|Headquarters||Template:Country data Ind [[City:=Karachi|Karachi]], [[State_Name:=Sind|Sind]], [[Country_Name:=India|India]]|
|Key people||Janki Kripalani, Global chief|
Mohini Panjabi, President USA
Jayanti Kirpalani, European director
|Contact||Pandav Bhavan, PO Box 2|
Mount Abu, Rajasthan India 307501
[http://www. brahmakumaris.info www. brahmakumaris.info]
Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University
Brahma Kumaris' so-called "World Spiritual University" promotes new and unique ideas based on messages received from mediumship and spirit chaneling. It also claims its practises are the "ancient" Raja Yoga despite only commencing post-1950. It is now promoted behind the facade of new age, positive thinking, values based and coporate training courses. Many individuals experience benefit from these. Indeed, some individuals can look back at their time as a "student" of the 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.
Followers homes counted as centers
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.
Not a university
The Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University is not an educational institution but an unaccredited new religious movement. Its widely advertised relationship with the United Nations accounts to a small rented office at the UN buildings in New York which it uses to target VIPs and politicians.
Brahma Kumaris believe God possessed a multi-millionaire Hindu jeweler called Lekhraj Kripalani in Pakistan and started to speak and act through him. He and his followers predicted the end of the world, which Brahma Kumaris call "Destruction" in WWII, 1950, 1976, the mid-1980s and year 2000. For the first 20 years of their existence, his followers believed him to be Prajapati God Brahma. At some point after 1950, they introduced the concept of a new spirit being called God Shiva. Until that time, the small community lived off Lekhraj Kripalani's accumulated fortune and other donations. From the early 1950s, the movement became evangelical and has since spread to the West, amassing considerable wealth and a large property portfolio including a English country mansion and many upscale ashrams.
Others 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
- 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 5th 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
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.
5,000 Year Cycle
Brahma Kumaris teach that time is cyclic, repeating identically every 5,000 years, and composed of five ages or "Yugas"; the Golden Age, the Silver Age, the Copper Age, the Iron Age each being exactly 1,250 years long, and the Confluence Age (Sangam Yuga). The Confluence Age is said to be 100 years long, beginning in 1936 with the descent of Shiva into Lekhraj Kirpalani, during which present day civilization is to be completely destroyed by natural disasters, civil and nuclear war in an event called Destruction. Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi states this information is generally hidden from non-members.
During the first half of the cycle, procreation is believed to be possible through the power of yoga without sexual intercourse. The Universe is never transformed into primordial or atomic state matter, nor does the world ever becomes devoid of human beings.. Babb states that Brahma Kumari movement enter the fifth era (Confluence Age) with the expectation that they will become "fit to be reborn in the paradisical phase of the next world cycle ... indeed they are the very gods and goddesses of the Hindu pantheon imperfectly remembered through texts today".
Controversies and criticism
The Brahma Kumaris have been dogged by criticisms of their leadership cover up of child sex abuse at their Indian headquarters, the kidnapping and beatings of rival group members and a number of high profile suicides at centers including one where a young woman burned herself alive after falling in love and seeking to leave the organization. In London, UK another previously "surrendered sister" killed herself by throwing herself off a 5th floor balcony, her brother and fellow adherent committing suicide soon after. The Brahma Kumaris teach that forming sexual and romantic relationships is equivalent to jumping off a 5th floor building and worse than murder.
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 belief 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" Raja Yoga.
The institution uses Hindu terminologies such as Raja Yoga, Bhagavad Gita to attract people but what is taught in the organization is completely different from what they supposed to mean in 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 countercult organization Catalyst, 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, a 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 BK Neville Hodgkinson, a former scientific correspondent for an English national newspaper, questioned the existence of dinosaurs on the basis of the lack of bones that have been found whilst other BK follower argued that dinosaurs exist in a parallel space-time dimension and because of a warp hole end up in this dimension.
The Brahma Kumaris have featured in the 'Wissen schtzt' 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). This has leading to the presecution of followers in local media leading to job losses after it discovered that they belonged to a secte and denouncement for their influence on children under their care.
