The Original Word Of The Master

Now, in 2010, more and more translations of the Word of Beinsa Douno (Peter Deunov) are being made available in English.  Many are being posted on the internet; some have been published in books.  We are grateful for the dedicated efforts of all who have contributed to making his profound insights and unique voice available to us in English.  For us in the west, the history of the origins of these lectures is largely unknown.  A group of followers of this teaching during the decades of communism has recently published this history in the periodical GRAIN OF WHEAT in Bulgaria, along with some thoughts concerning the origins of the various versions of the lectures now available and the spreading of the teaching.  We offer this article here, for your study and consideration.


When the Master Peter Deunov (Beinsa Douno) began to speak publicly in Bulgaria in the early years of the twentieth century, his avid listeners took notes and some transcripts in shorthand were made, primarily by Petko Gumnerov.  Only in 1914 was a more organized and thorough process begun . . .

The Word of the Master was first recorded by Todor Gulubov in 1914.  He was a professional stenographer in the Bulgarian Parliament.  In 1915 he had to move abroad and was concerned about who would continue this work.  The Master said:  “Someone will come.”  Soon — on July 19, 1915, Pasha Teodorova appeared; a little later, Savka Keremedchieva; and in 1920, Elena Andreeva.  These three stenographers recorded simultaneously what the Master said in his lectures.  Then they transcribed the shorthand notes into normal Bulgarian text.  The lectures were prepared for publishing primarily by Pasha Teodorova.

This was a painstaking process, involving a great responsibility.  That is why the Master worked with the stenographers for many years, guiding them and helping them to see how to work correctly.

Elena Andreeva said:  “The Master spoke fluently, without hesitation.  Rarely did he pause to seek the exact words for expressing his ideas.  He always knew what to say and always chose pure images, pure words and avoided double meanings.  The Master used simple and pure language.  An invisible exchange and communion occurred between us, his listeners, and his Word.  The Master spoke to people of many different intellectual levels, especially on Sunday and in the general class of disciples.  He was trying to speak in a way which permitted everyone to understand what he was saying.  At the same time, while he was speaking, he answered some questions and addressed some unsolved problems being experienced by some of his listeners.  That is why there are some digressions in his lectures.  When he was speaking, this was normal, but when the lectures were to be presented in writing, some things needed to be changed or omitted.  There are different rules or grammatical forms for written versus spoken communication.  In addition, the vocal intonations, pauses, etc., convey meaning and clarity.  When oral speech is recorded in writing, this meaning may need to be clarified by certain additions or changes.  The Master wanted his thoughts to be presented in a correct way, and Pasha Teodorova always succeeded in this.”  [REMINISCENCES OF ELENA ANDREEVA, “The Image of the Master Through My Eyes,” 2009] Pasha Teodorova’s excellence was later acknowledged by the Master when, at the conclusion of the class of Virtues held for the women, she was the only one honoured by a certificate.

Before the Master gave his Word, he made, for about ten years, phrenological investigations of the Bulgarian people to assist him in discovering the most appropriate, effective way of presenting his Word, so that it could be accepted and understood correctly.  “It is important for the Master’s ideas to be presented in a correct way.”  [ibid, p. 11]

When the lectures were ready for publication, Pasha read them to the Master.  She wrote in her reminiscences:  “I was with the Master in the small room on the upper level in order to read to him a lecture being prepared for printing at that time.  When I was reading the lecture, the Master interrupted me.  I stopped and looked at him because I was thinking that he would correct the thought . . . .”  [unpublished reminiscences of Pasha Teodorova].

On February 8, 1914, the Master said:  “It is necessary to have a look at the lectures which I have given, because they cannot live as they are.”  [ibid, p. 11]  He is referring to the need for editing his unpublished lectures.

In her reminiscences, the disciple Bucha Bahar wrote:  “All the lectures were typed and Pasha made the corrections.  These lectures Pasha read to the Master and after his approva they were given to the printing house.  After the first printing, Pasha again read the book to the Master for corrections and then the volume of lectures appeared in our hands.  In ‘the Ship’ (the name of the small house where the three stenographers lived and worked, which was shaped like a boat) hard work and life was brewing.  The workers dedicated themselves to spiritual service.  They turned their backs on their high education and social position, and sacrificed their pleasure and youth for the Word of the Master.  Whenever the brothers and sisters visited this place to bring something by, to ask for advice, to read and discuss something which was not clear, to copy something, we often saw the Master there working with the disciples on what was said in the lectures.  There was a very pleasant and warm atmosphere.  A lot of hard work was required in order for the unpublished lectures to be printed.”  [unpublished reminiscences of Bucha Bahar].

Thus it is clear that the lectures were published only after the Master had approved them.  This is the Word which was published while the Master was alive on earth and during the period immediately after his passing (1945-49).

Indisputable is the fact that on all these volumes of lectures which the Master gave, his name is inscribed as the author.  Bearing in mind that he himself accepted and approved these methods of work, should we question their validity and impose these doubts on others?  Moreover, do we have the right to publish alternatives to the approved published lectures of the Master using manuscripts of unknown origin?  This can open the door to unclear and misleading interpretations.  Consider, for example, what is written at the end of the lecture “He Opened His Mouth and Spoke” in a version published in 2002:  “This is the New Teaching.  Christ has been born in the world today.  Now, when you go back to your homes, kill a hen and say ‘Let the new Christ live Who has made us free from everything!’  Drink a toast!” [HE SPOKE TO THEM, published by Janua-98, 2002, p. 30]  In the book which was approved by the Master, the conclusion was recorded in this way:  “This is the New Teaching.  Today Christ has been born.  Say:  ‘O let the new Christ live who frees us from all old things.”  [HE SPOKE TO THEM, Sunday lecture, January 7, 1923, published by GRAIN OF WHEAT, 1949, p. 22]  This may be symbolic, but some may take the reference to killing a hen in the first version cited to mean that the Master was condoning killing and eating animals.  This contradicts one of his main teachings, that to be vegetarian is an important and necessary requirement for the spiritual growth and development of the disciple.  The Master himself was vegetarian, as were his disciples.  This is an example of why the publishing of such questionable texts may lead to misunderstandings and contradictions of the basic principles of this teaching.

The Master declared:  “My task is for me to transmit to you this Divine Teaching.  Your task as disciples is to pass this teaching on to the Bulgarian people.  The task of the Bulgarian people is to pass it on to all nations.  I am responsible before God if I do not fulfil my task.  You are responsible if you do not pass this teaching on to the Bulgarian people.  And the Bulgarian people are responsible before God if they do not pass this teaching on to other nations.”  [“About the Slavic People,” CONVERSATIONS AT THE SEVEN LAKES, 1948, p.171]

In the lecture, “The Essence of the Human Being,” the Master said:  “Absolutely no kind of lie is permitted—neither white nor black.”  [Congress lecture, August 24, 1941, OPPORTUNITIES FOR HAPPINESS, Litopechard, 1941, p.41]

Once, after September 9, 1944 (the day communism came in Bulgaria), the Master wanted to go to Borovitz.  During that time, special permission to use a car was required from the Communists.  Boris Nicolov went to procure a car for the Master and he said that he needed a car for an old and ill person.  Boris Nicolov was happy to obtain the use of the car and gave the official permission form to Boyan Boev, who then went to give it to the Master.  The Master said in a severe tone:  “I will not get into a car which is procured by a lie.”

Considering all this, can we assume that a great universal Master would permit his Word to be presented in an untrue way, with his name as the author, for more than forty years?

We also are responsible before Heaven for giving accurate historical information about the recording and the passing on of the Word of the Master.  We must bear witness to what we have seen with our eyes and heard directly from the Master’s disciples who were personally involved in this process.  This includes their handwritten reminiscences.  This is important so that manipulations, distortions and incorrect presentations, especially of the unpublished Word of the Master, do not occur as this Word is now being spread, mainly by the Bulgarian people.

The Master gave approximately four thousand lectures, and when he passed away in 1944, about a third of them had not been published.  Some five hundred lectures, according to Elena Andreeva, remained in shorthand, not yet transcribed.  When Communism came in 1944, the process of preparing these unpublished lectures had to be done in secret, and this was a great challenge.  It slowed down the process immensely.  In addition, the shorthand transcriptions were very delicate and easily damaged, because they had to be kept in secret, hidden places in very bad conditions.  Thus it was difficult sometimes to read them.  There were some unclear passages and some missing words.  Because of the Master’s special style of speaking (a Biblical style consisting of long, complex sentences), small omissions sometimes made the text difficult to read and understand.  The most important requirement which the Master had was that his thoughts and ideas be presented clearly and correctly to the people, because this teaching, like Christ’s teaching, is for all souls who would like to be awakened spiritually.

As they prepared the remaining manuscripts for publication, having in mind the intention of the Master that his Word should be presented in a clear and understandable way, his disciples determined to do their best to use methods as close as possible to those used when the Master was alive.  Some say that not all the disciples agreed with this approach.  The stenographers trained by the Master to do this work continued to work very hard to prepare the manuscripts in a clear, correct way, as they had done when he had worked with them.  One of them, Savka Keremedchieva, passed away several months after the Master’s death.  Then Pasha Teodorova, Elena Andreeva, Boyan Boev and Boris Nicolov continued to do this work.  We are very grateful to them for their efforts in transcribing the shorthand into normal Bulgarian text.  Most of the Master’s disciples were clear that only the stenographers, who had dedicated their whole lives to this work under the Master’s direction, could do this in the best way.  They had an inner connection and guidance from the Master, because they were among the most faithful disciples.

For example, Stoika Angelova told this story:  "Savka Keraemedchieva was standing in front of the Master’s room, having a question about how to transcribe a text which she had recorded in shorthand.  Many people were waiting also and the Master did not invite her to enter.  She decided to go away and do her best to resolve the question herself.  She later returned to show the Master her work.  The Master opened the door and said, 'Yes, it is exactly as you have written.'”

After November 10, 1989 (when democracy came in Bulgaria), conditions permitted these unpublished lectures to be published.  The manuscripts of the lectures published after this date were of two types, from two different sources.  Some were manuscripts kept and protected by the Master’s disciples and handed down directly by them to the disciples which followed.  Others were manuscripts from the government archives, probably the texts confiscated from disciple’s homes during communism.

Now, during this time, everyone can publish and work according to their emotional, intellectual and spiritual level of development and understanding.  All want to give their contribution.  Pasha Teodorova said in her reminiscences:  “Once the Master gave a lecture in the form of questions to which neither he nor we gave the answers.  I wonder whether the Master did not do this experiment, so that he could know who (and how much and how) could understand his thoughts and what kind of influence and effects they would have on us.  The thought of the Master is powerful and mighty, and everyone who can accept this thought will experience it in a special way according to their inner state of readiness.”

On whose work should we rely?  On the work of those whom the Master chose as his disciples; those who passed on this Word, with whom he worked for many years; those who listened to his lectures, studied his teaching and lived according to it; those who preserved the manuscripts at the risk of their lives and passed on the manuscripts of the unpublished lectures to the next generation of disciples, according to one of the many laws of the school of the Master, the law of the Chain — or, some books published by using the manuscripts which are found in the government archives, which are probably working copies of the unpublished lectures, for which we have no proven information about their origin?  Most of these books have been edited or not edited by people who are just beginning to study this teaching and who never heard the Word of the Master directly from him.

Now, in the beginning of the twenty-first century, almost the entire Word of the Master has been published.  Let us thank those who did this with love and selflessness.  We all would like to read the original Word of the Master, to feel its vibrations, holiness, purity and Power.  We all want to apply this teaching and to live according to it.

But what is the original Word of the Master?  How may we discern it?

This requires a long process of researching the Word:  applying the Master’s methods; developing spiritual qualities and virtues, awe and humility; praying and serving God.  Christ said:  “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”  Whenever we entered the small home of Boris Nicolov (who was chosen to lead the Brotherhood after the Master’s passing), he greeted us with the following words:  “The Word of Life we keep (i.e., guard and protect and preserve).”  This is not a formal act of keeping and protecting literal information, but a deep, inner process of transformation.  When we love the Word and it becomes our life, then we truly “Keep the Word of Life.”

The fire is lit, the table is set, the bread (i.e., the Word) is ready.  Let us taste this bread and hear his sweet words.  Let us experience this and apply the teaching of the Master — to become vegetarian, to have a pure life lived in harmony according to the laws of nature — in our thoughts, feelings and deeds.  Let us learn the art of communicating as sisters and brothers.  Then our minds will be enlightened, our hearts will be filled with Divine Love, our souls will awaken and we will be able to accept and experience the ideas of the Master in their original form.

— given by people who have followed and lived this teaching for many years, 2010, Bulgaria

[Published in the periodical GRAIN OF WHEAT, 2010, No 22, p. 22-24]


"There is nothing better than the following:
To know that you have some nobility of spirit,
some dignity of soul, some dignity of mind, some dignity of heart.
All should be brave in the good which they do."

  # 864  

-  Beinsa Douno    
( Peter Deunov )
1864 -1944  
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