Dadi Janki – Leadership in Action

Dadi Janki Leadership in Action event May 7th 2013 London

It is my fortune to be here in this gathering in this special atmosphere. We can see each other with feelings of respect and love. That brings great atmosphere.

Gina said: I have several questions for you. Dadi teased: You’re testing me!

In setting the context for the first question, Gina explained: I meet many women as I travel who have had business careers and been in corporations, and over the last say 10 years they have been training up in many different skills … training to live their life purpose and do what they feel is their mission.
In working outside of traditional business and corporate life, they find there are different measures of success. Many women are not getting paid the same, if at all; they are working on service to the world, they know it is important work, but it does not have the same level of financial success as before. It can be hard because it is easy to be filled with doubt.

Now Dadi, you came from India in 1974 and you equally were in a ground-breaking new area, where nobody knew you or your work; what was it that sustained you when there weren’t the fruits coming back, little feedback?

I actually came in April 1974, juts a couple of weeks beyond this date. What sustained her was honesty, love and trust.
First honesty. All of you should think about this. It is possible to do business but whatever you do don’t get busy. When you get busy you start to worry: where is the money going to come from, how am I going to manage? People out there in the world engaged in business or whatever, internally through spiritual knowledge they understand what it is they need inside themselves.
Honesty: just check the self because that gives power. It is not ven a question of proving to someone that ‘yes I am honest’ because in real truth and honesty, there is humility. (13 minutes)
Then there is such success that other people begin to have trust. The secret in having honesty and love is that there is no discrimination. Race, colour, language: no discrimination inside. And human beings are able to receive what it is they really need. Early days, I used to give lectures at the Spiritual Association of Great Britain, Knightsbridge.

These are the things that human beings need.
They practically experience that.

You have this deep feeling inside.
People are so dependent on money that they have the question: how will I manage without money?
money on its own isn’t wealth: happiness is a treasure. Happiness is a currency. I wear simple white clothes, my pockets are empty, I don’t carry a handbag, I have never asked anyone for anything. early days it was a challenge to get Dadi to stay. I have come for service.I am here as a mother.
My desire is that all of God’s children should stay happy and I got permanent residency. I travel round the worlds. They see my face and give me a visa.
One of the traits of women is having fear. I have no fear. If you want me to share secrets then it is difficult to give you short answers.

(19 mins 30 seconds)

As things expanded and your influence expanded and your responsibilities grew and the BKs moved from 1-2 countries to 130 countries, what I see in you is no increase in you in anxiety and tension. (You have been watching me from a distance? Dadi joked) When there is attention there is no tension. Just that one letter added to the word.

I have never had the thought that I have done this nor do I ever have the thought that I have to do it. I haven’t done anything, the one above has done everything – I have simply been an instrument. I just became his instrument. You (Gina) have been an instrument for God to do this work. So what is the intention behind your questions? So others can understand all this and get to know the one. IN India when I was told I hd to go abroad I said but I don’t speak English. The signal was strong from above, I had to come. I understood that I had to share all that I had received. What had I received? Happiness, peace, love.

The one above has given so much. Years ago, someone gave an introduction for me saying: “She cares, shares and inspires”. The one above is getting it all done and if I say I have done it then that is stealing. It’s external show. There is so much tension because people are so focused on external show. Money and position. I don’t do anything for money of for position. In the world out there, people (women included) think how can I do anything without money or position? How can I even go from here to there?

Another secret is that I have never had the question HOW. I have never thought it. When you think in a positive way then there is power. Will it happen… will it not? No Don’t ask the question will it happen, just have faith. Thinking of questions is like standing in a queue which is not very royal. I don’t like that.

Question: I want to ask a question about women leaders. There are many conversations about the lack of women leaders in companies. Even in tonight’s Evening Standard newspaper it says that only 3 of the top FTSE 100 companies have a female CEO.