- 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, marriage and family life are allowed.
- Sattvic vegetarianism, a strict lacto-vegetarian diet (excluding eggs). even excluding their own mother or relatives.
- Regular early morning meditation at 4:00 to 4:45 am, called 'Amrit Vela.'
- Regular 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.
- Bartholomeusz, Tessa J.; Clayton, John; Collins (1994). Women under the Bo Tree: Buddhist nuns in Sri Lanka. Cambridge Studies in Religious Traditions, Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521461290.
- Robbins, Thomas (1997). Millennium, Messiahs, and Mayhem: Contemporary Apocalyptic Movements, Routledge. ISBN 978-0415916486.
- Babb, Lawrence A. (1987). Redemptive Encounters: Three Modern Styles in the Hindu Tradition (Comparative Studies in Religion and Society), Oxford University Press. ISBN 0706925637.
- Klimo, Jon (1998). Channeling: Investigations on Receiving Information from Paranormal Sources, North Atlantic Books. pp. 100. ISBN 978-1556432484.
- Wilson, Bryan; Eileen Barker, James Beckford, Anthony Bradney, Colin Campbell, George Chryssies, Peter Clarke, Paul Heelas, Massimo Introvigne, Lawrence Lilliston, Godeon Melton, Elizabeth Puttick, Gary Sherpherd, Colin Slee, Frank Usarski (1999). Bryan Wilson. ed.. New Religious Movements: Challenge and Response, Routledge. ISBN 978-0415200493.
- "Brahma Kumaris: A New Religion?". Reender Kranenborg, Free University of Amsterdam. Retrieved on 2007-07-27. "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."
- Walliss, J. (1999). "From world rejection to ambivalence: the development of millenarianism in the Brahma Kumaris". Journal of Contemporary Religion 14 (3): 375–385.
- Hardy, Hardayal (1984). Struggles and Sorrows: The Personal Testimony of a Chief Justice, Vikas Publishing House. pp. 37–39. ISBN 0706925637.
- Walliss, John (2002). The Brahma Kumaris As a Reflexive Tradition: Responding to Late Modernity, Ashgate Publishing. pp. 99–129. ISBN 978-0754609513.
- Chander, B. K Jagdish (1981). Adi Dev: The first man, B.K. Raja Yoga Center for the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University..
- Abbott, Elizabeth (2001). A History of Celibacy, James Clarke & Co.. pp. 172–174. ISBN 0718830067.
- Barrett, David V (2001). The New Believers: A Survey of Sects, Cults and Alternative Religions, Cassell & Co.. ISBN 978-0304355921. "'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.".
- Hodgkinson, Liz (2002). Peace and Purity: The Story of the Brahma Kumaris a Spiritual Revolution, HCI. pp. 2–29. ISBN 1558749624.
- Radhe, Brahma-Kumari (1939). Is this justice?: Being an account of the founding of the Om Mandli & the Om Nivas and their suppression, by application of the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1908, Pharmacy Printing Press. pp. 35–36.
- Coupland, Reginald (1944). The Indian Problem: Report on the Constitutional Problem in India, Oxford University Press.
- Howell, Julia Day (2005). Peter Clarke. ed.. Encyclopedia of New Religious Movements, Routledge. pp. 63–64. ISBN 978-0415267076. "The call for women brahmins (i.e. kumaris or 'daughters') to remain celibate or chaste in marriage inverted prevailing social expectations that such renunciation was proper only for men and that the disposal of women's sexuality should remain with their fathers and husbands. The 'Anti-Om Mandali Committee' formed by outraged male family members violently persecuted Brahma Baba's group, prompting their flight to Karachi and withdrawal from society. Intense world rejection gradually eased after partition in 1947, when the BKs moved from Pakistan to Mt Abu".
- Hunt, Stephen J. (2003). Alternative Religions: A Sociological Introduction, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.. pp. 120. ISBN 0754634108.
