Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:58 am

Sir Denys Bray
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/3/20


Sir Denys de Saumarez Bray, KCSI, KCIE, CBE (29 November 1875 – 19 November 1951) was an etymologist and British colonial civil servant in the Empire of India, who served as Secretary of the Foreign Department of the Government of India.

Bray's publications evidence his deep understanding of the Brahui language, and his later work on Shakespeare re-arranged the much disputed argument on the basis of the discovery of a hitherto unexpected rhyme-link or word-link, joining sonnet to sonnet to form an orderly and smoothly flowing whole.

Early life

Bray was born in Aberdeen when his father, the Rev. Thomas William Bray, a Church of England cleric, was serving a cure in the Scottish Episcopal Church. He grew up there and in England and Germany, and was educated at a Realgymnasium in Stuttgart, Blundell's School in Tiverton, and at Balliol College, Oxford (where he was Taylorian Scholar).

Diplomatic career

Bray passed the Indian Civil Service examination of 1898, and served in the Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Baluchistan.

After serving as Deputy Secretary of the Foreign Department at New Delhi for four years, Bray was appointed Secretary in 1920, and filled the position with distinction for nearly a decade. He had a large share in shaping the treaty with Afghanistan negotiated at Kabul by Sir Henry Dobbs in 1921 (which amended the Treaty of Rawalpindi, agreed originally in August 1919, and reaffirmed Britain's recognition of Afghanistan's complete independence, and restored to the Afghans the privilege of importing munitions through India).

King Amanullah’s impatient forcing of Western ways on his people after visiting Europe in 1928 led to a revolt, and grave danger to the inmates of the British Legation at Kabul. Early in 1929, Bray was responsible for the plans for the evacuation by air (a novel method at that time) of the women and children, and then of the Minister, Sir Francis Humphreys, and his staff as part of the Kabul Airlift.

On leaving India in 1930, Bray was appointed a member of the Council of the Secretary of State for the India Office, which was transformed before the completion of his seven years into a body of advisers. Throughout the time, he was on the Indian delegation to the annual Assembly of the League of Nations. Bray also represented India at the international broadcasting conference in 1936, at the diplomatic conference on terrorism in 1937, and in the mission to Spain on refugee relief in 1938.

Etymological research and publications

Bray’s publications included:

• 1909: The Brahui Language, Part I. Calcutta: Superintendent Government Printing (Reprinted 1977–78, Quetta: Brahui Academy, Bib ID 1174990).
• 1913: Life History of a Brahui. London: Royal Asiatic Society (Reprinted 1977, Karachi: Royal Book Co., Bib ID 2902021).
• 1925: The Original Order of Shakespeare’s Sonnets. London: Methuen, Bib ID 2535453.
• 1934: The Brāhūī Language. Part II. The Brāhūī problem. Part III. Etymological vocabulary. Delhi: Manager of Publications.


• Obituary of Sir Denys Bray, The Times, Wednesday, Nov 21, 1951 (pg. 8; Issue 52164; col E).
• The India list and India Office list, 1905
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Feb 03, 2020 10:08 am

Sir Joseph William Bhore
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/3/20

Education Secretary Mr. J. W. Bhore, who included in his Department the Survey of India.

-- The Founding of the Himalayan Club, by G.L. Corbett


Sir Joseph William Bhore KCSI KCIE CBE (1878 – 15 August 1960) was an Indian civil servant and diwan of the Cochin State. He is best remembered for his chairmanship of the Health Survey and Development Committee that charted a course for public health investments and infrastructure in India.[1][2]

Early life and education

J. W. Bhore was born in Nasik in 1878 as the son of Rao Saheb R. G. Bhore and was educated at Bishop’s High School and Deccan College in Pune and University College, London.[3]

ICS Officer

Bhore joined the Indian Civil Service in 1902[4] and was assigned the Madras ICS cadre[5] and held a number of senior government offices in Madras and Cochin. Bhore worked variously in the Departments of Agriculture and Lands (1924–28), Industries and Labour (1930–32) and Commerce and Railways (1932–35) during his career as a civil servant.[6] He was the Acting High Commissioner for India in the UK during 1922–1923[7] and a Member of the Governor General’s Executive Council during 1926–1927 and 1930–1932. He represented India at the Silver Jubilee Celebrations in London in 1935. He was also Secretary to the Indian Statutory Commission – better known as the Simon Commission - established in 1928 to report on the working of representative institutions in British India and the Government of India Act of 1919.[8]

Bhore was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1920 New Year Honours,[9] and appointed a Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire (CIE) in the 1923 King's Birthday Honours.[10] He was promoted to a Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire (KCIE) in the 1930 King's Birthday Honours,[11] and appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Star of India (KCSI) in the 1933 New Year Honours.[12]

Diwan of Cochin

J. W. Bhore had been Under Secretary, Government of Madras when he was appointed by the Raja of Cochin as Dewan in 1914, succeeding A. R. Banerji.[13][14] During his five years in Cochin from 1914 to 1919, Bhore paid attention to agrarian reforms in the state. The Tenancy Regulation of 1914 and the establishment of panchayats and co-operative societies in Cochin were among his major achievements.[15]

Bhore Committee

Main article: Bhore Committee

Bhore is perhaps best remembered for his chairmanship of the Health Survey and Development Committee which was established in 1943 by the British colonial government. The committee was tasked with undertaking ‘a broad survey of the present position in regard to health conditions and health organisation in British India’ and with making ‘recommendations for future developments’ in this regard.[1] In its final report in 1946, the Committee noted thus: "If it were possible to evaluate the loss, which this country annually suffers through the avoidable waste of valuable human material and the lowering of human efficiency through malnutrition and preventable morbidity, we feel that the result would be so startling that the whole country would be aroused and would not rest until a radical change had been brought about".[16] Two particular recommendations of the committee dealt with the establishment of Primary Health Centres and the creation of a major central institute for postgraduate medical education and research. In pursuit of these recommendations, the Government of India established the first Primary Health Centres in 1952 and in 1956, it set up the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). The decision to abolish the Licentiate in Medical Practice (LMP) and to replace it with single medical qualification of an MBBS degree as the requirement to become a doctor was also taken up in 1952 on the basis of the committee’s recommendation.[17]

The Bhore Committee provided the outline for setting up an organised public health system in India and it was deeply inspired by the welfare state movement in the U.K. and socialist developments in the USSR. The Committee however has been criticised for overlooking the role of indigenous practitioners of medicine in the health system leading to a large number of private practitioners, who formed the mainstay of health care in rural areas and small towns, being ignored by the new system.[18]


Bhore married Margaret Bhore MBE (née Stott) in 1911. She died in Bhopal in May 1945. Bhore died in Guernsey, Channel Islands on 15 August 1960.[19]


1. Wujastyk, Dagmar (2008). Modern and Global Ayurveda: Pluralism and Paradigms. Albany: SUNY Press. p. 52. ISBN 9780791478165.
2. ... Lady-Bhore
3. Wujastyk, Dagmar (2008). Modern and Global Ayurveda: Pluralism and Paradigms. Albany: SUNY Press. p. 51. ISBN 9780791478165.
4. The India List and India Office List for 1905. London: Great Britain. India Office. 1905. p. 78.
5. "Elusive administrative reforms". The Hindu Businessline. 14 October 2005. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
6. Streat, E. Raymond (1987). The Diary of Sir Raymond Streat. Manchester: Manchester University Press. p. 264. ISBN 9780719023903.
7. "Chapter XV- The High Commissioner for India" (PDF). Retrieved 4 March 2013.
8. "List of commissions and officials 1920-1929". Retrieved 4 March 2013.
9. London Gazette, 30 December 1919
10. London Gazette, 2 June 1923
11. London Gazette, 3 June 1930
12. "SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 2 JANUARY, 1933" (PDF). Retrieved 4 March 2013.
13. "State of Cochin (Madras Presidency)". Retrieved 4 March 2013.
14. Playne, Somerset (1914). Southern India: Its History, People, Commerce, and Industrial Resources. Asian Educational Services. p. 372. ISBN 9788120613447.
15. Menon, A Sreedhara (2007). A Survey Of Kerala History. Kottayam: DC Books. p. 277. ISBN 9788126415786.
16. "FACULTY OF COMMUNITY MEDICINE". Tirunelveli Medical College. Archived from the original on 14 April 2013. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
17. "Awaiting the new foot soldiers of community health care". The Hindu. 8 October 2012. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
18. "Merit versus social responsibility". The Hindu. 23 July 2006. Retrieved 4 March2013.
19. "Joseph William Bhore". Retrieved 4 March 2013.

External links

• Portrait of Sir Joseph William Bhore
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Feb 03, 2020 10:29 am

Sir George Cunningham (civil servant)
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/3/20

Private Secretary to the Viceroy, Mr George Cunningham.

-- The Founding of the Himalayan Club, by G.L. Corbett

Sir George Cunningham
1st Governor of North-West Frontier Province
In office
14 August 1947 – 8 April 1948
Monarch George VI
Governor-General Muhammad Ali Jinnah
Preceded by None (office created)
Succeeded by Sir Ambrose Flux Dundas
George Cunningham
Birth: 23 March 1888, Broughty Ferry, Scotland
Death: 8 December 1963 (aged 75), West Byfleet, England
School: Fettes College
University Oxford University

Sir George Cunningham GCIE KCSI OBE (23 March 1888 – 8 December 1963)[1] was an administrator in British India who in his early years was a notable sportsperson, representing and later captaining the Scottish national team at rugby union.

Rugby career

Cunningham came to note as a rugby player when he played for Oxford University RFC while a student. He was selected for the 1907 Varsity Match against Cambridge, winning the first of three sporting caps. Cunningham played at half-back, partnering Rupert Williamson, and the agility and quick thinking of both players allowed the good scrummaging play by Oxford to release the backs. Oxford won, scoring five tries to nil.[2] The next year Cunningham was selected for the Scottish national team, and played in the 1908 Home Nations Championship whilst still a student at Oxford. His first cap was an away game to Wales at Swansea. Partnered with Louis Greig in his favoured half-back position, Cunningham ended on the losing side after a narrow 6-5 win by the Welsh. The Scottish selectors kept faith with Cunningham and Greig for the next game of the campaign, against Ireland, but both men were dropped for the final game of the tournament after a second loss.

Although out of favour with the Scottish team, Cunningham was back in the Oxford University team in the 1908 Varsity Match. Partnered again with Williamson, who was also made an international in 1908, after being selected for England. Cunningham and Williamson had another excellent game, and Cunningham set up Oxford's only try after he drew out the defence to allow Martin to score.[3]

The next season Cunningham was back in the Scotland team and played in the first game of the 1909 Home Nations Championship, again facing Wales. Cunningham scored his first international points in the game against Wales, with a penalty goal. This score was the only points for Scotland that game, and they lost 3-5. Cunningham missed the next game to Ireland, but was back in the team for the final game of the Championship, his first Calcutta Cup encounter with England. Cunningham was given the Scotland captaincy for the England match, and he spearheaded the Scotland team to a convincing win.[4] During the England game, Cunningham converted three of the four Scottish tries. At the end of the year, Cunningham played in his final Varsity Game for Oxford. In the build-up to the match Oxford were on good form, losing just three matches, and it was noted that Cunningham was absent from the side in each of these loses.[5] The Varsity Game was an extremely heavy win for Oxford, and was known as "Poulton's Match", after Ronald Poulton who scored five of Oxfords' nine tries.[6]

Cunningham retained the captaincy of Scotland for the 1910 Championship, which was now known as the Five Nations Championship with the inclusion of France. Cunningham led the team in a win over France, but then was unavailable against Wales. When he returned for the Ireland game, he led his country for the third time and his third win as captain. His winning streak was broken by his final captaincy match, the final game of the 1910 campaign, against England. Cunningham played just one more match for Scotland, now playing club rugby for London Scottish, a loss to England in 1911. No longer captain, Cunningham was moved to centre, and despite one final conversion for his team, he never represented his country again.

Civil service career

Cunningham joined the Indian Civil Service in 1911 and was awarded an OBE in 1921, KCIE in 1935 and GCIE in 1945.[7]

Cunningham served as the governor of the North-West Frontier Province three times, twice during the British Raj[8] and once after the creation of the Dominion of Pakistan. After his second term ending in 1946, Cunningham returned to Britain. However, he was invited by the colonial government in July 1947 to return and resume the office at the request of Pakistan's incoming governor general Muhammad Ali Jinnah. He is said to have agreed reluctantly, taking office on 15 August 1947.[9]

The North-West Frontier Province was at that time governed by a ministry belonging to the Indian National Congress. Jinnah amended the operative constitution, the 1935 Government of India Act, in order to be able to dismiss the ministry. Cunningham was unsure of the constitutionality of the measure, but he went along with Jinnah's wishes. A Muslim League ministry headed by Abdul Qayyum Khan was appointed on 23 August.[9]

In the subsequent months, the Pakistani tribal invasion of Kashmir was carried out under the nose of Cunningham, orchestrated by the provincial premier Abdul Qayyum Khan. Cunningham thought it was going to be disastrous and tried to stop it. But he fell in line after the accession of Kashmir to India, when Jinnah ordered his governors to enter into "the full spirit of the struggle". The tribesmen not only looted and pillaged property, but they also abducted women and sold them off to brothels. Cunningham regretted that the Pakistan government was permitting this and was evidently demoralised. His diary entry states, "I could have found half a dozen excellent grounds for resigning in the last two weeks or so, but I feel that we may be able to get the thing gradually under control again and that one must try to see it through."[9][10][11]


1. George Cunningham
2. Marshall (1951), pg 121-123.
3. Marshall (1951), pg 125.
4. Griffiths (1987), pg 2:16.
5. Marshall (1951), pg 126.
6. Marshall (1951), pg 129-130.
7. Provinces of Pakistan since 1947
8. Provinces of British India
9. Ahmed, Ishtiaq (2013), Pakistan – The Garrison State: Origins, Evolution, Consequences (1947-2011), Oxford University Press Pakistan, pp. 77–78, ISBN 978-0-19-906636-0
10. Moore, Robin James (1987), Making the new Commonwealth, Clarendon Press, pp. 51–55, ISBN 978-0-19-820112-0
11. Rakesh Ankit (March 2010). "By George: The Cunningham Contribution". Epilogue. 4 (3): 33-35. Archived from the original on 15 November 2016. Retrieved 11 January 2019.


