THE VEILS OF DEATH
Many are the veils which dim the pages of history. The dust of life
“Where is our old aya, the wife of the Red Lama, she who so
zealously executed her tasks, who so quietly entered the room and as
quietly departed? She who was so discreet, knowing only what it was
her duty to know?”
“She is dead.”
“But she always seemed healthy! Apparently she never drank and was
never loose in her ways.”
“No—she was poisoned!”
“But how can you speak so indifferently of such a violent crime? How
did it happen?”
“Many are poisoned here. This no longer surprises us. There may have
been many reasons. Perhaps she knew more than she should have known.
Perhaps she aroused some one’s vengeance through an unintentional
act. Or perhaps she was too often among her relatives.”
Thus lightly, is poison regarded, as a cause of death in the East.
Ts’ai-han-chen, our old Chinese, becomes very worried when we are
invited to the Amban for dinner. He offers us much advice and
finally ends with, “Altogether, it is better not to eat there. The
Dao-tai is a wicked man. He is not an official—his acts are those of
“So, you think he will poison us?” we inquire.
“I did not say so—but all precautions must be taken. You know that
when the Governor of the Province, the mighty Yan D’u-t’u, wanted to
rid himself of some undesirable relatives, he invited them to
dinner. Behind each guest was stationed an honorary guard. But when
the dinner was almost finished, the D’u-t’u himself shot his closest
relative and the guards cut off the heads of the others.
“It was the same D’u-t’u who, wishing to free himself of an
undesirable official, gave him a mission of honor. When the official
had set out on his way, the D’u-t’u’s people waylaid him in a remote
spot and strangled him in a unique way; they pasted him over
completely with paper.
“You know,” continues Ts’ai-han-chen smiling, “D’u-t’u is most
ingenious. He can get a man to confess to anything. One of his most
effective methods is to pass a horsehair from one corner of the eye
through to the other —then they start drawing it back and forth. So,
you had better avoid eating during the dinner; better tell them that
your constitution does not permit you to eat food to which you are
Our Kalmuk lama also bids us farewell with, “I shall pray for
you—because one never knows what may happen in the course of a
These local people know so many stories of the treachery of the
officials; to support their statements they will show you secretly a
photograph of the crucified Ti-tai, the high commander of Kashgar,
who was treacherously trapped by the cruel Dao-tai of Khotan.
Innumerable tales of treason and poison envelop the old cities.
The Tibetans have learned much about the Chinese Ambans. A high
Tibetan official says, “When they offer you tea—be careful. In one
notable family, I was offered tea, but I am experienced and I
noticed that odd bubbles were rising to the surface of the cup. I
happen to know the poison which gives this effect—so I avoided
Another Tibetan relates how one of the high and worthy lamas was
almost poisoned by food given to him with the appearance of utmost
reverence. But immediately on tasting it, he noticed a strange taste
and did not swallow it. Although he became ill, he thus escaped
death. Numerous legends are related about high lamas who have been
poisoned, and even in the history of the Dalai lamas this practise
is mentioned more than once. It is striking to hear what strange
practises are attributed to lamas. It is said that some lamas became
wandering spirits after death, using a type of magic dagger to kill
even the innocent. The famous “Rollang” of Tibet, the resurrection
of corpses is often linked with the names of lamas.
You may still see the ruins of a monastery and hear how during the
funeral rites a corpse revived and in a fury killed eight monks.
Since that time the monastery was deserted. It is said that a corpse
may be brought back to a living condition, if a heavy blow is struck
against it and if a large amount of blood is permitted to flow from
One may find various explanations for these stories but they are
recorded and related with great frequency.
Not only in Tibet but also in Nepal, strange stories are told. For
instance, it is said that even up to the present time, during the
burial of the Maharajah, the senior high priest must eat a piece of
the flesh of the dead ruler. And as a reward he receives the great
privilege of admission to the most exalted spheres of heaven.
Parallel with these strange customs one may see various objects
skilfully adapted for poisoning. For instance, there are daggers and
arrows with special secret appliances for poison. A favorite object
employed in this practise is, of course, a ring containing a poison
compartment. One should also mention poisoned fabrics.
Probably the strangest belief encountered here is that he who
poisons a man of high standing is said to receive all the luck and
privileges of his victim. Where and how such a corrupt idea could
have originated is even impossible to imagine. Along this same trend
of thought, it is said that there are certain families who collect
secret for-mulz of special poisons and have the special privilege of
being poisoners. When you hear of cases of certain people perishing
from unknown sicknesses, you wonder whether these strange customs
have been exercised upon the victims.
Friendly Tibetans advise you to be cautious of food in strange
houses. Sometimes, in token of special reverence, food is sent to
your home. You must take the greatest care. In fact at all times in
these lands it is best to be careful with food, because outside of
poison deliberately sent, you might easily receive spoilt food. The
dried meat is often not fresh. The corn and barley may be mixed with
small stones and all kinds of dirt. The bread may not be properly
baked. Some of the Chinese canned foods may be spoilt, either
because of the long journey or because of poor packing. Naturally it
is understood that the same dish is used for every possible and
every unexpected purpose. Ignorance and cleanliness are not good
I remember that several officials did not take one particle of food
throughout an entire official dinner and visit. They gave poor
health as a reason. Perhaps they desired to prolong their lives, or.
perhaps they recalled various precedents—and even their own
practises. I also remember how when certain honorary offerings were
brought to us in the form of various dishes, even the simplest asked
dubiously: “Are you going to eat it?”
But all this physical poison is perhaps nothing in comparison with
“spiritual” poisoning. Every one has heard of the effects of
hypnotic influence. It is impossible to control the acts of an evil
will-power; all kinds of “sun-niums” are based on this power of
incantation. The ancient tales of the “terraphim” are corroborated
even in modern times, and the “murderous” eye is given credence in
stories of revenge and curse.
This “psychic” murder and injury is far more ancient and more widely
distributed than actual poisoning itself. For instance, I remember
one conversation to which I was a witness, when one person thus
tried to convince his fellow-conversationalist: “Why don’t you use a
hypnotist in your scheme? Imagine what possibilities you could have
to smooth and direct everything!”
The other one replied, “If I invite a hypnotist, he will hypnotize
me, first of all. And then I will not do what I wish but what he
How many unconscious hypnotists are at work over all the earth
sending their thoughts out along the streams of space!
History has also known many self-hypnotized crowds working
enthusiastically for some true movement for the common good. But
there have also been many more occasions when a self-hypnotized mob
worked unconsciously for destruction. Only a real unfoldment of the
Spirit can guarantee that the psychic force will be directed toward
a high constructive purpose.
