Archive for April, 2008

Golden Age Experience At Colombo Srilanka

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Golden Age Experience

On 20th of April there was a half a day session (from 9.30 a.am. To 1.30 PM.) on experiencing golden age for the Colombo BK family. About 90 souls participated including mothers, fathers, youth and children. With the guidance of Br. Jega the whole program was organized by the youth wing.

Purpose of the program
Imbibe the golden aged sankskars and learn to live in Golden age.

Selection of participants
Among the participants the following roles were selected by considering who volunteer them self first.

  • Lakshmi and Narayan
  • 4 Princes and 4 Princesses
  • 10 wealthy subjects
  • 10 for cooking team
  • 6 for serving team
  • The rest of the family members were considered as subjects.

Instructions

  • Visualizing the whole center as golden age
  • The participants were asked to remove their watches, and were asked to switch off their hand phones. (To be free from time conscious and mundane activities)

Program design
The stage was arranged as royal court. The program started with the arrival of Laxmi and Narayan, All the subjects stood up and respectfully welcomed the emperor and the empress. Then they went to the garden and visit the subjects.  Then the royal court held the subjects share their talents and gifts to the emperor and the empress. All were enjoyed with dance and games with a nice background music. The time was spent in happiness and joy. The souls who volunteered for cooking, prepared food for that day. With the royal banquet the program ended. All felt that they are in golden age during the program time.

Feedback from the participants

  • When I was selected as Narayan, at that moment I felt very happy and very light. I felt pure feelings within me and the surrounding was very calm and good.
  • Golden age was always a dream world for me. When I first came to know that God is creating such a world, I was over joy and I can’t find words to explain that experience. However this world was in front of me to see through the physical eyes again, the kingdom with soul consciousness. We were able to experience the golden age and soul conscious easily.
  • It was a wonderful experience without spending any money, without any make up or any change of dresses. Even though I was seated down as a subject I visualized my self as Luxmi, my experience is beyond words. Every one was happy and comfortable which cannot be forgotten in my life.
  • Until that day golden age was an imagination for me. When I plyed the role of a wealthy subject, I was really happy, I was in that real feeling. I felt I am fortunate to get that role. I felt bodiless and light during that time. I was enjoying the dance, games of the subjects. That is really an unforgettable experience for me.
  • When I entered to the kitchen as a cook there were no waste thoughts. I have achieved the maximum happiness in my life which I have never had before. Until we finished the cooking there was no thought of any one else. The feeling that we are not cooking for ordinary people kept me very light. We all experienced that the kitchen was full of peace, love and contentment.
  • I was operating the radio. Even though I was busy with my task while seeing the emperor, empress, and the subject I was able to experience golden age. The vibration was good at that time.
  • I was able to visualize golden age. I felt that really I was in Golden age. Not only for me was every one very happy at that time.
  • I had my meal with so much happiness with every one. When I was playing I felt that I am playing with Laxmi and Narayan. When I was dancing I felt light and had the thought that I’m playing with my sisters and brothers.

LIVING DIGNITY …. BY DADI JANKI

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

Public programme at Global Co-operation House . London . UK
Sunday 27th April 2008

Dadi Janki

What does it mean to truly live with dignity? That was the subject that was addressed by Dadi Janki in front of a full auditorium of 500 people at Global Co-operation House, North West London on Sunday 27th April 2008.

The event was introduced by TV news executive Jo Sawicki, who described Dadi as a “powerhouse” and explained to the many first-time attendees in the audience that the Brahma Kumaris were an organisation dedicated to teaching deep peace.

Lou Beckerman began the evening with a beautiful song that set the atmosphere for the rest of the night. She has travelled worldwide using song as a means of healing.

Jo Sawicki then introduced Dadi Janki and explained that she wanted to tackle the issue of dignity with Dadi around three different aspects. At the end of each of these, Sister Waddy from Miami gave a three minute meditation commentary that took the audience into the experience that Dadi had shared. Jo began by asking Dadi what it meant to have dignity for the self and where it comes from.

