Table of Content
Interfaith Service for Nelson Mandela - Barbados
13 December 2013
The Government of Barbados paid tribute to the life of Nelson Mandela with a national interfaith service held at the St. Patrick Cathedral in St. Michael.
The Catholic Bishop of Barbados, The Anglican Bishop of the Caribbean, the Governor General, the Prime Minister, other members of the Government including the leader of the opposition were in attendance as well as many international diplomats and both foreign and local dignitaries.
The Brahma Kumaris were invited to participate in the service. BK Myrna conducted a meditative session that took the congregation into a very powerful, reflective and introspective silence. Some said that it was the most memorable and touching part of the service.
Several discussions and programs were also held during the period of mourning. Sis Myrna was invited on the "Good Morning Barbados" TV show to share the significance of the life of Nelson Mandela. The values of forgiveness, harmony and peace were highlighted as well as the power of solitude which fosters meditative states and positive thinking.
Indeed Mandela exemplified that the way to peaceful reconciliation is through forgiveness, honesty, humility, compassion and respect. He lived from his heart, the seat of the soul, where those universal truths are known, and that is how he succeeded in uniting his country's peoples and influenced others in his other diplomatic and political roles.
This period provided the opportunity for BKs to share their knowledge and to emphasize the importance of emerging the divine virtues within the soul, through spiritual endeavor in connection with the Supreme Soul.
We continue to create smart-partnerships within the community which is allowing for opportunities to do extended service and so foster good spiritual interaction nationally.
World Day of Remembrance
17 November 2013
On 17th November, at the main centre in Guyana, a small, simple but beautiful programme for the observance World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims was held. From 6:15 to 6:30pm a background to the decade for road safety and WDR was given, and the message for the day by the UN Secretary General was read. This was followed by a beautiful guided meditation based in healing and good wishes, in a dim-lit setting with candles. The experience stimulated an interest in learning meditation.
Diwali Celebration in Trinidad
14 November 2013
Our annual nine day service before the festival of Diwali took place at the prestigious venue of the Diwali Nagar which started from the 24th October – 1st November 2013.This year the theme at the Nagar was entitled "Sri Krishna." We got very creative, using ideas from Baba's Murli for this service.
Service at the Diwali Nagar this year has been very exciting and the energy level kept rising with powerful vibrations pulling many hundreds of souls of all walks of life to visit the booth from Politicians to Ambassadors from Middle East Countries to devotees as well as the general public. Very many youths throughout the country also visited the booth and were amazed at the spiritual technology and experience of peace. The entire booth was a great splendour of the Nagar with highlights of :
- The beautiful backdrop scene of the Golden Age which mesmerised the many souls who attended and took pictures
- The life Diety Shri Krishna portrayed by Sister Silvereen from Venezuela and Brother Nirvan a youth from Trinidad. It was a magnificent scene to see viewers absorbed into a vision of The Prince Of Paradise Shri Krishna.
- The Alcoves were inbuilt into the booth for yogis to sit meditation. This was an ineffably spiritual attraction.
- The Meditation Room in the booth was also a huge attraction for the hundreds of souls who showed great interest in an experience of peace despite the very noisy atmosphere.
- The exhibition and the storyline were an education for many, some of whom understood Shri Krishna to be a Diety and Shiva to be God
- The Virtue Wheel of Fortune game was a significant moment to the huge crown who patiently awaited their turn to pick their fortune.
It was an opportunity for many souls to come and claim their inheritance. Service is continuing at a fast pace and many souls are showing greater interest in knowing themselves and God.
Diwali Celebration in Barbados
14 November 2013
Students are making effort to have their filters clean and pure so that they can dive deeply into Bapdada's Ocean of Knowledge. They are enjoying and being encouraged by the classes given during in Madhuban so far.
MURLI revision of the latest Bapdada meeting is still ongoing and will continue during the season.The uniqueness of each soul is shining through.
A Luncheon in celebration of Diwali was held on Sunday Nov 3rd at the Centre for Brahmins and friends. The centre was decorated with lit diyas. Each soul lit its own diyas in the consciousness of being lit by the Supreme light and experienced the gratitude of having been lit by God now, at the Confluence age. During the lighting ceremony each soul reaffirmed and shared its special virtue. This specially ignited virtue was then written on an angel card and shared with the gathering. Those who attended had a light, enlightened and happy spiritual experience.
Meetings with Interfaith groups are ongoing both at the individual and group levels and especially with those who are leaders in their faith
"The Story of Immortality" has been presented to several persons, including the Bishop of the Anglican Church of Barbados and the Caribbean, the Archbishop of Canterbury, during his visit to the island, and the Principal of the theological school at Codrington College.
