Origins of BK meditation

for ex-BKs to discuss matters related to experiences in BKWSU & after leaving.
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Origins of BK meditation

Post01 Dec 2016

I wonder how/when the BK meditation (aka remembering Shiv-Baba) started. As far as I know, The members of Om Mandli would sit and chant OM, and that lasted for years. When was the first time someone did what is now called Raja Yoga meditation? And how? Did Brahma Baba have an inspiration to try to remember the poinf of light? What about Paramdham? Anyone knows this?
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ex-l

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Re: Origins of BK meditation

Post01 Dec 2016

We've covered much of this although it may be scattered over numerous topics. I am sorry if it is not clear.

In short, there was no God Shiva in Brahma Kumaris until after 1955. No mention of him at all. It seems even the famous "Shivoham, Shivoham ..." episode is false.

And, strangely, despite much activism both within and without the BKWSU, there has been no disclosure of how and when he finally "manifested". It's hard to believe that there was not a memorable moment when they said, "this is going to be The Knowledge now" ... but, that's Dadi Janki and the BK inner circle for you; as dishonest and controlling as they are manipulative. They are not telling.

Therefore, you ask a very good question ... how were the Om Mandlites "purifying" themselves for 20 years ... when they did not know god to have Yoga with?

Prior to the introduction of "ShivBaba", they worshipped Lekhraj Kirpalani as "Prajapati God Brahma" and considered the Brahm to be the supreme light.

Except that the Adi Dev story is utterly exaggerated and bogus. It is. It seems the chanting was to induce trances in which various "spirits" "possessed" community members after which they had seances in which they spoke to the community in much the same way as in a spiritualist church.

It's a wonder what they actually did with all the rest of their time except for do the housework, hang out together and be spoilt by Lekhraj Kirpalani until the money ran out.

Strangely, for such an important event there is no documentation existing (there is documentation up until 1955 proving there was no god Shiva. Partly, because by doing so they would have to admit they have extensively lied and fabricated and that begs the question, how can you make an Age of Truth (Sat Yuga) out of lies? In the West, they have quietly admitted Adi Dev is not factually accurate and, in some places, it has been withdrawn, however, in India they are still peddling the bogus version.

Please, if you have good relationships with the BKWSU ask them and find out ... but don't expect a straight and true answer.

Roughly, it seems they went from worshipping Lekhraj Kirpalani as God, to "superior to god (meaning the "Divine Light"/Brahm element), to being confused by visions of another Lekhraj Kirpalani seen by their psychic mediums, to deciding there was another light which was not him, to seeing it as a lingum or thumb(print) shape, to see it as a dot and being separate from Lekhraj Kirpalani.

The real question is was how on earth could Lekhraj Kirpalani allow women and children to think he was God, or "Superior to god", for so many years, and what sort of state of mind was he in?

There are some BKs within the organization, and some PBKs, trying to unearth a bigger picture. We broke the ground for them here, but a few have taken it even further.

It seems the fantasist Jagdish Chander was a key figure in the revision of BKism having come into Gyan a few years before hand ... from memory, in 1952.
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Re: Origins of BK meditation

Post02 Dec 2016

Of course, the other big questions about their practise and god spirit are ... who was the mysterious saddhu who Lekhraj Kirpalani paid a fortune to be intitiated by, which tradition did he belong to, and what exactly was he initiated into?

This came up in the famous "court case" they had. It seems to be a key event in his turning.

If we knew that, we might come to understand what is really going on.

I don't think they chanted Om as a practise, only to go into trance or "be possessed".
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Pink Panther

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Re: Origins of BK meditation

Post02 Dec 2016

Friend,

The technique is not unique. BK meditation is a cross-section of a number of techniques found throughout many traditions. The main difference is in its nomenclature (what it calls things).

You will find 'Third Eye' meditations in Hindu and Buddhist practices. You will find ‘jyoti bindu’ meditations and deity meditations where you visualise connecting then becoming "as one" with that deity. In Mahayana Buddhism, they understand the archetypal instrument that the deity is and warn against a ‘literal’ belief in the deity.

In an early Mahayana text, it is warned that if in a meditation on the Buddha of the Western Paradise, if one feels they have been visited and have a direct connection to that ‘Buddha', it is a real feeling, but only as real as the feelings in a wet dream! (You have to admire the honest, prosaic puncturing of illusions!). Hindu meditations encourage the literal belief in such deities.

11th Century Zen patriarch Lin Ji famously said, ”if you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him!”, i.e. we know the historical Buddha is dead, the aim is personal awakening to ”the real”; and to see such visions shows one is lost in one’s mentations, gone off track. In the West, Lin Ji would have been known as an ”iconoclast” - a destroyer of images.