It works the other way here, we have 3 brothers in leadership roles and all the rest are women. In order to respect the brothers we put them in front. In India we had a conversation about the difference between respect and regard In the world out there, people don’t think it is important to give the men respect. It is as if God has awoken the women who were sleeping, time is telling us it is time to awaken and to awaken others.there was a song we used to play, the lyrics are very beautiful … mother oh mother, awaken .. you are the bestower of fortune, your children are sleeping, awaken them. And so for 77 years this has been my work. But in fact even before I came to the Brahma Kumaris I had a feeling that I am not just an ordinary girl. From age 10 I had dignity, good self respect .. I wanted to be able to do good karma, good action .. actions filled with truth, I should not speak lies out of greed or attachment and where there is greed and attachment there is also anger. That’s not my dignity. That has been my practice to maintain my inner seat of dignity, to be sat on that seat … and this is why God has brought me here. There was a time when there was total disregard for women and women were expected simply just to be at home and look after the children but in the last 5-60 years there has been so much transformation … so nobody can think that I am the only one earning an income .. So in India and as well as abroad we have seen this change. Earlier women didn’t work .. and internally there is a thought that work doesn’t just mean a means to earn money but it is an opportunity to engage with others and be n good company and through that to generate more happiness, health, wealth and the feeling that it is important not to be dependent on anyone in any way. Then there is happiness and there is power.

One of the many reasons they say that women are not leaders of companies is that they are not normally ‘visible’ when decisions are made on who is going to have the top job … and one of the initiatives for young women taken at a private girls’ school recently by the headmistress, the Headmistress organised “Blow Your Own Trumpet” week. So the question is how do we be more visible and but not live in our ego? How do we be women and not out there blowing our trumpets which we really don’t want to do?