Meditation classes on the different levels continue regularly at the centre.
We have just launched a Facebook page called "Soul2Soul" in which we circulate a short "Just a Moment". Feedback is beginning to build.
Harmonising the Environment: A Time for Peace
21 September 2013
Above, the Peace Medal is being presented to Sr Jean by Pauline Jones-Alleyne, Treasurer of UNAG on the UN International Day of Peace 21 September, 2013 at a ceremony held on the lawns of Guyana Parliament Building, Georgetown (Capital City). under the theme "Harmonising the Environment: A Time for Peace".
Background to the Peace Award presented to Sister Jean by the United Nations Association of Guyana on September 21, 2013
Our relationship with the United Nations Association of Guyana (UNAG) began in 1998. That year marked the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. October 24 was United Nations Day. In support of this, an innovative project called "the Peace Link" was created. The essence of it was to have a powerful, nation-wide minute of silence, spent in the unified thought of good wishes for the well being of each other. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) bought into the idea immediately, as it promised to promote peace and respect for human rights. They offered to fund it. As a result of the funding, the project exploded into a large publicity campaign, utilising radio, television, print media, government networks, and the help of many inspired organisations. As the time approached, some radio and television stations and newspapers did a countdown to the day and the minute. The radio played peace songs. At the designated minute, some radio and television stations went silent. When the minute passed, there were reports of organisations and individuals, from shoppers in the market to the President, who stopped all activity for the minute, some moved to the point of tears.
We believe it was the impact of this unforgettable moment that started a relationship that culminated in the peace medal. As it was such a major activity in support of the UN, we are sending you samples of some of the promotional material used, and newspaper clippings from our Peace Link scrap book. You will notice the UNDP logo alongside the BK logo in some of the materials, which was authorised by UNDP – the project was promoted as "An initiative of the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, in association with the United Nations System in Guyana."
Since then, our relationship with UNAG continued to grow, especially with our support for their active promotion of United Nations International Day of Peace, over the years. We also worked with them in the formation of "Peace Councils," in a village outreach programme which they initiated. The Peace Councils were established to deal with conflict in small communities, and our role was mainly in helping to plan strategies toward this end.
Additionally, the Brahma Kumaris have also independently organised various programmes in observance of UN Day and UN International Day of Peace at our own premises. From time to time, these have been attended by UN officials and other dignitaries, who have experienced peace in a personal way at the centre. The nature of our relationship with them has been one of mutual support. The most enduring relationship has been that with Justice Donald Trotman (retired), President of UNAG, who has expressed a great regard for the work of Brahma Kumaris nationally and internationally, which he has taken time to familiarise himself with. UNAG recognises the ongoing work of the Brahma Kumaris in teaching meditation and helping people improve the quality of their lives. Justice Donald Trotman was particularly impressed when, eight years ago, he attended the opening ceremony of a new centre in the outlying district of Essequibo, which was the result of our outreach efforts.
Sr Bharti's visit to Barbados
For ten days Sis Bharti shared her enthusiasm for Baba's service and her love for story telling with the Barbados family. It was like a "STORYBOOK SAFARI" which brought a fresh approach to sharing. She related Bhakti stories, Yagya stories as well as some of her own personal spiritual experiences. The stories came out of the daily MURLI readings. Stories such as, Sudama and a handful of rice, Rama Sita and the artificial golden deer, Holica, Dashera and the Genie all came alive with vivid newness by her story telling skills. The spiritual significance and essence became crystal clear and meaningful as the connection was made with what happened on the path of bhakti and what is happening now at the confluence age. Everybody remembered the days of their story- listening childhood and enjoyed the exciting ride of story time.
She was given the title of "BK Griot" (A Griot is a story teller from the western part of Africa. They are known to pass on the traditions of a community through stories or songs or dance). She chose story telling.
Three(3) programmes were arranged and were attended mostly by Brahmins and their contacts.
The significance of Rakhi was given and then Rakhi was tied with pure loving intentions and focus. Approximately fifteen(15) souls got the Rakhi tied. The B.K family experienced the true happiness of celebrating and renewing the vow of purity.
A class was held on the topic, "The Deep Secrets of Karma", during which there was the awareness of how our lives are affected by the intentions, motives, desires and the emotional drive with which our actions are conducted.
"Reclaiming your Greatness"was another programme topic that explored the soul's spiritual fortune and potential . Sis Bharti's class and video presentation gave new insights and stimulated a lot of discussion and enthusiasm.
Some members of the Sindhi community were given brief introductions to Baba's message at their business places during a tour of the city of Bridgetown.