BK meditation also belongs to the dualistic school, believing reality is divisible into spirit and matter, mind and body, good and bad, positive and negative etc rather than seeing such dualism (or binary thinking as today’s buzzword would have it) is merely a tool.

Another ”typical” aspect of BK meditation is it is an ”affirmational” meditation (I am this, I am that) - imagining a state of mind then aiming to be it. A kind of auto-suggestion or self-hypnosis in meditation and in ”dharna". The idea of ”be what you want to become”, however, is found in many practices.

BK medication (oops, Freudian slip) I mean meditation, is diametrically opposed to, say, Zen, which meditates on being as clear and aware as possible on what ”is” real. BK meditation projects a state of separation from the here and now.

Done well, any of these & other meditation techniques can produce "altered states of consciousness" which, in contrast to everyday states, are felt as ”powerful” and called "spiritual".

However, all traditions - including Christian, Jewish, Sufi and eastern Ch’an, Zen and Tantric etc, even BK (although not ”featured" as much as it used to be, devotional meditations now preferred) - have one area where they agree, taking oneself beyond all of these "techniques” into quietude, stillness, silence (Isihia, shanti), samadhi, sunyata, vipassana - a state beyond ‘peace’ or ‘love’; or any nomenclature whatsoever.

To get caught in a loyalty to "'your team", or in a ‘proprietary technique’, is to miss the point (pardon the pun).
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Re: Origins of BK meditation

Post02 Dec 2016

I don't know if we can say "BK meditation is a cross-section of a number of techniques" as that suggests it is equally safe, equally understood, equally explained and as competantly practised as traditional practises.

I would clearly argue that it is not (and that it does not appear to be having a significant effect on its oldest practioners), partly because of the nature of practise - all the spiritualistic element (invoking possession by other unenlightened spirits etc) - and, partly because of the context. The BK collective.

And I don't think Lekhraj Kirpalani was as enlightened as you are about other practises to see or know any other roots or similarity, or pick and choose any potential beneficial elements.

As far as I can see, Lekhraj Kirpalani was having some kind of mid-life crisis - let us suspect;
    a) for having achieved vast material wealth but still being unsatisfied; and
    b) being unsatified in love/marriage (hence his marriage to his young paramour Om Radhe)
- and went to some saddhu handing him a fortune for an initiation into some kind of siddhi (this is what the history says); had his mind blown but did not understand how or why or had any framework to deal with it, i.e. was not part of any religious tradition; and, was potentially was empowered by said siddhi ... seemingly the ability to send people into trance and have visions. Possibly - if one believes in such things - he opened up as a 'spirit medium' to other spirits for them to work through (again what the BKs claim). But not understanding it either.

We know now for sure there was no God Shiva until after 1955, so for the first 20 years there was nothing but his charisma and the psychic seances going on. There is some record of the nature of those seances.

I would say the nature of seances are much more different from the meditation forms you list above.

Now, Friend's question relates to the present day practises and how it evolved.

I think part of that ... the guided meditation of the soul leaving the body and travelling up into space etc, only dates back the likes of Jayanti's and Diane's involvement (this needs to be confirmed).

By the 1950s, the likes of Jagdish, Nirwair and other older/more educated Brothers had become involved ... the question arises how much did they bring, and how much was adopted from outside? I don't know. Elements of influence arise in the Murlis. How the meditation practise evolved, and through which stages, I don't know.

I think there is one other element you miss out in your summary, Pink, and that is the similarity between BK practises and hypnosis or self-hypnosis.

One would have to
    a) ask Jayanti where she got that from, and
    b) look at what went and goes on in India.
Again, I don't actually know and, shamefully, it's not documented by the BKs.

I would argue that the early days of trance induction involved some Mesmeric hypnotic element (specifically namechecking Franz Anton Mesmer, the famous Western hypnotist of the same era), and that a similar hypnotic effect was developed, again, most obviously, or in a most polish manner, within the early trance tapes Jayanti and her followers produced.

How much of the early practise was no practise at all, just sitting patiently witnessing the mediumship and waiting?

It's far to say the early Om Mandlites were not intellectually developed and so, one presumes, it was all done by feelings. They were feeling the light and bliss and remember it without a clear visualisation of its source as being a point.

I have BKs argue that the idea of a living supreme being being infinite point was *far* too conceptual for backward Indians and, hence, they took 20 odd years to get there. Or to have their "Krishna Bhakti" beaten or eroded out of them.

