Changes

Jump to: navigation, search

Nicholas Roerich

6,944 bytes added, 12:38, June 10, 2008
m
rvv
{{orthodoxize}}'''Nicholas Roerich''' or '''Nikolai Konstantinovitch Rerikh''' (Николай Константинович Рерих) was a Russian painter, traveler, and esoteric writer (1874-1947) who lived in New York City, and later in India's Kulu Valley. Together with He and his wife Helena Roerich (Elena Ivanova Roerich)Rerikh, he is an 1879-1955) have become influential figure figures among Russian [[New Age]] spiritual seekers.
As a painter, Roerich is usually grouped with the Russian Symbolists. ==His best-known paintings (generally tempera on canvas or cardboard) feature old Russian churches, Himalayan landscapes, or religious scenes representing various Eastern religions. He also painted the backdrops for a number of operas, including the premier of Stravinsky's ''Sacre du printemps,'' as well as the interiors of several Russian churches. Museums of his artwork exist in New York City, Moscow, life and Naggar (Himanchal Pradesh, India), among other places.work==
The Roerichs joined the Theosophical Society in 1920, Nikolai having been exposed to Buddhism through working on a Tibeto-Mongolian temple in [[Saint Petersburg]]. As a worldwide schism developed among Theosophists over the claims of Annie Besant and the young Krishnamurtipainter, Roerich is usually grouped with the Roerichs began receiving their own revelations from the "Masters" (also Russian Symbolists. His best-known as Adepts paintings (generally tempera on canvas or Mahatmascardboard) from their Central Asian stronghold. These revelations (in feature old Russian) became churches, Himalayan landscapes, or religious scenes representing various Eastern religions. He also painted the series interiors of Agni Yoga booksseveral churches, also known as well as the Teaching backdrops for a number of Living Ethics operas, including the premier of Stravinsky's ''Sacre du printemps.'' Museums of his artwork exist in New York City, Moscow, and Naggar (Zhivaya etikaHimanchal Pradesh, Живая этикаIndia), among other places.
Between 1924 and 1928 Roerich led The Roerichs joined the Theosophical Society in 1920, Nikolai having been exposed to Buddhism through working on a U.S.Tibeto-flagged expedition through various regions Mongolian temple in Saint Petersburg. As a worldwide schism developed among Theosophists over the claims of Central Asia including Chinese Turkestan, Siberia, Mongolia, Annie Besant and Tibet. The journey is described in Roerich's travelogue ''Altai-Himalaya'' (which incidentally reports an early UFO sightingthe young Krishnamurti, over Eastern Tibet in 1926the Roerichs began receiving their own revelations from the Master "M" (for "Morya")of Theosophical lore. Also relevant "M" is his essay ''Shambhala,'' describing said to represent a paradisial Buddhist kingdom which only certain Brotherhood of Adepts headquartered in the elect may findHimalayas, whose members assist with the process of spiritual evolution.
During a secret side-visit to Moscow, Roerich "M's" revelations (ostensibly acting on in Russian) became the instructions series of his Mastersseventeen Agni Yoga books, also known as the Teaching of Living Ethics (Zhivaya etika, Живая этика) approached . These stress the Soviet authorities with perception and development of unseen spiritual potencies. Later volumes claimed a proposal to establish a new Central Asian Buddhist state. His proposal was received coldly cosmic significance for Helena (as was called the Masters' endorsement "Mother of V.I. Lenin Agni Yoga") as a Mahatma, equal to Jesus or Buddha), and the Roerichs soon felt it adviseable to flee Moscowworld savioress.
During the 1930's Between 1924 and 1928 Roerich visited Manchuria at the behest of led a U.S. Secretary -flagged expedition through various regions of Agriculture Henry WallaceCentral Asia including Chinese Turkestan, to whom he reportedly suggested adding the Great Seal of the United States Siberia, Mongolia, and Tibet. The journey is described in his travelogue ''Altai-Himalaya'' (the eye-which incidentally reports an early UFO sighting, over Eastern Tibet in-pyramid symbol1926) to the obverse of U.S. currency. Exposure of WallaceAlso relevant is his essay 's "guru letters" to Roerich (so named for their customary salutation'Shambhala, "Dear Guru...") derailed Wallaces 1948 presidential bid'' describing a paradisial Buddhist kingdom which only the elect may find.