In the Westerner whose eyes more often glide over the surface in
haste and rush, the fixation of the eye does not attain tremendous
intensity. But when you examine the glances of people in various
countries of Asia you notice quite a different force in the effect
of this look. ... It is not the result of conscious study but is
rather a racial characteristic.
As one physician said to me, “It
seems that the crystal of the eye of an Easterner is placed somewhat
differently than ours.” Incidentally one may notice that an
Easterner, after long lapses of time, will recall your face much
more quickly than do many people in the West. I recall how, after
many years, quite simple people in the East recognized and placed us
at once, although our meeting took place under completely unrelated
circumstances. When, added to this natural ability, you add special
training and special refining of the inner human forces, one may
realize with what a powerful apparatus one has to deal.
Some time ago, I spoke of the story about the Tashi Lama during his
visit to India. He was asked whether he possessed any “supernatural”
powers, but he only smiled and was silent. In a few moments,
however, to the utter atonishment of every one present, he
completely disappeared. But at that moment, a new guest entered and
saw a strange sight—the Tashi Lama was sitting on the very place
where he had been, but every one was rushing about in commotion
searching for him! Almost identical incidents are told about many
high lamas and Hindu Yogi. And in the extension of this power of
suggestion, we approach the example of the charming of animals and
one recalls the greatest evidences of suggestion in the stories of
the murderous eye, which could smite even tigers.
In widely scattered stories of sorcery on the Malabar coast, one may
hear of the invoking of disease and even of death upon enemies. Even
more often than disease, are depression and the lowering of the
psychic energy, the results of the invocation on a weak will power.
One involuntarily recalls the desert saying: “If your companion is
cross-eyed you should also squint.”
This folk-saying expresses the belief about the need of using
caution with one’s fellow traveler.
Of course after the natural fund of psychic energy became exhausted
and to a certain extent lost, there appeared that ally of evil
minds, poison. Side by side with stories of recent fatal effects of
suggestions, one may hear some convincing story of how one person
was poisoned by fast poison, another by a slow poison. At the same
time, as one descends the slopes of the Himalayas, he is astonished
by the great amount of curative herbs and fruits. When one sees how
nature itself offers of its best for healing and for humanity’s
happiness, all these tales of poison and murder seem but a gloomy
specter in the dark passages of ruins. And one feels that the
psychic energy prophesied in ancient wisdom will once again be
directed toward life and not death.
We are told about the new era of the fire of space which is
approaching. What new constructions will it bring into our reality?
The might of fire may destroy certain rocks and islands, truly, but
what a benevolent force will be attracted by this purifying element!
Within our own recollection, the flames of pyres consumed unhappy
widows. On the walls of China we read inscriptions that “on this
site it is forbidden to drown girls.” Out of these facts of the
quite recent past and even of the present, one may draw a most
depressing picture. But in recollecting the worst, we often erect
the strongest walls dividing the undesirable past and the blessed
future. One knows how enemies, in their exaggeration, carry matters
to absurdity. He, who knows the characteristics of his enemies, has
never poisoned them, because life itself— like the blessed plants on
the Himalayan slopes—has brought forth the healing fruit and herbs
and called humanity to enlightened study and incessant research.
And we shall not fear to call by their proper terms acts of the
greatest frailty. This is not a pitiless condemnation; it is an act
impelled by cosmic justice. Each frailty, when recognized, is
already ripe for improvement. The dark melts away into darkness, but
each shaft of light is already a ray of resurrection.
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“I still cannot believe what you tell me about ob- sessions. They
may be simply a reflection of the subconscious mind. For do we not
all hear and read and see all kinds of things during our lifetime?
Then we forget them; but the fissures of our brain somehow retain
these facts and then later, unexpectedly disclose them. Then they
seem entirely foreign to us.”
Thus spoke a friend in Urga to me. He, being an official, regards
skepticism as the supreme mark of dignity.
One must never insist, nor even try to convince. Often, it is only
necessary to draw another’s attention to a slight incident, and at
this sign of the semaphor, the entire trend of life may change its
course. Hence, without insistence, our friend was informed of a few
other events, which had obsession as their underlying theme. He was
told about the Tibetan “Rollang”—the resurrection of the dead. But
of course the skeptic only shrugged his shoulders; he disdained to
speak of it.
We told him of an incident in the United States, where a person of
high intelligence maintained that her deceased bridegroom had taken
possession of her and was controlling her entire life, offering
advice and giving her orders. In fact, her obsessor demonstrated
such distinction from her own consciousness, that he caused her not
only spiritual indisposition but even physical pain.
Our skeptic answered that such “obsessed” people could probably be
found by the scores in our lunatic asylums and that in the practise
of the law, such incidents of irresponsible consciousness were well
known. However, this did not convince him in the least. We then told
him how, according to the Chinese, the Tao-tai of Khotan had become
obsessed by the Thai whom he himself had killed. And how the Chinese
now point out that the murderer has adopted certain characteristic
habits of the dead man and that even the face of the murderer has
changed most characteristically within a short time.
The skeptic again only shrugged his shoulders.
Several days passed. Then one evening our skeptic came to visit us,
looking somewhat strange. Apparently something perplexed him and he
seemed to search for an opportunity to blurt it out. Finally he
“One listens to your tales—and then all kinds of strange things
begin to happen. After the last conversation we had concerning the
‘obsessed’ people, as you call them, I dropped in to the Chinese
photographer. He is married to a very simple Buryat woman, quite
illiterate. I’ve known them for a long time. I noticed that the
Chinese was somewhat sad, quite changed, so I asked him if he was
“ ‘No,’ he answered me. ‘I’m all right—but it’s my wife. It’s bad. I
don’t know how to cure her. Recently she began to talk of the
strangest things! She says that some one has taken possession of
her—not one person but two simultaneously. God knows where she gets
the strange words from. It seems that one of them was drowned. The
other died from over-drink. I know that things like that happen,
because we used to have many cases like that at home in China.”
“I asked him to call his wife. In she came. She always was small and
slight, but now she looked far thinner. You know, she is quite a
simple Buryat woman, entirely illiterate. When she entered, her
husband left the room. I asked her, ‘Won’t you have tea with me,
“ ‘No,’ she answered, ‘he forbids me to drink tea with you because
you do not believe and you wish me harm.’— ‘Who forbids you?’ I
asked her. ‘Oh, it’s always he—the German.’—‘What German? Tell me
where he comes from.’
“‘Well,’ she continued, ‘one is Adolph; the other is Felix. They are
in me for three weeks already!’—‘And where are they from?’, I asked.
“ ‘Some time ago,’ she began, ‘a man came to see my husband, to have
his picture taken. He was a fat German —maybe you have seen him in
the street; he has some kind of business. These two were with him.