• Griffiths, John (1987). The Phoenix Book of International Rugby Records. London: Phoenix House. ISBN 0-460-07003-7.
• Marshall, Howard; Jordon, J.P. (1951). Oxford v Cambridge, The Story of the University Rugby Match. London: Clerke & Cockeran.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Feb 03, 2020 10:45 am

Survey of India
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/3/20

Survey of India
Survey and mapping agency overview
Formed: 1767; 253 years ago[1]
Jurisdiction: East India Company (1767–1858)
British Raj (1858–1947)
Government of India (from 1947)
Headquarters: Hathibarkala Estate, New Cantt Road, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India[2]
Minister responsible: Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Science and Technology
Survey and mapping agency executives
Lt. Gen. Girish Kumar, Surveyor General of India
Col. Amardeep Singh, Addl. Surveyor General
Parent department: Department of Science and Technology

A map showing the triangles and transects used in the Great Trigonometrical Survey (1802-1852), produced in 1870.

Surveyor-General of India George Everest (b.1790-d.1866) under whom GTS was completed and Mount Everest was named in his honour.

The Survey of India is India's central engineering agency in charge of mapping and surveying.[3] Set up in 1767[4] to help consolidate the territories of the British East India Company, it is one of the oldest Engineering Departments of the Government of India. Its members are from Survey of India Service cadre of Civil Services of India and Army Officers from the Indian Army Corps of Engineers. It is headed by the Surveyor General of India. At present, Survey of India is headed by Lt Gen Girish Kumar, VSM.

SI (cartography) as well as ASI (archaeology), BSI (botany), FSI (forests), FiSI (fisheries), GSI (geology), IIEE (ecology), NIO (oceanography), RGCCI (Census of India) and ZSI (zoology) are key national survey organisations of India.


The-history of the Survey of India dates back to the 18th Century . "First modern scientific survey of India" was undertaken by W. Mather in 1793–96 on instructions of Superintendent of Salem and Baramahal, Col. Alexander Read. The present Dharmapuri district, Krishnagiri district and North Arcot in western Tamil Nadu were then called Baramahal.[5]

Great Trigonometrical Survey (1802–1852) was started by British surveyor Col. William Lambton on 10 April 1802 from St. Thomas Mount in Chennai to foothills of Himalayas. 36 inch huge half ton weight Theodolite was used, which took 57 days to measure the 12-km base line. This 5-decade project was completed under Survey General Lt. George Everest in the year 1852. Pioneering mathematician and Surveyor Radhanath Sikdar measured Mount Everest in 1852, with a height of 29,002 feet. Modern measurements indicate the height is 29,037 feet. This is regarded as the beginning of a new age of systematic topographical mapping in India succeeding the classical age, and the founding of one of the oldest survey and mapping agencies in the world"..


The Survey of India, headquartered at Dehra Dun, has 18 Geo Spatial divisions ranging from the prediction of tides to aerial survey. It has 23 Geo-spatial Data Centers spread across India, each catering to the respective administrative area. Surveyors are the back bone of Survey of India. Appointments to Group 'A' Civil Stream posts in the Junior Time Scale (Dy Supdtg Surveyor) in Survey of India are made on the basis of competitive Indian Engineering Services examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission and also through permanent secondment of Army Officers Defence Stream by the Union Public Service Commission. The important posts/ grades in Survey of India are in the following order of seniority: Draftsman, Plane Tabler, Survey Assistant, Surveyor, Officer Surveyor, Deputy Superintending Surveyor, Superintending Surveyor, Superintending Surveyor (Non-Functional Second Grade)/Deputy Director, Director/Deputy Surveyor General, Additional Surveyor General, Surveyor General.


• Advisor to Govt: Survey of India acts as adviser to the Government of India on all cartography of India related matters, such as geodesy, photogrammetry, mapping and map reproduction.
• Geo names: Survey of India is responsible for the naming convention and spellings of names of geographical features of India.
• Certification and publication: Scrutiny and certification of external boundaries of India and Coastline on maps published by the other agencies including private publishers. Publication of tide tables (one year in advance) and maps of India.
• Surveys: geodetic datum, geodetic control network, topographical control, geophysical surveys, cadastral surveying, geologic maps, aeronautical charts within India, such as for forests, army cantonments, large scale cities, guide maps, developmental or conservation projects, etc.
• National borders: Demarcation of the borders and external boundaries of India as well as advice on the demarcation of inter-state boundaries.
• Oceanic tidal prediction: Undertake prediction of tides at 44 ports including 14 foreign ports.
• Research and development: In the area of photogrammetry, cartography, geodesy, topographical surveys and indigenisation of technology.
• Training: Training for the central and state government departments as well as from foreign countries.


Survey of India publishes maps and the unrestricted category maps can be obtained at very affordable prices from its several Geo-spatial data centers. Restricted category maps require due approval from government authorities. Many other rules govern the sale and use of Survey of India maps. Only an Indian citizen may purchase topographic maps and these may not be exported from India for any reason.

See also

• Indian Institute of Surveying & Mapping (IIS&M)
• Survey of India Service
• Cartography of India
• Linguistic Survey of India


1. "About Us". Survey of India. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
2. "Contact us". Survey of India. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
3. On 250th birthday, Survey of India wants to shed its cloak of secrecy, Indian Express.
4. St. Peter Church Allahabad.
5. Baramahal records Vol.I P.220, In Letter Dated 04.10.1797 The British Government appreciated Col. Alexander Read.
• Reginald Henry Phillimore, Historical Records of the Survey of India, 5 vols. Dehra Dun, Survey of India (1945–1968)

External links

• Official website
• India Grid System: the coordinate system used by Survey of India.
• Open Series Map (OSM): new map numbering system introduced as per the National Map Policy of 2005 by Survey of India.
• India and Adjacent Countries (IAC): old map numbering system used previously by Survey of India
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:04 am

Edward Lisle Strutt
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/3/20

We owe much too to the Alpine Club, and in particular to Colonel E. L. Strutt, the Editor of the Alpine Journal, who is also one of our founder members.

-- The Founding of the Himalayan Club, by G.L. Corbett


Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Lisle Strutt, CBE, DSO (8 February 1874 – 7 July 1948) was a British soldier and mountaineer, and President of the Alpine Club from 1935–38.[1] After a distinguished military career he defended classical mountaineering against what he saw as unhelpful trends in the sport for speed.


Strutt was the son of Hon. Arthur Strutt and Alice Mary Elizabeth Philips de Lisle. His paternal grandfather was Edward Strutt, 1st Baron Belper. On 10 October 1905 he married Florence Nina, daughter of John Robert Hollond MP DL, of Wonham, Bampton, Devon. They had no children.[2]

Education and military life

Strutt was educated at Beaumont College, Windsor, then at Christ Church, Oxford, and the University of Innsbruck. He joined the 3rd (Militia) Battalion of the Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment) as a lieutenant, and was promoted to captain on 20 February 1900.[3]. The battalion was embodied in late December 1899 for service during the Second Boer War, and in early March 1900 left Queenstown on the SS Oriental for South Africa.[4]. Strutt left Cape Town for the United Kingdom with most of the battalion in May 1902, shortly before the end of the war.[5] He later served in the First World War, gaining many decorations and attaining the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the Royal Scots.

Strutt commanded a detachment of soldiers from the Honourable Artillery Company that escorted the family of Charles I, the last Austro-Hungarian Emperor-King, to safety in Switzerland in 1919,[1] after having served as the family's protector at Eckartsau on the personal initiative of King George V.[6][7] Strutt was also involved in a Hungarian Habsburg restoration bid in February 1921 and as a communication link between the Habsburg Imperial and Royal couple aboard HMS Cardiff, on their way to exile in Madeira, and their children in Switzerland in November 1921.[8]

Seat of League of Nations High Commissioner for the Free City of Danzig

In 1920 Strutt was appointed Allied High Commissioner of the League of Nations in Gdańsk which under the auspices of the League was known then as the Free City of Danzig (Polish: Wolne Miasto Gdańsk).[2]


Strutt had numerous mountaineering expeditions to Tyrol, Ötztal, the Stubai Alps and the Karwendel range. From 1892 the family employed Beatrice Tomasson as a governess. Despite Tommason being fifteen years older than Strutt the family believed they were romantically involved. Tomasson became a member of the Austrian Alpine Club in 1893 and began to attempt major climbs in the Dolomites from 1896 onwards.[9][10]

Strutt was climbing leader and deputy to expedition leader C. G. Bruce on the 1922 British expedition to Mount Everest that included George Finch and George Mallory. Strutt proved to be an unpopular member of the party, being thought of as 'pompous and pontificating'.[1] The expedition was called off when an avalanche killed seven Sherpa climbers.

Strutt was editor of the Alpine Journal from 1927–37
, these being the years – according to Alan Hankinson – in which 'the Alpine Club [...] had declined into a stuffy, snobbish, backward-looking institution.' Hankinson added:

Its dominant figure was Colonel E. L. Strutt [...] for many years the autocratic and outspoken editor of the Alpine Journal. His views were rigid and intolerant. The only decent and honourable way to climb was the way in which he had climbed as a young man. Crampons were inadmissible; pitons anathema.[11]

As editor, Strutt published a number of attacks on what he saw as the insidious modern trends in mountaineering, more often than not on the part of the Germans. Although Strutt had words of praise for those climbers (on expeditions to peaks such as Kangchenjunga and Nanga Parbat) whom he perceived as climbing in the classical tradition –- 'We yield to no one in admiration for the German overseas parties led by Rickmers, Bauer, Borchers, Merkl, and others. The modesty of these parties have been excelled only by their skill'[12] –- he had a different reaction to climbers using modern tactics in the Alps. He continued in this article from the 1935 Alpine Journal:

But for the present-day German mountaineer in the Alps, wonder replaces admiration. There is no lack of skill –- on rocks at any rate -– but judgement and even an elementary knowledge of the ethics of mountaineering are often conspicuously absent. In these pages it has been too frequently our task to relate some unjustifiable exploit and, in the same number, to record the inevitable disaster accruing to the perpetrator. While regretting the folly of it all, we mourn the loss of promising lives.[13]

The trend towards climbing (and descending) the great peaks at great speed also disgusted Strutt. On hearing of an American who had hired a guide to take him up and down the Matterhorn in five hours, Strutt commented that this was the kind of crime 'for which the death penalty is inadequate'.[14]

The north face of the Eiger

The ongoing attempts on the north face of the Eiger (the Eigerwand) -– which had thus far resisted all efforts, and had taken the lives of six German and Austrian climbers -– were a particular object of his disdain, provoking his most notorious outburst (in his 1938 Presidential Valedictory Address to the Alpine Club, just before the first successful ascent by Anderl Heckmair and party):

The Eigerwand –- still unclimbed –- continues to be an obsession for the mentally deranged of almost every nation. He who first succeeds may rest assured that he has accomplished the most imbecile variant since mountaineering first began.[15]


• Queen's South Africa Medal and four clasps, King's South Africa Medal and two clasps (Second Boer War)
• Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) in 1918
• Chevalier, Order of Leopold (Belgium)
• Chevalier, Order of Romania
• Croix de Guerre (Belgium)
• Croix de Guerre (France) with four palms
• Officer, Légion d'honneur
Commander, Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1919[2]
• Mentioned in despatches four times


• T. S. Blakeney, "The Alpine Journal and Its Editors III, 1927–52"


• STRUTT, Lt-Col Edward Lisle, in Who's Who 1948 (London: A. & C. Black, 1948)
• Pugnacious Defender of Emperor Charles (The Monarchist, 7 July 2008)
1. Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Lisle Strutt
2. – Person Page 7639
3. "No. 27169". The London Gazette. 27 February 1900. p. 1353.
4. "The War - Embarcation of Troops". The Times (36080). London. 3 March 1900. p. 9.
5. "The War - Invalids and others returning home". The Times (36766). London. 13 May 1902. p. 10.
6. Gordon Brook-Shepherd, Uncrowned Emperor – The Life and Times of Otto von Habsburg, Hambledon Continuum, London 2003. ISBN 1-85285-549-5.
7. Gordon Brook-Shepherd, The Last Habsburg, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London 1968. ISBN 0-297-17650-1.
8. Brook-Shepherd, Uncrowned Emperor.
9. Reisach, Hermann (2001). "Beatrice Tomasson and the South Face of the Marmolada" (PDF). Alpine Journal: 105–113. Retrieved 8 April 2014.
10. Willett, Maxine (6 August 2006). "Tomasson, Beatrice (1859-1947)". Mountain Heritage Trust. Archived from the original on 8 April 2014. Retrieved 8 April 2014.
11. Alan Hankinson, Geoffrey Winthrop Young: Poet, Educator, Mountaineer, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1995, p. 304
12. E. L. Strutt, 'A Superiority Complex', in Mirrors in the Cliffs, ed. J. Perrin, London: Diadem, 1983, p. 437 Daniel Anker notes in this context, 'The German attempts on Nanga Parbat were, during the same period, every bit as deadly as those on the Eiger, yet the Alpine Journal maintained a serious tone in its accounts of them. The reason is that Nanga Parbat was considered by the British to be an interesting mountaineering problem.' Eiger: the Vertical Arena, Seattle: The Mountaineers, 2000, pp. 21–2
13. 'A Superiority Complex', p. 437
14. Strutt quoted in Claire Engel, Mountaineering in the Alps, London: George Allen and Unwin, 1971, p. 198
15. From Strutt's Presidential Valedictory Address, 1938, in Alpine Journal, Vol. L, reprinted in Peaks, Passes and Glaciers, ed. Walt Unsworth, London: Allen Lane, 1981, p. 210
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:36 am

Gendun Chophel
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/3/20

The monk-intellectual, Gedun Ch'omp'el(1895-1951), was one such indigenous critic of the existing system in Tibet. In the 1940s the British and Tibetan Governments co-operated in suppressing the activities of the ’Young Tibet Party' with which he was associated. While this group espoused a mixture of ideologies, and received Chinese funding, the British also noted that Ch'omp'el was in correspondence with the Russian Tibetologist, Nicholas Roerich, whose political affiliations were uncertain.