During a secret side-visit to Moscow, Roerich was instrumental in promoting (ostensibly acting on the 1935 "Roerich Pact" among 21 American nations, which established the "Banner instructions of Peace" symbol--three red dots surrounded by his Masters) approached the Soviet authorities with a red circle, on proposal to establish a white flag--as a protection for cultural sites such as museums and librariesnew Central Asian Buddhist state, in hopes of fulfilling prophecies related to Shambhala. His proposal was received coldly (as was the Masters' endorsement of V.I.e.Lenin as a Mahatma, the signatories undertook not equal to bomb sites displaying the symbol.Jesus or Buddha) The symbol is now used primarily by Roerich groups, and the Roerichs soon felt it adviseable to flee Moscow.
During the 1930's Roerich visited Manchuria at the behest of U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Henry Wallace (later U.S. vice president, and a presidential candidate), to whom he reportedly suggested adding the Great Seal of the United States (the eye-in-pyramid symbol) to the obverse of U.S. currency. Exposure of Wallace's "guru letters" to Roerich (so named for their customary salutation, "Dear Guru...") helped to derail Wallace's political career.  Roerich was also instrumental in promoting the 1935 "Roerich Pact" among 21 American nations, which established the "Banner of Peace" symbol--three red dots surrounded by a red circle, on a white flag--as a protection for cultural sites such as museums and libraries, on analogy with the Red Cross. (I.e., the signatories undertook not to bomb sites displaying the symbol.) The symbol is now used primarily by Roerich groups. The Roerichs had two sons: George Roerich (Yuri Nikolaivitch Rerikh), a Tibetologist (1902-1960); and Svetolslav Roerich, an artist (1904-1993). ==Doctrinal differences with Orthodox Christianity== The theology of the Roerich movement is basically similar to that of the Theosophical Society (founded 1875), which presents itself as a set of doctrines revealed to [[Helena Petrovna Blavatsky]] and others, from the aforementioned Brotherhood of Adepts. These describe the spiritual evolution of the universe and humanity, in symbolic language drawn from Eastern religions as well as Western esoteric lore. Not only were the Roerichs sometime members of the Theosophical Society, but the Agni Yoga books specifically endorse Mme. Blavatsky's writings, one of which (''The Secret Doctrine'') was translated into Russian by Helena Roerich. One key difference is that of spiritual authority. Orthodoxy acknowledges a Tradition which includes the Bible along with the writings of the Church Fathers and other saints, and which continues to be available through the Church. While the Agni Yoga writings do express admiration for certain aspects of Orthodoxy (the Philokalia, Saint Sergius), these are found separated from the framework of the Church, and incorporated alongside various Eastern religious beliefs into a new superstructure. According to Agni Yoga, the Russian Church is largely corrupt, and no longer offers spiritual solace. Based on these divergent sources of authority, Agni Yoga and Orthodox Christianity propose radically different theologies. To begin with, Agni Yoga (like Theosophy) affirms the truth of reincarnation, and proposes this to have "originally" (before Origen) been taught by the Church. And where Orthodoxy affirms the centrality and uniqueness of Jesus Christ, Agni Yoga (like Theosophy before it) views Jesus merely as one member of the hierarchy of Masters or Mahatmas. Like Buddha, his putative colleague, Jesus evolved over the course of many lifetimes in order to reach his present station, which we too may ultimately attain. This viewpoint is also reflected in Nikolai's paintings, which exalt numerous Asian religious figures as well as Christ. The central emblem of the Roerich Banner of Peace--three dots within a circle--recalls a similar design used in Byzantine icons before saints' names (presumably as a symbol of the [[Trinity]]). Similar designs are also found in Central Asia, where they probably carry a Buddhist meaning. To Roerich, this made the emblem especially appropriate, since he perceived it to represent a "core of truth" at the heart of various religious traditions. However, that the Buddhist "trinity" (probably the ''Trikaya,'' the "Three Bodies" of the Buddha) is a fundamentally different concept than the Christian Trinity is widely recognized. Their use of a common symbol appears to be mere coincidence, and much the same could be said of various other perceived commonalities (other than, for example, universal moral insights). The relationship of Christianity to non-Christian religions other than Judaism is a thorny question. That non-Christian writings may reflect spiritual truth is affirmed by the Church's tradition of venerating pagan figures such as Plato, whose image is depicted on the walls of several Athonite monasteries. At least two Orthodox writers have produced sympathetic commentaries on the ''Tao Te Ching,'' on the principle that its author must have glimpsed something of divine truth. On the other hand, the Orthodox presumption is that these prefigure, anticipate, or are completed by the Gospel. The suggestion that the Gospel is incomplete, or equal in merit to the scriptures of other religions and philosophies, would be generally rejected in Orthodox circles. ==Relations with the Orthodox Church== Roerich's followers--called Rerikhovtsy ''Rerikhovtsi'' ("Roerich-ites") in Russian--resurfaced are a major component of Russia's [[New Age]] subculture, in which the Agni Yoga writings are quite influential. In some ways, the history of the Roerich groups parallels the modern history of the Russian Church. Both were suppressed or strictly controlled during Perestroikathe Communist period, and were active producers of samizdat literature. Both divided into rival groups, whose relations with one another are similarly fractious. Both saw their fortunes reverse during Perestroika (Raisa Gorbachev is said to have been a an Agni Yoga supporter), and now wrestle with the problem of Soviet-era state expropriation of property (church buildings, Roerich paintings). Today they are divided into  The post-Soviet rise of the Russian Church to political power has caused a number rupture with various sects and dissident religious groups, with which it formerly enjoyed better relations. Specifically, the Church has pushed for laws restricting the activities of fractious lineagesvarious religious groups which it views as competitors, often around competing gurusmost notably the Roman Catholic Church but also including Russian esoteric groups. Much the same viewpoint also informs the opinion of many ordinary Russians, and are who have been known for their pilgrimages to Mount Belukha in Altaiharass Roerich followers out of religious zeal. The According to Orthodox theology, "the Church" can do no wrong--therefore such actions (assuming them to be misguided) are not the work of the Church, even if led or urged on by local Orthodox clergy (as often seems to be the case). Throughout their lives, the Roerichs maintained a loose relationship with the Orthodox Church, similar to the situation of many other White Russian exiles. For example, both their sons received Orthodox baptism. Helena and Nicholas were posthumously expelled finally excommunicated from the Russian Orthodox Church in the year2000, a half-century after their deaths. While the move raises thorny jurisdictional issues--the Roerichs ended their days not in Russia but in India, whose territory falls under the authority of the [[Ecumenical Patriarch]])--the factual correctness of the Orthodox complaint (i.e., that the Roerichs promoted what amounts to a different religion than Orthodoxy) seems well-established. The Church's proximate motivation appears to have been its irritation with Roerich groups. ==Sources== *Archer, Kenneth. ''Roerich East and West.''England: Parkstone Press, 1999. *Decter, Jacqueline. ''Messenger of Beauty: The Life and Visionary Art of Nicholas Roerich.'' Vermont: Inner Traditions, 1993.  *Drayer, Ruth Abrams. ''Wayfarers: The Spiritual Journeys of Nicholas and Helena Roerich.'' New Mexico: Bluewaters Press, 2004. ==Links== *[http://www.roerich.org New York's Roerich Museum] Includes an on-line gallery. *[http://www.agni-yoga.org New York's Agni Yoga Society] Includes revealed material from "the Masters" received by Nicholas and Helena Roerich. *[http://www.roerich-museum.ru/eng/museum/ Moscow's Roerich Museum] *[http://www.roerichtrust.org Naggar's Roerich Museum (Kulu Valley, India)]
Interwiki, renameuser, administrator
13,510
edits

Navigation menu