7 Days Course

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7 Day Course Initiation

Central to the Brahma Kumaris practice is the teaching of all their core beliefs in 7 one, or one and a half hour, long lessons traditionally called " The 7 Day Course ". Once these 7 lessons are understood, students were then introduced to unpublished scriptures considered to be the direct teachings of God called "Murlis", named after the flute that the Hindu God Krishna is generally illustrated holding. These comprise of the core philosophy of their religion and are known as " Gyan " or "The Knowledge". The use of the word "Knowledge" is specific to these beliefs and absolute faith in this knowledge is seen as central to the liberation of the soul.

Example lessons

  • For a more detailed documentation of each lesson, including guided meditations, taken from an English teacher's manual for teaching BK Raja Yoga in the West, see the individual pages listed at the bottom of this page. [1]

Raja Yoga Courses - later developments

The course was not taught uniformally in all centres and a certain degreee of flexibility was left to the individual teacher. In some cases, mid-period Western spread, the course was divided into introductory, intermediate and advanced classes [ see below ]], in which the more controversial parts for Westerners, e.g. Cycle, were excluded from the basic introduction. Latterly, in many countries especially in the West, the Brahma Kumaris have introduced lightweight versions of their meditation courses designed to capitalize on the interest in New Age, positive thinking or personal growth movements which introduce basic elements of their faith and practice but avoid detailed and controversial instructions altogether. Often these courses focus on specific interest groups such as women, business people, teachers and so on.

These seven basic lessons are:

  • The Soul
  • The Supreme Soul
  • The Law of Karma
  • The Cycle
  • The Tree of Religions
  • The Founder Brahma Baba
  • Brahma Kumaris' Lifestyle and Principles

The Soul

Brahma Kumaris teach dualism. That is human beings are a soul or spirit living inside the physical body which is not the individual but a " costume ". The soul's form is a point of light and it is situated in the forehead of the body. The soul is described as having 3 functions: Mind, Intellect and Sanskars. The sanskars, or record of experiences, are transmitted from birth to birth. Brahma Kumaris believe in human reincarnation but unlike classical Hinduism and Buddhism, they do not believe in transmigration, or re-incarnation between different species. Brahma Kumaris originally taught that there are only 5 Billion human souls.

The Supreme Soul

Brahma Kumaris believe that their " God " is a soul or spirit identical to the human soul, also in the form of a point of light but that this soul cannot take birth in a human form. Their " God " remains disincarnate, eternally unchanged and so therefore is the only individual that can purify impure incarnated human being souls through its knowledge and by their mentally connecting to him through the practise of their Raja Yoga. This entity then is able to channel his psychic energy through the Raja Yoga practitioners to other human beings and into the World. The practice of this form of Raja Yoga and the allowing of their god Shiva to channeling his energy through them is said to be an intense spiritual fire burning away the practitioner's previous personality and eradicating their sins.

The Law of Karma

Similar to many Eastern religions, the Brahma Kumaris believe that Karma is a law controlling actions and reactions ; that every action creates a reaction and that individuals experience the effects of those reactions either as happiness or suffering. These reactions can be experienced in the current or a following lifetime. Thoughts being the origin of actions.

The Cycle

Using the symbolism of classical Hinduism, Brahma Kumaris believe that time is cyclical and follows a pattern of a cycle which lasts for 5000 years. This is referred to as " The Cycle " of 4 or 5 Ages or Yugas ; Satya, Thretha, Dwapara and Kali in Hindi. Each cycle is identical to the one that came before it and to the one that will come after it. They call this the 'Eternal Drama'. God, souls and the 'Eternal Drama' have no beginning or end (Anadi and Avinaashi ). The souls keep on entering the physical body (birth) and leave (death) them as per the rules of the 'Eternal Drama'.

It starts with a paradise or " Golden Age " of 900,000 human beings, all followers of their religion. This then declines to a slightly less paradisiacal " Silver Age " in which humans are also naturally spiritual minded. Then after 2,500 years, the Earth declines further to enter into a " Copper Age " where humanity experience the duality of spirit and matter. Suffering is experienced for the first time, the search for God and religions are created for the first time. 1,250 years later, a totally impure " Iron Age " of suffering, injustice and irreligiousness begins. Brahma Kumaris believe this " Iron Age " is our current age and that it is " Hell ". The opposite of their " Golden Age " 5,000 years before - or a few years into the future. They teach that at the end of the Iron Age, the World must be completely destroyed by a nuclear war between Russia and America, natural disasters and a blood bath of civil war in India.

