Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University (BKWSU) or Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya is a monastic, renunciate, millenarian new religious movement (NRM) of Indian origin whose teachings are based on, and practises, involve both mediumship and channelling. It promotes a form of meditation called Raja Yoga, which differs from classical Raja Yoga as described by Patanjali. As a neo-Hindu sect, the Brahma Kumaris (BK) pre-date the New Age movement but have developed characteristics that link them to its thinking. Active within the United Nations Organization and likes to promote itself and its leaders as "advisers" to the UN. Notable in its early years for pamphleteering the British and Indian establishment encouraging them to suspend civil law, impose martial law and embark on a scorched earth policy in order to purify the world and help create a heaven on earth for its followers. Has toned down the public face of its political lobbying in recent year but is still strictly millenarianist and supremecist at heart and has incorporated an imminent and desirable nuclear holocaust into its theology.
The BKWSU is still politically ambitious and noted for its focus on "VIP service" and inflitrating multi-faith organizations. The spirit guide the leadership consider to be God informs them via their mediums that shortly in the future, the Government of India will hand over power to them. All Western nations are to be destroyed and sink below rising oceans leaving only picnic islands where Brahma Kumari centers once stood. The organization was recently outed for making claims over a period of 30 years that their global leader Ms Janki Kripalani was scientifically proven to be "the most stable mind in the world" by the University of Texas where no such claims or even department could be found. Elsewhere on the internet, the organization has been reported to have made claims for cancer and other miracle cures.
It recently lost a domain name dispute legal action against a support group website set up by ex-members.
- 1 Early history
- 2 Expansion
- 3 Activities
- 4 Lifestyle
- 5 Beliefs
- 6 Achievements
- 7 Use of channeling and mediumship
- 8 Controversies and criticism
- 9 Relationship with splinter and reform movements
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 Further reading
- 13 External links
The origin of BKWSU can be traced to a 1930s group called "Om Mandali", founded by multi-millionaire jeweler Lekhraj Kripalani who the organization now claims was born in 1876  to match psychic prediction but in early books it published itself, was stated to be born in 1884 Hyderabad, Sindh. Lekhraj Kripalani, known as "Dada Lekhraj", "Om Baba" or "Brahma Baba" to his followers, was a Bhaibund merchant and follower of the Vaishnavite Vallabhacharya Sect. Dada Lekhraj retired from his business in 1932 with assets of 1,000,000 Indian rupees to turn to spirituality. Their original spiritual knowledge was obtained though divine revelations and divine visions of women who had the gift of trance-vision.
Lekhraj started holding satsangs which attracted many people and the group became known as Om Mandali. One of his main visions concerned the establishment of a perfected paradise after a kind of universal destruction of the cosmos, a destruction necessary for an ideal world to be established. In 1937, he named some of his followers as a managing committee, then reportedly transferred his fortune to the committee. Several women joined Om Mandali, and contributed their wealth to the association as well.
Members of the local Bhaibund community reacted unfavorably to his movement. Many young married Sindhi women attended his ashram and were being encouraged to take vows of celibacy, so the Om Mandali was accused of breaking up families  including that of his own daughter who he had married into the family of the leader of what was to become the Anti-Party. Om Mandali was denounced as disturber of family peace and some of the Brahma Kumari wives were mistreated by their families. Lekhraj Kripalani was accused of sorcery, lechery, accused of forming a cult and controlling his community through the art of hypnotism.
Children were removed from his school. Hindu members of the Sindh Assembly threatened to resign unless the Om Mandali was outlawed, so the Sindh Government used the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1908 to declare it an unlawful association. Under further pressure from the Hindu leaders in the Government, the group was ordered to close and vacate its premises. To avoid persecution, legal actions and opposition from family members of his followers, the Brahma-kumaris moved from Hyderabad to Karachi, where they settled in a highly structured ashram. The Anti-Om Mandli Committee which had opposed the group in Hyderabad followed them.
In April 1950, after the Partition of India, the Brahma Kumaris moved to Mount Abu in India saying that they had been instructed by God to do so. After Dada Lekhraj's death in 1969, his followers expanded the movement to other countries.
Beginning in the 1950s, the Brahma Kumaris began an internationalization expansion program, establishing centers across India with female teachers. From 1964 to 1969 methods of outreach began involving exhibitions, seminars and conferences in different parts of India.
The leadership of the BK movement remains primarily female. For example, in the UK, only one-third of the 42 centers are run by males. According to the BKWSU website, there are currently 825,000 students and over 8,500 Raja Yoga centres in 100 countries and territories. According to sources quoted in the Adherents website, worldwide membership ranges from 35,000 (in 1993) to 400,000 (in 1998). The 2001 Census of the United Kingdom records 261 individual members.
The Brahma Kumaris conduct seven one-hour-long courses in their philosophy and open-eyed meditation technique. The organization offers courses in "positive thinking", "Self Management Leadership", and "Living Values." Service requires active support of the movement, especially by participating in its many proscelyting activities. Great emphasis is placed on the value of bringing converts into the movement, particularly converts who stick. Meditation is the movement's most significant 'effort'. Efforts to reform the Kaliyug are not in accord with Shiv Bab's will.
The Brahma Kumaris also have a number of voluntary outreach programs in prisons.
The movement teaches that the world is approaching a time of great change that will be heralded by war, natural calamities and suffering. As a form of developing inner spiritual resilience, the Brahma Kumaris adopt a disciplined lifestyle which involves:
- Celibacy, including no sex within marriage. So long as chastity is followed, marriage and family life are allowed.
- Sattvic vegetarianism, a strict lacto-vegetarian diet  (excluding eggs, onions, garlic and/or spicy food) cooked only by the self or other members.
- Abstaining from alcohol, tobacco and non-prescription drugs.
- Regular early morning meditation at 4:00 to 4:45 am, called 'Amrit Vela.'
- Regular morning class at approximately 6:30 am.
- Men and women traditionally sit on separate sides of the room at the centers during classes.
- Brahma Kumaris can be identified by their frequent adoption of wearing white clothes, to symbolize purity.