He went away, but the two remained and they became tied up to me.
One of them, Adolph, became a coolie after the war in Vladivostok.
He was drowned when he went out boating. They had a fight. The
other, Felix, is also a German, and he is always drunk and swears
“And so she continued to tell me what they made her do, how they
compelled her to eat much meat, especially uncooked, because they
liked it with blood. They also suggested to her to drink wine
because they liked it very much. One of them, the drunkard,
continuously whispers to her to hang herself or to cut her throat
and that then they could help her to accomplish anything.
“The Buryat woman told me the kind of things the men tell her. They
seem to have traveled a great deal on ship, especially one of them.
He must have been a sailor. Why, think of it, she gave me the names
and descriptions of towns of which she couldn’t have had the
slightest notion. Then she spoke of ships, and used such technical
terms that only a person completely at home on sailing craft would
know them. Many of the terms she was unable to explain, when I
questioned her further, but she insisted she heard them from the
men. I must confess that I left the Chinaman rather puzzled. This is
the first time I ever heard such things with my own ears, and it all
correlates with the things you have been telling me.
“I must confess I had an insatiable desire to go and see the people
again, so I went to-day for the second time. When I asked the
Chinese about his wife, he just waved his hands in despair and said
that things had become worse. As I asked him whether I could see his
wife again, she herself entered the room.—‘I cannot stay here with
you,’ she said to me. ‘They forbid me; they say you want to harm me.
They want me to be happy and you can spoil it all. Because you know
some people who can drive them away.’ Then she left the room and her
husband, waving his hands once again, muttered, ‘Bad, very bad
indeed. Our home will be destroyed.’
“You see, I am a man of the law and I therefore like everything to
be authentic. I confess that I did not believe the tales you told me
last time, because nothing like it had ever occurred previously in
my life. But since I have heard and have seen this thing myself, I
can no longer doubt it, because I have known the woman for a long
time and she now impresses me quite differently.
“She does not just talk, or talk nonsense as happens in cases of
paralysis or pathological cases such as I have often had in my
practise. No, in this case I can clearly see something foreign, not
her own, with a decided and characteristic psychology. For when she
repeats the sentences told to her by the sailor, one can distinctly
feel the speech of a seaman, and a seaman of recent, prewar days.
Thus also in the speech of the other man, the drunkard; it is
precisely that of one of the derelicts whom the war cast into the
far-off lands of Siberia.
“By the way,” suddenly the confused skeptic asked, “how does one
proceed to drive away such obsessions? Because, when she hinted at
people I know, I felt at once that she spoke of you.”
I laughingly remarked to the skeptic that it appeared as though we
had changed roles, and that he would probably laugh if I told him
that in such cases of obsession one puts pieces of bloody raw meat
on the table and then pours strong-smelling intoxicants all around
the room. Then every one must leave the house and the person
obsessed must never return to it again. Of course, other methods may
This reminded me of a curious episode which happened in America,
when I had a serious disagreement with the spirits. I was asked to
view some paintings which were alleged to have been done by an
obsessed woman. Up to that time, the woman knew nothing about art
and had never touched a brush. I saw a series of strange paintings,
obviously painted in various technics and by different hands.
On one and the same canvas, one could see the characteristic technic
of a French impressionist, and besides it an equally clear Japanese
technic. Here also were Egyptian temples with a decidedly German
romantic turn. Thereupon, I remarked to the artist that it seemed
peculiar to me that such varied styles should be painted together
and on one canvas without any coordination whatsoever. But the
artist stated that the painting had been done thus not accidentally,
because the spirits who guided her were indeed of various
nationalities. Thereupon I observed that this technical medley did
not contribute to a completeness of painting.
Upon this the artist
reflected for a long time and then said sharply, “They find it very
good so!” I continued to persist in my opinion and the spirits in a
very brusk and rough manner persisted in their own wish that the
painting remain as it was. Thus proceeded a quarrel with the spirits
which continued with some vigor… “I do not know anything of your
American incident,” interrupted the skeptic. “But after all I have
seen and heard, I now consider it entirely possible. But I would not
like to leave the Buryat woman in her present situation. I think
that I ought to go there again and try to take some measures.”
I attempted to explain to the skeptic that with his complete
ignorance of the subject he would only bring harm to the woman, and
that he might easily cause her to commit suicide or take other
extreme measures. Finally we exchanged roles completely. I tried to
dissuade my friend from all further visits to the Chinese, while he,
like a drunkard who smells wine, began ingeniously to invent all
kinds of excuses to continue this adventure ... It was strange to
see how the old lawyer, recently so staid, was trying to find every
invention decently possible to justify himself and to show his need
of continuing his visits to the Chinese. Naturally, he did not
overlook poor science: he had to continue his excursions in the name
of science! And again, it was in the name of science that humanity
had to be warned. But behind all these important considerations,
there was clearly revealed an instinct suddenly aroused to the
knowledge of invisible worlds.
The wife of the skeptic, who was also present and who had previously
upheld me, now insisted by every measure that I should dissuade her
husband from his excursion, for during the last days he had been
talking only about the Buryat woman and the Germans. Finally the
recent skeptic gave his promise to drop the matter, after I assured
him that if he would but look around him, he would see many far more
On leaving, he suddenly suggested to me that I accompany him just
once to a Mongolian witch—”You know, it is the same woman who
foretold to Ungarn the day of his death and all his immediate
future, which was exactly fulfilled. She lives near here now.”
I declined to visit the sorceress but I wonder whether the skeptic
did not go to see her himself!
As always happens, an unusual conversation does not cease at once.
Hardly had the skeptic left our house, when two other visitors came.
One of them, a local Mongol, was highly educated and had lived
abroad. The other, an ex-officer, had served throughout the war. The
conversation began with some entirely unrelated matters The Mongol
was telling of the natural wealth of Mongolia, where mineral oil
flows in streams through the desert and where the rivers carry
inexhaustible gold. Then describing the gold districts, he added in
the same calm narrative tone, “And those murdered Chinamen allowed
us no sleep all the time we were staying at the mines.”
“But how could the dead disturb your sleep?”
“Those were the dead Chinamen who were killed during the riots,
after the war and the revolution.”
“But look here, how could people, killed long since, prevent you
“Exactly by walking around, talking, knocking the ashes out of their
pipes and rattling the crockery.”
“You are certainly joking.”
“No,” was the serious reply. “We could not see them but all through
the night we could hear them. A lot of them had been killed there
and, as people say, they were killed unawares. They went to bed
quite calmly that night, not suspecting an attack. It is always so;
people who are unexpectedly killed cannot give up their daily
habits. The Chinese are especially like that. They love their ground
and their houses. And when people are attached to their earthly
possessions, it is always difficult for them to leave them behind.”
