The Church of the Divine Earth

Romuva - Movement

Romuva movement

Romuva movement started its activities in 1967, was suppressed by the Soviets in 1971 and is tolerated since 1988, although attempts to restore Baltic Romuva’s religion started in XIX century.

During 60–70th of XX century emerged interest in the indigenous culture, especially pagan tradition. Many folklore song groups were formed.

The name “Romuva” were chosen in honor of the famous Baltic Prussian sanctuary Romuva, Sources from the 14th century state that in the center of Baltic lands (today Kaliningrad region), there existed Romuva sanctuary, which was revered by all Baltic nations, the eternal fire burning there spread her light and peace throughout the entire Baltic coast and even further.

Romuva’s philosophy’s central idea is the sacredness of Nature, which is based on Baltic beliefs and ethnic folkloric tradition. Christianity was half accepted only in 18th-19th century. For this reason Lithuanian folklore, beliefs and customs retained the pre-Christian features to high degree even to this day. Lithuanian Baltic folklore, especially the mythological dainas, legends and the traditional way-of-life, is the basis of Lithuanian Baltic religion, Such traditional our attitudes correspond very well with the contemporal ecological and spiritual ideas. Eternity of Life, holiness of Earth and Nature, aspiration for Darna (harmony)  - some of our ideas.

Looking into folk traditions and art - we can see the true essence of the Goddess. The return of the ancient Goddess is unavoidable, it is demanded by nature and peoples’ conscious disposition. We begin to understand that we are the children of one Mother - people, animals, trees, plants, and that the Mother lives here, near us. Let us remember the words of M.Gimbutiene, "All that is alive - is a sign of the earth’s kindness. Every earth born object is full to the brim with life’s strength, granted by mother earth. Tree, flower, stone and man - all from the earth. They are all full of earth’s power, although in each, the power is of various shape and form."

After Lithuania restored its independence in 1990, the majority of previously suppressed organizations were re-established.  Romuva began to organize conferences, summer-camps and care of historical monuments and nature objects. These activities gained approval by Lithuanian public.  Lithuania Romuva embraces 20 communities and has  several thousands members. Romuva is lead by Jonas Trinkunas. He was declared in 2002.10.19 as  Krivis – highest priest of the Romuva.

The comparative linguistics revealed the kinship of the Lithuanian language with Sanskrit, the classical language of ancient India and Hinduism. The exploration of linguistic and etymological parallels led in turn to a delineation of the many mythological parallels between Lithuanian Pagan gods and the Hindu deities of ancient India. These linkages with ancient Indian civilization and religion both fortified Lithuanian national pride. As the philosopher Antanas Andrijauskas comments, “Lithuanians were encouraged to take a deeper interest in the countries of the East not only by the growing ideology of national rebirth but also by widespread theories about the origin of the Lithuanian nation in India and about the closeness of Lithuanian to Sanskrit.

People are joining Romuva community, because they recognize the natural essence of its religious world-view. The Romuva communities can help people rediscover forgotten or suppressed traditions. Within these communities it is possible to combine the worship of nature with rituals of christenings, weddings, burials and calendar feasts. In Romuva summer camp pagans from other countries are also present.

At this time, the religious community of the ancient Baltic faith consists of 20 chapters. The community publishes a journal of Baltic culture, Romuva. The modern rebirth of the Baltic religion of Romuva has been described by Jonas Trinkūnas in his books Baltic Faith (2000), Words for Our Gods and Goddesses (2007), and The Way of the Ancient Lithuanian Religion (2009). Romuva is represented by the ritualistic folklore music group Kūlgrinda, which over the past few years has recorded and released several albums of ritual music: Rites of Fire, Hymns to Perkūnas, Sotvaras, Hymns of the Prussians, Hymns to the Sun, and Hymns to Grand Duke Gediminas.

Romuva celebrates its festivals and rites mostly in the countryside, in the nature. Today in Lithuania there are quite many holy places and temples of Romuva. Several of them could be mentioned:

The Country House of Mr. Jonas Vaiškūnas, Molėtai Ethnocosmological Centre (+370-682 14 559)

The Country House of Mr. Jonas Trinkūnas, Dvarciškiai village (Švenčionių district) +370-676 43 430)

The Country House of Mr. Janis Lopeta,  Žagarinė village (Zarasų district)  (+370-680 314 73)

Logo - Sacred Serpent Krivis Jonas Trinkunas

© Lietuvos - Indijos forumas 2011