- Recommends that companions be other BK Brahmins as opposed to those given over to worldly pleasures (non-BKs), known as bhogis or Shudras (meaning Untouchables).
- All except the very senior BKs in the Western branches must support themselves (most work), most BKs live in shared accommodation with other members enabling the organization to powerfully reinforce its beliefs.
In 1952, after a 14-year period of retreat during which the Brahma-kumaris published numerous pamphlets, newspaper articles and wrote letters to important national and international figures, a more structured form of teaching began to be offered to the public by way of a seven lesson course. The movement does not associate itself with Hinduism  but projects itself as a vehicle for spiritual teaching rather than a religion.
Central to its faith are the beliefs that:
- The human being is an eternal soul living within a physical body and is not the physical body which is dualistic "I am a soul, my body is a garment".
- Reincarnation happens only from one human body to another.
- Humanity is currently reaching the end of the current cycle and thus the world will be destroyed, a time referred to as "Destruction".
- Indian subcontinent will be the site of the future Golden Age paradise and that a form of Hindi is the original language of humanity, all other continents being destroyed.
- Followers are taught that only they will live in the coming Golden Age paradise as Gods and Goddesses.
- God has incarnated into Dada Lehkraj, the founder, and is teaching them directly and exclusively.
God (Shiva) is considered to be an eternal soul, a personality like human souls, but the Supreme one (Paramatma) and "knowledgeful". His purpose is to awaken humanity and restore harmony, giving power through the Brahma Kumaris' practise of Raja Yoga, eliminating evil and negativity. He is not the creator of matter which is itself considered to be eternal. He speaks through the mouth of Dada Lekhraj.
Human and even animal souls, called atmas, are believed to be an infinitesimal point of spiritual light residing in the forehead of the body it occupies. Souls are believed to originally exist with God in a "Soul World", a world of infinite light, peace and silence called Paramdham. Here souls are in a state of rest and beyond experience. Souls enter bodies to take birth in order to experience life and give expression to their personality. Unlike other Eastern traditions, the soul is not thought to transmigrate into other species and does not evolve but rather devolves birth after birth. Within this "point of light" all aspects of the personality are contained and is said to enter the human body in the 4th to 5th month of pregnancy.
The Brahma Kumaris believe that there are 3 worlds or dimensions; the physical universe, a soul world known as Paramdham and an intermediate region called "The Subtle Regions" where they claim to journey to experience visions regarding world history where Lekhraj Kirpalani and God Shiva combined as BapDada jointly communicate with the university. Souls exists in the soul world "totally untained by matter ... as a starlike point of light until they have to 'play their part' within the world drama on the physical plane" at whatever time in history they are destined to incarnate for the first time.
5,000 Year Cycle
Time is cyclic, repeating identically every 5,000 years, and composed of five ages or "Yugas"; the Golden Age, the Silver Age, the Copper Age, the Iron Age each being exactly 1,250 years long, and the Confluence Age (Sangam Yuga). The Confluence Age is said to be 100 years long, beginning in 1936 with the descent of Shiva into Lekhraj Kirpalani, during which present day civilization is to be completely destroyed by natural disasters, civil and nuclear war in an event called Destruction. Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi states this information is generally hidden from non-members.
During the first half of the cycle, procreation is believed to be possible through the power of yoga without sexual intercourse. The Universe is never transformed into primordial or atomic state matter, nor does the world ever becomes devoid of human beings. Babb states that Brahma Kumari movement enter the fifth era (Confluence Age) with the expectation that they will become "fit to be reborn in the paradisical phase of the next world cycle ... indeed they are the very gods and goddesses of the Hindu pantheon imperfectly remembered through texts today".
Tree of Humanity
It is taught that all of humanity will die and return to Paramdham then take birth in the forthcoming cycle at their predestined time and place. This is portrayed as the "Kalpa Vriksha Tree", or the "Tree of Humanity", in which the founder Lekhraj Kripalani and his Brahma Kumaris followers are shown as the roots of the humanity. A new world order starting with the birth of Krishna and a population of 900,000 is believed to go on to enjoy 2,500 years of paradise as living deities before humanity splits and the religious founders incarnate. Each creates their own branch and brings with them their own followers from the Infinite Light, until they too decline and splits, schisms, cults and sects appear at the end of the Iron Age.
The aim of the individual Brahma Kumari is to gain a high status in the coming paradise where a select 108 who are 'totally victorious' and will rule there. Members of the physical families of Brahma Kumaris who have contact with the University are said to become members of the 16,000 top souls  and at the end of each Cycle, everyone will see visions in which their personal destinies will be fully disclosed.
The Brahma Kumaris teach a form of meditation through which members are encouraged to purify their minds and 'burn away' the Karmic effects of past misdeeds. This may be done by sitting tranquilly in front of a screen on to which Dada Lekhraj's image is projected, then making affirmations regarding the eternal nature of the soul.
Lawrence Babbs described another practise where "the student or students sit in a semi-darkened room facing the teacher (usually a woman). Just above and behind the teacher's head is a red plastic ovoid that glows from a lightbulb within, in its center is a tiny hole which appears as an intense whitelight against the red glow. This device represents the Supreme Soul (known as Shiv Baba) who is the presiding deity of the universe. With devotional songs playing softly in the background, student and teacher gaze intently at each other, either in the eyes or at the forehead. While doing this the student is supposed to imagine him or herself as a soul and not as a body. The student is told to think of themself as separate from the body, as bodiless, as light, as power, as bathed in the love and light of the Supreme Soul, and so on. This might continue for fifteen or twenty minutes". Babb also states that while staring (gazing into the eyes of an adept) at the teacher, many students experience visual hallucinations involving lights.
David Barrett states, "Unlike traditional forms of Hinduism, the Brahma Kumaris' teachings come not so much from ancient scriptures but from revelations given in trance states". However, these mediumistic messages known by Brahma Kumaris as "Murlis", read at the 6.30 am meetings, are slowly developing the nature of potential scriptures. The earlier ones channeled by Lekhraj Kripalani while he was alive, are now repeated in a five-year cycle. They are supplemented by later murlis, channelled by Hirday Mohini of Delhi in trance states, which are also written down.
