Martinus outside of Scandinavia

Ever since I found Martinus’ bright and hopeful worldview it has always been a mystery to me why he is not read by more people. Now you can find excellent translations in English on the Internet of many of Martinus’ most important books, but naturally it is difficult to reach out and find people who might be interested. There is perhaps something like 5 000 people in Scandinavia who are really interested, I do not know the exact number, but what can we do to reach other parts of the world? Good translations are essential, but then what?

If you really feel inspired to inform about the beauty and inspiration you have found in Martinus’ writings it can be interesting to look at how they went by it when Martinus still was among us in our physical world. Martinus had predicted that his analyses would not be spread until he had left this world, that his teaching was primarily aimed at the future, however many important decisions were still made concerning how the information activities should be organized by Martinus himself. If we look at the history of Martinus’ mission at least I get the impression of a slow but steady development. It is only natural that we who are inspired by Martinus’ Cosmology expect a more rapid development regarding people getting interested in Martinus’ world picture, especially now that there are good and accessible translations into English. However now and then through the history of Martinus’ mission, probably rather disappointedly, those interested have watched how not many people manage to find any of Martinus’ writings. On the whole it must be said that Martinus is still relatively unknown and that his mission has just begun.

In this article I will look at how Martinus and the people around him did some attempts to reach out outside of Scandinavia while Martinus was still in this world. Perhaps we can learn something from this.

At the age of 62, he was careful of not travelling by airplane before that, in the summer of 1952 he for the first time flew outside of Denmark’s borders to Iceland, invited by theosophists. He had visited Sweden before this, but this was his first time outside of Scandinavia. Martinus visited Iceland seven times and was deeply fascinated by this island’s powerful scenery. He was very well received by Iceland’s priests. Martinus has described how the Icelanders many descriptions of “huldrefolk” (little people, elves) has a reality behind it in that the special atmosphere of Iceland with just a few people, tolerance and a clean environment makes the veil between different realities thin. In 1961 Martinus visited Egypt and was inside the great pyramid of Giza, Cheops’ pyramid, and travelled to Jordan and Israel. In 1969 he lectures in England and visits Stonehenge.

However it was during his travel to Japan and India, when there was a serious attempt to create an institute in India, that I want to focus on. Perhaps we can learn something in our own attempt to tell the world about the things that are so close to our hearts that we have found in Martinus’ Third Testament.

In 1954 Martinus was invited to participate in a world congress about religion in Japan. Some people living in India that were interested in Martinus found out about this and immediately invited him to India. He accepted their invitation and was received by Anna Örshult, originally a theosophist, later the leader of Prime Minister Nehru’s household and now devoted to Martinus’ Cosmology and a translator of “Livets Bog” into English. Martinus was invited to the theosophical headquarter Adyar where for example had the opportunity to meet Krishnamurti.

Martinus secretary since 1929, Erik Gerner Larsson, worked persistently to make Martinus known outside of Scandinavia. In an article in Kosmos (1947/8 “Naeste etape!”) he describes his expectations for the future regarding how Martinus work now will grow outside of Denmark’s borders. He describes Martinus work as “extremely international” and that the main goal is to bring out the analyses to the whole world. He envisions how there will be groups studying Martinus’ spiritual science worldwide in the close future. As we know that did not happen. The only country that in a sense was “conquered” was Sweden, and perhaps to a certain degree Iceland. Gerner Larsson was very optimistic but also realistic in that he did not expect a large increase in the interest of Martinus. He felt that it did not matter what the public thought about Martinus’ work at the time since it was superior to anything temporal. It will in due course complete its destiny. It’s one thing to reach a neighboring country, a totally different matter to reach distant cultures.

When Martinus came home from India the work to translate his books into English intensified. Since Martinus had not yet finished his main work “Livets Bog” and he was starting to get older it was decided that Gerner Larsson would take over what Martinus had started in India. In addition Martinus only spoke Danish, while Gerner Larsson did what he could to improve his English.

After arriving in Bombay Gerner Larsson was invited to a vegetarian world congress where he could get to know more people, and he held some lectures in northern India. He visited prime minister Nehru and lectured in front of a thousand people in the temple of Ramakrishna. The leader of the Ramakrishna mission in Delhi, M S Mathur, felt that he had found what he long had been searching for in Martinus Cosmology. Quickly he organized the distribution of Martinus work in India, with a main center in New Delhi and two minor centers in southern India, in Bombay and Kotagiri.

In a letter home Gerner Larsson describes how he had succeeded far beyond his expectations to create contacts in India. He strongly felt that India now was a part of his working space and that he must return.

Since it was Martinus’ wish to continue to expand in India Gerner Larsson planned for a new trip. His financial means were very small and there was a lack of books in English. Martinus’ Institute tried to solve this problem by making free “Contact Letters” in English. In that way the education could continue and a contact could remain with India.

In December 1958 Gerner Larsson was back in India. Many new contacts are being made and he feels that it is only a matter of time before you can read Martinus in Hindi. There are many difficulties but he is convinced that they can all be overcome through hard work. Close to a thousand Indians now receive the contact letters every month.

Gerner Larsson makes a third trip in November 1959. Martinus’ mission is steadily growing in India. “Martinus Institute of Spiritual Science – Delhi Centre” is now well established. One of the leaders of the work in India, Mr. Advani, decribes how Martinus mission has become “a tree that has struck deep roots in Indian soil and in the coming years will spread its crown over Asia”. We may smile to this now, but for Gerner Larsson it seemed credible at the time.

