World Headquarters, Mt Abu, Rajasthan
In 1950, the institution moved to Mount Abu , a quiet place reputed for its ancient heritage and regarded as a sacred destination by many in search of spiritual rejuvenation and empowerment. Nestled high in the Aravali Mountains of Rajasthan, it provided an ideal location for reflection and contemplation. In the folklore of ancient texts, Abu is praised as a holy place and is associated with the names of sages and seers; thus there are many temples and hermitages to be found upon it.
However, a short walk takes you away from the maze of activity into the tranquil seclusion of this sacred destination whose atmosphere emanates a sense of enchantment; and to the worldwide headquarters of the Brahma Kumaris from whence the knowledge of the king of all yogas, Raja Yoga, is disseminated. The headquarters complex consists of three campuses – Madhuban (Pandav Bhawan & Om Shanti Bhawan), Gyan Sarovar and Shantivan – as well as a recreational park called Peace Park , World Renewal Spiritual Museum and the Global Hospital & Research Centre .
Madhuban – The Forest of Honey
Cradled by Mt. Abu ‘s rugged splendour and lush vegetation, and nestled near the still waters of Nakki Lake , lies ‘Madhuban’, the global headquarters of the Brahma Kumaris.
Madhuban is a place where thousands of BK students from nearly 130 countries gather to deepen their meditation practice. Madhuban’s clear and subtle atmosphere of spirituality inspires profound experiences. A practitioner of Raja Yoga meditation has no need to make radical changes in life–style or permanently leave home and family. However, a few weeks in Madhuban, away from worldly responsibilities, dramatically assists a student’s spiritual growth. Lectures and workshops provide essential tools which enable students to explore and emerge the powers of spirituality innate within each human being.
The Madhuban Campus
Over the decades the Madhuban campus has evolved into an expansive, yet still homely, complex of dormitories, residential units, meditation venues and buildings that house dining facilities, administrative offices, a literature shop, a telephone exchange and a dispensary.
Om Shanti Bhawan (Universal Peace Hall)
Om Shanti Bhawan was constructed in 1983 in which the main assembly hall, Universal Peace Hall, is situated. It is a very attractive assembly hall and 5,000 people can sit in it. Besides this, there is facility of translation in 16 languages simultaneously. It has been declared as a public tourist place. More than 8,000 people come here to see it daily. Every year spiritual conferences are organized here on a large scale. Special facilities of Rajyoga Education for Indian as well as for foreign brothers and sisters are available here. So, seminars relating to values and spirituality are held here.
The spiritual students experience extreme peace as they enter Pandav Bhawan at Abu. They remember God on the premises spontaneously. It is believed that Pandavas accepted God Shiva as their charioteer after they had renounced all the mundane luxuries. In the same way, the dedicated and surrendered souls who dwell here accept God Shiva as their Supreme Father, Teacher, Satguru! The surrendered brothers and sisters live a very simple life style and experience deep meditation daily.
Tower of Peace :
Brahma Baba left his mortal coil on 18th January, 1969 and the memorial named ‘ Tower of Peace ‘ was raised. This is a memorial that symbolizes sacrifice and tapasya of Pita Shri Brahma and eradicates the vices of the vicious people. The tower of peace, knowledge, might and purity inspire the people to lead pure and yogi life. It creates a feeling as if Brahma Baba is calling his children from the subtle world. The visitors regard it as a living temple. The B.Ks consider it as Maha Dham . God says, ‘If you want to be powerful, come to this place.’
Gyan Sarovar – The Lake of Knowledge
Gyan Sarovar is officially known as ‘The Academy for a Better World’. The name Gyan Sarovar is reminiscent of ‘Mansarovar’, about which a legend goes that anyone who dipped into the lake emerged in the form of a fairy or an angel. Gyan Sarovar is an environment which enables individuals to dip into the ‘ Lake of Knowledge ‘ and emerge highly transformed.
Founded by the Brahma Kumaris in 1996, the Gyan Sarovar Academy for a Better World was inaugurated as part o f the celebration of the University’s 60th anniversary. The Academy is an international campus – a place where men, women and children can reach their unique human potential and cultivate the values of our common humanity.
