Mount Abu, high in the Aravali Mountains of Rajasthan, provided an ideal location for reflection and contemplation for the original group's move from Karachi in 1950. After a few years in a rented building, the community moved to the present site which remains the Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya (Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University). The Brahma Kumaris spiritual headquarters is known as Madhuban (‘Forest of Honey').
Brahma Kumaris was founded by Dada Lekhraj Kripalani, a retired Indian businessman, in 1937 in Hyderabad, a city now in Pakistan. His spiritual name is Prajapita Brahma and he is lovingly called Brahma Baba. After experiencing a series of visions in 1936, he was inspired to create a school where the principles and practices of a virtuous and meditative life could be taught. The original name was 'Om Mandali'. It consisted of a handful of men, women and children, many of whom decided to stay together as a community.
In spite of the incredible social upheavals which were going on in pre-Partition India, these people came together, initially in Hyderabad and a year later they moved to Karachi. With time, a simple and clear body of knowledge about the nature of the soul, God and time became revealed. In 1950 (two years after Partition), the group moved to its present location in Mount Abu, India. Until then, these nearly 400 individuals lived as a self-sufficient community, devoting their time to intense spiritual study, meditation and self-transformation.
Brahma Baba, the founder
Who was he?
Brahma Baba, born into a humble home as Lekhraj Kripalani in the 1880s, was the son of a village schoolmaster. Lekhraj was brought up within the disciplines of the Hindu tradition. After different jobs, he entered the jewellery business, later earning a considerable fortune as a diamond trader. He was the father of five children and a leader within his local community, known especially for his philanthropy. In 1936, around the time when most people at his age start to plan their retirement, he actually entered into the most active and fascinating phase of his life. After a series of deep spiritual experiences and visions, he felt an extremely strong pull to give up his business and dedicate his time, energy and wealth to laying the foundations of what later would become the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University. Between 1937 and 1938, he formed a Managing Committee of eight young women and surrendered all his property and assets to a Trust administered by them.
After guiding the creation of many Brahma Kumaris centres throughout India, he passed on in January 1969. The Tower of Peace on the Madhuban campus is a tribute to the invincible spirit of this ordinary human being who achieved greatness by rising to the challenge of the deeper truths of life.
Brahma Baba's legacy
Many years have passed since Brahma Baba's series of visions in 1936. The lifestyle revolution he began has inspired millions to empower themselves and create hope for the future. The life skills that Brahma Baba taught have stood the test of time. The young women that he put to the forefront, now in their eighties and nineties, have become beacons of love, peace and wisdom.
Dadi Hridaya Mohini
She is the Administrative Head of Brahma Kumaris. Her name means ‘The one who attracts the heart'. It fits the way she is exactly. Popularly known as Gulzar (‘rose garden'), she was one of the original members of the boarding school set up in 1937 by Brahma Baba. Her long-term, concentrated training in spiritual principles and practice has made her a living example of virtues. Simple, silent and profound she also inspires millions throughout the world.
Dadi Ratan Mohini
She is the Additional Administrative Head of Brahma Kumaris and is one of the backbone members residing at the Headquarters. In childhood she created the foundation of her life in the early days of Brahma Kumaris. She lives up to her name 'most beautiful jewel' by always appearing light and tension-free. Dedicated and forthright, her focus has been the development and training programmes for teachers throughout India and serves as the spiritual resource to the team of young people responsible for the personal development and growth of youth. Now in her nineties, she remains lively and young at heart.
She is the Joint Administrative Head. Dadi Ishu and her family came into contact with the Brahma Kumaris when she was very young. She joined the boarding school set up by the organisation, which provided a balance of formal and spiritual education and training. After the community shifted to Mount Abu in the 1950s, Dadi handled all correspondence for the Founder, Brahma Baba, and later became one of the instruments to look after the Finance Department. Dadi's dignity, introversion, loyalty and commitment make her a powerful spiritual pillar of support for all.