The BKs buff themselves up a lot about the tapasya or "bhatti" period of "intense" meditations and preparation. I doubt it very much. Clearly they are presenting a polished up revision of what actually went on. I suspect it was years of not very much at all. Not even the formalised day to day practise they have now.

In fact, I'd suspect was probably just 20 years of stupid. Boredom, doing housework, getting on each other nerves and nervous about running out of money; and sitting at the top of the hill waiting for the Destruction which did not happen in 1950 to happen.

I'd say there's no real evidence of anything else. I don't see them as psychic argonauts mapping out their interiors.

Who added in Shiva to the mix when they already had every other major Vaishnavite deities? Was it just marketing to attract potential Shavites devotees too?
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Re: Origins of BK meditation

Post02 Dec 2016

The use of the phrase "cross-section" is a poor choice and your criticism is well-taken. I should have said ”a mix”or a ”hotch-potch”
hotchpotch |ˈhɒtʃpɒtʃ| (N. Amer.hodgepodge) noun 1 [ in sing. ] a confused mixture:

I did however use the terms self-hypnosis and auto-suggestion, so I did not actually neglect that important aspect you mention.

In the topic ”Never build ashrams”, I quoted from a book by Sivananda (No, not that Sivananda, the other one ;) ). In that section, he says that a yogi can no longer be a proper yogi if he starts an ashram because the nature of Yoga is very personal, solitary and an ashram is a distraction, it's organisational, political, financial, social, it's aims are to promote, sustain and grow the ashram, so these are mutually exclusive, that the yogi essentially has becomes a householder of a different sort.

The BKs say they are special because they are both yogi and householders. Well, those who bring in the money and resources are actually householders, the ”surrendered” people are volunteer employees of the organisation who need to promote donations to the ashram (yugya) to keep themselves clothed, fed and sheltered.

I'd agree that as different people came into the BKs - including the founder Lekhraj and those who came after, they each brought with them their own experiences and understanding, including the various laypersons understandings of vedanta, Yoga and other religions etc. Many had meditated with other teachers and groups. None were ”masters”. But as the saying goes, in the land of the blind, the one- eyed man is king.

In the light of what’s being discussed about meditation techniques and traditions, I’d say that the BKs play at being yogis, they have developed a variation on Yoga and Vedanta that’s Meditation-Lite which suits the mindsets and lifestyles of the bourgeois castes who will then donate. The whole "nothing matters except remembering Baba” is to Yoga and real meditation, what junk food is to nutrition. Indeed, bubble gum for the mind, as you call it ex-l.

What the BKs have grown into reflects what is in their ‘genetic’ makeup, what they were destined to become given the circumstances, factors and personalities involved. They are a microcosm of Hindu society that seeks to fulfil a fantasy of a certain kind of spirituality (and reactionary nationalism) without the loss of the luxuries and ignoring the inherent hypocrisy of much of what they do.

Previous posts on this site are worth reading for any who haven’t and are interested, examining the mercantile culture of the time and place in which Om Mandli/BKWSU emerged, the political dynamics of Hindu pride and nationalism, the various influences on Lekhraj and others. Their story is both unique in some ways and a parallel to many other groups in other ways.

All that said, obviously any group, practice and tradition, any cult or club that can engender such loyalty and devotion so that it lasts across generations - even when it wasn';t meant to last even one - must have ‘something’ that market desires!

We just need to have eyes open to objectively see it for what it is and how I, how each of us, were drawn into it and got out again.
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Re: Origins of BK meditation

Post04 Dec 2016

Thanks for the interesting responses! Not much to say yet but maybe another time.
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Re: Origins of BK meditation

Post04 Dec 2016

At present, I think the Library section is broken but there are original 40s and 50s document mentioned elsewhere on the site up there that give a better impression of what they believed in.

The "Divine Light", at that time, was the infinite brahm element. I am not sure they have Yoga with anyone or anything as Lekhraj Kirpalani was there and he was their "Religious Father", like a Christ or Buddha etc.

The seances were more person, e.g. "Piyu", the spirit guide, exposing what individuals were thinking or had done privately etc.
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Re: Origins of BK meditation

Post06 Dec 2016

Pink Panther wrote:The technique is not unique. BK meditation is a cross-section of a number of techniques found throughout many traditions. The main difference is in its nomenclature (what it calls things).

You will find 'Third Eye' meditations ... You will find ‘jyoti bindu’ meditations and deity meditations ...

One question, to be fair and honest, do other practises or tradition associate the third eye or bindu 'as the self' in the way the BKs do?

I suspect not as most of them would take the 'no self' or 'self as part of the great one (Brahm)' line.

