Banner of Peace

N.Roerich


I was asked to collect information where the symbols of our Banner of Peace could be found. It turned out that the symbol of the Holy Trinity has been scattered all over the world. This has been explained in various ways. Some say it means the past, present and future, bound by the ring of eternity. Others find it more palatable to explain it as religion, knowledge and art in the ring of Culture. Obviously there were various explanations already in the ancient times, but the symbol, the sign itself had become fixed all over the world.

Chintamani – the most ancient idea of the ecumenical happiness bears the same symbol. In China, in Temple of the Sky, you will find the same image. The “Three Treasures” of Tibet talk about the same thing. One can see the same symbol on Christ`s chest in the renowned painting by Memling. The same has been depicted on The Madonna of Strasbourg. It is on the shields of the crusaders and the coat of arms of the Templars. The famous Caucasian swords – the gurdaa – bear the same symbol. Cannot we detect it also on philosophical symbols? It is on the images of Kesar-khan and Rigden-Dzhapo. It also is on Tamerlan`s Tamgaa. It existed on the Pope`s emblem. It can also be found on ancient canvases of Spain and on the painting of Tizian. You can find it on the ancient icon in Bar depicting St.Nicholas. The same is on the centuries-old image of St.Sergius. It is on the image of Holy Trinity. It is on the coat of arms of Samarkand. It is on ancient Ethiopian and Coptic antiquities. It is on Mongolian rocks. It is on Tibetan rings. The steed of happiness on the Himalayan Mountains passes bears the same flaming sign. It is on all the brooches of Lahuli, Ladakhi and Himalayan Mountains. It is on Buddhist banners. Going back to the Neolithic depths we can find the same sign in the ornaments decorating their pottery.

And that is why the symbol was chose for all uniting Banner as the symbol that has passed through centuries, more exactly – millennia. The symbol was not a mere decorating ornament all over, it bore a very special meaning. Collecting all its images together, we might prove that it is the most extensively spread and ancient one among all the symbols of mankind. No one can claim that it belongs but to one religion or is based on the only one folk-lore. It would be very beneficial to glance at the evolution of human consciousness in its variegated forms.

Where all the treasures of mankind must be saved, there one should find such a symbol that can open the inmost recesses of all hearts. The symbol of the Banner of Peace has been spread so surprisingly far and wide that people are quite sincerely asking whether it is original or an invention of later times. We have witnessed honest wonderment after having proved its ancient origins and spread. At present mankind is beginning to think with horror like troglodytes again, hoping to safeguard their property in underground depositories and caves. But the Banner of Peace just announces the principle. It argues that mankind has to find a way to agree, that its achievements are global and belong to all the nations. The Banner says: noli me tangere – do not touch – do not dare to disturb, to offend the Universal Treasure with a touch of destruction.

Nikolai Roerich, 24 May 1939

 

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