Inetrnational Centre of the Roerichs


The opening of the festival “India – Russia – the Roerichs” in the International Roerich Memorial Trust

Saturday, April 29, 2017, was noteworthy in the Himalayan Roerich Estate for the opening of the festival “India – Russia – the Roerichs” dedicated to two memorable dates: the 70th anniversary of the establishment of Russian-Indian diplomatic relations and the 25th anniversary of the International Roerich Memorial Trust (IRMT).

The opening event of the festival was children’s painting competition “Indo-Russian Friendship: Past, Present and Future” which started with the traditional music welcome, Sarasvati Vandana, performed by the students of the Helena Roerich Academy of Arts for Children managed by the IRMT.

Mr. Anatoly V. Kargapolov

H.E. Mr. Anatoly V. Kargapolov, Charge d’Affaires of the Russian Federation in the Republic of India, welcomed the gathering. He remarked that the peoples of Russia and India were extremely close to one another and had a long history of friendly relations and cooperation. Mr. Kargapolov happily noted that the festival was a joint Russian-Indian event and expressed his gratitude to the Kullu District administration for the fullest support and active participation in its organization. It is noteworthy that the day earlier an informal meeting took place between Mr. Kargapolov and Mr. Yunus, Director, IRMT-cum-DC Kullu. They discussed the issues related to the further development of the International Roerich Memorial Trust founded by Dr. Svetoslav Roerich and his spouse Devika Rani as the hub of friendship and cultural relations between our great nations.

Dr. Guleria

In his welcome address, Dr. Guleria, Assistant Commissioner to District Commissioner, Kullu, noted that in the IRMT the programme of Indo-Russian cultural cooperation is being implemented, due to which fact with each passing year the Himalayan Roerich Estate is becoming increasingly attractive for Indian tourists and guests from other countries. On behalf of the Kullu District administration he welcomed the guests and participants of the festival and wished full success to the young artists coming from the schools of Naggar as well as the members of the Children’s “Raduga” Dance Ensemble, Nizhny Novgorod, who assembled on that day in the IRMT to take part in the competition.

After the official part of the programme the youngsters enthusiastically immersed themselves in work assisted by the artists from India and Russia. The other guests proceeded to the IRMT Conference Hall where the academic seminar on “The Roerichs’ Contribution to the Development of Indo-Russian Friendship and Cooperation” was about to begin.

The seminar was preceded by the opening of the children’s painting exhibition by the winners of the competition “Russian Children Paint India” organized by the president of the “Dostoyaniye” (Heritage) Cultural Assembly Mrs. Natalia Pivovarova. Welcoming the guests, Mrs. Pivovarova remarked that it was organized in memory of H.E. Mr. Alexander M. Kadakin, the diplomat, Ambassador and the great friend of India. In their colourful miniatures the children presented their vision of Indian fairyland with its captivating nature and amazing culture. The artist Surjit Akre, President, Roerichs’ Art Club, Russian Centre of Science and Culture, New Delhi, observed that the beautiful works on display were saturated with love for India even though their young creators had never seen the country.

In his address to the participants of the seminar, the Russian Charge d’Affaires H.E. Mr. Anatoly V. Kargapolov stressed the tremendous significance of the seminar topic in the context of the development of Russian-Indian cultural relations.

Welcoming the participants of the seminar, Dr. Amit Guleria called Nicholas Roerich the bridge connecting Russia and India and stressed that he was not only an artist and a scholar but also a Maharshi, or sage who understood Indian spirituality more than Indians did.

Mrs. Natalia N. Cherkashina

The Acting Director of the Museum named after Nicholas Roerich, Moscow, Mrs. Natalia N. Cherkashina drew the attention of the seminar participants to the fact that Nicholas and Helena Roerich spent more than half of their life in India, and their choice of the country was not random. As the contemporary Roerich scholar Mrs. Lyudmila Shaposhnikova wrote, India is a living organism that for centuries has been acting like a whetstone for the gems of wisdom and spirituality. It is not surprising then that in 1929 Nicholas Roerich wrote in one of his essays, “Love India!” – the words that became the motto of the Roerich family. The Roerichs felt particular love for the Kullu valley, where they spent 20 years of their life, founded “Urusvati” Himalayan Research Institute, and in cooperation with the Mahatmas developed the philosophical teaching of Agni Yoga harmoniously blending past and future.