Visits to some of the tourist's spots had spiritual impact for the Sister. Read how she describes her experience as she toured around with her spiritual sun glasses.
"The greatest wonder of the land of Barbados is "Harrison's Cave." It is the breathtaking beautiful lime stone cave with the natural formation of inner beauty inside it. It is a testament to nature's mastery and is below the ground level and above the sea level. Journey by train through the cave passing by streams, waterfalls, crystal clear pools and towering columns were saying very significantly that when we look inside ourselves then we can find the various natural formation of our spiritual inner beauty which are the various benefits and experiences of the soul consciousness. The true beauty is inside the cave (body) – natural Inner Beauty (soul)."
Her visit in the "Atlantis Submarine" evoked this experience: " I had heard about the Submarine but Barbados is the place where I could actually sit inside the submarine in a ride that took everyone 150 feet below sea level. Again the significance was telling loudly that when you dive deep into the Ocean of love and happiness, Ocean of purity then you get beauty, silence, peace - beyond the effect of external sun light, color and sound."
The Sister enjoyed her visit to Barbados as much as the Barbados family enjoyed her visit and her STORYBOOK SAFARI
Rakhi in Trinidad with Dr Savita
5-17 August 2013
Dr. Savita, Shantivan visited the Caribbean for Rakhi Service from 4th August– 3rd September 2013. Her first stop was Trinidad.
5-17 August, Port of Spain
The regularly scheduled women's programme was conducted by Sis Savita on the topic ‘Women of Values - Culture of Peace' at 12 noon for an hour followed by Brahma Bhojan. Approximately thirty five (35) women participated attentively.
A programme was held on the same day, in the evening, from 6.39-7.30 pm at the St. Augustine Centre. The programme's topic was ‘Overcoming Anger'
Approximately forty (40) participants were present to take benefit of the words of wisdom in order to learn the methods for overcoming anger in their lives.
At the Chaguanas centre from 6.30-8.00pm a programme was held on the topic ‘Stress Management' followed by questions and answers. One hundred (100) souls reached on time to attend the session which was presented through the projector. Everyone appreciated this medium for sharing.
Parliament speaker Mr. Wade Mark tied Rakhi in Parliament building by Sis Hemlata & Sis Savita. A Rhaki message was conveyed to him. He was impressed by the task that Brahma Kumaris are carrying out for humanity.
The sisters continue to tie Rakhi to several VIPs including Government Ministers and High Commissioners.
At 8.30 am, India's Independence Day was celebrated at the Indian High Commission in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Acting High commission Mr. Amarjeet hoisted flag followed by a reading of the Indian President's address. One group sang patriotic song with the feelings from deep within their hearts.
Both Sisters Hemlata and Savitri were able to get the opportunity to meet the Indian High Commission and other dignitaries of India personally and fortunately got their appointments to tie Rakhi on the next day.
16 August Evening
The BK Rakhi Retreat began at 5.30 pm. "Belong to One". There was a grand opening welcome and meditation.
The class began with a period of mediation guided by Sis Jasmine. Sister Savita joined the session at 10.30 am bringing greetings from Madhuban. The message from the senior sisters in Madhuban was: "Do not carry old impressions of anyone- see only the good in everyone. We should all help other souls by our good wishes and pure feelings for them. Always imbibe virtues, focus on the self and in developing your own virtues. We cannot change anyone but the more we have acceptance of an individual or a situation the easier it is for us to transform."
She then proceeded to share on the topic for the day 'A Spiritual way of Living'. This included the following steps that should be followed by every Brahmin:
• Amrit Vela meditation
• Listening to the Murli
• Being regular and punctual in the study.
• Half hour evening meditation at 7pm.
• Giving of the chart and bedtime meditation.
• No consciousness of I and mine and surrendering everything to Baba.
• Serving with humility.
• Keeping ones highest aim with oneself at all times, that is, to transform and become like Lakshmi and Narayan.
• Preparation of food in remembrance of Baba and offering it to Baba before we eat.
The session closed with Sister Hemlata sharing her own experience on the topic.
In the evening, there was a very powerful BK Rakhi programe. All BKs from far and wide in Trinidad reached enthusiatically for the renewal of their bond of pure love, protection and purity.
GUYANA and SURINAME
There was a big BK group to take the maximum benefit from Sr. Savita's experiences through the spiritual vibrations through her classes.
