Table of Content
Brahma Kumaris Participation in the V Jubilee of the Russian National Congress of Non-profit Organizations
25 December 2014
2-5 December 2014. Russian State Library in Moscow held V Jubilee of the Russian National Congress of NPOs, the annual key event of the non-profit sector.
Over four exciting days, more than 1,000 representatives of public and charitable organizations from all the Russian Federation regions discussed many topical questions about implementing societal projects of great importance; put forward optimized approaches for improving public policies in the social sphere; and evaluated the efficiency of governmental and non-governmental support for socially oriented NPOs. Very important issues such as enhancing the effectiveness of mechanisms for interaction between civil society and the Government were raised.
More than 30 events with various formats took place during the Congress proceedings including: conferences, seminars, round-tables, master-classes, creative workshops, etc. and more than 100 presentations and lectures were given to inspire, educate and fascinate all the Congress' participants.
Addressing the Congress, Alexander Ayguistov, Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Congress, and Head of the Russian Agency for Societal Information Development, said: ‘Today we can say that non-profit organizations are among the State's essential partners for solving the basic problems of societal development. Most often, it is not so much the official structures but more we, the NPO representatives, who effectively protect our citizens' interests. This is naturally so, because non-profit organizations' activists tend to be closer to people; and thus it is easier for them to find more efficient forms of interaction and, thereby, achieve more effective response.'
The Congress adopted the Final Resolution which, in fact, is a road map for further developing the non-profit sector in Russia.
The Centre of Spiritual Development (CSD), the Brahma Kumaris, actively participated in the Congress as a partner.
Before the plenary session, each delegate received a card with a special quality on it, e.g. love, happiness, responsibility, cooperation, enthusiasm, generosity, optimism etc. Many participants mentioned that the positive energy of these qualities helped maintain a friendly and constructive atmosphere in the Congress. CSD presented a socially important project: I Choose Benevolence. The Project's Mission is to help people realize the importance of friendly and benevolent dialogue as one of the most effective solutions for any type of conflict, at any level of societal interaction.
Alexander Ayguistov received a special award of this project: the Diploma for contribution to the development of benevolent relations between people, as well as the Diamond of Goodwill. The performance by the BK Students' Quartet was a special gift event for the delegates. For their contributions to Congress activities, the Congress Organizing Committee expressed gratitude to many governmental and non-governmental organizations, including the Centre of Spiritual Development.
Photos of the event:
World Meditation Hour Dedicated to World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims
16 December 2014
On November 16, 2014, Centre for Spiritual Development, the Brahma Kumaris Centre in Ryazan, Russia held a public program for World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, as it had been commemorated by United Nation.
People who believe they can improve the situation about safety on roads by joining their effort came together to contribute their share. In fact, we all can do it, no matter whether we are pedestrians, passengers or drivers, spoke the participants.
The statistics says that 80% of all road accidents happen due to human factor. Which includes human actions, based either on calmness and self-control or irritability and spontaneous reaction; on respect or neglecting others rights; on responsibility or carelessness, etc. Our behavior, emotions and attitude create atmosphere and affect all situations, including traffic. Meditation and contemplation on true qualities of human soul that brings harmony and improves decision power can help road traffic participants to keep clear mind and calm temper.
That night of Remembrance we lit candles and in silence created atmosphere with our peaceful thoughts to give support to all victims of road accidents, especially departed souls and their relatives. We also wanted for our waves of pure feelings and good wishes to reach those who were driving at that time. We felt united by the oath of doing our best for not becoming that "human factor" which creates prerequisites for tragic scenarios on roads.
At the end, each participant received a badge of Road Safety Tag, the symbol of Decade of Action for Road Safety, on the reverse side of which some inspiring words about the beauty of human virtues were written. May it become our personal contribution into making the world a better place where each human being will be safe! We wish you a safe trip!
World Remembrance Day in Moscow
8 December 2014
WORLD REMEMBRANCE DAY FOR ROAD VICTIMS, MOSCOW
On November 16, 2014 the Brahma Kumaris Center in Moscow held the evening dedicated to the World Remembrance Day for road victims. Among the guests, there was Bariyenikov Eugeny, Prof., Institute of Physical Culture, Sport and Tourism, Deputy Head, Center of the Highest Driving Skills.
The Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims was initiated by Road Peace in 1993 and was adopted by the UN in 2005. As people across the globe, observe this day, the Brahma Kumaris are creating an opportunity for profound reflection and sharing on Road Safety and honoring individuals who have been affected.
