Globally, humanity is experiencing an increasing wave of spiritual awareness which calls for an emphasis on self-transformation through the development of higher consciousness. The Brahma Kumaris is one such spiritual organisation which has a relatively young history in South Africa. Brahma Kumaris South Africa is part of a worldwide spiritual movement dedicated to personal transformation and world renewal. Its commitment is to helping individuals cultivate a deep collective consciousness of peace and an understanding of the individual dignity of each soul.
Brahma Kumaris South Africa was established in the mid 1980’s. Incidentally, within the same time period in different parts of the country, different individuals who had been exposed to the international centres of the organisation during their travels were greatly inspired and brought their inspiration back to the uplift the country. The 80’s was a time of intense political and social upheaval within the country and Brahma Kumaris centres offered people an oasis of hope and a space to enjoy authentic sharing and spiritual exchange between people from diverse backgrounds. Meditation centres which sprung up in places like Yeoville, Lenasia, La Mercy and Soweto and Uitenhage were testimony to this universality.
Despite the fairly informal inception where offerings of free meditation courses commenced in private homes and hired community venues, the Brahma Kumaris have shown a solid commitment to having representation in major cities across South Africa and steadily progressed towards this aim. Presently, a few decades later, Brahma Kumaris South Africa has centres has been consolidated into a more formal offering all operating as dedicated meditation centres, with nine properties spread over the major cities, namely Johannesburg, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town,
The organisation is becoming more significant in a post-apartheid South Africa through its efforts to create awareness about the pivotal role that spirituality plays in a society that has endured deep racial, religious and class cleavages across generations. The defining influence of the Brahma Kumaris, has been the unique yet all-encompassing nature of its core practice “soul consciousness” which it promotes through its courses, lectures and programmes. Soul consciousness, which is developed through meditation, is seen to be the method to create a vision and attitude of equality which transcend race, religious and cultural differences thereby contributing to the country’s widespread initiatives to restore justice and freedom within it’s fold.
Brahma Kumaris South events are offered in our centres and sattelite class locations. Sometimes community rooms, libraries and other public places are used to reach local communities. This trend has expanded the geographical opportunities available to would-be meditators in various city suburbs. In addition, organisation and hosting of spiritual retreats has offered the community an opportunity for deeper reflection and experience.
Currently approximately 40 meditation teachers and volunteers take care of all facilitation, mentoring, events co-ordination, administration, publicity, catering and maintenance at each of the Brahma Kumaris’ centres across South Africa. This dedicated team works tirelessly for the benefit of their neighbourhood and strive to be samples of how to lead a balanced life using meditation as the foundation. These volunteers are regular students who are committed to supporting these venues, many of whom are also professionals who are still working in their fields within the community.