Dadi replied: “People make a lot of external effort to find dignity, but it is only when we have honesty and love for the self that we can experience true dignity. Dignity is simple to explain but bringing it about is complex. First it is a question of having very pure feelings of compassion and then with help from God I can bring it about easily.

“Attaining dignity doesn’t require much time or expense. The most important thing is to fill my time with quality using elevated, divine, spiritual thoughts. What is spirituality? Bringing light and might from God into my life. Internally, the mind must recognise ‘WHO AM I’ and my intellect must also see this.  In my natural original state, my dignity is inherent.”

Jo then asked Dadi to touch on another aspect of dignity – the work environment. She asked her how to maintain dignity in times when there can be a lot of pressure and stress.

Dadi said that, before we do anything in response to a situation, we should first go into silence: “I make time to find these moments of silence throughout the day to experience my dignity, finding and experiencing the values I have. I look into my heart and see from the perspective of value and respect for others.  If I have faith in myself, it can even change the circumstances. This is a very subtle matter to understand and practise. Arrogance will bring my dignity down. I then experience sorrow. So I must finish my arrogance to bring my spiritual identity into play.

She added:  “If I do these things, I can bring benefit to everyone around me, those living with me or working with me. Then the relationships will be more than just about work. If I start with silence and finish in silence, then I will not be tired. It is “wrong thinking” which causes tiredness. Some Raja Yoga students ask me for advice: ‘Should I leave my job?’  I tell them that they don’t go to their company to work but to give good company to others.”

Jo then asked Dadi to talk a little about a third aspect of dignity – dignity in family life. She asked Dadi how we can instil values in children that can counter the negative influences they face today.

Dadi responded: “Children today do not get the type of sustenance they used to in the past at home, let alone at school.  If the parents come home late, then it’s not surprising that the children do the same. Parents should never scold children but spend time with them. There are many families that have found unity and harmony.  When I came to this institution, I was given 40 children to look after and teach. Brahma Baba (the founder) and Mama (the organisation’s mother figure) taught us how to raise them with love but also discipline: how to walk, talk, sit, etc.  Those children gained a lot of benefit. It is important that parents set the example for them – only then can they imbibe virtues. I always say to people that they should never go to sleep late and they should get up early. I tell them that we (the Brahma Kumaris) don’t have lots of variety in our diet, nor do we waste time and money on fashion and material things. My life should have simplicity, good vision for others and sensible manners. This is what brings us our honour and what instils it in our children.

Audience members were then invited to ask Dadi some questions. The first one asked her how she approached the judgement of character in other people.

Dadi answered: “We must first understand ‘character’. A good character illustrates what God has given us: his qualities of forgiveness, compassion, truth, love, etc.

I should not do anything that brings shame, dishonour or embarrassment in front of God, my parents or my clan. My conscience should prick, if I tell lies, gossip, steal or cheat.  If there are others around you that don’t have this character, you should be able to transform them.

Jo then asked how we could keep our children safe from bad company. Dadi said that it was down to the parents to give children the company they needed, so then they would not need to seek it in other people: “Many children say that they never experienced love from their father or mother. We need to change this.”

The evening ended with Dadi sharing toli (a sweet made with love) with all the audience. A number of those who came said how much they enjoyed Dadi’s insights, including many new people, who said they were keen to come and listen to her again.

Chief Minister of Rajasthan visits Brahma Kumaris HQs

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Hon’ble Smt. Vasundhara Raje, Chief Minister of Rajasthan visits Brahma Kumaris, Gyan Sarovar and Rajyogini Dadi Hridaya Mohini, Addl. Chief of Brahma Kumaris.

Click here to read entire news

Dadi Janki Visits Kuwait & Beirut

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

April 20th . 2008
In Kuwait Dadi inaugurated a third Centre.  Dadi was also received by The Trustees of the Grand Mosque and Under Secretary General of Religion.  It was a very beautiful encounter.  Dadi shared the value of peace and the awareness of one family and the Under Secretary General appreciated enormously the work that was happening through the Brahma Kumaris.  It’s the first time that the Government has recognised the activities of the BKWSU in Kuwait, so it was a very important meeting.