In the Brahma Kumaris Center, Moscow BKs students and the guests gathered to extend the power of good wishes to those who have been affected in road accidents, directly or indirectly.
The evening began with a short video that showed how pedestrians and drivers neglecting the value of life, forgetting about safety or traffic rules caused accidents. Those road situations are characteristic for the whole Russia that has been the leader in the number of road accidents among European countries over the years.
Burning candles, red roses, a poem about the value of life, the immortal "Ave Maria" by F. Schubert created an atmosphere of powerful silence when all present deeply merged into their thoughts and feelings.
Prof. Bariyenikov shared his deep feelings that people must have patience and courtesy on the roads. He told how important it is for all participants of the road traffic to respect each other and cooperate in order to avoid the accidents.
Dr. Vijay Kumar, Director, the Department of Public Relations of the Center of Spiritual Development, the Brahma Kumaris, Moscow, the driver with 23-year experience of driving on Russian roads spoke about the importance of double attention and spirituality in being a driver.
Sr. Sudha Rani Gupta, Director, CSD, the Brahma Kumaris, Moscow emphasized that only spiritual approach may help in solving many problems. Only bringing spirituality in our life we can change the situation on roads and that breaking rules is the root of all the problems.
Few BKs students shared their experience of being in the accidents and how practicing of Raja Yoga Meditation helped them.
Then in silence the audience listened to the words of the pledge and accepted them wholeheartedly.
The Center of Spiritual Development suggested creating an initiative group and working with the population, pupils and educational organizations training drivers, governmental and non-governmental organizations in all possible ways.
On behalf of the CSD and within the project ‘I Choose Benevolence' Sr. Sudha Rani Gupta awarded Prof. Bariyenikov with the diploma ‘For Benevolence on Roads'.
Sr. Sudha Rani Gupta invited the audience to send pure feelings to all who had passed away in road accidents or suffered from them. She conducted meditation during which audience experiencing peace and power was spreading those powerful vibrations in the world.
TO MAKE THE WORLD BETTER: Vegetarian Festival Conference
07 October 2014
Let's Make the World Better! This was the slogan of the Vegetarian Festival-Conference which was held in September 13, 2014 at the Center of Spiritual Development (Brahma Kumaris, Moscow). The participants, representatives of different confessions and NGOs as well as scientists, were offering their support to those who became a vegetarian due to health reasons or because they love animals and to those who are interested in self-development.
Among the speakers were:
Sripad Saragrahi Prabhu, well-known Sanskrit scholar
Tina Mitusova, Qigong instructor, Director of the Arabic Calligraphy Center.
Metropolitan Arseny, Greek Catholic Orthodox Church, Eduard Borisov, Associate Professor of Bauman Moscow State Technical University
Andrew Isakov, psychologist Emil Biktashev, physicist, engineer-researcher.
The Conference was finalized by Sudha Rani Gupta, Director of the Center of Spiritual Development (Brahma Kumaris, Moscow). She bound all the speeches by one thought that non-vegetarian food is a product of violence which affects negatively both mental and emotional state of a person.
After the Conference all the participants and guests tasted vegetarian dishes. Yes, vegetarian food can be of variety! Vegetarians love to cook, to experiment and share.
And what is a holiday without a cultural program?
The activity Good Wishes to the World Tree became a special contribution to the Festival.
At the end all guests led round dance with great enthusiasm, sang songs and didn't want to leave. Enjoying the meeting with those cheerful, open and kind people we felt if they were more, the world indeed would be better.
Grand Finale of ONE Initiative in St. Petersburg
22 September 2014 - St. Petersburg, Russia
Moscow Foundation of Peace Document awards "Peace and Friendship" award to Sr Sudha
22 September 2014
Translation from Russian
25 Auspicious Years in Russia
22 September 2014
Honorary Grand Doctorate Degrees awarded to Dadi Janki and Dadi Ratan Mohini by the International University of Fundamental Studes, Oxford Educational Network, the International Parliament for Safety & Peace and California University, FCE, CA, USA
14 September 2014
September 2014 was marked with a triple festival. Celebrations of the Silver Jubilee (25th anniversary) of the Brahma Kumaris in Russia, CIS and Baltic States coincided with the opening of the new phase of Baba's house in St. Petersburg. And the visit of Dadi Ratan Mohini ji, Joint Chief of the Brahma Kumaris, became a special blessing for the entire BK family here.
