Dada Lekhraj

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Lekhraj Khubchand Kripalani
Lekhraj Kripalani.jpg
Religion Hindu spiritualist, Brahma Kumaris
Other names Prajapita Brahma, Brahma Baba
Personal
Nationality Indian
Born 15 December 1884
Hyderabad, Sindh
Died 18 January 1969
Mount Abu, Rajasthan
Senior posting
Title Medium BKWSU
Period in office 1936–1969

Lekhraj Khubchand Kripalani (15 December 1884 – 18 January 1969),[1] also known as Dada Lekhraj, was the founder of the Brahma Kumaris who call him Adi Dev, Prajapati God Brahma and Brahma Baba.[2]

Biography[edit]

Originally from Hyderabad, Sindh, Lekhraj Kripalani became extremely wealthy as a jeweller in Calcutta.[1][3] In his fifties, Kripalani reportedly had visions[4] and retired, returning to Hyderabad in Sindh and turning to spirituality. In 1932, Lekhraj established a satsang called Om Mandali. Originally a follower of the Vaishnavite Vallabhacharya sect[5] and member of the exogamous Bhaiband community,[6] he is said to have had 12 gurus[7] but started preaching or conducting his own satsangs which, by 1936, had attracted around 300 people from his community, many of them being wealthy. The BKWSU claims that a relative reported that a spiritual being (Shiva) entered in his body and spoke through him.[8][9] At a later day, the BKWSU start to claim that spirit being was God, and the channeled messages had a great importance.[10]

Om Mandli[edit]

In 1937, Dada Lekhraj created a managing committee of his wife and members and transferred his fortune to the committee. Om Mandali later became the Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya known as the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University or Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual Organization in English.[4] Many members contributed their wealth and property to the association.[11][12]

The Sindhi community reacted unfavourably to Lekhraj's movement.[3][13][14] Organizations like the Indian National Congress and Arya Samaj accused Om Mandali of being a disturber of family peace. Some of the Brahma Kumari wives were mistreated by their families, and Dada Lekhraj was accused of sorcery and lechery, and breaking up families.[4] He was also accused of forming a cult and controlling his community through the art of hypnotism.[12]

To avoid persecution, legal actions and opposition from family members of his followers, Dada Lekhraj moved the group from Hyderabad to Karachi, where they settled in a highly structured ashram. The Bhaibund anti-Om Mandli Committee that had opposed the group in Hyderabad followed them.[15] On 18 January 1939, the mothers of two girls aged 12 and 13 filed an application against Om Mandali, in the Court of the Additional Magistrate in Karachi. The women, from Hyderabad, stated that their daughters were wrongfully being detained at the Om Mandali in Karachi.[3] The court ordered the girls to be sent to their mothers. Radhi Pokardas Rajwani, aka Om Radhe of the Om Mandali appealed against the decision in the High Court, where the decision was upheld. Later, Hari's parents were persuaded to let their daughter stay at the Om Mandali.

Several Hindus continued their protests against Om Mandli. Some Hindu members of the Sind Assembly threatened to resign unless the Om Mandali was finally outlawed. Finally, the Sind Government used the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1908 to declare the Om Mandli as an unlawful association.[11] Under further pressure from the Hindu leaders in the Assembly, the Government also ordered the Om Mandali to close and vacate its premises.[16] The Om Mandli successfully appealed against the Government order in the court.

Mount Abu[edit]

After the partition of India, the Brahma Kumaris moved to Mount Abu (Rajasthan) in India in April 1950.[17] After his death in 1969, the Brahma Kumaris expanded to other countries.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Hunt, Stephen J. (2003). Alternative Religions: A Sociological Introduction. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 120. ISBN 0-7546-3410-8. 
  2. ^ Encyclopedia of New Religious Movements. Peter Clarke. Routledge, 2006, ISBN 0-203-59897-0 (Adobe e-reader format)
  3. ^ a b c Hodgkinson, Liz (2002). Peace and Purity: The Story of the Brahma Kumaris a Spiritual Revolution. HCI. pp. 2–29. ISBN 1-55874-962-4. 
  4. ^ a b c Abbott, Elizabeth (2001). A History of Celibacy. James Clarke & Co. pp. 172–174. ISBN 0-7188-3006-7. 
  5. ^ The Brahma Kumaris as a 'reflexive Tradition': Responding to late modernity by Dr John Walliss, 2002, ISBN 0-7546-0951-0
  6. ^ The Sindh Story, by K. R. Malkani. Karachi, Allied Publishers Private Limited, 1984.
  7. ^ Adi Dev, by Jagdish Chander Hassija, Third Edition, Brahma Kumaris Information Services, 2003.
  8. ^ Walliss, John (October 1999). "From World Rejection to Ambivalence: the Development of Millenarianism in the Brahma Kumaris". Journal of Contemporary Religion 14 (3): 375–385. doi:10.1080/13537909908580876. 
  9. ^ "The world philanthropist God Brahma, devoted all his wealth to finance this institution which was significantly named as 'Rajasva Asvamedh Avinashi Gyan Yagya'. Author World Religion Congress, Shimizu City, Japan Contributor Ananai-Kyo Published 1954 Original from the University of Michigan Digitized 29 March 2006
  10. ^ Peace & Purity: the Story of the Brahma Kumaris, Liz Hodgkinson. Page 58
  11. ^ a b Hardy, Hardayal (1984). Struggles and Sorrows: The Personal Testimony of a Chief Justice. Vikas Publishing House. pp. 37–39. ISBN 0-7069-2563-7. 
  12. ^ a b Radhe, Brahma-Kumari (1939). Is this justice?: Being an account of the founding of the Om Mandli & the Om Nivas and their suppression, by application of the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1908. Pharmacy Printing Press. pp. 35–36. 
  13. ^ Chryssides, George D. (2001). Historical Dictionary of New Religious Movements. Scarecrow Press. pp. 35–36. 
  14. ^ Barrett, David V (2001). The New Believers: A Survey of Sects, Cults and Alternative Religions. Cassell & Co. ISBN 978-0-304-35592-1. "'sex is an extreme expression of 'body-consciousness' and also leads to the other vices', probably stems in part from the origins of the movement in the social conditions of the 1930s India when women had to submit to their husbands." 
  15. ^ Howell, Julia Day (2005). Peter Clarke, ed. Encyclopedia of New Religious Movements. Routledge. pp. 63–64. ISBN 978-0-415-26707-6. "The call for women brahmins (i.e. kumaris or 'daughters') to remain celibate or chaste in marriage inverted prevailing social expectations that such renunciation was proper only for men and that the disposal of women's sexuality should remain with their fathers and husbands. The 'Anti-Om Mandali Committee' formed by outraged male family members violently persecuted Brahma Baba's group, prompting their flight to Karachi and withdrawal from society. Intense world rejection gradually eased after partition in 1947, when the BKs moved from Pakistan to Mt. Abu." 
  16. ^ Coupland, Reginald (1944). The Indian Problem: Report on the Constitutional Problem in India. Oxford University Press. 
  17. ^ Chander, B. K Jagdish (1981). Adi Dev: The first man. B.K. Raja Yoga Center for the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Chander, B. K. Jagdish (1984). A Brief Biography of Brahma Baba. Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University. 
  • Radhe, Om (1937). Is this Justice?. Pharmacy Press, ltd. 

External links[edit]