There are two types of mediumistic messages; sakar and avyakt;
- Sakar Murlis refer to the original classes said to be spoken by "Shiva" through the medium of Lekhraj Kripalani in the 1960's, before he died of a heart attack on 18 January 1969. These include teachings by Shiva and the life of personal experience of Lekhraj.
- Avyakt Vanis, or Murlis, refer to the teachings of Shiva and the soul of the deceased Lekhraj Kripalani combined through a medium named Hirday Mohini, or "Dadi Gulzar". The Brahma Kumaris believe that the soul of Lekhraj Kripalani has become perfect and now has the role of an angel. These messages are understood by members of the BKWSU to be the words of God. The Murli's are what the Brahma Kumaris use to direct their personal spiritual effort and institutional service.
One must complete the Brahma Kumaris foundation course before starting to attend morning murli class and visiting the headquarters in India during the period when the deceased founder communicates via a trance medium.
The Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University is an international non-governmental organization (NGO) in general consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations and UNICEF. It is associated with the UN Department of Public Information.
- The organization now has 100s of branches internationally and has co-ordinated three major international projects; The Million Minutes for Peace in 1986, for which it was awarded 7 UN Peace Messenger Awards, 1987 and Global Co-operation for a Better World in 1988. and in 1994, launched "Sharing Our Values for a Better World" 
- Deceased chief administrator Prakashmani was awarded International Peace Messenger Award from the UN Secretary General in 1987 for the "Million Minutes of Peace" project.
- It was granted International Peace Messenger Initiative status by the U.N.for the Global Co-operation for a Better World campaign.
- Follower Golo Pilz pioneered work in solar and sustainable energy developing, the world's then largest solar cooker at the BKWSU headquarters in Rajasthan.
Use of channeling and mediumship
The BKWSU is believed by its members to have been established by Shiva Baba (God-Father Shiva), described as the "Supreme Soul" and claimed to be the one God of all religions through the medium of the group's founder Lekhraj Kripalani. From the beginning, a number of trance-messengers have received messages and teachings. Its mediums also directly channel a messages from deceased senior Brahma Kumaris leaders. In its early days, children would commonly go into trances, having visions of Krishna and Golden Aged Heaven and engaging in ecstatic dances for as long as 7 days. A number of mediumistic female followers known as Sandeshputris (trance messengers) also helped add to the group's spiritual knowledge through psychic visions.
God Shiva, and the deceased human founder Lekhraj Kripalani, continue to be channelled  through a senior sister Hirdaya Mohini (referred to familiarly as Dadi Gulzar), at the organization's Rajasthan headquarters. The combined presence of the BKWSU's human founder and the spiritual being the BKWSU believe is God are referred to as BapDada (meaning Father and Grandfather) by BKs. The pair continue to direct the organization to this day.
Controversies and criticism
- Dr. John Wallis notes the re-editing of mediumistic messages  and failed predictions of the End of the World  which had been removed from the teachings and hidded from those that came later them.
- In a paper for the book for the Scientific Study of Religion, Howell wrote that teenage girls surrendering to the organisation are required to pay the equivalent of a dowry to the organization. The payment was meant to prevent parents from "dumping" their daughters at the BKWSU as a way to avoid the costs of ordinary marriages. Return to the world for women who have has such a dowry paid for them is difficult.
- BK followers belief that the BKWSU is the precursor to all world religions, even those that predate it, which are seen as being only facets of "the complete diamond" Raja Yoga.
- Of primary importance is that the members of the Brahma Kumari ‘university’ should undergo a ‘death-in-life’. They should ‘die towards the outer world’. They had to renounce their families and thus be ‘divinely’ in the ‘divine family In 2007, the British tabloid newspaper The Daily Mail reported Graham Baldwin, a former university chaplain and army officer who is president of the educational countercult organization Catalyst, stating that the former members and the families of members had told him that BKWSU has driven a wedge between husband and wife and that there were complaints that it encourages single women and widows to donate property and savings. The BKWSU, a organisation being notable for its sex ban, was said to have "used pernicious methods to control its followers". Ian Howarth of the Cult Information Centre, was further quoted about complaints that people have gone undergone personality changes after joining BKWSU and become alienated from their families. A BKWSU spokeswoman replied, "this is very much a minority thing", declining to comment on allegations that BKWSU encourages followers to donate property and savings.
- Questioned how dinosaurs fit within a 5,000 year Cycle of Time BK Neville Hodgkinson, a former scientific correspondent for an English national newspaper, questioned the existence of dinosaurs on the basis of the lack of bones that have been found whilst other BK follower argued that dinosaurs exist in a parallel space-time dimension and because of a warp hole end up in this dimension.
- The Brahma Kumaris have featured in the 'Wissen schtzt' reports of Austria (edited by then Austrian Minister for Family Affairs Mr. Martin Bartenstein), Russia (International Conference "Totalitarian Cults - Threat of Twenty-First Century", Nizhny Novgorod, 2001) and in a MIVILUDES report submitted to the French National Assembly as a "sectes dangereuses" (harmful cult) and "groupe d'enfermement" (group of confinement). This has leading to the presecution of followers in local media leading to job losses after it discovered that they belonged to a secte  and denouncement for their influence on children under their care.
Claim of divine indication
Pratibha Patil, the UPA-Left candidate and current President of India, said on camera during the Indian presidential election, 2007, that she had communicated with the spirit of the deceased leader of the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University at their headquarters in Mount Abu, Rajasthan. Patil added that she had received a mediumistic message indicating great responsibility coming her way. She had gone to seek the blessings of Hirday Mohini, also known as Dadi Gulzar or Dadiji.
Relationship with splinter and reform movements
The Advance Party
For a more detailed treatment, see AIVV.
A number of Brahma Kumari splinter groups exist, the most notable documented by Dr. John Walliss as the Advance Party, or "Shankar Party" to the BKWSU. elsewhere they are referred to as the Prajapita Brahma Kumaris or PBKs. Walliss states that as Lekhraj Kripalani's original message of separation, spiritual introversion and violent Destruction becomes repackaged as the emergence of a New Age through self-understanding and self-development, this direction has caused discontent within certain segments of the Brahma Kumari movement, likening them to the "Protestant Reformers to the BKWSU's mediaeval Catholic Church".
