Bright Soul
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Peter Deunov in the 1930s
Good Mood

Bright Soul

The Life of Peter Deunov
Paulina Wilk
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time 14 minutes

His first class in 1900 was attended by only three students, each of a different religion. But before long, 40,000 people – including Einstein and Gandhi – were turning up to the Bulgarian spiritual master’s lectures. In a Europe that was being torn apart by monstrous wars, Peter Deunov proposed a universal paradise. Surrounded by mountains and lakes, he showed how to live in love and perfect harmony with nature, heralding the rebirth of souls and the advent of a new era.

On 10th January 1944, American and British planes made yet another bombing raid on Sofia, destroying nearly 500 buildings and killing hundreds of people. Before the bombers returned, Beinsa Douno – known as the Master – left the city for the village of Marczewo in the Vitosha Mountains. Supposedly, he told a priest he knew who visited him there: “I have completed my work on Earth. I am leaving.” When his friend visited again in December, Beinsa Douno asked: “Who are Beethoven, Jesus and Deunov? Only God is eternal and limitless, only He is reality.” Then he sang for the last time. He hummed Aoum, his own simple song composed of a single syllable, expressing the sum of existing sounds. During the cold, foggy days of December, he stayed in bed, withdrew from contact with his surroundings, and told visitors that the human body is just temporary and that he no longer wanted to remain in the physical world. He died of double pneumonia on 27th December around 6pm. His students dressed his body in white clothes, the way he had dressed for years – in the photographs and documentaries in which he features, he was almost always wearing a white linen suit like a character from a Chekhov play. His jaw-length hair and beard were bright white. Right up until his death, he retained his keen, penetrating gaze and noble features: a beautiful, perfectly straight nose, prominent cheekbones and shining pupils. He always walked tall, with a relaxed, light step. His appearance, unchanged for decades, was an illustration of spiritual stability – time has barely touched him, leaving only a smattering of wrinkles and perfectly white hair. The pathologist who examined Deunov’s body reportedly said that in his 50 years on the job he had never seen such a youthful organism.

According to Deunov’s biographer David Lorimer, the Master’s body was temporarily transported to the Dawn meditation and spiritual practice centre he had built near Sofia. His tomb, surrounded by a white wall and pentagrams symbolizing positive forces – wisdom, truth, virtue, love

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Energy Travels Vertically
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Yogananda, Pittsburgh, 1926. Photo courtesy of the Self-Realization Fellowship, Los Angeles, California
Experiences

Energy Travels Vertically

The Life of Paramahansa Yogananda
Paulina Wilk

Every one of us can live a better life. With peace of mind, in the rhythm of the universe, and with a sense of order. We’ve known that for the past 99 years. That is, since a certain Indian monk landed in Boston and infatuated a feverish America.

The ‘City of Sparta’ was the first ship to sail from Bombay to Boston after World War I. It left in the summer of 1920, with a cargo of jute and tea, along with 61 passengers. They included British students, missionaries, businessmen, tourists, two Armenians rescued from the genocide in Turkey, and 11 Hindus. One of them was a man with long hair dressed in a traditional, ochre-coloured outfit. His name, Mukunda Lal Ghosh, was entered into the passenger list along with an incorrect date of birth. At the time, he was 27, not 25, as the officer had hammered out on the typewriter. The ‘Profession’ column had quite an intriguing entry: “governing brahmin” (although he was born into the kshatriya, the military caste), and next to it a handwritten note: “professor”. One more category was also added: “English-speaking subject of the British Queen”. His nationality, “Bengali”, was crossed out and corrected to “Eastern Hindu”. The following information was also noted: “Not liberal, save in matters of religion”.

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