The BK lifestyle centres around a series of practices, rituals and disciplines that are collectively terms "Maryadas" or "codes of conduct". The ideal of being maryadapurushottam or the highest among humans is discussed in scriptures and is culturally very meaningful in India. For BKs, adhering to the maryadas is believed to ensure a good life in the present, a secure golden aged future, and many lifetimes of good karma and great companionship, including close relationships with Brahma Baba, the founder.
Maryadas (Codes of Conduct)
The disciplines adhered to by Raja Yoga students of the Brahma Kumaris (BK) are known as Maryadas. They are similar in nature to the core precepts of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Islam. Based on the principles of non-violence, the Maryadas are designed to support the core spiritual practice of Raja Yoga meditation by restoring peace and strength of mind, and patience and kindness of heart.
Maryada (Sanskrit) A limit, boundary, line, border; by extension of meaning, the content or outline of the intrinsic moral law, including likewise ethics, or established customs or rules, and hence signifying rectitude. Code of Conduct.
Established during the 1950s, the Maryadas pictured below were transported all over the world, during the Expansion Years. They would typically hang on the wall of each centre, and of every Brahmin household.
Principles for Brahmins
"Our Life Here" was written by three Australian BK Raja Yogis in the early 21st century and is a contemporary adaptation of the above Maryadas. "Additional Maryadas" are seven further disciplines commonly adhered to by BKs, authored by scholar Trevor Walsh.
The above principles (maryadas) were cited in a poster that has been produced for the Brahma Kumaris and sold through their centers. Inclusive to the poster form of the maryadas, although not printed, are seven further maryadas, which are taught verbally and in the murli, and these are;
- No going to movies especially pornographic movies.
- No eating of food and drink made by non-members, especially cooked food. This includes eating at restaurants etc.
- No touching of members by other members, especially members of the opposite gender. Includes no hugging, cuddling etc.
- No reading of worldly novels and magazines etc. Especially pornography.
- No living by members in gender mixed houses with other members, unless of course they are one’s biological family. Communal living in houses is either as ‘Brother or Sister houses/bhavans’. Communal living is one of the BK institution’s ideals and is enthusiastically promoted.
- No gambling. All money gained by gambling is considered ‘black money’.
- Bathing after bowel movement. Especially if there is to be the preparation and the cooking of food.
Our Life Here
- Beginning every day with a loving connection with God, we meditate before the world is awake.
- Appreciating that our spiritual education is a gift from God, we study daily.
- With soul conscious vision, we are committed to using the best of ourselves and seeing the best in others.
- Understanding the power of vibrations over matter, we cook in remembrance of God.
- With respect and love for all life, our diet is pure vegetarian.
- With thanks and appreciation we eat in remembrance.
- Understanding that some habits drain the soul of spiritual power, we don’t drink or smoke, take drugs or gamble.
- Seeing all souls as our spiritual brothers and sisters, we live a life of chastity.
- Recognising the importance of all aspects of life, we endeavour to use our time, money and energy wisely.
- We serve by being part of the world, not retreating from it, and we carry spiritual principles into our work life.