After a few months the hard work and the heat consumed Gerner Larsson’s strength. A smaller book in Hindi about Martinus is being planned. A long-time planning includes Gerner Larsson going back to India a fourth time. But first he must return to Denmark and continue his work for Martinus’ mission there where many important issues must be solved. Around 1960 the cold war was on everybody’s minds and never had the world been closer to a third world war. In his letters home Gerner Larsson expresses his worries that a third world war might be imminent.

In 1960 both the leaders who ran Martinus’ mission in India died unexpectedly. This was not only a personal loss to Gerner Larsson, but a huge setback for Martinus’ work in India. No one could really replace them however a younger brother to one of them did give it a try. A Hindi and an English edition of “The Ideal Food” is being prepared. In 1962 Gerner Larsson prepares for a new journey to both India and Japan, but there just is not enough money. Now it gets difficult to know what really happens with Martinus’ mission in India.

In 1965 there is a reorganization concerning the work in Denmark where Erik Gerner Larsson gets the responsibility for “Kosmos Ferieby” (Martinus Center). His task is to create an international center for Martinus’ work. There is now no possibility for him returning to Asia. As a result of hard work, his health begins to deteriorate.

In 1966 Gerner Larsson writes an interesting article where he compares Martinus’ spiritual science with other spiritual sources of knowledge and inspiration. He feels that there is a risk that Martinus analyses can become a mental prison instead of the mental liberation it is supposed to be. Martinus’ work does not aim to shut ourselves, Martinus himself was very careful not to start any sort of a cult or organization with membership, but instead he wanted to inspire everyone to be the independent unique person that he or she is, and to remain critical and questioning to his teaching. Gerner Larsson has no illusions concerning Martinus’ thoughts being spread rapidly. There will be a lot more suffering in the world with financial, military and ecological crises, before most people will have any need for the things Martinus provides. Instead it is important for the few who already now get inspired by Martinus to protect his work and let it grow slowly and try to practice its message. Our influence on other people is not so much what we say but what we do. So if we want to create a better world action and not words is what is most needed.

As far as I can understand the work in India ended in 1965. However some of the experiences from this adventure can perhaps be used today. To me it seems to be a good idea to have as many good translations as possible when you start working in a certain country.

Why then did not Martinus’ work become a success in India despite getting a good start? Bad financing, the deaths of key persons and not enough literature translated into English, are probably a part of the answer. And it seems like the old world impulse is still too strong for a new impulse to make its voice heard. In a country like the United States, or in the Middle East or India for that matter, the old religions are still very much in power. There is just no need for or like in my case, an almost desperate hunger for, new knowledge about where we come from and where we are going and what is the point of all the suffering on this planet.

There is a Danish saying: “Guds mölle maler langsomt men sikkert” (God’s windmill grinds slowly but surely). This can be a good thing to think about if you feel impatient about how Martinus’ work is spreading. In 1965 Gerner Larsson wrote: : Vort arbejde fölger en tidlös plan. Lykkelig den, der ikke alene ser dette, men også forstår det!” (Our work follows a timeless plan. Happy is he who not only sees this, but also understands it).

The famous author Paul Brunton was interested in Martinus’ work and spent a longer period of time at Martinus’ Institute in Copenhagen. He planned to write a book about Martinus which probably would have created some attention but this manuscript disappeared during a boat trip. However in 1952 Brunton wrote the preface to “Mankind and the World Picture”.

Somehow I get the feeling that Martinus was not meant to be famous within his own lifetime. Martinus has said something like this himself, and he wanted as quiet working conditions as possible. Martinus’ certainly did not want any attention for his own person. It was no coincidence that he was born in one of the most secularized countries in the world where the kind of work he did would not create much interest. Now that Martinus has left this world it is important to understand that there is no person or no center, not even Martinus Center, that has some sort of superior role in Martinus’ mission. There will be no international center that decides how Martinus will be presented to the rest of the world, although of course Martinus Institute has the important task to preserve Martinus’ writings and make good translations. We that are interested in Martinus’ Cosmology are all equal participants in this mission if we want to, and we have Martinus ‘word that we are free to do what we want with this gift called “The Third Testament” that he has given to us. Martinus said that you can take what you want from his books, and if there are things you do not like or do not understand, just let it be. We are all free in our relationship with Martinus’ Cosmology.

Source: Knud Höjgaard, “Martinus’ sags historie i Indien”.

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Karl Jørn Schmidt
Det er første gang jeg fik mere ud af at læse om Martinus tanker, ved at læse om udviklingen eller mangel af disse i denne artikel. Jeg har efterhånden fulgt med på fløjen i nu over 30 år. Jeg har undret mig over det samme som forfatteren berører i læste artiklel. Jeg ser frem til at sagen kommer mere og mere frem i “lyset” og bliver en større og større del af vores fælles fremtid til hjælp i al den religionsforvirring som hersker i øjeblikket. I øvrigt så mener jeg at alt for mange skriver alt for lange indlæg om… Læs mere ->

Hej Karl Jørn,

Godt at høre at du fik noget ud af artiklen.

Prøv evt. at kigge på spørgsmål og svar, som vi er begyndt at få fra Hans Wittendorff. De er forholdsvis korte og præcise. Du kan finde dem på Foredragene er også en god ide.