- Howell, Julia (Sep 1998). "Gender Role Experimentation in New Religious Movements". Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 37 (3): 453–461.
- Whaling, Frank (1995). "The Brahma Kumaris". Journal of Contemporary Religion 10 (1): 3–28.
- Howell, Julia Day (September 1998). "Gender Role Experimentation in New Religious Movements: Clarification of the Brahma Kumari Case". Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 37 (3): 453–461. doi:10.2307/1388052. "Today the leadership of the BK movement in India remains heavily female. Sisters, or kumaris (daughters), are still "put in front", that is favored for the position of "center-in-charge" (head of a local center). As of December 1995 all Indian centers were run by "sisters." However, "brothers" also reside in many of the centers run by "sisters". Brothers are expected to work to earn an outside income, which provides a substantial share of the support of the centers, and do the domestic work other than cooking. This frees the sisters to engage full-time in service to the organization as teachers, leaders of meditation sessions and spiritual directors. Indian migrants made up half the number of Brahmins in the UK.".
- "Brahma Kumaris Administration". BKWSU. Retrieved on 2007-08-10. "Present statistics indicate that the University has 825,000 students and over 8,500 centres in 100 countries and territories."
- "Adherent Statistic Citations". Adherents.com. Retrieved on 2007-08-20. "Worldwide, this path has 4000 centres and approximately 400,000 members."
- Lewis, J.R.; Aris, R.I.S. (2004). "New Religion Adherents: An Overview of Anglophone Census and Survey Data". Marburg Journal of Religion 9 (1). Retrieved on 28 January 2008.
- Nesbitt, Eleanor; A. Henderson (April 2003). "Religious Organisations in the UK and Values Education Programmes for Schools". Journal of Beliefs and Values, 24 (1): 75–88. ""The article reports initial findings from a values education programme that is currently being implemented, in various forms, in several primary schools in England. The programme is 'Living Values: an educational program' and it was developed in association with a Hindu-related religious organisation, the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University. The article situates the research within a social and theoretical context and reports from fieldwork conducted over a period of twelve months in schools and Brahma Kumaris centres."".
- Babb, Lawrence A. (2002). Redemptive Encounters, University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-07636-2. ""Service requires active support of the movement, especially by participating in its many proscelyting 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 Kaliyug are not in accord with Shiv Bab's will".".
- Bedi, Kiran (2007). It's Always Possible : One Woman's Transformation of India's Prison System, Himalayan Institute Press. ISBN 978-0893892586.
- Lochtefeld, Ph.D., James G. (2002). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism Vol. I, entry "Brahma Kumaris", Rosen, New York. ISBN 0-8239-3179-X.
- Bartholomeusz, Tessa J. (1994). Women Under the Bo Tree,:Cambridge Studies in Religious Traditions. Edited by John Clayton (University of Lancaster), Steven Collins (University of Chicago) and Nicholas de Lange (University of Cambridge), Rosen, New York. ISBN 0-521-46129-4.
- "Brahma Kumaris: Conquering A Callous World with Purity". Hinduism Today. Retrieved on 2007-07-28. ""The most strict will not eat fard which is not prepared by a Brahma Kumaris. While traveling they abstain from public fare and carry their own utensils for cooking.""
- 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 of other Brahma Kumaris in order to benefit from the pure vibrations of the person cooling teh 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.".
- c Whaling, Prof Frank (2004). Encyclopedia of New Religions; New Religious Movements, Sects and Alternative Spiritualities. Edited by Christopher Partridge and Gorden Melton, Rosen, New York. ISBN 0-745-95073-6.
- Hinnells, John (1997). The Penguin Dictionary of Religions. Extract by Eileen Barker, Rosen, New York. ISBN 0-14-051261-6.
- Barker, Eileen (1989). New Religious Movement: A Practical Introduction, HMSO, London. pp. 168–70. ISBN 0-14-051261-6.
- Melton, J. Gordon (1993). The Encyclopedia of American Religions. 4th edition, Gale, Detroit. pp. 909–10.
- 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 BK's "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."".