In the afternoon Dadi was welcomed by Sheikh who is the son of the President of Kuwait.  The meeting was at their farm-house.  The Sheikh had laid a beautiful feast with so many deserts, fruits, fresh fruit drinks/juices.  The Sheikh is a very lovely and sincere person who has a lot of love for India and has a hobby of collecting artefacts made of the different types of gem-stones  – rubies, emeralds, topaz etc.  He often goes to India and specially makes a point to visit the temples and having so much love for India.  He was greatly honoured to host Dadi Janki and wanted to make tea for her specially.  He very much believes in values and leading a life free from negative habits, doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink.  Dadi specially encouraged him to take on the task that God is giving us as we are His children and we can do wonders following His guidance. About 8 Brahmins also had the pleasure of the Sheikh’s company..

This also again means that the Government is now aware of the BK activities but also now that the Sheikh very much supports the activities.  There were also meetings with other dignitaries.  It seems that Kuwait is now ready for Baba’s message.

There was a public programme in which 800 souls heard Dadi with a lot of love and attention.  It was a magnificent hall and the topic was ‘The true secret of wealth’.  Since the first students and the instrument in Kuwait have very high level connections, each gathering that took place was of very high calibre people and many seemed to have come very close and are ready to help in Baba’s work.  There also was a interview with one of the main TV channels with Sister Jayanti.

The Ambassador of India was present at many of the meetings and his representative the Cultural Secretary came to all the classes.  Dadi’s arrival and departure was through the VIP lounge arranged by the Indian Embassy.

In Beirut again Dadi’s arrival and departure were through the VIP Lounge and arrangements were made by a close co-operative contact soul since the beginning of activities four years ago.   There was retreat at a beautiful hotel which was originally a palace high in the mountains for a gathering of 100.  Some were Brahmin souls from neighbouring countries and others were local students and contact souls.  Within a space of 24 hours they had several classes from Dadi , Amrit Vela and also World Mediation Hour.

The atmosphere in Beirut is still one of great tension.  It is currently one of the flashpoints in the Middle East and people are desperate for peace.  So once again the response was a very beautiful one.

The most significant part of the trip was a renowned Arabic opera singer Hiba Al Kawas, known throughout the region.  She turns out to be 36 years old, still single and very focused on expressing her love for God through her songs and music.  Dadi met with her the night before the public programme even though it was very late.  It was a very beautiful meeting in which Dadi really appreciates Her love for God.

Apparently when she was born, her mother had a vision of angels and knew that this child was to be a special messenger.  All the Arabic papers carried news of the programmes because of Hiba’s involvement.  The programme took place at UNESCO palace in their beautiful auditorium.  The gathering deeply appreciated Dadi’s message of love and peace.  Hiba very warmly introduced Dadi within the gathering and of course her songs and poetry moved the audience deeply.  Dadi was interviewed by two of the main television stations for a message just prior to the public gathering.

So in a very short space of time service on many different levels happened.  It really seems that the Centre in Beirut is now very solid with a very strong group of students supporting it.

Services news from Thailand

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

29 Feb’08
Sr. Chiitinun and Br.Pom were invited to organize activities for’ Enhancing Concentration in work ‘ at Office of Land Development to 60 personels from all over the country. Br Pom introduced RajaYoga Meditation and Dr.Chittinun distributed virtues cards and did the Virtues Scope from 9.00 to12.00 noon. In March, at Home for Children of Disadvantages and Orphanages, Sr. Chittinun also distributed virtues cards to children, personnels and social workers. They would like her to do Self-Management  and Virtues Scope in the future.

