In our time there are many - some claiming to be long-standing followers of the Master Peter Deunov (Beinsa Douno) - who aggressively wish to deviate people from the truth, to pour oil under their feet so that when encountering what is true they may shout "behold, falsehood!", and when encountering what is false they can shout "yes, this is true, you told us so". Amidst the avalanche of untruths, half-truths, and truths mixed with falsehoods, there should be something that stands firmly fixed in what is true without admixture, to guide people like the Lamp of Hero guided Leander across the Aegean sea; for everyone has the right to see and know the truth. This is the purpose of the present page, realized in the form of answers to frequently asked questions, some of which have been directly posed to the author of this site, Christophorus, and some which people ask themselves only. In keeping with the variegated nature of this site (compare the Questions about this site page, which treats related questions in artistic form), the answers below draw inspiration from the modern sciences and their objective methods in a variety of creative ways, so that, for the genuine reader, the answers have value beyond their immediate content, too.
There are no living successors of the Master Peter Deunov (Beinsa Douno) in any country, and, indeed the Master did not advocate anyone to become a spiritual leader or to continue his teaching. The Master himself says that "there is only one teacher -- God"; in this sense, there is no need to seek a personal guru as understood in Eastern philosophies (e.g. Yoga).
While the Master Peter Deunov (Beinsa Douno) did not leave behind a successor, he did leave behind numerous lectures and prayers for every spiritual student to study and learn from - and, as stated on this site's front page, it is precisely in these that one can find the Master himself. Therefore, if one wishes to come close to the Master Peter Deunov (Beinsa Douno), the best thing to do is to start teaching oneself individually by reading translations of the Master's lectures and reflecting on them (see Topic 2 further below, about the original Word of the Master), and also using the prayers. In doing so one can develop one's mental, moral and spiritual capabilities so as to understand and apply in a living way all the truths and wisdom hidden in the Master's words. By working earnestly upon one's own self to obtain the necessary virtues - goodness, high morality, humility and correct ethics, that is, by becoming more and more perfect - one can also become an example for one's friends and neighbors. As Christ Himself says: "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments" (Jn 15:10); and "whoever keeps His word, in him truly love for God is perfected" (1 Jn 2:5).
Since the Master should be sought in his lectures, prayers and other works, it is quite important whether a translation of these same lectures, prayers etc. is accurate, as well as whether the original text underlying the translation is actually what the Master spoke or wrote, as opposed to a tampered or re-told text with distortions. This issue is treated in some detail in Topic 2 below, on the original Word of the Master Peter Deunov (Beinsa Douno).
"It's written here: 'In the Beginning was the Word!'
Here I stick already! Who can help me? It's absurd,
Impossible, for me to rate the word so highly
I must try to say it differently
If I'm truly inspired by the Spirit. I find
I've written here: 'In the Beginning was the Mind'.
Let me consider that first sentence,
So my pen won't run on in advance!
Is it Mind that works and creates what's ours?
It should say: 'In the beginning was the Power!'
Yet even while I write the words down,
I'm warned: I'm no closer with these I've found.
The Spirit helps me! I have it now, intact.
And firmly write: 'In the Beginning was the Act!'
(the citation is from Faust, who attempts to translate the Gospel of John,
with the black poodle at his side, and edit his way to success [Goethe, Faust Part I, 1225 - 1235])
"One of the characteristic features of the Word of the Master Peter Deunov (Beinsa Douno) is that it is given to the audience at prima vista, without a preliminary written text which is read to the listeners, as most of the University lecturers do. The stenographers recorded [what was spoken] and then deciphered" the text in preparation for printing. (in this section all citations, unless otherwise indicated, are from [T. Kovachev, "The Master Beinsa Douno" (in Bulgarian), 2004]).
When the Master started regular lectures, records were taken by Todor Geuleubov - a lead stenographer for the Parliament and later lecturer on stenography at the University of Sofia. "He recorded and deciphered the lectures, which were subsequently printed in exactly the same form as they were delivered to the audience, without any editing." Todor Geuleubov prepared and printed the first three volumes of Sunday Lectures entitled "Strength and Life" (1914-1919). Later Geuleubov had to travel abroad and never returned back to this task. "Before leaving, he found a substitute - Pasha Teodorova who was a teacher in chemistry in a high school in Sofia. Subsequently she was joined by two other stenographers - Savka Keremidchieva and Elena Andreeva." The three women recorded separately and deciphered the lectures, afterwards the three variants were compared and then a final version was arrived at.
"At this time [early 1920s] a literary council responsible for the correct publishing of the Word was created. It was formed by people competent in the Bulgarian language and grammar, among them Stoyan Rousseff, a favorite follower of the Master, known by the nickname Grandpa Blago, who established and contributed to a well known magazine for children (Slaveiche). While the council was in existence, the lectures were published without editorial interference." The council discontinued its activity shortly after publishing volumes 4-5 of "Strength and Life". It is not known why this happened, although some memoirs speak about disagreements and lack of efficiency and some people losing interest in this work.
"Then the work to prepare the manuscripts for print is taken by Pasha Teodorova. She is the oldest of the stenographers, with more experience in studying and recording the Word. She starts editing and even in some places re-telling."
