Wednesday, Dec 07, 2022
×
Outlook.com
×

To Live On The Earth While Touching The Sky: An Ode To Nicholas And Helena Roerich

To Live On The Earth While Touching The Sky: An Ode To Nicholas And Helena Roerich

Influential Russian painter Nicholas Roerich and his family managed to penetrate into the depth of Indian spiritual life and become co-workers with the 'Spiritual Teachers', 'Sages' and 'Mahatmas' of India, as they are known in the West.

The majestic Himalayas as seen through the eyes of Russian painter Nicholas Roerich
The majestic Himalayas as seen through the eyes of Russian painter Nicholas Roerich

In October 2019, on Nicholas Roerich’s birthday, monuments of the great Russian artist, scientist and thinker and his wife Helena Roerich were installed in the International Roerich Memorial Trust in Naggar, Himachal Pradesh. They were installed under the branchy deodar opposite an old house which in the 20th century became known as “karma bhumi” for the Roerichs - the field for creative and spiritual fulfilments.

As we know, the Roerichs managed to penetrate into the depth of Indian spiritual life and become co-workers with the Spiritual Teachers, Sages, Mahatmas – the titles they are given in the East. They are the personalities, who, according to Svetoslav Roerich, “have already passed through the great and majestic path of self-liberation”, 'Higher Beings' standing on the higher steps of cosmic evolution.

The spiritual association of Helena and Nicholas Roerich with the Teachers started a long time ago before the real encounter. The signs, indicating the Higher Presence, slight touches, some words breaking through the Cosmos – all these were defined by the artist in one word as “the Call”. In 1926 in one of his letters, he wrote: “I make a deep bow to Indian Teachers. They brought true creativity, spiritual joy and meaningful silence into the chaos of our lives. They called to us in times of dire need. Their call was calm, persuasive, and full of wisdom.” (1) 

The co-work with the Great Masters started in 1920 in London and continued here, in the Kullu valley. In a small study on the first floor of the house, Helena Roerich worked on the books of the Living Ethics, or Agni-yoga – the philosophy of 'Cosmic Reality', which is very closely connected with the ideas of ancient India. The books spoke about the cosmic evolution of man and its details, about the existence of the worlds of other types of matter and other types of energies, other dimensions. According to the Living Ethics, besides our gross physical world there is the Subtle World, and then the Fiery World, the world of the radiant matter. The man is compiled of those three worlds. The man encloses the cosmic energies. And the Cosmos, in its turn, is a spiritualised system where the Spirit presents one of the Nature powers.

The work at the Teaching of the Living Ethics required great efforts from Helena Roerich. The Teachers’ messages came to her not only in words but in mental images. She compiled and systematized them to reveal the Higher Worlds, the Cosmic Hierarchs, and the Cosmic Laws to the people. Helena made the writings and Nicholas embodied those ideas and images in his beautiful paintings, calling them “the artistic commentaries” to the Living Ethics.
Sometimes Helena also drew what she saw. In one of the museum expositions in the IRMT, you can see the reproductions of the graphic drawings by Helena Roerich from the funds of the International Centre of the Roerichs (Moscow), witnessing the conscious contact of Helena with the worlds of higher matter.

In this amazing Russian woman, the heavenly and the earthly merged in great harmony. She was a highly-educated person, a writer, and a public figure while remaining a loving wife and a caring mother. But at the same time, she was an outstanding philosopher and co-worker with the Higher Powers – that’s how elevated was her spiritual talent. The Mahatmas called her “The Mother of Agni-Yoga”, but not only for her cooperation in creating the books of the Living Ethics.

In hard conditions of the physical world, the Cosmic Hierarchs were forming the fiery energy of Helena Roerich. It was a cosmic experiment necessary for preparation of the new evolution step. It gave the opportunity to bring down higher energies to the Earth, to transform gross matter of the physical world making it more subtle and raising its energy potential. The Teacher called this process, “To touch the Sky on the Earth.” (2) It was Helena Roerich who accepted the earthly burden of this experiment.

The vibrations of cosmic energies caused the ignition of her opened centres. Sometimes acute pain pierced her heart. But in spite of these sufferings, she was watching all the happening processes as a researcher, writing down the details of everything that was occurring to her. She named her writings “the fiery experience”. In due course of time, those writings will provide priceless information for science, it will be important for studying evolution processes. “On your planet, We have Our entrusted one, who has drained the chalice of sublime experiments,” it is said in one of the books of the Living Ethics. “She is sent to you as a witness of cosmic manifestation, as a bearer of My missions, as your prophetess of the future.” (3)

...The spiritual and creative heritage left by Helena Roerich and by those who was near her is fathomless. With its scientific and artistic discoveries it is headed into the Future, into that bright and fair New World, for the sake of which the great Russian woman was working so hard. “Her life was shinning like a live luminaire,” Helena Roerich’s sons wrote, “establishing with its example the existence of a beautiful world, comprehension of which will lead the humanity to new achievements, new discoveries.” (4)

Citations:
1. Shaposhnikova L.V. Scholar, Thinker, Artist. Moscow: International Centre of the Roerichs, 2018. P. 33.
2. Рерих Е.И. Огненный опыт//Рерих Е.И. У порога Нового Мира. International Centre of the Roerichs, 2000. P.320
3. Infinity. 1930. 5. International Roerich Memorial Trust, Naggar, H.P. and Himalayan Institute of Goodwill and Living Ethics, Crookety House, Kalimpong, WB, India. Copyright, Agni Yoga Society, Inc. New York, USA.
4. Unforgettable Image. S. Roerich’s archive //https://www.en.icr.su/family/hir/index.php

(Larisa V. Surgina is a Russian curator on deputation from the International Centre of the Roerichs, Moscow. She is working with the International Roerich Memorial Trust, Naggar, Dist. Kullu, HP. Views expressed are personal)

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement