Danov, Petar Konstantinov
In 1888, Danov left for the United States, where he studied theology at Drew Theological Seminary in Madison, New Jersey, until May 1892. After graduating from Drew, in the fall of 1892, he enrolled at the Boston University School of Theology and obtained his degree in June 1893, his thesis being "The Migration of the Teutonic Tribes and Their Christianisation". He was a regular student at the School of Medicine of Boston University for a year before returning to Bulgaria at the beginning of 1895. Throughout his studies in America, Peter Danov created music, and held concerts in Methodist churches.
Upon returning to Bulgaria, Danov settled in Varna and in 1897 founded, together with Dr. Georgi Mirkovich, Dr. Anastasia Zhelyazkova, Vasil R. Kozlov, and other spiritual instructors and public figures, the Society for the Elevation of the Religious Spirit of the Bulgarian People, later referred to as the "Synarchic Chain" (1906) and into the Universal White Brotherhood (1922). After 1897 he became known as Beinsa Douno, translated roughly as The One Who Brings Good through the Word. The society held annual meetings in different rural and urban areas throughout the country. From the beginning of the twentieth century until the Balkan Wars, Peter Danov travelled throughout Bulgaria, delivered public lectures, mostly on the prevalent pseudoscientific field of phrenology, and took anthropometric measurements.
In 1912, he completed the book The Testament of the Colour Rays of Light, and in the next year, he began to present his Sunday lectures, given in series (e.g. Cycle of Power and Life), which set out the basic principles of his White Brotherhood's New Teaching. The lectures were transcribed by his students. Peter Danov's title "The Master" was recorded for the first time in 1914 in the minutes of the annual meeting. He would keep the title “Teacher” or “Master” for the rest of his life.
During 1917–8, during the First World War, the government of Vasil Radoslavov forced him to resettle in Varna, arguing that his teaching was weakening the “morale of the soldiers at the front”. After the end of the First World War in 1918, the number of his followers all over the country grew rapidly and in 1922 Petar Danov opened an Esoteric School in Sofia, which he called the School of the Universal White Brotherhood, with two classes: Special (Youth) Class and General Class. In the school, theoretical knowledge was combined with spiritual practices, self-improvement methods, and body, mind, and emotion control exercises.
In the same year, 1922, Petar Danov was excommunicated by the Bulgarian Orthodox Church on charges of “sectarianism and occultism”.
In the 1920s he established the settlement of Izgrev [Sunrise] near Sofia (today a residential area of the city) where he gathered his audience, followers, and disciples to form a centre for the esoteric school. He settled permanently in Izgrev where he delivered various series of his beliefs. In the following years, many students and followers bought land and constructed wooden houses surrounded by flowers and vegetable gardens. Over 20 years a commune was established. In the summer of 1926, the White Brotherhood Meeting was held for the first time in Izgrev, attended by over 1450 people. In July 1927, a salon was constructed in Izgrev by the engineer Rusi Nikolov, in which Peter Danov delivered lectures. In 1930, he opened a new series of his teaching, called the Sunday Morning lectures, which lasted until April 1944. From 1934 he started working on the Paneurhythmy – a series of exercises consisting of melody, text, and body movements. Later, he added the exercises The Sun Rays and Pentagram.
In January 1944, after bombing in Sofia, together with a group of brothers and sisters from Sofia, the Master went to live temporarily in the village of Marchaevo. At the end of December 1944, Peter Danov died in his home in Izgrev. He was buried in the garden of Izgrev and since 1997 his grave has been considered a state cultural monument.
- Nikolaevka, Bulgaria
- Kasabova, Anelia Dr.