March 18, 2013 | Comment

denise_scotto

When someone understands their true nature of spirit – of being an eternal soul with intrinsic qualities of peace, love, and contentment – their experience of life begins to change. They start to access and fill with these qualities directly, rather than depending on the external material world as their source of happiness.

A consequence of this shift is that everyday expenses greatly reduce. The need to find an escape from one’s worries through drinking, eating, shopping, entertainment, and so on, exerts much less of a hold and may fall away altogether.

Another result, when the teachings have brought benefit in someone’s life, is that they will often want to contribute in order that others may receive the same. Their donation may be in the form of money, or of talents or skills. Such generosity is also encouraged when a person feels confident that what they give is being used well, in genuine service of the public and society. So the dedicated sisters who lead the movement are careful to live with simplicity, whilst appreciating and accepting what others may offer as physical resources.

In this way, although all the teaching activities of the Brahma Kumaris are offered free of charge, the resources needed have continued to flow, supported entirely by voluntary donations. Sometimes this has been to the surprise of onlookers, who may find it hard to understand how an organization that does not charge for its services can prosper.

If a person becomes fully committed to the BK life and study, they will be given guidance on what proportion of their income they could consider giving regularly towards the work of the organization. It remains however entirely up to the individual how much they give, if anything. Some can afford a lot, others very little, and some nothing.

In earlier years, resources were used entirely for the direct support of spiritual education, as this was regarded as more important than any other kind of social service. Funds were mostly spent on facilities for sharing spiritual knowledge, whether through public programmes or on buildings where people could attend courses, practice Raja Yoga meditation, and progress in the journey of spiritual awakening.

In recent years, as the organization has prospered, BKs have also become much more involved in other areas of activity such as environmental protection, medical services, education, agriculture and even sport. But where this is the case, the focus remains to bring a spiritual dimension to these specialist areas and help people see how spirituality can benefit relationships and performance.

The enormous expansion of the Brahma Kumaris in India has brought special challenges. The past 35 years have seen immense growth in terms of buildings, vehicles, and other facilities, as the BKs have gone from being a relatively small group to a nationally respected movement serving millions.

In the midst of this change, however, the elder sisters still set an example of simple living, inspiring others to follow suit in the knowledge that the goal is not to acquire facilities for the sake of comfort or show, but for continuing the work of freeing the spirit.


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