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December 2006 - January 2007
Dadi Janki: Divinity in Human Form
It is difficult to comprehend the sense of agitation that overwhelms a person when he is face to face with a highly evolved spiritual personality. I had the opportunity of meeting Dadi Janki at various seminars organised by the Brahma Kumari Spiritual University based in Neasden, London. In this 70th year of this spiritual movement I made an appointment to meet the top person, Dadi Janki, and enquire about her life’s work and personal philosophy which has made the Movement important enough to be recognised in the portals of the United Nations headquarters.
Frail, diminutive with stern eyes and soft mellow voice, Dadi Janki narrated to me the journey of her life. Even at the age of eleven she was a restless soul, searching for something which she could not find in the well-to-do family of businessmen in Hyderabad (Sindh), now in Pakistan. When she was 19, she met Brahm Baba, her spiritual mentor, who taught her the true meaning of life and how to reach spiritual fulfilment. Baby was a family friend and used to visit them frequently.
“At that impressionable age, what did he teach you which had such a lating impression on you?” I asked.
In her calm voice, Dadi said,” He explained to me certain basic rules of life which I have been following since then. Truth, honesty, cleanliness, simplicity and purity, these are the virtues I must endeavour to make a part of my very existence. Truth is the ultimate reality. It is not an easy path. There are many obstacles in the way. Sorrow, deception, confusion, falsehood, these are the weaknesses which normally take a person away from truth. These have to be conquered.
“Do you believe in past life? Some of the sorrows in our present life may be the cause of our past actions. How can we conquer our miseries when the cause of them is not in our hands?” I asked.
Reflecting for a moment on my question, Dadi said, “Negative thoughts are the causes of our miseries. I should try to conquer my own weaknesses. I must learn how to discard laziness, excuses, carelessness and jealousies. I should affirm to myself that the highest dharma is truth and non-violence. Violence, even in our thinking, is the cause of our misery. To achieve positive attitude I must generate understanding. As Lord Krishna said in Bhagvat Gita, ‘as you think so you see.’ Thought is the seed of action. You can not achieve positive results with negative thoughts.”
“You came to England in 1974 without much knowledge of this country and its language. What was it that you wanted to achieve here?”
“Back in 1952 I got a vision. At that time I was suffering from asthma. Brahm Baba, a friend of my father, said to me that God wants a right hand. And I have been chosen to be that hand. First I have to be free from my own weaknesses. I have to make my own life meaningful so that I could help the other human beings. All material hurdles in our path are automatically removed by divine guidance.I still hold my Indian passport. I never have any trouble in getting a visa.”
“Is your task accomplished?” I asked.
“This is an unending task. There is joy in helping people to learn how to relieve their mental stresses.We all can end our worry, fear and sorrow and create an ocean of happiness in our life and in the lives of our near and dear ones. Right understanding and regular mental exercises.
“We should live in such a way that love permeates all our actions. I have learned to live this way, and as a result, nothing disturbs me. My contentment and good feelings towards others remain constant. I have become free. This power comes from within; and is natural to all of us. Experience has taught me that feelings such as sorrow, worry and fear are not original and natural to us. They arise when we let ourselves be influenced by beliefs and behaviours that are external to us.
“To realise God within us, we need peace within and without. With the power of peace, there is stability of mind. If you are worried, fearful or experiencing sorrow, there is no peace. Arrogance, greed and jealousy are the seeds of sorrow. If I have good virtues and my actions are good, my fortune will also be good.
“The power to remain peaceful is accumulated through truthful actions performed with an elevated intellect - with understanding. Try to be generous and altruistic. Always remember; sorrow is lack of understanding. Those who have negative thoughts have worry. Success lies in inculcating in me those virtues which bring peace, power and happiness.
“With the power of peace there is power of love. Love for self, for the others we come across, and finally love for God. This ultimate power that is given because of the soul within us. This power in God’s love is truth. The realisation of this Truth is the harbinger of transformation in one’s life.”
Spellbound as I was, I did not realise that I had been sitting and listening to Dadi Janki for well over two hours. There was not a hint of tiredness in her speech; nor any sign of irritation with my relentless questioning. A divine being in human form!
(Dadi Janki is co-administrative head of the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, an international organisation for self-development and spiritual renewal. She is also a vice-president of the World Congress of Faiths. After tests conducted by researchers in the United States, she was described as having “the most stable mind in the world”.