- Barz, R.K. (1992). "A reinterpretation of bhakti theology: from the Pustimarg to the Brahma Kumaris". Devotional Literature in South Asia: Current Research, 1985-8. Retrieved on 25 January 2008. "[BKWSU] ... does not associate itself with any earlier Hindu movement, bhakti or otherwise,".
- Howell, Julia Day (2005). Peter Clarke. ed.. Encyclopedia of New Religious Movements, Routledge. pp. 63–64. ISBN 978-0415267076. "The BK teachings revise Hindu beliefs in a Golden Age that deteriorates into successive ages in an endlessly recurring cycle of time; according to the movement, we are now in the worst age, on the eve of destruction, and only BKs who have purified themselves through a vegetarian diet and chastity and cultivated "soul consciousness", will be reborn into the Golden Age.".
- Babb, Lawrence A. (1981). "On celibate marriages: the Polish Catholics' encounter with Hindu spirituality". Glancing: Visual Interaction in Hinduism", Journal of Anthropological Research Winter (4): 387–401.
- "Astonishing similarities between Brahma Kumari and Islam"
- P.195, Exploring New Religions, By George D Chryssides
- Babb, Lawrence A. (1987). Redemptive Encounters: Three Modern Styles in the Hindu Tradition (Comparative Studies in Religion and Society), Oxford University Press. ISBN 0706925637. "Souls have a 'true home', and this is a region of perfect peace and absolute silence at the top of the universe known as paramdham (the supreme abode) or brahmlok (the world of brahm). As imagined by Brahma Kumari teachings, the universe has the shape of an egg. at is apex is the Supreme known as Soul Shivbaba.".
- "Hindus In America Speak out on Abortion Issues". Hinduism Today. Retrieved on 2007-07-18. "The Brahma Kumaris view the body as a physical vehicle for the immortal soul, and therefore the issue is not "pro-life" or "anti-life" but a choice between the amount of suffering caused to the souls of the parents and child in either course, abortion or motherhood. They view existing legislation in America as fair and reasonable, with the proviso that abortion after the 4th month should be avoided except in medical emergencies, since in their view the soul enters the fetus in the 4th to 5th month."
- Walliss, Dr John (2002). The Brahma Kumaris as a Reflexive Tradition, Ashgate Publishing Limited. ISBN 0-7546-0951-0. ""Raja Yogis claim that there are other, more important planes including the home of all souls and the Supreme Soul ... The subtle realm represents an intermediate region between the physical and incorporeal realm. It is here where experienced BK Yogis claim to journey to experience visions regarding world history and their place within it as well as being where Lekhraj and Shiva as BapDada jointly communicate directly to the University through the Avyakta murlis"".
- O'Donnell, Ken (1995). New Beginnings, Brahma Kumaris World University. ISBN 0-9637-3964-6.
- Hunt, S. (2003). Alternative Religions: A Sociological Introduction, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.. p. 121. ISBN 0-7546-3410-8. "Along with other Hindus, the Brahma Kumaris believe in the law of karma, and that the individual is reborn according to one's state of consciousness.".
- Barrett, David V (2001). The New Believers, Cassell & Co. pp. 265. ISBN 0-304-35592-5. "Time is cyclical with each 5,000 year cycle consisting of a perfect Golden Age, a slightly degraded Silver age, a decadent Copper Age, and an Iron Age which is characterized by violence, greed, and lust. Each of these lasts for exactly 1,250 years. Our current Iron Age will shortly come to an end, after which the cycle will begin again.".
- "Brahma Kumaris: Conquering A Callous World with Purity". Hinduism Today. Retrieved on 2007-07-18.
- Walliss, John (2002). The Brahma Kumaris As a Reflexive Tradition: Responding to Late Modernity, Ashgate Publishing. pp. 107. ISBN 978-0754609513. ""The final evening classes that I attended, at which the core content of the murli was the Destruction ... during one part of this an eclectic user asked 'so, you're an end-of-the-world cult then?' to which the center co-ordinator replied, no, we believe in world transformation. In response, the questioner asked 'well, surely the "transformation" you're talking about is Destruction? The whole population is going to shrink almost to instantly down to a couple of thousand, whole areas of the world are going to be flooded, nuclear bombs are going to be going off.' 'Well, replied the co-ordinator, 'it depends on how you look at it'."".
