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How to Meditate

Meditating is easy. Raja Yoga even has the name ‘Easy Raja Yoga’. But sometimes getting started needs a little explanation. Here is a simple five-step process to follow. Soon you’ll arrive at the quiet still place with just a single stride – a single thought – and you won’t even need to take five steps.

The Brahma Kumaris are a Spiritual movement that originated in Hyderabad, Sindh, during the 1930s. The Brahma Kumaris (Sanskrit: ब्रह्माकुमारी, “Daughters of Brahma” movement was founded by Lekhraj Kripalani. The organization is affiliated with the United Nations and is known for the prominent role that women play in the movement.

It teaches a form of meditation that focuses on identity as souls, as opposed to bodies. They believe that all souls are intrinsically good and that God is the source of all goodness.The organization teaches to transcend labels associated with the body, such as race, nationality, religion, and gender, and it aspires to establish a global culture based on what it calls “soul-consciousness”.

In 2008, the movement claimed to have more than 825,000 regular students, with over 8,500 centers in 100 countries.

The Brahma Kumaris, originally called Om Mandala, started in Hyderabad, Sindh in north-west India.It received this name because members would chant “Om” together, before having discourse on spiritual matters in the traditional satsang style. The original discourses were closely connected to the Bhagavad Gita.

The founder, Lekhraj Khubchand Kristian (who became known in the group as “Om Baba”) was a wealthy jewellery.He reported what he said were a series of visions and other transcendental experiences that commenced around 1935 and became the basis for the discourses. He said he believed there was a greater power working through him and that many of those who attended these gatherings were themselves having spiritual experiences. The majority of those who came were women and children from the Bhaibund caste – a caste of wealthy merchants and business people whose husbands and fathers were often overseas on business.

After about three years of meetings it became clear that Om Mandali was giving very special importance to the role of women, and was not adhering to the caste system. The group had named a 22-year-old woman, Radhe Pokardas Rajwani (then known as “Om Radhe”) as its president, and her management committee was made up of eight other women. People from any caste were allowed to attend meetings. The group also advocated that young women had the right to elect not to marry and that married women had the right to choose a celibate life. In tradition-bound patriarchal India, these personal life decisions were the exclusive right of men.A committee headed by a number of important male members of the Bhaibund community began to form in opposition and became known as the ‘Anti-Om Mandali Committee’. On 21 June 1938 this group picketed Om Mandala’s premises preventing members from entering. This caused considerable upheaval in the community. Women attending were verbally abused, there was an attempt to burn the premises down and the police made several arrests. Many women and girls were later victims of domestic violence in their homes. The picketing resulted in criminal proceedings being taken against both groups, and on 16 August 1938 the local District Magistrate ordered that Om Mandali be prevented from meeting. This ban was reversed on 21 November 1938 after an appeal to the Court of the Judicial Commissioner of Sind. In an unusual move the judges directly criticized the District Magistrate for trying to punish the victims for the disturbance caused by the perpetrators and for trying to apply the law according to his own personal bias. Nevertheless, in an increasingly sour atmosphere, Om Mandali had decided to leave Hyderabad and gradually relocated its activities to Karachi in the latter half of 1938. Approximately 300 members moved.

On 31 March 1939 the government appointed a tribunal to inquire into the activities of Om Mandali. When the Tribunal made its findings, Om Radhe responded by compiling a book titled Is this Justice? criticizing the tribunal, which did not have a constitutional basis and made its findings without taking evidence from Om Mandali.In May 1939 the government used the tribunal’s findings to effectively reinstate the ban, declaring Om Mandali an “unlawful association” under section 16 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1908. Nevertheless, Om Mandali continued to hold their Sat-sangs, and the government did not enforce it. Possibly because of this the committee then hired someone to kill Om Baba, but the attempt was unsuccessful.

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