At the end of Kaliyuga, BKWSU teach that the moral status of humanity deteriorates to such an extent that negative tendencies dominate human relationships and their god Shiva adopts the body of Lekhraj Kripalani to teaches souls how to remove these negative tendencies and instill divine qualities in their place. Those who follow the BKs will contribute to the creation of a "heaven on earth" and will naturally end up in Golden Age or Silver Age of the next cycle. All others, and non-BKs will start taking birth from Copper Age and Iron Age.

Between the lowest entropy of the " Iron Age " and the high spiritual state of their " Golden Age", there is a brief period of 100 years when the work to establish the Paradise must takes place. This period of time is known as the " Confluence Age " and was originally taught to be 40 years. When the World did not end, it became 100 years; 50 years for destruction of the World through " the jaws of death, the wail of horror, the rivers of blood and pus, the panic and the desperation, and then, the final death ", [2] followed by another 50 years for the creation of Heaven on Earth.

However, " Destruction ", as it is known, did not happen according to their timetables :

  • World War II
  • 1950, 12 years Yagya,
  • 1976, one hundred years after the death of Dada Lekhraj,
  • then some time between 1986 and 1997, 50 to 60 years after the alleged incarnation of Shiva Baba
  • Year 2000 [3]

Therefore their knowledge has become modified according to necessity in order to sustain their faith. At first it was taught 50 years for destruction and 50 for creation, then 60 / 40, now the Brahma Kumaris tend to try and avoid the issue. They teach that every soul will receive salvation, regardless of their religion or way of life. Every soul will return to its Nirvana, also known as Shantidham or the Land of Peace.

The Tree of Religions

The Brahma Kumaris use the symbolism of " The Tree " to represent the evolution, or rather decline, of the human family of souls. The root of the Tree is made up by Brahma Kumaris followers currently practicing their Raja Yoga only. These individuals alone are to become the residents of " Heaven on Earth ", symbolised by the trunk of the tree, where humanity is one and experiences Golden Age and Silver Age.

" The Tree " is then illustration to split in 5 major branches. Humanity, they teach, forgets its original nature and each branch represents one of the 5 major religious traditions or seeking for god and divinity ; Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and renunciate tradition of India called " Sanyasism " and manifestation of this newly impure world.

The outer branches of " The Tree " are said to symbolise the " Iron Age " of a fractured humanity where even major religions are split into many small branches, representing scientific beliefs, religious cults and political movements. Jesus Christ, Muhammad, Buddha, Shankaracharya and all other religious founders are said to incarnate at the beginning of their religion and then continue to reincarnate through out the history of their religion until coming to the " End of the World " at this time and seeking out the Brahma Kumaris for re-education in spirituality. It is specifically taught that none of the other religious founder have a direct connection with God nor are they able to escape human reincarnation many times over as is believed by Sanyasin, Buddhists, Mohammedans or Christians.

" The Tree " of humanity must be destroyed each " Cycle " in order that a new " Tree " repeats the pattern exactly. The " seed " for this new tree is their " God " Shiva Baba alone and they are the only true source of this knowledge.

The Founder Brahma Baba

Under the inspiration, or possession of their " god ", or channelled entity Shiva, businessman Lekraj Kripalani, became known as " Brahma Baba " and was said to have had 84 human births, which is the maximum number of births for any human soul. The Brahma Kumaris believe that Lekraj Kripalani was the first pure being in the world known as " Adam " or " Krishna ".

Since they believe that their " God " needs a human body through which to communicate and Lekraj Kripalani was considered to be the most experienced of all human beings, their " God " took possession of his mental faculties and body in order to communicate with body conscious, impure humanity. Lekraj Kripalani is considered by the Brahma Kumaris to be number one soul, higher in divinity than Jesus Christ, Mohamed, Buddha and all other religious founders who must come to him, or his followers, for re-education in spirituality. Lekraj Kripalani by his actions in a previous incarnation 2,500 years ago is also taught to be the individual that led humanity to " The Fall ", that is out of divinity and heaven on earth and into dualistic suffering.

Followers believe that this Supreme Soul, known as Shiva or God and Lekhraj Kirpalani continue to be channeled on a regular basis by a senior BK sister at their headquarters in India. Also that Lekhraj Kirpalani's soul will reincarnate as Hindu god Krishna in his next birth.

Brahma Kumaris Principles

The final lesson traditionally taught by the Brahma Kumaris relates to the lifestyle and disciplines they follow, called Maryadas, as regards to religious practices, food, sex and relationships.

Lessons

See ;