When discussing this topic one thing of paramount importance must always be kept in mind, namely, in the words of Elena Andreeva, "[people] have suppositions which are related as truth[s]" ["Izgrev", Vol. 9, Ch. XI]. For instance, some suppose that the Master somehow wanted and approved his Word to be edited, and even awarded those who edited for editing; that the Master went from person to person asking them to edit his lectures etc. Memoirs can, in this light, be strikingly deceptive, especially when they are silent on an issue. One thing is certain, however: that no one, especially not Pasha Teodorova herself, left behind any evidence or statement that the Master asked for his Word to be edited. Indeed, there is no reason at all to believe that Pasha Teodorova made any changes on the basis of the Master's instructions, advice or suggestion. On the contrary, one can find in many lectures of the Master his own view on the subject. For instance, in one of the Sunday Lectures (in the book "What is achievable"): "Now, for example, sometimes when I speak I follow a particular train of thought. 'How so - someone says - that bit there in the lecture is not logically connected.' I know beforehand that it is not connected there. I say: that which is not connected, you have to connect. This effort is not for my benefit. And I will be very grateful if you connect it. I will write it down. But, someone else says: 'you have not brought out the latest scientific proofs!' Thank you very much, tell me about them, I will write them down, I am enriching myself [that way]. I listen to this person, to that person, and say: these people are right, they are right in one respect: these are children who need baby food. I say: the years when the mother was breastfeeding her children are gone, now we need hard food, teeth, nothing more." In "Strength and Life" Vol. 3 "The Salt": "You should take into account that in what I am going to speak about, every word has a special significance. When I utilize a specific word, I look for its vibration because words are defined in the same manner as the sun-rays. You cannot produce a given color if you do not produce the vibrations corresponding to it. Consequently, when virtues are spoken about, for example, you need to produce vibrations corresponding to the given virtue and then you will understand the meaning of this [the particular] word. Only in this way will you arrive at an objective real truth." - and other passages in similar spirit.
"This is why, when we offer a text to the reader, it is important not to re-tell the Word of the Master, not to substitute one word for another, not to change portions of the text whatever the reason may be. And if we do this, then we should note so and put down our name so as not to lead the student of this science astray."Data Gathering:
Of course, some will bring forward an endless stream of reminiscences, all contradictory and as multi-faceted as the people behind them, to prove otherwise. For example, a reminiscence by Boris Nikolov states that the Master gave as an exercise lectures which three students (Boris among them) were asked to present in their own way, i.e. to present their ideas. The lectures were given back to the Master, the students had not done much, the Master noted that they had changed little, and Boris Nikolov incorrectly concludes that the Master wanted big editing changes. But, the Master only wished them to say the ideas in their own words for themselves, not to edit, so it is logical that he would have wanted big changes, otherwise the exercise is really one of editing - this was something highly personal for those students, not concerning the actual preservation of the Word. One should keep in mind the statement of Boris Nikolov that "The language of the Master was a purely symbolical language, and it was very accurate. But we did not understand it, because we did not understand the Word" ["Izgrev" Vol. 2, No. 82]. In this case, the exercise was misunderstood also. This is not passing judgment, but simply stating a fact. It is a grave error and extraordinarily misleading to interpret such instances otherwise, as though the Master was "teaching" or guiding students to edit his lectures, as some contemporary people wish to do.
Another reminiscence that has been used as a justification for editing is by Elena Andreeva (in this section all citations from E. Andreeva are taken from accurate records of an interview with the stenographer conducted by Dr. Vergilii Kreustev in the 1980's, published in "Izgrev" Vol. 9], which can also be found in similar forms in other sources as memoirs), who relates how on a singular instance the Master asked Pasha Teodorova to correct, or rather, to connect several paragraphs. This, however, should not be taken as a "method" for work, even if Pasha Teodorova took it as a method later on her own accord. However, singular instances are not universal cases. If the Master wished the stenographers to correct their mistakes, and make the lectures accurate to what he actually spoke, this should not be traduced as a wish for the lectures to be edited, something done as personal choice (E.A.: "when working on the correcting, editing and stylization of the Word, Pasha was almost re-telling the Word" ... V.K.: "These changes, have they been done by her just the way she saw them." E.A. : "Yes, yes" ... "She was writing the lectures by hand, re-telling the talks" ... "The Master, when speaking, used long sentences and would express his thoughts over long intervals of time. Pasha, on her side, was transforming the long sentences into short ones, shorter ones, in the wish to make the thought clearer." etc.). Did the Master wish this or agree with this? No, this is an assumption (V.K. "Have you been in agreement with these changes?", E.A.: "The Master was the one who was in charge of these issues. This was His Word." ... "I have not been there and I have not taken part in Pasha's work" ... "Now, I can say nothing about this, I cannot pass judgment on this" ... "This is all just my opinion" etc.).
