Inetrnational Centre of the Roerichs

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Since April 28, 2017, the Non-Governmental Museum Named after Nicholas Roerich went defunct with the illegal seizure of its building and territory.

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Svetoslav Roerich 115th Anniversary Celebration in the Roerich Estate, “Silent Blessings” Painting Exhibition by Him Chatterjee


Svetoslav Roerich anniversary celebration in the International Roerich Memorial Trust was marked with two important events: opening “Silent Blessings” painting exhibition by Professor Him Chatterjee and International scientific conference “Russia-India: the Art, Philosophy and Culture”, organized by the International Centre of the Roerichs and the Russian Academy of Arts, Moscow. The honourable guests of the celebration were S.P.Jayswal, AC to DC, Kullu District, HP, Maurya Abhai, Professor, writer, ex-rector of the English and Foreign Languages University (Hyderabad, India), ex-dean of Delhi University, Olga Lavrenova, Сandidate of Geographical Sciences, doctor of Philosophy, Deputy Director of the non-governmental Museum named after Nicholas Roerich for scientific work (Moscow, Russia), and Dr. Neelakshi Suryanarayan, Associate Professor and Head of Department of Slavonic and Finno-Ugrian Studies of New Delhi University.

Svetoslav Roerich was an artist who created more than 4000 paintings, thinker and a teacher, public figure made am immense contribution into the development and strengthening of Russian-Indian friendship. He lived in India for more than 60 years taking an active part in its social and cultural life. For his contribution for the cause of peace and his achievements in culture Svetoslav Roerich was awarded with the Padma Bhushan, the highest civilian award in the Republic of India, International Award by Jawaharlal Nehru and was named Academician of the Fine Art Academy of India. Thus, Svetoslav Roerich is a national pride not only Russia, but India as well.

By Indian tradition, in Svetoslav Roerich’s memory, under the memorial four-trunk pine-tree near the Roerichs house, shanti-puja was conducted, a ritual of worshipping and honouring the Higher Power, a prayer for peace and prosperity for the whole world. After the puja Indian and Russian guests were invited for the ceremony of hoisting the international flags of India and Russia and the Banner of Peace. This shanti-puja as well as a grand hoisting of the flags have become unfailing attributes of the Roerich festivals of Culture in the IRMT, the symbol of friendship, cooperation and mutual understanding, a sign of respect for the spiritual traditions, acknowledgement of the uniting power of Culture. The ceremony of offering flowers to the bronze busts of Nicholas and Helena Roerich whose grand installation took place on the territory of the estate on October 9, 2019, is becoming another attribute.

The opening of the “Silent Blessing” painting exhibition by Him Chatterjee, Professor, Chairman of the Department of visual arts of Himachal Pradesh University (Shimla), became a real festival of beauty dedicated to the Svetoslav Roerich’s birthday in the Exhibition hall of the IRMT. The artist who considers Nicholas Roerich’s art and the Himalayas sung by him to be the inexhaustible sources of inspiration, presented the exhibition of more than ninety paintings depicting the sacred peaks. Him Chatterjee travelled a lot on the Himalayan paths and passes, having absorbed the high spirit of the mountains. And the Buddhist prayer flags which unexpectedly appear above completely deserted high peaks and the most unconquerable canyons never stop to cause a special feeling in him. Their flapping on the breeze blowing is like a joyful dance bringing the beauty and sanctity in the solitary mountain nooks, as the artist says. They narrate about the ancient traditions, beliefs and symbols. They give the silent blessings to the pilgrims and travellers and sent peace and happiness to all human beings.

The prayer flags are arranged in the special order: yellow, green, red, white and blue, symbolizing the five basic energies, or elements, in our physical world: earth, water, fire, air and space. Buddhist believe that the prayer flags contribute to making balance of those five elements inside the human being as well as between the human being and his environment, harmonizing body, mind and spirit.