The "Advance Party" offer a radicalised rendition of the BKWSU's original millenarian message. In particular, they are exceptionally hostile to the University's New Age and UN involvement claim that Shiva is now manifesting Himself through a different medium to correctly interpret the original teachings and that Lekhraj Kirpalani's business partner Sevak Ram was the original medium. PBKs report hostile resistance from the BKWSU and Walliss met with a wall of silence and irate phone call from the University threatening him that the BKWSU would "block [him] every step of the way if [he] persisted along this line of investigation". The University restricting its member's "knowledge and access to the group so as to prevent any further defections." Founder Baba Dev Dixit was debarred from the BKWSU.
Concepts associated with Brahama Kumaris
- (1994) Women under the Bo Tree: Buddhist nuns in Sri Lanka, Cambridge Studies in Religious Traditions. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521461290.
- Robbins, Thomas (1997). Millennium, Messiahs, and Mayhem: Contemporary Apocalyptic Movements. Routledge. ISBN 978-0415916486.
- Babb, Lawrence A. (1987). Redemptive Encounters: Three Modern Styles in the Hindu Tradition (Comparative Studies in Religion and Society). Oxford University Press. ISBN 0706925637.
- Klimo, Jon (1998). Channeling: Investigations on Receiving Information from Paranormal Sources. North Atlantic Books, 100. ISBN 978-1556432484.
- Wilson, Bryan; Eileen Barker, James Beckford, Anthony Bradney, Colin Campbell, George Chryssies, Peter Clarke, Paul Heelas, Massimo Introvigne, Lawrence Lilliston, Godeon Melton, Elizabeth Puttick, Gary Sherpherd, Colin Slee, Frank Usarski (1999). in Bryan Wilson: New Religious Movements: Challenge and Response. Routledge. ISBN 978-0415200493.
- Brahma Kumaris: A New Religion?. Reender Kranenborg, Free University of Amsterdam. Retrieved on 2007-07-27. “The entire way of the Brahma Kumaris can be characterized as raja yoga. One should not think here in the first place of classical yoga, as described by Patanjali.”
- Walliss, J. (1999). From world rejection to ambivalence: the development of millenarianism in the Brahma Kumaris, 375–385.
- Hardy, Hardayal (1984). Struggles and Sorrows: The Personal Testimony of a Chief Justice. Vikas Publishing House, 37–39. ISBN 0706925637.
- Walliss, John (2002). The Brahma Kumaris As a Reflexive Tradition: Responding to Late Modernity. Ashgate Publishing, 99–129. ISBN 978-0754609513.
- Chander, B. K Jagdish (1981). Adi Dev: The first man. B.K. Raja Yoga Center for the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University..
- Abbott, Elizabeth (2001). A History of Celibacy. James Clarke & Co., 172–174. ISBN 0718830067.
- Barrett, David V (2001). The New Believers: A Survey of Sects, Cults and Alternative Religions. Cassell & Co.. ISBN 978-0304355921. “'sex is an expression of 'body-consciousness' and leads to the other vices', probably stems in part from the origins of the movement in 1930s India, when women had to submit to their husbands.”
- Hodgkinson, Liz (2002). Peace and Purity: The Story of the Brahma Kumaris a Spiritual Revolution. HCI, 2–29. ISBN 1558749624.
- Radhe, Brahma-Kumari (1939). Is this justice?: Being an account of the founding of the Om Mandli & the Om Nivas and their suppression, by application of the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1908. Pharmacy Printing Press, 35–36.
- Coupland, Reginald (1944). The Indian Problem: Report on the Constitutional Problem in India. Oxford University Press.
- Howell, Julia Day (2005). in Peter Clarke: Encyclopedia of New Religious Movements. Routledge, 63–64. ISBN 978-0415267076. “The call for women brahmins (i.e. kumaris or 'daughters') to remain celibate or chaste in marriage inverted prevailing social expectations that such renunciation was proper only for men and that the disposal of women's sexuality should remain with their fathers and husbands. The 'Anti-Om Mandali Committee' formed by outraged male family members violently persecuted Brahma Baba's group, prompting their flight to Karachi and withdrawal from society. Intense world rejection gradually eased after partition in 1947, when the BKs moved from Pakistan to Mt Abu”
- Hunt, Stephen J. (2003). Alternative Religions: A Sociological Introduction. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 120. ISBN 0754634108.
- Howell, Julia (Sep 1998). Gender Role Experimentation in New Religious Movements, 453–461.
- Whaling, Frank (1995). The Brahma Kumaris, 3–28.
- Howell, Julia Day (September 1998). Gender Role Experimentation in New Religious Movements: Clarification of the Brahma Kumari Case, 453–461. DOI:10.2307/1388052. “Today the leadership of the BK movement in India remains heavily female. Sisters, or kumaris (daughters), are still "put in front", that is favored for the position of "center-in-charge" (head of a local center). As of December 1995 all Indian centers were run by "sisters." However, "brothers" also reside in many of the centers run by "sisters". Brothers are expected to work to earn an outside income, which provides a substantial share of the support of the centers, and do the domestic work other than cooking. This frees the sisters to engage full-time in service to the organization as teachers, leaders of meditation sessions and spiritual directors. Indian migrants made up half the number of Brahmins in the UK.”
- Brahma Kumaris Administration. BKWSU. Retrieved on 2007-08-10. “Present statistics indicate that the University has 825,000 students and over 8,500 centres in 100 countries and territories.”
- Adherent Statistic Citations. Adherents.com. Retrieved on 2007-08-20. “Worldwide, this path has 4000 centres and approximately 400,000 members.”
- Lewis, J.R.; Aris, R.I.S. (2004). New Religion Adherents: An Overview of Anglophone Census and Survey Data. Retrieved on 2008-01-28.