175 BKs from 20 cities of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Armenia and Azerbajan arrived in St. Petersburg to take part in the festivities......more ONE LINK edition with photos.
Photo Report of the Visit of Dadi Ratan Mohini to Moscow on the occasion of 25th Anniversary of BK Services in Russia (29-30 August 2014)
8 September 2014
News from Russia - Dadi Ratan Mohini visits Russia
2 September 2014
Today Russian family in Moscow was greeting Dadi Rotan Mohini and four dedicated sisters. Dadi was met in Russian tradition with bread and honey. All the family was very happy and full of enthusiasm to meet our beloved Dadi. BK Students had performed a beautiful welcoming cultural program with Russian, Hindi songs and with nice music performed by the instrumental band. The program was so hearty and warm, that dear guests started to dance. Dadi had a speech in which she expressed her love and filled all with enthusiasm.
Saga of Bharat - dedication to Raksha Bandhan festival, St.Petersburg, Russia
27 August 2014
From the ecology of the soul to the ecology of the nature - The international conference in Chisinau, Moldova (CIS)
27 July 2014
On the 22nd of May an international conference "From the ecology of soul to the ecology of nature" was successfully hosted in the capital of Moldova, Chisinau (CIS).The conference was organized on the initiative of the Chisinau Center of Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University within socially significant project "Bridge of Kindness." Co-founders of the conference were: the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural History of the Republic of Moldova; Republican Center of non-governmental organizations "Harmony"; Association "Moldova and its national minorities", UNESCO Club; Family Federation in Moldova.
The purpose of the conference was to bring together all the efforts of those people who share the common vision that environmental problems cannot be solved without the harmonization of the inner world of we human beings first.
The meeting was held in an inviting and friendly atmosphere that strengthened the spirit of unity among all its participants from Moldova, Romania, India, Russia, France, Ukraine. The reports covered many different topics such as "The inner world of a Human Being as the determining factor for the state of nature" by Mihai Ursu, Doctor of Natural History, Director of the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural History (Moldova); "Mental health and Sanacreatology" by Academician Fedor Furduy; "The integrity of the person - the main factor of stability in the relationship between man and nature" by Tamara Kozhukhar, Doctor of Science (Moldova); "Spirituality and Ecology" by Dr. Vijay Kumar, oceanographer, a member of the Scientific wing of BKWSU (India); "Environmental issues at the present stage of human development and their solutions" by Michel Simon, Coordinator of the BKWSU Center (France); "Investing in the Future" by Irina Lemberg, Coordinator of environmental initiatives of the BKWSU Center, Moscow (Russia), "The consciousness that changes the world" by Maria Guska, art historian, Director of the BKWSU Center in Chisinau (Moldova); Prof. Ion Berg (Romania); "Morality and ethics as the rules of human survival" by Galina Horn, Ph. D, Institute for Legal and Political Studies, Academy of Science (Moldova), "Organic food, human health and nature maintenance" by Marcel Kushnir, Ministry of Environment (Moldova), "Consciousness as a determinant for the quality of life at all levels" by Steliana Burlaku, President of NGO "Environmental Academy of Science" (Moldova); "Ecology of the Soul in the poetry by Ion Vatamanu" by Vasily Kepetsine, poet, actor, President of the society "Ideal" (Moldova), and many others (total 42 participants).
The participants of the conference did not limit themselves to declarations about present-day reality, they also offered their effective and efficient methods for solving the above mentioned problems, which are already in use, and shared their experiences, which aroused a genuine interest and attention to these topics..
The outcome of the conference was a list of practical suggestions and activities to use in the areas concerned. The Director of the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural History offered the premises of the museum for further programs. The conference program concluded with a total five-minute meditation that brought the participants into a deep experience of silence and peace.
The next day, before returning to their respective places, the participants visited the unique natural and historical sanctuary of Moldova, the National Museum of Nature "Old Orhei", and planted eight tree seedlings.
Golden Morning Film
11 July 2014
A film [in Russian] about the international retreat "Golden morning: spiritual wisdom in times of rapid change," which took place in India at the headquarters of the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University.
Partnership of Science and Spirituality for Peace and Happiness
5 July 2014 - St. Petersburg, Russia
"Partnership of Science and Spirituality for Peace and Happiness" seminar was organized by St. Petersburg Brahma Kumaris Centre within the framework of XVIII International Congress "Science, Information and Spirit"
"Higher, spiritual forms of reality do exist and modern physics is now on the threshold of recognizing that. In today's cosmology there are numerous problems that are absolutely unsolvable within the framework of the existing scientific paradigm. It is certain that this paradigm will expand through including the notion of consciousness in it."
