Master’s Day in IRMT
Planting spring flowers of brilliant colours at Nicholas Roerich’s Samadhi has become a good tradition for the Trust. An area improvement project has been completed around Svetoslav Roerich’s summer art studio, outside the Roerichs’ house, at the main gate and outside the Urusvati Himalayan Research Institute.
The staff of the Trust worked devotedly to collect dried leaves and grass for compost, making way for the fresh green shoots. They put their hearts into planting primroses, marigolds, fuchsias (dancing ladies) and geraniums, bringing in the good energies of purity and beauty to the area, welcoming the spring transformation of the Roerichs’ estate and rejoicing in cheerful labour. They spent the short breaks in conversation on how important it is to create beauty not only in the Roerichs’ estate, but also in and around Naggar.
The Indian and Russian staff of the International Roerich Memorial Trust joined in a work party to celebrate the bright holiday of 24 March, the Master’s Day.
24 March 1920 was the day when Helena Roerich first met the Great Indian Spiritual Master and wrote the first lines of the Living Ethics, or Agni-Yoga, a spiritual teaching that draws on the ancient wisdom of India and uses modern language to talk about Cosmic Laws, the evolution of humanity and the responsibility of each human being for the fate of our planet. “The day the Living Ethics was born and the Master’s Day are inextricably linked as an integral and inseparable whole”, said Ludmila Shaposhnikova, a scientist, writer and a noted Roerichs scholar, “the Great Master created the living bridge that connected the consciousness of the Hierarch of our planet with the humanity of the Earth. The Roerichs were the bridge”.
The image of the Master is represented on the middle panel of Nicholas Roerich’s Fiat Rex! (‘Long Live the King!’) triptych, a full-scale reproduction of which was done on canvas by the International Centre of the Roerichs (Moscow) with the support of the Russian Embassy in India and given to the International Roerich Memorial Trust three years ago, and which can now be found in the same veranda room – just where it was in the 1930s-1940s.
Helena Roerich kept record of the Master’s messages throughout the Central Asian expedition of the Roerichs, after which the elevated discussion and the work on the Living Ethics continued in the Kullu Valley in the Himalayas where the family settled late in 1928. The Master’s armchair is carefully stored in the veranda room in the first floor of the Roerich Memorial House. “Today is the 13th, we received your telegram”, wrote Helena Roerich in one of her letters to her husband and the elder son, “I rose at five in the morning after a sleepless night, I went to the veranda room, stood at the M[aster]’s chair and went back to my room…”
“In different countries <…>,” Helena and Nicholas Roerich wrote in 1938, “may the friends join on 24 March in a cordial conversation and feel all of the soul’s warmth, light up with the best lights and praise the One who is invisibly present among us and knows all the innermost recesses of our hearts. Let us be together, in our good thoughts, and we shall know that even if one is sad today, tomorrow there will be joy. Let us call, with all the power of our spirit, so that it will come, this lucent joy, that lights the way of kindness and labour. The Himalayas send their warmest greetings.”