-- Tibet and the British Raj, 1904-47: The Influence of the Indian Political Department Officers, by Alexander McKay

A portrait of Gendun Chophel in India 1936

Gendun Chompel,Gendün Chöphel (Tibetan: དགེ་འདུན་ཆོས་འཕེལ།, Wylie: dge 'dun chos 'phel)[1][need quotation to verify] (1903–1951) was a Tibetan scholar, thinker, writer, poet, linguist, and artist. He was born in 1903 in Shompongshe, Rebkong, Amdo. He was a creative and controversial figure and he is considered by many to have been one of the most important Tibetan intellectuals of the twentieth century.

Gendün Chöphel was a friend of Rahul Sankrityayan. His life was the inspiration for Luc Schaedler's film The Angry Monk: Reflections on Tibet.[2] He is best known for his collection of essays called The Madman's Middle Way: Reflections on Reality of the Tibetan Monk Gendun Chophel.[3] and Grains of Gold: Tales of a Cosmopolitan Pilgrimage, written during his time in India and Sri Lanka in between 1934 and 1946. These essays were critical of modern Hinduism, Christianity, and British imperialism. While condemning places and events like the Black Hole of Calcutta and the Goa Inquisition, he praised certain British colonial practices like the abolition of sati.[4]

He completed The Passion Book in 1939[5], a work of poems written in Tibetan verse.[6] It is the most famous work of erotica in the canon of Tibetan Buddhism. He used two sources for his work - classical Sanskrit writing and the experiences that he was having in his own life.[7]

See also

• Tibet Improvement Party


1. 西藏革命党考实
2. The Angry Monk: Reflections on Tibet
3. Lopez Jr., Donald S. (2006). The Madman's Middle Way: Reflections on Reality of the Tibetan Monk Gendun Choephel. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-49316-4.
4. Schaeffer, Kurtis R; Kapstein, Matthew T; Tuttle, Gray, eds. (2013). "Tibetans Addressing Modern Political Issues". Sources of Tibetan Tradition. Columbia University Press. p. 753.
5. Kerner, Ian (December 19, 2018). "Sex tips ... from a Buddhist monk?". CNN.
6. Butler, John (2018-04-22). ""The Passion Book: A Tibetan Guide to Love and Sex" by Gendun Chopel". Retrieved 2018-12-19.
7. The Passion Book.


• Chöphel, Gendün (2006), Clarifying the core of Madhyamaka: Ornament of the thought of Nagarjuna. (2nd ed.), Arcidosso, GR, Italy: Shang Shung Publications
• Chöphel, Gendun; Hopkins, Jeffrey (1993), Tibetan Arts of Love, Snow Lion Publications, ISBN 0-937938-97-1
• Chöphel, Gedün (2006). Die tibetische Liebeskunst. Nietsch. ISBN 3-934647-97-9.
• Chöphel, Gedun (1985). Dhammapada, Translation of the Dharma Verses with the Tibetan Text. Dharma Publishing. ISBN 0-913546-98-4.
• Chöphel, Gedun (2009). In the Forest of Faded Wisdom: 104 Poems by Gendun Choephel, a Bilingual Edition, edited and translated by Donald S. Lopez Jr. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-10452-2.
• Bogin, Benjamin; Decleer, Hubert (1997), "Who was 'this evil friend' ('the dog', the 'fool', 'the tyrant') in Gedun Choephel's Sad Song?", The Tibet Journal, 22 (3): 67–78
• Dhondup, K.: "Gedun Choephel: the Man Behind the Legend". Tibetan Review, vol. 13, no. 10, October 1978, p. 10–18.
• Huber, Toni (2000). Guide to India, a Tibetan Account By: Gendun Choephel. Dharamsala, India: Library of Tibetan Works & Archives. pp. 162pp. ISBN 81-86470-25-5.
• Jinpa, Thupten (2003), "Science as an Allay or a Rival Philosophy? Tibetan Buddhist Thinkers' Engagement with Modern Science", in Wallace, B. Alan (ed.), Buddhism & Science: Breaking New Ground, Published by Columbia University Press, pp. 71–85, ISBN 0-231-12335-3
• Lopez, Donald S. (Jr.) (2007). The Madman's Middle Way: Reflections on Reality of the Tibetan Monk Gendun Choephel. University Of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-49317-2.
• Mengele, Irmgard (1999). Gedun Choephel: A Biography of the 20th Century Tibetan Scholar. Dharamsala, India: Library of Tibetan Works & Archives. ISBN 81-86470-23-9.
• Stoddard, Heather (1985). Le mendiant de l'Amdo (Recherches sur la Haute Asie). Paris: Societe d'ethnographie. ISBN 2-901161-28-6.
• Roerich, George N. and Gedun Choephel (Translator) (1988). The Blue Annals by Gö Lotsawa. Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, 1976, Reprint in 1979. [reprint of Calcutta, Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1949, in two volumes].

External links

• Gendun Choephel
• The Story of a Monk Wanderer: part 1 [1], part 2 [2]
• Gendun Choephel – Angry Monk website
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Rahul Sankrityayan
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/3/20

Rahul Sankrityayan
Bust of Sankrityayan in Darjeeling, India
Born Azamgarh Uttar Pradesh |1893|4|9}}
Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh
Died: 14 April 1963 (aged 70), Darjeeling, West Bengal, India
Occupation: Writer, essayist, scholar, sociology, indian nationalist, history, Indology, philosophy, Buddhism, Tibetology, Lexicography, Grammar, Textual Editing, Folklore, Science, drama, Politics, Polymath, Polyglot
Nationality: Indian
Notable awards 1958: Sahitya Akademi Award
1963: Padma Bhushan

Rahul Sankrityayan (9 April 1893 – 14 April 1963), is called the Father of Indian Travelogue Travel literature. He is the one who played a pivotal role to give travelogue a 'literature form', was one of the most widely travelled scholars of India, spending forty-five years of his life on travels away from his home.[1]

He travelled to many places and wrote many travelogue approximately in the same ratio. He is also famously known for his authentic description about his travels experiences, for instance in his travelogue "Meri Laddakh Yatra" he presents overall regional, historical and cultural specificity of that region judiciously. He became a Buddhist monk (Bauddha Bhikkhu) and eventually took up Marxist Socialism.[1] Sankrityayan was also an Indian nationalist, having been arrested and jailed for three years for creating anti-British writings and speeches.[1] He is referred to as the 'Greatest Scholar' (Mahapandit) for his scholarship.[1] He was both a polymath as well as a polyglot.[1] The Government of India awarded him the civilian honour of the Padma Bhushan in 1963.[2]


He was born as Kedarnath Pandey in a Bhumihar Brahmin family on 9 April 1893 in Pandha Village and his ancestral village is Kanila Chakarpanur village, Azamgarh district, in Eastern Uttar Pradesh.[3] He received formal schooling at a local primary school, though he later studied and mastered numerous languages independently, as well as the art of photography.

Philosophy of his Life

In his initial days he was a keen follower of Arya Samaj of Swami Dayananda Saraswati. Buddhism came to him and changed his life. He lost faith in God's existence but still retained faith in reincarnation. Later he moved towards Marxist Socialism and rejected the concepts of reincarnation and afterlife also. The two volumes of Darshan-Digdarshan, the collected history of World's Philosophy give an indication of his philosophy when we find the second volume much dedicated to Dharmakirti's Pramana Vartika. This he discovered in Tibetan translation from Tibet.


Sankrityayan's travels took him to different parts of India including Ladakh, Kinnaur, and Kashmir. He also travelled to several other countries including Nepal, Tibet, Sri Lanka, Iran, China, and the former Soviet Union. He spent several years in the "Parsa Gadh" village in the Saran district in Bihar. The village's entry gate is named "Rahul Gate". While travelling, he mostly used surface transport, and he went to certain countries clandestinely; he entered Tibet as a Buddhist monk. He made several trips to Tibet and brought valuable paintings and Pali and Sanskrit manuscripts back to India. Most of these were a part of the libraries of Vikramshila and Nalanda Universities. These objects had been taken to Tibet by fleeing Buddhist monks during the twelfth and subsequent centuries when the invading Muslim armies had destroyed universities in India. Some accounts state that Rahul Sankrityayan employed twenty-two mules to bring these materials from Tibet to India. Patna Museum, Patna, has a special section of these materials in his honour, where a number of these and other items have been displayed.


Sankrityayan was a polyglot, well versed in several languages and dialects, including Hindi, Sanskrit, Pali, Bhojpuri, Magahi, Urdu, Persian, Arabic, Tamil, Kannada, Tibetan, Sinhalese, French and Russian.[1] He was also an Indologist, a Marxist theoretician, and a creative writer.[1] He started writing during his twenties and his works, totalling well over 100, covered a variety of subjects, including sociology, history, philosophy, Buddhism, Tibetology, lexicography, grammar, textual editing, folklore, science, drama, and politics.[1] Many of these were unpublished.[1] He translated Majjhima Nikaya from Prakrit into Hindi.[1]

Rahul's Tombstone at Darjeeling.This tombstone is established at a place called "Murda Haati" which is a cremation ground downtown in the lower altitudes of Darjeeling around 25 minutes drive from the ChowRasta. The same place also has the tombstone of Sister Nivedita.

One of his most famous books in Hindi is Volga Se Ganga (A journey from the Volga to the Ganges) -– a work of historical fiction concerning the migration of Aryans from the steppes of the Eurasia to regions around the Volga river; then their movements across the Hindukush and the Himalayas and the sub-Himalayan regions; and their spread to the Indo-Gangetic plains of the subcontinent of India. The book begins in 6000 BC and ends in 1942, the year when Mahatma Gandhi, the Indian nationalist leader called for the quit India movement. It was published in 1942. A translation into English of this work by Victor Kiernan was published in 1947 as From Volga to Ganga.[4] It was translated by K.N. Muthiya-Tamilputhakalayam in Tamil as Valgavil irundu gangai varai and is still considered a best-seller. The Kannada translation done by B.N Sharma as "Volga Ganga". The Telugu translation (Volga nunchi Ganga ku) inspired many readers. Volga muthal Ganga vare, the Malayalam translation, became immensely popular among the young intellectuals of Kerala and it continues to be one of the most influential books of its times. The Bengali version is Volga Theke Ganga [ভল্গা থেকে গঙ্গা], which is still acclaimed by the critics.

His most important travelogue literature is "Tibbat me Sava varsha(1933), "Meri Europe Yatra" (1935), "Athato Ghumakkad Jigyasa", "Volga se Ganga", "Asia ke Durgam Bhukhando Mein", "Yatra Ke Panne" and "Kinnar Desh Mein".

More than ten of his books have been translated and published in Bengali. He was awarded the Padmabhushan in 1963,[5] and he received the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1958 for his book Madhya Asia ka Itihaas.

He maintained daily diaries in Sanskrit which were used fully while writing his autobiography. In spite of profound scholarship, he wrote in very simple Hindi that a common person could follow. He wrote books of varied interest. He was aware of limitations of Hindi literature and singularly made up the loss in no small measure.

The historian Kashi Prasad Jayaswal compared Rahul Sankrityayan with Buddha. Rahul's personality was as impressive and memorable as are his achievements. He traveled widely and wrote in five languages – Hindi, Sanskrit, Bhojpuri, Pāli and Tibetan. His published works span a range of genres, which include autobiography, biography, travelogue, sociology, history, philosophy, Buddhism, Tibetology, lexicography, grammar, text editing, folklore, science, fiction, drama, essays, politics, and pamphleteering.

Soviet Union

Although he had little formal education, in view of his knowledge and command over the subject, University of Leningrad appointed him Professor of Indology in 1937–38 and again in 1947–48.


Many of Rahul's personal collections including the ones he gathered from his multiple trips to Tibet were distributed across to multiple Universities and Museums. Patna Museum has an extensive collection of Buddhist scrolls which he assimilated through his journeys across Tibet. Many of these are considered rare gems of Indian scriptures translated into Tibetan.

Personal life and family

Sankrityayan on a 1993 stamp of India

Rahul was married when very young and never came to know anything of his child-wife, Santoshi. Probably he saw her only once in his 40s as per his autobiography: Meri Jivan Yatra. During his stay in Soviet Russia a second time, accepting an invitation for teaching Buddhism at Leningrad University, he came in contact with a Mongolian scholar Lola (Ellena Narvertovna Kozerovskaya). She could speak French, English, and Russian and write Sanskrit. She helped him in working on Tibetan-Sanskrit dictionary. Their attachment ended in marriage and birth of son Igor. Mother and son were not allowed to accompany Rahul to India after completion of his assignment due to restrictions imposed by Stalin regime.

Late in life, he married Dr. Kamala, an Indian Nepali lady and had a daughter (Jaya), two sons (Jeta) and (Jayant).


Rahul accepted a teaching job at a Sri Lankan University, where he fell seriously ill. Diabetes, high blood pressure and a mild stroke struck him. Most tragic happening was the loss of memory. He breathed his last in Darjeeling in 1963.

His last residence at Darjeeling was at 21 Kacheri Road: Rahul Nivas.