- Beit-hallahmi, B. (2004). "quote = A case study of Brahma Kumaris, a contemporary group characterized by an apocalyptic vision (kept hidden from nonmembers). Death, Fantasy, and Religious Transformations". The Psychology of Death in Fantasy and History. Retrieved on 25 January 2008.
- Babb, Lawrence A. (1987). Redemptive Encounters: Three Modern Styles in the Hindu Tradition (Comparative Studies in Religion and Society), Oxford University Press. ISBN 0706925637. "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".
- Lalrinawma, V.S. (2003). The Liberation of Women in and through the Movement of the Prajapita Brahma Kumaris. ISPCK, Cambridge Press, Delhi. pp. 13. ISBN 81-7214-771-6.
- Babb, Lawrence A. (1987). Redemptive Encounters: Three Modern Styles in the Hindu Tradition (Comparative Studies in Religion and Society), Oxford University Press. ISBN 0706925637. ""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."".
- Chryssides, George. ""Members are encouraged to purify their minds by the practise of Raja Yoga. This can entail sitting tranquilly, in front of a screen which Dada Lehkraj's picture projected, then making a number of "affirmations", regarding the eternal nature of the soul (atma), the original purity of one's nature, and the nature of God (paramatmÄ Shiva). The Brahma Kumaris believe that practice of Raja Yoga enables spiritual progress as well as having pragmatic benefits, for example, business success. Brahma Kumaris frequently organize seminars on business management and on developing personal life skills"".
- Ratan, Vishwa (2000). A Unique Experience. Autobiography of Dada Vishwa Ratan, Om Shanti Press. pp. 57. ISBN 955-95823-3-X.
- "Brahma Kumaris: Landmarks in History". BKWSU. Retrieved on 2007-07-18.
- 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 instrinsicly 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".".
- "ECOSOC". UNO. Retrieved on 2007-07-22.
- "List of UN NGO and respective status within UNICEF". UNO. Retrieved on 2007-07-22.
- "DPI/NGO Directory". United Nations Department of Public Information. Retrieved on 2007-08-20. "NGO in consultative status with ECOSOC; associated with DPI"
- Walliss, John (September 1999). When Prophecy Fails: The Brahma Kumaris and the Pursuit of the Millennium(s). pp. 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.".
- "The Sunday". Indian Express. Retrieved on 2007-08-21. "Current head is Dadi Prakashmani. Recipient of UN Peace Medal for her efforts to spread across the message of peace and goodwill."
- "Hinduism Today". Hinduism Today. Retrieved on 2007-07-22.
- "Renewable spirit; An extension of the ‘pursuit of inner purity’ to purer forms of energy". downtoearth.org. Retrieved on 2008-04-08. "Finances for the approximately Rs 25 lakh project came from the German Society for Technological Cooperation (GTZ; Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit)."
- "Environmental and Economic Impacts of Solar Heat Cookers". UNESCO. Retrieved on 2008-04-08. "Finances for the approximately Rs 25 lakh project came from the German Society for Technological Cooperation (GTZ; Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit)."
- "Implementation of Solar Thermal Energy Programme during 2000-20001- Sanction order". Government of India, Ministry of Non-conventional Energy Sources. Retrieved on 2004-05-14. "The system is of a hybrid nature backed up with an oil fired boiler to make it reliable under all conditions. A maximum of 33,800 meals have been reported to be cooked in a single day with this system apart from boiling 3000 litres of water for preparing tea. The system has been reported to save around 400 litres of furnace oil on its full use."
- "BBC". BBC. Retrieved on 2007-07-22. "An ashram in Rajasthan has put in place the world's largest solar powered steam cooking system. Thirty-four thousand people can be fed in a day."
- "BKWSU History". BKWSU. Retrieved on 2007-07-22.
