Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidhyalaya, headquartered in Mount Abu (Rajasthan), India, is a non-profit organization affiliated to department of public information of the United Nations and holds general consultative status to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and consultative status to UNICEF. A spiritual organisation working at all levels of the society to bring about positive change, this world renowned Vidyalaya was honoured with seven Peace Messenger Awards by the United Nations. The Vidyalaya has also received several other international and national awards for outstanding contributions to humanity through Rajyoga meditation. Established in 1937, the Brahma Kumaris are now serving through 8,500 branches with a worldwide presence in 137 countries.
Pitashri Prajapita Brahma:
Pitashri Prajapita Brahma was the founding father of the Brahma Kumaris. Prior to the establishment of the institution, he was well known as Dada Lekhraj Kripalani. He was well-to-do diamond jeweller in Sindh, Hyderabad of the present Pakistan. In 1936, at the age of 60 a series of divine visions and spiritual revelations by the Supreme Soul transformed his life. He became the instrument of Almighty God for the establishment of the institution. Brahma Baba's rock-hard faith, steadfast vision and an innate ability to cope with challenges and change made him a natural spiritual leader who steered the fledgling institution through difficult times.
On a physical level, Brahma Baba was a man of stature, with soft white hair and a handsome visage. On a spiritual level, his presence was soothing and gentle, and from his eyes emanated wisdom, understanding, compassion and strength.
Brahma Baba, born into a humble home as Lekhraj Kripilani in 1876, was the son of a village schoolmaster. Lekhraj was brought up within the disciplines of the Hindu tradition. He did not follow in his father's footsteps as a teacher; instead he entered the jewellery business, earning considerable fortune as a diamond trader. As a businessman and as a family man, father of five children, Dada Lekraj maintained a highly respectable position within the local community and was known for his philanthropy.
Then, in 1936, at the age of 60, when most of his colleagues were planning their retirement, Dada Lekhraj entered into the most active and fascinating phase of his life, during which he became known as Brahma Baba.
Initially he felt called to invest more time in quiet reflection and solitude. Then one day, while in a meditative state Brahma Baba felt a warm flow of energy surrounding him, filling him with light and exposing him to a series of powerful visions. These visions continued periodically over several months. They gave him new insights into the innate qualities of human souls, revealed the mysterious entity of God and described the process of world transformation. The intensity of the messages conveyed by the visions was such that Brahma Baba felt compelled to wrap up his worldly business and devote himself to understanding the significance and application of this revealed knowledge. Although the visions ceased, their Source remained with him for the next 3 decades, guiding his transformation as well as that of those around him.
Brahma Baba's Legacy 70 years have passed since Brahma Baba received that series of visions. Who could have guessed – besides those touched by similar visionary experiences – that the young women he placed at the forefront of the institution he founded would now be on the world stage, sharing platforms with political and religious leaders at the highest level, and leading a lifestyle revolution currently followed by nearly one million people from all backgrounds of culture and religion, race and society? Or that millions of others – at this time when loss of integrity in human hearts and minds has plunged so many into despair – would be taking benefit from the teachings he transmitted, finding empowerment in the present and hope for the future?
The living skills that Brahma Baba taught have stood the test of time. The young women that he put to the forefront, now in their eighties and nineties, have become beacons of love, peace and happiness in a world increasingly troubled by disordered relationships, greed, addiction, anger and violence.
First Chief of Brahma Kumaris:
Mateshwari Jagadamba Saraswati was the first administrative head of Brahma Kumaris who oversaw the physical and spiritual care of all the members of the spiritual family. Her original name was Radhe. She came to be known as Om Radhe. She was only 17 years of age when she joined the organisation but soon became the divine Mother because of her exemplary virtues and skills.
Mateshwari Jagadamba Saraswati was the first administrative leader who oversaw the physical and spiritual care of all the members of the spiritual family. She was only 17 years of age when she joined the organisation but soon became the divine Mother because
of her exemplary virtues and skills. Brahma Baba's rock-hard faith, steadfast vision and an innate ability to cope with challenges and change made him a natural leader who steered the fledgling institution through difficult times. He was a visionary who conceptualised and set the pace for worldwide service in his lifetime, which resulted in a groundswell of spiritual activities abroad in the 1980s and 1990s.
Mateshwari Jagadamba explored, practiced and exemplified each spiritual principle and nurtured the original group of spiritual students with her amazing stock of human and spiritual values. She epitomized balance of feminine and masculine qualities – tolerance, sacrifice, kindness, courage, determination and fearlessness – that gave direction to the young women and men who are now spearheading the global movement. Brahma Baba foresaw women emerging as Shakti and leading spiritual and social development with their innate qualities. Seventy years on, Brahma Baba's vision and practical wisdom have stood the test of time. The Brahma Kumaris have emerged as global leaders in spiritual education. Mateshwari passed on in 1964 and Brahma Baba left this corporeal world in 1969. Their spiritual legacy is carried on by the Dadis – senior sisters – and an ever-growing global spiritual family.
Rajyogini Dadi Prakashmani the Jewel of Light – that is what her name signifies,so does her life. A beacon of spiritual enlightenment, Dadi Prakashmani was appointed Chief Administrative Head of the Brahma Kumaris in 1969. Her boundless enthusiasm, generosity and unlimited vision have helped guide the organisation in its tremendous global growth. For her, leading this global institution is like being a guardian to a global family. She has served on many international committees, hosted a series of global conferences and received various honours and medals – the UN Peace Medal and an honorary doctorate to name a few. She attained and Angelic life on 25th August 2007.
Rajyogini Dadi ( Elder Sister) Prakashmani was one of the original students of the University from 1936 and became the Administrative Head in 1969. Her name means “Jewel of light” and her demeanour captures the essence of spirituality. Her gentleness softened any barriers standing in the way of other's personal growth and takes them closer to God. She was renowned for her lightness, generosity and depth of understanding. In recognition of her long spiritual service, she was appointed one of the Presidents of the Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago in 1993. As a distinguished speaker of international repute, Dadi Prakashmani shared platforms with prime ministers, kings and holy men, entrancing intellectuals and empowering the innocent. She travelled regularly throughout the world. Her accolades include the UN Peace Medal, The Dharma Chakra Medal for Humanitarian Work, an honorary doctorate from Mohanlal Sukhadia University,Udaipur,India, and many civic honours from cities around the world. She attained an Angelic Life on 25th August 2007.