This quote belongs to Prof. Konstantin Korotkov, a world famous Russian researcher, president of "Kirlionics Technologies International". Speaking at the seminar, he noted that the results of latest studies were so compelling that the humanity would have to re-think the entire philosophy of its life in the nearest future.
About 150 scientists, researchers, educationists and medical professionals attended the event at the Brahma Kumaris. "Lighthouse" (BK centre in St. Petersburg) welcomed guests from France, Germany, UK, Italy, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Ukraine, Belarus and Singapore. The special guest of the event was Rev. Buda Badmaev, head monk of Datsan Gunzechoinei, Buddhist temple in St. Petersburg.
Glimpses of the Dialogue Between a Physicist, a Biologist, a Religious Leader and a Spiritual Teacher
Prof. Konstantin Korotkov:
"Just two decades ago the topic we are discussing today was considered either a fallacy or quack science. Today the science of consciousness is growing fast, and it gives us hope to make this world a better place to live. The shift in the attitude of scientists has occurred due to new technologies. Computed tomography enables us to observe in the real-time mode the processes taking place in the brain of a person who meditates or prays, or gets some divine experiences. The studies show that people in a deep state of meditation or prayer (so called "altered states of consciousness") have the same areas of brain activated. There are some common patterns observed. We have developed devices that are able to register and analyze human thoughts and emotions even at a distance. The impact people have on one another is interesting, however the impact that human consciousness has on material sensors is much more intriguing. We have got colleagues in Germany, Japan and USA, and when they meditate at their respective places we register their thoughts and emotions here, in St. Petersburg. It is important to underline that our experiments are repeatable, and measurements take place in tens of laboratories across the globe. Most sophisticated modern equipment is used. These experiments show that our thoughts and emotions are spread out there, in the outside world as well! They permeate the world we are living in, and therefore it is an established fact that we can influence and transform the world around us with our thoughts and feelings."
Rev. Buda Badmayev, head monk of Datsan Gunzechoinei, Buddhist temple in St. Petersburg:
"Researchers say that science is now coming close to the issue of including the notion of consciousness in their research. However religion has been studying consciousness since millenia. According to Buddhism, consciousness can be understood by consciousness itself. No material gadget is able to measure the level of, say, kindness or other spiritual qualities. However science can measure the traces that consciousness leaves in the material reality. Consciousness is like a fleeting moment between the past and the future, and to get hold of it is an extremely challenging task. Spirituality shapes most of the things happening around us. Spirituality is primary, all the physical phenomena described by corpuscular theory, atomic theory or theory of fields are just its derivatives. It does not mean, however, that science should not do what it is doing. It is important to understand and categorize even the material traces of consciousness, or at least to prove that they do exist. Scientific studies enrich the humankind, giving an additional impulse for understanding the world around us. Essentially there are no contradictions between science and spirituality. We can study these phenomena with scientific methods, and it will enhance our moving forward to spiritual enlightenment."
Mr. Leo Borkin, honoured chairperson of St. Petersburg Union of Scientists, official representative of the Union of Scientists in "Consortium of Affiliates for International Programs" (Washington, DC, USA), president of the Centre for Himalayan Research:
"When we speak of science, we should not forget that the scientific approach to understanding the world is just one out of many approaches. And having appeared in XVIII century, it is the youngest of all of them! The most ancient approach was a mythological one that led to development of numerous religions. We can cognize the world through arts as well. It is proved and well-documented that a good artist, for example, can discriminate 5 to 6 times more colour shades than an average man. The scientific approach, used alone, is doomed to be incomplete. Imagine the area of our ignorance as a circumference. In this case our scientific knowledge is it's radius. The bigger the radius (that is what we already know), the bigger will be the circumference (that is the area of the unknown)! If we see the scientific method as "observation of facts – creating a hypothesis – conducting an experiment – and forming a theory", then of course we don't find any similarities between this method and religious practices. Biology cannot be studied from a position of Buddhism or Christianity. It does not mean, however, that co-operation of science and other forms of understanding the world is not possible. Science has two major goals. The first one is accumulation of new knowledge, and this area belongs exclusively to scientists. But there is another area as well: raising the quality of human life. It is the social mission of science. This is where partnership is possible and even desirable. These are, for instance, the issues of war and peace and those of respecting all forms of life on this planet (this includes vegetarianism as well). If we do not accept the essentially spiritual vision of the absolute value of life and non-violence, the humanity will just perish."
