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Peter Konstantinov Deunov1 was born on July 11th, 1864 in the village of Nikolaevka (previously Hadarch), not far from Varna, Bulgaria. He was the third child in the family of Konstantin Deunovski, a priest and Dobra Georgieva. His maternal grandfather was Atanas Georgiev (1805-1865), a prominent figure in the struggles for an Independent Bulgarian Church during the National Revival period. His father was the first teacher and priest in Varna to teach and conduct services in the Bulgarian language.
Peter Deunov was a pupil at Varna School for Boys. In 1887 he finished the American Theology School in Svishtov and from the autumn of 1888 he was a teacher at Hotanza, near Russe.
In August 1888 he left for the USA where he studied at the Methodist Seminary in Drew, Medison, New Jersey. He graduated in 1892. During the summer of the same year he enrolled in the School of Theology at Boston University and the next year he finished his thesis on the migration of the Germanic tribes and their Christianization. He graduated in June 1893. For a year he also attended the School of Medicine.
In 1895 he returned to Bulgaria and settled in Varna. He was offered to become a methodist and a theosophical preacher but he refused. In 1896 he published Science and Upbringing which describes the foundations of a new culture to come in the next century. In 1896 he became one of the founders of the community cultural centre P. R. Slaveikov, was elected as a librarian and during the next several years he lectured to Varna community.
In 1897 at the age of 33, P. Deunov and his followers founded the Society for Raising the Religious Consciousness of the Bulgarian People. The same year he published a leaflet with a mystical text called Huo-Eli-Meli-Mesail. The events of 1897 put him in the centre of a spiritual society which later on grew into The Chain (1906) and The Universal White Brotherhood (1920). He was confirmed as the Teacher.
In 1898 he wrote down and delivered the lecture An Address to My People at Varna spiritualistic society. The lecture was an appeal to a social and spiritual self-assertion. The next year he wrote down Ten God's Pieces of Evidence and God's Promise. In 1899 he started organizing annual meetings in Varna which he first called Meetings of the Chain. Between then and 1942, every year in August the annual meetings of the Universal White Brotherhood were held at various locations: in Varna (1899-1909), in Veliko Tarnovo (1910-1925), in Sofia (1926-1941), in Rila and Vitosha.
Between 1901 and 1912 he travelled around Bulgaria delivering lectures and doing phrenological research. From 1904 onwards he stayed longer periods in Sofia where he preached through his lectures.
In 1912 in Arbanassi (near Veliko Tarnovo) he worked on the Bible and wrote down The Testament of Light's Colour Rays, which was published in September the same year. On the title page there was the motto: I shall always remain a devoted servant to Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, 15th August, Tarnovo, 1912.
On 16th of March 1914, in Sofia, he delivered the first stenographically recorded Sunday lecture Here is the Man, which marks the beginning of the Strength and Life cycle. There he laid out the founding principles of his teaching which he called The New Teaching of the Universal White Brotherhood. During World War I Vasil Radoslavov's cabinet forced him into exile in Varna, claiming that his teachings weakened the soldiers' spirits at the front. After the war the number of his followers grew quickly and during the 30s of the 20th c. they were about 40 000.
On Februry 24th, 1922, in Sofia, Peter Deunov founded an esoteric school called The School of the Universal White Brotherhood. It had two classes of pupils: general and special. The lectures there continued for 22 years until December 1944.
In 1927 Deunov set up the settlement called Izgreva (the Sunrise), which is the modern residential area Izgrev, and there he gathered his listeners, followers and pupils. He settled there permanently and in a purpose-built hall he delivered series of his Word.
In the summer of 1929 for the first time he took his followers to a camp near the seven Rila lakes. On the 21st of September 1930 he began a new series of lectures called Sunday Morning Words. In 1934 he began work on Paneurhythmia, a cycle of twenty eight exercises, containing music, text and movement. Later he added the exercises called Sun Rays and Pentagram.
At the beginning of 1944 during the air raids on Sofia Deunov organized the evacuation of Izgreva to Marchaevo (south west from Sofia) and moved into the home (now museum) of his pupil Temelko Giorev. He returned to Izgreva on the 19th of October 1944. On the 20th of December 1944 he gave a lecture called The Last Word to the general class. On the 27th of December 1944 he left the physical world. His body was laid to rest in Izgreva.
1 The manuscript of this essay is kept in the STH ThesisArchives, School of Theology Library, BostonUniversity, Boston, MA. Transcription and notes byHarrie Salman, assisted by Nadia Donevska. Editorialremarks (in italics) have been placed in parentheses.Errors in writing, misplaced words, missing quotationmarks, mistakes in quoting have been corrected.

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