So seriously spoke the Mongol.
The officer who had thus far been silent, then added, “Yes, with the
Chinese this often happens. In Mukden there is an old house in which
no one wants to live. A Chinaman was killed there and he gives no
one any peace. Each night he screams out as if he was being killed
again. We wanted to verify this rumor once, and we went there and
stopped overnight. But about one o’clock we noticed a bright blue
sphere descending from the top floor along the railing of the
staircase. That was enough for us, I admit, and we packed off.
“But now I remember another case that happened during the war near
the Prussian border. The whole staff had stopped over night in a
small hut. At midnight we all suddenly awoke together, each one
shouting something about horses. One man shouted, ‘Who brought the
horses in here!’ Another roared, ‘Look at the horses running away!’
I also awoke and in the darkness near me, I saw some horses pass me
by in a flash neighing as though in fright. The guards stationed
outside had heard nothing. But in the morning we discovered that our
drove of horses had been blown up by a shell.”
The Mongol became lively thereupon and confirmed this, “I also have
heard about invisible animals. It was in the Yurta of our
Shaman-sorcerer. The Shaman invoked the lower elementary powers and
we all could hear the galloping and neighing of whole droves of
horses; we could hear the flight of entire flocks of eagles and the
hissing of innumerable snakes right inside the yurta . . . you
should speak to our minister of war. He is a fortune teller and he
could tell you numberless unsuspected things.”
“But why do you think they are unsuspected?” “Well, I have become
accustomed to think that all foreigners regard our customary
occurrences as most strange…”
Ulan Bator Khoto, 1927.
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When Chingiz-Khan was born his mother was no longer a favorite of
the Khan and therefore the child found no love in the heart of his
father, who sent him to a far-off estate. There, when he had grown
into manhood, Chingiz-Khan gathered round him others who were
unloved and began to lead an aimless life. He seized arms and
bond-maids, went hunting and sent no reports about his life to his
father, the Khan.
One day, when perhaps drunk with kumiss, Chingiz-Khan made a pact
with his friends that they should follow him in all things till
death parted them. Then he ordered a whizzing arrow to be made, and
commanded his servants to lead out the horses. They mounted—and this
is how Chingiz-Khan began his work.
He rode into the steppes and approached his droves of horses.
Suddenly he sped his whizzing arrow, striking his best and fleetest
horse. A horse is valued as a treasure among Tartars. Some of his
friends hesitated to kill their horses and they were beheaded.
Once more Chingiz-Khan went to the steppes and again let fly his
whizzing arrow. This time he struck one of his wives. Not all would
follow his example. Then those who were afraid were immediately
beheaded. The friends were frightened. But he had bound them by an
oath to follow him till death. Truly clever, was Chingiz-Khan.
Then rode Chingiz-Khan toward his father’s droves of horses. He sent
his whizzing arrow into his father’s horse and all his friends did
the same. Thus Chingiz-Khan prepared his friends to work with him
and tried his men. Not loved, but feared was Chingiz-Khan. Truly
clever was Chingiz-Khan!
One day Chingiz-Khan planned great doings. He rode to his father’s
camp and sent a whizzing arrow into his father’s heart. All the
friends of Chingiz-Khan followed his example. The old Khan was
killed by all the people! And Chingiz-Khan became the Khan of the
Great Horde. Truly clever was Chingiz-Khan!
The khans of the Neighboring Empire were not pleased with
Chingiz-Khan. They looked disdainfully on the young man and sent an
arrogant messenger demanding all his best horses, all the arms set
with precious stones and adorned with gold—all the treasures of the
Khan. Hearing these demands Chingiz-Khan bowed to the messenger.
Then Chingiz-Khan summoned all his men to a council. His counselors
argued together loudly: it was impossible to fight over horses. And
all that was demanded of him Chingiz-Khan sent to the neighboring
khans. Truly cunning was Chingiz-Khan!
Swollen with pride, the khans of the Neighboring Empire now demanded
that all Chingiz’ wives should be sent to them. The counselors
protested loudly, they pitied the wives of the Khan and threatened
to start war. Again Chingiz-Khan dismissed these counselors and sent
all his wives to the Neighboring Empire. Truly cunning was
The khans of the Neighboring Empire were proud beyond measure. They
considered the men of Chingiz-Khan cowards; they insulted and abused
the people of the Great Horde; and in their pride they took the
guards away from the frontier. The khans amused themselves with
Chingiz’ wives and rode his horses while wrath against them grew
stronger and stronger in the Great Horde.
Suddenly, Chingiz-Khan rose up by night, ordered his men to follow
him on horseback, and attacked the khans of the Neighboring Empire,
taking captive all their people. He took all the treasures, the arms
and the horses back again; back he took all his wives.
The victory of Chingiz-Khan was praised by his counselors. And
Chingiz-Khan said to his eldest son Otokay: “Know how to make people
proud, and pride will make them stupid. Then wilt thou master them!”
Throughout the Great Horde the Khan was praised. Truly clever was
And Chingiz-Khan enjoined the Great Horde eternally to keep these
precepts: “He who covets a wife—shall be beheaded. He who
blasphemes—shall be beheaded. He who takes others’ property—shall be
beheaded. He who kills a peaceful man—shall be beheaded. He who
passes over to the enemy—shall be beheaded.” Thus, for every one
Chingiz-Khan appointed a punishment.
Soon the name of Chingiz-Khan was honored everywhere. All the
princes feared Chingiz-Khan. As never before the wealth of the Great
Horde grew. Each man had many wives. They dressed in silk cloth, and
ate and drank exceeding well. Truly, always clever was Chingiz-Khan!
Chingiz-Khan saw far ahead. He ordered his friends to tear the
silken cloth, to feign that they were ailing from good eating. Let
the people, as of old, drink milk; let them dress in skins as of
old; so that the Great Horde might not weaken! Truly clever was our
The Great Horde was always ready for battle. And Chingiz-Khan would
suddenly lead it into the steppes. He conquered all the steppes of
Taourmen. He took possession of all the deserts of Mongolia. He
vanquished all China and Tibet. He seized all land from the Red Sea
to the Caspian. Such was Chingiz-Khan!
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LAKSHMI, THE VICTORIOUS
To the east of the mountain Zent-Lhamo, in a resplendent garden,
lives the Blessed Lakshmi, Goddess of Happiness. By unending toil
she beautifies her seven veils of peace. This is known to all men.
All men pay reverence to the Goddess Lakshmi!
But all fear her sister, Siva Tandava. She, the Goddess of
Destruction, is full of malice, terrible and destructive.
