Brahma Kumaris

Generally known as the Brahma Kumaris (BKs) the movement’s official title is The Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University (BKWSU).

Kumari is usually translated as ‘daughter’, reflecting the emphasis placed on the leadership of women in the organisation. The Brahma Kumaris often advertise themselves under their main practical teaching, Raja Yoga. Raja Yoga does not involve mantras or breathing techniques or special postures, but merely calming one’s mind by ‘contacting the supreme soul’ (represented as a point of light). Practitioners are encouraged to sit quietly for 10-20 minutes, with eyes open, gazing gently outward. The practitioner is then directed towards withdrawing attention from the senses and observing the passage of thoughts. Then, a positive thought is introduced, e.g. ‘I am a peaceful soul,’ and attention is brought back to this thought while neutrally observing other passing thoughts. The meditation is ended with a few moments of mental ‘silence’ with the eyes closed. The objective of all BK meditation is to recognise the self not as a body but as a soul. The BKs teach that anyone, whatever their religion, can follow this practise.