And this is not where the confusion stops. According to Elena Andreeva again, "There were mainly two opinions and two understandings about Pasha's work in connection with the editing of the lectures. Some of the friends wanted the lectures to be printed in the form they have been spoken by the Master, without any changes. Others did not hold this opinion, they thought that the lectures need some smoothing. The Master spoke his lectures and talks without using any notes. He spoke, as his thought was streaming. Sometimes he would bring some notes with the names of the personages from his legends and fairy-tales. He used to say: 'I am a tourist and whatever I see on my way, I speak of it.' What was characteristic about the Master's speech is, that he was expressing himself with long and complicated sentences, periodical speech. In her work Pasha was dividing the long sentences into short ones, she was avoiding the periodical speech of the Master; in this way she believed, the thought was becoming more easily understood. With the long sentences more attention is needed, more concentration of the thought." Did the Master want his students to concentrate less?
But, then Elena Andreeva contradicts herself: "It is not without importance how the words in a sentence are ordered; every change of the spot where a word "sits" in a sentence, gives different nuance of the thought. Pasha, when re-telling the Word of the Master, was using a tight stylistic form; the thoughts are clear, the sentences - correct. Everyone can see this if reading any lecture edited by her." So then, the sentences used by the Master were not correct? Knowing Hebrew, Latin and English, with a Methodist education, are we to believe the Master did not know basic Bulgarian grammar? There is no doubt that the stenographers exerted great efforts, but in reality the bold claim that "Very seldom a word would be missing, because it has not been heard. [...] I announce that when we were decoding, the corrections were none. We have given it as we had heard it. With this I do not wish to say that we are [people] without errors; it is possible that we have done some mistakes, that we may have omitted a word because we did not hear it, or because we were not able to write it down; but these are very rare cases, small things let-pass, which everyone is capable of doing" cannot be valid. And that this can be verified by a modern reader is all too easy, when there are lectures published under the coordination of Vergilii Kreustev in Janua-98, which are deciphered by none other than Elena Andreeva. There one can read short, abrupt sentences, authentic to the original stenogram, but having little to do with the "long, periodic" speech of the Master, which can be read by all in "Strength and Life" Vols. 1 to 3, stenographed by a professional: Todor Geuleubov. Of course, "Should it be that there is something missing, something which has not been recorded, obviously these must have been the internal conditions and abilities we had at the time, and we used to work with them. Each one of us has done what she could do, each one tried to do her best, to record and express most exactly the sayings of the Master." [Andreeva, "Izgrev" Vol. 9].
And, finally, there are contra-indicative statements, also: "After [editing, Pasha Teodorova] takes the texts to the Master for approval before going to print. It is not known how this proceeded, but [it is known that] it was necessary for the Master to reprimand the group of stenographers in the presence of Vlad Pashov [an early follower of the Master]. The Master came during a breakfast at which Vlad Pashov was present and made a remark that his Word should not be corrected since he knows the rules of grammar and literature in the Bulgarian language quite well. The remark was delivered with a tone that the Master used rarely, because his reprimands were usually very delicate and delivered with a fatherly tone. I know about this incident personally from Vlad Pashov, who was present there. Later, when I read the 5th volume of the series "Izgrev", on p. 655 Maria Todorova [another close follower] notes the same case with almost exactly the same words, which I had heard from brother Pashov." [Kovachev 2004]
"Now the question that arises is, does not Pasha go to the Master for approval after every editing of the text? This is so. She does so even after the Master's reprimand during breakfast. She edits the Word and gives it to the Master for approval. He does not say anything any more. He has said it once, exactly to them, exactly to her, there in the wood-shed they called "the steam-ship", in the presence of Vlad Pashov who was a witness. The Divine speaks only once. Here is the fine point of the situation. Many students of the Word are mislead to think that Pasha visited the Master and his silence was interpreted as an approval, but this is not so. God tells Adam and Eve only once what to eat. He did not keep reminding them about this. And when they trespassed, they had to bear the consequences and all of us bear the consequences now [...] but she is not the only one to blame [...] the Master says in his lectures that when we blame Adam and Eve for their error, we need to know this: You also were there and you voted for this act." [Kovachev 2004]Problem Statement:
After the Master passed away some people "discovered" (a little late?) the significant changes to the lectures edited by Pasha Teodorova. Boris Nikolov relates: "Well now there is a young brother here with me and he is showing me different editions [of lectures] and wants me to find in two different pages from the two different editions one and the same expression from the editing of Pasha. There is none and I can't find it. He shows me the original deciphered lecture during the time of the Master and then the published [edited] one. He shows me the huge changes. I look and cannot believe my eyes. But the facts are facts. And now he blames me that we have changed the Word of the Master and appear as the greatest enemies of the Master. I am surprised from this and ask him: What would you do? And he answers with a word: I would publish them exactly as they are deciphered. I am silent [...] Well there is a problem that will have to be solved by your generation. From 1945 to 1950 we published 51 volumes [of edited lectures]. There are 51 left to go. Let's see how you will solve this problem!" [Nikolov, "Izgrev" Vol. 2, No. 82]
