FROM PAKISTAN TO INDIA
1949 – 1952 It is unclear exactly when the community stopped referring to the Shrimad Bhagwad Gita and preferenced the vanis (daily theology now called murlis) spoken by Brahma Baba with Shiv Baba also speaking. However, the 2nd, 3rd and 4th World Congress on Religions tell us that the Shrimad Bhagwad Gita was their frame of reference through 1955, and at that time they believed the Gita contained the versions of Lord Brahma (not Shiva). There was no clarity yet about or between the two distinct personalities of Brahma Baba (a human soul and student) and Shiv Baba (the Supreme Soul, God).
Dada Anand Kishore, who was much more mature than many others, reportedly had a strong sense of another personality at work, as did Brahma Baba. However, what this meant, who it was, and how it worked remained unknown through most – and possibly all – of the 1950s. The great sweep of belief was the Brahma was the corporeal manifestation of Supreme Soul Trimurti God.
May 1950 Baba directs all records from Pakistan to be destroyed or buried, to prevent the dissemination of misunderstanding. Many are reluctant to leave their precious diaries, so Baba tells them to bury their books and that these would then be discovered on the path of bhakti and form the basis of the scriptures in the next kalpa.
Om Mandli loads their luggage onto camel carts and leaves Pakistan by steamer, arriving at the port of Okha, in the state of Gujarat, India.
Gangeshwaranand Swami, (the guru of Kaka Mulchand and the family of Didi Manmohini) offered his bungalow in Ahmedabad to the community. However, upon seeing it, Didi Manmohini and Sister Rukmani decided that it would be too small. Gangeshwaranand then suggested to the sisters that they visit Mount Abu, and asked one of his followers to accompany them and Dada Vishwa Kishore. After seeing a number of places, Dada found and recommended Brij Khoti (‘Bharatpur Khoti’ the house of the Maharaja of Bharatpur) as a place for the community to stay when first arriving in Mount Abu.
Dada has his own room and would give spiritual discourse in the morning after which a group of 50-60 of them would go for a walk. Baba set the standard uniform for that activity: white shirts, blue shorts and tennis shoes for all sisters and brothers. Baba would distinguish himself by wearing a white shirt and white shorts.
THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE (JAPAN)
1952 – 1955 Shortly afterwards, Brahma started sending small groups of sisters out on service to disseminate their teachings through the cities of India. Also, the first group travel outside of India for the first time:
“Miss Prakashmani”, “Miss Rattan Mohini” and “Mr Anand Kishore” participated at the 2nd, 3rd and 4th World Congress of Religions held in Japan during 1954-1955. Transcripts of the entire conferences were discovered at the New York Public Library in late 2014. This page is being rewritten on the basis of these substantive texts.
Until recently the 1950s was a period of a time where little was known or understood. Thanks to the World Congress of Religions transcripts, we can now understand the development of Brahma Kumaris spiritual understanding from the narratives of those who lived it. NB. Extracts, links to transcripts and links to original documents are below.
The 1950s was a time when the sisters first went out to establish centres and teach what they had been learning. As young and enthusiastic teachers, the World Congress of Religions seems to have been a good forum for Miss Prakashmani, Miss Rattan Mohini and Mr Kishore to disseminate their teachings to an international audience for the very first time.
God was still considered Trimurti God who created through God Brahma, sustained through God Vishnu (bifurcating as Shri Lakshmi and Shri Narayan in the first half of the Cycle) and destroying through Shankar. According to the lectures given during the World Congress of Religions, we can determine with a high degree of certainty that that identity of God Father Shiva is a distinct personality was still unknown. Regardless, the clarity, conviction and dedication of Miss (Dadi) Prakashmani, Miss (Dadi) Rattan Mohini and (Dada) Mr Kishore were absolute.
BACK IN MADHUBAN
1955 – 1958 200 hundred of them remained at Brij Khotifor five years before moving to Kota House in 1955. In 1958 they moved to Pokran House, now the site of their revered headqarters called Pandav Bhawan. They call the ashram at Pandav Bhawan ‘Madhuban’, named after the garden where Krishna played in the scriptures.
Around this time the “Beggary Period” begins, continuing for around 10 years. During the Beggary Period many children returned home to their families, rather than withstand the discomforts brought by simple food, cold weather and high altitude. The money had run out and those from wealthy families now had to sew, cook, repair bikes and clean.
Regarding the form of God, the Supreme Soul is still thought of as thumb shaped or “jyoti-lingum” as opposed to the later “jyoti-bindu”.
We are no longer sure of the two paragraphs below. We know that the 1950s was a time of transition and clarification regarding their understanding, however the texts from 1954 and 1955 don’t seem to indicate any clear understanding of Shiv Baba as God. Stay tuned though… I’m still reading.
1956-57 Clarification of the three faculties of the soul: Mind, Intellect and Sanskaras, and understanding of the Three Worlds (Incorporeal World – non-physical home of souls, Subtle World – non-physical home of angelic consciousness, Corporeal World – physical home of the Drama and the entire physical universe). It seems that much of this clarification was done by Brahma Baba in conversation with Brother Jagdish Hassija Chander. Jagdish bhai was the scholar, main writer and head intellectual within the Brahma Kumaris, and greatly revered. He wrote numerous books and his text “Adi Dev” has become the reference book for all independent scholarship on the Brahma Kumaris, and a believe history and knowledge book for those on the path, or with a personal interest in the spiritual organisation.
1957-60 In general, members of the community now understand that Shiv Baba, God, speaks through Brahma Baba, the first prince of Golden Age and the father of the people, and that God is not omnipresent. Confluence Age is understood. The form of the soul and the Supreme Soul is Jyoti Lingam (oval form or thumb shaped). Knowledge of the Supreme Soul as Jyoti Bindu comes a little later. This is clear from examining the poster of the Tree illustrated between 1955 and 1960 which shows President Eisenhower (January 1953- January 1961) and USSR Leader Khrushchev (February 1955 to October 1964) as the top of the tree, in opposition to each other. God Shiva is identified as Jyoti Lingam. The same understanding is affirmed in the picture of the Cycle illustrated within the same time period.