- Nesbitt, Eleanor; A. Henderson (April 2003). Religious Organisations in the UK and Values Education Programmes for Schools, 75–88. “"The article reports initial findings from a values education programme that is currently being implemented, in various forms, in several primary schools in England. The programme is 'Living Values: an educational program' and it was developed in association with a Hindu-related religious organisation, the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University. The article situates the research within a social and theoretical context and reports from fieldwork conducted over a period of twelve months in schools and Brahma Kumaris centres."”
- Babb, Lawrence A. (2002). Redemptive Encounters. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-07636-2. “"Service requires active support of the movement, especially by participating in its many proscelyting activities ... Great emphasis is placed on the value of bringing converts into the movement, particularly converts who stick... Meditation is the movement's most significant 'effort'. Efforts to reform the Kaliyug are not in accord with Shiv Bab's will".”
- Bedi, Kiran (2007). It's Always Possible : One Woman's Transformation of India's Prison System. Himalayan Institute Press. ISBN 978-0893892586.
- Lochtefeld, Ph.D., James G. (2002). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism Vol. I, entry "Brahma Kumaris". Rosen, New York. ISBN 0-8239-3179-X.
- Bartholomeusz, Tessa J. (1994). Women Under the Bo Tree,:Cambridge Studies in Religious Traditions, Edited by John Clayton (University of Lancaster), Steven Collins (University of Chicago) and Nicholas de Lange (University of Cambridge). Rosen, New York. ISBN 0-521-46129-4.
- Brahma Kumaris: Conquering A Callous World with Purity. Hinduism Today. Retrieved on 2007-07-28. “"The most strict will not eat fard which is not prepared by a Brahma Kumaris. While traveling they abstain from public fare and carry their own utensils for cooking."”
- Whaling, Prof Frank (2004). Encyclopedia of New Religions; New Religious Movements, Sects and Alternative Spiritualities, Edited by Christopher Partridge and Gorden Melton. Rosen, New York. ISBN 0-745-95073-6.
- Hinnells, John (1997). The Penguin Dictionary of Religions, Extract by Eileen Barker. Rosen, New York. ISBN 0-14-051261-6.
- Barker, Eileen (1989). New Religious Movement: A Practical Introduction. HMSO, London, 168–70. ISBN 0-14-051261-6.
- Melton, J. Gordon (1993). The Encyclopedia of American Religions, 4th edition. Gale, Detroit, 909–10.
- Howell, Dr Julia D (April 1997). ASC induction techniques, spiritual experiences, and commitment to new religious movements, 149. “"All accept the very senior BKs in the Western branches must support themselves (most work), but the pressure to adopt the BK's "purity rules" (non-commensality with non-members; avoidance of meat and certain other foods, alcohol, and sex), and most Brahmins live in shared accommodation with other members ... enabling the organization to powerfully reinforce its beliefs."”
- Barz, R.K. (1992). A reinterpretation of bhakti theology: from the Pustimarg to the Brahma Kumaris. Retrieved on 2008-01-25. “[BKWSU] ... does not associate itself with any earlier Hindu movement, bhakti or otherwise,”
- Howell, Julia Day (2005). in Peter Clarke: Encyclopedia of New Religious Movements. Routledge, 63–64. ISBN 978-0415267076. “The BK teachings revise Hindu beliefs in a Golden Age that deteriorates into successive ages in an endlessly recurring cycle of time; according to the movement, we are now in the worst age, on the eve of destruction, and only BKs who have purified themselves through a vegetarian diet and chastity and cultivated "soul consciousness", will be reborn into the Golden Age.”
- Babb, Lawrence A. (1981). On celibate marriages: the Polish Catholics' encounter with Hindu spirituality, 387–401.
- Babb, Lawrence A. (1987). Redemptive Encounters: Three Modern Styles in the Hindu Tradition (Comparative Studies in Religion and Society). Oxford University Press. ISBN 0706925637. “Souls have a 'true home', and this is a region of perfect peace and absolute silence at the top of the universe known as paramdham (the supreme abode) or brahmlok (the world of brahm). As imagined by Brahma Kumari teachings, the universe has the shape of an egg. at is apex is the Supreme known as Soul Shivbaba.”
- Hindus In America Speak out on Abortion Issues. Hinduism Today. Retrieved on 2007-07-18. “The Brahma Kumaris view the body as a physical vehicle for the immortal soul, and therefore the issue is not "pro-life" or "anti-life" but a choice between the amount of suffering caused to the souls of the parents and child in either course, abortion or motherhood. They view existing legislation in America as fair and reasonable, with the proviso that abortion after the 4th month should be avoided except in medical emergencies, since in their view the soul enters the fetus in the 4th to 5th month.”
- Walliss, Dr John (2002). The Brahma Kumaris as a Reflexive Tradition. Ashgate Publishing Limited. ISBN 0-7546-0951-0. “"Raja Yogis claim that there are other, more important planes including the home of all souls and the Supreme Soul ... The subtle realm represents an intermediate region between the physical and incorporeal realm. It is here where experienced BK Yogis claim to journey to experience visions regarding world history and their place within it as well as being where Lekhraj and Shiva as BapDada jointly communicate directly to the University through the Avyakta murlis"”
- O'Donnell, Ken (1995). New Beginnings. Brahma Kumaris World University. ISBN 0-9637-3964-6.
- Barrett, David V (2001). The New Believers. Cassell & Co, 265. ISBN 0-304-35592-5. “Time is cyclical with each 5,000 year cycle consisting of a perfect Golden Age, a slightly degraded Silver age, a decadent Copper Age, and an Iron Age which is characterized by violence, greed, and lust. Each of these lasts for exactly 1,250 years. Our current Iron Age will shortly come to an end, after which the cycle will begin again.”
- Brahma Kumaris: Conquering A Callous World with Purity. Hinduism Today. Retrieved on 2007-07-18.
- Walliss, John (2002). The Brahma Kumaris As a Reflexive Tradition: Responding to Late Modernity. Ashgate Publishing, 107. ISBN 978-0754609513. “"The final evening classes that I attended, at which the core content of the murli was the Destruction ... during one part of this an eclectic user asked 'so, you're an end-of-the-world cult then?' to which the center co-ordinator replied, no, we believe in world transformation. In response, the questioner asked 'well, surely the "transformation" you're talking about is Destruction? The whole population is going to shrink almost to instantly down to a couple of thousand, whole areas of the world are going to be flooded, nuclear bombs are going to be going off.' 'Well, replied the co-ordinator, 'it depends on how you look at it'."”