Here one should add to the long line of memoirs a view of the modern pundits, long-standing followers of the Master, who, no doubt, have grown wise simply through the passage of time, in support of editing (e.g., "Grain of Wheat [Jhitno Zeurno] 2010, pp. 22-24). These men put forward as an example how the Master, according to an edition published in Janua-98, said in one of his lectures "kill the chicken", and how in an "approved" lecture, this sentence is missing. A further remark that the Master was vegetarian seals the view that the Janua-98 edition is flawed and the sentence is dubious. The problem is that the long-standing followers omit an important point, namely, the context of the lecture, which was given on the 7th of January - the first Sunday after the New Year and in fact, under the old Julian calendar used then by the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, on Christmas - to an open audience (Sunday Lecture), who was not vegetarian, who knew well that (in the early 1920s Bulgaria) the general custom for eating a chicken was to kill and eat, and who usually ate chicken at that time of the year anyway. So it is, in fact, quite likely that the Master did say the words about the chicken, which also have a significant symbolic meaning well attuned to the teaching of the Master, and hence it is not at all clear which version the Master really did, or would have, approved, if he ever approved anything at all, that is. As for the remaining argument of the pundits - that in any case the sentence should be edited because it does not appear in accord with vegetarianism, or because it would confuse people - one can only say that it indicates a presumption for knowing the Master's teaching better than the Master himself. If one follows that argument further, one would easily arrive at the late moral ideas of the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, except instead of being an over-man for whom "God is dead", the editor would have to become an over-Master, who leaves good and evil far behind, and happily edits the Word of the Lord.Solution based on experimental results:
If any man wishes to edit the Word of God as given by the Master Peter Deunov (Beinsa Douno), then he or she has the full freedom to do so - this is an action which depends entirely upon his, or her, personal will. It is natural in this case for such a person to know that they take all the due responsibility for their choice. In this sense, all justifications and vindications aiming to "draw water from seven lakes", as Bulgarian people say, in order to prove the right of editing and altering the contents of the Master's lectures are not necessary, nor do they sound convincing.
"My Words are sacred," the Master says in one of his lectures, "and all of you can try them." ["Sabaoth Amon Ra", Sunday Lectures, p. 321]. If his Words are sacred, then no man has the right to touch them.
The issue of editing the Word of God is not new. It is addressed in a number of places in the Scriptures, for example: "Every Word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you, and you be found a liar." (Prov 30:5-6); "Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, says the Lord, who steal my words from one another. Behold, I am against the prophets, says the Lord, who use their tongues and say, `Says the Lord.'" (Jer 23:30-31). The Revelation of John also ends with the words: "I warn every one who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if any one adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if any one takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book." (Rev 22:18-19). Therefore, every editorial activity with respect to the texts, which are defined as sacred, is extraordinarily precarious, and anyone wishing to exercise it should keep in mind the adverse consequences arising from its exercise. "So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, beware lest you be carried away with the error of lawless men and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen." (2 Pet 3:15-18).
Someone may say that editing was performed even during the lifetime of the Master: "Look, this or that stenographer edited lectures and the Master accepted them". If these memoirs and reminiscences are read carefully, however, one will see quite easily that it is nowhere stated accurately that the Master actually agreed with such editorial changes. Some people say one thing, others say another. Each one of the Master's followers had their own point of view; many things, being just stories without any provability of their veracity and historical objectivity, are in their essence more legends than truths - for it is well known to those who study and follow the truth, that everything in the material world is nothing but illusion, on the sole basis of which it is not possible to build up any serious arguments concerning spiritual truths - so that, ultimately, one comes to the question - who should one believe? And the answer is the following: the most true and valid witness of the Word is the Word Itself. "Who is this that comes from Edom, in crimsoned garments from Bozrah, he that is glorious in his apparel, marching in the greatness of his strength? 'It is I, announcing vindication, mighty to save.' Why is your apparel red, and your garments like his that treads in the wine press? 'I have trodden the wine press alone, and from the peoples no one was with me; I trod them in my anger and trampled them in my wrath; their lifeblood is sprinkled upon my garments, and I have stained all my raiment. For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and my year of redemption has come. I looked, but there was no one to help; I was appalled, but there was no one to uphold; so my own arm brought me victory, and my wrath upheld me.'" (Is 63: 1-5).
The Word itself speaks sufficiently clearly and explains everything with sufficient clarity, so that all subjective witnesses and their personal stories and points of view are unnecessary. The responsibility of preserving this Word, which, unfortunately, has for the most part come to the 21st century in a somewhat fragmented, imperfect form, is immense. There are, however, lectures - the first three volumes of "Strength and Life" - which were recorded by a professional stenographer (Todor Geuleubov), in which anyone who seeks and questions whether there is an original Word of the Master Peter Deunov (Beinsa Douno) can find those lectures of the Master which are pure (" every Word of God is pure"), without any modifications and editorial changes ("do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you, and you be found a liar"). They are the true witnesses to how the Master spoke, what the sentences were, which he pronounced, how he arranged them etc.