Gyan Sarovar Campus
Gyan Sarovar is a community development project that involved the construction of a complete village complex on 32 acres of land. On this land, which is located on Mt. Abu four kilometres from Madhuban, the Brahma Kumaris have created a retreat atmosphere without disturbing the natural topography and the original environment. The design integrates both urban and rural elements into a harmonious and holistic environment which lends itself to being eco–friendly and free from air and noise pollution.
Spiritual Art Gallery
There is a Spiritual Art Gallery that is built with the co-operation of people of the world. This exhibits various spiritual facets and is equipped with art, sound and modern technology. This place is furnished by Bks. The knowledge of soul and Supreme Soul has been explained with the help of modern audio-visual aids. The technology of science and silence is also included. The main attractions are audio-visual shows, laser shows, hologram and multi-media presentations. No visit to Gyan Sarovar is complete without seeing The Spiritual Art Gallery.
The entry to the Gallery is free of any charges.
Harmony Hall, Baba’s Oval-shaped room, Meditation room, Russian fountain are worth seeing. Baba’s Hut is a point of attraction for visitors. There is a Training Centre that has 13 halls which can accommodate 150 people each. There is another noteworthy place, Spiritual Application Research Centre (SPARC).
For the smooth administration of the Institution, it is divided into certain Wings for the welfare of the society such as Science and Engineering, Media, Sports, Education, Political, Religious, Administration, Cultural, Jurists, Security, Women, Social Service, Business and Industries, Youth, Medical, Transport and Rural. In these rooms, there is seating capacity for 75 to 150 people. There is a Shiva Bhola Nath Bhandara, Dining Hall in which 2000 people can dine simultaneously at 7 different counters.
There is a big auditorium in the Academy, which is known as Harmony Hall. 1800 people can sit in it. There is a translation facility in 17 languages simultaneously. The sound system is excellent. The Hall is equipped with heating and cooling facilities.
There are 30,000 different kinds of trees and plants in this academy which make this place very charming.
In 1996, the Academy was presented to Habitat II, the second UN Conference on Human Settlements held in Istanbul , Turkey . It was recognised as part of the Best Practise Initiative for Human Settlements.
Gyan Sarovar Programmes
Because the Brahma Kumaris see spirituality as the key to an ethical and moral renaissance and lasting social harmony, the programmes offered at Gyan Sarovar include subjects such as self–empowerment, self–management, positive thinking, meditation, practical spirituality and organisational leadership. These programmes, courses and retreats focus on achieving long–term and lasting changes in attitude, behaviour and lifestyles. They draw on the experience and insights gained, and the methods, techniques and skills developed, during the Brahma Kumaris’ sixty–year history.
World Renewal Spiritual Museum
The Spiritual Museum is situated in the heart of Mount Abu , near the historical Nakki Lake . It attracts tourists coming from India and abroad. There are fascinating large statues and translights which very effectively show that the era of vices and sorrows is to be over soon and replaced by Satyuga having purity, peace, bliss.
This museum provides the knowledge of the whole world and the four yugas including the fifth short yuga of confluence – the Sangam yuga. The tableau of Golden Bharat fills our mind with ecstasy. It also provides the knowledge of karmic philosophy. In this museum, a laser show is shown free of cost which presents the perfect combination of science and spirituality. At the end of this show, the visitors experience the effect of Rajyoga through the laser beams for a few minutes.
There is a Rajyoga room in this museum wherein visitors are given Rajyoga training. Godly knowledge and Rajyoga camps are organised here in the evening and morning.
Global Hospital & Research Centre
Western Rajasthan is one of the least privileged areas of India . Much of it is desert, water is in short supply and the illiteracy rate is high. The majority of the population has long been deprived of basic health measures. This situation began to change in 1990 with the establishment of the J. Watumull Memorial Global Hospital and Research Centre, a Brahma Kumaris initiative. Designed to provide high quality, modern, holistic healthcare services in a tranquil, rural environment, the hospital offers free or subsidised treatment and medicine to 100,000 people, of whom 54,000 are tribal residents inhabiting 855 primitive villages. The hospital is managed and run by a charitable trust established and supported by members of the Brahma Kumaris. To know more, please visit the Global Hospital and Research Centre .