Rahul Nivas in September 2015


Awards / About / Awarded By

Rahul Sankrityayan National Award / Contribution to Hindi travel Literature (also called Travel Litterateur's Honour). / Kendriya Hindi Sansthan, Government of India

Mahapandit Rahul Sankrityayan Paryatan Puraskar / Awarded for contributing significantly in the field of travelogue and Discovery and Research in Hindi, for books written originally in Hindi on Tourism related subjects. / Ministry of Tourism, Government of India


In Hindi


• Baaeesween Sadi – 1923
• Jeeney ke Liye – 1940
• Simha Senapathi – 1944
• Jai Yaudheya – 1944
• Bhago Nahin, Duniya ko Badlo – 1944
• Madhur Swapna – 1949
• Rajasthani Ranivas – 1953
• Vismrit Yatri – 1954
• Divodas – 1960
• Vismriti Ke Garbh Me

Short Stories

• Satmi ke Bachche – 1935
• Volga Se Ganga – 1944
• Bahurangi Madhupuri – 1953
• Kanaila ki Katha – 1955–56


• Meri Jivan Yatra I – 1944
• Meri Jivan Yatra II – 1950
• Meri Jivan Yatra III, IV, V – published posthumously


• Sardar Prithvi Singh – 1955
• Naye Bharat ke Naye Neta (2 volumes) – 1942
• Bachpan ki Smritiyan – 1953
• Ateet se Vartaman (Vol I) – 1953
• Stalin – 1954
• Lenin – 1954
• Karl Marx – 1954
• Mao-Tse-Tung – 1954
• Ghumakkar Swami – 1956
• Mere Asahayog ke Sathi – 1956
• Jinka Main Kritajna – 1956
• Vir Chandrasingh Garhwali – 1956
• Simhala Ghumakkar Jaivardhan – 1960
• Kaptan Lal – 1961
• Simhal ke Vir Purush – 1961
• Mahamanav Budha – 1956

Some of his other books are:-

• Mansik Gulami
• Rhigvedic Arya
• Ghumakkar Shastra
• Kinnar desh mein
• Darshan Digdarshan
• Dakkhini Hindi ka Vyaakaran
• Puratatv Nibandhawali
• Manava Samaj
• Madhya Asia ka Itihas
• Samyavad hi Kyon

In Bhojpuri

• Teen Natak – 1942
• Panch Natak – 1942

In Nepali (Translation)

• Bauddhadharnma Darshan – 1984

Related to Tibetan

• Tibbati Bal-Siksha – 1933
• Pathavali (Vol. 1,2 & 3) – 1933
• Tibbati Vyakaran (Tibetan Grammar) – 1933
• Tibbat May Budh Dharm-1948
• Lhasa ki or
• Himalaya Parichay Bhag 1
• Himalaya Parichay Bhag 2
• Tibet mai pravesh

This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.

See also

• Hindi literature


1. Sharma, R.S. (2009). Rethinking India's Past. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-569787-2.
2. "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
3. Prabhakar Machwe (1 January 1998). Rahul Sankrityayan (Hindi Writer). Sahitya Akademi. pp. 12–. ISBN 978-81-7201-845-0.
4. Rahul Sankrityayana From Volga to Ganga, Rahula Publication, Mussorie, 1947.
5. "Padma Awards Directory (1954–2013)" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.

Further reading

• Ram Sharan Sharma, Rahul Sankrityayan and Social Change, Indian History Congress, 1993.
• Himalayan Buddhism, Past and Present: Mahapandit Rahul Sankrityayan centenary volume by D. C. Ahir (ISBN 978-81-7030-370-1)
• Prabhakar Machwe: "Rahul Sankrityayan" New Delhi 1978: Sahitya Akademi. [A short biography including a list of Sankrityayan's works]
• Bharati Puri, Traveller on the Silk Road: Rites and Routes of Passage in Rahul Sankrityayan’s Himalayan Wanderlust, China Report (Sage: New Delhi), February 2011, vol. 47, no. 1, pp. 37–58.
• Alaka Atreya Chudal, A Freethinking Cultural Nationalist: A Life History of Rahul Sankrityayan, Oxford University Press, 2016. (ISBN 978-01-9946-687-0)
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue Feb 04, 2020 6:35 am

Arya Samaj
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/3/20

Arya Samaj
Arya Samaj 2000 stamp of India.jpg
A 2000 stamp dedicated to Arya Samaj
Motto: "कृण्वन्तो विश्वमार्यम्" Make the world noble!
Formation: 10 April 1875 (144 years ago), Bombay, Bombay Presidency, British India (present-day Mumbai, Maharashtra, India)
Founder: Dayananda Saraswati
Type: Religious organisation
Legal status: Foundation
Purpose: Educational, Religious studies, Spirituality, Social Reforms
Headquarters: New Delhi, Delhi, India
Coordinates 26.4499°N 74.6399°ECoordinates: 26.4499°N 74.6399°E
Area served
Official language: Hindi
Main organ: श्रीमती परोपकारिणी सभा – Shreemati Paropkarini Sabha
Affiliations: Indian

Arya Samaj (Sanskrit: आर्य समाज, IAST: ārya samāja; "Noble Society") is a monotheistic Indian Hindu reform movement that promotes values and practices based on the belief in the infallible authority of the Vedas. The samaj was founded by the sannyasi (ascetic) Dayanand Saraswati on 10 April 1875.[1] Members of the Arya Samaj believe in one God and reject the worship of idols.[2]

Arya Samaj was the first Hindu organization to introduce proselytization in Hinduism.[3] [4]


The Arya Samaj was established in Bombay on 10 April 1875 by Dayananda Saraswati (born "Mool Shankar" in Kathiawar, Gujarat 1824 – died Ajmer, 1883)[5]

An alternative date for the foundation of the samaj is 24 June 1877 because it was then, in Lahore when the samaj became more than just a regional movement based in Punjab.[6]

Vedic schools

Between 1869 and 1873, Dayanand began his efforts to reform orthodox Hinduism in India. He established Gurukul (Vedic schools) which emphasised Vedic values, culture, Satya (virtue) and Sanatana Dharma (the essence of living). The schools gave separate educations to boys and girls based on ancient Vedic principles. The Vedic school system was also to relieve Indians from the pattern of a British education.[7]

The first Vedic school was established at Farrukhabad in 1869.[8] Fifty students were enrolled in its first year. This success led to the founding of schools at Mirzapur (1870), Kasganj (1870), Chhalesar (Aligarh) (1870) and Varanasi (1873).

At the schools, students received all meals, lodging, clothing and books free of charge. The discipline was strict. Students were not allowed to perform murti puja (worship of sculpted stone idols). Rather, they performed Sandhyavandanam (meditative prayer using Vedic mantras with divine sound) and agnihotra (making heated milk offering twice daily).

The study of Sanskrit scriptural texts which accepted the authority of the Vedas were taught. They included the Vedas, Upanishads, Aranyaka, Kashika, Nirukta, Mahabhasya, Ashtadhyayi, Darshanas.

"The Light of Truth" lecture series

After visiting Calcutta, Dayanand's work changed. He began lecturing in Hindi rather than in Sanskrit. Although Sanskrit garnered respect, in Hindi, Dayanand reached a much larger audience. His ideas of reform began to reach the poorest people.

In Varanasi, after hearing Dayanand speak, a local government official called Jaikishen Das encouraged Dayanand to publish a book about his ideas. From June to September 1874, Dayanand dictated a series of lectures to his scribe, Bhimsen Sharma. The lectures recorded Dayanand's views on a wide range of subjects. They have published in 1875 in Varanasi with the title Satyarth Prakash ("the light of truth").

New samaj

While his manuscript for Satyarth Prakash was being edited in Varanasi, Dayanand received an invitation to travel to Bombay. There, he was to debate representatives of the Vallabhacharya sect. On 20 October 1874, Dayanand arrived in Bombay. The debate, though well publicized, never took place. Nonetheless, two members of the Prarthana Samaj approached Dayanand and invited him to speak at one of their gatherings. He did so and was well received. They recognized Dayanand's desire to uplift the Hindu community and protect Hindus from the pressures to convert to Christianity or Islam. Dayanand spent over one month in Bombay and attracted sixty people to his cause. They proposed founding a new samaj with Dayanand's ideas as its spiritual and intellectual basis.

Ahmedabad debates

On 11 December 1874, Dayanand arrived in Ahmedabad, Gujarat on the invitation of Gopal Hari Deshmukh. There, he debated with interested parties.

Rajkot Arya Samaj

On 31 December 1874, Dayanand arrived in Rajkot, Gujarat, on the invitation of Hargovind Das Dvarkadas, the secretary of the local Prarthana Samaj. He invited topics of discourse from the audience and spoke on eight. Again, Dayanand was well received and the Rajkot group elected to join his cause. The Samaj was renamed Arya Samaj (Society of Nobles). Dayanand published a list of twenty-eight rules and regulations for the followers. After leaving Rajkot, Dayanand went to Ahmedabad but his audience at a meeting on 27 January 1875, did not elect to form a new Arya Samaj. Meanwhile, the Rajkot group had become in a political row.

Bombay Arya Samaj

A meeting of the Arya Samāj for investing boys with the sacred thread[9]

On his return to Bombay, Dayanand began a membership drive for a local Arya samaj and received one hundred enrollees. On 7 April 1875,Bombay Arya Samaj was established. Dayanand himself enrolled as a member rather than the leader of the Bombay group. The Samaj began to grow.[10]

After Dayanand

Dayanand died in 1883. The Arya Samaj continued to grow, especially in Punjab. The early leaders of the Samaj were Pandit Lekh Ram (1858 – 1897) and Swami Shraddhanand (Mahatma Munshi Ram Vij) (1856 – 1926). Some authors claim that the activities of the Samaj led to increased antagonism between Muslims and Hindus.[11] Shraddhanand led the Shuddhi movement that aimed to bring Hindus who had converted to other religions back to Hinduism.[12]

In 1893, the Arya Samaj members of Punjab were divided on the question of vegetarianism. The group that refrained from eating meat were called the "Mahatma" group and the other group, the "Cultured Party".[13]

In the early 1900s, the Samaj (or organizations inspired by it such as Jat Pat Todak Mandal) campaigned against caste discrimination.[14] They also campaigned for widow remarriage and women's education.
[15] The samaj also established chapters in British colonies with an Indian diaspora such as South Africa, Fiji, Mauritius, Suriname, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago.[16]

Prominent Indian Nationalists such as Lala Lajpat Rai belonged to Arya Samaj and were active in its campaigning.[17] Bhagat Singh's grandfather followed Arya Samaj, which had a considerable influence on Bhagat Singh.[18] The British colonial government in the early part of 20th century viewed the Samaj as a political body. Some Samajis in government service were dismissed for belonging to the Samaj[19]

In the 1930s, when the Hindu Nationalist group, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh grew in prominence in Northern India, they found support in the Arya Samaj of Punjab.[20]

Arya Samaj in Punjab

In Punjab, the Arya Samaj was opposed by the Ahmadiyya movement which provided the Samaj one of its most aggressive opponents from among the various Muslim groups and whose founder Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was extensively involved in theological disputations with Samaj leaders, most notably with Pandit Lekh Ram.[21][22] It was also opposed by the Sikh dominated Singh Sabha, the forerunner of the Akali Dal.[23]

Arya Samaj in Gujarat

The Arya Samaj of Gujarat members were missionaries from Punjab who had been encouraged to move to Gujarat to carry out educational work amongst the untouchable castes by the maharaja, Sayajirao Gaekwad III. The Gujarat Samaj opened orphanages. In 1915, the samaj lost its following to Mahatma Gandhi.[24]

Reconversion in Malabar

In 1921, during a rebellion by the Muslim Moplah community of Malabar Indian newspapers reported that a number of Hindus were forcibly converted to Islam. The Arya Samaj extended its efforts to the region to reconvert these people back to Hinduism through Shuddhi ceremonies. [25]:p.141–152

Views of Orthodox Hindu on the Samaj

The then Shankaracharya of Badrinath math in 1939 in a letter to the archbishop of Canterbury, called Arya Samajis Un-Hindu. He also criticized the samaj efforts at converting Christians and Muslims.[26]

Arya Samaj in Hyderabad state

A branch of Arya Samaj was established at Dharur in Beed district of Hyderabad state, the largest princely state during British colonial rule. Keshav Rao Koratkar was the president of the organization until 1932. During his tenure, the Samaj, established schools and libraries throughout the state. Although a social and religious organization, the Samaj activities assumed a great political role in resisting the government of the Nizam during 1930s. In 1938-1939, Arya Samaj teamed up with the Hindu Mahasabha to resist the Nizam government through Satyagraha. The Nizam government responded by raiding and desecrating Arya samaj mandirs. The Samaj, in turn, criticized Islam and the Islamic rulers of the state. This widely increased the gulf between the Hindu and Muslim population of the state.[27][28]

Language issue

Arya Samaj promoted the use of Hindi in Punjab and discouraged the use of Punjabi. This was a serious point of difference between the Sikhs, represented by the Shiromani Akali Dal group and the Arya Samaj. The difference was marked during the period immediately following the independence of India and the time of the Punjabi Suba movement (demand for a Punjabi speaking state).[29][30][31]

Humanitarian efforts

Arya Samaj was a charitable organisation. For example, donations were made to victims of the 1905 Kangra earthquake. The samaj campaigned for women's right to vote, and for the protection of widows.[32]

Contemporary Arya Samaj

Arya Samaj in India

Arya Samaj schools and temples are found in almost all major cities and as well as in rural areas (esp in North region) of India. Some are authorised to conduct weddings. The Samaj is associated with the Dayanand Anglo Vedic (DAV) schools which number over two hundred.[33]

The former Indian prime minister Charan Singh, as a young man, was a member of Arya Samaj in Ghaziabad.

A branch of Arya Samaj was established in 2015 in Angul district in the state of Odisha[34]

Arya Samaj around the world

Arya Samaj is active in countries including Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Fiji, Australia,[35] South Africa,[36] Kenya,[37] Mauritius[38] and other countries where a significant Hindu diaspora is present.

Immigrants to Canada and the United States from South Asia, Eastern Africa, South Africa, and the Caribbean countries of set up Arya Samaj temples for their respective communities.[39] Most major metropolitan areas of United States have chapters of Arya Samaj.[40]

Core beliefs

ओ३म् O3m (Aum), considered by the Arya Samaj to be the highest and most proper name of God.

