sita wrote:later by the force of circumstances they had to find way to survive, but you cannot say that this has been the initial plan
Yes, I agree. It was not the initial plan. The question I am asking myself is, "was it a conscious plan when it came about?" Did Lekhraj Kirpalani stop and think, "I am going to have to send girls out and bring money back in or we will all starve and die?". As a religious donor in his previous life, he knew other businessmen would donate too.
My greatest disappointment is that the Brahma Kumaris are not honest about the reinvention period of their history, because it is the most interesting one. We know the numbers have dropped considerably, there were not 300 people in Madhuban, and we know that Lekhraj Kirpalani's money alone did not support them. More came in from other places.
I think of cynicism as a negative thing whereas I think of what I do as being the acid of truth burning away everything that is false. It things are true, they will not be hurt by it, survive and be revealed.
There are skeptic or rational Indian but I think the general tendency in India is to accept or be afraid of religious or superstitious nonsense, out of fear of the social impact if one does not. The guru is king.
Roy wrote:Narration of incomprehensible knowledge, doesn't really cut it as being charity in todays world! :D
Thank you. You are correct. I think this topic, and the one on 'Traditional view of Bramans by Hindus
' are two of the most interesting and relevant topics to explore the context of Gyan in today's world. Essential, how Indians in general see and experience The Knowledge and how Westerners see and experience The Knowledge.
I cannot comment on the AIVV, I just see it as a reformist movement within Brahma Kumarism, an attempt to take Brahma Kumarism back to its roots and resolve all the philosophical inconsistencies. The basic AIVV theory seems to be, "if this is all divine and true and from God, then it must make sense somehow and we should follow it".
The Brahma Kumaris really don't care about that. Their basic theory seems to be, "if it does not make obvious sense, cut it out, remove it and hide it away but keep the business running", and that counts for people as well as theory.
For me, at some point, the Brahma Kumaris just saw the financial opportunity of putting themselves in the place of the local gurus or brahman as the top of the social pyramid, and the benefit in doing so.
They had no money. What else could they do? Starvation is a pretty strong motivator. Becoming another Bhakti religion and living off others was just the easy way out ... especially for Sindhi targeting the Sindhi market. Their Sindhiness was and still is one of their USPs ... unique selling points, the other one is that they are women. The hard way to survive would have been to start a business or get whatever job they could, and earned their own money just like the rest of us.
They, or Lekhraj Kirpalani, just took the easy way out and RE-INVENTED their ridiculous and self-indulgent sitting around doing nothing waiting for Destruction in order to become deities as a religion. Even to the point of inventing an alternative God story. Introducing Shiva around 1950.
Ever since then, the BKs are become increasingly "religious" or Bhakti-like in India and increasingly New Agey or Business Consultant-like in the West except for in non-Indian Hindu communities where they play out the Hinduism replacement model and become the local temple for people that want to be holy. That is partly why they put on all the Hindu festivals.
In India, within Hindu communities, there is an established business model which is approximately, "We tell everyone we are God inspired or God empowered, organise a few festivals, tell a few stories, and listen to people's problems ... and they give us money". Easy, especially if you include the idea of karma, "karma cleaning or removing" ... and borrow from Christianity the idea of the "End of the World".
Most people are consumers of religion and if you provide a place to be religious, a form of religiousness, they will come and believe. They have been programmed to believe and be seen to believe for 100s of years. It does not really matter what, or even if it works, they will come anyway, and "religion" plays a valued social role of bringing people together etc. Some stay for a short time, a few stay for ever.
In India, the mass market 'buys' simple messages and religious pomp and it seems to be the Brahma Kumaris are moving more and more towards providing it, and eating into the religious market competing against traditional gurus, pandits etc. People buy mega-programmes with lots of flowers, big thrones, big pictures etc as being proof of religious, so the BK provide it.
The Knowledge does not make sense to Westerners. Our general education in science and world history goes against it. I think in the beginning, most Westerners were attracted to the Knowledge because of its Indian-ness just as they might have been attracted to any Hindu sect. Many were attracted to the "exotic" nature and the feeling of being part of a Hindu community, which was preferable to Western society. Now they are attracted by the nice buildings and the New Agey front. The Brahma Kumaris have been washing off the Hindu-ness as puts of more Westerners than it attracts and it is seen a primitive, unstylish and ignorant.
Again it is all down to marketing and being "clever business people" to quote the Murli.
After the Knowledge fails for them, some Westerners try and justify the Knowledge as a huge "Zen Koan", a puzzle that cannot be worked out but it does not matter ... that is the point of it. To stop the mind or ego grasping.