Artistic-Scientific Conference dedicated to Wanda Dynowska


Artistic-Scientific Conference dedicated to Wanda Dynowska -

(Umadevi - Enlightened Soul)    



Wanda Dynowska, outstanding figure awarded for bringing a deeper understanding of Polish culture to India and of Indian culture to Poland.

Dynowska was known as Uma Devi, the Uma godess, Luminous Soul. Born on 30th of June, 1888 in Petersburg (Russia), died on 20th of March, 1971 in Mysore (India). The Polish writer, translator, social activist, Ambassador of Polish and Indian culture, karma yoga practitioner, founder and organizer of the Polish-Indian Library. Collaborator of Józef Piłsudski and Mahatma Ghandi; the foster mother to Dalailama.

Prelegents during the Conference: Sujata Sett (movie maker), Michał Orzechowski (journalist); Ryszard Sawicki (historian), Maciej Bielawski (writer), Krzysztof Śliwiński (museum researcher), prof. Joanna Jurewicz (Indologist), dr Lech Trzcionkowski (ancient cultures lecturer), Włodzimierz Staniewski (host and initiator).  

A film "Final Destination" made by Włodzimierz Staniewski and initial parts of movie „Enlightened Soul – Wanda Dynowska” directed by Sujata Sett were presented during the conference.

Conference was held in frames of India-India 2014 Festival of Wandering Theatres in Gardzienice.


About Wanda Dynowska and the place of her burial...

I had one more aim during my journeys in India – to find the resting place of Wanda Dynowska, Enlightened Soul, as named by Mahatma Gandhi. Her dignity, her life, as if told in a heroic epos, her close relations and her collaboration with Piłsudski, Gandhi, Krishnamurti, the blessed Maharishi, Dalai Lama can easily be discovered nowadays thanks to the internet. Wanda Dynowska – eminent, beautiful Lady, outstanding mind – was gifted with unique Dharma. She was one of the greatest Poles of the XXth century. In 1935 she left for India. Sri Ramana Maharishi became her spiritual teacher. It was in his ashram near the Mountain of Flame, Arunacala, where her spiritual transformation took place. Since then all her life was a huge work for deepening and spreading the sources of spirituality. She devoted herself, as she herself wrote: “to being part of the life experiment to awaken the new, higher consciousness in human beings”. In 1969 she visited Poland just for the second time since World War II. She spent most of her time in Krakow, where she gave a series of lectures. At that time I was a student of the Jagiellonian University. People were saying that this very special figure had appeared in Kraków. Not much later, in 1971, she died in Mysore. Just before she passed away, she had sat in meditation, sitting upright, dressed as usual in a red sari, when she gave her last breath. Her Tibetan foster children took her body to their place. It was said she would be somewhere in Dekan Upland, in Karnataka, near Mysore, somewhere in Bylakuppe, which had been transformed from a primitive refugee camp co-founded by Dynowska to an ex-territorial archipelago of rich colonies. Built in the sixties as a simple bamboo chapel, it has now become a golden one, filled with the chants of thousands of monks and it is one of the biggest Buddist Temples in the whole world. A Golden Temple. On 18th of February 2012 at sunset, I walked beside Mr Dorjee, who had known the resting place of Umadevi. Her stupa is situated on the hill surrounded by trees with hanging lamaistic flags. On the horizon one can see the houses and on remote hills the picturesque woodlands. That beautiful landscape was very like our Eastern Boarderlands. Dynowska’s stupa stands on a clean yard surrounded by a white wall. It stands like a majestic Queen. .Next to it is a stupa of her foster son – the Dalai Lama. Beautifully and well cared for, with burning incense and votive figurines made by Tibetan children. Here, among the Tibetans she is remembered as Tenzin Chodon – Flame of Dharma Carrying Knowledge.

Włodzimierz Staniewski


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