Origins & beliefs
The Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University (BKWSU) was founded in 1937 in Karachi by Brahma Baba, a businessman and philanthropist who had a vision of how people of all cultural backgrounds could come together to rediscover and develop the spiritual dimension of their lives. The BKWSU:
- works in 84 countries around the world
- operates through more than 5,000 centres including three in Scotland (Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow), and over 30 in the rest of the UK
- the world headquarters is in Mt Abu, Rajasthan, India
Brahma Baba set up a trust of twelve women to run the organisation and this system has continued with mainly women running its centres around the world. The current administrative heads of the BKSWU are both founding students and are women now aged in their 80’s.
The University’s core curriculum is offered in the form of a foundation course in meditation, based on the teachings of Raja Yoga.
This is the path of understanding and knowing one’s identity as a spiritual being. Students study Raja Yoga meditation, the linking of the soul with the Supreme soul through the power of pure and elevated thinking.
Customs & worship
Places of worship:
Classes are held at the University’s learning centres and people from all backgrounds and cultures attend.
There are currently around 500,000 regular students worldwide who attend meetings daily in the early morning before work time, for meditation and spiritual study.
- providing a service to local communities of a variety of educational programmes and courses at no cost to the participants, with an emphasis on meditation and personal spiritual development
- running activities both independently and with other organisations to explore the spiritual dimension in different areas including: youth, women, men, inter religious dialogue, business, prison life, education, science, social work and health care.
In honour of its founder Brahma Baba, the BKSWU celebrates the 18th January as a special day of silence and meditation experience, dedicated to world peace.
Food and diet:
All students are encouraged to eat a lacto vegetarian diet free from alcohol and tobacco and to abstain from recreational drugs.
Concerns of the community:
As an international nongovernmental organisation, the BKSWU holds general consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations and consultative status with UNICEF.
It continues to contribute to raising world awareness of spiritual values through local, national and international projects, like: Global Cooperation for a better world or the UN International Year for the Culture of Peace.
The BKWSU is also an active sponsor of Living Values, an education programme which is a partnership amongst educators around the world, sponsored by UNESCO.
The BKSWU provides a caring, cooperative and supportive environment that allows personal growth, recognising that “when we change, the world changes”.