhraj Kripalani. —Photos from Wikipedia
During the British rule, Hyderabad’s Hindu merchants, Bhaibands, had an international network of firms and were known as Sindworkies (one who works in goods from Sindh).
Many of these men joined the Sindwork firms that were working across the globe and would spend several years in foreign countries, leaving their womenfolk behind.
Lawrence Babb, in his article Indigenous Feminism in a Modern Hindu Sect, writes:
“But if the world was wide for Sind Worki men, for their wives and daughters matters were very different. The world of women was the household, within which most of them were secluded.”
Perhaps it was the isolation and sense of being left behind, stranded in a house without men, which prompted women to explore avenues that would enable them to live more purposeful and spiritually meaningful lives.
Om Mandli group on an outing at Clifton beach, Karachi.
Dada Lekhraj was a follower of Vallabhcharya Vaishnavism (a Hindu sect) and was a jeweller by profession. As part of his trade, he met many women and observed their far-from-healthy social conditions.
He eventually proclaimed that he was having visions and was receiving instructions from deities. He began organising a small gathering in his home where the attendees would participate in satsang (devotional singing) and would read the Bhagavad Gita.
Most of the attendees were women and children and the gathering especially attracted Bhaiband women whose menfolk were away on business and who found spiritual contentment in religious activities.
Dada’s followers called him Om Baba and the group that he formed was known as Om Mandli. The Om Mandli gradually expanded its activities and its membership also increased.
Om Mandli committee picketing in Hyderabad.
Because the Om Mandli’s teachings stressed religious devotion, celibacy and chastity, it was perceived as a threat to family life and patriarchy, and soon the Bhaiband community rose in protest.
Resultantly, a committee known as Anti-Om Mandli Committee was formulated by Bhaiband men. The female members of the Om Mandli were abused and threatened in their homes.
In 1938, an angry mob set one of Om Mandli’s buildings on fire. The situation got worse and the organisation was forced to move its headquarters to Karachi.
By then, the reigns of the Om Mandli had been handed over to a young woman, Radhe Pokardas Rajwani (1915-1965), also known as Om Radhe.
In March, 1939 the government appointed a tribunal to inquire into the activities of the Om Mandli. Shortly afterwards, it was declared that the group was an ‘unlawful organisation.’ Yet, the movement continued its activities secretly.
After Partition, the entire organisation moved to Mount Abu in Rajasthan in 1950. It was renamed as the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University and the network started expanding internationally.
From the 1970’s onwards, the Brahma Kumaris set up centres in other countries, the first of which was established in London.
Afterwards, they spread to other European countries and continued teaching Raja Yoga, meditation, and other forms of spiritual knowledge.
In the 1980’s, the Brahma Kumaris got affiliated with UN agencies like UNICEF and Economic and Social Council.
Train to Mount Abu, India in May 1950
In today’s Hyderabad, there would hardly be anyone who would know that a tiny group of women who formed a religious circle in this very city, have reached such renown.
What is remarkable is that, in pre-Partition Hyderabad, where patriarchal norms and misogyny was at its heights, some of its courageous women powerfully resisted the yoke of men and subjugation.
Though many of them had to face trials and tribulations, they persevered and are now acknowledged across the globe for their spiritual teachings and philanthropic work.
Following Partition, Pakistan’s entire focus shifted towards the majoritarian religious aspects of our history and culture, and consequently our younger generation is completely unaware of a colourful and beautiful heritage of Hindus, Sikhs and other minorities that once lived in what now constitutes the Land of the Pure.
Perhaps rather than projecting a selective historical narrative, we should revisit our history and be proud of its plurality.
About the author: Zahida Rehman Jatt is an anthropologist and social science researcher. She is a lecturer at the department of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Sindh in Jamshoro.
Holi Greetings from Sister Jayanti and London Brahma Kumaris Family
2 March 2018
Sister Jayanti Message on Shiv Ratri (Shiv Jayanti)
16 Febuary 2018
Today uploaded a beautiful video of Jayanti Didi Shivratri massage on facebook as shared by Prashant bhai.
we can share it everywhere, its too good.
Special Yoga for Dadi Gulzarji - Request from Madhuban
14th March 2018
BapDada’s light of the eyes, all sisters and brothers who are Zone-in-charge, sub zone-in-charge, instruments in charge of the service places, all brothers and sisters who are decoration of the Brahmin clan, please accept sweet Godly love and remembrance from Brother Nirwairji and your unlimited home, Madhuban.
Yesterday, at the time of the avyakt meeting with Avyakt BapDada, all were requested to have 5 minutes yoga for the good health of our most respected Dadi Gulzarji.
Today, I am once again requesting that the whole Brahmin family gives their co-operation to have 10 minutes of yoga in the morning class and 10 minutes of yoga in the evening meditation for our Gulzar Dadiji to get well quickly and return to Madhuban.
Achcha, lots and lots of love-filled Godly remembrance.
In Godly service,
Yogis in a Danish Castle
2 March 2018
Many of you will remember the beautiful photos of yogis in the Exhibition SOULS the Danish Søren Solkær has taken in Madhuban. Our yogis have given drishti in exhibitions and programs all over the world. Not to mention the beautiful coffee table book with 100 yogis that was printed in recent years.
Our yogis have now been revived in Denmark in the famous Renaissance Castle of Frederiksborg. Together with kings, queens, nobles and the bourgeois the yogis are now giving drishti to the visitors in the portrait exhibition at the National History Museum. The yogis are part of a retrospective exhibition with over 200 photos and portraits of many prominent people, that Søren has photographed over the last 25 years.
The BK's in Copenhagen were invited to the vernissage. It was a surprise to us that 14 of the Yogi portraits was part of the exhibition itself! They got their own room in the princess chamber and will give dristhi to the visitors until 15th April 2018. Madhuban and Raja Yoga meditation is mentioned in the description.
You can see pictures in attached pdf file. The last picture Søren giving the introduction to his work to the press and invited guests in the golden decorated renaissance hall.
Br Nirwair Regarding Dadi Gulzar's Health - 31st January
1 March 2018
Dear divine sisters and brothers of all Brahma Kumaris Centres of in Bharat and overseas Centres, raj
Please accept hearty Godly love and remembrances from Respected Dadi Jankiji, Respected Dadi Gulzarji and Respected Dadi Ratan Mohiniji and all Madhuban Niwasis.
As you all know our beloved Dadi Gulzarji, BapDada's invaluable chariot of 49 years, has been in Mumbai since early January 2018 and admitted into Brahma Kumaris' BSES Hospital, for around a week now. Her doctors have been very kind to give her medical support, even though she has been having a few complications in breathing.
With medication, Dadi's health is improving slightly, and we hope that the power of your good wishes, and vibrations of Almighty Shiv Baba's yaad, would help her to regain her strength very soon.
With Godly love and remembrances,
Sr Jayanti at the World Economic Forum in Davos
26 February 2018
We are pleased to share with you this link to the
featuring Sister Jayanti
at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Earn, and breathe: Meditating your way to profit - BBC News article features photo and quotes Sr Jayanti
This article reported by By Katie Hope, BBC News, Davos, can be seen here: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-42808322.