7 March ’08
On International Day of Women, 7 March 2008, Sr. Tim – BK Center coordinator in Pattani who was presented the shield of glorification as outstanding women in Peace promotion campaign in the 3 southern border provinces of Thailand by the Ministry of Society and Security of Humanity Development. Her official name Miss Suphawan Puengrasami aged 49 is recognized as

  • Head of academic cooperation center to give help to the people affected by the political unrest in Pattani
  • Administrator of the Brahma Kumaris Raja Yoga foundation in Pattani (non-profit organization)
  • Senior member of the Pattani Municipal Committee

She has Sr. Aui working closely in both running the center and official workshops particularly in her home town where ‘violence’ is extreme continually for 4 years. Her outstanding performance is as follows:

  • World Peace Day campaign annually.
  • Link of Love project as an act of sharing virtues in Pattani and the surrounding province.
  • Radio Program on Peaceful Wave on Prince of Songkla University, Pattani Channel.
  • Healing the Hearts of the affected women programm in process.
  • Young lawyers – Training on Psychology in self + family + friends +society.

8 March ’08
Shivratri was celebrated amidst an serene atmosphere at the main centre Nonthaburi with Bk family and the public.

Through a dance, the values and virtues were explained to the gathering. A small informal workshop was held encouraging the involvement of the public and all the points of knowledge were explained. The message of Baba and His birthday was also conveyed to all. People went home content and happy.

3 April ’08
About 500 officers and families from all over the countries promoting  the campaign ‘Family with virtues brings about happy society’ received virtues cards distributed at the National Family Assembly. They were amazed that the cards they got really describe their characteristics.

5-7 April’08
3 Days family retreat with Didi Dr. Nirmala at Taweechol Botanical Garden, Chiangmai gave benefit to a gathering of 50 students to experience one family whether old or new, or which place they belong. Following the timetable of Madhuban, the new ones were inspired to make efforts for Madhuban in October whereas those who have been back from Madhuban were affirmed to maintain intense effort making for transformation.

The public program on ‘ the Power of Om’ attracted  60 interested people to take benefit from meditation for life of health, wealth and happiness. Dr. Chao Dong Duen NaChiangmai, the President of Culture Council, Chiangmai and former Madhuban POM guest also attended.

There was also the ceremony to pay respect to the elders on the occasion of Songkran, the Thai New Year Day. Each one was made holy by Didiji showering each one with jasmine scented water, putting the jasmine garland around the neck, giving toli, blessing and gifts.

OM SHANTI..!!

Peace Village Retreats 2008

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

The season at Peace Village opened with two retreats on a bright cold weekend: “Inner Peace – Inner Power” and “Spring Cleaning for the Soul”.

Spring Cleaning for the Soul
March 21 – 23

Spring is the season of renewal, of new energy and new light. ‘Spring Cleaning for the Soul’ participants eager to understand and experiment with the idea of cleanliness within, cleanliness of the soul. Spring inviting us to let go of old patterns that keep us uncomfortable and use the energy of our thoughts in a new way, through classes, workshop, dialogue and personal time for journaling and deepening, the participants explored the meaning of cleanliness, the power of thoughts, the power to let go, habits and also methods to change, and to renew with the real self in order to create a new vision and so a new life. Sr. Kala met with the group on Saturday evening, exploring the subject and offering guidance to the participants and guiding them into deep meditation.

The group enjoyed the karma yoga time as a on-hand practical experience. The Saturday night session around the fireplace, ‘show and tell’ where each one talked about an object they have found during the afternoon walk, and what it really meant to them in relation to the weekend topic, was very revealing for everyone.


Inner Peace Inner Power

March 21 – 23

The retreat Inner Peace: Inner Power attracted souls from quite a few states in the USA. Participants had retreated to the warm atmosphere of Peace Village to explore and learn spiritual concepts embodied in the first four lessons of the Raja Yoga Course. After initial welcome and introductions, participants were presented with the first two lessons, the soul, and the Supreme Soul. After understanding their true identity and that of their Supreme Spiritual Parent they were then taken on a journey of meditation. After this experience which was done repeatedly the spiritual sparkle on their face was noticeable.

The weekend program continued with a variety of activities including lectures with visual aids, a slide show on meditation, walking in soul consciousness, small group meetings with facilitators, guided meditations, meeting with senior teachers, coloring mandalas, and the observance of silence.

