Ana Aleksejevna Kamenski
1867 - 1952

   

Ana Aleksejevna Kamenski se je rodila 25. avgusta 1867 v Pavlovsku v bližini Petrograda. Njeni starši so pripadali srednje bogatemu plemstvu. Zgodnje otroštvo je preživela v Nemčiji, na Bavarskem in v Würtembergu. Od devetega do petnajstega leta je živela v Ženevi, v Švici, in se nato po maturi na srednji šoli vrnila v Petrograd, kjer je obiskovala najvišje učiteljišče za dekleta.

V tistem času je družinsko premoženje skopnelo, tako da se je morala po končanem študiju zaposliti. Poučevala je francoščino na gimnazijah in skupaj s C. L. Helmbold zasnovala osnovno šolo za otroke, ob večerih pa prostovoljno delovala v večerni šoli za delavce.

Ana Kamenski se je zelo zanimala za socialna vprašanja in se dejavno vključevala v organizacijo javne prehrane in knjižnic. Blizu ji je bil tudi boj za pravice žensk.

Ana Kamenski se je srečala s teozofijo preko Nine Gernet, svoje prijateljice iz otroških let, ki je že zgodaj postala članica Angleške Sekcije Teozofskega Društva. Leta 1902 je obiskala London in prisostvovala predavanjem Annie Besant, ob vrnitvi v Petrograd pa je nato začela s dejavnim teozofskim delom.

Ana Kamenska je predavala in organizirala v krožke ljudi, ki so se zanimali za teozofijo. Tako je bilo leta 1909 (po nekaterih virih 1908, op.p.) vzpostavljeno Rusko Teozofsko Društvo, s sedežem v Petrogradu in z Ano kot predsednico društva in krožka v Petrogradu.

Ana je skoraj vsako leto prepotovala Rusijo, predavala in obiskovala, ne le tista mesta, v katerih so bili krožki, ampak tudi tista, kjer je obstajalo zanimanje za njena predavanja. Obenem je ostala povezana z mednarodnim Teozofskim Društvom in se redno udeleževala kongresov.

Eno od teh predavanj, “Kaj je teozofija”, je bilo objavljeno kot drobna knjižica, v kateri so bili temelji teozofije predstavljeni v preprosti, jasni in resni obliki.

Čeprav se je delovanje T. D. začelo odvijati šele po letu 1905, ko je bila v Rusiji uradno vzpostavljena svoboda govora in zbiranja, pa vlada ni z odobravanjem gledala na ta javna predavanja.

Leta 1910 ali 1911 je javni tožilec obtožil Ano bogoskrunstva, ker je v enem od javnih predavanj na podlagi zgodovinskih dejstev podvomila v svetost Konstantina Velikega. Na sodnem procesu je bila Ana v celoti oproščena obtožb. V osnovi je šlo za poskus, s katerim je vlada poskušala očrniti ugled T. D. v očeh ruske javnosti.

Z začetkom delovanja ruskega T. D. je Ana kamenski še razširila svojo dejavnost. Začela je izdajati revijo “Vestnik Teosofii” (Teozofski Vestnik), ki je izjahala desetkrat v letu in je bila obsežna in resna revija, z okoli 100 ali več stranmi, na katerih je objavljala tako izvirne kot prevedene članke. Sama je pisala uvodnike in večinoma zapolnjevala tudi naslednje rubrike “Na braniku”, ter “Teozofsko kroniko”, “Bibliografijo” in “Duhovno iskanje”.

Leta 1916 sta odšli Ana in njena sestra Margerita Aleksejevna Kamenski (v začetku 1880-tih generalna sekretarka Nemške Sekcije T. D.) v Adyar, kjer je Ana živela več kot leto dni. Ob delu se je posvetila preučevanju sanskrtskih rokopisov, katerega rezultat je bil izvrsten prevod Bhagavad Gite, ki ga je, navkljub zelo abstraktni vsebini, zapisala v dokaj preprostem in jasnem jeziku.

Takoj po oktobrski revoluciji boljševiki niso posvečali veliko pozornosti društvom, ki niso bila političnega značaja, toda po letu 1921 so se odločili, da bodo ukinili vsa “buržoazna združenja” in najprej obračunali z njihovimi voditelji. Toda še preden je prišlo do načrtovane aretacije, je Ana Kamenski in C. Helmbold uspelo pobegniti na Finsko. Na željo Annie Besant sta se nastanili v Ženevi, ker je bila tedaj Švicarska Sekcija Teozofskega Društva v težavah, tako da sta uspeli oživiti in uskladiti delo te Sekcije.

Ana je začela prejemati pisma ruskih prebežnikov s celega sveta ter hitro pomagala organizirati delo skupin v izgnanstvu. Tako je med drugimi začela delovati tudi loža “Jaroslav Mudri” v Beogradu. Tako je do leta 1925 vzpostavilo stik z Ano Kamenski že sedem lož izven Rusije, ki so se želele pridružiti teozofskemu društvu v Adyarju.

Ana Kamenski je predlagala oblikovanje “Ruskega Teozofskega Društva izven Rusije”, na osnovi obstoja sedmih lož, ki so bile razpršene po svetu. Ker je bilo takrat Rusko Teozofsko Društvo že ukinjeno, je bilo pomembno, da se rusko teozofsko gibanje ohrani vsaj v tujini, ker bi to omogočalo nadaljevanje teozofskega dela v skladu z rusko tradicijo ter pripravo novih teozofskih delavcev.

Predsednica T. D., dr. A. Besant, je podprla predlog in Generalni Svet je sprejel enoglasno odločitev o izdaji Charterja “R. T. D. izven Rusije”.

Ana je z vzpostavitvijo “Ruskega Teozofskega Društva izven Rusije” obnovila tudi založniško dejavnost. V obliki drobnih brošur je začela izhajati revija "Sel", s prejeto finančno pomočjo pa je bila obnovljena založniška hiša. Pri tem delu je s svojimi izvrstnimi prevodi zelo pomagala J. Pisareva. Natisnjenih je bilo okoli 20 knjig.

Leta 1926 je Ana Kamenski prejela za svoj prevod Bhagavad Gite iz sanskrta v francoščino doktorski naziv na univerzi v Ženevi. Odtlej je na tej univerzi, tja do leta 1950, predavala primerjalno religijo; nato pa ji je bila dodeljena še katedra za estetiko.

Ob koncu druge svetovne vojne je Generalni Svet zahteval od Ane vrnitev Charterja “Ruskega Teozofskega Društva izven Rusije” ter ruskim teozofom predlagal pridružitev k nacionalnim sekcijam T. D.

Po vojni je Ana prejemala iz taborišč v Nemčiji in Avstriji številna pisma po pomoči in navkljub visoki starosti in delu na univerzi je uspela nanje odgovoriti in pomagati, da so ljudje našli svoje sorodnike. Pomoči potrebnim je pošiljala pakete s hrano. Njena pisma so odsevala srčno ljubezen in toplino, tako da so jo vsi naravno sprejemali kot skupno mater. V svojih težavah so se ljudje obračali nanjo in vedno prejeli takojšen in moder nasvet.

Ana je bila dejavno vključena v delo Švicarske Sekcije in bila predsednica lože “Paix de Lumiere”. Napisala pa je tudi niz del v francoščini ter redno pisala za revijo “The Theosophist”.

Med kratkotrajno boleznijo je navkljub zdravnikovi prepovedi nadaljevala z delom, saj ni nikoli posebej skrbela za svoje zdravje, vendar pa je 23. junija 1952 v spanju zapustila fizično raven. Bila je stara skoraj 85 let.

Njeno življenje je bilo polno služenja drugim, življenje, ki je utelešalo teozofske ideale.

Povzeto in prevedeno po: Biography of Anna Kamensky.

Anna Alexeyevna Kamenskaya was born August 25th 1867 in Pavlovsk near St. Petersburg. Her parents were of nobility of middle wealth, and she passed her early childhood in Germany (in Bawarien and Würtemberg), later from 9 to 15 years she lived in Geneva, Switzerland, and after graduating the school she returned to Petersburg. There she was a student of Highest Women College.

The well-being of her parents was undermined in that time and after graduating the College she had to work. She taught French language in the gymnasiums. Simultaneously with C. L. Helmbold she started the primary school for children. In the evening they worked in free adult school in workers block.

