Peter Deunov is one of the supreme spirits of our epoch and it is very unfortunate for the western civilization that it is widely unaware of him. Although there is no direct comparison between Rudolf Steiner and Peter Deunov, we can say that they are certainly the two greatest spiritual teachers and mystical initiates of our times. They lived approximately at the same time – one of them was teaching primarily in Germany and Austria, the other one - in Bulgaria, Eastern Europe. Their philosophy is essentially very similar. The difference is not in the postulates, but in the methods in which they teach. While Steiner is more methodical, scientific and academic, Deunov places greater importance on special movements and lifestyle, collective dances and communal life. These different approaches are necessary, because they address two very different types of nations, who are born with very different perception of the world.
Steiner primarily addresses the Anglo-Saxon audience in Western Europe, while Deunov mainly addresses the Slavic population in Eastern Europe. At present, the Anglo-Saxon people have a leading role in the world, but this is all about to change very soon. In the 21-st century, the Slavic people, led primarily by Russia, are about to form new type of socio-economic relations. In the future civilisation, which the Commonwealth of the Eastern European nations are about to establish, the greed for private profit is not going to remain the single driving force, behind all economic operations. Instead, the government is going to regulate to a larger degree most public affairs, based on the common need. Most importantly, the spiritual component of human life is going to be widely recognized and it is going to be placed as the focus of the entire development of humankind. In other words, material security and spiritual growth are going to be inextricably linked. All government policies are going to be based upon this paradigm in the 21st century. In other words, the world as we know it today is about to change dramatically.
Peter Deunov was the harbinger of the times to come. His task was to prepare the Bulgarian people for their important mission for the future. The fact that a spirit from such a high order has chosen this tiny eastern European country for his incarnation, gives us a very clear message that Bulgaria is about to play a very important role in the future world order. This is difficult to imagine, bearing in mind the unfortunate economic situation, which this country faces right now. However, we are talking about the spiritual dimensions of the future organization of society and government. The reforming ideas for a greatly improved, moral, ethical and just society can only be born in a country, which hits rock bottom. It is impossible for wealthy, well-fed and affluent countries to think about new ways of improving the ‘status quo’. This can only come from a nation, which faces serious financial, political and social crises. Only a country, which does not fit into the projected prosperous new world order for a selected few, can come up with new reforming ideas about society organisation. This idea will be revolutionary – the governance of the country will be based on the Universal principle of Love. Therefore, what happens now in this small Eastern European country is necessary, logical and needed, so that the Bulgarian people can fulfil their worldly mission, as Peter Deunov predicted.
The Master, as his disciples called him, was born on the 11th of July (St. Peter’s Day) in 1864, in the village of Nikolaevka, Varna Region, Bulgaria. His father was the Orthodox priest Konstantin Deunovski. At that time it was customary to indicate the birth of a child in the family Bible. On the blank page of his Bible, which he had used for more than 50 years, Deunovski wrote: “The promise of the kind heavenly Father to send to my home His beloved son, as an omen of universal joy for the kin of man, for a better, brighter and more righteous life, has been fulfilled”. At the time when Peter Deunov was born, Bulgaria was still part of the Ottoman Empire. It became an independent country 14 years later, after the Russo-Turkish war (1877-1878). Deunov’s father was the first priest in Varna to preach in the Bulgarian language. He also took lead of the struggles for clerical independence in the city.
Deunov graduated from a high school in Varna and after that he studied at the American Methodist School. Then he took the position of a teacher for about one year. Then he was admitted in the Drew Methodist Theological Seminary in Medisson, New Jersey. He completed his education there in May 1892. In September of the same year, he was admitted at the School of Theology of the Boston University. His thesis was on the “Migration of the German Tribes and their Christianization”. He continued his education at the university’s Medical School and in 1894 acquired a certificate, entitling him to practice medicine.