From behind the mountains came Siva Tandava herself. The terrible
one went straight toward the dwelling of Lakshmi. Cautiously the
terrible goddess approached the palace of Light and lowering her
voice, called out to Lakshmi.
Lakshmi laid aside her precious veils and came forth to meet her.
And behind her walked her maidens, full-breasted and round of hip.
Lakshmi, walking, disclosed her body. Large were her eyes, her hair
was dark. Her armlets were golden. Her many necklaces were of
pearls. The nails of Lakshmi were of the color of amber. Over her
breasts and shoulders, and on her abdomen and down to her feet were
poured unguents of special sacred herbs. Lakshmi and her maidens are
as sparklingly pure as the images of the Temple of Mathura after the
But all righteousness became stricken at sight of the dreaded Siva
Tandava, so terrifying was she even in her apparent humility. From
out her canine jaw were thrust threatening fangs. So red was her
body and so shamelessly hirsute, that it was indecent to look upon.
Even the armlets of blood-red rubies could not beautify Siva
Tandava. One might even imagine her a man.
The Terrible one spoke:
‘‘Hail to you, Lakshmi, righteous one, my near one! Much happiness
and welfare hast thou created. Even too zealously didst thou perform
thy work. Thou adorn-est temples with gold. Thou enrichest the earth
with gardens. Thou Protectress of Beauty!
“Thou hast created the rich and the generous. Thou hast created the
poor, unreceiving yet rejoicing. Thou hast ordained peaceful trade.
Thou hast planted among men all ties called benevolent. Thou hast
conceived of joyous frail distinctions for man. Thou hast filled the
hearts of people with the joyous realization of their superiority
and pride. Thou art generous!
“Thy maidens are tender and caressing. Thy youths are strong and
aspiring. Joyously, people create according to their own likeness.
People forget about change and destruction. Hail to Thee!
“Calmly you observe the human procession. And there is little left
for Thee to do! I worry over thee, my near one! Without labor,
without worries, thy body will become heavy. And the precious pearls
will fade upon it. Thy face shall shine and thy lovely eyes shall
“Then will the people forget to bring pleasant offerings for Thee.
They will bring sacred flowers no longer. And you will no longer
find any excellent workers for Thyself. All the sacred designs will
become entangled. People cannot remain inactive. Here I am, full
worrisome about thee, Lakshmi, my near one!
“During long nights I have conceived a labor for Thee. We are akin
to each other. Do not pay attention to the exterior. Hard is it for
me to await the lengthy destruction of time. Let us unite and let us
annihilate all human structures. Let us demolish all human joys. Let
us eject all the foundations accumulated by men. Do not be so
assured that people follow Thee. People dimly perceive the
“Tear down Thy seven veils of peace. And then I shall rejoice and at
once accomplish my tasks, so that you may be aflame with zeal and
creation. And again you shall shed benevolent tears over men and
again you may weave still more ornamental veils for Thyself. You
shall create still richer ornaments. You, the inexhaustible Giver!
Again people will search for Thee.
“In humiliation once more they will accept with gratitude Thy gifts.
Thou shalt conceive for men so many small new conditions and petty
inventions that even the most foolish will think himself clever and
important. I do not fear the human curse and already perceive the
joyous tears offered to Thee by men!
“Ponder deeply, Lakshmi, my near one! My thoughts are useful to Thee
and to me, Thy sister, they are full of joy.”
A cunning power has Siva Tandava. Only think! She recalled the past
wars and human miseries. Only think! Again she wished to evoke upon
earth the destruction through evil. Only think! What evil notions
re-awoke in this malicious brain.
But not one word did Lakshmi say in response. Silently, only by a
gesture, she rejected the evil project of Siva Tandava.
Then once again the evil Goddess, ready with threats and grinding
her fangs, and forgetful of all her previous benevolent approaches
“Foolish Lakshmi! You surround yourself with these peaceful female
embroiderers. They cherish the small walls of their miserable homes.
Bent over their earthly designs they forget to look at the stars.
They forget the threatening conjunction of stars. People cannot
grasp that which comes in peace. They revere the thunder and
“Thy old altars are covered with fetid grease. Thy beauty cannot
dwell in the dust of old houses. The best designs are destroyed by
time and the best pattern is covered with mold. Follow me! I will
show Thee such chorus of conceit that Thy wisdom shall be
Such fearful things did Siva Tandava utter. And earthquakes pierced
the earth with their convulsions. And islands sank into the oceans.
And new mountains rose. But Lakshmi rejected all the offers of Siva
The Blessed Goddess answered: “To give you alone joy, and to cause
men sorrow, I shall not tear my veils. With a delicate web shall I
extol mankind. I shall gather from among all noble hearts, excellent
workers. I shall embroider new signs on my veils! The most
beautiful, the most precious, the most powerful. And in these signs,
in the images of the noblest beasts and birds, in the outlines of
flaming flowers and healing herbs, I shall send to the hearts of
people my most benevolent invocations. I will evoke from the abyss
the greatest creative fire. And with a rampart of flame will I
safeguard the luminous strivings of the Spirit.”
Thus ordained Lakshmi.
Out from the resplendent Garden in defeat walked Siva Tandava.
Now shall Siva Tandava, in violent wrath await the long destruction
of time. With incalculable ire, at times she crushes the earth and
then hordes of people perish. But Lakshmi, ever in time, casts her
blessed veils. And over the ashes of those who have perished, again
men will gather.
They will meet in solemn procession.
The righteous Lakshmi adorns her veils with the new sacred signs.
And from out the space she kindles a new Fire.
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THE BOUNDARIES OF THE KINGDOM
This so happened in India. A son was born to a King. All-powerful
fairy witches, as is the custom, brought their gifts to the Prince.
The most benevolent of them pronounced the conjuration:
“The Prince will never see the boundaries of his kingdom.”
All thought that this prophecy foretold a kingdom limitless in
But years passed, the Prince grew up, good and wise, but did not
increase his kingdom.
The Prince began to rule. But he did not lead his armies to destroy
his neighbors and thus did not enlarge the boundaries. And every
time when he wished to inspect the boundaries of his kingdom, the
mist covered the mountains of the borderlands.
In the waves of clouds new distances were created. And the clouds
whirled up like high castles and structures.
But each time, the King returned to his palace full of new power,
wise in all earthly decisions.
Jubilant were the people, glorifying their King, who without war
could raise his kingdom and make it famed even in distant countries.
But when all is benevolent on earth, then the black serpent cannot
rest under the ground.
Thus three old haters of mankind began to whisper:
“We are full of fright. Our King is obsessed by strange powers. Not
a human mind has our King. Who knows, maybe such a mind is
destructive of the current of earthly forces! A man should not be
above human conception.
