St. Petersburg, Russia : “A Garden-Like City”, a new cultural and educational project launched by the Brahma Kumaris in St. Petersburg, Russia, in February 2019, has been gaining momentum ever since. The project is carried out with the support of the Committee for Social Policy of the city government and the Women’s Alliance of St. Petersburg. Public events within its framework take place on a monthly basis, with every month featuring a particular set of virtues and powers symbolically represented with one of 6 main attractions of St. Petersburg city landscape, namely a BRIDGE, a RIVER, a PARK etc.
The month of April has been dedicated to ANGELS, and there is a good reason for that! St. Petersburg is renowned for its numerous statues of angels. Hundreds of those winged messengers of God soar above the domes of city churches, dwell on the rooftops of palaces, inhabit the alleys of parks and gardens. A legend goes that the city is safe and sound until its three main angels – golden, silver and copper ones – stand guard at their respective places in the very heart of the former Russian capital.
So why have angels been venerated that much throughout the course of history, in the first place? And importantly, what virtues and powers can make us, ordinary humans, – angel-like? The public event “The Image of an Angel” held in Lighthouse, the Brahma Kumaris Centre in St. Petersburg, invited the audience to contemplateupon these questions by using the language of visual images, music, dance and reflective meditation.
Didi Santosh, senior Raja Yoga teacher, director of the Brahma Kumaris in St. Petersburg, highlighted, among others, 4 main qualifications of an angel that resonated deeply with the feelings of the audience.
1. An angel is a being of LOVE. If you are unable to love the world around you, then what sort of an angel are you?
2. An angel is a being of CLEANLINESS and PURITY. Touched by an angel, everything becomes not just clean but shining!
3. An angel is a being of LIGHT, weightless, beyond the gravitational pull of mundane awareness.
4. An angel is a being of BEAUTY. The beauty of an angel is unique. Sometimes people may think ugly, yet they get awards at beauty contests. An angel’s thoughts arealways beautiful, filled with purity, truthfulness and benevolence.
Guests of Lighthouse shared their feelings after the event:
Ms Valentina Sergeeva, Doctor of Economics, vice-president of the Academy of Russian Literature and Fine Arts, author of several books of poems:
“People whom I see here are shining with a kind of inner light. After the meeting, I feel I know angels more closely!”
Mr. Sergey Kuzionov, head of “Spiritual Renaissance” department of the International Academy of Ecology & Life Protection Sciences:
“As I come here, I feel I come in touch with something invisible, very light and pure. I wish more and more people should come to know about this place and experience the joy of the angelic world.”
Ms Marina Maslova, singer, prize winner of international contests:
“For many people an angel is just a mythical, fairy-talish creature, but the definition of an angel is much deeper and higher. I realised that an angel is my self-awareness. It is cleanliness of my thoughts and feelings. An angel is someone who lives within my soul. And whether he would like to stay there or not, depends on me. I shall nourish and sustain him well so that he can stay with me and grow!”