Early Life in Varna, Bulgaria

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov was born in the village of Serbtzi, Macedonia on 31 January 1900 and later lived in Varna, Bulgaria. His youth was marked by many difficulties: the early death of his father, extreme poverty, constant social unrest and war were for him opportunities to develop his willpower, his consciousness and his spiritual life, as well as his desire to be useful to all humankind.

Encounter with Master Peter Deunov

At the age of 17, he joined the Brotherhood of Master Peter Deunov, who was to have a defining influence on him. After obtaining his diploma at the University of Sofia he became a teacher, and from 1934 to 1937, a school principal. At the same time, he steadfastly followed the teaching of Peter Deunov, which for him was a vast field of exploration and experience.

Although his presence in the Brotherhood was always discreet and unassuming, he had a profound spiritual and human influence on his fellow members. In 1937, with the approach of World War II, Peter Deunov foresaw that political unrest would lead to a ban on all spiritual associations in Bulgaria and sent his disciple Mikhaël Aïvanhov to France, where he was to preserve, develop and disseminate his teaching.


From 1937 on, Frère Mikhaël worked tirelessly to make known the teaching he had taken to France. Gradually his luminous presence earned him access to and considerable influence in different spheres of French society. In spite of difficulties and ordeals, he remained true to his mission and continued to give love and attention to all he encountered, never asking for payment of any kind.

Motivated by his overwhelming desire to contribute to the realization of a universal family – a desire he never lost – he founded the French Brotherhood on the same pattern as that of Peter Deunov. In 1947, he established the first brotherhood association in France, named ‘La Fraternité Blanche Universelle’. He was invited to other countries to speak and other associations were formed in other countries as the Brotherhood grew.

Travels in India

In 1959, after more than twenty years devoted to the mission entrusted to him by Peter Deunov, he travelled to India, where he spent a year. There he met several spiritual masters. It was in India, in circumstances which he never fully disclosed, that he was given the name ‘Omraam’. Until this time, he had refused to be addressed as Master by his disciples. He had always regarded himself as a disciple of his own teacher, Peter Deunov, and was called Frère Mikhaël.

Now everything had changed. His disciples, who had been following him for 22 years, insisted on paying him the respect he was due, and he finally allowed himself to be called ‘Master’. A true Master, he explained, is one who knows the truth, who thoroughly understands and respects the laws and principles of existence. He also has the will and ability to control his inner world and to use this self-mastery for the sole purpose of manifesting all the qualities and virtues of selfless love.

A Contemporary, Universal Teaching

In the years that followed, and until he left this world on 25 December 1986, Master Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov continued his teaching mission, giving thousands of talks, always free, in France and many other countries, including England. His teaching is universal in its scope, and the methods he presents correspond very aptly to the needs of our time and the challenges of contemporary daily life. His constant motivation was, as he said, to be useful to his fellow human beings, to help them find within themselves the forces and qualities placed in them by the Creator, and to play their part in the creation of a global and fraternal human family – a Golden Age for humankind.

Related article: Universal Brotherhood in the Age of Aquarius

To find out more about the extraordinary life and work of Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov,
we recommend you read ‘Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov – a biography’ by Louise-Marie Frenette