“We are marked by earthly wisdom and we know the limits. We know all
charms and temptations.
“Let us save our King, let us make an end to the magic charms. Let
our King know his boundaries. Let the fire of his mind be lessened.
Let his wisdom become restricted within good human limits. When he
shall see his boundaries, he will no longer ascend the mountain. And
then he shall remain with us.”
And the three haters of mankind came together to the King—the three
old ones—pointing to their gray beards, and for wisdom’s sake
inviting him to ascend with them a high mountain. And there on the
summit all three of them pronounced a conjuration. A conjuration to
subdue the King’s power within human limits:
“Lord, thou who guardest the limits of men!
“Thou, who alone canst measure the mind. Thou fillest the flow of
mind in the limits of the current of the earth!
“Upon a turtle, upon a dragon, upon a serpent I shall swim. But I
shall learn my limits. On a unicorn, on a tiger, on an elephant I
shall swim. But I shall learn my limits.
“On a leaf of a tree, on the blade of a grass, on a flower of the
lotus I shall swim. But I shall learn my limits.
“Thou, Lord, shalt reveal my shore. Thou shalt indicate my limits.
“Every one knows and thou knowest. No one is greater. Thou art
greater. Deliver us from charms.”
Such was the conjuration the haters of mankind pronounced.
And at once as a purple chain, the summits of the limiting mountains
The haters of mankind turned away their faces. Bowed low.
“Here, King, are thy boundaries.”
But the best of the fairy witches was already hurrying from the
Goddess of the benevolent earthly wanderings.
The King did not have time to follow the advice of the three old
haters of mankind, and to look. Over the peaks there suddenly rose a
purple city. And behind it, veiled in mists, lay hitherto unseen
regions. Over the city flew a fiery host. And the signs of highest
wisdom began to glow in the heavens.
“I do not see my boundaries,” exclaimed the King.
And he returned exalted in spirit. He filled his reign with most
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Through the immense spaces of Siberia, many ancient wanderers
scattered their treasures. Many tribes, in an unceasing procession,
filled the soil of Mongolia, Minusinsk and Altai. In Altai they
remembered the call of other remote mountains, and again strove
onward, counting nor the days, nor years, nor centuries of their
The memory of the people preserves the sacred stories about the
relics of these great wanderers. And fantasy adorns them with most
Oh, these hidden treasures! What aspiration is directed towards
This is not merely anxiety to become possessor of riches. It is the
eternal striving toward the mystery of the earth.
Many manuscripts flow through the people’s hands. Wandering singers,
minstrels, monks and beggars carry wonderful tales inscribed in a
peculiar secret language. And why do these not acquire the treasures
themselves? They have always some excuses; the hidden language must
At times you can see these curious writings on yellow leaves, their
corners ragged from long usage. Through many villages and camps
these scriptures went their ways. They were written in old script,
sometimes like old prayer books, with strange flourishes and
ornamentations. Really it is not easy to decipher these rudimentary
signs. Many people try to follow these indications. It is true, that
some places are indicated correctly. Some typical details are marked
down. But it is not known that precisely in these places treasures
were found. Either an exact indication was veiled, or fortunate
discoverers had reason for maintaining silence. From most ancient
times, old graves and tumuli have been pillaged. It appears that
people who lived shortly after their erection carried on the
sacrilege. It seems that the desecrators knew well all approaches
and passages to the places of burial. The old custom to kill all who
performed the burial had its special reason. But we do not speak now
of burials, but of treasures; about the treasures, whose origin and
destiny are so mysterious. We are speaking of treasures.
One remembers the majestic burial sites in the tumuli, under huge
golden plaques. How many of them have been pillaged! I remember how
in the steppes a boy shepherd noticed on a slope of a hill a spark
of gold. His attention was attracted and he was rightly rewarded. He
found two hundred pounds of gold in ancient vessels.
Let us see how treasures are indicated in the books of treasure
“From the Red Field thou shalt go in the direction of the winter’s
sunrise. Follow this trail until thou shalt see a tombhill. Ascend
this hill and turn to the left and proceed to the rusty stream. And
then go up the stream until thou shalt see a huge gray stone. Upon
this stone find a trace of a horse’s hoof. Leave behind thee the
stone and proceed from this imprint of a hoof until thou comest to a
small swamp. Thou must know that some strange unknown people buried
in there five huge pieces of gold…”
“In the elkforest on the crosspath, is a huge horny fir-tree. This
fir-tree remains here not without reason. He who searches can find
some signs cut into it. Stand with your back to these signs and walk
straight from them across a moss swamp. And having passed, there
will be a stony place. Two stones will be larger than the others.
Stand between them in the center and count forty steps towards the
spring sunset. There is a large barrel of gold buried there during
the time of Tzar the Terrible…”
Here is a still better treasure:
“On the river Peresnya find a fording. And it will be called the
Prince’s fording. From this fording walk again toward the spring
sunset. And when you will have walked three hundred steps turn half
sideways. And walk across thirty steps to the right. And there will
be something like an old pit. And behind this pit you will see a
stump of a large tree. And there is buried a great treasure. All
gold krestovics (big golden coins) and all kinds of golden armor.
And one cannot count all the golden treasures. And this treasure was
buried during the Mongol invasion…”
Another good big treasure:
“On the very shore of the Irtysh you will find an old site. And on
this site is an ancient chapel. And behind it you may see an old
cemetery. Amidst the tombs you behold a small kurgan. Under this
kurgan, as told by old men, is a deep subterranean passage. And this
passage leads into a small cave and in there are to be found untold
riches. An old writing about this treasure is in the cathedral of
Sophia. And the high one himself, the Metropolite, once a year gives
this writing to read to those who come from afar.” Now I shall tell
you the most difficult one: “This treasure was buried with a deathly
conjuration. Should you decide to go after it, you will have
headaches and great anxiety of the soul. And at midnight you will
hear horrifying voices. And a bell will ring over you, as for a
funeral service. But if you will succeed in conquering all deadly
terrors, if your heart will decide to go against all fear, then
yours is the great fortune.
“There is a place called Great Mane. From the mountain there flows a
golden stream and into this stream robbers have sunk innumerable
quantities of gold. And over this place tiny birds are always
fluttering. It is said that the souls of the former masters of this
gold turned into these birds. And when you hear the chirping of the
birds and behold this place, close your ears and look into the
stream. If you see that you are not looking in alone do not be
disturbed by this. You will see on the bottom of the stream a large
slab. And into this slab is screwed an iron ring. And above it, from
the mountains flows the water, and it will seem to you in the
ripples that this slab is shaking and the ring is disappearing. Do
not be disturbed by this either, but begin to read the sacred prayer
to the Holy Virgin Mary. And after this prayer say: ‘Omnipotent! On
Thy Vestment are woven all healing herbs. Be merciful! Send me from
out of these herbs an herb of power!’