Members of the Arya Samaj believe in one almighty creator referred to with the syllable Aum as mentioned in the Yajur Veda (40:17). They believe the Vedas is an infallible authority. The Arya Samaj members reject other Hindu religious texts because they are not "revealed" works. For instance, they believe books like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata are legends of historical figures, and rejects them as reference to supreme beings and avatars. The members of Arya Samaj reject other scriptural works such as the Puranas, The Upanishads, the Bible, and the Quran.[41] They reject the worship of idols. The Arya Samaj promotes the equality of all human beings and the empowerment of women.

The core beliefs of Arya Samaj are postulated below:[42]

1. The primeval cause of all genuine knowledge and all that is known by means of knowledge is God.
2. God is Truth-consciousness – Bliss personified, Formless, Omnipotent, Just, Merciful, Unborn, Infinite, Unchangeable, Beginningless, Incomparable, Support of all, Lord of all, Omnipresent, Internal, the regulator of all, Undecaying, Immortal, Fearless, Eternal, Holy, and creator of the Universe. He alone deserves worship.
3. The Vedas are repositories of all of true knowledge. It is the paramount duty of all Aryas to study and teach and to propound the Veda.

4. We should be ever ready to imbibe truth and forsake untruth.
5. All acts should be done in accordance with Dharma, i.e. after deliberating upon what is truth and untruth.
6. The prime object of Arya Samaj is to do good to the whole world, i.e. to achieve physical, spiritual and social prosperity for all.
7. Our conduct towards all should be guided by love, by injunctions of Dharma and according to their respective positions.
8. One should dispel ignorance and promote knowledge.
9. One should not be content with one's own prosperity only, but should consider the prosperity of all as his own prosperity.
10. All human beings should abide by the rules concerning social or everyone's benefit, while everyone should be free to follow any rule beneficial for him/her.


Agnihotra by Arya Samaj

The Arya Samaj members consider the Gayatri Mantra,[43] as the most holy mantra and chant it periodically, do the meditation known as "Sandhya" and make offering to the holy fire (havan).[44] The havan can be performed with a priest for special occasions or without a priest for personal worship. The havan is performed as per the havan pustika, usually a simplified guide to do havan, having mantras for general or special occasions. The priest is generally a Vedic scholar from the local Arya Samaj Mandir or Gurukul. Sometimes elder members of family or neighbours can also perform the havan acting as a purohit. The host is known as the "Yajmana". The priest can be called an "Acharya", "Swami ji" or "Pandit Ji" depending upon his scholarly status and local reputation. It is customary to give a nominal "dakshina" to the priest after havan, although in Arya Samaj it is more symbolic and the priest does not state any sum. The sum is decided by the host's capability and status but is still a small amount.[45]

Members celebrate Holi (the start of spring) and Diwali (a harvest festival and the victory of good over evil).

Arya Samaj advocates a lacto-vegetarian diet and in particular, the eating of beef is strictly prohibited.

After a death, Arya Samajis will often conduct a haven and collect the ashes on the fourth day.[46]


Diya with one wick.

Diya with four wicks, pointing in each direction (N, W, S, E).

The Arya Samaj celebration of Diwali is typified by the celebration in Suriname. The festival celebrates the victory of good over evil. A vegetarian fast is kept. The Gayatri mantra is spoken while oil lamps are lit. One Diya lamp, which is of larger size has two wicks crossed to produce four lights, one in each direction and is lit first. The smaller lamp has one wick. The recitation of the Gayatri mantra occurs in front of a fire altar lit with sandalwood. A lamp is kept in every room except the bathroom and restroom. More lamps can be lit, which can be placed arbitrarily in the yard, living room and so on.[47]


Holi is celebrated as the conclusion of winter and the start of spring to sow the land and hope for a good harvest. This day is marked by colors and songs (Chautal). It does not require specific prayer or fasting, however, some people keep a vegetarian fast on this day. The Arya Samaj does not associate Holi with a particular deity such as Vishnu or Shiva and in comparison to some interpretations of the festival, the Arya Samaj version in more sober and is as per the 4 Vedas.[48][45]

See also

• Arya Samaj in Fiji
• Arya Samaj in Ghana
• Arya Samaj in Guyana
• Arya Samaj in Kenya
• Arya Samaj in Mauritius
• Arya Samaj in Mozambique
• Arya Samaj in Singapore
• Arya Samaj in South Africa
• Arya Samaj in Suriname
• Arya Samaj in Tanzania
• Arya Samaj in Trinidad and Tobago
• Arya Samaj in Thailand
• Arya Samaj in Uganda
• Hindu reform movements


1. Hastings J. and Selbi J. (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics Kessinger 2003 part 3. p. 57. ISBN 0-7661-3671-X
2. Thursby, G. R. (1975). Hindu-Muslim relations in British India : a study of controversy, conflict, and communal movements in northern India 1923–1928. Leiden: Brill. p. 3. ISBN 9789004043800.
3. Thursby, G. R. (1977). Hindu-Muslim relations in British India : a study of controversy, conflict, and communal movements in northern India 1923–1928. Leiden: Brill. p. 3. ISBN 9789004043800.
4. Gyanendra Pandey (25 March 2013). A History of Prejudice: Race, Caste, and Difference in India and the United States. Cambridge University Press. p. 64. ISBN 978-1-107-02900-2.
5. E News Aryasamaj website 2 March 2010. Accessed 3 February 2017
6. Dayanand Saraswati Himalaya publishing documents.
7. Sharma R. N and Sharma R. K. Problems of Education in India Atlantic 2006 p. 356 ISBN 817156612X
8. Saxena G. S. Arya Samaj movement in India, 1875–1947 Commonwealth publishers 1990 p. 47
9. Russell R. V. The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India 1916 vol. 1
10. "The Arya Samaj - Arya Samaj Mumbai". Retrieved 25 January 2020.
11. Barrier, Norman G. (1967). "The Arya Samaj and Congress Politics in the Punjab, 1894-1908". The Journal of Asian Studies. 26 (3): 363–379. doi:10.2307/2051414. JSTOR 2051414.
12. Nair N. Changing Homelands: Hindu Politics and the Partition of India. Permanent Black, New Delhi 2011. p. 53 ISBN 9780674057791
13. "Punjab" Imperial Gazetteer of India 1909. vol. 20 p. 291. Accessed 2 October 2014.
14. Rajivlochan M. Coping with Exclusions the Non-Political Way in Judge P. S. Mapping Social Exclusion in India: Caste, Religion and Borderlands Cambridge University Press 2014 p. 82 – 83. ISBN 1107056098
15. Kishwar M. (26 April 1986). "Arya Samaj and Women's Education: Kanya Mahavidyalaya, Jalandhar". Economic and Political Weekly. 21 (17): WS9–WS24. JSTOR 4375593.
16. Vertovec S. The Hindu Diaspora: Comparative Patterns Routledge, London 2000. pp. 29, 54 and 69. ISBN 9780415238939.
17. Rai L. L. The Arya Samaj: an Account of its Aims, Doctrine and Activities, with a Biographical Sketch of the Founder Longman, London 1915. ISBN 978-81-85047-77-5
18. Twitter hails Bhagat Singh on his 112th birth anniversary, Mid-Day, 27 September 2019.
19. Kumar, Raj (editor) (2004). Essays on social reform movements. New Delhi: Discovery Pub. House. pp. 2–4. ISBN 9788171417926.
20. Jaffrelot C. The Hindu Nationalist Movement and Indian Politics: 1925 to the 1990s. Penguin Books, New Delhi 1999. pp. 67 and 68. ISBN 9780140246025.
21. Kenneth W. Jones (1976). Arya Dharm: Hindu Consciousness in 19th-century Punjab. University of California Press. p. 148. ISBN 0-520-02920-8.
22. Kenneth W. Jones (1989). Socio-Religious Reform Movements in British India. Cambridge University Press. pp. 116–18. ISBN 9780521249867.
23. Jones, Kenneth W. (1973). "Ham Hindu Nahin: Arya-Sikh Relations, 1877-1905". The Journal of Asian Studies. 32 (3): 457–475. doi:10.2307/2052684. JSTOR 2052684.
24. Hardiman D. Purifying the nation, the Arya Samaj in Gujarat 1895–1930 Indian Economic and Social History Review 2000. 44:1 p. 41 – 65.
25. Thursby G. R. Hindu-Muslim relations in British India: a study of controversy, conflict, and communal movements in northern India 1923–1928 Brill, Leiden, 1975. ISBN 9789004043800
26. Lucien D. Benichou (2000). From Autocracy to Integration: Political Developments in Hyderabad State, 1938-1948. Orient Blackswan. p. 79. ISBN 978-81-250-1847-6.
27. P. V. Kate (1987). Marathwada Under the Nizams, 1724-1948. Mittal Publications. pp. 51, 64–66. ISBN 978-81-7099-017-8.
28. Lucien D. Benichou (2000). From Autocracy to Integration: Political Developments in Hyderabad State, 1938-1948. Orient Blackswan. p. 79. ISBN 978-81-250-1847-6.
29. Lamba K. G. Dynamics of Punjabi Suba Movement Deep and Deep 1999. p. 90 ISBN 9788176291293Accessed 3 February 2017.
30. Chopra R. Love Is The Ultimate Winner Partridge, India 2013. p. 9072. ISBN 9781482800050 Accessed 3 February 2017.
31. Grewal J. S. The Sikhs of the Punjab Cambridge University Press 1998. p. 187 ISBN 9780521637640Accessed 3 February 2017.
32. Sharma S. C. Punjab, the Crucial Decade Atlantic 1987. p. 133.
33. Arya Samaj Arya Samaj website.
34. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 January 2016. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
35. Arya Samaj Queensland website. Accessed 3 February 2017.
36. Lal V. and Vahed G. (2013). "Hinduism in South Africa: Caste, Ethnicity, and Invented Traditions, 1860–Present" (PDF). J Sociology Soc Anth. 4 (1–2): 1–15. doi:10.1080/09766634.2013.11885578.
37. Ombongi K. S. Hindu socio-religious organizations in Kenya: a case study of Arya Samaj, 1903–1978University of Nairobi 1993.
38. Eisenlohr P. Little India: Diaspora, Time, and Ethnolinguistic Belonging in Hindu Mauritius University of California Press, Berkeley, California 2006. p. 36. ISBN 978-0-520-24879-3
39. Coward H. Hindus in Canada, the Third National Metropolis Conference Archived 30 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration and Integration in the Metropolis 1999.
40. Arya Pratinidhi Sabha America Archived 31 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine Arya Samaj website. Accessed 30 December 2013.
41. Kenneth W. Jones (1976). Arya Dharm: Hindu Consciousness in 19th-century Punjab. University of California Press. pp. 139–143. ISBN 978-0-520-02920-0.
42. "10 Principles of Arya Samaj - English & Hindi". Arya Samaj India. 5 September 2015. Retrieved 21 April2019.
43. Naidoo T. The Arya Samaj movement in South Africa Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi 1992 first edition. p.30 and 71. ISBN 8120807693
44. Morgan, Kenneth W. (Editor); Sharma, D.S.; et al. (1987). The Religion of the Hindus (Reprint. ed.). Delhi: M. Banarsidass. p. 199. ISBN 978-8120803879. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
45. Jump up to:a b Jones K. W. Arya Dharm: Hindu Consciousness in 19th-century Punjab University of California Press, 1976. p. 95. ISBN 0520029208
46. Firth S. Dying, death and bereavement in a British Hindu community Peeters, Leuven 1997. p. 89. ISBN 9789068319767
47. Arya Dharm: Hindu Consciousness in 19th-Century Punjab Paperback – January 1, 2006Jones, Kenneth W. (1976). Arya dharm : Hindu consciousness in 19th-century Punjab. New Delhi: Manohar. ISBN 978-8173047091. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
48. Dalal R. The Religions of India: A Concise Guide to Nine Major Faiths Penguin Books India, 2010. p. 148 ISBN 0143415174

Further reading

• Chamupati M. A. (2001) Ten Commandments of Arya Samaj New Delhi: D.A.V. Publications.
• Jordens J. T. F. (1978) Dayanada Saraswati Oxford University Press, Delhi.
• Madhu Kishwar, "The Daughters of Aryavarta: Women in the Arya Samaj movement, Punjab." Chapter in Women in Colonial India; Essays on Survival, Work and the State, edited by J. Krishnamurthy, Oxford University Press, 1989.
• Rai L. (1915) The Arya Samaj: an Account of its Aims, Doctrine and Activities, with a Biographical Sketch of the Founder D.A.V. College Managing Committee, New Delhi ISBN 978-81-85047-77-5.
• Rai L. (1993) A History of the Arya Samaj New Delhi ISBN 81-215-0578-X.
• Ruthven M. (2007) Fundamentalism: a Very Short Introduction Oxford University Press ISBN 978-0-19-921270-5.
• Sharma J. M. (1998) Swami Dayanand: a Biography USB, India ISBN 81-7476-212-4.
• Sethi R. "Rashtra Pitamah Swami Dayanand Saraswati" M R Sethi Educational Trust, Chandigarh.
• Upadhyaya G. P. (1954) The Origin, Scope and Mission of the Arya Samaj Arya Samaj.
• Shastri V. (1967) The Arya Samaj Sarvadeshik Arya Pratinidhi Sabha.
• Pandey D. (1972) The Arya Samaj and Indian Nationalism, 1875–1920 S. Chand.
• Pandit S. (1975) A Critical Study of the Contribution of the Arya Samaj to Indian Education Sarvadeshik Arya, Pratinidhi Sabha.
• Vedalanker N. and Somera M. (1975) Arya Samaj and Indians Abroad Sarvadeshik Arya Pratinidhi Sabha.
• Vable D. (1983) The Arya Samaj: Hindu Without Hinduism VikasISBN 0-7069-2131-3.
• Sharma S. K. (1985) Social Movements and Social Change: a Study of Arya Samaj and Untouchables in PunjabB.R. Publishing.
• Yadav K. C. and Arya K. S. (1988) Arya Samaj and the Freedom Movement: 1875–1918 Manohar Publications. ISBN 81-85054-42-8.
• Saxena G. S. (1990) Arya Samaj Movement in India, 1875–1947 Commonwealth Publishers. ISBN 81-7169-045-9.
• Sethi R. (2009) Rashtra Pitamah, Swami Dayanand Saraswati M R Sethi Educational Trust, Chandigarh
• Chopra R. M. (2009) Hinduism Today
• Jamnager A. S. and Pandya D. Aryasamaj Ke Stambh A. S. Jamnager's website.
• Jones K. Arya Dharm: Hindu Consciousness in 19th-Century Punjab
• Dayananda, S., & Bharadwaja, C. (1932). Light of truth, or, An English translation of the Satyartha prakasha: The well-known work of Swami Dayananda Saraswati. Madras: Arya Samaj.
• Swami Shraddhananda, . (1926). Hindu sangathan: Saviour of the dying race. Delhi: Shraddhananda.
• Swami Śraddhānanda, . (1984). Inside the Congress: A collection of 26 articles. New Delhi: Dayanand Sansthan.