In 1895 Deunov returned to Varna. This is the third largest city in Bulgaria, after Sofia and Plovdiv. There he was offered the position of Methodist priest, but he rejected the offer, which marked the first conflict with clerical Christianity. This set the specific future path of development, which cannot fit in the regular framework of human life. From this point onwards, Peter Deunov’s life can be tentatively divided into three major periods.
- First period. Preparatory. 1895 - 1912
During this stage he prepared the foundations of his teaching, studied the environment, in which he lived, and gradually created the forms, which would later transform into resonators of the new ideas. He carried out extensive educational, research and organizational activities, wrote books, read lectures, and participated in the establishment of his first Community Centre. A turning point was the establishment in 1897 of the “Association for Raising the Religious Spirit of the Bulgarian People”, the members of which were his first disciples. The Association transformed into ‘the Chain’, which, on its part, later developed into a “Universal White Brotherhood”. The name is a sign of identification of all the adherents and supporters of the teaching.
It should be noted here that the White Brotherhood does not belong to the physical realm. It cannot be an organisation, society or association, and none of its members or supporters can be referred to as a “white brother”. The White Brotherhood is composed of beings, which have completed their development on Earth. The brotherhood is headed by Jesus Christ. Representatives of His are incarnated in a certain time, to fulfil a given mission – for that purpose, they need auxiliary bodies, which they can utilize on the physical world. The associations, societies, chains etc. are the forms, through which the Master works.
An adherent of the White Brotherhood is any person, who once was connected to the incarnated essence of Deunov, and now – everybody who reads and aspires to apply his word. The highest position an adherent of the brotherhood can reach, is disciple. Deunov expressly defined both notions, identifying their relations. “Master” and “disciple” are not ranks, degrees, titles, but conditions of consciousness. No hierarchy exists in the brotherhood, there are no acts of initiation, there are no internal symbols and signs, the participation in the lectures and councils are free and the significance of any material forms is supposed to be reduced to the necessary minimum. Therefore, the most important task, the objective of the fellowship is to establish a connection with Christ. The complete, unreserved adoption of Christ, transforms the adherent into a disciple of the White Brotherhood.
The annual meetings of the brotherhood, were referred to by the Master as councils. The first meeting in 1900 was in Varna. It was attended by the first three disciples. Later, in the 1920s and the 1930s the councils were visited by thousands of followers of the teaching. The councils took place in Burgas, Veliko Tarnovo, Sofia and in the Vitosha and Rila mountains. Between 1901 and 1912, the Master travelled all around Bulgaria, visiting hundreds of cities, towns and villages, giving talks and making his phrenological measurements. In this way he established the parameters – organic and mental – of the national Bulgarian type, among and with which, he was about to work. He entered the data gathered in especially designed and printed phrenological cards. According to some sources, the file-index included approximately 5 thousand samples.
In 1912, in the village of Arbanasi, near Veliko Tarnovo, Deunov wrote “The Covenant of the Coloured Rays of Light”, where certain passages of the Bible are connected, based on their content, to one of the seven rays of the light spectrum. The Master wrote the following words on the title page: “I will always be a devoted servant of our Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God. August 15, Tarnovo, 1912”.
- Second period. Spreading the teaching. Sofia. 1912-1922
During this period, Peter Deunov moved permanently to the capital – Sofia and gradually formed an active, conscious circle of supporters formed around him. According to Deunov, the New Age of Aquarius started on 22nd of March 1914. On this date, he read his first Sunday lecture “Here is the Man!” It set the beginning of the series “Power and Life”, which developed the ideas of the new teaching. The talks, lectures and speeches were written in shorthand and issued on separate brochures. The lectures of Rudolf Steiner were disseminated in a similar way. A team of stenographers and editors were gradually formed, taking care to preserve the Master’s word. In 1917–1918 the Bulgarian government interned Peter Deunov to Varna, under the pretext that he was undermining the fighting spirit of Bulgarian soldiers. During this time, Bulgaria was involved in the First World War, which ended in national catastrophe.