“And here know how to show your luck. If you succeed in deflecting
the water from the ground and if you succeed in unearthing the
conjured slabs, and if you catch hold of the ring in time—then your
luck is untold and inexpressible!
“Many treasures are buried everywhere. I do not speak in vain. Our
grandfathers wrote much about them. Even recently in our forge a
passing traveler repaired a wheel. He spoke and I overheard: ‘In
subterranean Siberia,’ said he, ‘many riches are buried. Guard
“He was of great appearance, this man.
“From grandfather I know this. Sometimes on the eve of a great
holiday he spoke to us, lighting the candles before old ikons.
“Thus he spoke: ‘For every man a treasure is buried. Only one must
know how to take these treasures. To a traitor, a treasure is not
given. A drunkard does not know how to approach it. Do not harken to
the treasure with evil thoughts. The treasure knows its worth. Do
not dare to harm the treasure. One should cherish the treasures.
Many treasures fell from the stars. Angels guard many treasures.
Treasures are not buried with a foolish word, but with prayers and
conjurations. And the conjurations are awe-inspiring. And wherever
there is blood on a treasure it is better not to approach it.’
“Satan himself and with him all devils guard the bloody gold.
“And if your heart has decided to go for a treasure, then go
cautiously. Long before approaching, do not talk in vain, do not
show yourself too open; think your thoughts. There will be terrors
before you, but you should not fear. Something will appear to you,
but do not look. Do not harken to cries. Go in great caution. Do not
stumble. Because to go for a treasure is a great thing.
“Over the treasure hasten thy efforts.
“Do not look around and chiefly do not rest. Because to every one
the rest is ordained later on earth. And if you should want to raise
your voice, sing prayers to the Virgin. Remember, never take with
you any companions in the quest for the treasure.
“If your luck comes and you take the treasure, do not prattle to any
one about it. Let people think that misfortune silences you. But be
you silent, because of fortune. In no way reveal at once to people
your treasure. Because the human eye is heavy. Treasures are
unaccustomed to people. Treasures lay long in the honest earth. If
you reveal them to people, they will again depart into the earth.
And you will not have the treasure nor shall any one else. Many
treasures were spoilt by people because of their pettiness.”
“—And where is your treasure, blacksmith? Why did you not take your
“—And for me there lies buried a treasure. I, alone, know when to go
And the blacksmith spoke no more about treasures.
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JALNIK, THE SITE OF COMPASSION
On the high hills of Altai, the tops of old pines and fir-trees
engage in peaceful communion. They know much—these mountain forests!
They stand in wonder before the snowy ranges of the mountains. Their
roots know what riches, what innumerable mineral treasures, are
guarded in the stony depths of the mountains, for the future
prosperity of humanity.
And the roots of these giant trees tenderly embrace the gray stones.
These are the stones of the “site of compassion.”
Who knows who placed these stones here? And who saw these men
transfixed in awe beneath the stone stronghold?
Had these people heard of the future wealth of this country? Did
they know of Zvenigorod, the City of the Bells? Was it they, who
conceived the saga of the river Katum, of all the events which
passed on the shores of this river, as it rolled down the great
stones from the White Mountain, Belukha?
Were these people settlers or wanderers?
Old grandmother Anisya knows something about this place.
She comes here to perform her invocations and conjurations. Do not
be afraid! She is not a witch, she is not a Shaman sorceress. No one
would speak ill of grandmother Anisya. But she knows many precious
things. She knows the healing herbs; she knows conjurations which
serve as prayers; she learned them from her grandmother. And a
century ago the same stones and the same forest stood here as now.
Grandmother Anisya knows conjurations against all evils. No one
besides herself knows that the kirik stone from the nest of a hoopoe
is the best protection against treason. No one besides herself knows
the best time to find this nest and how to obtain the stone.
She can tell you how hard are the present times and that you can be
saved only by conjurations. At the present time three conjurations
need be remembered:
The first of them is against enemies, against thieves and evil men.
The second—do not forget it! against mortal weapons. The
third—remember sharply! against lightning, against all thunder of
heaven or earth! The thunder of earth resounds and heavenly forces
Remember the first one:
“On the sea, on the ocean, on the Buyan Island, there is an iron
chest and in this iron chest there are steel swords. Ho, steel
swords! Approach our enemy! Cut his body in pieces! Pierce his
heart! Until he renounces all evil; until he returns the stolen
booty; until he will surrender all, without concealing anything.
Thou enemy, adversary, be cursed by my powerful conjurations!
“Be damned in the depths of hell! Beyond the Arrarat mountains, into
the boiling tar! Into the burning ashes! Into the scum of swamps!
Into the bottomless abyss!
“Be you, enemy, pierced by the spike of an aspen tree!
“And be dried even more than the hay!
“And be frozen even more than the ice!
“Become cross-eyed, lame, mad, armless, impoverished, hungry,
outcast; and perish by another’s hand!” . . .
You see, what strong powers grandmother Anisya possesses! Who can
withstand such conjurations!
And not only does she speak in a strident voice, but she also holds
in her hand a tiny stick, and as she speaks of the death of an
enemy, she breaks this stick, just as the life of her evil adversary
shall be broken. And never shall he know from what hill, from what
mountain, came this unconquerable power.
The second conjuration is against weapons. Each warrior must know
this conjuration. Hear and remember!
“Beyond the far-off mountains is the sea of iron. In the sea stands
a pillar of bronze. And on that bronze pillar there stands a
shepherd of cast iron. And this pillar rises from earth into heaven.
From the East to the West.
“And the shepherd commands his children; he commands the iron, the
steel, red and blue, the copper, the lead, the silver, and the gold.
He speaks to guns and to arrows. He gives to the fighters and
warriors the great command:
“ ‘You iron, copper, lead, go back into your mother-earth, away from
the warrior; return, tree, to the far-off shore, and you,
arrow-feathers, return to the birds! And you birds—disappear in the
“And he commands swords, axes, boar-spears, knives, arquebuses,
arrows and all warriors—to be calm and peaceful!
“And he orders every warrior not to shoot at me from a gun!
“But he orders the arbalest and stringbows to bend and cast all
arrows deep down into the earth!
“Let my body be stronger than stone. Firmer than steel. Let my armor
be stronger than helmets and ring-armor.
“I seal my words with all locks. I cast the keys under the white
Flaming Stone, Alatyr!
“And as locks are strong, so strong are my words.” . . .
No one would care to be in the position of this conjured adversary.
