Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University was founded in India in 1937. It is an accredited international non-governmental organisation (NGO) with General Consultative Status with the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council. Brahma Kumaris is headquartered in Mount Abu in India and has a network of centres in more than 140 countries on all continents.
Brahma Kumaris South Africa is part of this worldwide spiritual movement, which is dedicated to personal transformation and world renewal by helping individuals transform their perspective of the world from material to spiritual. It supports the cultivation of a collective consciousness of peace and of the individual dignity of each soul – regardless of race, religion, culture, education, economic or social standing.
Brahma Kumaris was established in South Africa in the mid 1980’s. Incidentally, and during the same period, in different parts of the country, different individuals who had been exposed to Brahma Kumaris activities during international travels were greatly inspired to introduce the hopeful and dignifying teachings to South Africans.
The 80’s was a time of intense political and social upheaval within the country and Brahma Kumaris centres offered people of diverse backgrounds an oasis of inspiration, authentic sharing and spiritual exchange. Offerings of free meditation courses sprung up in private homes and hired community venues in places like Yeoville, Lenasia, La Mercy, Soweto and Uitenhage.
Despite the fairly informal inception, Brahma Kumaris now has its own, dedicated meditation centres and formal course offerings in all major cities: Johannesburg, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Nelspruit and Cape Town.
The defining and restorative influence of Brahma Kumaris is its unique, yet all-encompassing message of “soul consciousness” – a far-reaching spiritual vision of equality that transcends race, religious, cultural and class differences.
As such, Brahma Kumaris plays a pivotal role in postapartheid South Africa – helping to heal the deep divisions that this society, in particular, has endured for generations.
Soul consciousness is developed through meditation. Brahma Kumaris offers meditation gatherings, courses and events in our centres and satellite class locations, as well as individual homes, community rooms, libraries and other public places. Brahma Kumaris also hosts spiritual retreats at beautiful nature spots all over South Africa, creating opportunities for deeper reflection and experience. All Brahma Kumaris events and offerings are free of charge, in service to humanity.
Approximately 40 meditation teachers and mentors currently volunteer to facilitate, coordinate, administrate and maintain everything that makes the work of Brahma Kumaris possible across South Africa – including publicity for and catering at our events. This dedicated team works tirelessly for the benefit of their communities. Many of these volunteers are also professionals who continue to work in their respective fields. Individually, they strive to lead a balanced life steeped in meditation.
The spiritual headquarters of Brahma Kumaris is in Mount Abu, India. At a national level in different countries, local people generally coordinate activities in alignment with the spiritual principles of Brahma Kumaris and in accordance with the laws of the land. Activities of international interest are coordinated regionally from offices in London, Moscow, Nairobi, New York and Sydney.
Brahma Kumaris is the largest spiritual organisation in the world led by women. The founder, Prajapita Brahma Baba, put women in charge from the very beginning. Many of the original women are still serving the organisation, with leadership characterised by steady courage, a capacity for forgiveness and a deep commitment to unity.
Although women hold the top administrative positions, decisions are always made in partnership with all who are involved in the organisation – including men. It is a consensus model of leadership based on respect, equality and humility. It is a wonderful example of accomplished and harmonious sharing of power.
Organization Spiritual Head
Dadi Janki was born in 1916 and has been involved with Brahma Kumaris since 1937, including 40 years spent in London on behalf of Brahma Kumaris. She is the current, active Spiritual Head of the organisation.
She tirelessly continues to serve others with unshakeable conviction and dedication. She has inspired individuals of all cultures and professions to live according to a higher sense of purpose and to contribute to the creation of a better world. Deep and insightful, yet profoundly practical and down to earth, she is an absolute joy to listen to and observe.
Dadi Ratan Mohini
Joint Spiritual Head
Dadi Ratan Mohini is the Joint Spiritual Head of Brahma Kumaris and is one of the backbone members residing at Brahma Kumaris’ headquarters in Mount Abu in India. The foundation of her life’s work was created in her childhood, during the early days of Brahma Kumaris. Dedicated and forthright, her focus has been the development of training programmes for teachers throughout India. She is a resource and spiritual mentor to the team of young people responsible for the personal development and spiritual growth of youth. Now in her eighties, she remains lively and young at heart.
Dadi Hirdaya Mohini
Additional Spiritual Head
Dadi Hirdaya Mohini is the Additional Spiritual Head of Brahma Kumaris. Her name means ‘The one who attracts the heart’. It fits the way she is exactly. Popularly known as Gulzar (‘rose garden’), she was one of the original members of the boarding school set up in 1937 by the founder, Brahma Baba. Her long-term, concentrated training in and practice of spiritual principles has made her a living example of a virtuous being. Simple, silent and profound, she also inspires millions throughout the world.
How it all started
Dada Lekhraj Kripalani was a retired businessman when he founded Brahma Kumaris in 1937 in Hyderabad, a city now in Pakistan, but then in India. His spiritual name is Prajapita Brahma and he is lovingly called Brahma Baba. After experiencing a series of visions in 1936, he was inspired to create a school where the principles and practices of a virtuous and meditative life could be taught. The original name of the school was ‘Om Mandali’. It consisted of a handful of men, women and children, many of who decided to stay together as a community in Hyderabad and then moved to Karachi a year later
With time, a simple and clear body of knowledge about the nature of the soul, God and time became revealed. In 1950 (two years after the partitioning of India), the group moved to its present location in Mount Abu, India. By then, the group had expanded to nearly 400 individuals who lived as a self-sustaining community, devoting their time to intense spiritual study, meditation and self-transformation.
The young women whom he put in the forefront and who are now in their eighties and nineties, have become beacons of love, peace, wisdom, inspiration and leadership.
After guiding the creation of many Brahma Kumaris centres throughout India, Brahma Baba passed on in January 1969 – an ordinary human being who achieved greatness by actively and humbly living the deeper truths of life.
Many years have passed since Brahma Baba’s series of visions in 1936. The lifestyle revolution that he began and the life skills he taught have inspired millions to empower and believe in themselves and create hope for the future