Dr Anupama Vohra
Dadi Janki, the epitome of peace, tranquility and humility, remained the organizational head of world Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Godly Spiritual family of about 20 lakh people, including 46,000 women and innumerable followers from 2007-2020. She attained nirvana in the wee hours of the morning of 27 March, 2020. Dadi meaning the elder sister in Sindhi and grandmother in Hindi, and the name Janki coming from Janak , the revered king known for his non-attachment to material possessions and intense interest in spiritual discourse, reflect Dadi’s charismatic spiritual personality. Dadi Janki was born in 1916 in the northern Indian province of Sindh, now in Pakistan. From a very young age, she exhibited concern for the well-being of others. She joined Yagya (institution) at the age of 21 in 1937 and dedicated her life in this and started reading Murli 5 to 6 times a day. Dadi from 1939 to 1950, under the guidance of Brahma Baba and Mateshwari fondly addressed Mamma, devoted her time to the exploration of soul consciousness in meditation and serving poor, sick and needy people.
After the partition of India in 1947, the Brahma Kumaris organization shifted from Karachi in Pakistan to Mount Abu in the lap of Aravali Mountains of Rajasthan in 1950. Currently, Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University Headquarters called Madhuban meaning ‘forest of honey’ is about15 minutes drive from Mount Abu railway station.
After the passing away from this physical life of Mamma in 1965 and Brahma Baba in 1969 greater responsibilities for running and expansion of the organization fell on elder Dadis including Dadi Janki: the beacons of love, peace and wisdom. Dadi Janki travelled throughout the country establishing teaching centres, empowering people to bring spiritual values into their lives and women in particular to develop self-reliance. In 1974 she was entrusted the responsibility to spread spiritual awakening in the western world. Though a little hesitant in the beginning due to non exposure to English language and culture Dadi Janki took upon her shoulders this herculean task as supreme will. Dadi Janki was instrumental in the establishment of first European Brahma Kumaris organization in London. She spent more than three decades abroad. And the organization has spread over to 140 countries propagating the message of spirituality, divinity and values in minds of the followers.
Dadi Janki called upon her followers to ‘feel great’ by putting individual life in order through introspection. She wanted people to comprehend- who you really are, to be true to your real self, to bring about harmony within oneself leading to contentment, optimism and enthusiasm: “Feeling great begins with stepping inside to meet one’s self. When I step inside to see myself as I am. I begin to create peace within. Positivity is the natural outcome of this experience of peace.” The scientists at the Medical and Science Research Institute at the University of Texas, USA in 1978 examined the brain wave pattern of Dadi Janki and reported “her mental state remained completely undisturbed even while performing complicated mental exercises. The EEG (Electroencephalogram) of Dadi Janki continuously showed Delta waves, while she was cooking, while eating, while giving lecture, while doing arithmetical calculations, while talking, while sleeping, all the time!” this underscores her understanding of her own self : when one is in conformity with oneself it leads to self- reliance and peace. The main mantra of becoming a better individual comes out in different forms in her discourse.
I had the divine opportunity to meet this pious personality, dressed in white sari whose very entrance lit up the seminar room in the ashram where I was delivering an interactive lecture to NSS, POs and representatives of NGOs during residential workshop on ‘Masters’ Training in Parenting Adolescents’ organized by Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development at Madhuban, Mount Abu in June, 2011. Instructing me to carry on with the lecture, she sat down quietly, listening attentively, and participated in the discussion. The divine power shining in her eyes, the kindness in her smile, her strong countenance, and the wisdom in her words transported all present to a serene spirit. Afterwards Dadi Janki enquired about my personal and professional life: “Don’t think of the past! This is the journey of life going forward and we have to make it successful by thinking, talking and doing only good.” A blissful time to be with her; to talk with her clarified and calmed my thoughts: “Never Lose Hope in Life Nothing is Impossible in Life.” Those few minutes spent with Dadi Janki keep reverberating in my mind. I could not hold the time but the memories I have locked in the innermost recess of my mind to give me positivity, strength and courage to face challenges and gloom in life.
At the age of 104, starting from the age of 21, Dadi Janki dedicated 83 years of her life to the work of the Prajapita Brahma Kumari Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya (Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University). She touched the lives of people and spread positivity. She made people realize that silence and introspection, courage, faith and honesty are human strengths for success in life: “The quality of your thoughts and the feeling behind those thoughts has much more impact than your words.” Wherever she went, whosoever she met she spread the message of love and contentment through meditation.
An indomitable soul for whom there were no limits and boundaries inspired others to make the impossible possible. The amiable Dadi Janki has left this physical world but her teachings, especially to live with love become all the more significant in the present time. We may belong to any religion, caste or community but exposing our young minds to Dadi Janki’s writings- Is There Another Way?, Wings of Soul, Companion of God, Pearls of Wisdom and Inside Out- which speak about the ways in which we must reorganize our lives to solve not only the problems of our own heart, soul, and mind, but also those of the humanity- will definitely transform this world into a loving planet for the coming generations: “When there is a barrier, people move back. But when there is a bridge they go across. Be a bridge nor a barrier” this pearl of wisdom of Dadi Janki we have to imbibe in letter and spirit.
(The author is Professor of English, DDE, University of Jammu.)