What I have seen through the work we do here is that, Yes, we don’t blow our own trumpet but also that if I pay attention to developing values in myself then those values become visible in my activity and that becomes known. Also, I have to tell you that I don’t like this word “leadership” as a heading … people work so hard to become a leader … today I have a chair but tomorrow someone will take away that chair and throw me out. Today I have this chair but tomorrow what will happen? I don’t
know. But if people see you are working with honesty, with love, their hearts will accept
you. I don’t use the word “responsibility” . I don’t feel I am responsible but yes, I know what
my duty is; it is my obligation, it’s motherly love. People often say to me that they
experience me as their mother or grandmother, they experience that love. And most
children have even more love for their grandmother than their mother so it is not
attachment but it is pure love, spiritual love … it is your love (Gina) that is making you do
all of this (inviting this gathering). The inner love. If I had the power of love inside and
shared that so that others can feel it. In Hindi there is an expression, an incognito donation
is the highest form of charity. Love is not something that you can buy or sell so don’t get in
to the tension of buying or selling.
One of the things that it is important for everyone to do, but particularly women, is to
understand the gifts that we have, the skills… particularly the feminine caring ones that are
not always seen. It is important for us to have that self awareness of our value. I am
interested to know what Dadi values about herself.When you ask and I have to answer I go inside, even for a second, in silence .. it has
become natural for me to do that.
I am able to maintain my own value and self-respect because I don’t want respect from
outside and if somebody disrespects me I don’t have a bad feeling about it. And the
service I do is tireless and it is altruistic. My aim has been to be tireless in my task so that
even though I am not getting a response now, it’s OK I keep the faith that it will happen.
Finally a moment will come when there will be that awareness of the benefit gained and
there is no thought that I can give something but rather there is the thought that Let souls
receive whatever it is they need. With spirituality we understand the values that lie within
the self and the more I stay in the awareness of my own value, the more I am unaffected
by any disrespect that may come from outside. And usually in todays world people give
respect only for a motive. They want something so they give you respect for that. And I
have no motive.
And so because it is with good feelings that I do what I need to do that pure feeling
touches others and at some point there is a response and I am not interested in external
show. Very early on I spoke to the founder Brahma Baba, we’re working so hard and we
are not getting any response. And Baba said, child (he was 40 years her senior) just
continue to serve with good feelings, good wishes and they will reach the soul and at
some point you will see the results. And this was when we were having a hard time in
India, at that point I could never have imagined that these teachings would have reached
across the world but what I have seen is, when souls find something that is real then the
transformation that happens as a result of that is very easy because when you get
something real and valuable you let go of that which is artificial and false.
what is false, what is right, what is wrong, what is charity? It becomes clear and one is
liberated from that which is artificial, and when there is reality there is royalty in the self …
that dignity.
Early days we used to have real jewellery, real diamonds, real gold, now as time has gone
on there is so much that is artificial has a lot of attraction but no value. And so to have
realisation, to have the power to discern what is true and not to be influenced by that
which is false. Also not to seek to create that influence or impress others myself.
If there is one fundamental principal for women as leaders, what would that be?
We have to get rid of this word Leader.
What shall we replace it with?
Being an Instrument… a Server… to be able to take power from above and do whatever I
need to do. Sometimes when you eat raw fruit and it can give a little pain. We can do
things and immediately want the results
we have to wait for the fruit to ripen.
Patience. If I have patience, the fruit of patience ….
51.44 ?
I do a little bit but if I receive a little feedback, a little honour, if I feel content with that, I
haven’t done enough I need to do more rather than be satisfied with just a little.
And so to maintain my self respect I mustn’t be selfish. Not to expect anything but to
accept others. Sometimes a person does something and then I have greater
expectations, I want them to do more and more. A few English words I have learned have
taught me a lot. I shouldn’t carry any old impressions inside, if I carry any past impressions I can’t give inspiration. Strength, power, energy … internally I should not have any
weaknesses because they disturb my self-respect.
I mustn’t be dependent on anyone and if I remove my weaknesses through self-respect,
living in the world today I need 3 powers most of all.
The power is tolerance. From the first I had to tolerate so much …..
I have gained a lot of strength. When I have the power of tolerance I become
unshakeable, stable. Sometimes we are attracted to things, sometimes when difficulties
come we become scared… but with inner to maintain stability to become unshakeable and
The skin and money attract the mind .. (?)
I want it then when it goes I get scared. And so with the power of tolerance I am able to
stay to content. It is a gift i receive. (I did not ask for this drink but it came – Dadi is given a
The 2nd is the power of contentment. If I remain unshakeable inside
The 3rd is the power to discern, which means to be very sharp.
The jeweler and the fool rhyme in Hindi.
The jeweler knows how to discern the value of a jewel.
How can the foolish one understand the value of anything.
If there is a shop with jewels an done with grains. People go in to a jewel shop to look and
to buy.
… and so if I develop the power to discern. This is a very different type of business.
not to be busy to collect truths