- Third period. Occult. 1922-1944
On the 24th of February 1922, Deunov came back to Sofia and opened the “School of the Universal White Brotherhood”. A General Occult Class and Youth Occult Class were formed. The Master continued to read the Sunday lectures. Some of his speeches were dedicated to women only. Some other lectures were delivered only in front of men. This was done, because the Master acknowledged that the perception of the world by men and women differs greatly. However, the majority of classes were mixed. Rudolf Steiner used the same approach. The Master delivered also morning speeches, dialogues at the Rila and Vitosha mountains and he was addressing the annual councils. He read more than 6 000 lectures. Approximately two thirds of them have been deciphered and published. This is a vast, never failing stream of divine impulses, which the Master caught and transcribed in the physical realm. During this stage of his life, the number of his followers increased rapidly – according to some sources their number exceeded 40 000 people. Regional brotherhoods were organized in more than 70 towns and cities. The supporters of the Master, however, were much more: without openly manifesting themselves, they worked in the Royal court and around the King, among the officers, among the clerks, teachers, workers, in villages etc.
In 1927, the Master established the “Izgreva” (the Dawn) village near Sofia. Some of his supporters moved to live there with him. A building for public performances was also built there. In 1929, he made a camp in Rila, for the first time at the Seven Rila Lakes. Climbing mountain peaks and staying at high places turned into a tradition, an integral part of the fraternal life, which is kept until today.
In all his actions, Deunov included three layers of consciousness. The first one comprised the physical world – this was the material form. The second one was connected to the astral world and it was expressed in motion. The third one was linked to the mental world. Its manifestations were intuition, channelling, self-sacrifice, and joy. According to Deunov, the high mountaintops are conductors of the energies of the mental world. In those places, the connection with the higher mental realms amplifies manyfold. The area around the Seven lakes in the Rila mountain is especially sacred. This place in Bulgaria, is a projection of constellations of a very high spiritual order. The synthesis of the influences of all three worlds is achieved through the Paneurhythmy – a special collective dance, developed by the Master, which energises people and enhances their spiritual strength. After 1934, the Master gradually combined music, word and motion. The participants wear white clothes and dance barefoot in a circle. In this way, they establish a connection with higher spiritual realms, which are firmly connected with the Bulgarian land. Participation in the Paneurhythmy is a powerful healing method, an act of purification and expansion of consciousness.
Through his word, the Master saturated the land of Bulgaria and the world with certain impulses, which act through all the stages of the New Age. The main subject of all his lectures and speeches is Love. This is necessary, because in the Age of Aquarius this will be the dominant principle, which unites the humankind.
Until now, the world has been more ‘masculine’ – trying to solve most of its problems with brutal force and wars. This approach was based on putting the needs of the individual first. It led to putting the interest of one nation before the rest of the world. This selfish approach did not work. The problems were not solved. They were increased. So, future civilisations will inevitably become more ‘feminine’ in nature. Future generations will attempt to resolve the world’s problems with increased intuition, perception and sensitivity. In this respect, Love is the one and only ingredient, which can bind together all people and all nations. Individual needs will not bear prime importance any more. The collective needs of humanity will be put on the agenda. Love will imbue the way in which people self-govern their own lives.
The ways and methods of this transformation are contained in Peter Deunov’s words. They describe the changes, which will occur in the Earth and in the people. Deunov is the Master of the new Age of Aquarius: he was incarnated at the right time and in the right place, he followed Christ and expressed God’s Revelation for the times to come. The nature and the deeper meaning of this new age cannot be understood without his words. Peter Deunov died on December, 27th 1944. But his words will live among us forever.
Portions of this article are taken from this site: http://www.beinsa-douno.com/biography-of-the-master-beinsa-douno-peter-deunov.html, where you can find further information about Peter Deunov’s works and teachings.
For those of you, who have never read anything form Peter Deunov, I recommend his book “The Great Law”, which you can download from here: