Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov
The French spiritual master, Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov (1900-1986), was a native of Bulgaria.
In 1937 he traveled to France, and it was here that he gave the main body of his Teaching.
In the course of more than 5 000 talks he explores human nature in its environment, whether in a personal, familial, social or planetary context. The man whom we call “Master” – in the oriental sense of the word, referring to his personal mastery and his teaching ability – tells us: “What I hope to give you through this teaching is some notions of life, of yourself, of how you are structured, of how you relate to the universe as a whole and, consequently, of the kind of relationship you should have with each other and with the universe which is Life.”
His main objective is to help human beings to recapture their spiritual dimension (which he refers to as their higher or divine nature), to perfect and strengthen themselves and find fulfilment in the world in which they live. He says, also: “I have applied my efforts especially to shedding light on one subject in particular: the two natures within every human being, their higher nature and their lower nature, because herein lies the key to the solution of all problems.”
The inner, individual work, however, must be seen within a broader, more universal view: it opens our consciousness to the fact that we are citizens of the cosmos, members of one great human family, one universal brotherhood. We are all sons and daughters of the same creator. Very specifically, the teaching of the Master Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov invites us to participate in the realization of a new Golden Age on earth.
Throughout the world, innumerable men and women have found the path to inner fulfilment, thanks to his shining presence and to his teaching.
Born on January 31, 1900 in the village of Serbtzy, Macedonia, he lived later in Varna, Bulgaria. His youth was marked by many difficulties: the early death of his father, extreme poverty, constant social unrest and war were all occasions for him to develop his will-power and a rich spiritual life characterized by his desire to be of use to his fellow human beings. At the age of 17 he joined the brotherhood of Master Peter Deunov, where he was known as Brother Mikhaël. After studies at the University of Sofia he became a professor then, from 1934 to 1937, he was Principal of a college. At the same time, he followed steadfastly the teaching of Master Peter Deunov, which was, for him, a vast field of exploration and experience, and although his presence in the brotherhood was always discreet and unassuming, he had considerable spiritual and human influence on his fellow members.
Master Peter Deunov
Peter Deunov (1864-1944) was the son of an Orthodox priest. With a view to becoming a priest himself, he studied theology, followed by medicine, in the United States, but after his return to Bulgaria in 1895, he found that he did not fit well into the rigid context of the institutions and dogmas of the Orthodox Church.
In 1900, he began to give public lectures which breathed new life into traditional Christian doctrines. With the help of a group of disciples, he organized conventions and founded the White Brotherhood of Bulgaria. Gradually, this movement became widely known in Bulgaria and in other European countries. The work of this great spiritual Master continues to have widespread influence today.
By 1937 he had thousands of disciples in Bulgaria. Foreseeing the political turmoil and the persecutions which would affect his country and endanger the existence of the White Brotherhood, he chose Brother Mikhaël to carry his teaching to France and to the world.
Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov’s work
From 1937 on, Brother Mikhaël worked tirelessly to make known the Teaching he had taken to France. The task was far from easy, but he continued to give love and attention to all who called on him, never asking for payment of any kind. Gradually, his intensely luminous presence gained him access and considerable influence in different spheres of French society. Urged on by his overwhelming desire to contribute toward the realization of a profoundly fraternal humanity, he founded the French brotherhood on the same pattern as that of Peter Deunov.
In 1959, after more than twenty years devoted to the mission entrusted to him by Peter Deunov, he travelled to India. There he met the Mahavatar Nimcaroli Babaji, whom Yogananda describes as he who, for untold years has been the guide of prophets and Masters. It was in India, in circumstances which he never fully disclosed, that he was given the name OMRAAM.
The name Omraam
“This name, says Georg Feuerstein, is made up of two famous Sanskrit mantras or words of power, Om et Ram.
“The Master explained his initiatic name as follows: ‘
“All this time, Brother Mikhaël had refused to be addressed as master by his disciples. He had always regarded himself as their fellow-disciple of his own teacher, Peter Deunov. Now everything was changed. His disciples, who had been following him for 22 years, insisted on paying him due respect, and he finally accepted being called ‘Master’.
“A true master, he explained, is one who knows the truth, is thoroughly familiar with and upholds the laws and principles of existence. He also has the will and ability to control his inner environment and to use this ability only in order to ‘manifest all the qualities and virtues of unselfish love.’
“Disinterestedness is unselfish love, which, for Aivanhov, finds its highest expression in the known universe in the sun.
“The restrictions Aivanhov had in mind are the boundaries erected by the ego-personality, which make it virtually impossible for the ordinary person to see things as they really are and to think, feel, and act in consonance with Reality.”
In the years following his stay in India and until he left this world on December 25, 1986, Master Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov continued his teaching mission, giving thousands of talks – always free - in France and in many other countries.
His teaching is universal in scope, and the methods he proposes correspond ever more aptly to changing mentalities and to the problems encountered in daily life. His constant motivation was, as he said, to be useful to his fellow human beings, to help them to find for themselves the forces sown within them by their Creator and to play their part in the creation of a truly fraternal human family, a Golden Age for mankind.