Thursday, May 30, 2024

A Conversation with BK Sheela – Spiritual Leader

Krishnakshee Sharma (Sub-editor)

The Brahma Kumaris is an international spiritual organization founded in 1936, which started from India. With branches in 140 countries, they are known to promote personal transformation and a more peaceful world. Central to their teachings is the practice of meditation, connecting individuals with their inner selves and cultivating virtues such as love and integrity. Through courses, retreats, and community service, the organization is known to support spiritual growth and empower women. Emphasizing individual and collective change, the Brahma Kumaris inspire a life guided by spiritual values, fostering inner peace and purpose. Recently, Enigmatic Horizon had a conversation with Sister Sheela, who can be considered among the prominent leaders of the organization in the North East. Let us take a look at the conversation below…  

EH: Could you provide a brief overview of the core teachings and philosophy of the Brahma Kumaris, particularly for those who may not be familiar with your organization?

BKS: Prajapita Brahmakumari Ishwariya Vishwavidyalaya is a spiritual university. It was established in 1936 in Sindh, Hyderabad. After the partition of India and Pakistan, the institution was relocated to Rajasthan in 1951. Currently, it has branches in 140 countries worldwide, where we teach about spirituality. We provide classes in four subjects: Gyaan, Rajayog, Dharna, and World Service. The increasing chaos in the world calls for the study of spirituality. Only through meditation can peace be attained, as anything can be achieved in a state of peace. We offer a one-week basic course that welcomes anyone, regardless of gender, language, age, caste, religion, or identity. If they find it beneficial, they can join us for the betterment of their lives.

EH: How does the practice of meditation play a role in personal transformation and spiritual development according to the Brahma Kumaris?

BKS: Brahmakumaris leave their families and homes not only for the betterment of their own lives but for the betterment of society as well. Dhyan or meditation helps individuals grow like lotuses in the mud. Even in the Bhagavad Gita, it is mentioned that ‘yogah karmasu kaushalam.’ The term “karmasu” implies action, while “kaushalam” means being skillful or excellent in action. Overall, it implies that Yoga is the pursuit of excellence in action. One must connect with oneself to attain it, and once achieved, love and integrity fill the heart for all.

EH: The Brahma Kumaris emphasize the concept of “Soul Consciousness.” Could you explain its significance in daily life and how it impacts one’s spiritual journey?

BKS: We emphasize Dhyan, which is not merely sitting in a position, but rather, it is about connecting with the soul and realizing that we are all souls interconnected. This understanding enhances our integrity and reflects in our behaviour, way of speaking, lifestyle, thoughts, habits, opinions, and intentions. Dhyan emphasizes personal growth and eliminates negativity towards others.

EH: What are some of the key virtues that the Brahma Kumaris encourage individuals to cultivate, and how do these virtues contribute to creating a more peaceful and harmonious world?

BKS: Peace and love are the most important elements of satisfaction, and integrity follows satisfaction. We should never be greedy for more than what we have, as it leads to dissatisfaction in life. Brahmakumaris teach us to love everyone and consider peace as everyone’s duty, which we should uphold. Dharma, in this context, refers to Dharna, not religion. Dharma, which is Dharna, goes hand in hand with Karam, which is action. Our actions are our Dharma. Wealth, in any form, does not measure satisfaction.

EH: How does the Brahma Kumaris organization support individuals in their spiritual growth? Can you provide insights into the programs and resources available to seekers and practitioners?

BKS: The organization brings happiness and peace into people’s lives. It helps individuals carry love and good wishes in their hearts for everyone. Our real enemies are not other humans, but rather, they are Kaam (lust), Krodh (anger), Lobh (greed), Moh (attachment), and Ahangkar (ego), which reside within us. The main objective of Brahmakumaris is to bring peace and integrity to lives and families. We offer teachings to people every day. Recently, we launched a program called “Nasha Mukt Bharat” (Addiction-Free India). We conduct programs on de-addiction in various places such as schools, colleges, rehab centers, offices, airports, and press clubs. We believe that every addiction leads to loss unless it is the addiction of God. This addiction is for the betterment of life and it brings fulfilment. We consider it our responsibility as Brahmakumaris to work towards de-addiction. Recently, on International Yoga Day, we organized a program to raise awareness about the benefits of yoga in society.

EH: The Brahma Kumaris places a strong emphasis on women’s leadership. How does the organization promote and empower women in spiritual and social contexts?

BKS: We hold our nation, Bharat Mata (Mother India), in high regard. Just as mothers possess the power to forgive, love, and make sacrifices, they have the ability to enable their children to achieve anything in life. Each mother and sister of Prajapita BrahmaKumari Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya is respected. Respecting women is ingrained in the culture of India.

EH: The Brahma Kumaris have been actively involved in environmental initiatives. Could you elaborate on the organization’s commitment to sustainability and share practical examples of its implementation?

BKS: Environmental work has been an integral part of our organization from the beginning. On World Environment Day, we recently planted over 300 trees. We understand that a better environment leads to a better life and better health. Without proper health and living conditions, how can one pray or strive for spiritual growth? We continue to plant more trees and prioritize cleanliness for the purity of the body and soul. A clean and pure environment helps keep our minds pure as well. We focus on Shuddhi (purity) everywhere. Our ultimate goal is to bring peace to the world.

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