News from the Caribbean
30 June - 7 July 2013
30 June - 1 July: Port of Spain Centre
Health is in Your Hands
Sister Indira had made all the arrangements for this lecture on health. Pillars of Health are diet, exercise, medication and meditation too! Brother Prakash Talathi put more emphasis on inner working of the person; the imbalances causing disharmony within and resulting in psychosomatic diseases. Brother Talathi mentioned that according to medical science 95% sicknesses are psychosomatic. The key to wellness is with us, get rid of negative and waste thoughts; they cause sickness of mind. Healthy mind healthy body! The practical experience of meditation was given. The class-room consisted of about 35-40 participants. Everyone left smiling.
1-2 July: St. Augustine Centre
Sister Vishantie was the co-ordinator for this program. There were 60 persons in attendance. The message was positivity reaches much further out than simply saying, "I will do it". The quality of thoughts, words and attitude plays a fundamental part in the achievement of goals.
The faculty touched following points in-depth and created awareness to turn to positivity, soul-consciousness, imbibe virtues & powers. He provided definitions for the terms of Soul-consciousness, Body-consciousness, Positivity and Negativity. He used analogies to clarify points to the audience. They were enlightened on how we can create a better world for all and especially for our children.
He advised the participants to connect to our Supreme Father, create a relationship with Him and then they can radiate, like perfect human-beings of the Golden Aged deities and religious fathers.
His emphasis was on meditation. The program ended with guided meditation by the speaker. The participants' feedback was great and some even followed him for the next program at Chaguanas Centre on next day.
2-3 July: Chaguanas Centre
Empowering the self
Sister Jasmine had a well-organized program which included 60 souls. The cause of the gap between preaching and practicing was well explained. Empowerment of the self is required. So, the importance was given on different powers – power to withdraw, pack-up, tolerate & accommodate. These powers sustain different virtues and help us to lead a wonderful balanced life. Balance brings beauty. Balance brings blessings. This is in fact the Art of Living!
4-7 July: San Fernando Centre
Spiritual alignment between self and the world
Sister Hemlata effectively hosted this program where 55 souls took the spiritual benefit. The state of present world was emphasized. The present life of various bondages and stress can be transformed into life of liberation. A projector show was presented on the new world where everyone enjoys life free from bondages i.e. liberation-in-life. The qualifications required to become worthy to claim a right to go there was explained. There was questions and answers session after every program, followed by meditation.
The hall was sparkling with about 65 eager-to-learn souls. Two contrasting states of mind, emotions and feelings were discussed – Anger and Praise. Explanations were given for the effects of anger on the self, various forms of anger, root causes and solutions, the belief underneath and truth, in reality were discussed. The journey from anger to peace and love was explained; how the sub-conscious mind can be used to stabilize ourselves while remaining undisturbed by becoming embodiment of Peace & Love and the practical experience of meditation.
Health through Mind & sub-conscious
Sister Nandi is the main service instrument here. The program with healers and their benefiters (patients), 22 intellectual participants attended this program. It was on "Health through Mind & sub-conscious" The gist of the program was getting rid of waste and negative thoughts which are the sickness of mind and cause psychosomatic diseases. This can help us to eliminate 95% sicknesses which are psychosomatic. The audience loved the program which was followed by question-answer session. The program concluded with meditation.
Earlier there was a program for Indian community with 15 adults with their children. Feedback was positive. 3 are doing course and 3 lessons were already given by brother Prakash Talathi. Br. Prem was the instrument for this service.
Next day, at 7.30 am Sis Nandi, Bro. Prakash with Mr. and Mrs. Prem met the Prime Minister - Dr. Keith Mitchell of this country of spices, GRENADA.
Aligning the self for Changing Time
Sis Myrna and Sis Shirley along with the core team organized the first evening with the BK family. There was BK chitchat & Mansa seva.
The Next morning was sight-seeing to HARRISON CAVE with Bro Dave. This is a very popular tourist place in Barbados. Harrison Cave is in the mountain at 160 feet below ground level & 600 feet above the sea level. It was very fascinating to watch wonderful shapes like angles created inside with the very pure & clear running water. It is worth an experience. Same day in the evening, there was a public program organized by the core team on "Aligning the self for Changing Time" The interested audience which included Bks and non Bks were about 20 persons.
12-25 July: Montego Bay
Visited many shops, door-to-door & gave Godly message. Those who were much interested are taken on mailing list.
Blind Association invitation - An experience of Meditation was given to around 35-40 visually impaired (local Jamaicans) after few minutes of initial talk.
Same Day – A live radio program for both Sis. Janet & Bro. Talathi was given by conference call, again meditation & benefits were discussed.