I wonder if that is the big difference. Apart from the mysterious initiation with the saddhu, BK practise appears to have been developed gradually bit by bit from the visions, experiences and mediumship of key adherents rather than by adopting external influences.

Now, I guess there you would respond that the similarity is to be expected as part of a shared human capacity/facility/experience ... but I cannot say with surety that the only difference are the names and structures they give those experiences.

Truth be, I have not spent enough time with other people have mysterious experiences ... I was waylaid by the BKs before I went to "seek the master" (or masters) and, post-BKs, found myself too blocked by the pull of their practise/experience to try anything else.

From science ...
In terms of neuropsychology, healing involves changing the way our brains are wired. While our old habits exist on a neural “superhighway” of deeply entrenched, habitual behaviors, our new behaviors will be difficult to acquire and will require lots and lots of practice because we are carving out a “goat trail” of new neural pathways in our brain. Healing from an [unhealthy] bond takes long, hard work.
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Re: Origins of BK meditation

Post06 Dec 2016

One thing I was thinking about is the Brahma Baba being considered God in the early days (ie years). Brahma Baba supposedly knew someone else had entered his body/conscioysness and it was that being that showed him the visions of pradaise and destruction. So, why did they think he was God? Had he not told them he is following the..dictates of someone else? Did they not digest this information? By the way, from what I know, it was more specific than that. Brahma Baba believed it was actually God that entered him because he was supposedly told that from the beginning.

Re:soul/third eye, I've heard the idea that the center of our consciousness is the pineal gland, but that soul is at the centre of our heart (or maybe the centre of our 4th chakra area, and not the actual heart). That might explain why the "bodyless stage" makes us feel like we're in our head and everything else kind of doesn't exist, even without needing the soul to be in the head. Who knows?

One Gyani thing that is kind of confirmed is that there is not one techique to achieve what BKs call "rememberance," since many people have the experience by looking at the light, by looking at Brahma Bahma/BapDada or by imagining they are looking at the one or the other. Or even remembering the feeling of being at a Bap Milan. For years, Jayanti would recall Brahma Baba's drishti to have an experience.
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Re: Origins of BK meditation

Post06 Dec 2016

Friend wrote:Brahma Baba supposedly knew someone else had entered his body/conscioysness and it was that being that showed him the visions of pradaise and destruction. So, why did they think he was God? Had he not told them he is following the..dictates of someone else?

If you read all the old documents, the ones the BKs produced themselves, it's clear that it's not true. You can read right up to 1955/56 and there's ZERO mention of God Shiva, ZERO mention of a personal god. In fact, their line was "a human superior to God".

The key word is "supposedly". He did not at the time. The Adi Dev story is fake. Complete bogus. Dreamt up ... probably by Jagdish Chander, perhaps others ... to cover up the truth that for 20 years or more it was "God Brahma" and not a single mention of Shiva.

Then, at some point around 1955/56, they all sat down to be informed about the new version and were told, or agreed, to stick to the new revision and never mention the embarrassment of the past.

Perhaps at that time Lekhraj Kirpalani thought to himself, "Oh, so *that's* what happened ... now I understand!" but, honestly, how dumb, egotistical or deluded do you have to be to have God The Supreme Soul incarnate in you and not notice for 20 years?

I encourage you to read the old material and make your mind up but forget the BK version.
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Re: Origins of BK meditation

Post06 Dec 2016

Hmm thanks. Where can I find these old documents?
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Re: Origins of BK meditation

Post07 Dec 2016

They are mostly on this site... and all are at http://www.brahmakumarisresearch.org and visit http://www.moreaboutbrahmakumaris.org for good commentary on BK culture of great interest.
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Re: Origins of BK meditation

Post07 Dec 2016

The analysis at brahmakumarisresearch.org is a little soft and fuzzy around the edges, they are still trying to whitewash it, but it is probably easier (less critical) for BKs to digest more of it.

99% of the original sources, all the main ones, were all raised here first. They've taken our lead and analysis, and borrowed heavily from us.

Putting aside the ethics of "disappearing" the true history and whether you can create an "Age of Truth" out of falsehood, for me, the huge shift in their belief system from God Brahma to God Shiva raises deep philosopical problems too.

According to the BK version, they spent x years in isolation purifying themselves by "remembering God" but, also according to their version, God is Shiva and you can only purify yourself by remember him. But they had no thoughts nor concepts of Shiva, so how were they purifying themselves? It's nonsensical.

Simple answer is, they were not. They were even going out on service in prior to Shiva's involvement.

The shift from a human god man to a disincarnate god spirit is so huge ... surely they original BKs much have discussed it and remember the chanmce, surely there must have been some discussion about it?

