Donna Quesada: Beautiful. Now, Dr. Jenna, I would like to ask you about your own personal journey. As much as you care to share with us.
Donna I’m very interested in this notion of finding a path and not necessarily because of finding the darkness. How did you find your own path? How did you stumble upon it?
Sister Jenna: My parents. My parents are Raj Yogis. Brahma Kumaris. My mother’s story is very profound. She was orphaned at seven. Placed in orphanage after orphanage. Instead of the men raping her sisters, she would say “leave them alone” and she suffered the bad end of that stick. And so, at 17, she had me and married my father, who is Indian and he was in love with her. And I was raised looking at a Hindu Indian family that was very traditional and beautiful and then seeing a mother who has so many broken pieces. And she would worship and pray to Jesus and my father would love and worship Krishna.
And I think, as a child, I would think what is it with these adults? God is like an interpretation. I guess you can decide how you want to remember God. So, I think as a child, that really gave me some insights in seeing the world from the perspective of what is your angle? What is your angle? And let’s meet in the middle. Like my deal with the retreat center… That’s my life, you know? What is the middle? How do we work this out for all of us to benefit? I’m just having a moment of realization, as we are having an Awakening moment. Wow. Hold on. Give me a second…
So, I saw that. I saw two perspectives growing up, and I never chose one side over the other. I never thought that my father was better than my mother or his religion was better than my mother’s religion. I just know it was an interpretation. So, when my mother got involved with the Brahma Kumaris, I was a teenager, and I had seen her be a Rastafarian. She had converted to Judaism. Which you now you can do. She had become a Muslim. She had become all these things. Buddhism. She was just searching.
SISTER JENNA: But you can understand why, though. There was a lot that she was carrying. So when she became a Brahma Kumari, I thought it’s just another two or three years, but in six months, she changed. Like… her whole energy changed. She became like an angel. And I had never seen her like that before. Never, because she was so defensive. She had to protect her life… protect people and protect even herself. So, she was always very defensive and very angry. And I was this sweet little girl, you know? Oh mom, don’t yell at those people. Please mom, just relax. Yes, it was so interesting how I was always like the parent for her.
So just growing up with everyone, that was really really interesting. Seeing her change and go into spirituality. I think, in my early 20’s, I thought that there was no way I could be spiritual. I really loved the material world. I loved everything of the world and I think that people who don’t meditate and aren’t spiritual are basically escape artists. They don’t want to face themselves. And I ended up purchasing a few night clubs in my 20’s.
SISTER JENNA: They were amazing, Donna; you would have loved them.
DONNA: Your mother did the seeking for you, in a sense. She saved you the trouble of sort of splashing about on different paths.
SISTER JENNA: Maybe. Maybe. So, when I purchased my clubs, I was living the big life. Luxury cars in my garage… I just had a moment when I was in the garage and I was so stressed out about which car to drive and at that moment, I was like, what is happening to you? What’s up with you? So, I was traveling and I had a very profound experience of God.
DONNA: Could you share that experience?
SISTER JENNA: Yeah. It was very profound. I had two trance experiences. One, I was on an escalator and God’s light was radiating. I see this light here on my desk. I don’t go anywhere without it. And the light is pulsing.
SISTER JENNA: And it’s at the top of the escalator and it’s calling me, like… Aren’t you coming? And then, at the bottom of the escalator are all my friends with cigarettes and drinks and Come on Jen, Come Come. Where are you going? And I’m in the middle and I’m looking at God’s light and I’m looking down on my friends, and I felt like I loved them both. But then I got out of that trance.
Then there was another trance experience where I felt like the Brahma Baba was behind these leaves and the whole place was like paradise… Heaven. It was a Golden Age. And he’s just peeking behind the leave and saying, “Are you coming to Heaven? Aren’t you coming?” And my mother and sister, who is the head of the Brahma Kumaris center in Miami are looking in and saying “is she going to make it?” And when I came out of that trance experience, I came back to Florida, which is where I was living… told my mother that I’d like to go to India and meet God on the mountain top. And I went to India, and I sat in an audience of about 2000 people. And the trans-messenger… I don’t know if you can see her picture here. Can you see this picture?
DONNA: I do.
SISTER JENNA: My three Dadis. So this is our transmessenger… and she recently passed away. And when she came on the stage… she is the one that would be so clean and pure in her consciousness. The purity of God’s thoughts would just flow through her. So, I’m sitting there Donna, and everyone… and my heart is beating out of my chest. And every action… Every karma that I did that wasn’t genuine… that wasn’t pure intention, was hitting my consciousness like this (Flashing). It was like a fast-moving thing and as I sat there, I thought I’m not going to meet God. I’m not going to experience God. I have to leave the room. I can’t take it. And as the energy of the Divine hit… As I was getting up from the floor and thinking I’m not going to be able to have this encounter… And as the energy of the Divine enters… And she opens her eyes. And this energy of peace and light went right through me. And I just sat like this… What is that? And I just sat and I didn’t take my eyes off her eyes because there was something happening.
