Early History

by Tamasin Ramsay

August 1938
Due to violence and protesting, the community moves to Karachi and changes their name to Rajsuva Asvamedh Avinashi Gyan Yagya (the indestructible sacred fire of knowledge in which the horse is sacrificed). Nevertheless, the protesting follows them. As do a series of court cases brought by members’ families to try to – unsuccessfully – disband Om Mandli.

1939 – 1942
Experiences of bodiless samadhi increase amongst everyone. They experience merging with the Brahm element. Many report experiencing ‘light upon light’. Early pictures (drawn in the early to mid 1940s) show ‘Infinite Divine Light’ written around the Cycle and the Tree, as this is what they frequently experience in their meditation.
Dada writes notes in the morning and Mama reads them to the class. Trance messengers share their experiences daily so that others may learn from them. The community has stopped reading the Gita and notes down what is being spoken through Brahma, recognizing it as distinctive.

1942 – 43
The role of Brahma is clarified for the first time. A young Sister, Pushpa, goes into trance, and then a whispering voice (that we now understand to be the influence of Shiv Baba) speaks through her. Dada refers to this ‘personality’ as Piyu, meaning the Beloved. No-one had heard this voice before, so it generates some interest, particularly in Dada, as it confirms his intuition that there is another power, another personality, responsible for the experiences he and others are having. They begin to call the written notes that Dada writes ‘Piyu Vanis (versions of the beloved)’.
Piyu gives Dada the name ‘Brahma’ and clarifies the role of Brahma as creator. With this revelation, members start referring to him as Prajapati (Lord of the World) God Brahma. This confirms their bhakti understanding of Dada as a form or incarnation of God Vishnu. Brahma Baba though, believes in the distinct personality of Piyu. However, that does little to convince others. Nevertheless, one can presume that, at some point during the early years, Brahma Baba feels he is indeed God Brahma, due to the strength of the experiences that others are having through him and the power of his own insights and experiences.

During this period Brahma Baba relies heavily on a series of trance messengers to facilitate his own understanding and churning. Knowledge is still clearly Manmanabhav (let your mind be with God) Madhiajibhaw, ie Aham Brahma Asmi or Aham Chaturbhuj (I am the creator of creation/ Vishnu/ God).
In 1943 Gulzar Dadi has the first experience of Avyakt Brahma in the Subtle Regions, introducing the knowledge of the Subtle Regions for the first time, and the understanding of three distinct realms or ‘worlds’. The tendency is to compare the knowledge gained through insight, trance, and visions, with the stories of the Gita, which is still the frame of reference for their experiences.
From the 1940s until the early 1950s Avyakt Brahma is a source of understanding, knowledge and support. Avyakt Brahma is understood to be the complete form of Brahma, but the importance of that role is not fully clear until 1969 when Sakar Baba becomes Avyakt and the combined form of Bap and Dada emerges.
Pictures from the 1940s created through trance show ‘Infinite Divine Light’ (the omnipresent essence of God), written clearly around the Cycle and Tree. These pictures also identify Divine Father Gyan Surya (Brahma Baba) and Divine Mother Gyan Chandrama (Mama). The second picture of the tree has arrows indicating how Brahma becomes Vishnu, so Krishna, so Narayan, which is absent in the first picture. The difference in the pictures indicates the gradual development of knowledge.
During these years, while WWII is going on, they reason that this is the very same Mahabharat war spoken of in the scriptures, and the old world will be destroyed in 1950. This also fits with the famous story of the 13 years of exile the Pandava’s experienced. They felt there would be 13 years between the official beginning of the yagya, and the total demise of the old world.

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