[Peter] After Karishma's recent trip to India, I asked her to tell us about her experience. Expecting the usual description of Delhi belly and traffic conditions, I was instead given a description of something far more esoteric...
My name is Karishma, some of you may have seen me around the Point Cook campus of Five Tuition, not hanging around creepily mind you, I do work there. I am the Campus Coordinator – a fancy name for someone who looks after everyone else who works at or attends tuition at that campus.
Recently I went overseas to India for 18 days, not on a holiday exactly, more like a break. You see I am a Brahma Kumari, a student of the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University (BKWSU). Curious? I’ll explain; the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University is an organisation, (well we tend to think of ourselves as a family), where students from all backgrounds, ethnicities, faiths and ages come to study spiritual knowledge relating to the nature of the soul, God, karma (actions), time and put what we learn into practise by making effort to live an enlightened lifestyle.
We start from the inside, with the seed of all actions – thoughts. We use spiritual knowledge to create pure, positive and elevated thoughts, which flow out into our personalities as virtues such as integrity, honesty, tolerance and love which then lead to elevated actions that impact our world in a positive way. What makes it different to other positive thinking courses? We transform ourselves using God’s help and His power and in this way we become powerful instruments of bringing positive change to the world.
Our spiritual headquarters are located in Mt. Abu, Rajasthan, India. It’s called Madhuban, which translates to ‘forest of honey’. The name is apt because though not exactly a forest, it is green and lush with flowers and the very air is infused with the sweetness of honey. People come from all around the world to breathe this sweet air and become just as sweet.
So, I guess you’re probably imagining a bunch of hippies with flowers in their hairs, dancing and singing around fires and meditating with loud Ohhms. Nope. I mean I did dance, but not around a campfire and I didn’t have any flowers in my hair, plus it was to loud bhangra music. However I did meditate plenty – though without the ohm and the counting of breaths and closed eyes. We practise a unique form of meditation; we keep our eyes open and focus on a point of light. Why? Firstly it prevents you from going to sleep, (smart I know) and second with practise you learn to meditate anywhere and everywhere. I had amazing experiences, like meditating on top of a mountain overlooking a the Rajasthan plains below and watching the sun set, of sitting in swings and drinking fresh coconut water, of falling asleep out on the terrace under the stars, of a master class in self-respect – my favourite lesson “Self-respect is your throne, don’t ever get off it.”. Of hearing people from different backgrounds speak of amazing experiences in meditation, of putting spiritual knowledge into practical life and getting the fruit of that, of bringing God into their lives and watching Him do His magic.
However the one that had the most profound effect on me was the atmosphere of love I experienced. Never had I met so many strangers yet felt as if I had known them for eternity. I felt a deep, deep love from them and for them. It was not fluffy, romantic, superficial love, but a love that went beyond the body and to the soul; I felt like they could see me and loved me for myself. I had never felt so close to God before either, it was like a fog was removed and I was able to experience His love so clearly, so profoundly that I could feel it healing me from inside, so encompassing, unconditional, gentle and again so deep that it removed all traces of negativity, pain, darkness. I felt as if I had been washed clean of all the impurities of negativity and waste thoughts leaving behind peace, love, power.
I’ll miss Madhuban, the sweet air and the sweeter people, and that direct line to God – somehow dialling His number from here sometimes results in a bad connection, must be something to do with the mountain, after all the higher you climb the closer you get right?
Interview by Peter Hanley
Founding Director of Five Tuition