- Beit-hallahmi, B. (2004). quote = A case study of Brahma Kumaris, a contemporary group characterized by an apocalyptic vision (kept hidden from nonmembers). Death, Fantasy, and Religious Transformations. Retrieved on 2008-01-25.
- Babb, Lawrence A. (1987). Redemptive Encounters: Three Modern Styles in the Hindu Tradition (Comparative Studies in Religion and Society). Oxford University Press. ISBN 0706925637. “Sexual intercourse is unnecessary for reproduction because the souls that enter the world during the first half of the Cycle are in possession of a special yogic power (yog bal) by which they conceive children”
- Lalrinawma, V.S. (2003). The Liberation of Women in and through the Movement of the Prajapita Brahma Kumaris, ISPCK. Cambridge Press, Delhi, 13. ISBN 81-7214-771-6.
- Babb, Lawrence A. (1987). Redemptive Encounters: Three Modern Styles in the Hindu Tradition (Comparative Studies in Religion and Society). Oxford University Press. ISBN 0706925637. “"The real issue is what one's status will be in the coming paradise ... Those of the highest status will not only be the rulers of heaven, but will be close to Lekhraj throughout their world-careers."”
- Chryssides, George. . “"Members are encouraged to purify their minds by the practise of Raja Yoga. This can entail sitting tranquilly, in front of a screen which Dada Lehkraj's picture projected, then making a number of "affirmations", regarding the eternal nature of the soul (atma), the original purity of one's nature, and the nature of God (paramatmÄ Shiva). The Brahma Kumaris believe that practice of Raja Yoga enables spiritual progress as well as having pragmatic benefits, for example, business success. Brahma Kumaris frequently organize seminars on business management and on developing personal life skills"”
- Ratan, Vishwa (2000). A Unique Experience. Autobiography of Dada Vishwa Ratan. Om Shanti Press, 57. ISBN 955-95823-3-X.
- Brahma Kumaris: Landmarks in History. BKWSU. Retrieved on 2007-07-18.
- Howell and Nelson (1998). On celibate marriages: the Polish Catholics' encounter with Hindu spirituality. “in order to progress to the next stage of membership - the visit to the University's headquarters in Rajasthan during the period where its deceased founder communicates via trance-medium - they have to not only demonstrate their commitment by following the recommended lifestyle but also, more importantly, be seen to be doing so by the university. this is instrinsicly linked with the second technique, the utilisation and negotiation of different metaphors or readings of the university's theodicy at the different events and in different types of literature in relation to its intended (core or periphery) audience" ... "amongst committed, core members "...the tradition is lived [and expressed] without apology, translation or dilution".”
- ECOSOC. UNO. Retrieved on 2007-07-22.
- List of UN NGO and respective status within UNICEF. UNO. Retrieved on 2007-07-22.
- DPI/NGO Directory. United Nations Department of Public Information. Retrieved on 2007-08-20. “NGO in consultative status with ECOSOC; associated with DPI”
- Walliss, John (September 1999). When Prophecy Fails: The Brahma Kumaris and the Pursuit of the Millennium(s), 5. “...The Million Minutes of Peace which raised over one billion 'minutes of peace' people in 88 countries participating in prayer, meditation and positive thoughts. For this the University was awarded one International and six UN National 'Peace Messenger' Awards.”
- The Sunday. Indian Express. Retrieved on 2007-08-21. “Current head is Dadi Prakashmani. Recipient of UN Peace Medal for her efforts to spread across the message of peace and goodwill.”
- Hinduism Today. Hinduism Today. Retrieved on 2007-07-22.
- BBC. BBC. Retrieved on 2007-07-22.
- BKWSU History. BKWSU. Retrieved on 2007-07-22.
- Beloved "Didi", Sivabhaktar and Co-Head of Brahma Kumaris, Passes In Bombay. Hinduism Today. Retrieved on 2007-07-22. “Sister Denise, Director of the San Francisco Center, flew right away to Mt. Abu, and shared this very intimate account of the traditional 13-day period of sacred ritual and vigil which honored Didi: "Large piles of red rose petals covered her - offered by nearly 1,500 devotees who managed the difficult ascent up Mt. Abu, braving the driving rains. After two days, we put her on a wooden litter and carried her through the city of Mt. Abu, pinnacled high above the flat plains of Rajasthan far below. Ghee, sandalwood and other substances were applied to her body. She was placed on the wood pyre and cremated. Soon afterward, messages began to come from Didi through one of previous month, while apparently in a coma state, had been in trance, in total God-consciousness, enjoying the fulfillment of all her deep spiritual sadhanas. Didi shared detailed accounts of everything that was transpiring in the so-called "transition experience.' One message said that the sincere and deep meditations performed by so many of the Brahma Kumaris worldwide during this time had purified the womb that Didi would enter for her next birth on the 13th day. On that 13th day, rather than just deliver a message through the medium, she came fully into the body. I was there and saw this.”