Some hold that not only is all editing of the lectures approved by the Master, but that they were also done on his instigation and wish. This supposition, however, is based only and entirely on the interviews and records of followers, which are published, for the most part, in the series "Izgrev" by Dr. Vergilii Kreustev. It never becomes clear why the Master would want such editorial changes from the stenographers, since the stenograms of the first stenographer - Todor Geuleubov - were left without changes. If the stenographers made mistakes and the Master wanted them to correct these mistakes, then this wish does not at all imply editing the Word, but rather, is addressed to the individual responsibility of those who were recording and preserving the Word, to their capabilities, professionalism and personal qualities in the given case. Therefore, one can conclude that the original Word of the Master Peter Deunov (Beinsa Douno) does exist, but it has arrived, following the first three volumes of "Strength and Life", in a less perfect, occasionally somewhat fragmented form. Even those who have followed the teaching of the Master Peter Deunov (Beinsa Douno) for a long time, among them some who are in their senior age, and who believe that this gives them greater rights and greater capabilities of understanding matters connected with the Master's teaching, are unable to present convincing arguments supporting editing and hence alterations, since such arguments are based on unsound intellectual reasoning, unfounded memoirs, and comparisons, for example, of Scriptural texts against parallels in deciphered (authentic copies of) stenograms of lectures, when in fact the probability of the Master expressing his thoughts in exactly the fashion found there - differing from the Scriptural reference - is considerably high. Therefore, such methods and arguments are of little use.
Of course, following the first three volumes of "Strength and Life", the records of the Master's lectures do have evident mistakes, gaps etc. This is a fact, however, which cannot and should not be replaced with the sweetened untruth that anyone is capable of "filling" the gaps or "correcting" the errors. No human intellect is capable of restoring fragmented records of sentences spoken fully and fluently in some moment of time. If undertaken, such an activity would inevitably be completely subjective, introducing a personal element, which, if allowed with respect to writings that are products of the ordinary human intellect, is not at all allowed with respect to the revelations of the Spirit.Conclusions:
Despite all the difficulties and mistakes of the previous (and current generations), it is still possible to find the original Word of the Master Peter Deunov (Beinsa Douno), i.e. authentic records of the Word of God as given by the Master Peter Deunov (Beinsa Douno), which everyone can study. This conclusion can be drawn by anyone applying even the most rudimentary principles of modern science - observation and unbiased thinking - unaided by any special spiritual or mental prowess. Granted that records of this original Word exist, what is left to do is to study them in all earnest, under the current conditions. One should not postpone this, since if this is postponed one may lose the current conditions, and it is not easy to ascertain what the future conditions will be, although, in any case, they will depend on one's current work [cf. Kovachev 2004].
To guide the reader in making informed decisions as to what to read, and what not to read, according to personal choice, below is a summary of the status quo of the Master's lectures, in Bulgarian and in English translation, in a single, easy to read format.With respect to Bulgarian editions:
0. (not lectures, but included for completeness) Records of protocols, up to approx. 1913, taken down in quick shorthand and reconstructed by Dimitar Golov, being quite accurate renditions of what the Master spoke.
1. The lectures from "Strength and Life" Vols. 1 to 3, stenographed by Todor Geuleubov, which are immaculate records of what the Master spoke, published as facsimile editions in Janua-98.
2. Lectures from "Strength and Life" Vol. 4, 5 (published as facsimile editions in Janua-98) and other lectures stenographed by Pasha Teodorova and the other two stenographers, prior to editorial interventions and/or during the existence of a publishing-integrity council, which are accurate though occasionally imperfect records of what the Master spoke.
3. The volumes coordinated by Dr. Vergilii Kreustev, deciphered by Elena Andreeva, published predominantly in Janua-98, but also other independent publishing houses ("Urania" and ASK-93), which are accurate to the stenograms, but imperfect - i.e. occasionally fragmented, short-sentence - records of what the Master spoke.
4. Other volumes published by Janua-98 which are based on identifiable sources, such as the final stenograms deciphered by the three stenographers held in the Bulgarian National archives, and which are, like those of 3 above, accurate but imperfect renditions of what the Master spoke.
5. Lectures edited by Pasha Teodorova, published during and after the Master's lifetime, which are re-told versions of what the Master spoke, not approved by the Master as some believe, and published almost exclusively by the Bialo Bratstvo publishing house (the publishing house of the Society White Brotherhood organization, Bulgaria).
6. Lectures edited by modern editors following in the footsteps of Pasha Teodorova, which, it goes without saying, are farthest from the truth, and published by the Bialo Bratstvo publishing house (the publishing house of the Society White Brotherhood organization, Bulgaria).
7. Compilations from various specified and unspecified (usually edited) sources, in various "spirituality-oriented" publishing houses, compiled, edited etc. on top of any existing compilations and editorial changes.
Excluding the protocols from consideration, of the lectures only items 1 - 4 can be called authentic: the first contains the Word of the Master Peter Deunov (Beinsa Douno) exactly as he spoke it, preserved essentially without any imperfections; while the second, third and fourth accurately preserve the Word of the Master Peter Deunov (Beinsa Douno), but with occasional fragmentation and textual imperfections (sentences often cut short due to punctuation, missed prepositions etc.), which, as explained, cannot be "edited out". Anyone wishing to read the Word of the Master Peter Deunov (Beinsa Douno) - rather than a collection of re-told, summarized, stylized and/or distorted (i.e. edited) ideas from his Teaching - can turn to the aforementioned (authentic) editions in Bulgarian.With respect to English translations:
1. Translations using authentic sources (as indicated above), predominantly from "Strength and Life" Vols. 1 to 5, found on this site (see the Lectures page).
