True Wealth of Life
The situation on the Earth is rather sad: the Earth is ill and mankind is to be blamed for that. Man's violence against Man and the Nature has not ceased, although all progressive scientists have been warning about the danger.
N.K. Roerich, an outstanding thinker and humanitarian of the 20 century, insisted that the deadlock situation on the Planet is caused by the spiritual crisis, and all the other crises - ecological, economic, demographic, etc. - are based on the spiritual crisis. Therefore the development of spiritual culture is inevitable. The evolution of life, the Nature demand moral behavior of every person, they demand responsibility.
N.K. Roerich offered the mankind the Banner of the Peace with the symbol of Culture: a big circle of the amaranth color on the white cloth with three conjugated circles inside. These are the past, present and future achievements of humanity in the ring of Eternity or the Unity of Love, Beauty and Knowledge as true wealth of life.
Mountains in the art of painting always symbolize spiritual ascent, the development of heart and humanness. It is no coincidence that N.K. Roerich devoted a great number of his canvases to the highest peaks of the world - the Himalayas. The personality of the great Russian artist N.K. Roerich (1874-1947) is versatile: an artist and scientist, a thinker, traveler and explorer of ancient treasures of Russia and Central Asia, an archaeologist and historian, lawyer, poet and writer, an international public figure, teacher.
Behind the name "Roerich" there stands the creative heritage of the four: N.K. Roerich himself; his elder son Jury Nikolaevich Roerich (1902-1960) - an orientalist of international authority, doctor of Philology, professor; his younger son, Svyatoslav Nikolaevich (1904-1993) - an artist, doctor of Art Study and Biology, and the leader in the family, Lada - the wife and mother, Elena Ivanovna Roerich (1879-1955).
In his essay "Lada" dedicated to Elena Ivanovna, N.K. Roerich wrote, "Lada is an ancient Russian name. There is so much harmony, inspiration and strength in it. It reflects her character, so we called her Lada". In his other essay "The Forty Years", "I dedicated my books to Elena, my wife, friend, fellow traveler and inspirer. Each of these concepts was tested in the fire of life. And we worked, studied, and broadened our consciousness in St. Petersburg, Scandinavia, England, America, all over Asia. Together we created, and not without reason is it said that the work should bear two names - a masculine and a feminine."
Elena Ivanovna was already 45 when she sat in the saddle of a horse for the first time in her life, and for five years she rode 25,000 km and 35 alpine passes with her husband and elder son, suffocated with the heat and dust in the sands of Toksun or frozen in the tents on Tibet plateau Chantung. No other woman has performed such an unprecedented travel on the Earth. This heroic Russian woman was a philosopher of encyclopaedic knowledge and she also knew what the wisdom of life means.
All the creative heritage of the Great Family narrates about eternity and unity of life in the Universe, about responsibility of every person for evolution of life. The Roerichs supplemented each other like facets of a diamond. They abandoned the comfort of civilization, they lived and worked in different countries suffering constant privations. They worked for the Future. There has never been any other similar family or other team of cultural workers who consistently, faithfully, with competence and belief in the Future confirm the role of Culture in the life of humanity. A great number of books and articles have been written about their life and creative work, but there have also appeared many sensational lies and malicious attacks of slanderers. Therefore we recommend the book "Roerich" written by our Estonian writer P.F. Belikov in the series "Life of Remarkable People" and also the primary sources - the Roerich’s works: "The Leaves of the Diary", "Altai - The Himalayas", "The Heart of Asia", "The Gates into the Future" by N.K. Roerich and also - a series of books "The Living Ethics" by E.I. Roerich, which is a synthesis of art, science and religion; the theory of knowledge and practical advice for life.
The Board of the Estonian Roerich Society
Tallinn, May 2002