External links

• Official website
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Part 1 of 2

Nicholas Roerich
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/4/20

Nicholas Roerich and the Kalachakra Tantra:

A further two individuals who won the most respect for the Shambhala myth in the West before the flight of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, were also Russians, Nicholas Roerich (1874–1947) and his wife Helena Ivanovna (1879–1955). Roerich was a lifelong painter, influenced by the late art nouveau movement. He believed himself to be a reincarnation of Leonardo da Vinci. Via his paintings, of which the majority featured Asian subjects, especially the mountainous landscapes of the Himalayas, he attempted to spread his religious message. He became interested in the ideas of Theosophy very early on; his wife translated Madame Blavatsky’s Secret Doctrine into Russian. The occultist led him to Buddhism, which was as we have said en vogue in the society of St. Petersburg at the time. We have already briefly encountered him as a designer of Agvan Dorjiev’s Kalachakra temple. He was a close friend of the Buriat. In contrast, he hated Albert Grünwedel and regarded his work with deep mistrust. Between the years of 1924 and 1928 he wandered throughout Central Asia in search of the kingdom of Shambhala and subsequently published a travel diary.

In 1929 he began a very successful international action, the Roerich Banner of Peace and the Peace Pact, in which warring nations were supposed to commit themselves to protecting each other’s cultural assets from destruction. In the White House in 1935 the Roerich Pact was signed by 21 nations in the presence of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The migrant Russian succeeded in gaining constant access to circles of government, especially since the American agricultural minister, Henry Wallace, had adopted him as his guru. In 1947 the painter died in the Himalayan foothills of northern India.

With great zeal his wife continued her husband’s religious work up until the nineteen-fifties. Helena Ivanovna had from the outset actively participated in the formation of her husband’s ideas. Above all it is to her that we owe the numerous writings about Agni Yoga, the core of their mutual teachings. Roerich saw her as something like his shakti, and openly admitted to her contribution to the development of his vision. He said in one statement that in his understanding of the world “the duty of the woman [is] to lead her male partner to the highest and most beautiful, and then to inspire him to open himself up to the higher world of the spirit and to import both valuable and beautiful aspects and ethical and social ones into life” (Augustat, 1993, p. 50). In his otherwise Indian Buddhist doctrinal system there was a revering of the “mother the world” that probably came from the Russian Orthodox Church.

Roerich first learned about the Kalachakra Tantra from Agvan Dorjiev during his work on the temple in St. Petersburg. Later, in Darjeeling, he had contact to the lama Ngawang Kalzang, who was also the teacher of the German, Lama Govinda, and was well versed in the time teachings. It is, however, most unlikely that Roerich received specific initiations from him or others, as his statements about the Kalachakra Tantra do not display a great deal of expertise. Perhaps it was precisely because of this that he saw in it the “happy news “ of the new eon to come. He thus took up exactly the opposite position to his contemporary and acquaintance, Albert Grünwedel, who fanatically denounced the supreme Buddhist doctrinal system as a work of the devil. “Kalachakra”, Roerich wrote, “is the doctrine which is attributed to the numerous rulers of Shambhala. ... But in reality this doctrine is the great revelation brought to humankind ... by the lords of fire, the sons of reason who are and were the lords of Shambhala” (Schule der Lebensweisheit, 1990, pp. 79, 81).

According to Roerich, the “fiery doctrine was covered in dust “ up until the twentieth century. (Schule der Lebensweisheit, 1990, p. 122). But now the time had come in which it would spread all over the world. As far as their essential core was concerned, all other religions were supposed to be included in the Time Tantra already: “There are now so many teachers — so different and so hostile to one another; and nonetheless so many speak of the One, and the Kalachakra expresses this One”, the Russian has a Tibetan lama say. “One of your priests once asked me: Are the Cabala and Shambhala not parts of the one teaching? He asked: Is the great Moses not a initiate of the same doctrine and a servant of its laws?” (Schule der Lebensweisheit, 1990, p. 78).

Agni yoga:

For Roerich and his wife the Time Tantra contains a sparkling fire philosophy: „This Teaching of Kalachakra, this utilization of the primary energy, has been called the Teaching of Fire. The Hindu peoples know the great Agni — ancient teaching though it be, it shall be the new teaching for the New Era. We must think of the future; and in the teaching of Kalachakra we know there lies all the material which may be applied for greatest use. […] Kalachakra is the Teaching ascribed to the various Lords of Shambhala […] But in reality this Teaching is the Great Revelation brought to humanity at the dawn of its conscious evolution in the third race of the fourth cycle of Earth by the Lords of Fire, the Sons of reason who were an are the Lords of Shambhala” (Reigle, 1986, p. 38). The interpretation which the Russian couple give to the Kalachakra Tantra in their numerous publications may be described without any exaggeration as a “pyromaniac obsession”. For them, fire becomes an autocratic primary substance that dissolves all in its flames. It functions as the sole creative universal principle. All the other elements, out of the various admixtures of which the variety of life arises, disappear in the flaming process of creation: “Do not seek the creative fire in the inertia of earth, in the seething waves of water, in the storms of the air (H. I. Roerich, 1980, vol. I, p. 5). Keep away from the other “elements” as “they do not love fire” (H. I. Roerich, 1980, vol. I, p. 7). Only the “fiery world” brings blessing. Everyone carries the “sparks of the fiery world in their hearts” (H. I. Roerich, 1980, vol. II, p. 8). This announces itself through “fiery signs”. “Rainbow flames” confirm the endeavors of the spirit. But only after a “baptism of fire” do all the righteous proceed with “flaming hearts” to the “empire of the fiery world” in which there are no shadows. They are welcomed by “fire angels”. “The luminosity of every part of the fiery world generates an everlasting radiance” (H. I. Roerich, 1980, vol. II, p. 8). The “song of fire sounds like the music of the spheres” (H. I. Roerich, 1980, vol. II, p. 8). At the center of this world lies the “supreme fire”. Since the small and the large cosmos are one, the “fiery chakras” of the individual humans correspond to “the fiery structures of space” (H. I. Roerich, 1980, vol. I, p. 240).

This fire cult is supposed to be ancient and in the dim and distant past its shrines already stood in the Himalayas: „Beyond the Kanchenjunga are old menhirs of the great sun cult. Beyond the Kanchenjunga is the birthplace of the sacred Swastika, sign of fire. Now in the day of Agni Yoga, the element of fire is again entering the spirit.” (N. Roerich, 1985, p. 36, 37). Madame Blavatsky’s above-mentioned god of electricity, Fohat, is also highly honored by the Roerichs.

The Roerichs’ fiery philosophy is put into practice through a particular sacred system which is called Agni Yoga. We were unable to determine the degree to which it follows the traditions of the already described Sadanga Yoga, practiced in the Kalachakra Tantra. Agni Yoga gives the impression that is conducted more ethically and with feelings than technically and with method. Admittedly the Roerich texts also talk of an unchaining of the kundalini (fire serpent), but nowhere is there discussion of sexual practices. In contrast -the philosophy of the two Russians requires strict abstinence and is antagonistic to everything erotic.

In 1920 the first Agni Yoga group was founded by the married couple. The teachings, we learn, come from the East , indeed direct from the mythical kingdom: „And Asia when she speaks the Blessed Shambhala, about Agni Yoga, about the Teaching of Flame, knows that the holy spirit of flame can unite the human hearts in a resplendent evolution” (N. Roerich, 1985, p. 294). Agni Yoga is supposed to join the great world religions together and serve as a common basis for them.

With great regret the Roerichs discover that the people do not listen to the “fiery tongues” that speak to them and want to initiate them into the secrets of the flames. They appropriated only the external appearances of the force of fire, like electricity, and otherwise feared the element. Yet the “space fire demands revelation” and whoever closes out its voice will perish in the flames (H. I. Roerich, 1980, p. 30).

Even if it is predicted in the cosmic plan, the destruction of all dark and ignorant powers does not happen by itself. It needs to be accelerated by the forces of good. It is a matter of victory and defeat, of heroic courage and sacrificial death. Here is the moment in which the figure of the Shambhala warriors steps into the plan and battles with the inexorably advancing Evil which wants to extinguish Holy Flame: “They shall come — the extinguishers; they shall come — the destroyers; they shall come — the powers of darkness. Corrosion that has already begun cannot be checked” (H. I. Roerich, 1980, vol. I, p. 124).


We hear from Helena Ivanova Roerich that “the term Shambhala truly is inseparably linked to fiery apparitions” (H. I. Roerich, 1980, vol. I, p. 26). “Fire signs introduce the epoch of Shambhala”, writes her spouse (Schule der Lebensweisheit, 1990, p. 29). It is not surprising that the Russian visionaries imagined the temple of Shambhala as an “alchemic laboratory”, then a fire oven, the athanor, also stood at the heart of the hermetic art, as western alchemy was known.

The couple consider Shambhala, the “city of happiness”, to be the “geographic residence or workplace of the brotherhood and seat of the interplanetary government in the trans-Himalaya” (Augustat, 1993, p. 153). In an official fundamental declaration of the two it says: “The brotherhood is the spiritual union of highly developed entities from other planets or hierarchs, which as a cosmic institution is responsible to a higher institution for the entire evolution of the planet Earth. The interplanetary government consists of cosmic offices, which are occupied by the hierarch depending on the task and the age” (Augustat, 1993, p. 149). The Mahatmas, as these hierarchs are called in reference to Madame Blavatsky, have practical political power interests and are in direct contact with certain heads of state of our world, even if the ordinary mortals have no inkling of this.

Then it is impossible for normal humans to discover the main lodge of the secret society: “How can one find the way to our laboratories? Without being called no-one will get to us”, Roerich proclaims (Schule der Lebensweisheit, 1990, p. 9). From there the Mahatmas coordinate an army of in part paid agents, who operate here on Earth in the name of the hidden kingdom. In the meantime the whole planet is covered by a net of members, assistants, contacts, and spies of the “international government” who are only waiting for the sign from their command center in Shambhala in order to step into the light and reveal themselves to humanity.

Likewise, the activities and resolutions of the “invisible international government” are all but impenetrable for an outsider. There is a law which states that each earthly nation will only be visited and “warned” by an envoy from Shambhala once in a century. An exception was probably made during the French Revolution, then “hierarchs” like the Comte de Saint Germain for example were extremely active at this troubled time. Sadly he died in the year 1784 “as a result of the undisciplined thinking of one of his assistants”. (Schule der Lebensweisheit, 1990, p. 117). The dissolute life of his sadhaka (pupil), Cagliostro, was probably to blame for his not being able to participate in the great events of 1789 (the storming of the Bastille).

According to Roerich the members of the government of Shambhala have the ability to telepathically penetrate into the consciousness of the citizens of Earth without them realizing where particular ideas come from: “Like arrows the transmissions of the community bore into the brains of humanity” (Schule der Lebensweisheit, 1990, p. 10). Sometimes this takes place using apparatuses especially constructed for this purpose. But they are not permitted to openly reveal their amazing magical abilities: “Who can exist without food? Who can get by without sleep? Who is immune to heat and cold? Who can heal wounds? Truly only one who has studied Kalachakra” (Schule der Lebensweisheit, 1990, p. 77).

Tableau of N. Roerich: “The command of Rigden-jyepo”

For the Russian couple all the interventions of the governing yogi caste have just one goal, to prepare for the coming of the future Buddha Maitreya Morya or Rigden-jyepo, who shall then make all important decisions. According to the Roerichs both names are synonyms for the Rudra Chakrin, the “wrathful wheel turner” and doomsday ruler of the Kalachakra Tantra. We thus await a fairytale oriental despot who cares about his subjects: “Just like a diamond the light shines from the tower of Shambhala. He is there — Rigden-jyepo, untiring, ever watchful for the sake of humanity. His eyes never close. In his magic mirror he sees everything which happens on Earth. And the power of his thoughts penetrates through to the distant countries. ... His immeasurable riches lay waiting to help all the needy who offer to serve the cause of uprightness” (Augustat, 1993, p. 11).

In passing, this doomsday emperor from Shambhala also reveals himself to be the western king of the Holy Grail, who holds the Holy Stone in his hands and who emigrated to Tibet under cover centuries ago. He is returning now, messengers announce him. True Knights of the Holy Grail are already incarnated on Earth, unrecognized . The followers of the Roerichs even believe that their master himself protected the grail for a time and then returned it to Shambhala on his trip to Asia (Augustat, 1993, p. 114).

Apocalypse now:

"Why do clouds gather when the Stone [the Grail] becomes dull? If the Stone becomes heavy, blood shall be spilled”, we learn mysteriously (Schule der Lebensweisheit, 1990, p. 88). Behind this secret of the grail lies the apodictic statement known from almost all religions that total war, indeed the destruction of the world, is necessary in order to attain paradise. It is essential because in a good dualist cliché the “brotherhood of Good” is always counterposed by the “brotherhood of Evil”. The “sons of darkness” have succeeded in severing humanity’s connection to the “higher world”, the “bright hierarchy”. The forces of the depths lurk everywhere. Extreme caution is required since an ordinary mortal can barely distinguish the Evil from the Good, and further, “the brotherhood of Evil attempts to imitate the Good’s method of action” (Schule der Lebensweisheit, 1990, p. 126).