All of the above contributed to a deep and enriching for those attending. This was evident from their sharing at the end:

“Now I not only understand what om shanti means but I can practice it.”
“In silence I felt connected to myself… It felt very natural…. I enjoyed it.”
“I have understood my true identity…”
“I will create a sacred space in my home to continue meditating”
“The sorrow I came with has gone.”
“I will come again.”

(This retreat will be offered again: June 20 -22 and October 10 – 12)


Madhuban Experience

March 28 – 30

Leaving behind the busyness of our everyday lives, the four of us are happy to be driving to Peace Village together to participate in the “Madhuban Experience” retreat. The spirit of going to Madhuban is carrying us onward and upward to our mountain destination. The unique spiritual energy, the promise of stepping into my eternal nature so naturally, and another deep and loving experience are beckoning me – as is always the case when I am on my way to Peace Village. It truly feels so peaceful, like a safe haven, like home, to be here in Baba’s yagya. The thought occurs to me, as I exchange drishti with sisters and brothers that love is falling from our eyes. It is an incredibly beautiful and uplifting feeling that makes it seem as though I am hardly touching the ground as I move around, greeting others. I cherish this experience, consciously remind myself to hold on to the feelings so they can sustain me after the weekend.

This time amongst Baba’s family to listen to murlis and classes, to churn knowledge, to exchange ideas, to meditate, and simply to be in this environment of pure spiritual vibrations is an invaluable lift to me. I had heart-to-heart chitchats with Baba that lifted me far above tiredness to the awareness of knowing how important time is now. I wanted to deepen my knowledge to enable me to share it accurately because this is so critical at this time. My experience, and that of many others I spoke to, was very, very intense, wanting to take in as much as possible. Again, every second was valuable and precious, especially because I knew how limited our time together was going to be.

Being part of the divine family became our cherished reality for this short time. There was so much love felt everywhere, and the strength of the powerful spiritual vibrations was touching everyone and everything. During a brief visit to the room that Dadiji had occupied while she was at Peace Village, it seemed to me as though she was actually present, and her pure vibrations uplifted me. It was an ever-so-gentle tug at my heart that made me realize how unlimited this treasure is that she is now bestowing on all of us through her vibrations, and somehow I believe that this is the eternal and natural part she is playing together with us now. The fact that she seemed so close made this a true Madhuban moment for me because it reminded me of seeing her and feeling her presence there in the past, and it brought Baba closer as well. These few minutes were very sweet and became unforgettable.

The rest of this wonderful day brought so many experiences that are still pulling my thoughts like a magnet and filled me with the joy of coming naturally closer to the yagya and to Baba, so that He can use me as an instrument through the specialties He has given me. Baba tells us to have distaste for the old world, old sanskars, old things so that our vibrations can become naturally pure and elevated. During this wonderful weekend, it was so easy to be in that stage, to be totally lost in the experience of love, sweetness, soul consciousness. The richness of each moment, each sweet interaction, and all of the invaluable pearls of wisdom and knowledge that I collected will – I know – sustain me. I would like to close by sharing a poem that came to my mind in response to a group activity that was based on one of Bapdada’s murlis of this season, in which Baba asked us to draw our own picture with the pen of elevated thoughts.

My Portrait

An image appears
as pen draws line
of wondrous beauty,
of a being divine.
I Use words as the paint brush
to make the picture real,
to create my own portrait,
my natural nature to reveal.
It shows physical splendor
not known in this day
and spiritual treasures
that enlighten the way.
How happy the features
and playful the game,
as pen paints the picture
of divinity’s name.
Through elevated thought
and action, and word
winning Mahabharat battle
Using virtue as sword
I now paint this portrait
with Baba as guide
becoming just like Him,
filled with His might.


Nonviolent Thinking – Prelude to a Peaceful World

April 4 – 6

During the weekend of April 4 -6th, a retreat was held on ‘Non-violent Thinking – Prelude to a Peaceful World.’ The small gathering of invitees, within the peaceful atmosphere of Peace Village, was perfect for exploring the theme. The intimacy of fewer numbers quickly became a comfortable space for a deep sharing of experiences. The participants were from areas of non-violence work across United States, as far as Eugene, Oregon; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Waco, Texas. Participants included guest speaker Kirit Daftary from the Jain community, who spoke on Ahimsa as well as teachers of non-violent communication, therapists, a social worker and a strong team of yogis to hold the atmosphere. Sr.Gayatri served as a spiritual resource and lifted everyone’s spirit to the highpoint of the retreat.