a 4th one, the Power to Decide. If I can discern I can come to a decision quickly.
I see people judging others but the important thing is to be able to judge myself.
If I can judge myself: what is it that I need to do ….instead of thinking about what others
are doing ….. If I do what is right, others will see and learn. It is paying attention to all
these things which has brought me to this point. One is victory, the other is success. Two
fingers for victory … God and me. I am not alone. Three fingers and the symbol means
wisdom (like a W). Not W for Why … but W for Wisdom.
If there is the sound of WHY then there will be high distress
Dadi liked the fact that questions were harvested from the audience beforehand.
Is there a way for men to lead in a feminine way and how can they go about this,
particularly in businesses in what is known as a masculine way?
Dadi pointed out that it is not so easy for men to develop feminine qualities but what is
more possible is for them to deal with the negative side of their personality which is their
ego. “The heart of a woman is very soft and tender, and it comes into feeling very quickly
and she can get hurt very easily which is the negative aspect for her. Men have a
tendency to be bossy” …. so when the BK organisation developed, a key aspect was for
the sisters to learn how to strengthen their hearts. As a result of doing that “nobody can
show their authority or bossiness to us. So it’s not a question for men of developing
feminine qualities, it’s about letting go of the bossiness and ego”.
Ihr 15 minsDadi continued: “Sometimes there is the external show of the bossiness but internally they
are upset that we are not doing as they want us to do.” Dadi pointed out that today it is
easy for couples who don’t get on to get divorced but men and women who follow the path
of spirituality learn to work with each other so there isn’t the question of divorce (real or
metaphorical). “Being able to value each other’s qualities [is important]…. it’s a fact, men
can do certain things, women can do certain things, and so to be able to recognise the
differences and be able to value them. If we learn to give respect it makes our own life
very elevated; no matter what may happen, never to give up respect.” Dadi counselled not
to remember ‘situations’ but to continue to give respect.
When the BK community started in 1937 there were 350 women and just 5 men… and
now in India the community is more or less equal. Men are very much part of the
organisation, very good helpers, the women give them respect, and the men reciprocate
which makes for success. “What works is for men not to exercise authority or bossiness
and for women not to have a heart that’s hurt easily. A true heart, a big heart and a strong
heart; then men and women are both very good.”
What are the qualities needed in a leader of a large organisation that will inspire everyone
in the organisation to like its values in all their relationships inside and outside the
organisation? How to get everyone aligned?
Constantly to see specialities … see the specialities of each person. You have your own
specialities and I have mine .. what you have I can’t have but what I have can also come to
you. To keep the intellect above limits. Not to get stuck in limitations here but to go up
above, and beyond. This is a subtle method. Very subtle, but it means we don’t get stuck
and we don’t stop anywhere. We keep moving
The most important value is for us to see each person’s speciality …
Dadi congratulated the audience …. she said: The income you have earned today
spiritually will help you say goodbye to weaknesses forever. I have not mentioned energy.
First we take strength and remove our weaknesses then we take powers, I mentioned a
few of them, then things are easy, we never say it is a problem … and then people ask
“Where do you get your energy from?”
I have never wasted my time, my money, my energy. I have used it in a worthwhile way. I
don’t have £5 in my hand, I did not bring 5 rupees from India with me when I came to
London and I did not take £5 back to India. But I have never wasted anything.
1hr 13min 30sec a story here
Be accurate with your honesty and with your time.
Be ever-ready to do whatever work comes your way
How would you define God?
Knowing God, to have knowledge of God, being able to have a relationship with God .. this
is what my life is about. We always think of our physical relationships connected with the
body … mother, father, brother, guru…. but God is the one who is all of them .. and most of
all he is my friend. As we hear God’s knowledge, the knowledge is very elevated, the
intellect is uplifted. The first thing to know is “I am a Soul” “I am separate to the body” …
This body has a name. Education, position .. all of this is connected to the body but God’s knowledge is to know the self, to recognise God, and from God we attain wisdom and
insight. He also teaches us about the philosophy of karma
1 hy 18m 40sec (still more…)
Gina summary of highlights to take away that evening:
1. a redefinition of leadership is needed … although we have the term servant leadership
we have an opportunity to re-think and re-look at the term leadership and that is also
an opportunity for women. So much that comes from Dadi is about leading by example
and being the example, doing it practically, being the model for people to follow.
2. What came up many times was respect for other people. I really don’t think we respect
each other enough in our society, and the self respect, that really seems to give us
strength and that elevates us in all our relationships and our work. Self respect is key.
3. The patience of knowing that when we have the faith then we are doing the right thing.
Even though those shoots are not coming out visibly through the ground now, we
deeply know that we are doing the right thing and the results will emerge later. In the
world that we work in of making a difference, as opposed to the immediate results we
could expect in the old way of work that we all remember but have left behind, patience
is an important value.
4. And the importance of creating environments of love like here, to be in here in Dadi’s
love, to feel the love and connection, how deeply nourishing it is, and to take it with us
and use it in our lives, our work and our business. It is importance, the currency of love.

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