What's strange is how silent they are about this era.
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Pink Panther

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Re: Origins of BK meditation

Post07 Dec 2016

One question, to be fair and honest, do other practises or tradition associate the third eye or bindu 'as the self' in the way the BKs do?

I remember reading but can’t reference it from memory, of jyoti bindu meditation techniques. Ajna Chakra meditation is practiced, and Third Eye meditations are found in mahayana Buddhism, I was actually doing that Buddhist version (without much understanding) and having profound experiences before i encountered the BKs, where it was easy to just re-label it as "the soul" and the ‘seat of the soul’ .
From wikipedia -

Ajna (Sanskrit: आज्ञा, IAST: Ājñā, English: "command"), or third-eye chakra, is the sixth primary chakra in the body according to Hindu tradition. It is a part of the brain which can be made more powerful through repetition, like a muscle, and it signifies the conscience. ... The third eye chakra connects people to their intuitions, gives them the ability to communicate with the world, and helps them receive messages from the past and the future.

The Ajna chakra is located in the brain, directly behind the eyebrow center. Its activation site is at the eyebrow region, in the position of the "third eye.” The Ajna chakra is located in the pineal gland directly behind the center of the forehead, but its kshetram, or superficial location, is between the eyebrows at the bridge of the nose.

The pineal gland deep inside the brain is also associated with Ajna, as both are considered a "third eye”. The location makes it a sacred spot where Hindus apply a vermilion bindi to show respect.

Ajna is ....said to represent the nadis (psychic channels) Ida and Pingala, which meet the central Sushumna nadi before rising to the crown chakra, Sahasrara. The letter "ham" (हं) is written in white on the left petal and represents Shiva, while the letter "ksham" (क्षं) is written in white on the right petal and represents Shakti.[2] These two petals also represent the manifest and the unmanifest mind, which are sometimes said to represent the pineal and pituitary glands.

In some systems the deity Ardhanarishvara, a hermaphrodite from Shiva-Shakti, resides within the lingam and symbolizes the duality of subject and object.

In Shankaracharya’s Vedanta, which is post-Buddhist and which incorporated a lot of its "psychology” from the Buddhist Yogachara school, there is the idea of atma and paramatma as self and supreme self. I have read in some Yoga texts somewhere, as I said, cannot remember where, about the jyoti bindu being the atman, or the manifestation of the atman - still individual, the not-fully-realised paramatman. To go beyond duality, it gradually ceases to exist when firstly you (it) realises the paramatman beyond itself then, when you can eventually drop all ego or individuality, you (it) ceases to exist completely and there is only the paramatman, which is universally immanent, experienced by yogis as the 'brahm’/parabrahman.
Brahman is discussed in Hindu texts with the concept of Atman (Soul, Self), personal, impersonal or Para Brahman, or in various combinations of these qualities depending on the philosophical school.

In dualistic schools of Hinduism such as the theistic Dvaita Vedanta, Brahman is different from Atman (soul) in each being, and therein it shares conceptual framework of God in major world religions. In non-dual schools of Hinduism such as the monist Advaita Vedanta, Brahman is identical to the Atman, Brahman is everywhere and inside each living being, and there is connected spiritual oneness in all existence.

BK descriptions of atman, sanskara, kalpas, etc etc seem like attempts to strip back versions for a popularly grasp-able understandings of ancient traditions that grew complex over time or seem too ”other worldly” to common folk, i.e although lacking the scholarly or theological depth and breadth, like reformists, they’re looking for a fundamental understanding free of the overblown and verbose speculations which are not easily defined or communicated; too mystical for those seeking ‘logical' explanations and whose mythologies have gotten so fantastic, so removed from today’s experiences that they are prone to reinterpretation by a "reformist" movement that claim divine insight.

I see BKs, and Lekhraj Kirpalani in particular, as being like a Christian layperson who knows little of Christian theology and history but has a strong feeling and, being charismatic, gains a following.

He is in a culture dominated by dualistic thinking (Islam and Christianity) but inheriting a tradition that has many strands, which I am sure he did not distinguish as he was not seriously a student of it all, and not objectively/analytically inclined.

What he teaches is what he is coming to understand, thinking out loud essentially, making it up as he goes along, however sincerely. What different influential followers bring and can put in is also incorporated. Not just Gyan, but meditations and understanding of other traditions too. None of which were of any depth or mastery.

As I said in the earlier post, they are playing at "being yogi" and they achieve enough within the parameters in which they operate to sustain their existence, relatable to people who are not themselves deeply learned or experienced in the traditions the BKs purport to be the epitome of.
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