There was a purity that was awakened in me and peace was awakening in me. And the story of me being much more beautiful, and nicer, that was awakening in me. And I sat there for hours… And for three days, I was out of the consciousness of Jenna. And when I went back to Florida, to Miami from that trip, I was never the same. And a month later, Dadi Janki, who also passed away… this one… who knew me since I was a teenager… She basically summoned me and asked me if I would like to try it now. “Are you willing to become a server for the world? To serve humanity?” And I said, “sure.” And she spoke. “If you can’t do it… If you can’t hang in there for three months, then that’s okay.” It’s been almost 30 years and I haven’t turned back.
DONNA: Very powerful. Thank you for sharing that. It’s also inspiring. It’s like taking a bath in that light. And you never can really come back to where you were, as far as where you were in your consciousness, after that…
SISTER JENNA: The awakening happened. It’s as if someone took a stone and threw it in the mirror I was seeing for twenty years, and said “that’s not the real you.” And when the mirror shattered, there was somebody inside of me that was a completely different version than what I was living. She was wiser. She was purer. She was fearless. She was very happy. She was very kind. Very peaceful. Very funny. Very gentle. And so, I didn’t know that was the part that God wanted to access. And if it wasn’t for my experience up at the mountain top at the Brahma Kumaris, with the meeting of God, I would just never be this person that I am today.
DONNA: It’s a kind of death of the Ego.
SISTER JENNA: That’s exactly what it was. It was a death of the ego that was serving the lust, the greed, the attachment and the anger. The body consciousness. And somehow, the energy of that vibration of God’s presence… that love from God… That love was so powerful and deleted a great amount of that ALGAE ( A, anger; L, lust; G, green; A, attachment; E, ego) that was in my consciousness. And so, I was given a fresh start to see if I could maintain that. And I have. I have maintained it because I find it to be so important to live more in the awakened state. And I find it easier to live more in the awakened state than to not be living at all. And to just be human. It’s not life. I’m telling you. Maybe it’s our particular awakening saying “look, you have no idea how powerful and pure you are.” God is saying, “remember me. Turn to me.” I guarantee it. I’ll show you who you are.
DONNA: Who exactly is the ego? What exactly is the ego in the way that you understand it. What dies on that day?
SISTER JENNA: Attachment to a false identity. That died.
DONNA: And for someone watching who doesn’t know about the Brahma Kumaris… Who are they? What do they stand for?
SISTER JENNA: It’s a really sincere, honest group of people who believe that when they change, the world will change. And because it’s predominantly run by women… The leadership is predominantly women, as you can see. Again, my heroes. And I think the fact that Om Baba was a man and he realized a few years later after he had his awakening… The world of transformation will happen through women. So, he appointed a pure, wonderful woman to run the organization of the Brahma Kumaris. So, from one branch in the 1930s, we now have 9000 branches in 120 countries. And again… The energy of the Eldership. I mean, look, the women who run this organization are like your great, great grandmothers.
So, just imagine the amount of wisdom. Nurturing, acceptance, understanding and principles that they guide you with. So, I’ve known them from a teen-ager and I’m looking forward to living up to their standards. So, the Brahma Kumaris believe a lot in just being really of service. To keep up being this example… an example for the world, that peace can exist in the midst of chaos. That love can exist in the midst of trauma. That respect and understanding and all these virtues and values that are needed, are your fundamental principles. They are in you. We try to push that forward… that you must remember who you are. You are God’s Child. You are a soul. God is the Supreme Soul. He’s now here for us. Remember him and become an angel or a deity. Make the world a Golden Age of paradise. So, that is the tenet of the Brahma Kumaris world.
DONNA: Refreshing to know that there are women, and not just women, but women of light, in a position of some influence… who are aiming to do good. We need that so much today. Do you think that so much of what we are seeing today is the result of the imbalance that we have seen for so long, between masculine and feminine energies?
SISTER JENNA: I think it just has to do with ALGAE. I think it’s important that we get right to the point. The crust of it all. It’s the energy of vices. Both in males and females, and that’s the reason that we are in this state. The vices are losing the war with love and we have reached this particular crucial point, where if it gets worse, it’s just destruction. So, the destruction will be, I give up. I can’t use ALGAE anymore. I’ve got to be me. And then comes the light. So, when we look at the destruction of the world. We don’t see the world ending. We see the vices ending in the worlds of people. Then, the virtues and the values and the principles and qualities… And that will be the coming of the new world. The new dawn. A new age. A Golden Age. It just makes sense.