- "Beloved "Didi", Sivabhaktar and Co-Head of Brahma Kumaris, Passes In Bombay". Hinduism Today. Retrieved on 2007-07-22. "Sister Denise, Director of the San Francisco Center, flew right away to Mt. Abu, and shared this very intimate account of the traditional 13-day period of sacred ritual and vigil which honored Didi: "Large piles of red rose petals covered her - offered by nearly 1,500 devotees who managed the difficult ascent up Mt. Abu, braving the driving rains. After two days, we put her on a wooden litter and carried her through the city of Mt. Abu, pinnacled high above the flat plains of Rajasthan far below. Ghee, sandalwood and other substances were applied to her body. She was placed on the wood pyre and cremated. Soon afterward, messages began to come from Didi through one of previous month, while apparently in a coma state, had been in trance, in total God-consciousness, enjoying the fulfillment of all her deep spiritual sadhanas. Didi shared detailed accounts of everything that was transpiring in the so-called "transition experience.' One message said that the sincere and deep meditations performed by so many of the Brahma Kumaris worldwide during this time had purified the womb that Didi would enter for her next birth on the 13th day. On that 13th day, rather than just deliver a message through the medium, she came fully into the body. I was there and saw this."
- P.195, Exploring New Religions, By George D Chryssides
- Robbins, T.; Palmer, S.J. (1997). Millennium, Messiahs, and Mayhem: Contemporary Apocalyptic Movements, Routledge. p. 108. ISBN 0415916496. "the modern Brahma Kumaris movemement contiunes this thousands of year old Hindu tradition of receiving teeachings and guidance in a channeling manner from transpersonal gurus".
- "Hinduism Today". Hinduism Today. Retrieved on 2007-07-22. "Prajapita Brahma gave up his physical frame on January 18, 1969. This day is celebrated as the day of his spiritual ascension. It is believed that he continues to aid the organization from inner worlds, but the ultimate guidance and authority still comes directly from God Siva, who has since chosen another to be His "trance messenger." Currently Sister Raday Mohini serves as the instrument to give voice to Siva's messages, but this is viewed as a temporary assignment given by God. Every year, around February/March, a gathering occurs in Mt. Abu where Siva speaks, guides and gives blessings. This sets the patterns for the coming year as the guidance is distributed to the centers around the world, including through their intra-organizational e-mail"
- Walliss, John (Sept 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."".
- Walliss, John (2002). The Brahma Kumaris As a Reflexive Tradition: Responding to Late Modernity, Ashgate Publishing. pp. 111. ISBN 978-0754609513. "" 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 instution, left their families and invested all their wealth in this cause."".
- Howell, Julia Day (Sept 1998). "Gender Role Experimentation in New Religious Movements: clarification of the Brahma Kumari case". Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 37 (3): 453–461. ""The likelihood that surrendered sisters in India will remain Brahmins throughout their lives is increased by the practise of parent giving dowries to the Brahma Kumaris for daughters they concede will not marry. This practise goes back to the early days of the organization but it is not clear how common it was. Whaling and Babb report it as an occasional practice. Recently the pattern has been formalized, with retreats at Mount Abu being offered for girls in their mid-teens who may wish to undertake a fuller commitment to the organization. The girls are offered a short period of taking classes and living near Senior Sisters, at the end of which they may nominate to undertake a year trial as surrendered sisters. A payment equivalent to a dowry is required from the girls' natural families to cover their living expenses over the trial period. This payment is also meant to prevent parent "dumping" daughters on the Brahma Kumaris to avoid the dowries and other costs of ordinary marriages. Return to the world for women who have has such a dowry paid for them is difficult."".
- Walliss, John (2002). The Brahma Kumaris As a Reflexive Tradition: Responding to Late Modernity, Ashgate Publishing. pp. 37. ISBN 978-0754609513. "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".
- Smith, Dr Wendy A. (Autumn 2007). "Asian New Religious Movements as global cultural systems". International Institute for Asian Studies 45: 16–17. "Conversion involves members changing their daily lifestles and even leaving long term relationships...Married converts have often had to forgo their marriage partnerships.".
