Brahma Kumaris


The Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University (BKWSU) was founded in 1937 in Hyderabad Sind (then in India) by Brahma Baba, a businessman and philanthropist. Brahma Baba had a vision of how people of all cultural backgrounds could come together to rediscover and develop the spiritual dimension of their lives.

The BKWSU core curriculum is offered in the form of a foundation course in meditation, based on the teaching of Raja Yoga. Raja Yoga is viewed as a path to understanding and knowing one's identity as a spiritual being. Activities focus on developing a sense of self-worth and respect for others. There are currently 8,000 BKWSU centres in 90 countries, including five in Scotland. The international headquarters are in Mt Abu, Rajasthan, India and the International Co-ordinating Office is based in Global Co-operation House, London. Brahma Baba set up a trust of 12 women to run the organisation and this system has continued, with mainly women running BKWSU centres. Today the University is headed by two women now in their 80s and 90s, Dadi Prakashmani and Dadi Janki.


Attitudes to healthcare staff and illness

Most Brahma Kumaris have a positive attitude towards healthcare staff and would be willing to seek medical help and advice when sick. Decisions about where to seek advice and the type of treatment are left to the individual.


Religious practices

The Brahma Kumaris practise meditation regularly, health permitting, especially in the early hours of the morning, and it may be helpful for them to have access to a quiet area for this.



Brahma Kumaris are encouraged to eat a lacto-vegetarian diet (dairy products permitted) and discouraged from using alcohol, tobacco and other recreational drugs. Most Brahma Kumaris do not use onions or garlic in cooking and prefer to have their food cooked and blessed by fellow Brahma Kumaris.



There is no religious obligation for Brahma Kumaris to fast.


Washing and toilet

Brahma Kumaris take a shower each morning (showers are preferred to baths wherever possible). Brahma Kumaris also observe the discipline of bathing or showering after a bowel movement and would prefer to do this in hospital too, wherever possible.


Ideas of modesty and dress

As Brahma Kumaris teachers live a celibate life they may prefer medical examinations to be undertaken by someone of the same sex. Other Brahma Kumaris are less likely to have a preference. Dedicated Brahma Kumaris women often dress fully in white if officially representing the BKWSU.


Death customs

Brahma Kumaris favour cremation over burial. Dedicated Brahma Kumaris would prefer the body to be in special white clothes although there is some flexibility in this. Details of the funeral arrangements are always discussed with thq family of the deceased so that the family's wishes are honoured.


Birth customs

Dedicated Brahma Kumaris live a celibate life so it would be unusual for someone from the Brahma Kumaris tradition to be giving birth.


Family planning

Dedicated Brahma Kumaris live a celibate life.


Blood transfusions, transplants and organ donation

Brahma Kumaris would have no objection to blood transfusion or organ transplants. Decisions about the donation of organs are left to the individual.