The final battle between Light and Darkness is — the Roerichs say- presaged in the prophecies of the ancestors and the writings of the wise and must therefore take place. When natural disasters and crimes begin to pile up on Earth, the warriors from Shambhala will appear. At the head of their army stands the Buddha Maitreya Morya, who “ [combats] the prince of darkness himself. This struggle primarily takes place in the subtle spheres, whereas here [on earth] the ruler of Shambhala operates through his earthly warriors. He himself can only be seen under the most exceptional circumstances and would never appear in a crowd or among the curious. His appearance in fiery form would be disastrous for everybody and everything since his aura is loaded with energies of immense strength” (Schule der Lebensweisheit, 1990, p. 152). It could be thought that this concerned an atomic bomb. At any rate the battle will be conducted with a fire and explosive power which allows of comparison only to the atomic detonations in Hiroshima and Nagasaki:

Fiery the battle
with blazing torches,
Blood red the arrows
against the shining shield

(Schule der Lebensweisheit, 1990, p. 110)

Thus the armies of Shambhala storm forth. „Space is filled with fire. The lightning of the Kalki avatar [Rudra Chakrin] — the preordained Maitreya — flashes upon the” (N. Roerich, 1985, p. 76). Even if Kalki also goes by the epithet of “Lord of Compassion”, with his enemies he knows no mercy. Accompanied by Gesar, the mythic war hero of the Tibetans, he will storm forward mounted on a “white horse” and with a “comet-like, fiery sword” in his hand. Iron snakes will consume outer space with fire and frenzy (N. Roerich, 1988 p. 12). “The Lord”, we read, “ strikes the people with fire. The same fiery element presides over the Day of Judgment. The purification of evil is performed by fire. Misfortunes are accompanied by fires” (H. I. Roerich, 1980, vol. I, 46).

Those who fight for Shambhala are the precursors of a new race who take control of the universe after Armageddon, after the “wheat has been separated from the chaff” (Augustat,1993, p. 98). That is, to put it plainly, after all the inferior races have been eradicated in a holocaust.

Distribution in the west:

As far as the fate of Tibet is concerned, the prophecies that Roerich made at the end of the twenties have in fact been fulfilled: „We must accept it simply, as it is: the fact that the true teaching shall leave Tibet”, he has a lama announce, „and shall again appear in the South. In all countries, the covenants of Buddha shall be manifested. Really, great things are coming.” (N. Roerich, 1985, p. 3) In 1959 the Fourteenth Dalai Lama fled to India in the south and from this point in time onwards Tibetan Buddhism began to be spread all around the world.

Roerich and his wife saw themselves as agents of Shambhala who were supposed to make contact with those governing our world in order to warn them. They could at any rate appeal to a meeting with Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Their followers, however, believe that they were higher up in the hierarchy and that they were incarnated Mahatmas from the kingdom.

In the meantime the Roerich cult is most popular in Eastern Europe, where even before the fall of Communism it had penetrated the highest circles of government. The former Bulgarian Minister for Culture, Ludmilla Shiffkova, daughter of the Communist head of state Todor Shiffkov, was almost fanatically obsessed with the Agni master’s philosophy, so that she planned to introduce his teachings as part of the official school curriculum. For a whole year, cultural policy was conducted under the motto “N. K. Roerich — A cultural world citizen”, and she also organized several overseas exhibitions including works by her spiritual model as well.

Mikhail Gorbachev and his wife also supported numerous Roerich initiatives. In Russia, the renaissance of the visionary painter was heralded for years in advance in elaborate symposia and exhibitions, in order to then fully blossom in the post-Communist era. In Alma Ata in October 1992, a major ecumenical event was organized by the international Roerich groups under the patronage of the president of Kazakhstan, at the geographical gateway, so to speak, behind which the land of Shambhala is widely believed to have once lain. The Fourteenth Dalai Lama hesitated as to whether he ought to visit the Congress before deciding for scheduling reasons to send a telegram of greeting and a high-ranking representative.

-- The Shadow of the Dalai Lama: Sexuality, Magic and Politics in Tibetan Buddhism, by Victor and Victoria Trimondi

Nicholas Roerich
Born: October 9, 1874, Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire
Died: December 13, 1947 (aged 73), Naggar, Dominion of India (present-day Himachal Pradesh, India)
Nationality: Russia
Occupation: painter, archaeologist, costume and set designer for ballets, operas, and dramas
Spouse(s): Helena Roerich
Children: George de Roerich, Svetoslav Roerich

Nicholas Roerich (/ˈrɛrɪk/; October 9, 1874 – December 13, 1947) – known also as Nikolai Konstantinovich Rerikh (Russian: Никола́й Константи́нович Ре́рих) – was a Russian painter, writer, archaeologist, theosophist, philosopher, and public figure, who in his youth was influenced by a movement in Russian society around the spiritual. He was interested in hypnosis and other spiritual practices and his paintings are said to have hypnotic expression.[1][2]

Born in Saint Petersburg, Russia, to a well-to-do notary public Baltic German father and a Russian mother,[3] Roerich lived in various places around the world until his death in Naggar,[4] Himachal Pradesh, India. Trained as an artist and a lawyer, his main interests were literature, philosophy, archaeology, and especially art. Roerich was a dedicated activist for the cause of preserving art and architecture during times of war. He was nominated several times to the long list for the Nobel Peace Prize.[5] The so-called Roerich Pact was signed into law by the United States and most nations of the Pan-American Union in April 1935.


Early life

Guests from Overseas, 1901 (Varangians in Rus')

Raised in late-19th-century St. Petersburg, Roerich enrolled simultaneously at St. Petersburg University and the Imperial Academy of Arts during 1893. He received the title of "artist" in 1897 and a degree in law the next year. He found early employment with the Imperial Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, whose school he directed from 1906 to 1917. Despite early tensions with the group, he became a member of Sergei Diaghilev's "World of Art" society; he was president of the society from 1910 to 1916.

Artistically, Roerich became known as his generation's most talented painter of Russia's ancient past, a topic that was compatible with his lifelong interest in archaeology. He also succeeded as a stage designer, achieving his greatest fame as one of the designers for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. His best-known designs were for Borodin's Prince Igor (1909 and later productions), and costumes and set for The Rite of Spring (1913),[6] composed by Igor Stravinsky.

Along with Mikhail Vrubel and Mikhail Nesterov, Roerich is considered a major representative of Russian Symbolism in art.[7] From an early period of his life, he was influenced by apocrypha and medieval sectarian writings such as the mysterious Dove Book.[8]

Another of Roerich's artistic subjects was architecture. His acclaimed publication "Architectural Studies" (1904–1905), consisting of dozens of paintings he made of fortresses, monasteries, churches, and other monuments during two long trips through Russia, inspired his decades-long career as an activist on behalf of artistic and architectural preservation. He also designed religious art for places of worship throughout Russia and Ukraine, most notably the Queen of Heaven fresco for the Church of the Holy Spirit which the patroness Maria Tenisheva built near her Talashkino estate; and the stained glass windows for the Datsan Gunzechoinei during 1913–1915. His designs for the Talashkino church were so radical that the Orthodox church refused to consecrate the building.[7]

During the first decade of the 1900s and in the early 1910s, Roerich, largely due to the influence of his wife Helena, developed an interest in eastern religions, as well as alternative (to Christianity) belief systems such as Theosophy. Both Roerichs became avid readers of the Vedantist essays of Ramakrishna and Vivekananda, the poetry of Rabindranath Tagore, and the Bhagavad Gita.

The Roerichs' commitment to occult mysticism increased steadily. It was especially intense during World War I and the Russian revolutions of 1917, to which the couple, like many Russian intellectuals, accorded apocalyptic significance. The influence of Theosophy, Vedanta, Buddhism, and other mystical topics can be detected not only in many of Roerich's paintings, but in the many short stories and poems Roerich wrote before and after the 1917 revolutions, including the Flowers of Morya cycle, begun in 1907 and completed in 1921.

Revolution, emigration, and the United States

Nicholas Roerich by Kustodiev. 1913

After the February Revolution of 1917 and the end of the czarist regime, Roerich, a political moderate who valued Russia's cultural heritage more than ideology and party politics, had an active part in artistic politics. With Maxim Gorky and Aleksandr Benois, he participated with the so-called "Gorky Commission" and its successor organization, the Arts Union (SDI). Both attempted to gain the attention of the Provisional Government and Petrograd Soviet on the need to form a coherent cultural policy and, most urgently, protect art and architecture from destruction and vandalism.

At the same time, illness forced Roerich to leave the capital and reside in Karelia, the district bordering Finland. He had already quit the presidency of the World of Art society, and he now quit the directorship of the School of the Imperial Society for the Encouragement of the Arts. After the October Revolution and the acquisition of power of Lenin's Bolshevik Party, Roerich became increasingly discouraged about Russia's political future. During early 1918, he, Helena, and their two sons George and Svetoslav emigrated to Finland.

Two unresolved historical debates are associated with Roerich's departure. First, it is often claimed that Roerich was a major candidate to direct a people's commissariat of culture (the Soviet equivalent of a ministry of culture) which the Bolsheviks considered establishing during 1917–1918, but that he refused to accept the job. In fact, Benois was the most likely choice to direct any such commissariat. It seems that Roerich was a preferred choice to manage its department of artistic education; the topic is rendered moot by the fact that the Soviets elected not to establish such a commissariat.

Second, when Roerich later wished to reconcile with the USSR, he maintained that he had not left Soviet Russia deliberately, but that he and his family, living in Karelia, had been isolated from their homeland when the civil war began in Finland. However, Roerich's extreme hostility to the Bolshevik regime – prompted not so much by a dislike of communism as by his revulsion at Lenin's ruthlessness and his fear that Bolshevism would result in the destruction of Russia's artistic and architectural heritage – was amply documented. He illustrated Leonid Andreyev's anti-communist polemic "S.O.S." and had a widely published pamphlet, "Violators of Art" (1918–1919). Roerich believed that "the triumph of Russian culture would come about through a new appreciation of ancient myth and legend".[9]

After some months in Finland and Scandinavia, the Roerichs relocated to London, arriving in mid-1919. Engrossed with Theosophical mysticism, they now had millenarian expectations that a new age was imminent, and they wished to travel to India as soon as possible. They joined the English-Welsh chapter of the Theosophical Society. It was in London, in March 1920, that the Roerichs founded their own school of mysticism, Agni Yoga, which they referred to also as "the system of living ethics."

To earn passage to India, Roerich worked as a stage designer for Thomas Beecham's Covent Garden Theatre, but the enterprise ended unsuccessfully in 1920, and the artist never received full payment for his work. Among the notable people Roerich befriended while in England were the famed British Buddhist Christmas Humphreys, philosopher-author H. G. Wells, and the poet and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore (whose grand-niece Devika Rani would later marry Roerich's son Svetoslav).

A successful exhibition in London resulted in an invitation from a director at the Art Institute of Chicago, offering to arrange for Roerich's art to tour the United States. During the autumn of 1920, the Roerichs traveled to America by sea.

Car of Nicolas Roerich in his museum at Naggar

The Roerichs remained in the United States from October 1920 until May 1923. A large exhibition of Roerich's art, organized partly by U.S. impresario Christian Brinton and partly by the Chicago Art Institute, began in New York in December 1920 and toured the country, to San Francisco and back, during 1921 and early 1922. Roerich befriended acclaimed soprano Mary Garden of the Chicago Opera and received a commission to design a 1922 production of Rimsky-Korsakov's The Snow Maiden for her. During the exhibition, the Roerichs spent significant amounts of time in Chicago, New Mexico, and California.

Politically, Roerich was at first anti-Bolshevik. He gave lectures and wrote articles to White Russian populations in which he criticized the Soviet Union. However, his aversion to Communism - "the impertinent monster that lies to humanity" - changed in America. Roerich claimed that his spiritual masters, the "Mahatmas" in the Himalayas, were communicating telepathically with him, through his wife, Helena, who was a mystic and a clairvoyant.

These beings from an esoteric Buddhist community in India were said to have told Roerich that Russia was destined for a mission on Earth. This led him to formulate his "Great Plan", envisaging the unification of millions of Asian peoples through a religious movement using the Future Buddha, or Maitreya, into a "Second Union of the East." Here, the King of Shambhala would, following the Maitreya prophecies, make his appearance to fight a great battle against all evil forces on Earth. Roerich understood this as "perfection towards Common Good". This new polity was to include southwestern Altai, Tuva, Buryatia, Outer and Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang and Tibet, with its capital situated in "Zvenigorod", the "City of Tolling Bells", which was to be built at the foot of Mount Belukha in Altai. According to Roerich, the same Mahatmas revealed to him in 1922 that he was an incarnation of the Fifth Dalai Lama[10].

In 1923, Roerich, the "practical idealist", set out to the Himalayas with his wife and son Yuri. Roerich initially settled in Darjeeling, in the same house where the 13th Dalai Lama had stayed during his exile in India. Roerich spent his time painting the Himalayas with visitors such as F. M. Bailey, Lady Lytton, and members of the 1924 British Everest Expedition, as well as Sonam Wangfel Laden La, Kusho Doring, and Tsarong Shape, influential Tibetans. According to British intelligence, lamas from the Moru monastery recognized Roerich as the incarnation of the Fifth Dalai Lama due to a mole pattern on his right cheek. It was during his stay in the Himalayas that Roerich learned about the flight of the 9th Panchen Lama, which he interpreted as the fulfillment of the Matreiya prophecies and the bringing about of the Age of Shambhala[11].

In 1924, the Roerichs returned to the West. On his way to America, Roerich stopped at the Soviet embassy in Berlin, where he told the local plenipotentiary about a Central Asian expedition he wanted to take. He asked for Soviet protection on his way, and shared his impressions of politics in India and Tibet. Roerich commented on the "occupation of Tibet by the British", claiming that they "infiltrate in small parties... conduct extensive anti-Soviet propaganda" by talking about "anti-religious activity of the Bolsheviks". The plenipotentiary later pointed out to one of Roerich's old university classmates, Chicherin, that he had "absolutely pro-Soviet leanings, which looked somewhat Buddho-Communistic", and that his son, who spoke 28 Asian languages, helped him in gaining good favor with the Indians and Tibetans[12].