Anna interested much in social issues and took active participation in organization of soup kitchens and people’s libraries. The women rights cause also was dear to her.

Anna got her acquaintance with theosophy through Nina Gernet who was a friend of her childhood, and was remotely accepted to English Section of the Theosophical Society. In 1902 she visited London and attended lectures of Annie Besant. On her return to Petersburg she began an active theosophical work.

Anna Kamenskaya lectured and organized the circles for people interesting in theosophy, and in 1909 (Other sources say 1908. - Translator note.) Russian Theosophical Society was started. Anna was elected a president. Headquarters was in Petersburg and Anna was a president of the Petersburg branch too.

Almost every year Anna made lecturing tours over Russia, visiting not only those cities which had branches but several other cities where lecturing was possible. She didn’t loose touch with International T.S. and regularly visited theosophical congresses.

One of those lectures, “What is Theosophy”, was published. It was a small booklet in which the basics of theosophy were laid out in simple, clear and serious form.

Though activity of Russian Theosophical Society began after 1905, when the freedom of speech and meetings were officially permitted in Russia, the government was not very friendly disposed to the public lectures.

In 1910 or 1911 the prosecutor accused Anna in sacrilege, for in one of her public lectures she expressed the doubt that the emperor Constantin the Great was saint, because the facts of history said the reverse. The court process took place in which Anna was thoroughly vindicated. It was a governmental attempt to discredit T.S. in the eyes of the Russian public.

After R.T.S. was opened Anna widened her activity. She started the magazine “Vestnik Teosofii” (Messenger of Theosophy) which was issued 10 times a year. It was voluminous and serious magazine, around 100 or more pages, which printed the original and translated articles. She always wrote an editorial “On the watch-post”; on the most part she also lead the sections “Theosophical chronicle”, “Bibliography” and “Spiritual search”.

In 1916 Anna Kamenskaya and her sister Margarita Alexeyevna Kamenskaya (In beginning of 1880’s M. Kamenskaya was General Secretary of German Section of T.S.) came to Adyar where Anna lived more than a year. Besides personal work she studied Sanskrit manuscripts, what resulted in her excellent translation of Bhagavad Gita. She succeeded to lay it down by simple and clear language, in spite of the very abstract content.

Just after October Revolution Bolsheviks didn’t pay much attention to the societies which had no political nature. But in 1921 they decided to put the end to all “bourgeois leagues” and first to repress their leaders. But not long before the planned arrest Anna Kamenskaya and C. Helmbold succeeded to cross the border to Finland. According to desire of A. Besant they settled in Geneva. The Swiss Section of the T.S. experienced some problems in that time, and they succeeded to revive and harmonize work of the Section.

Anna began to receive letters from the Russian refugees from all around the world, and soon through her intermediary help entire groups were organized. One of them was “Yaroslav Mudry” (Yaroslav the Wise) in Belgrad. In 1925 there were already 7 Russian lodges outside Russia, which were in contact with Kamenskaya and willing to join Adyar.

Anna proposed a formation of “R.T.S outside Russia” on the basis of the 7 lodges scattered over the world. T.S. in Russia was already closed up to that time, and it was important to preserve the Russian theosophical movement abroad. It enabled to continue the theosophical work according the traditions worked out in Russia and prepare new theosophical workers.

President of T.S. Dr. Annie Besant supported her proposal and the General Council unanimously chartered “R.T.S outside Russia”.

From the time of organization of “R.T.S. outside Russia” Anna has renewed publishing activity. The “Messenger” began being published in the form of the small brochures. With the received financial help the publishing house was renewed. E. Pisareva helped very much by her excellent translations. They printed around 20 books.

In 1926 Anna received the doctor degree in University of Geneva for her translation of Bhagavad Gita from Sanskrit to French. Since then till 1950 she lectured in that university about comparative religion; later she received the second chair for aesthetics.

To the end of WW II the General Council requested Anna to return the charter for “R.T.S outside Russia” and proposed to the Russian theosophists to join the local national sections of T.S.

When the war was over, the countess letters flew to Anna from camps of Germany and Austria. In spite of her old age and the work in two university chairs she succeeded to answer them all quickly. Through her the people found each other. When she got known that someone is in need, she formed a food parcel. Her letters shone by such love and warmth of hearth, that everyone naturally considered her a common mother.

