March 16, 2014 | Comment

Renaud Russeil (France)

The Hindi word vinash in the teachings of Brahma Kumaris is translated as destruction in Western languages. It is at the centre of many comments and interpretations from members of the organization, friends and critical observers. As a matter of fact, the idea of a destruction of the planet and the end of civilisation generates a feeling comparable to the one we are confronted to when facing our own death, with the unknown. Death also implies questioning the « After », a subject where the majority amongst us loose their rationalism and common sense. The “no future” syndrome hardly finds space in modern thought, focused on the achievements of an eternal present.

The end of time in the teachings of the Brahma Kumaris

This concept does not really exist in the teachings of the Brahma Kumaris. They advocate an organization of the universe based on a cyclic scheme from the infinitely small to the infinitely big , comparable to Russian dolls, the smallest cycles being part of the biggest. Time can also be compared to a gearing made of indented wheels. Every time one of the wheels of the gearing deteriorates, because of its axis becoming loose or because the indentation breaks a little, or a lot, the whole system is weakened. Until it reaches a moment when all the wheels of the gearing are worn out: the system is then unable to operate accurately anymore, eventually unable to operate at all. What comes next? Instead of an end of time, it is more accurate to speak of an end of a cycle, necessarily followed by the beginning of a new cycle. Time starts again in the same way that seasons succeed seasons.

Where does the term destruction come from in the teachings of the Brahma Kumaris ?

Historically, the concept of destruction comes from visions received by the founding-father of the Organization, Lekh Raj Kirpalani, renamed Brahma Baba. No one knows the exact dates of these visions, nor their accurate content. They occurred historically between 1932 and 1936. At that time, Brahma Baba was a Hindu ; he interpreted these visions according to the references he had, which means his religious background. No one knows exactly with which words he shared the content of these visions to his friends and family. The majority of the people he told about these visions, who repeated them from their memory, with their own references, were at that time between ten and twenty years of age. And it happened some thirty years later, because between 1936 and 1964 approximately, all written documents, notes and books related to the teachings of the new born Brahma Kumaris Organization, were destroyed . These first members of the institution were young with a simple school education, the majority having only a moral and religious education based on Hinduism.

Today, these visions are mentioned in two documents: a) “Adi Dev” a book written by one of the trustees of the Organization, Jagdish Chander Hassija, published in Hindi language in the early seventies ; b) the “sakar murlis”, which are the main reference for the teachings, based on rare recordings or the voice of Brahma Baba, but mainly on notes written by the early members when listening to his daily conversations in between 1964 and 1969. Again, the murlis often quote the Hindu tradition, which they are meant to clarify in their own language. Firstly we have visions, and then the interpretation of these visions thirty years later, in the spirit of the Hindu tradition. The résumé of these visions is: a) the destruction of an old age, Kaliyuga, b) followed by the creation of a new age, paradise on earth, Satyuga, through self-transformation – the end of a cycle of time and the beginning of a new cycle.

About visions

It is worth knowing that the teachings of the Brahma Kumaris specify that visions contain a percentage of subjectivity from the one who receives them and shares them – which does not mean that visions should be ignored or denied. Rather, the details of these visions should be considered with caution. We can see that recently, the Roman Catholic Church commented with great caution on the visions of children who saw the Virgin Mary in Lourdes (1858), Fatima (1917) and Merjugorje (since 1981) because visions use the faith, the belief and the knowledge of the persons who receive them. Imagine a Christian receiving a vision of Ganesh, or a Laplander receiving a vision of Buddha! In the case of Brahma Baba, the primary role of visions was probably to trigger his awareness and awaken him to a wider scope of reality than that of his religion, Hinduism. Considering the details of these visions today, they may reach beyond the frame of the teachings of the Brahma Kumaris.

About the teachings of Raja Yoga of the Brahma Kumaris

We are not questioning the content and the value of these spiritual teachings. Though, it is worth underlining that the reference documents mentioned above do not allow a definitive meaning of the word destruction they refer to, other than the end of a cycle of time. The question is, how will this happen?
What we know from the teachings and our own observation is that civilization and the planet are heading towards extremes. The increase of violence at all levels in the expression of Life (outer world) and the loss of universal values (inner nature) are affecting tremendously the entire economy, the whole environment and the global health. The situation is really heading towards extremes! And no-one can state when and where it will stop! What will happen?
This situation stresses as well that the two phenomena – violence and loss of values – are amplifying and will keep amplifying in the coming future. Violence increases day by day, reaching extremes that are more extreme than the day before; whereas universal values, still present in some traditional societies, are heavily challenged by the permanent harassing of a frantic generalized consumerism (and the waste it generates). Both can be regarded as the trademarks of the modern lifestyle.

In this way, the present world situation and the teachings of the Brahma Kumaris imply that the race towards infinite extremes – in thoughts, words, actions of human beings, and consequently their environment, Nature – will be accompanied by difficulties which anyone can appraise with his/her own references.

As a conclusion

It is an interesting reminder that most of the ancient religious scriptures, including the Gospel, prophesized destruction at a certain point in time. The cause would be many forms of negativity inside and outside the self, causing extreme unhappiness which no one wants to hear about (catastrophes, wars, unrighteousness, violence, corruption and suffering). From a cultural point of view, such concepts strongly challenge scientific and technological progress, the pride of modernity, which replaced ancient religious beliefs.
In this way, laymen often oppose any concept of an end vis-à-vis the system they defend. Or they postpone it indefinitely speaking of millions of years or more, a hypothetical future. We respect their position. Beside this, during the last decade, we have regularly read in newspapers or magazines, we have seen on television or in the cinema, we have read in literature fiction and reports the introduction of a variety of scenarios about the possibility of a massive destruction, illustrating the end of time. Is it because the subject carries a strong emotional and a commercial potential? A testimony of our present ? A mere coincidence? Each one can answer these questions, whether he or she is a believer or an atheist.

Filed in: Destruction, Purpose

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