The Brahma Kumaris Organisation was founded by Dada Lekhraj Kripalani, a retired Indian businessman, in 1937 in Hyderabad (Sindh), a city now in Pakistan. His spiritual name is Prajapita Brahma and he is endearingly called Brahma Baba. After experiencing a series of visions in 1936, he was inspired to create a school where the principles and practices of a virtuous and meditative life could be taught. Its original name was ‘Om Mandali’. It consisted of a handful of men, women and children, many of whom decided to stay together as a community.
In spite of the unprecedented social upheavals, which were going on in pre-Partition India, these people came together, initially in Hyderabad and a year later they moved to Karachi. With the passage of time, a simple and clear body of spiritual knowledge about the nature of the soul, God and time became revealed. In 1950, the group moved to its present location in Mount Abu in India. Until then, these 300 individuals lived as a self-sufficient community, devoting their time to intense spiritual study, Rajayoga meditation practice and self-transformation.
Brahma Baba, born into a humble home as Lekhraj Kripalani on December 15, 1876, was the son of a village schoolmaster. Lekhraj was brought up within the disciplines of the Hindu tradition. After doing different jobs, he entered the jewelry business, later earning a considerable fortune as a diamond trader. He was the father of five children and a leader within his local community, known especially for his philanthropy. In 1936, around the time when most people at his age started planning their retirement, he actually entered into the most active and spiritual phase of his life. After a series of deep spiritual experiences and visions, he felt an extremely strong pull to give up his business and dedicate his time, energy and wealth to laying the foundations of what later became the Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya, which has been engaged in God’s noble task of World Transformation through Self-Transformation of the human soul of the world.
Between 1937 and 1938, he formed a Managing Committee of eight young women and surrendered all his property and assets to a Trust administered by them and dedicated himself to this task.
After guiding the establishment works of many Brahma Kumaris centres throughout India, he passed away on January 18, 1969. The Tower of Peace at the Brahma Kumaris Headquarters Campus in Mount Abu, Rajasthan, is a tribute to the invincible spirit of this ordinary human being who achieved greatness by rising to the challenge of establishing the deeper spiritual truths of life.
Many years have passed since Brahma Baba’s series of visions in 1936. The positive, value-based lifestyle revolution he began has inspired millions to transform and spiritually empower themselves and create hope for a better world. The life skills that Brahma Baba taught have stood the test of time. The young women that he brought to the forefront, now in their nineties, have become beacons of purity, love, peace and spiritual wisdom.
The 143rd birth anniversary of Prajapita Brahma Baba is being celebrated this year on December 15 as ‘World Spiritual Upliftment Day’ by the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual Organisation in a grand manner across the globe.