2. Translations and compiled translations published in books and e-books by the "Bialo Bratstvo" publishing house and/or present on numerous other affiliated web-sites, using edited sources (excepting "The Salt", trans. Vessela Nesterova).
3. Older compiled translations published in books, personal or from publishing houses such as "Kibea", which use unspecified sources or (edited) stenographic reports by followers.
4. Recent compiled translations published in books and/or e-books, personal or from publishing houses such as "Astrala" Publishing House, which use a broad array of unspecified (usually edited) sources.
The quality of translations also varies, but this will not be commented upon here.
There are no published documents concerning the relations between Albert Einstein and the Master Peter Deunov. It is almost certain that Einstein and the Master never met, and it seems unlikely that there was any written contact between them - in the contrary case this would have been quite publicized by now, although, of course, it is not impossible; after all, many documents were destroyed in fires and other calamities of the 20th century. But, it is very unlikely.
Given that there appear to be no documents concerning the Einstein - Master Peter Deunov (Beinsa Douno) relation, one must inevitably ask where the quote came from, how it came about that Einstein said it, and, indeed, whether he said it in the first place. After all, for Einstein to have made such a statement one would assume that he had reasonable familiarity with the teaching of the Master, which would have been difficult to acquire at the time given the scarcity of English translations and Einstein's knowledge of the Bulgarian language, which was, no doubt, nil. Thus, one should consider the evidence pro and contra.
According to a newspaper article in the Bulgarian paper "Monitor" (24 Dec 2009) dedicated to the Master Peter Deunov (Beinsa Douno), the quote was originally broadcast on the French radio RDF in 1989 among a number of other statements purported to have been said by Einstein. This is corroborated in the same article by a former chairman of the Society White Brotherhood organization in Bulgaria (although it is not clear how he could have ascertained this), according to whom the cause of Einstein knowing about the Master was the Bulgarian artist Boris Georgiev, who had made a portrait of the Master and, later on, one of Einstein also. The former chairman assumes the two men spoke a lot and hence Einstein came to know about the Master. This is the positive argument. In support of a negative argument, a different article in the Bulgarian paper "Kultura" (Culture) refers to Prof. John D. Norton (Center for Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh) who has studied Einstein's archive and was asked about the statement - his response was that it is unlikely for it to be a quote from Einstein. John Norton had not heard the Master's name and thought that such a statement would have been noticed by researchers in Einstein's archives and, moreover, that words such as "I bow to" are not typical of Einstein.
This is what the external evidence affords us with, and, since in both the positive and negative arguments there are no reliable sources of information, one must rest content - based on external evidence - with uncertainty.
Nevertheless, since, as befits a scientific approach, it is not right to take something only on authority, if one desired to gain further insight into the matter of what Einstein could have or could not have said, or could have or could not have believed in, it seems appropriate that one should consider what Einstein actually wrote, and in particular his religious views - i.e. the internal evidence, which is, one can argue, the more important. This has to be done, however, on the purely human, not scientific level, because it is the man that makes the scientist, not the scientist who makes the man. Pursuing this path of enquiry, it appears that different religious views were ascribed to Einstein during his lifetime at which he more than once had to reply by saying that they were lies: no matter whether he was portrayed as an atheist, or a devout believer. He himself explicitly says that: "For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions"; ... "Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body [...]"; ...rather, "My religiosity consists in a humble admiration of the infinitely superior spirit that reveals itself in the little that we, with our weak and transitory understanding, can comprehend of reality", where Einstein understood as reality solely the physical world around us. One can make further research, but in all cases one will see similar statements and views being expressed (this can be verified by anyone independently using a variety of sources - see, e.g., The Religious Views of Albert Einstein or Prof. A.V. Lesikar's Einstein: Science and Religion). Thus, Einstein appears to have been a man with his own individual views, an "agnostic" in a way, a "pantheist" in another way, a man who looked for morality and strove towards it, but did not include a personal God or, indeed, God as understood in the sense of Christianity and hence of the Master Peter Deunov's teaching. All this attests to Einstein as a human spirit seeking the truth as he understood it, but not as someone who would say that he bows down before the Master Peter Deunov from Bulgaria. His reaction to press quotations about his own words is indicative: after receiving a copy of a news article where he purportedly praised the Catholic Church as a whole, he said: "I am, however, a little embarrassed. The wording of the statement you have quoted is not my own." Therefore, based on internal evidence, it seems very unlikely that Einstein said the statement as it is quoted, and, in fact, that he said the quoted statement at all.
