October 5 was a crisp and clear autumnal day in the Himalayan Roerich Estate. The rainy season had retreated and the twin peaks of Gepang earlier shrouded in mist and clouds, stood out in the clear blue of the sly in all its glory. Its snow-capped summits crown as it were the holy space near the age-old four-trunked pine next to the Roerich House where the stone images of the gods and protectors of the Kullu Valley have been assembled. On this spot, to commemorate Helena Roerich’s 61st death anniversary, the traditional shanti puja – the prayer for peace and wellbeing of the world – was conducted.
The 61st day of memory of Helena Roerich in the International Roerich Memorial Trust
Once Mt. Gepang that Helena Roerich called “M” Mountain was clearly seen from the window of her study where for 20 years in cooperation with the Spiritual Masters and Sages of the East she worked on the philosophical system of Living Ethics or Agni Yoga, the modern holistic teaching on the Cosmic evolution of mankind that has blended the traditional knowledge of the East with the discoveries of modern western science. The great laws of the Cosmos, the Higher Worlds, the Cosmic Hierarchy, the interaction between the worlds of different energy levels – all this was described by Helena Roerich in her writings and depicted by Nicholas Roerich in his splendid canvases.
Many guests from Russia and India came to pay respects to Helena Roerich in the Roerich Estate in Kullu. In the Conference Hall an interactive meeting with the crew of the Astra Art TV, Moscow, headed by the director and producer Tatyana Viner-Borsh was organized. The meeting was followed by the screening of the documentary by V. Shuvannikov Abode of Sergius: The Last Frontier dedicated to the 700th anniversary of the great Russian saint Sergius of Radonezh. In her essay titled The Banner of St. Sergius of Radinezh (1934) Helena Roerich wrote about this protector of the Russian land, “On every crossroads of history, in the time of every disaster that falls upon Russia, the ineffable power of the Venerable and the stronghold of the Russian culture founded by him, becomes the powerful bastion of spiritual forces.”
Here, in Kullu, Helena Roerich took the most active part in directing the activities of ‘Urusvati’ Himalayan Research Institute being its honourary Vice President. She actively helped in promoting the Roerich Pact and the Banner of Peace, and translated into Russian The Secret Doctrine – the outstanding work by the founder of the Theosophical Society Helena Blavatsky. She maintained extensive correspondence explaining the most profound mysteries of being, the place and role of man in the world, the interrelation of spirit and matter and the interconnection of man and the Cosmos.
She was the soul and the essential pillar of the Roerich family. In his reminiscences Svetoslav Roerich remarked that “for us and for everyone who came in close touch with her, this spiritual interaction was like a living confirmation of the highest examples of eternal truth. Her life was like a living lamp, a proof of the existence of the other, beautiful world realization of which would lead mankind to new achievements and discoveries.”
Feeling intense love for India, Helena Roerich nevertheless dreamt of returning to Russia and transfer the knowledge accumulated by her. But her dream was never to come true. In 1948, after the demise of her beloved husband Nicholas Roerich she left the Kullu valley along with her sons and moved with her elder son George to the small town of Kalimpong on the slopes of the Eastern Himalayas. Here, on October 5, 1955 her life journey ended.
The truly great can only be seen clearly from a distance. With each passing century, we can see with increasing clarity the grandeur of the moral and spiritual feats performed by St. Sergius in the name of Russia. And it will take us time to get a deeper insight into the heroic work of Helena Roerich and realize the scale of the feat she accomplished for the bright future of the world.