B.K. Santosh, Brahma Kumaris director, St. Petersburg:
"If we think deeper, we can see that the apparent opposition of science and spirituality proves to be non-existent. All the links in the chain of the scientific method (observation that leads to curiosity, making assumptions, interpreting the data received, etc) constitute the work of consciousness. Therefore it is consciousness that is the primary reality. And since we, living sentient human beings, souls, are the primary reality, science and technologies should serve the higher purpose of raising the quality of human life. We develop science in order to solve man's problems, forgetting that human beings themselves are the problem. If we do not understand and change ourselves, our efforts to help humanity through developing new technologies will fail. For instance, technologies have provided us hundreds of modifications of mobile phones having changed the world into a global village. But it is spirituality alone that can teach us how to communicate properly, what, when and how to speak and where to keep silent. Science has given us sophisticated medical devices, best food supplements etc, but humans continue to harm their health through their greed and carelessness. If science grows and develops merely for the sake of growth and development, it reminds of a car without a reverse gear. Spirituality brings us the message that the only criterion of proper growth and development are peace and happiness of the global family of human beings and other lifeforms. This is where spirituality calls upon people of science: will they accept the spiritual domain of our life and combine it with their scientific methods in order to liberate this world from sorrow and sufferings?"
Watch "Touching the Light" performance
25 June 2014
The musical-philosophical play "Touching the Light" is based in part on "The Traveller" by Barbara Ramsay. It was written by Victoria Derzhavina, Valeriy Dobrov and Luibov Droubetskaya, produced by Sister Sudha Rani Gupta and directed by Br Valeriy Dobrov.
In fact light is present in us all the time. It is very tiny, somewhere deep inside. But never have doubts in its existence; it is really there. The only thing you need is to experience it, to see it. Come towards it little by little, approach as close to it as possible until you can see nothing but light; touch this light. Then all around you everything will change.
Russia Service News
17 May 2014
Visit of sis. Denise to Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan and St. Petersburg 4 – 14 May, 2014
During her three week trip to Russia that started in Moscow and finished in St. Petersburg, sis. Denise visited a string of beautiful cities: Kaliningrad, Tver, Nizhny Novgorod and Kazan.
On 4 May she arrived in Nizhny Novgorod, the third largest industrial and historical city of Russia. In this city she gave 2 interviews for the popular "Volga" TV channel (pic1 ) and conducted 3 dialogues for general public and personnel of the State Employment Centre. (pic 2)
On 8 May she came to Kazan, capital of the Republic of Tatarstan. On the same day she gave a talk in Kazan Grand Hotel on "Secrets of Balancing. How to Remain Busy and Easy". She also met Mrs. Irina Terentieva, deputy director of the Institute of Continuing Education, Mr. Ildus Yanyshev, member of Kazan City Parliament, and visited the studio of Mr. Rinat Nasyrov, famous artist and architect, author of the city development plan. On the day of her departure from Kazan, 9 May, sis. Denise met Mrs. Alina Garaeva, head of a department of Tatarstan Presidential Administration.
Visit to St. Petersburg (9 – 14 May)
Sis. Denise spoke on "The Art of Living Beyond Worries and Fear" on Saturday, 10 May, in the conference hall of "Bookvoed", Russia's largest bookstore chain (pic 3). There she was welcomed by Mr. Maxim Godarev, chairman of St. Petersburg Philosophy Club, a prominent thinker who hosts the program "Paradoxes of Science" on "Your Public TV" channel.
Mr. M. Godarev: "In my program I interview leading scientists of Russia and other states and I have to say that in spite of all the achievements, our science continues to remain essentially atheistic. Mainstream scientists believe that all the miraculous phenomena of man and the Universe came into existence just by chance. However I am sure that this trend is not going to be the future of science. The key to future science is in developing a spiritual paradigm of understanding the essence of things. I feel that BKs show people this spiritual component and inspire them to work with their inner world for attaining harmony, and this is where we find common ground with your organization."