There are many views on the identity of the Master Peter Deunov (Beinsa Douno) held by various people in Bulgaria and abroad: some see him as a manifestation of God on Earth, of the Trinity; others as a Master or Eastern Avatar of a sort existing on three levels of reality; yet others see him as a general, world Teacher, and still others as a New Age guru. It is true that some, perhaps more vociferous than others, also consider the Master to be a manifestation of the Maitreya Boddhisatva (perhaps it is more precise to say the Boddhisatva who will become the Maitreya Buddha, as taught in Buddhism). Since those people hold positions in the Society White Brotherhood organization that shape its public image, this view has received greater attention, but whether it, or indeed, any of the other aforementioned views, is right or wrong is for everyone to discover individually.
It is interesting to note in this respect that the Master explicitly said that he did not wish people to know who "Deunov" was ("I am not telling you who Deunov is, I do not want you to know this. I am like you. When I consider the teaching of Christ, I am not different from you. And why am I one of you? Because I know that God is Love, I cannot discriminate between his creatures. I have respect and love for you, because I know that you are a manifestation of God. -- "Strength and Life", Vol. 5, p.379).
Of course, it is certainly valuable to know who certain great individuals are; it is also valuable for each person to know who they are and were before; however, it is much more valuable to see where the teaching of a spiritual teacher comes from and what is in that teaching; and if a teaching is of Christ and from Christ, then it is far more important to understand it and apply it correctly, otherwise we may know who a spiritual teacher is, who we are, who others are, and, perhaps, may even speak the tongues of Angels, but would be like empty cans or cymbals that clash (1 Cor 13:1). As for an official view: the Catholic Church, which has existed for centuries and has had as its members, so to speak, some of the greatest individuals of humanity, held for a long time that the Sun moves around the Earth - but the question is, is it really true? The times are such that everyone should verify the facts for themselves; in other words, there is no such thing as an "official" view, there is only a true view and a false view.
As for what the Master Peter Deunov (Beinsa Douno) says about himself, it is invariably unrevealing, and indicates a wish to remain, as far as spiritual identity is concerned, unrevealed, which is worthy of respect. However, it is also immensely valuable to read some of the Master's statements (two included below), because it sheds light not on who the Master is, but in whose Name he comes (Jn 5:43):
"You want to know who I am. I am the one who brings you the Word of God. Who I am, you will never find out. I am a son of God, who fulfills His Father's will. I am still learning, I have not graduated yet. [I am] [a] son, who wants to fulfill His [Father's] Will, so that He rejoices in me. I am a son of God who wishes to introduce the Kingdom of God into my soul, in order to fulfill His Law. I am a son of God, who wishes to sanctify His Name, to introduce Love in all its beauty. [Of] this Love that passes through me, I wish to retain nothing for myself. I wish for you to be as I am. This is how the issue stands." ("The Road of Happiness", Youth Esoteric Class, p.36)
"Many have approached me asking me who I am. They say 'Tell us who you are?' It is my own business who I am. It is my business, not yours. 'But, why did you come?' I am a trader, I have come to sell the goods of Love, of Wisdom and of Truth. Whatever I sell, I will levy a tithe on it. 'But you are speaking too figuratively, tell us something real.' Well, what is real? I think eating is real. Consequently I take out four-five apples, put them on a plate and say: Here you are! Help yourself! This is my merchandise. After you eat them, you will pay for them. 'Are they expensive?' It depends. The more you like them, the more I will charge. If you do not like them much, if you say they are not worth anything, I will not charge you. So it depends on you whether [you are] to pay little or much." ("Love Gives Life", Sunday Lectures, p.408)
The prophecy referred to, or a variant of it, which has become quite popular on the Internet, is not exactly by the Master Peter Deunov (Beinsa Douno), but by Olivier de Rouvroy, who appears to have adapted some of the Master's ideas. What adaptation means in this context is unclear, just as it is unclear what the original source/s of the attributed prophecy are. The lack of this essential information inevitably leaves one to wonder whether it is more accurate, and fair, to consider the prophecy as something incorrectly attributed, i.e. as "a prophecy of Olivier de Rouvroy based on ideas from the Master Peter Deunov"; or as an inaccurate translation of compiled texts from the Master, and perhaps someone else; or as an interesting case of fervent editorial activity, with multiple levels of editing applied to multiple collated, unspecified sources; or as something else - in all cases resulting in a text that has, on occasions, some resemblance to the Master, yet is, at the same time, not in full accord with the Master's teaching. The mention of a mediumistic trance in the beginning of the aforesaid text is an early indication of problems, since one would never be able to find support for such ideas in the Master Peter Deunov (Beinsa Douno)'s teaching, which invariably promulgates clear, scientific thinking, as opposed to peculiar states of consciousness.
Whatever the status of the underlying, or overlying, text/s behind the attributed last prophecy, it is worth mentioning that there is something similar from the Master about the last epoch in a collection of stenographed notes by two followers of the Master (Boris Nikolov and Boyan Boev) made in 1944, which have been translated and published in:
"The Wellspring of Good - The Last Words of the Master Peter Deunov", compiled by Boyan Boev and Boris Nikolov, translation by Ernestina Staleva and Antoaneta Krushevska, Kibea Publishing Company, Sofia, Bulgaria, 2002, ISBN 954-474-316-2
The interested reader can refer to "The New Epoch" in that book (pp. 276-280). It should be kept in mind that the translation there is based on edited originals; nevertheless, it is closer, at least in spirit if not in letter, to the Master's teaching than the attributed last prophecy.