- Robbins, T.; Palmer, S.J. (1997). Millennium, Messiahs, and Mayhem: Contemporary Apocalyptic Movements. Routledge. ISBN 0415916496. “the modern Brahma Kumaris movemement contiunes this thousands of year old Hindu tradition of receiving teeachings and guidance in a channeling manner from transpersonal gurus”
- Hinduism Today. Hinduism Today. Retrieved on 2007-07-22. “Prajapita Brahma gave up his physical frame on January 18, 1969. This day is celebrated as the day of his spiritual ascension. It is believed that he continues to aid the organization from inner worlds, but the ultimate guidance and authority still comes directly from God Siva, who has since chosen another to be His "trance messenger." Currently Sister Raday Mohini serves as the instrument to give voice to Siva's messages, but this is viewed as a temporary assignment given by God. Every year, around February/March, a gathering occurs in Mt. Abu where Siva speaks, guides and gives blessings. This sets the patterns for the coming year as the guidance is distributed to the centers around the world, including through their intra-organizational e-mail”
- Walliss, John (Sept 1999). When Prophecy Fails: The Brahma Kumaris and the Pursuit of the Millennium(s). “In addition, they accuse the University hierarchy of actively censoring or altering murlis that could potentially undermine their privileged position or which 'don't suit their philosophy'. The 'Special instruments' (senior members are, they allege "constantly revising Murlis" to the extent that, for example, a passage from a 1969 murli referring to Shiva being unable to 'mount a virgin') was altered in the 1990 revised edition before being removed completely in the 1993 revision..." Dr. Walliss also notes that while the BKWSU was, "originally a reclusive, world-rejecting organization, over the last 30 years the Brahma Kumaris have begun a campaign of active proselytizing and international growth. Thus, whilst still retaining its original millenarianism, currently within the West the organization promotes itself as part of the New Age movement and emphasizes ideas around the issues of self-development, empowerment and personal success." Finally, Dr. Wallis disputes BKWSU's belief that Raja Yoga is the precursor to all world religions, including those that historically predate it. Specifically, "This is part of a lengthy answer to the question of how the University could claim that Raja Yoga is the precursor to and influence of world religions that historically predate it often by a few thousand years. Again, 'Baba' is cited as the source of ultimate authority."”
- Walliss, John (2002). The Brahma Kumaris As a Reflexive Tradition: Responding to Late Modernity. Ashgate Publishing, 111. ISBN 978-0754609513. “" Destruction did not materialise ... many Brahmins left the (University) because their hopes were dashed. Those who stayed had their faith reduced by half. They sacrificed their lives in this godly instution, left their families and invested all their wealth in this cause."”
- Howell, Julia Day (Sept 1998). Gender Role Experimentation in New Religious Movements: clarification of the Brahma Kumari case, 453–461. “"The likelihood that surrendered sisters in India will remain Brahmins throughout their lives is increased by the practise of parent giving dowries to the Brahma Kumaris for daughters they concede will not marry. This practise goes back to the early days of the organization but it is not clear how common it was. Whaling and Babb report it as an occasional practice. Recently the pattern has been formalized, with retreats at Mount Abu being offered for girls in their mid-teens who may wish to undertake a fuller commitment to the organization. The girls are offered a short period of taking classes and living near Senior Sisters, at the end of which they may nominate to undertake a year trial as surrendered sisters. A payment equivalent to a dowry is required from the girls' natural families to cover their living expenses over the trial period. This payment is also meant to prevent parent "dumping" daughters on the Brahma Kumaris to avoid the dowries and other costs of ordinary marriages. Return to the world for women who have has such a dowry paid for them is difficult."”
- Walliss, John (2002). The Brahma Kumaris As a Reflexive Tradition: Responding to Late Modernity. Ashgate Publishing, 37. ISBN 978-0754609513. “Of primary importance in the revelations Lekhraj is said to have received is that the members of the Brahma Kumari ‘university’ should undergo ‘death-in-life’, they should ‘die towards the outer world’. They had to renounce their families and thus they got the opportunity to be ‘divinely reborn’ in a ‘divine family”
- CHURCHER, SHARON (2007). The PM's wife, the Druid priestess and the no-sex guru. Daily Mail. Retrieved on 2008-01-24. “Brahma Kumaris, a women-led spiritual organisation that, while striving for world peace, has allegedly used 'pernicious' methods to control its followers. The group is led by 90-year-old Indian spiritualist Dadi Janki, a woman Dwina regards as her guru and whom she consults, according to a source close to her, 'about everything'. Both Dwina and Robin make regular donations to Brahma Kumaris ... "Former members and the families of members have told me that Brahma has driven a wedge between husband and wife,' said Graham Baldwin, a cult expert who has counselled former Brahma members.”
- Momin, Sajeda (2007). Is Cherie becoming a Brahma Kumari?. Daily News and Analysis, Mumbai. Retrieved on 2008-01-24.
- Walliss, John (2002). The Brahma Kumaris As a Reflexive Tradition: Responding to Late Modernity, 106. ISBN 978-0754609513.
- Gest, Alain; Brar, president, Jean- Pierre; Sauvaig and others, Suzanne (1995/6), "Cults in France", Cults in France, French National Assembly in the name of The Board of Inquiry into Cults, http://www.cftf.com/french/Les_Sectes_en_France/cults.html
- Orthophoniste et naturopathe, il est dénoncé comme "gourou". Coordination des Associations & Particuliers pour la Liberté de Conscience (2000). Retrieved on 2008-01-24.
- Licenciements dans une crèche en Gironde pour appartenance à une secte, Agence France-Presse  18 Juin 2003 
- Race for Raisina: Shekhawat vs Patil. IBN. Retrieved on 2007-07-22. “Dadiji ke shareer mein Baba aye ... Maine unse baat ki ("Baba entered Dadi's body and he communicated to me through her")”
- Patil kicks up another row. IBN. Retrieved on 2007-07-22.
- Battle for the palace. The Pioneer. Retrieved on 2007-07-22.
- Pratibha believes in spirits?. Times of India. Retrieved on 2007-07-22.
- Dadi Hirdaya Mohini- Joint Administrative Head. BKWSU. Retrieved on 2007-07-28.
- Walliss, John (2002). The Brahma Kumaris As a Reflexive Tradition: Responding to Late Modernity. Ashgate Publishing. ISBN 978-0754609513. “Another rendition of the University's Millenarianism [is] put forward by a group named the Advance Party. This group is made up of predominantly disaffected ex-members of the University and are highly critical of what they allege to be the increasing worldliness and corruptness of the University's hierarchy. The University, they claim on their website, has become a true Ravan Rajya (Kingdom of Devil) where pomp and show and grandeur are given preference over true godly knowledge. At a deeper level, the Advance Party's critique is aimed at the BK theodicy and the manner in which they allege its millenarianism has been understood.”
- Advance Knowledge.
Chander, B.K. Jagdish (1977). Easy Raja Yoga: Taught by God Shiva. Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Visha-Vidyalay.
