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Master Peter Deunov, known by the spiritual name Beinsa Douno, was an extraordinary individuality, who lived in many ways an outwardly ordinary life. He was born on the 11th of July 1864 near Varna, Bulgaria, in the family of a Bulgarian Orthodox priest. Growing up, he attended a boys school in Varna and later the American Theology School in Svishtov, Bulgaria. In 1888 Peter Deunov traveled to the USA where he undertook studies at the Drew Theological Seminary (now Drew University), New Jersey and the Boston University School of Theology. After another year of attending courses at the Medical School at Boston University, in 1895 he returned to Bulgaria. In the years surrounding 1897 Peter Deunov underwent a profound inner experience, which resulted in several written works of a Judaic - Christian mystical-theophanic character. The exact nature of these experiences can only be fathomed; a later entry from one of Peter Deunov’s personal dairies, dated 1899, gives some indication of his state around this time: “the Lord will be my joy every day”. Around the turn of the century he began to travel widely throughout the country, lecturing and researching the character of the Bulgarian people. Soon a small group of friends who saw in Peter Deunov their Teacher formed themselves around him. A number of records are extant from this time attesting to the already profound character of a teaching that would come to flourish in the ensuing years. In 1914 Peter Deunov gave his first public lecture – “Behold the Man!” – in Sofia, heralding the beginning of 30 continuous years of spiritual teaching activities, during which “Peter Deunov” came to be known and regarded by his followers as Master Peter Deunov or simply “the Master”. During the 1920’s a number of these followers came together to gradually form the community “Izgrev” (Sunrise) on the outskirts of Sofia, where the Master continued to teach, delivering his lectures to a growing audience. It was during this period that the esoteric school of the Master, which in many ways had begun with his earliest students and friends, came to flower and became established in externally tangible forms: esoteric lectures, exercises, and life itself at the “Izgrev”. Many were drawn to the love, wisdom and truth emanating from the Master’s teaching; however, it was not always popular at large. In the later 1930’s the Master suffered severe injuries to the head as a result of a politically- motivated physical attack, leading slowly to paralysis. Memoirs recount how he had to be looked after, and the great suffering he had to endure. Some months later, however, he recovered completely, quickly and miraculously, and thus showed with his own life how sufferings must be endured, and how through the spiritual power of Christ one can be healed even into the physical body. The Master continued to teach throughout the second World War until the end of his earthly life – by all accounts one of a saintly individual – on 27 December 1944.


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July 2013

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