DONNA: You said that when you change, the world changes. And I’ve heard that from my own studies in Yoga and delving into Buddhist practices. It is a belief that resides among the ancients, the mystics… that when you change on the inside, the world somehow changes. And I find that it is hard for people to wrap their heads around that… because there is this idea of activism. We have to get “out there” and march and do. But I’ve always thought that all of that doing has limited influence… if you are not marching in the right headspace. If there is a bunch of anger… yelling and screaming—How far can you get?
SISTER JENNA: In one sense, some people promote anger as a kind of protest to end certain things. And I believe that their role is essential and important because I won’t be able to fight certain energies that are very aggressive. I would just go the other way. And I don’t know if it would make them better or worse. But there are some of my brothers and sisters who can do the good fight. They can step into the ring. They can yell, scream, they can punch. That’s the way that they are either creating or settling their karmas with each other. And I have found that some of us in the so called awakened community… perhaps we are playing a different role.
Whereas some of our brothers and sisters are fighting with each other, we are still sending those pure emotions and feelings to find peace. So, you see how everybody has to play their part in the game? Because I go back in history… it’s just been happening for so long. And I have had conversations about why hasn’t anybody learned yet? So, I have sort of sublimated to accepting that there are just going to be those who will be the peace makers… sending those vibrations, and there will be our other brothers and sisters who will fight for peace. And in some ways, I appreciate them.
DONNA: So, there is a place for a kind of righteous anger?
SISTER JENNA: I think so. I think so. I don’t think it supports the higher level of consciousness because that vibration adds to the problem, we are in. But maybe that is what they have to do to sort out their narrative and their story. But I still have to be there as the mother to hold both of them. They need to be held.
DONNA: Understood. So let me ask about this idea of balancing our own personal mission on the inside and our call to action on the outside world. You talked about service. And I’m thinking Karma Yoga. This idea of sacrificing your work for a higher cause. How do you find that balance between your own inner work and your social action?
SISTER JENNA: My definition of balance is a maybe a little bit different than many people. For me, I balance the legacy of the soul. The age of the soul. I have the understanding from myself that I am not a new soul… I’m an old soul. That means I’m carrying many, many ages of experiences recorded in me. So, for me, balance is to weigh what my choices are now, to that kind of time span of my soul. Sometimes people will balance their energy in a day. Oh, you’ve got five hours of sleep so make sure you get another two for the day because your body needs rest and all of that. And I’m aware of all of that, yet I think about what does the soul need? The soul need’s purpose. I need purity. It needs peace. It needs to perform actions that are not motivated with a mixture of intention. It needs to get back to pure charity. So, I observe that when I make my decision… if it’s coming from the purity of motive or purity of intent. I’m somehow able to say, would God do this? And the answer that I always get when I make decisions from that place is that God’s love is always benevolent… that it’s always going to be fair… that everyone will be okay. And I try my best to make decisions from that place, and that is my balance.
I strike my balance at that soul level. On a day level, I might not be the best one for that because my energy is very high. I keep alive and I keep my mental state intoxicated, clear and focused and I hope that I will continue to do that. One never knows what will happen in a day, but for now, I feel like there is not that much time left in the drama of life for us to perform pure karmas, or for us to be Karma Yogis. That means, to perform actions without wanting something in return. And I feel like, in this particular period, we are given an opportunity to create those kinds of karmas for the soul… where the actions are so purely motivated, that only the universe can pay you back. Not the person.
So, my feelings for that that are really intense. So, I might be a person that people say needs to sleep, and I go, okay. And people will say, you should do a little less and I say, okay. And people say you do too much and I say okay. But in the back of my mind, we won’t get another chance to perform karmas like this. This is the age to do it. So, if that is balance to all of you, I can only tell you that is the way I help myself balance out at a deep soul level. People on the outside think she needs balance. I’m fine. But let me tell you where your imbalance comes in… Your imbalance comes in when your feelings are not in tune with your actions. When those pure feelings are not into what you are doing. Something as simple as washing dishes. If you are washing dishes and you are so miserable doing it. That’s imbalance.
DONNA: It will exhaust you. The resistance. Yeah.
SISTER JENNA: If you are washing dishes and you are happily washing them… It’s balance. It’s a clearer answer.
DONNA: It absolutely does. And just for clarification, I love the expression, “I live in an intoxicated state.” I know that means God Intoxication.
SISTER JENNA: Yes. No alcohol.
Continued inPart III…
Read and Watch Part I Here: Awaken Interviews Sister Jenna – Pt1 – We All Have a Direct Connection to God