The workshop was organized with the aim of creating shared spiritual experiences of nonviolence through presentations and dialogue; supported by meditation and silence. A presentation on spiritual nourishment, followed by a guided meditation, brought everyone to a place of inner peace. Inner and outer silence ensued through lunch until tea time, after which we shared thoughts from that inner silence.

The experience of silence allowed everyone to realize the depth of the retreat­which centered around the experience of inner peace through which one can practice nonviolent thinking. As the weekend continued, we reflected and dialogued on questions such as:

  • Can we identify in our thoughts, moments of subtle violence against ourselves or others?
  • How do we overcome these thoughts?
  • What is the source of our strength and courage to follow this path?
  • Can we effectively disarm ourselves internally from hatred, revenge, anger, fear and still win?
  • Can we save our world through inner disarmament?

We heard and shared heart warming stories during the Appreciative Inquiry process. Our reflections and realizations led to conversations on the importance of having a spiritual life and practice. Many were touched to deepen their relationship with the Divine as a source of power in the journey towards nonviolent thinking. It became evident that for true nonviolence, our thinking needs to come from a naturally peaceful place. The experience of inner silence allowed participants to uncover their own peace­which transformed nonviolent thinking into peaceful thinking.

We discovered that it was the silence that held the growth of our seed thoughts. Then we experienced that the flowering of our thoughts from silence produced the sweet fruit of sustained peace. Our shared experiences brought tender feelings of appreciation for each other’s expressions. With such appreciation came a growing understanding of seeing each other with spiritual eyes, nonviolent eyes­more so with the peaceful eyes of inner silence, which lead to clarity of thinking and beyond that, to peaceful communications.

Participants left with a deep urge to continue their work on nonviolence and a deeper commitment to their individual spirituality. It was a great gift to be there. There are plans to have this as an ongoing theme for exploration in retreats and other programs in the coming months.

Tao of the Traveller

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Global Co-operation House, London
16th and 19th April 2008, 7pm

Around 30 people, including 20 media and IP contacts, attended a private screening of Baba’s new film Tao of the Traveller in the Conference Hall at GCH on Wednesday 16th April.  The film was shown after a warm welcome from Sister Maureen and brief introduction by Robin Ramsay. With Tamasin Ramsay as the Traveller, the voices of Clarke Peters and Lucinda Drayton and the most exquisite and touching scenes from the natural world, the film beautifully and simply introduces the viewer to the ‘seven keys of enlightenment’ – in effect: soul, God, the Home, karma, the cycle, the 8 powers and sharing knowledge.

After the film Brother Robin and Brother Prashant (HIM Studios, Gyan Sarovar) shared what had inspired the making of the film and their experiences of the process – “the challenges and the miracles”.   Enthusiastic audience members wanted to know how they had managed to find and film such extraordinary scenes from nature – landscapes and animals.  One suggested that it was as if “nature was fitting in with the story.”  Another commented on the “very meditative rhythm of the whole film.”  Brother Prashant shared how “it was as if some Divine power was at work; we would think about certain things and they would just happen.”

In thanking and congratulating the Brothers on such a beautiful and authentic creation, Sister Maureen commented how it demonstrated the power of a strong vision.  She then closed the evening with a short meditation.

On Saturday 19th April, an 330 people attended a public screening of the film in the auditorium.  As they were leaving, people commented on how “inspired” they had been, that these ideas “needed looking into” and that they were keen to see it again.

For information:

  • The film was shown to full houses in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen in the last week.
  • TOTT is invited to the Fallbrook Film Festival in California 25-27 April 2008.
  • DVDs of the film will be available for purchase within one month. Funds received from the sale of the DVD will remain with the yagya.

OM SHANTI..!!