Sis. Denise: "We are having a TV program dedicated to meeting of science and spirituality. If we see the history, we find that theoretical physics had stopped developing by 1970-es. During the last 40 years we have been advancing in technologies but not in fundamental studies. However nowadays even theoretical physicists start realising that Matter cannot be explained without explaining Consciousness. This trend has not become mainstream and it faces lots of resistance, however I am sure that we are on the verge of a great shift that will lead to harmony of science and spirit."
The public event "Island of Healing" held on Sunday, 11 May, in Lighthouse, Baba's Centre in St. Petersburg, was dedicated to the Day of Victory in WW II (pic 4). It was attended by about 200 war veterans, their children and grandchildren. As the famous Russian song goes, Victory Day is filled with both happiness and tears. 27 million people of the Soviet Union died in that war. There was not a single guest present in the hall whose family had not lost at least one of its members. Soloists of the renowned Hermitage Court Opera House presented a collection of songs of 1940-es. And bro. Albert Asadullin, leading Russian singer, made even the war veterans feel young by singing together with them, "200 years are still there till you get old. Old age does not exist!"
Sis. Denise spoke on the topic of Pain and Hope. "In fact, the war continues even now. It is the war between man and woman, between older and younger generations, between East and West, between humankind and nature. And this war is tearing the humanity apart. At such a time we come to spirituality because we are in need of love, and spirituality says to us that we are all brothers and sisters, eternal souls and children of one Father. Spirituality says that after reaching its extreme everything changes into its opposite. Poppies start growing on war fields after bombardments. The experience of pain fades with the course of time leaving us strong, wise and invincible."
On May 11 sis. Denise met father Bogdan, archpriest of St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral. This cathedral is the only church in St. Petersburg (former Leningrad) that never stopped functioning since the time of its construction in mid-XVIII century, even during the communist rule. The meeting that continued for more than an hour was very open and cordial. Father Bogdan regretted that nowadays people, especially young ones, are becoming increasingly godless. "Many of them appear in church just three times in their lifetime, namely at the time of taking baptism, at their church wedding day and during the last rites. It seems that the seeds of goodness fall on a stony land." Sis. Denise described the spiritual practice that we do in the Brahma Kumaris. "We practice remaining detached from the world of evil so that we can feel close to God. We try to remember God even while performing actions. And we also remain pure and celibate. When 10 000 pure surrendered sisters meditate together in our headquarters in Mount Abu, the atmosphere becomes really powerful. Luckily, God is more powerful than godlessness."
Another meeting with a representative of Russian Orthodox Church took place in Lighthouse on 13 May. (pic 5) Father Vladislav, archpriest of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker Church, expressed his openness to have a dialogue with all spiritually-minded people. He regrets that in today's world every small spiritual movement is labelled a sect. He said, "Actually, the word 'sect' means 'a part of the whole'. In this sense, even the Orthodox Church is a sect among other sects. I feel that interfaith tensions exist only on higher levels of clerical hierarchy. But people at large do not want any conflicts." He asked sis. Denise if she had any hope for the transformation of this dark period in history. Sis. Denise told him, "I feel that if Christ, Muhammad, Buddha and Guru Nanak were to sit together in this room just as we are sitting now, they would have no problems with understanding one another. The message of all religions is basically the same: one has to be true to oneself and remain close to God. Yes, I do have a very strong hope, because when the night is dark, it is enough to put at least one star somewhere up there, and everyone's attention will be automatically drawn to it!"
On 13 May sis. Denise conducted a dialogue on "Igniting the Spirit of Dignity" dedicated to 311th anniversary of St. Petersburg. (pic 6) The event was attended by 150 guests, including many dignitaries (Prof. Alexander Subetto, president of Russian Noosphere Academy, Mr. Semyon Gordyshevsky, president of St. Petersburg Ecology Union, Mrs. Ludmila Kuleshova, Major General of Justice, chairperson of St. Petersburg Women's Club, Mr. Valery Scrylev, president of Aikido Federation and others).
And of course there were lots of classes, meetings and chit-chats for BKs! The Remembrance Day of our respected bro. Jagdish ji was decorated with sis. Denise's stories of her personal experience of learning from him and getting his blessings.
"What are you taking with you from Russia?"
Sis. Denise: "I've been on TV in Nizhny Novgorod two times. And they kept asking me what I thought about the current events in Ukraine, since perhaps they thought I was from "the other side". Now Russia and the West are on the opposite sides of this chessboard. The West has their own idea of Russia, and Russia has its own idea of the West. And it makes people think in terms of stereotypes. So I felt that now I am playing the part of a citizen diplomat. Here, in Russia, I received amazing love, sweetness, care, interest, everyone is marvelous. I began to feel how powerful the machine of propaganda is to separate people. The nice thing with us, BKs, is that we all belong to the Confluence age and to a huge international family, so we are beyond those limitations. One of the things I am taking with me is an inspiration to promote global citizenship and God's family feeling that Baba is talking about, and to counteract in this way the propaganda that's going on in the rest of the world."