The Roerichs settled in New York City, which became the base of their many American operations. They founded several institutions during these years: Cor Ardens ("Flaming Heart") and Corona Mundi ("Crown of the World"), both of which were meant to unite artists around the globe in the cause of civic activism; the Master Institute of United Arts, an art school with a versatile curriculum, and the eventual home of the first Nicholas Roerich Museum; and an American Agni Yoga Society. They also joined various theosophical societies; their activities with these groups dominated their lives.
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Part 2 of 2

Asian Expedition (1925–1929)

Roerich's family (Kullu valley, India)

After leaving New York, the Roerichs – together with their son George and six friends – began the five-year-long 'Roerich Asian Expedition' that, in Roerich's own words: "started from Sikkim through Punjab, Kashmir, Ladakh, the Karakoram Mountains, Khotan, Kashgar, Qara Shar, Urumchi, Irtysh, the Altai Mountains, the Oyrot region of Mongolia, the Central Gobi, Kansu, Tsaidam, and Tibet" with a detour through Siberia to Moscow in 1926.

Roerichs' Asian expedition attracted attention from the foreign services and intelligence agencies of the USSR, the United States, Great Britain, and Japan. In fact, prior to this expedition, Roerich himself solicited the help of the Soviet government and Bolshevik secret police to assist him in his expedition, promising in return to monitor British activities in the area, but received only a lukewarm response from Michail Abramowitsch Trilisser, chief of the Soviet foreign intelligence at that time.

The Bolsheviks assisted Roerich with logistics while he was traveling through Siberia and Mongolia. However. they did not commit themselves to his reckless utopian project of the Sacred Union of the East – a spiritual utopia that boiled down to Roerich's ambitious attempts to stir the Buddhist masses of inner Asia to create a highly spiritual cooperative commonwealth under the patronage of Bolshevik Russia.

The official mission of his expedition, as Roerich put it, was to act as the embassy of Western Buddhism to Tibet. To the Western media, it was presented as an artistic and scientific enterprise.[13] Between the summer of 1927 and June 1928 the expedition was thought to have been lost, as communication with them had ceased. They had, in fact, been attacked in Tibet.

Roerich wrote that only the "superiority of our firearms prevented bloodshed... In spite of our having Tibet passports, the expedition was forcibly stopped by Tibetan authorities." They were detained by the government for five months, and forced to live in tents in sub-zero conditions and to subsist on meagre rations. Five men of the expedition died during this time. In March 1928 they were allowed to leave Tibet, and trekked south to settle in India, where they founded a research center, the Himalayan Research Institute.

In 1929 Roerich was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by the University of Paris.[14] He received two more nominations in 1932 and 1935.[15] His concern for peace resulted in his creation of the Pax Cultura, the "Red Cross" of art and culture. His work for this cause also resulted in the United States and the twenty other nations of the Pan-American Union signing the Roerich Pact, an early international instrument protecting cultural property, on April 15, 1935 at the White House.

Manchurian expedition

In 1934–1935, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, then headed by Roerich admirer Henry A. Wallace, sponsored an expedition by Roerich and USDA scientists H. G. MacMillan and James F. Stephens to Inner Mongolia, Manchuria, and China. The expedition's purpose was to collect seeds of plants which prevented soil erosion.

The expedition consisted of two parts. In 1934, they explored the Greater Khingan mountains and Bargan plateau in western Manchuria. In 1935, they explored parts of Inner Mongolia: the Gobi Desert, Ordos Desert, and Helan Mountains. The expedition found almost 300 species of xerophytes, collected herbs, conducted archeological studies, and found antique manuscripts of great scientific importance.

Later life and World War II

Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Nicholas Roerich, and Mohammad Yunus. (Roerich's estate, Kullu).

Roerich was in India during the Second World War, where he painted Russian epic heroic and saintly themes, including Alexander Nevsky, The Fight of Mstislav and Rededia, and Boris and Gleb.[16]

In 1942, Roerich received Jawaharlal Nehru and his daughter, Indira Gandhi, at his house in Kullu.[citation needed] Together they discussed the fate of the new world: "We spoke about Indian–Russian cultural association [...] it is time to think about useful and creative cooperation".[17]

Gandhi would later recall several days spent together with Roerich's family: "That was a memorable visit to a surprising and gifted family where each member was a remarkable figure in himself, with a well-defined range of interests. ... Roerich himself stays in my memory. He was a man with extensive knowledge and enormous experience, a man with a big heart, deeply influenced by all that he observed".

During the visit, "ideas and thoughts about closer cooperation between India and USSR were expressed. Now, after India wins independence, they have got its own real implementation[clarification needed]. And as you know, there are friendly and mutually-understanding relationships today between both our countries".[18]

In 1942, the American–Russian cultural Association (ARCA) was created in New York. Its active participants were Ernest Hemingway, Rockwell Kent, Charlie Chaplin, Emil Cooper, Serge Koussevitzky, and Valeriy Ivanovich Tereshchenko. The Association's activity was welcomed by scientists such as Robert Millikan and Arthur Compton.[19]

Roerich died on December 13, 1947.

Cultural legacy

Altai. Peaks and passes named in honor of the Roerich family.

The minor planet 4426 Roerich in Solar System

In the 21st century, the Nicholas Roerich Museum in New York City is a major institution for Roerich's artistic work. Numerous Roerich societies continue to promote his theosophical teachings worldwide. His paintings can be seen in several museums including the Roerich Department of the State Museum of Oriental Arts in Moscow; the Roerich Museum at the International Centre of the Roerichs in Moscow; the Russian State Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia; a collection in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow; a collection in the Art Museum in Novosibirsk, Russia; an important collection in the National Gallery for Foreign Art in Sofia, Bulgaria; a collection in the Art Museum in Nizhny Novgorod Russia; National Museum of Serbia; the Roerich Hall Estate in Naggar, India; the Sree Chitra Art Gallery, Thiruvananthapuram, India;[20] in various art museums in India; and a selection featuring several of his larger works in The Latvian National Museum of Art.

Roerich's biography and his controversial expeditions to Tibet and Manchuria have been examined recently by a number of authors, including two Russians, Vladimir Rosov and Alexandre Andreyev, American (Andrei Znamenski), and the German Ernst von Waldenfels.[21]

H.P. Lovecraft refers numerous times to the "strange and disturbing paintings of Nicholas Roerich" in his Antarctic horror story At the Mountains of Madness.

Roerich was awarded Order of St. Sava.[22][23] The minor planet 4426 Roerich in the Solar System was named in honor of Roerich.

In June 2013 during Russian Art Week in London, Roerich's Madonna Laboris sold at auction at Bonhams shop for £7,881,250, including the buyer's premium, making it the most valuable painting ever sold at a Russian art auction.[24]


And We Are Opening the Gates, from the "Sancta" Series

And We Are Trying, from the "Sancta" Series

Treasure of angels

And We See, from the "Sancta" Series

Monhegan, Maine

The Messenger

Major works

1. Art and archaeology // Art and art industry. SPb., 1898. No. 3; 1899. No. 4-5.
2. Some ancient Shelonsky fifths and Bezhetsky end. SPb., 31 pages, drawings of the author, 1899.
3. Excursion of the Archaeological Institute in 1899 in connection with the question of the Finnish burials of St. Petersburg province. SPb., 14 p., 1900.
4. Some ancient stains Derevsky and Bezhetsk. SPb., 30 p., 1903.
5. In the old days, St. Petersburg., 1904,18 p., drawings of the author.
6. Stone age on lake piros., SPb., ed. "Russian archaeological society", 1905.
7. Collected works. kN. 1. M.: publishing house of I. D. Sytin, p. 335, 1914.
8. Tales and parables. Pg.: Free art, 1916.
9. Violators of Art. London, 1919.
10. The Flowers Of Moria. . Berlin: Word, 128 p., Collection of poems. 1921.
11. Adamant. New York: Corona Mundi, 1922
12. Ways Of Blessing. New York, Paris, Riga, Harbin: Alatas, 1924
13. Altai - Himalayas. (Thoughts on a horse and in a tent) 1923-1926. Ulan Bator Khoto, 1927.
14. heart of Asia. Southbury (St. Connecticut): Alatas, 1929.
15. Flame in Chalice. Series X, Book 1. Songs and Sagas Series. New York: Roerich Museum Press, 1930.
16. Shambhala. New York: F. A. Stokes Co., 1930
17. Realm of Light. Series IX, Book II. Sayings of Eternity Series. New York: Roerich Museum Press, 1931.
18. The Power Of Light. Southbury: Alatas, New York, 1931.
19. Women. Address on the occasion of the opening of the Association of women, Riga, ed. About Roerich, 1931, 15 p., 1 reproduction.
20. The Fiery Stronghold. Paris: World League Of Culture, 1932.
21. banner of peace. Harbin, Alatyr, 1934.
22. Holy Watch. Harbin, Alatyr, 1934.
23. A gateway to the Future. Riga: Uguns, 1936.
24. Indestructible. Riga: Uguns, 1936.
25. Roerich Essays: One hundred essays. В 2 т. India, 1937.
26. Beautiful Unity. Bombey, 1946.
27. Himavat: Diary Leaveves. Allahabad: Kitabistan, 1946.
28. Himalayas — Adobe of Light. Bombey: Nalanda Publ, 1947.
29. Diary sheets. Vol. 1 (1934-1935). M: ICR, 1995.
30. Diary sheets. Vol. 2 (1936-1941). M: ICR, 1995.
31. Diary sheets. Vol. 3 (1942-1947). M: ICR, 1996.

See also

• Agni Yoga
• Banner of Peace
• George de Roerich
• Morya (Theosophy)
• Russian cosmism
• Roerichism


1. Nicholas Roerich: In Search of Shambala by Victoria Klimentieva, стр. 31
2. Nicholas Roerich Museum Archived October 6, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
3. Andrei Znamenski, Red Shambhala: Magic, Prophecy, and Geopolitics in the Heart of Asia, Quest Books (2011), p. 157
4. "Nicholas Roerich - Russian set designer". Retrieved June 14, 2016.
5. Nobel Prize Nomination Database
6. Julie Besonen, "Visions of a Forgotten Utopian", New York Times, April 6, 2014.
7. Jump up to:a b
8. Н. В. Сергеева. Древнерусская традиция в символизме Н.К. Рериха. М.: Международный Центр Рерихов, 2003. ISBN 5-86988-080-7. Page 87.
9. Bowlt, John E. (2008). Moscow and St. Petersburg 1900–1920: Art, Life and Culture. New York: The Vendome Press. p. 69. ISBN 978-0-86565-191-3.
10. Andreyev, Alexandre (2003). Soviet Russia and Tibet: The Debacle of Secret Diplomacy, 1918-1930s. Brill. p. 294.
11. Andreyev, Alexandre (2003). Soviet Russia and Tibet: The Debacle of Secret Diplomacy, 1918-1930s. Brill. p. 295.
12. AVPRF, op. 04, op. 13, papka 87, d. 50117, 1. 13a. Krestinsky to Checherin, 2 January 1925
13. "Andrei Znamenski, "Nicholas Roerich Shambhala Warrior""..
14. "Roerich Nominated for Peace Award". New York Times. March 3, 1929. Retrieved February 3, 2009.
15. "Nomination Database - Peace". Retrieved June 14, 2016.
16. Peter Leek (2005). Russian Painting. Parkstone International. pp. 256–. ISBN 978-1-78042-975-5. Retrieved June 23, 2013.
17. N. Roerich. Diary Leaves. V. 3. – Moscow, International Centre of the Roerichs. – 1996. – p.39. ISBN 5-86988-056-4
18. Interview with Indira Gandhi / Roerich's Empire. (Derzhava Rerikhov) (in Russian). / Collected Articles. – Moscow, International Centre of the Roerichs, Master-Bank. – 2004. – p.65. ISBN 5-86988-148-X
19. Ruth Abrams Drayer (2005). Nicholas and Helena Roerich: The Spiritual Journey of Two Great Artists and Peacemakers. Quest Books. pp. 330–. ISBN 978-0-8356-0843-5. Retrieved June 23, 2013.
20. "Dust throws a blanket over prized paintings"..
21. Nicholas Roerich: the Messenger of Zvenigorod (vol. 1: The Great Plan, vol. 2: The New Country) (2002–2004) [summary of the books in English at "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 10, 2013. Retrieved August 9, 2012.]; Alexandre Andreyev, Gimalaiski mif i ego tvotry [Himalayan Myth and its Makers] (St. Petersburg: St. Petersburg University Press, 2004) [in Russian]; Andrei Znamenski, Red Shambhala: Magic, Prophesy, and Geopolitics in the Heart of Asia (Quest Books, 2011) [see an excerpt from the book at]; Ernst von Waldenfels, Nicholas Roerich: Kunst, Macht und Okkultismus (Osburg, 2011)
22. Radulovic, Nemanja. "Rerihov pokret u Kraljevini Jugoslaviji". Godišnjak Katedre za srpsku književnost sa južnoslovenskim književnostima, XI, 2016.
23. "Vreme - Kultura i politika: Selidba trajne pozajmice". Retrieved July 11, 2019.
24. "Bonhams : Nikolai Konstantinovich Roerich (Russian, 1874-1947) Madonna Laboris". Retrieved June 14, 2016.

External links

• International Centre of the Roerichs
• International Roerich Memorial Trust (India)
• Nicholas Roerich Museum (New York)
• Estonian Roerich Society
• Roerich-movement on the Internet (in Russian)
• Paintings Gallery
• Nicholas Roerich Estate Museum in Izvara
• Roerich Family
• Find A Grave
• Catalogue of Nicholas Roerich`s works from the collection of Gorlovka Art Museum
• Nicholas Roerich Papers, J Murrey Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
• Nicholas Roerich Lexicon
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