Nizhny Novgorod

For those whose soul does not sleep

BKWSU programmes
21 November - 10 December 2002

The places of confluence of two rivers have been considered special and sacred since ages. Temples would be built there and festivals would be organised. Pilgrims would gather at the banks of the rivers, and those places would grow into important centres of spiritual and cultural life.

We don't know if residents of the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod have had a thought about it or not, but this beautiful ancient city located at the confluence of two great rivers — Oka and Volga — is attractive not just because of its picturesque river banks, or the walls of a magnificent fortress (the Kremlin), or numerous cultural monuments. The city's foremost attraction are its residents who are eager to live up to spiritual and moral values, and whose mind is open for learning and self-progress. They are really very sincere, amiable and tender.

Friends and relatives of Nizhny Novgorod residents in Moscow, Saint Petersburg and other cities of Russia where the Brahma Kumaris centres were opened long ago have been constantly inquiring when the University will start its activities in Nizhny Novgorod. And it is but natural because Nizhny Novgorod is an important industrial, educational and cultural centre of Russia, proudly called here as the Third Capital (after Moscow and Saint Petersburg). It is the birthplace of popular Russian "Volga" cars and its population is about 1.5 million people.

However everything in this World Drama takes place accurately on time. And the Drama gave the BK teachers the chance of visiting Nizhny Novgorod only 14 years after the services started in Russia. They were invited there by the University of Spiritual Culture of Nizhny Novgorod.

Sister Santosh and brother Vijay are warmly welcomed by Dr. Margarita Tonenkova, Chancellor of the University of Spiritual Culture of Nizhny Novgorod, academician of the International Academy of Information, Communication and Management.
In spite of cold weather (25°C below zero), every session gathered together about 120-130 listeners who were students of the University of Spiritual Culture, members of Rerikh Society and other Nizhny Novgorod residents.

As soon as sister Santosh and brother Vijay arrived here on 21 November 2002 an extremely busy pro-gramme started including lectures, meetings, seminars and interviews. The sessions covered the follow-ing topics: "Raja Yoga Meditation: Theory and Practice", "Peace of Mind, Peace in the World and the Future of Mankind", "Spiritual Truths, Moral Values and Human Character", "Spiritual Powers for a Positive Life-Style", "Faith, Science, Spirituality" and others.

On the very first night of her visit here sister Santosh gave an interview with a well-known TV programme "For those whose soul does not sleep" and a few days later there was also an interview with a weekly "The City and Citizens".

Questions and Answers from the TV Interview:

Question: Do we need still another spiritual institution in this world where so much has been spoken and written already about spiritual truths? And if "yes", then why?
Answer by sister Santosh: The Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University does not aim at opposing philosophies and systems already existing in the world. We do not claim they are wrong and we are right. The aim of the University is not just imparting certain knowledge but also creating an atmos-phere suitable for spiritual personality growth.

Question: Suppose, after studying in your institution a spiritually developed personality goes outside and finds himself or herself in a whirlpool of everyday life. Is there a danger of an inner conflict when such a personality faces the surroundings?
Answer by sister Santosh: Cars are manufactured at a plant but they are not meant for using at the plant itself. Cars are meant for using them on the roads. It is the same with spirituality: it is not for the temple, it is for everyday life. The strength of a spiritually powerful personality is expressed in their adequate response to arising situations, ability to take effective decisions and protect themselves from negative influences.

After a session: sister Santosh and Edward Ermilov, Candidate of Science, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Spiritual Culture, senior lecturer of the Technical University of Nizhny Novgorod. At a seminar of the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University in Nizhny Novgorod.

From the lecture "Spiritual Service and Overcoming Social Evils":

Nowadays there are hundreds and thousands of reasons able to trigger hatred and animosity. However hatred is not a solution. Man is intelligent enough to understand this. What main powers play their part in today's world? They are Religion, Politics and Modern Technologies. Each one of them has been making attempts to eradicate social evils and to solve problems. However there is no unity among them, there is no universal plan of action. There is no unity among people of the world as well, although this world is said to have become a huge Global Village due to development of information technologies and advanced means of communication.

Perhaps, the key to solve the problem is in realising our spiritual relationship. God is one and all of us are His children and therefore we are brothers. In this war of the Evil and the Tenderness, the Tenderness will win.

From the lecture "Faith, Science and Spirituality":

Spirituality is a necessary link between Faith and Science. Without Spirituality, Faith is blind, it turns into ossified dogmas and rituals. Without Spirituality, Science is cynical, it makes people sceptical, unbelieving, callous. Spirituality is a balance of ideal and rational sides of a human personality.

From the lecture "Peace of Mind, Peace in the World and Future of Mankind":

Basically man is not bad however he has gradually become his own enemy. Evil in society is first of all evil inside a human personality. Evil has entered the society through the human personality. And therefore eradicating evil in the society means eradicating evil in ourselves. We should not overlook the power we possess. It is the power of spirituality, the power of morality. Each one of us is a soul, a being of light. Rays of Peace and Love spread by us definitely reach and transform others. However a genuine wonder takes place when the power of a human soul is connected with the power of God. If this link is established, the tomorrow's society will be free from the evil. Now the time has come for a great farewell to the evil and the great welcome to the Goodness.

The 10-days lecture series was concluded on 30 November with a session on "The World History and Geography: Spiritual and Moral Dimension". But the listeners from Nizhny Novgorod did not at all wish to part with the BK teachers that had won everyone's love through their rich experience of spiritual life! On request of numerous seekers of knowledge, an introductory course in "Spiritual Knowledge and Raja Yoga" started here on 1 December. The classes are taking place in a big auditorium of the "Znaniye" ("Knowledge") Society. They will continue for about one month. New courses, individual consultations, video programmes have been planned as well.

BK teachers Maria Zhylova and Natalia Perchatkina are continuing services in Nizhny Novgorod.
BKWSU contact phone in Nizhny Novgorod: (8312) 35-32-33

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