The Global Hospital and Research Centre is a dream come true for the tribals and local people of Mount Abu . The GHRC was built with an aim to provide holistic health-care in this predominantly rural and poor area, by blending the best of western science and oriental remedies with the techniques of Rajyoga meditation. The unique aspect of GHRC is its beautiful surroundings, clean interiors and the serene, smiling faces of the hospital staff.
Day to day operations in GHRC are supervised by qualified personnel, most of whom are also practitioners of Rajyoga meditation. It has 15 clinics in the Out-Patient Department, 70 in-patient beds, fully equipped operating rooms, radiology and pathlab for diagnostic procedures and special clinics for homeopathy, magnetotherapy and nature cure. The hospital provides more than 80% of its services free of charge. Other salient features of GHRC are:
- Free consultation.
- Free treatment and free supply of medicines to those who are unable to pay, as well as to those who are dedicated to spiritual and religious orders.
- Providing free diagnosis, treatment and medicines in remote villages of Mount Abu under the Village Outreach Programme.
- Educating the local community about physical, mental and moral well-being.
- Providing ambulance services.
- Organising diagnostic and screening camps for the ophthalmology department and general medicine patients.
- Organising Coronary Artery Disease Regression Programmes at regular intervals by changing life style.
The Brahma Kumaris Peace Park is both lovely and serene, a natural environment where silence and recreation co–exist. The park offers a perfect recreational environment, with level playing fields, picnic areas, swings, and nature walks. Nestled between two famous peaks of the Aravali hills–the well known spiritual pilgrimage destinations of Guru Shikhar and Achal Garh—Peace Park is an oasis of natural beauty only 8 kms from the Madhuban campus.
Main Attractions of Peace Park :
- Learning more about Rajyoga Knowledge and Self.
- Guide Lines for Inner Introspection, meditation and concentration with the Supreme Father.
- Experiencing external beauty and silence with internal beauty peace and bliss.
- Donating peaceful vibrations for world peace.
- Audio visual shows and meditation huts.
- Children’s Park.
Shantivan – The Forest of Peace (Talhati, Abu Road )
At the base of Mount Abu , just before Abu Road begins its climb up Mount Abu , lays, to the left of the road, a magnificent complex, the third Brahma Kumaris campus, Shantivan. This sprawling collection of buildings was built in response to Institutions’ ever–growing world–transforming activities in the area of spiritual education and training. It provides an excellent venue for holding large conferences, spiritual congregations and retreats, and features modern means of communication, transport, extensive kitchen and dining facilities, well–laid–out roads, electricity, and solar energy.
The Majestic Diamond Hall
The main attraction of Shantivan is its massive, awe–inspiringly Diamond Hall, built to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of the University. Majestic in art, architecture and equipment, it has the distinction of being able to seat 20,000 people!
The Shantivan complex includes a main conference hall and six smaller halls. The seating capacity of the conference hall is twelve hundred and there is facility for simultaneous translation in sixteen languages. The smaller halls each accommodate three hundred and fifty people and are suitable for lectures, seminars, workshops, etc. There are also two halls for meditation and a spiritual museum on this campus.
A lotus-shaped ‘Tapasya Dham’ is built in Shantivan. It is a round-shaped building of which the upper part is shaped like the leaves of a lotus. The gentle fountains around this Dham soothe the mind. There is a small garden where Rajyogis meditate at a solitary place and thus are benefitted spiritually.
In addition to this gigantic structure, Shantivan has the largest parabolic solar device in India, which provides steam heat for cooking; and, together with wind energy, provides electricity for computers, the telephone exchange and emergency emergency lighting systems.
Tower of Light (Prakash Sthambh)
Dadi Prakashmani ji, former Chief of Brahma Kumaris left her mortal body on 25th August, 2007. An eight pillar memorial, ‘Tower of Light (Prakash Sthamb)’ at Shantivan, Abu Road has been built in commemoration of Dadi’s endearing spiritual administration and selfless services for over 38 years as Head of the Institution after the demise of its Founder Prajapita Brahma on 18 January, 1969.
The Tower of Light is octagonal in shape having eight angles symbolising eight divine powers which late Dadi Prakashmani embodied.
The bottom portion of the tower is a raised marble-made pedestal capped with shape and picture of a globe symbolising late Dadi’s global spiritual services.
And on the top of the tower is a big oval shaped greenish starlight representing “Jewel of Light”