Brahma Kumaris’ journey of 50 years in Africa: How it all began

The Brahma Kumaris regional headquarters, located in Nairobi.

By Sr Vedanti

At the tender age of 20, I dedicated my life to the Brahma Kumaris. I was full of hopes and good wishes to achieve wonders in the world. I joined them very enthusiastically in 1965 in Ahmedabad, and served in many parts of India, including Gujarat, Mumbai, and Delhi.

In 1975, I was appointed to look after the supplies in a very large fair organised by the Brahma Kumaris (BK) in Mumbai. During that time, knowing that the power of silence could achieve wonders, even during a difficult exercise, I was able to accomplish staying in total silence while working. This silence helped to achieve many successes then, and I have found great successes throughout my life.

I sincerely wanted to do Godly service around the world. The administrators of the Brahma Kumaris sent five people for world service in 1972, and when bidding them farewell, the topmost thought in my mind was that since my father was neither rich nor did I have a passport, I would serve the world with my positive thoughts.

Each day, for two years, I would do a special meditation for every designated country of the world. This was eventually successful, and it gave me much happiness. Finally, the time came, following the very large fair that took place in Mumbai.

A gentleman named Mr Ramkaka from Lusaka, Zambia, came to the Colaba Centre in Mumbai. Being the youngest of 30 residents of the Centre, I got to open the door when he rang the doorbell. I welcomed him. He wanted a photo of the main gate of our fair because he wanted to make a temple like that in his home country, Zambia. Instead, I persuaded him to become a deity by learning Raja Yoga Meditation. He did the three-day course and decided to open a Raja Yoga centre in his home city, Lusaka.

He declared to the senior BK administrators his intention to open a centre in Lusaka, on condition that sister Vedanti would help him do that in Africa. This opened the door for me to serve in the continent, and on October 2, 1974, at the age of 29, I started my journey with Sr Sheilu, from Mumbai to Lusaka, Zambia. It was my first time on an airplane! To this day, I remember vividly the smiles of the people of Africa who welcomed me on that day and won my heart.

In 1975, Ramkaka invited me to visit other countries in Africa to open Centres and give the message of God enthusiastically to every person in each country. He said: “Vedantiben, I am happy that you have come to Africa with a lot of zeal and enthusiasm. Now you have to travel to each country in Africa and give the message of God to all brothers and sisters”. He then added: “Go with courage and if you die in the desert of Africa, then don’t worry, for I shall bring another Brahma Kumaris sister to complete the job.”

In every city we visited, the people were very welcoming and ready to help and learn. This made it easy to work with them.

In 1975, we went to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Malawi, Mauritius, Liberia, Nigeria, Ghana, and Sierra Leone. Since then, it has been non-stop visits to one country after another, getting so many new helpers. The number has been countless during the last 50 years.

Today, the Brahma Kumaris are present in almost 50 countries in Africa. I have experienced God’s power during the past 50 years, without which it would not have been possible to be in so many countries.

It would also have been impossible without the help of so many people. I would like to acknowledge and thank all those who have held our hands in each country. It is with their co-operation that we have been able to touch so many people in so many countries. They include volunteers who have offered their help so magnanimously.

From 1974 to 2023, my journey in Africa has been refreshing, difficult, challenging, promising, satisfying, greatly enthusiastic, and also disheartening. But the blessings of God and the seniors have been with me. This has helped me a great deal. And finally, the smiling faces of the people of Africa have made it 100 percent successful.

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Sister Vedanti is the Regional Director of the Brahma Kumaris in Africa