Finally, for the sake of anyone who, based on the text of the attributed last prophecy, would mistakenly form the impression that the Master Peter Deunov (Beinsa Douno) is not a messenger of Christ, but a "New Age guru with Eastern inclinations" who preaches foreign divinities (Acts 17:18), and hence make corresponding assumptions about the Master's teaching - it should be stated that the reality is quite otherwise. As the Master himself says (in the Lecture "Whether it is possible"): "Today a Divine teaching is being preached to the people. This teaching is not a sect, as some believe, nor is it a religion. It is the teaching of Christ; It is for those, who have a deep understanding of life. It is for all people, for the whole of humanity, for all conditions, for all times and epochs." Therefore, the Master's teaching is not related to any New Age or "general spirituality" movements and ideas, even if some expressions or ideas found in lectures, and especially on web-sites with a New Age slant, indicate otherwise.
The Master Peter Deunov (Beinsa Douno) created a school, where he taught the teaching of Christ through lectures, various musical and physical exercises, personal spiritual exercises, and, ultimately, through the example of his life. The Master started his work with travels throughout Bulgaria, studying the nature of the Bulgarian character and giving occasional lectures; later on, he began to give public lectures and to attract followers. An initial group of three selected friends, who were spiritual students, grew over time into a community called Izgrev (Sunrise) at the then outskirts of Sofia where some of the followers lived in close proximity to the Master and some would "commute" from the city to attend lectures and exercises such as the Paneurhythmy. All types of people lived there permanently or for various periods of time. Some of the lectures - for example, the Sunday lectures (on Sundays at 10am) - were aimed at the general public, too. Since the school was essentially hinged on the presence of the Master, after he passed away in 1944, the school - for all intents and purposes - passed away also.
The Izgrev was not a formal organization or society. After unsuccessful attempts by followers to create a formal organization with its own constitution, the statutes of an organization were finally approved (1990) and registered officially under the provisions of the Law on Religious Denominations in Bulgaria (Reg. No. 5, vol. 1, page 40).
Today, the officially registered Society White Brotherhood organization is often confused as being the direct inheritor of the Master's initial school, but, in fact, there is no inheritor of the Master's school, just as there is no inheritor of the Master himself (see Topic 1 above); it is not accurate to speak of a "Society now" and "Society then", since the Society, as such, did not exist then - it is really a new phenomenon, initiated not by the Master Peter Deunov (Beinsa Douno), but by followers of the Master Peter Deunov (Beinsa Douno) wishing to continue the traditions of the followers present in the initial school. From the point of view of preserving an important Bulgarian cultural heritage, the Society performs a valuable and essential role - various events, such as performing the Paneurhythmy exercises annually on the Rila mountains in Bulgaria - are organized, concerts are staged etc. From a spiritual point of view, attempting to imitate forms of life that are fixed in the past is somewhat problematic, and in this respect the main similarity "then" and "now" is in the heterogeneity of the Society's members, in terms of views, creeds etc. From the point of view of preserving the heritage of the Master's teaching, the Society, as an official organization, invariably promotes editing as a valid practice and prints (almost exclusively) edited lectures by the Master through its Izdatelstvo Bialo Bratstvo publishing house. The latter point (as indicated in Topic 2 on the original Word of the Master Peter Deunov (Beinsa Douno), and on the related Questions page) is not at all unimportant, and leads to certain tangible consequences. If one draws a parallel between a Society or organization and an individual, then it should not be surprising to see the negative effects of editing the Master's Word in the moral dimension transposed to a whole Society, leading to various social problems, many of which have been disclosed in recent times on Bulgarian Internet sites and Bulgarian newspapers (money not used for what they were donated, tampered records, power struggles, lack of transparency, conflicts of interests, threats to individuals and so on), which will not be discussed here, since this is not the purpose of this page or site. These days anyone can register a society and gain official status and full legitimacy - but only before the government revenue agency. It must be mentioned, even as a side note, that the Society White Brotherhood organization should by no means be confused with the White Angelic Brotherhood which the Master speaks of, and which, it goes without saying, is not of this world (Jn 18:36). The Society White Brotherhood organization is very much of this world.
As for whether one should join the Society White Brotherhood organization: this is a matter of personal choice. Christophorus neither encourages nor discourages joining or leaving the Society, in Bulgaria or elsewhere, for any reason in particular or in general, since this depends on each individual. Regardless of one's viewpoint, however, there can be little doubt that one can seek the truth without adhering to or becoming a member of any organization or society. As the Master Peter Deunov (Beinsa Douno) did not leave a successor to himself, and hence is not to be found externally, but in his lectures and other works (see Topic 1); so also the Master's school, which has no inheritor, cannot be found externally, but must be sought in the same lectures and written works, which contain all the essential details for every spiritual student. This is why the integrity of the records of the lectures and other works is of the utmost importance (see above, as well as the related Questions page), and is a topic that should be a vital concern for all with a serious interest in the teaching of the Master Peter Deunov (Beinsa Douno).
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