In her paper, Mrs. Tamara M. Merges (Moscow) mentioned the enormous contributution of all the Roerichs to the establishment and development of the Indo-Russian cooperation in the 20th century. According to Mrs. Lyudmila Shaposhnikova, the Roerichs were unique because “Every member of the Roerich family carried within themsleves four – their objectives, evolutionary mission and creative work”. Having transferred in 1990 the Roerichs’ heritage to the International Centre of the Roerichs, Moscow, created on his initiative, and having founded the International Roerich Memorial Trust in Naggar in 1992, Svetolsav Roerich strengthened the spiritual bridge between the two great nations built by his great parents.

Conveying greetings on behalf of the Indian Forum of Photographs and Artists (FIPA), the president of the Forum Mr. Vimal S. Mehta (Delhi) called Roerich the first Russian ambassador to India and noted that as a scholar, explorer and artist Nicholas Roerich did a lot to bring the people of Russia and India together.

Congratulating the IRMT on the occasion of its 25th anniversary Mr. Mehta stressed that Nicholas Roerich knew the heart of India and wished for India to live in the hearts of men. And the best proof of his success was the children’s painting competition conducted within the framework of the festival and uniting Indian and Russian children under the guidance of the artists from the two countries.

In her paper titled “The Roerich Pact in India” and throwing light on the history of India’s adoption of the Roerich Pact for the protection of cultural properties, Ms. Lyudmila Mamzeleva (Moscow) noted that from the very outset various Indian academic institutions and organizations displayed their deep interest in the Pact. India’s culture figures responded with great enthusiasm to Roerich’s appeal for the protection of culture. As the renowned spiritual figure Swami Jagadiswarananda wrote, Nicholas Roerich launched and headed the unique humanitarian movement and himself was a personification of world art and culture.

The paper also stressed the active work of the International Centre of the Roerichs for the propagation of the Pact. For instance, in 2014‑15 the Centre brought the international exhibition project “The Roerich Pact. History and Modernity” to India. In 2014 the permanent display on the Roerich Pact and Banner of Peace opened in the IRMT.

The Delhi-based artist Mrs. Harsh Loomba analyzed Nicholas Roerich’s work from the cultural point of view demonstrating the affinity of the Russian and Indian cultures on concrete examples. She noted that Roerich’s art was full of spiritual beauty and profound symbolism. She drew attention of the audience to the fact that Roerich was the only foreigner who was awarded the title of ‘Maharshi’ or “great sage”.

The representative of the Estonian Roerich Society Mr. Sergey Yakovlev shared the results of his explorations of the Roerichs’ stay in Lahaul in early 1930s. He told the gathering about the activities of the summer station of “Urusvati” Himalayan Research Institute in Lahaul and the present-day work of converting the Roerich House in Lahaul into a Roerich heritage site in India.

The Tibetan scholar from Lahaul (India) Honourable Tsering Dorje dwelled on the archeological and linguistic explorations of George Roerich and his studies of archaic Tibetan languages and dialects, and local medicinal plants.

In his paper titled “Ilizarov Technique – the Connecting Thread between Indian and Russian Doctors” Mr. Vitaly V. Tarasov, Director, Experimental Plant, Russian Ilizarov Scientific Center for Restorative Traumatology and Orthopedics, spoke of the role of the Roerichs in building mutual trust and friendly relations between the people of Russia and India. Strengthening of cordial relations between individuals goes a long way in establishing diverse contacts and ties between the two countries on various levels. On the example of the Center for Restorative Traumatology and Orthopedics, Kurgan City (Russia), he demonstrated the development of cooperation between governmental and private organizations of India and Russia in health care.

The doctor, diagnostician and corrector of human fields Mrs. Marina N. Tarasova presented a paper on “The Consonance of the Ideas of the Living Ethics and the Scientific Research in India and Russia. Kirlian Effect – the Greatest Discovery of the 20th Century.” She spoke of photographing radiation in high frequency electrical discharges. The Electrophotonic Imaging based on the Kirlian Effect aptly demonstrates the energy flow from human fingers and the influence of man on the emanations from plants. “Merely walking past the blossom has an effect on its emanations,” says Agni Yoga whose many postulates are confirmed by modern science. The slides shown by Mrs. Tarasova convincingly proved that “the spiritual merges with the material.”

Closing the seminar, Mrs. Tamara M. Merges, the leader of the group of Russian and Belorussian volunteers from the International Centre of the Roerichs, Moscow, who came to assist in organizing and conducting the festival, presented the seminar participants with souvenirs handmade by folk craftsmen from various Russian regions, while Mrs. Marina N. Tarasova invited them for a check-up using Kirlian diagnostic device.


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