Brahma Kumaris: Purity and the Globalization of Faith

  • Tamasin Ramsay
  • Wendy SmithEmail author
  • Lenore Manderson


This chapter examines the globalized new religious movement, the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University (Brahma Kumaris or BKs), established in northwest India in the 1930s. Today, despite its footing in a Hindu cultural and geographical base, the BK has a global presence with 8,500 centres countries across all continents. Part of the success of its expansion lies in the flexibility of the organisation, especially in recent decades, to accommodate different patterns of residence, work and family, and desires for relevance, such that the BK has increasingly moved from monasticism to outreach. Even so, we argue that its ability to attract members from vastly different cultures and life experiences has been facilitated by the central doctrine of purity, and the associated practices of meditation and divine experience.


Brahma Kumaris new religious movement different cultures practices of meditation Hindu cultural 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Psychology and Psychiatry, Faculty of MedicineMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.School of Psychology and PsychiatryMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Department of ManagementMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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