European Director of Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University (BKWSU) and NGO Representative to the United Nations, Geneva
Sister Jayanti – Since 1968 Sister Jayanti has been an emissary for peace. She has a vision and experience that is truly globally and deeply spiritual. Perhaps this is because among other factors. She is a child of two cultures. Sister Jayanti was born in Poona, India in 1949 of Sindhi parents who migrated to England in the 1950s. From the age of eight she was therefore exposed to Western education and cultural influence. Her return to India for several months’ stay at the age of 19 (leaving behind her study of pharmacy at the University of London) led her to begin her life’s path of spiritual study and service with the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University. To quoate Sister Jayanti, “When I returned to India aged 15, having been away for seven years, I became aware of abject poverty for the first time. This experience gave me a very deep sense of needing to serve people, rather than living life just for my own comfort and satisfaction”.
Her role within the University is broad. An author of several books, she travels the world as a speaker and broadcaster, sustaining people spiritually as well as fulfilling her role as Director of the Brahma Kumaris National Co-ordinating Office in London and Bk Activities in over 28 European countries.
Many trips during the early eighties were pioneering in nature. She helped establish the work of the University in London, Hong Kong, the Caribbean, Japan, South Africa and several European countries and continues to provide spiritual support to a network of over 100 Centres in the world.
Sister Jayanti was deeply influenced by Brahma Baba, the founder of the Brahma Kumaris, who understood that equality could only be restored in the world by developing a relationship of mutural respect between men and women. It was revolutionary in 1936 to have women in leading and teaching roles-especially in the Indian subcontinent. Today women are still at the helm of this organization ages and backgrounds.
Sister Jayanti has a unique ability to impart the deepest spiritual truths with the utmost clarity. Her prominent lecture themes have included health, education, racial harmony, women’s needs, religions of the world, sustainability, peace and international relations, all of which have generated a lot of media interest.
Sister jayanti was a delegate to the international Women’s Year Conference, Berlin in 1975, which heralded the start of the United nations Decade for Women. Indeed, women’s issues remained especially close to her hearth. As a young woman growing up in London and coming from a traditional Asian family, she had to face not only the cultural divide but also that of gender. The understanding of spirituality enabled her to understand the role of feminine qualities in personal and world transformation and empowered to use these in a practical way.
Another area of great importance to Sister Jayanti is her involvement for over 35 years in the interfaith. For her, in the role of a spiritual leader and teacher, it is practice not theory that is paramount. This is of course, the secret of sister Jayanti’s success and if there is one particular quality thath could be singled out, it would be humility. “I am very well aware that any change in the world starts with me. We are responsible for the state of affairs in which we find ourselves”.
Sister Jayanti sees the erosion of spiritual values at the hearth of the underlying cause of the crises tht the world is facing today. She has worked tirelessly to promote positive, human, spiritual values to all sectors of society. In 1981 she was appointed the University’s main representative to the UN in Geneva. This has led her to participate in many UN Conferences and projects in connection with Women, Development, the Environment, Youth and a major international project for the United Nations International Year of Peace. She has therefore undertaken extensive research into the role of spiritual values in world change. The dimension of spirituality and the environment, in particular, has been of personal interest and exploration for her and she has led the BK delegation to UN Climate Change conferences since 2009 and the Rio+20 Summit in 2012.
The Brahma Kumaris has been associated with the United Nations since 1980. The recognition of the Brahma Kumaris as the first spiritual organization from the East to be given General Consultative Status is an indication that governments acknowledge that it is through raising consciousness of spiritual values that the problems the world is facing today can be addressed.
The UNESCO charter Preamble states that ‘since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of mens that the defences of peace must be constructed. It is Sister Jayanti’s life’s work to seek to aid in restoring peace in people’s minds and in the world.