RITAM, a Russian poet and writaer and translator and photo artist.
Born as Dmitrii Melgunov in Gatchina, Leningrad (now St-Petersburg) reg., USSR in 1969, he was educated first at a School of Arts of Gatchina and then at Baltic State Technical University of St-Petersburg as missile technology engineer. But in 1990 he came to know about Sri Aurobindo’s message and vision and was so greatly inspired by his spiritual wisdom and his unearthly poetry that turned his entire life towards studies of the spirituality and the works of the great Guru, his grand epic Savitri par excellence. Gradually in the course of these intensive studies the mantric force of Sri Aurobindo’s God-inspired poetry converted him into a translator, a writer and a poet. As he has written in one of his poems,
Touching his heart with His mighty beam,
The Lord a poet awakened in him
An dropped so many a poem star
From the distant heaven to his praying jar…
More than 30 books from Sri Aurobindo’s writings have been published to date in his Russian translation, including two volumes of the four volume set of full poetical translation of Savitri; fundamental translation of some parts of Savitri with extensive research materials and commentaries; Rishi; Selected Sonnets and Poems; Selected Plays; The Synthesis of Yoga, Part I (published by an editorial group of the Russian State Academy of Science); various compilations on the subjects of Yoga. He was the editor of several volumes of Sri Aurobindo’s Collected Works in Russian like The Upanishads, the Foundations of Indian Culture, The Glossary of Terms in Sri Aurobindo’s Writings and some other works. He has translated the well-known book Beyond Man on Sri Aurobindo and the Mother by their Flemish disciple George van Vrekhem; was a co-editor of Sadhana magazine of Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga published in Russia in the 1990s; edited some other translations from Sri Aurobindo’s and the Mother’s works. His own poems in Russian and in English have been published in various magazines and books in Russia and India as well as in some other countries.
Since 1995 he often visits India staying mostly at Sri Aurobindo Ashram (Pondicherry) where he has great honour to study Sri Aurobindo’s legacy and vision with close disciples of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother with many of whom (including legendary Nirodbaran and Amal Kiran) he has developed a cordial relation. It is in the Ashram that he received his spiritual Vedic name Ritam which means dynamic truth. He feels India to be his second Motherland. For a few years he also participated in the work of Auroville International Association. For around two decades he is also involved into educational activities giving various lectures and talks on the subjects of Sri Aurobindo’s poetry and Yoga in different cities of Russia and of former USSR countries and sometimes in India. For the last few years he also conducts advanced studies of Sri Aurobindo’s epic Savitri for the Russian-speaking audience via internet.
Simultaneously since the early 1990s he has been developing his skills in computer art and design, especially in the book design. The majority of Sri Aurobindo’s and the Mother’s Russian translations has been published in his design, as well as some of their books in India. He participated in some computer art projects. For last 6 years he has been studying deeply and intensively photography as a visual art and has become a professional photo artist. His main subjects are photography of Nature and Culture and People of various countries, first of all Russia and India, as well as art photography. Often he enriches his photos composing poems that express in poetical language the message of his images. His special theme is photography of the Himalayas. He held his personal exhibitions in many respected centers of various cities of Russia, including the Roerich Museum of Moscow, the Darwin Museum of Moscow, as well as in India, including Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Delhi, Aurovalley Ashram in Rishikesh, the Russian Center of Science and Culture of Chennai by the Russian Consulate in the South India, and in some other countries like in the Indian Cultural Center by the Embassy of India in Tashkent and in the Russian Cultural Center by the Embassy of Russia in Tashkent (Uzbekistan).
My photo-poetic site:
Happy to share with you the fruits of this spiritual inspiration!
I’m only a butterfly free and light
From Your garden-worlds of Bliss
Who leaving Your starry bloom’s delight
Swooped down to the earth’s dim kiss —
Swooped down into Night from your golden Day
Swift-borne by the gold-bright winds
That sweep all the hellish vaults away —
Swift-borne by Your Love’s wide wings
To kindle the dark with the song of gold —
The verse of the Godhead’s flame
That calls all the hearts to the new Day’s world,
Our souls’ ever-calling aim —
Our souls’ eternal home of Light
Where all the sleep and weep end,
Where never can come any pain or night
In Bliss where we ever wend —
In Bliss where we’ll find ourselves again
In Your golden Hymn’s sun-glow,
Again our freedom-wings regain
To soar, to embrace, to love…
We’re all only butterflies free and bold —
Swift-borne by Your Dream’s high song
We wing to Your garden-worlds of gold
Where You wait for us so long!.