A small semi-circular hall. Strict light-colored walls, stately columns, Venetian mirror. This hall is the sanctum sanctrorum of the Museum. It is dedicated to the Teachers.
“The people who have met in life the Teachers know how simple and harmonious, and beautiful They are, N. Roerich wrote. – The same atmosphere of beauty must envelop all that relates to Their sphere. The sparkles of Their radiance must penetrate into the life of people <…>”[1, p.108].
Subdued light is pouring from the window into the hall, is reflected in the crystal sparkles of the chandelier, is mysteriously glittering in the depth of the mirror, and, multiplied manifold, bursts into amazing colors on the artist’s painting-triptych “Fiat Rex” – “Long Live the King”. This painting is dedicated to one of the Great Teachers of the mankind, creator of the Living Ethics teaching.
A man, as if appearing from the depth of the red and dark rocks, is irradiating golden light. From which secret kingdom did this King come? The bright rays of light are as if the wings behind his back; around his head, there is a golden halo; lilac and blue sparkling aura, “clothing of spirit”, surrounds His shining figure. Golden sparkles pierce the darkness around.
|N. Roerich. Fiat Rex. (Long Live the King) Triptych. 1931|
There Your Image is shining.
Everything shines with His light.
In darkness sparkle
The grains of Your radiance,
And in my closed eyes
Your wonderful light is
These lines were dedicated by Nicholas Roerich to the Teacher.
Mahatmas – Great Souls – this is how they call the Teachers in the East. High entities standing higher than us on the stairs of Cosmic evolution. Personalities which, as S. Roerich said, “long ago passed along the great and kingly way of self-liberation”[3, p.63], became “more perfect people”. Having passed their ways of self-improvement, they became Cosmic creators, acquired a possibility to consciously affect the energetic processes of evolution, wisely using the Great laws of Cosmos.
Their Abode, which the people of the East have long called sacred Shambala, is placed in difficult to access mountain areas of Himalayas. “<…> The Citadel of Great Knowledge has existed from the time immemorial standing at unchangeable Watch of the evolution of mankind, observing and imbedding into the salutary course the current of the world events, H. Roerich wrote. – All the Great Teachers have links with this Abode. <…> Versatile are the activities of this Citadel of Knowledge and Light. The history of all times, all peoples, keeps evidence of this assistance <…>”[4, p.454].
From the earliest periods of its existence, the humanity knew about these higher helpers and Protectors. In all centuries they helped people, appearing in various countries of the world as spiritual teachers, religious reformers, nunciates of new knowledge. They sent to the Earth their collaborators and disciples, messengers of light, to teach people the laws of ethics, to support them in the struggle against powers of evil and ignorance, to help the mankind on its difficult evolutionary way.
“It is truly amazing, truly wonderful, in the whirl of our life, amidst the waves of unresolved social problems, to see before us shining Luminaries of all centuries, Roerich wrote. – It is wonderful to study life stories of these great Searchers and Ascetics, and find in them strengthening for our courage, inexhaustible energy and tolerance. It is wonderful, through this inexhaustible source of love and all-embracing, to understand great movements of refined souls combining higher knowledge with higher aspiration. <…> truly great earthly way is expressed in them. They worked unlimitedly. They were here, here, on the Earth, they encountered the same obstacles and the same ignorance, superstition, and intolerance. With their light cognition, they conquered the darkness; for they knew the eternal law that in giving we receive. In this comprehension, in this creative labor, they became true Luminaries”[5, p.114-115].
Memory of the very first Teachers of the mankind is kept in myths. Myths of Asia, Europe, America, Australia, and Africa tell about Cosmic Teachers, so called cultural heroes, who come to the Earth and teach people agriculture, crafts, arts, and morality.
|A. Kotcharov. Thanka of Shambala. 2003|
In this cultural tradition, a special place belongs to India. “Teaching of old India, deepened notion of Guru – Teacher, is especially touching and inspiring. <…> free, conscious reverence for the Teacher is existing until today. Indeed, it makes one of the main beauties of India”[6, p.142], N. Roerich wrote. “I will remind of a legend from Agni-Yoga about a Hindu boy who has cognized the Teacher.
