The knowledge of the Brahma Kumaris is normally taught in a structured seven day course. The course is free of charge and free of obligation. This is the way it was taught from the late 1950s through the mid 1990s. The course was developed by senior brother Jagdish Chander, and his One Week Course script is here. The course then began to be divided into two session: Introductory and Advanced. This is because it was recognized that many who came to learn meditation wanted to focus only on the core knowledge required for meditation, without learning the entire world view of the Brahma Kumaris. Courses are given at centers and at Retreat Centres. One of the main ways the course is taught at retreat centers now is through the successful Inner Peace Inner Power (IPIP) Part 1 and Part 2.
The core knowledge is based on the understanding of three different energies. The Soul, the Supreme Soul (God or the Divine) and matter. These three together create what is known affectionately and entertainingly known as 'The Drama'. The knowledge is shared every morning through the murli. These daily spiritual teachings can be found here (you will be directed to another website).
Each living being comprises a soul and a body. The soul is the living sentient energy, and the body is the chariot through which the soul plays its part. The soul gives life to and animates the body. It is through the body that the soul expresses itself, and experiences the wonderful phenomenon we call 'life'. Every living being is a soul. This includes humans, other mammals, fish, birds, reptiles and other species that are born, grow, age and die. It is the body that starts of young and small, and then goes through a process of growth, aging, death and decay. Once the body is of no use, the soul leaves that body and takes another body according to its nature, and its species. In Brahma Kumaris philosophy it is understood that transmigration of species does not occur, although laws of karma still apply. A human soul remains a human soul, a fish soul remains a fish soul, a cow remains a cow. The innate nature of souls of different species are fundamentally unique. Regardless, each has the form of light, each is sentient and each soul - in its way - wishes for and seeks the same: Joy, peace, love and comfort, and avoidance of pain and suffering. It is this awareness and clear understanding that forms the founding principles of non-violence on the path of Raja Yoga as taught by the Brahma Kumaris. This principle of non-violence is echoed in their lifestyle.
The Supreme Soul
The Supreme Soul or God is a soul, as are all living beings. The difference is that God is not born into a body and does not die or leave a body, as all others souls do. God descends from the Soul World (Nirvana) at Her/His own will to teach. The Supreme Soul enters a human body to teach, and therefore teaches human beings. Human souls are the most sophisticated in terms of mental capacity, choice, intention and will. Therefore humans are responsible for the healing and restoration of the world, as we also bear the responsibility for the downfall and degradation of the world. Humans are therefore responsible for every living being within the world, as well as the non-living elements (rocks, water, metals), and the living but non-sentient energies (plants, trees, fruits, grains and vegetables). Such is our burden and our fortune.
Raj Yoga taught by the Brahma Kumaris is the mind-heart union of the soul and the Supreme Soul. The aim is to - in a figurative (not literal) sense - merge in the experience of divine love. It is believed that this is the heart of transformation, realisation and liberation for all human souls. The lifestyle, disciplines and practices are designed solely to support this union. A series of murlis spoken in the 1982, knowns as The Renunciation Murlis offer insights into a progressive and deep understanding of spiritual practices and philosophy of BKs.
Time and Energy
The Brahma Kumaris understand we are at a critical point in world history where the world and the people in it, are in a precarious and vulnerable position. We are witnessing the collapse of economic, social, political, financial and environmental systems. Yet, at the same time, there is unique possibility for change and people become more aware and awake to the need for deep inner change. The Brahma Kumaris call this period of the time The Confluence Age, and its nature is defined by two energies - an ascending energy and a descending energy. As human souls with unique power of will and intent, we have the capacity to choose with which energy we align ourselves: One of holistic and harmonic integration, or one of selfish, compartmentalized degradation. It is at the Confluence Age that the Brahma Kumaris believe that God, the Supreme Soul comes and teaches us how to put ourselves and the world right again.
The 5000 Cycle of Time is a core teaching. As with many religious paths, dates of world destruction have come and gone. Read about Brahma Kumaris predictions through their theology (murli) here.