We, BKs in Russia, are extremely thankful to BapDada, Dadi and Drama for making us play with the beautiful jewels of knowledge by sending to us such special flowers from God's garden!
Sr Sudha's visit to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
11 May 2014
In April 2014 Sr. B.K. Sudha, Director General of the Centre of Spiritual Development, Moscow, and Joint Regional Coordinator of the Brahma Kumaris visited Kyrgyzstan for the first time. During her visit she met the students and teaching staff of universities, students of the preliminary course of the Brahma Kumaris, and the general public.
The Kyrgyz Republic or Kyrgyzstan is a country in Central Asia, bordering Kazakhstan, China, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, with the Tian Shan mountain range covering over 80% of its territory and beautiful Issyk-Kul Lake, which is the second largest mountain lake in the world. The main religion of the country is Islam. The capital and largest city of Kyrgyzstan is Bishkek, situated at about 800 meters altitude, which originally was a caravan rest stop on the Silk Road through the Shan mountains. The city was founded in 1825 as a Khokand fortress by Uzbek Khan of Kokhand, and is now the financial and cultural centre of Kyrgyzstan.
Sudha Didi started her visit in Bishkek on 9 April meeting with new students of the Raja Yoga Course; 16 people joined it and welcomed her to their country.
On 10 April she met 50 students from the Psychology Department of Bishkek Humanities University as well as the Dean of the Faculty.
Sudha Didi spoke about religion and spirituality. She underlined that Raja Yoga doesn't contradict with any religion, but inspires a person to practice the truths, which religious scripture and texts contain. She also explained how students of the Brahma Kumaris University are engaged in the study of positive qualities and practice them. After the meeting, the students didn't want to leave. They asked Didi for her autograph, and she wrote words of good wishes in their copy-books and they photographed together.
In the evening meeting with Raja Yoga students Didi explained the difference between information and knowledge. She said: ‘Information can be a kind of burden while knowledge means understanding. When knowledge becomes experience it is known as wisdom. Ask yourselves: do I really need the information I'm getting and why? Go deeper into your own self and contemplate this because, first of all, we need awareness and realization. Awareness is the first step to self-transformation. Although, we understand our shortcomings, sometimes we cannot overcome them because of our lack of awareness and realization. Then, to transform yourself, you have to realize your original positive qualities. Knowledge is a seed which we plant into the soil of our mind. After that it needs to be watered and this water is our connection with God. As a result you will reap the fruit of your virtues. Check yourselves to see to what extent you have imbibed the knowledge and become humble. Ego indicates inner emptiness. That's why it's said: empty vessels make the greatest sound. Ego and false identification make the soul unable to develop itself.'
Another meeting, with students from the Social Workers Faculty of Bishkek Humanities University took place on 11 April, attended by 42 people. Sudha Didi spoke about the types of thoughts and qualities of soul. She explained what the foundation of positive thoughts is: self-confidence, courage and kindness. At the end of the meeting she gave everyone the book Gems of Virtues.
On the same day Didi met 65 students from the Kyrgyz State University of Construction, Transport and Architecture. She was asked to speak on the theme: The Art of Positive Thinking. ‘My ability to think becomes an art when my thoughts are beneficial both to myself and those around me. Negative thoughts come spontaneously mainly due to circumstances; but to have positive thoughts we have to work on them. When I nourish my intellect with good and positive information, there are far less bad thoughts. So you shouldn't start your day just reading newspapers, nor finish it by just watching TV.'
Didi asked students to write down their five good habits and five bad habits and to describe them. Everyone diligently did their task, and then participated actively in question & answer activity with her.
On 12 April Sudha Didi met with amateurs of different yoga systems at the Anand Centre.
On 13 April, in the morning, she discussed a pure lifestyle with a group of new Brahma Kumaris students. They were impressed with her words that we need to maintain our purity both for our own sake, for the world's and for God. Didi said that during special religious festivals, for instance Ramadan, religious people maintain purity because they understand that purity is the way to God. The meeting ended with words of mutual gratitude and good wishes.
