The research seminar and the exhibition of Elina Abakarova
Nicholas Roerich’s jubilee celebration at the International Roerich Memorial Trust on 10 October 2014 started with opening the exhibition of paintings “The Himalayas and a magical world of heavenly dancers” by a Ukrainian painter and Indian classical dance performer Elina Abakarova.
The exhibition presents picturesque works depicting mountains, mountain passes and snowy peaks of Kullu, Leh and Ladakh, that wonderfully harmonize with the images of beautiful celestial dancers Apsaras from the proto-Indian mythology. The celestial female dancers are featured in postures of the oldest known classical dances “bharat-natyam” described in ancient manuscripts.
Elina Abakarova herself is a performer of this dance and on 9 October, on the previous day, she performed a part of it during the festive musical program on the IRMT summer stage. The dance is geometric, precise in movements, contains symbolic gestures and vivid dramatic action presenting Gods and heroes of the Ancient India.
“Through dancing I attempt to convey higher states of soul, its flight. The Indians knew the geometry of the Cosmos and human body, and the energies of their movements. The symbolism of dance gestures and movements represents spiritual truths. Through experiencing scenes and images from the history and mythology of the Ancient India, one is prompted to realize the sense of life and the inner divinity inherent in every human being” – says the painter.
The research seminar “The Roerichs’ creative heritage and its importance for the cultural development of the humankind” continued the program and became the major event of the day. The seminar organizers were the International Centre of the Roerichs (Russia), the All-Ukrainian Association of Indologists (Ukraine) and the International Roerich Memorial Trust (India). The seminar is supposed to have two stages – the second one is going be held in November 2014 in India.
The IRMT Indian Curator Mr. Ramesh Chander, the IRMT Russian Curator and the ICR staffer Mrs. Larisa Surgina as well as the ICR Executive Secretary Mr. Pavel Zhuravikhin welcomed the seminar participants. The speakers claimed that the Roerich Trust should become a research and cultural center on the highest international level. It was here that the Roerichs created the Urusvati Himalayan Research Institute having integrated metascience and science, spiritual and experimental ways of cognition. The Institute reviving is our common primary target.
“The spiritualized science based on the philosophy of the Cosmic Reality became the pinnacle of the Institute research activity” – pointed out Mr. Anatoly Lebedenko, PhD, Pedagogy and Philosophy, the Deputy Head of the United Research Center of the Cosmic Thinking Problems of the ICR, in his report “The Urusvati Himalayan Research Institute – center of a new science” co-authored with the Head of the Research Center Prof. Victor Frolov, PhD, Philosophy. The scholar stressed that now a new page of the Institute development was opened. Since 2010, the ICR in agreement with the IRMT leadership started works on reinstating the Institute scientific collections. Preventive maintenance and studies of the surviving collections are the primary steps aimed at the Urusvati Institute development. The long-term actions include creating scientific laboratory for conducting modern scientific researches, building research teams and organizing studies based on the spiritualized science methodology.
The speech of Prof. Tsering Dordje, a renowned in Himachal Pradesh scholar-buddhologist from Lahul, was particularly interesting for the audience. He said that Nicholas Roerich was a real scholar and painter. Due to his advanced spiritual level Roerich could see what others were not able to and his paintings reflected his visions. Therefore Nicholas Roerich can be truly called a Magician and a Master. The Professor talked about his meetings with George Roerich, the summer camp in Lahul where there was the summer Urusvati Institute station. He noted that lamas from Buddhist monasteries, Tibetan healers and lots of Lahul locals helped the Roerichs in their research work – non only in Lahul, but in Naggar as well.
Mr. Alexey Palkin, PhD, Law, research fellow of the Institute of Steppe of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Science, Orenburg, delivered a statement “To the question of Cosmic Laws in the Roerichs’ Teaching.” He stressed that the Roerich’s creative legacy is of the great significance for the cultural development of the humankind. The Roerichs’ Teaching is rooted in time and space, in the history of a spiritual thought and achievements of the modern physics. Referring to ancient Indian manuscripts, Zoroastrian theology, modern researches, the scholar pointed out such laws of cosmic evolution as the Single cosmic law and the law of Hierarchy.
The speech of the English painter and writer Carol Fraser was very emotional and poetic. Forty years ago Ms. Fraser first came to Naggar and was stunned by the power radiating from Nicholas Roerich paintings. Her acquaintance with the creative works of the Russian painter prompted her to embark on her own spiritual and creative path. Nicholas Roerich’s art, as Ms. Carol Fraser noted, represents the same energies that were involved in life creation. When she looks at his paintings depicting mountains she feels that Lord Shiva is still dancing above the Himalaya creating the world. Thus, the paintings have an impact on us and our souls soar up to the Higher Cosmic Realms.
The painter also emphasized that art is necessary for the comprehension of the cosmic philosophy. A disaster might occur if science is given to those who have not evolved spiritually. Intellect can only divide the world in categories, but heart is able to see the whole. Carol Fraser talked about the wonderful paints on Nicholas Roerich paintings. If your eye is lazy and you are depressed, you can’t discern the Beauty. The humankind has a very special destiny. The Teachers of Shambala now want to cooperate and unite with this physical world.
Dr. Tulsi Raman, a writer and former Secretary of the Bhalsa Academy (Department of Language and Culture, Shimla) started his speech with the following words: “We consider Nicholas Roerich being an Indian. It’s a great honor for India that the Roerich family came here and stayed here.” The writer noted that Nicholas Roerich was a friend of the eminent Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore. Owing to the wonderful relationship between these two great souls, the foundation of the Indo-Russian friendship was laid. Roerich was also close to Jawaharlal Nehru who was involved in promoting the Roerich Pact and the Banner of Peace. This great triangle – Nicholas Roerich, Rabindranath Tagore and Jawaharlal Nehru – played a major role in developing Indo-Russian relations.
Informative and interesting statements of the guests from Russia, India and England have once again testified to the timeless importance of Nicholas Roerich’s creativeness for the entire world. The international scientific seminar at the Himalayan Roerich Estate has become a perfect finale of the celebrations dedicated to the Maharishi Nicholas Roerich’s Birth Anniversary.