#RILA is an annual expedition of students to Rila Monastery, which includes several disciplines – Medieval Bulgarian Literature, Medieval Bulgarian Language, Anthropology, Architecture, Photography etc. The main purposes of this research is develop and expand knowledge, to analyze the students, who visit the monastery for the first time and to make an innovative international presentation for the cultural monument through thematic assignments with creative thinking, which will be uploaded here and translated in a number of languages. Sponsor of this project is the National Assembly of the Students’ Councils of Bulgaria.
#RILA is nominated for an annual prize at the BAIT Awards 2014 by the Bulgarian Association of Information Technologies. In 2015, it represents Bulgaria at European contests for projects connected to cultural heritage and student works. The expedition is on the list with initiatives that the organizers won 2nd Place on the National Award of Enlightenment 2016, under the patronage of the Minister of Education and Science of Bulgaria. In 2017 Project #RILA 2014-2017 was qualified for “Best Project 2017” on the Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition, created on the UNESCO’s Global Action Programme on Education.
TRANSLATOR: VENERA DIMITROVA
For Rila with love
I wanted simply to write a verse,
but a revelation was obtained,
I wanted to describe the beautiful forest,
Silence, lack of tension,
sparkling mountain stream,
the flow of inspiration.
This is what I found in Rila,
I found it among her hugs.
I now describe with passion
it is forested, virgin and dense.
Traveler, listen to my voice
and repeat my steps.
Drink some water from the forest spring,
to forget about human anxieties,
beneath the shadow of the eternal trees
stop and listen …
Listen how the birds sing,
and how the bees buzz.
Lie down on the grass,
feel the dew on it.
Then intoxicated by the beauty,
you will return to your home – the land,
you will sink into the bowels of the earth,
from everyday city bothers you will hide,
your senses will awake,
and you will rediscover again yourself.
And you will not want to go back
to the vanity of the big city
and the world of care.
You will realize that Heaven is on Earth,
It is here – in the mountains.
A dream will be born in you –
stay forever in this nature’s temple.
Because every bird in Rila flies voluntarily
and every roe deer jumps freely.
In Rila, you feel reborn,
with a will to live
and toward the heavens upward you are pointed.
Passenger, believe me,
It can not be compared with anything,
even for just a day
the contact with Rila is UNIQUE.
Rila, Rila, you are super, great,
You are eternal, hear the echo.
Green nature, beautiful nature,
Loved nature, wild nature.
Rilski, the monastery he has created,
and then a hermit he has become.
Rilski, the cave he has built,
and his spirit has rejuvenated.
Rila, Rila, you are so kind,
Rila, we will come to you.
The monastery will be visited
and to the cave we will arrive.
Rilski, the monastery, the cave,
This is Rila – so holy.
Hello, Rila! You came to me, strange, dear.
I touched you and your nature gentle.
I felt you so luscious, young.
I dream to see you again frosted.
You had saved your spirit,
the memory of the saint does not remain in the shadows.
With his help, everyone is saved,
as soon as he overcomes the eternal slopes.
Born in a small village, named Skrino.
He grew up in the woods. Under the sky blue
he was feeding the sheep, but he was not happy.
God had given him another role.
“Social life is full of malice –
heavy load that man brings to the grave.
A life full of grief, and the death finally
delivers the man and throws him in paradise.
A life with obscurity purpose, with a hidden lesson.
“Knock and the door will be opened to you ” –
the wise Matthew once said –
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged!”.
The court is one and there is no salvation
for the sinner who has committed a fall.
Peace and calmness his conscience does not know
until he does not repent of the sin.
Because to reach the Heaven kingdom
for the wrong man is not easy at all.
He must leave a home, a native hearth
and follow God’s will.
In this sinful world, full of lies,
we must save our souls.
So, filled with sadness and anxiety,
he decided that he should worship God.
“Somewhere in the woods, in the Rila desert,
somewhere far I have to go.
I do not enjoy the life of a shepherd.
I want to escape from treacherous peace.
God lead me as I lead
the flock of sheep, and through the woods I wandered
to take him to the place where
the river is clear, the sky is bright.
And the lush meadows to the horizon
stretches in the morning illuminated in bright light …
I have to look for peace and silence,
to cure my soul.
And to live in peace I must, I know,
To dedicate myself to fasting and to pray.
And as a hermit, to seek paradise.
Where to go, I do not know.
I have to escape from the world cruel,
somewhere to the mountain to find God!”
With these words, he said goodbye to his house …
He traveled many days and many nights
on paths hidden in the dark forest.
And he reached a cave once.
“This God’s eave will be my home,
here I will pray, I will seek rest.”
And in the cave, he lived since then.
He refused the worldly goods with vow
and started serving God,
to forget every earthly anxiety.
Time has passed, the days were gone.
With his strong faith, the monk was glorified.
Different people came here
and it “was opened to anyone who knocked”.
Many souls he saved from evil,
miracles countless made the monk.
His glory reached every ear,
even for Veliki Preslav to hear.
Even King Peter himself, son of Simeon,
bowed in front of the miracle maker.
And from the distant cliff,
the king’s bow the monk welcomed.
The fruit accepted, but the gold refused
and his humility in this way showed.
And the king was glad to see this man,
the glory of which was going up far.
Years passed, time was flying.
he was happy, he left the evil behind
He gathered students, built a monastery –
the home of the monks living in peace,
left the world to find paradise
and to follow their teacher to the end …
Ivan Rilski was called this monk,
whom the devil also feared.
His wisdom generously gave,
And to his disciples he said:
“Love God, do not admire the silver,
because silver is a source of evil.
Once for the sin you repent
Your souls will lighten and you will sleep well.
For sins, I can not judge.
The one who judges is only God …
Live honestly, live faithfully
and the kingdom of heaven will accept you”.
And once he felt it was time
For this kingdom to depart
And in seclusion, thrilled with trembling,
Ivan Rilski wrote his covenant.
And when he was done, he knocked on the paradise gates …
… and they were opened for him.