Anna took active part in the work of the Swiss Section and was the president of lodge “Paix de Lumiere”. She wrote a series of works in French and also regularly wrote for “The Theosophist”.

During her short decease she continued to work in spite that the doctors prohibited her to strain herself; she never cared much about her health. 23 June 1952, in sleep, she left the physical plane. She was almost 85 years old.

It was the life full of service to others, the life which embodied theosophical ideals.

Excerpts from: Biography of Anna Kamensky.

Njena dela in internetni viri

Her works and online resources

Zgodovina Ruskega Teozofskega društva
Kratko poročilo o izkušnjah Ane Kamenski na Bledu.

History of the Russian Theosophical Society
Short report about Anna Kamensky's experiences at Bled.

Knjige:
Svoboda zavesti
Vprašanja vzgoje v zvezi z nalogami duhovne kulture
Naloge Teozofije
Teozofija in podoba Boga
Oris zgodovine Buddhizma
Nevidni svet in okultizem
Kaj je teozofija?

Mnogi prevodi angleških besedil v ruščino (še posebej dela Annie Besant in nekateri deli Tajnega Nauka).
Najbolj znan: Bhagavad Gita.

Članki:
Lepota v luči teozofije
V Annie Besant se spajata vzhod in zahod
Velika Noč v sveti Rusiji
Iz teozofovega dnevnika
Od HPB-jine sonarodnjakinje
Iz somraka v zoro
Teozofski center v Ženevi
Veličina in lepota
V poklon dr. Arundaleu
Kako človek postane teozof?
HP Blavatsky kot novinarka
Ideali miru in bratstva
V vrtovih Mojstrov (1), (2)
V spomin na Barbaro Puškino
Ali obstaja Nova Teozofija?
Nova umetnost v Rusiji
Nini de Gernet - v spomin
Naša mati predsednica
O Adyar, bodi vedno z nami!
Mir ali nevihta?
Ritem v človeku
Ritem v vesolju
Ruske čestitke za oktober
Rusija in ruska teozofija
Znamenja časa
Usoda Evrope
Temeljna teozofska učenja
Srce Adyarja
Poslanstvo Teozofskega društva
Glasba v prihodnosti
Noč
Teozofija in religija
Problem miru
Ritem višjega življenja
Ruski člani izven Rusije
Rusko gibanje
Evropski samaritan
Znanost religije
Duhovne sile miru
Teozofsko polje
Univerzalna skrivnost
Yoga lepote
Delo za Teozofsko društvo
Delo v Ženevi
Delo v Ženevi za mir

Books:
Freedom of Conscience
Issues of Upbringing in Con. with the Tasks of Spiritual Culture
Tasks of Theosophy
Theosophy and God-building
Outline of History of Buddhism
Unseen World and Occultism
What is Theosophy?

Many translations of English texts in Russian (especially works of Annie Besant and some part of The Secret Doctrine).
Most known: Bhagavad Gita

Articles:
Beauty in the Light of Theosophy
East and West Meet in Annie Besant
Easter in Holy Russia
From a Diary of a Theosophist
From HPB’s Countrywoman
From Twilight to Dawn
Geneva Theosophical Centre
Greatness & Beauty
Homage to Dr. Arundale
How one Becomes a Theosophist?
HP Blavatsky as Journalist
Ideals of Peace and Brotherhood
In Masters’ Gardens (1), (2)
In Memory of Barbara Poushkine
Is there a New Theosophy?
New Art in Russia
Nina de Gernet - obituary
Our Mother President
O Adyar, Be Always with us!
Peace or Storm?
Rhytm in Man
Rhytm in the Cosmos
Russian Greeting for October
Russia and Russian Theosophy
Signs of Times
The Destiny of Europe
The Fundamental Teachings of Theosophy
The Heart of Adyar
The Mission of the TS
The Music in the Future
The Night
Theosophy and Religion
The Problem of Peace
The Rhytm of the Higher Life
The Russian Members outside Russia
The Russian Movement
The Samaritan of Europe
The Science of Religion
The Spiritual Forces of Peace
The Theosophical Field
The Universal Mystery
The Yoga of Beauty
Work for the Theosophical Society
Work in Geneva
Work in Geneva for Peace


Pripravil: Anton Rozman