Actor and Bigg Boss 13 winner Sidharth Shukla, who starred in several popular television shows, passed away on 2 September after suffering a heart attack. The news was confirmed by Cooper Hospital where Sidharth was declared dead on arrival.
It is being reported that the actor's last rites will be performed according to the customs and method of the Brahma Kumari Samaj.
As per reports, the actor and his family were closely associated with the spiritual group.
What is the Brahma Kumari Samaj?
The Brahma Kumaris are a spiritual movement that originated in Hyderabad, Sindh, during the 1930s. The Brahma movement was founded by Dada Lekhraj Kripalani.
According to the group's website, the movement began when Dada Lekhraj Kripalani experienced a series of visions in 1936 and was inspired to create a school where the principles and practices of a virtuous and meditative life could be taught.
Based on that, he formed the 'Om Mandali', which consisted of a handful of men, women and children, many of whom decided to stay together as a community.
In 1950, the group moved to its present location at Mount Abu in Rajasthan. Starting off with a three-acre property called Madhuban, it now owns more than 45 acres in Mount Abu and around 150 acres in Abu Road, about 25km away From the beginning, the organisation's focus had been on education, not worship, and for this reason, it renamed itself as Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University.
The organisation now has a worldwide network of centres in more than 110 countries and is an international non-governmental organisation of the United Nations accredited with General Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council.
Presently, the group has over one million adherents across the world.
Teachings of the group
The Brahma Kumaris is a spiritual awareness mission not affiliated with any religion.
It teaches a form of meditation that focuses on identity as souls, as opposed to bodies. They believe that all souls are intrinsically good and that God is the source of all goodness.
The organisation teaches to transcend labels associated with the body, such as race, nationality, religion, and gender, and it aspires to establish a global culture based on what it calls "soul-consciousness".
There are four main pillars of the Brahma Kumaris way of life. They are as follows:
• Study: The daily study of spiritual knowledge gives nourishment to the soul to remove blind faith and to see events, situations and circumstances as opportunities to apply the teachings.
• Meditation: Meditation provides a direct connection to the Source, enabling the soul to draw power and build resilience and spiritual capacity.
• Practice virtues: The awareness of the self as a soul awakens the essential core of divine virtues, giving the inner strength to overcome negative self-beliefs and the freedom to be the authentic self.
• Serve: Being is seen as the basis for serving -- bringing the virtues of the soul into whatever role one happens to be playing.
The group also strongly believes in women empowerment. Women head almost all departments in the organisation and have women at the forefront from the very beginning, breaks the mould of religions and spiritual movements across the world.
They have also carried out several programmes across the world to provide women with opportunities and a platform to shine.
However, the organisation is not without criticism.
Some have called it a radical cult. In fact, there are websites dedicated to warning people about what they claim is a dangerous cult. They state that the women in the group are being controlled and practising mind control through hypnosis.
Another criticism of the group is that they are nothing but an “End of the World” cult. According to this, the group believes that the world will be destroyed by a nuclear holocaust and the sinking of continents, followed by heaven on earth for Brahma Kumari followers only.
Siddharth's ties with the Brahma Kumaris
The actor was closely associated with Brahmakumari Foundation for the past three years and even attended an event that took place at their Mount Abu centre.
Sidharth had extended his full support to the foundation and also gave speeches for the same.
As per reports, his mother Rita Shukla has been associated with Brahma Kumaris Sansthan for a long time and that's how he became a part of the movement too.
Sansthan head Rajyogini Dadi Ratanmohini has sent a condolence message and prayed for the peace of the departed soul.
With inputs from agencies