Being inspired by the silent blessings of the prayer flags and beautiful mountain landscapes Him Charrejee reflected his feelings and thoughts in the series of picturesque paintings which were presented in the exhibition that carries to the viewers the message of the beauty, eternity and spirituality. As the artist Lalita S.Sen wrote about one of the paintings:

Somewhere the wishes come true,
Somewhere the Earth and Heavens meet.
See… How glorious the Earth feels…
Tinted with Heaven Light.

The program on the ground of the Green Theatre began with traditional honouring of the respected guests of the International Roerich Memorial Trust and lighting the ceremonial lamp. The Indian and Russian curator Mr Ramesh Chandra and Mrs Larisa V.Surgina congratulated the audience with the Svetoslav Roerich anniversary, mentioning the unsurpassed contribution of Svetoslav and the Roerich family into the treasury of the world culture.

It was also said about the significance of the Roerichs estate by Professor Maurya Abhai, the writer, ex-rector of the English and Foreign Languages University (Hyderabad, India), ex-dean of Delhi University. The Professor remarked that the place where the Roerichs lived is unique, because the Roerichs’ spiritual achievements and their role in the approach of Russia and India are matchless. He paid a special attention to the fact that the IRMT activities unite art and culture, science and education. This is an exemplary work, as Mr Maurya said. And let it be in India more museums dedicated to the artists, writers, singers and other cultural workers.

The Professor stressed that starting from the XVI century Russia has always showed a sincere interest and sympathy for India. He expressed a heartfelt gratitude to the Russian members of the Trust and their volunteer-assistants from the International Centre of the Roerichs, Moscow, for the big contribution in preserving the Roerichs heritage and promoting their ideas.

The International Centre of the Roerichs in Moscow and the International Roerich Memorial Trust in Naggar, India, were created by Svetoslav Roerich as public, non-governmental organizations meant to preserve the Roerichs heritage, to promote their ideas and activities and to cooperate with each other actively. For the last years the cooperation of ICR and IRMT reached another height in museum and scientific activities and this anniversary year for the Roerichs’ family is marked with carrying out a big International interdisciplinary conference “Russia – the East: art, philosophy, culture”, organized by ICR and the Russian Academy of Arts. The head of the conference organizing committee Olga A.Lavrenova, candidate of Geographical Sciences, doctor of Philosophy, Deputy Director of the non-governmental Museum named after Nicholas Roerich for scientific work, Moscow, warmly greeted the guests of the festival and remarked that “the two meetings of the conference have successfully happened in Moscow, and the third one, dedicated to the relations of Russia and India, will take place here, in the Roerichs’ estate in Naggar today and tomorrow. I am happy to be here and would like to thank everyone who was taking part in the organizing festive events and the conference. And I want to express a special appreciation to Mrs Neelakshi Suryanarayan, Associate Professor and Head of Department of Slavonic and Finno-Ugrian Studies of New Delhi University for her big assistance in organizing conference.”

A special musical gift for the participants and guests of the festival was prepared by the teachers and students of Helena Roerich Academy of Arts for children under the guidance of Anshul Kumar, the worker of IRMT, senior teacher of the Academy. Melodious songs and a dance of Himachal Pradesh, a bright fiery Rajasthani dance, a round dance “nati” from Shimla and a Russian song “Walking cheerfully together in open spaces” performed by the boys group, as well as a joyful dance, performed by the juniors of the Academy, caused heartfelt applauds from the audience and shouts “Bravo!” from the Russian guests.

On occasion of Svetoslav Roerich birthday the gifts to the International Roerich Memorial Trust were solemnly presented by an Indian artist Akshat Singh, an artist from Delhi Juhi Kumar and a Russian artist Elena Yakovleva. Their wonderful paintings dedicated to the Roerichs will fill up the modern art collection of the IRMT.

The festive ceremonial part of the day was completed, but the program dedicated to the Svetoslav Roerich birthday didn’t finished yet. It continued as the conference “Russia-India: art, philosophy, culture”, held in the IRMT Conference Hall.

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