- Kościańska, Agnieszka Z (Autumn May 15-17, 2003). "On celibate marriages: the Polish Catholics' encounter with Hindu spirituality". On the Margins of Religion, Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, Warsaw University. "Conversion to so-called new religions often causes a conflict within converts' families. He/she changes his/her beliefs, but also lifestyle: He converts prays differently and eats differently. The Brahma Kumaris members spend most of their time on 'spiritual development'. To be successful on this path one must fulfil very strict requirements, which totally reorganise everyday life of both members and their families. Families of converts become arenas of conflict between spirituality rooted in Hindu tradition and the very Polish 'popular Catholicism', on two indissoluble levels. First, on the level of religious practices and second, on the level of daily live. Sexual relations within marriage are considered to be 'sacred' by Catholics in Poland. The Brahma Kumaris believe that relations between husband and wife should be based on 'a marriage of souls' e.g. they should meditate together, communicate via telepathy etc.".
- Is joining a cult always wrong?Geraldine Bedell on the murky ethics | Independent, The (London) | Find Articles at BNET.com
- CHURCHER, SHARON (2007). "The PM's wife, the Druid priestess and the no-sex guru". Daily Mail. Retrieved on 2008-01-24. "Brahma Kumaris, a women-led spiritual organisation that, while striving for world peace, has allegedly used 'pernicious' methods to control its followers. The group is led by 90-year-old Indian spiritualist Dadi Janki, a woman Dwina regards as her guru and whom she consults, according to a source close to her, 'about everything'. Both Dwina and Robin make regular donations to Brahma Kumaris ... "Former members and the families of members have told me that Brahma has driven a wedge between husband and wife,' said Graham Baldwin, a cult expert who has counselled former Brahma members."
- Momin, Sajeda (2007). "Is Cherie becoming a Brahma Kumari?". Daily News and Analysis, Mumbai. Retrieved on 2008-01-24.
- Walliss, John (2002). The Brahma Kumaris As a Reflexive Tradition: Responding to Late Modernity. pp. 106. ISBN 978-0754609513.
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- Gest, Alain; Brar, president, Jean- Pierre; Sauvaig and others, Suzanne (1995/6), "Cults in France", Cults in France, French National Assembly in the name of The Board of Inquiry into Cults
- "Orthophoniste et naturopathe, il est dénoncé comme "gourou"". Coordination des Associations & Particuliers pour la Liberté de Conscience (2000). Retrieved on 2008-01-24.
- Licenciements dans une crèche en Gironde pour appartenance à une secte, Agence France-Presse  18 Juin 2003 
- "Race for Raisina: Shekhawat vs Patil". IBN. Retrieved on 2007-07-22. "Dadiji ke shareer mein Baba aye ... Maine unse baat ki ("Baba entered Dadi's body and he communicated to me through her")"
- "Patil kicks up another row". IBN. Retrieved on 2007-07-22.
- "Battle for the palace". The Pioneer. Retrieved on 2007-07-22.
- "Pratibha believes in spirits?". Times of India. Retrieved on 2007-07-22.
- "Dadi Hirdaya Mohini- Joint Administrative Head". BKWSU. Retrieved on 2007-07-28.
- Walliss, John (2002). The Brahma Kumaris As a Reflexive Tradition: Responding to Late Modernity, Ashgate Publishing. ISBN 978-0754609513. "Another rendition of the University's Millenarianism [is] put forward by a group named the Advance Party. This group is made up of predominantly disaffected ex-members of the University and are highly critical of what they allege to be the increasing worldliness and corruptness of the University's hierarchy. The University, they claim on their website, has become a true Ravan Rajya (Kingdom of Devil) where pomp and show and grandeur are given preference over true godly knowledge. At a deeper level, the Advance Party's critique is aimed at the BK theodicy and the manner in which they allege its millenarianism has been understood.".
- brahmakumaris.info Independent Brahma Kumari info