Brief Bio-Data - Rajyogini Brahma Kumari Dadi Dr. Prakashmani
Born in Hyderabad, Sind (now in Pakistan), Dadi Prakashmani’s childhood name was Rama. Her Father was a renowned astrologer and foresaw his daughter’s destiny to lead a spiritual life in the service of humanity that would span eight decades and reach across all continents.
In 1937, when the Brahma Kumaris organisation was being established as a small trust in Sind under the name ‘Om Mandali’, 14 year old kumari Rama decided to join it and dedicate her life to the spiritual upliftment of humanity. Chosen as one of its original eight trustees, she was given the spiritual name ‘Prakashmani’ (‘Jewel of Light’). Her extraordinary talents, vision, values and qualities of leadership enabled her to take up the challenges of starting spiritual service centres in Mumbai and Maharastra and become the organisation’s Chief Co-ordinator of Maharastra, Gujrat & Karnataka zones in the 1950s and 1960s.
In 1954, Dadi led a delegation to the Second World Religious Congress in Japan. She then embarked on a six month tour of Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia, delivering spiritual talks and lectures and promoting Raja Yoga meditation, to help people restore inner peace, power, harmony and happiness in their lives. After the organisation’s founding Father, Brahma Baba, died in 1969, she became its Administrative Head, endearingly called ‘Dadiji’. With her generosity of spirit and unlimited vision, she was able to guide the Brahma Kumaris through their huge growth since that time.
Since 1969, Dadiji chaired and addressed countless national seminars and meetings in India, as well as international conferences in over hundred countries. In 1985, she organised the All India Bharat Unity Youth Padyatras and Rallies and in 1989 the All India Holistic Health Awareness Campaigns. She served as President of the annual Universal Peace Conferences at Mount Abu from 1983 to 1993. It was under Dadiji’s dynamic leadership in the 1980s, that the Brahma Kumaris was designated an NGO in the United Nations Department of Public Information, with consultative status with the UN’s Economic & Social Council and with UNICEF. In 1986, designated UN International Year of Peace, she launched the Million Minutes of Peace Appeal project in over 88 countries and presented a collection of one billion minutes of positive, peaceful and prayerful thoughts to UN Secretary General during the UN’s 40thAnniversary. In 1988, she became the President of an International Peace Messenger Initiative entitled Global Cooperation for a Better World - a project dedicated to the UN and implemented in over 129 countries. Inspiring thousands of community activities at local levels, it was based on individual and collective ideas for a better world.
Dadiji’s main concerns were to promote the potential of women in society, create opportunities for young people, research the hidden resources of the mind, transform consciousness through meditation, re-activate moral and humanitarian values and work to bring unity among people for world peace. She believed that progress for the self lay in having no expectations and no desire for praise or reward. Success, she felt, is built on love and respect for all human beings and what was needed was lightness of nature and independence of spirit, so as to attract the love of others and the love of God. This, Dadiji was convinced, is what brings the greatest happiness and will constantly inspire us.
Dressed in plain white cotton, Dadiji epitomised simplicity, while at the same time radiating the authority of a woman administering a global organisation with over 8,500 service centres in India and 129 other countries. Dadiji described herself as an instrument who loves to serve human beings by reminding them of their innate goodness – and that it is through the awakening of this goodness that we can collectively transform our world. Dadiji remained a spiritual ambassador whose wisdom has always echoed her own experience.
At 10:05am local time on 25th August 2007, the soul of Dadi Prakashmani passed away at the organisation’s Shantivan complex on Abu Road in Rajasthan, India. She was in her mid-80s.
Honours conferred on Dadiji include:
- • Dharma Chakra Medal (1984)
• Key to city of Los Angeles (1984)
• City Medals of Sao Paulo and Frankfurt (1984)
• United Nations International Year of Peace Medal (1986)
• International Peace Messenger Award from the UN Secretary General (1987)
• Honorary Doctor of Literature from Mohanlal Sukhadia University, Udaipur, India (1992)
• Giant Award for Social work from Giant International, Mumbai (1994)
• ’Dharma Ratna’, by World Religious Parliament, New Delhi.
• ’Priya Darshini’ award from Priya Darshini Academy, Mumbai, for outstanding contribution towards Human Welfare and Global Peace.
• UNESCO special award for collecting 35 million signatures from all over India and 120 other countries in support and promotion of the UNESCO’s ‘Culture of Peace’ Project entitled Peace Manifesto-2000 in the International Year of Culture of Peace -2,000 as proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in the year 2,000.
Some words of Dadi Prakashmani ...
“Like a family, the basis of this organisation is love, and it flourishes because it is nourished with trust and respect”.
“Only a powerful soul can offer love. Only a powerful soul can afford to be humble. If we are weak, then we become selfish. If we are empty, we take; but if we are filled, we automatically give to all. That is our nature.”
“If you have the feeling that you belong to everyone, and look after everybody as a trustee, you are enabled to do right actions. By having love, rather than attachment, you learn discrimination.”