“They asked him:
“Can it be that the sun will get dark for you if you see it without the Teacher?”
The boy smiled:
“The sun will remain the sun, but, in the Teacher’s presence, twelve suns will shine for me”.
The sun of wisdom of India will shine, for, on the river bank, a boy knowing the Teacher is sitting”[7, p.357].
For thousands of years, wizards-teachers of India have carefully passed from one generation to another Wisdom and Knowledge, as if reflecting in themselves the Great Law of the Hierarchy of live Cosmos – the Teacher is the main person in the spiritual self-improvement of each of us. Without the Teacher, links with the cosmic evolution break, ascent along the evolutionary corridor stops.
“Teaching is the highest relation that can be achieved in our earthly images, N. Roerich wrote in the essay “Radiant Shambala”. We are led by the Teachers and we are striving for perfection in our reverence for the Teacher”[8, p.36].
Each Teacher has his own disciple and is a disciple of another, higher Teacher. “An obvious succession of Teachers is shining with inter-planet pearls. Add your pearl!”[9, 83] – the Living Ethics says. This thought gives us an idea of the purpose of the cosmic evolution of mankind – “add your pearl” – that is reach your place in the Cosmic Hierarchy of Teachers. This hierarchic chain goes into the Infinity. But it starts on the Earth.
“You should not introduce superterranean prerequisites into the notion of Teacher. He will be the one who gives you the best advice of life. This nearness to life will cover knowledge, creative work, and the Infinity”[10, 43]. “The Teacher is the One who opens, makes wiser, and encourages, N. Roerich wrote. – Тhe one who will say: “Blessed are the obstacles – through them we grow”. The one who remembers beautiful Golgothas of knowledge and art, for they contain creating, constructing deed. The one who can remind of the deed, teach the deed <…>”[11, p.117].
The extent of comprehension of Teaching is that silver thread which is holding the whole way of spiritual improvement of man. Striving with his spirit for the Teacher, cherishing in his heart devotion and love for Him, the man passes the difficult steps of his development, learns to be a creator.
Next to the Teacher, on the side leaves of the triptych “Fiat Rex”, – there are two figures surrounded with even, soft light of aura. They are standing on the steps of a staircase cut in the rock. In these images, as if appearing from the legend, the painter showed real historical personalities: Margrave Ekkerhard and Margravine Uta, who lived in Germany in the XI century. Their sculptures are decorating the interior of a cathedral in the city of Naumburg and date back to the XIII century. What invisible ties connect these respectable townspeople from medieval Germany with the Eastern wizard, the King of a legendary country?...
On the right, there is a knight in a cloak, a mysterious sign is glowing in gold on his shield – three circles. The knight is leaning on his sword. His figure emanates calm confidence; power, firmness, readiness to help and overcome all obstacles on the way to the Truth are sensed in it.
On the left – a female figure in a long dress, on top of which the same cloak as the knight’s is thrown. The woman is holding in her hands a bowl with fire. “When it is hard in peoples’ homes, they apply to a woman, the artist wrote. – When calculations do not help any more, when hostility and mutual destruction reach their limits, then they come to a woman. When evil powers are winning, then they call a woman. When a calculating mind proves out to be helpless, then they remember of a woman’s heart…”…»[12, p.187].
Balance of the male and female elements is one of the great laws of Cosmos. Love, harmony, and collaboration always reigned in the Roerichs family. The Teachers led them along their life. The ancient wisdom says that the Teacher appears when the disciple is ready. Nicholas and Helena Roerichs were both highly spiritual people, one – a great artist and outstanding scientist, the other – a brilliant musician and unique thinker. Beauty, thought, art, science – all this merged in a harmonious synthesis, in unified creative work of these two wonderful people. Worthy disciples of their Teacher, they themselves became Teachers.