Chander, B.K. Jagdish (1969). Versions of God Almighty for Attainment of God-Fatherly Birthright of Heavenly Happiness. Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishva-Vidyalaya (Abu, India).
BKWSU (1984). The Song Divine (II) : God the Supreme, Speaking with the Angel Brahma to his Brahman Children in Madhuban during the 1979-80 Season.. Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University (London, England).
O'Donnell, Ken. New Beginnings. BKWSU. ISBN 0-9637396-4-6.
Chander, B.K. Jagdish (1983). Brahma Baba, the Corporeal Medium of Shiva Baba.
Chander, B.K. Jagdish (1984). The Descent of incorporeal God into the Human Body of Brahma : a Brief Biographical Account. Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, Mount Abu, India.
Chander, B.K. Jagdish (1977). Observance of Brahmacharya and Conquest of Sex-Lust.
Chander, B.K. Jagdish (1978). Moral Values, Attitudes and Moods: a book on ethics for a new world order. BKWSU.
Chander, B.K. Jagdish (1980). Human values, Moral values, and Spiritual values: A book on divine values for the coming Golden Age.
BKWSU (1999). Inner Beauty. Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya. ASIN B000JVYGT6.
BKWSU (1995). Practical Meditation. Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya. ISBN 09637396-0-3.
BKWSU (2000). Blessings. BKWSU. ISBN 15587483-8-5.
BKWSU (1996). Just a Moment. Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya. ASIN B000JMA3OW.
BKWSU (1995). Power and Effect of Thoughts. Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya. ASIN B000JI7MJK.
BKWSU (2000). Kaleidoscopic View of Issues, Ideas, Events, Intentions, Attitudes, Individuals, and Institutions. Prajapita Brahma Kumaris. ASIN B000FVUAGI.
Radhe, Brahma-kumari Om (1938). Is this justice? Being an account of the founding of the Om Mandli & the Om Nivas and their suppression, by application of the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1908. Pharmacy Printing Press. ASIN B00089UWHE.
(1998) The Arts of Life. BKWSU. ISBN 09637396-2-X.
Kumaris, Brahma (1975). Future of Mankind. Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya. ISBN B0007CBK0U.
Chander, B.K. Jagdish (1975). Raj Yoga Illustrated (Raja Yoga, The Science for Attaining Purity, Peace, and Bliss). Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya. ASIN B000M3EGEQ.
Janki, Dadi. Pearls of Wisdom. ISBN 15587472-3-0.
Janki, Dadi. Perlas de Sabiduria. ISBN 15587479-1-5.
Janki, Dadi. Wings of Soul. 1999. ISBN 15587467-2-2.
Janki, Dadi (2000). Las Alas del Espiritu. ISBN 15587478-2-6.
Janki, Dadi (2003). InsideOut a better way of living, learning, and loving.
The Correspondence Course. BKWSU.
O'Donnell, Ken (1987). Raja Yoga for beginners. ISBN 0-340-82915-X.
Janki, Dadi (1996). Companion of God. Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, Literature Dept. (London). ISBN 1886872023.
Stephan, Nagel (1999). Brahmas geheime SchÃ¶pfung. Die indische Reformbewegung der "Brahma Kumaris. Theion. ISBN 3-631-35484-3.
[[|B.K. Jayanti, Kirpalani]] (1999). Valuing the Future : Education for Spiritual Development.
Lalrinawma, V.S.. The Liberation of Women in and through the Movement of the Prajapita Brahma Kumaris. ISPCK, Cambridge Press, Delhi. ISBN 81-7214-771-6.
Shaw, William (1994). Spying in Guruland: Inside Britainâ€™s Cults. Fourth Estate, London.
Babb, Lawrence A (1986). Redemptive encounters : three modern styles in the Hindu tradition. Berkeley : University of California Press. ISBN 0520056450.
Barz, R.K. (1992). A reinterpretation of bhakti theology: from the Pustimarg to the Brahma Kumaris. Retrieved on 2008-01-25.
La Naissance des Nouvelles Religions. Geneve, Suisse. ISBN 2-8257-0877-1.
Whaling, Dr Frank (2008). Understanding the Brahma Kumaris. Dunedin Press ltd. ISBN 1-903765-51-X.
Francis, L.J.; Katz, Y.J. (2000). Joining and Leaving Religion: Research Perspectives. Gracewing Publishing, 336. ISBN 0 85244 517 2.
Brasher, B.E. (1998). Millennium, Messiahs, and Mayhem: Contemporary Apocalyptic Movements, 309–311.
Arweck, E.; Nesbitt, E. (2004). Living Values: an educational program--from initiative to uptake, 133–149. Retrieved on 2008-01-25.
Skultans, V. (1993). The Brahma Kumaris and the role of women, 47–62.
Surviving Transplantation: The Brahma Kumaris in the Western World.
(1997) Altered States of Consciousness (ASC) Induction and New Religious Movements, 141–164.
Howell, J.D.; Nelson, P.L. (1997). Structural adaptation and ‘success’ in the transplantation of an Asian New Religious Movement: the Brahma Kumaris in the Western world, Part I, 1–33.
Howell, J.D. (1998). Gender role experimentation in new religious movements: the case of the Brahma Kumaris, 453–461.
Babb, Lawrence A. (1982). Amnesia and Remembrance in a Hindu Theory of History, 49–66.
Babb, Lawrence A. (1981). Glancing: Visual Interaction in Hinduism, 387–401.
Babb, L.A. (1984). Indigenous Feminism in a Modern Hindu Sect, 399–416. Retrieved on 2008-01-25.
Beit-Hallahmi, Benjamin (Aug 2003). Apocalyptic Dreams and Religious Ideologies: Losing and Saving Self and World, 403–439.
- Kranenborg, Reender (1999). Brahma Kumaris: A New Religion?. Free University of Amsterdam. Retrieved on 2008-01-24.
- Varughese, Suma (1998). Brahma Kumaris, World Spiritual University. Interreligious Insight. Retrieved on 2007-07-28.
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- Official BKWSU sites
- Critical resources