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CHIEF PRIEST OF ST.NICHOLAS ORTHODOX CATHEDRAL VISITS BRAHMA KUMARIS CENTRE (6th May, 2001)
Lighthouse, Brahma Kumaris Centre,
Saint-Petersburg, Russia

On the stage of Lighthouse (Right to Left): B.K.Santosh, director of Brahma Kumaris Centre, Saint-Petersburg, Rev.father Bogdan, Chief Priest of St.Nicholas Orthodox Marine Cathedral, B.K.Vijay, co-ordinator of Brahma Kumaris activities in CIS and Baltic countries.


"INDIA IS A COUNTRY THAT LIVES IN MY HEART..."

These were the words spoken by Rev. father Bogdan, Chief Priest of St. Nicholas Orthodox Marine Cathedral (Saint-Petersburg, Russia) during his visit to the Saint-Petersburg Brahma Kumaris Centre. It was the first official visit of an Orthodox priest to the Brahma Kumaris. Dear and long-awaited guest was introduced to activities of the Brahma Kumaris in Russia and the whole world and then he addressed the students' gathering.

A very warm meeting took the shape of an informal dialogue and substantially exceeded the pre-planned time. Father Bogdan emotionally told the students about the destiny of his father, also a priest persecuted under the previous political regime, about his dearly loved mother and all the hardships that were to be faced by those who dedicated themselves to the field of religious services at that period of time. The main topic of the conversation, however, were relationships between man and God and the moral duty every one of us has to fulfil at present.
While introducing father Bogdan to the audience, B.K.Santosh, director of the Saint-Petersburg Brahma Kumaris Centre, said,
"All people of the world have got the feeling, perhaps subconscious, that the Supreme is one. Heart of everyone feels His commandments: Love everyone, be merciful to everyone. Our ears listen to these words in the same manner but these are only those who are able to hear them fully and to bring them in their life conquer the heart of the Supreme Father. This is why I feel a lot of respect for our dear guest because I have been feeling already for a long time, since our very first meeting, that he is not a person who just knows the Bible and God's commandments but who lives up to them".

From Rev. father Bogdan's Address to Students:
...There was a pause before our meeting started, and I wished it continued for as long as possible because I feel that when we speak less the Truth starts speaking. However at present we realise that we will not be able to attain the Truth just through silence, so we have to speak about it as well.
"Love God, love your near ones, love your enemies". If people followed this constitution, this law, the world would become a beautiful place to live in. There would be no stealing, murders, lust, alcoholism, drug-addiction and other sins and unlawfulness.
...Quite often we are able to understand sorrows of others and to express our mercy and sympathy. But it is really a great deed and a great power to be able to find your own happiness in happiness of others. Jealousy, rivalry and other sins do not let us accomplish fully that which is so beautiful in this world.

...We should maintain Truth, Peace and Joy in this life of ours. Saint apostle Paul said that if there is Truth, Peace and Joy in man's soul it means that God's Spirit is present in the soul and the heart of that one. If we are true to those who rule and judge us and they are true to us, if we are true to our family, children, grandchildren, friends, then there will be no Falsehood in the world. But if we allow Falsehood to creep in even in small matters, everything else will turn into Falsehood: the family, the society and the state.



...Future of humankind depends on the humankind itself. If people turn to God, Light and Truth, they will open for themselves the future world where there are no sorrows and diseases, but the life is eternal, the life is with God. It depends on each one of us personally. Everyone should create his or her future while leading this present life on the earth. We are guests in this world. To the extent that we are kind, full of light and joy, to that extent the Lord will open the future for us.

At the end of the meeting with the students father Bogdan was presented a traditional shawl of Madhuban, HQ of the Brahma Kumaris (Mount Abu, India). A memorable gift was handed over to him for Rev. Metropolitan Vladimir of Saint-Petersburg and Ladoga. Father Bogdan, in his turn, presented to the Centre the image of Saint Nicholas, the embodiment of humility and mercy.

After the meeting the respected guest joined for dinner during which a lively and detailed talk went on about the philosophical grounds of the Brahma Kumaris teachings and the life principles of its members.




(from the Questions and Answers Session with the students)

Question:
Which virtue do you consider to be the most basic and vital for human life?
Answer:
"The only virtue which is unique and will remain both in this and future lives is Love. It is now that we live with Faith and Hope but Love is eternal, it remains in the past, in the present and in the future".

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