Happiness to be Together: Let's go the road of goodness
4 April 2014 - Karelia, Segezha
On February 26 a team of volunteers, representatives of several organizations, held three events, connected by the general idea: support to the pupils the orphanage, and also to the experts and volunteers working in the sphere of guardianship and post-residential help to graduates.
The city of Segezha is located 267 km to the north of Petrozavodsk. The name of the city goes back to Karelian "sees" - pure, light.
In a conference hall of the administration of the Segezhsky settlement there was a round table held with representatives of the administration, heads of social establishments, and the staff of Segezhsky orphanage. About 20 people took part and shared their ideas. Being mothers, grandmothers, sisters, having a rich life experience, we can give the warmth of our hearts to those who are most deprived in this life – the children who have remained without maternal and paternal support. Each of the participants of the round table introduced themselves, presented the organization and also their skills, and shared what else they would like to learn in life.
In the afternoon the pupils of the orphanage, volunteers and pupils of the Northern College played the game "We Build the House of Goodness". Twenty young people discovered their best qualities with the help of Virtuescop.
Then the pupils of the orphanage became participants of the traditional national holiday of bidding farewell to winter and welcoming the spring "Maslenitsa". The children actively participated in the competitions and the relays prepared by the creative team from Petrozavodsk.
At the same time in the hall of the orphanage, there was a round table on creating a support group in Segezha for experts and psychologists, along with the participation of specialists of the Northern college and school No. 4, representatives of the administration. At the end of the program all the participants enjoyed tea and delicious pancakes at the big common table.
The result of the event was establishing friendly relationships and determining perspectives for further cooperation.
The Karelian regional charity foundation "Mother's Heart"
The Karelian partner School of care and affection parents and grandparents for "Spring in my Soul"
The Karelian regional public charity "Center Foundation for Development of Youth and Public Initiatives"
Karelian regional charity foundation "Mother's Heart"
Public state educational institution of the Republic of Karelia "Segezhsky orphanage"
Karelian regional public charity foundation "Center of Development of Youth and Public Initiatives"
Interregional youth movement "AVARD Association"
Petrozavodsk Interregional public organization "Center of Spiritual Development
State Budgetary Institution "Karelian Regional Center of Youth"
Ministry for youth, physical culture and sport of the Republic of Karelia
Institute of advanced training for educators
From Heart to Heart
11-12 January 2014 - Russian group in the Global Peace Carnival - Jamnagar, India
On 11-12 January 2014 a big Global Peace event took place in Jamnagar Gujarat, India. The program organized by the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University consisted of two parts: the Global Peace Carnival and Global Peace Conference on the topic ‘New Vision for the New World'. A cultural group of 35 Russian B.K. students from Moscow, Tver and Kaliningrad was invited to participate in this important event.
Jamnagar is a big city in north-west India with a population of over one million. It's famous for its Ayurveda Institute which is well known internationally.
The program started on 11th Jan with a colorful rally that brought together more than 1200 participants including schoolchildren, students, and members of different organizations. The huge procession of people and vehicles beautifully decorated with pictures and live models slowly moved along the streets of the city for five hours proclaiming the message of peace. The Russian group represented the international service of Brahma Kumaris.
On 12th Jan the Global New Vision for the New World Peace Conference took place in the city centre's main square. Among the program's special guests were B.K. Asha, ORC, India; B.K. Sudha, Moscow, Russia; B.K. Kamlesh, Mumbai, India; B.K. Sushma, Jamnagar, India, and a few important people of Jamnagar. About three thousand people enjoyed this unique dance and music concert program presented by performers from Russia. The program, which symbolized the long-lasting Indo-Russian friendship, combined classical Russian and Indian culture items with aspects of spiritual knowledge. The audience welcomed it with lots of warmth and delight. Indian Vande mataram dance and Russain Beryozka round dance brought storm of applause.
The event was well reported by national and local mass media; information about the program and the interview with Russian students was printed in about 40 newspapers; and the music and dance program was rebroadcast live by the Peace of Mind TV Channel, Jamnagar and Gujarat CATV Channels in India.
As a sign of love and hospitality, the B.K. center in Jamnagar also organized a very interesting trip for its Russian guests to the famous pilgrimage place of Dwarka and a famous place in B.K.'s history, the town of Okha, a seaport where Brahma Baba arrived from Karachi with a group of 300 Godly students.
The event made it possible to unite hearts of two nations to bring peace and harmony to the world.