Again on the same day, the program was organized for a group of 18 inclusive of 2 Jamaicans and others were Saibaba devotees. The program was organized by Sis. Usha (BK) & Sis. Jyoti (Saibaba). Immediately, on next day morning, two souls from this gathering sis. Rajani came for further spiritual learning with Ushaben. Br. Harish came to Stress-free program at Hotel Place. They are planning to do foundation course and learning of Hindi language so that there will be constant activities in the centre.
A program on "Stress-Free Living" was organized through the G.M, son of BK Angello of Kingston. Encouraging attendance of 40-50 souls including couple of guests from the hotel & Br. Harish with his family, filled their aprons with the jewels of knowledge.
Kingston – In the morning, Bro. Prakash Talathi was the main speaker at "Prema Satsang Temple" accompanied by sis. Janet and Bro. Oswald. He spoke about the soul and its relationship with God. He also guided them in meditation with the focus on forging a relationship with God.
In the evening, Bro. Prakash gave a talk on "Facing the Challenges of the Coming Times" with 15 souls. A follow-up Programme was on Wednesday July 24, 2013.
News from Br Ananta in Haiti
24 March 2013
In Baba's loving yaad,
bk Rona and the DR family
Greetings my esteemed Brahmin family, brothers and sisters:
I am so happy to be writing this knowing that you will, by reading it, be able to be in the Haiti space with me and by so being, guarantee our continued success.
Since my arrival in Haiti in early December I have been privileged to be among a people who are very resilient, determined and cooperative; the very qualities that must exemplify our Brahmin life, hence, many lost Brahmin souls will be found among them. There had been BK activity in Haiti before but the 2010 earthquake was so devastating that we had to start again from scratch. After just an initial five day visit October last, we started in December 1012 with our exploratory work and I stayed in Haiti for 4 months. At present I am in the Dominican Republic for 3 weeks for Baba's 2 last BOL meetings and to be with the brahmin family. The plan is to be back in Haiti on the 12th of April.
In Haiti, Baba has 7 students for the introduction course, in two separate classes. One class is in English, the other is in a language of my own making. Their language, the students, is Kriol; they are the Haitians with whom I live. Since I don't know enough Kriol, it's a combination of French, Spanish, English and some Kriol with lots of drawn images, gestures, body language and acting. Consequently, this class does not have an end date. The class in English will be completed before I leave Haiti on 15th May, for the ECM conference in the US and the regional instruments retreat in Peace Village. Suffice it to say however, that Baba's Haiti shuttle has left the launching pad and has had a successful lift off.
The best news of all is that as a godly student I couldn't be in a better environment for learning how to be. The Haitians and all of Haiti are my classroom and teachers. Daily life in Port au Prince is such that you are left in awe of the spirit among the people and their will to survive and thrive under the circumstances. Everything you have heard about Haiti is true-only worse:electricity and water cut offs; garbage pileups, dust and polluted air; public waste elimination and more. There is no better place to be if you want to be a Holy Swan. There is neither lack of muck for you to stand in nor lack of pearls to be found. By the time we have a physical structure to call Baba's home we will have a Haitian family to make use of it and continue to expand Baba's service. The need here is great and we should satisfy it to the extent that we can. The relationship that Haitians have with international organizations is very tenuous and lacking in trust. They expect nothing to change and nothing does. We can and will succeed because our aims and objectives are different. Consequently, our work here as we begin has to be without limitations. It is God's work after all. You will be kept updated as things progress on all fronts. The destination is clear. If we can get on the fastest road right away that will be done. I'd rather err however, on taking on too much than too little. Martin Luther King whose life's work and assassination 45 years ago was commemorated on April 4th told us in an anecdote in one of his many famous speeches of an old woman who when asked how she felt about marching for freedom, responded saying, "my feets is tired but my soul is rested." Being in Haiti can tire your feet and everything else but I assure you my soul is souring and I've got energy to burn. "Service is my only desire."
The realizations come readily; and they are many: - Accommodation to degradation is limitless; - Port au Prince is just an extreme example of the conditions resultant from current human behavior, the continuing trend therefore means that there is a Port au Prince coming to a city near you; - when it's raining sorrow, you lose the distinction with happiness; - time is really really short. Underneath a poem that describes my feelings.
If only we knew who we are
we would be different by far.
The light that would shine on such a day
would reveal that we've always led the way.
It would reveal that we are the ones
with whose creation the world was begun.
It would reveal that we were the first to do everything in this universe.
It would reveal that we are the people gifted
upon whose shoulders the whole world will again be lifted.
It would lighten our eyes and brighten our smiles.
Pick up our chins and set our shoulders to win.
Lengthen our stride and strengthen our pride.
Restore our spirit and put God back in it.
Yes, we would be different by far.
If only we knew who we are.