What weapons could avail against this powerful incantation! The
White Flaming Stone itself, Great Alatyr, bears witness to this
immutable might! And again, not only words are projected into the
space, but grandmother Anisya has four stones in her hands and she
throws them to the four ends of the earth.
But the third conjuration is the most awe-inspiring one. This one is
against lightning, against the thunders of heaven and earth:
“Holy! Holy! Holy! Thou, who dwellest in the thunder! Thou who
subduest the lightning! Thou who floodest the earth with rain! Thou,
mightiest Ruler! Thou alone adjudge the cursed Satan with all the
devils! But save us, sinners!
“Thy wisdom is incomparable, all-powerful! All honor from God! From
him comes liberation to the motherland! Be it so now, eternally and
forever! Thou, Lord of Terror! Thou, Lord of all miracles! Thou, who
dwellest on the most high! Thou, who movest in the thunder!
Mastering fire! Lord of all miracles! Thyself destroy the enemy, the
Satan! Be it so now, eternally and forever. Amen!” . . .
This is most powerful. The highest, heavenly power is summoned. From
the mountain stream, grandmother Anisya takes a handful of clear
water and dashes it into space. And glistening drops, as heavenly
lightnings, surround the conjuror.
The conjurations are ended. And the power departs from grandmother.
She becomes small and bent. And the small old woman walks away
beyond the hill. From Jalnik—site of compassion—to the lake at the
foot of the mountain, through fields of spring wheat, into a distant
village, she goes. Not for her own ends, did Granny come from afar
to invoke the high forces. Grandmother sent out conjurations for all
people, for distant warriors, for a new life. But she also prayed
for the unknown silent ones, who are buried under the stones and
roots of the pine-trees. She brought holy oil for the saints.
Because on the highest pine-tree, in the bark, an old ikon is carved
out and it is said that the ikon appeared of itself.
On the summits of Altai, on the ranges of Ural, far off up to the
very hills of Novgorod, fir and cedar groves tower high. From the
far, far distance one may behold their dark caps. Under the roots of
firs, many stones are gathered together with great labor. Beautiful
sites! Ancient sites! How did they come to be here? Was it the
unknown pilgrims who built them? Was it the Mongols? Was it the
Tzar, the terrible? Or are they from times of unrest? Or from wars
and foreign invasions? All these at one time were here.
And the silent ones lie buried here. Lie in rest, unknown to all
grandfathers. And thus one prays for them!
For the known and unknown, for the sung and unsung, for the storied
“Jalniks,” the sites of compassion, so are called these beautiful
sites of silence. They are also called “divinets,” sites of wonder.
Divinet, site of wonder, resounds with exultation. But “Jalnik”—site
of compassion—is still nearer to the heart. In this expression lies
so much of love and gentle pity, so much of rest and words of
eternity. The giant fir-trees guard this place with their mighty
branches. Only the tops rustle. Below is silence and shade. The gray
juniper. Only two or three dry blades of grass. Everywhere,
blackberries and dried evergreen needles. High on the fir tree sits
an old raven. He is so old that he has claws, not only on his feet
but even on his wings. As we regarded this raven with awe, as a
prehistoric relic, he fell down dead. The stones are set in rows and
in circles. All of them must remember the moraines of the glacier
period. White, grayish, violet, bluish and almost black. From the
to the West these stones may be observed, adorned by a white moss.
Everywhere, too, is gray moss. Everywhere
there is ancient grayness. In grayness, sleep the “calm ones.” In
white garments, repose the “resting ones.” Oh, through what
sufferings they passed! Many things they witnessed! Wise and without
doubts is their wisdom!
“As in heaven, so upon earth. As above, so below. That which was,
shall come again!”
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“Ye Birds, Homas, ye beautiful!
You You do not love the earth— Never will you descend to earth! Your
birdlings are born in heavenly nests. You are nearer the Sun. Let us
ponder about the sun, the Resplendent!
But the Devas of Earth are also miraculous.
Upon the Summits of Mountains, in the depths of seas, seek
Thou shalt find a glorious Stone of Lore,
In Thy heart search for Brindavan, abode of Love.
Seek patiently and you will find. Let the Ray of Wisdom pierce us.
Then all which moves will become affixed. The shadow will become the
body. The spirit of air will return to land. The dream will be
transformed into thought.
We will not be moved by the storm.
We shall rein the winged steeds of morning.
We will guide the currents of the evening wind.
Thy Word is the Ocean of Truth. Who turns our ships to the shore? Do
not fear Maya. Her untold might and power we shall conquer.
Harken! Harken! Have done with dissension and fights.”
Surendra Gayatri prayed.
From the stones of the city he went to the shades of
Aranyani. And in the blissful stillness he rested.
But the battle began.
Kings of the ancient lands set plans to shatter the sacred vessels!
Let the wisdom of Nilgiri perish!
Let the Ghat and Khunda ranges droop!
Let Gaya be destroyed.
The river Falgu shall over-flow! Naught can break the terror— Fire
Poison and deadly thunders rain from above and below. Black birds
The people found Gayatri.
The people approached him.
The people besought his help.
The people, in despair, compelled Gayatri to change
his good prayers.
“Forget your righteous prayers, Gayatri. Search the mortal word.
Find the deadly eye. Pray for oath of victory.
Farewell, celestial silver and gold!
Farewell, thou most quiet forest!” Gayatri hears the calls. Gayatri
departs from the forest. Gayatri ascends the summit. Gayatri is
Gayatri encircles himself with a Ray. Gayatri prays with all his
“Lion and Swan!
Eagle and deer!
Bull, lion, eagle!
Ruler of the World!
Ruler of the Stars and the Moon!
Ruler of Light and of the Sun!
“Do not invoke the Black Age! Our strength is exhausted. Asleep is
the sacred jewel! No longer it defeats the wandering spirits. No
longer it stays our enemies.
“Sound the command for hostilities.
Sound the command of strength!
A conjuration for victory!
Let us defeat the enemy. Say the words of Nagaima. Bestow the
strength of Exola. Bestow the deadly word. Open the deadly eye.
Rakshasi conquered the people.
Samyasa, Leader of the Sons of Heaven, Ruler of the
Serpents, also taught Power. Azaciel also taught the forging of
arms. Amazaraka also revealed the mysterious powers of herbs and
They are dark, evil, insignificant. But You are able. You have
Power. Allelu! Allelu! Allelu!”
The Supreme hears Gayatri.
The Supreme shall fulfil Gayatri’s request.
The Supreme does not admit the destruction of Nilgiri.
Dear to the Supreme is the wisdom of the summits.
The Supreme shall set a test: “I will not give thee Exola, nor
Nagaima. Neither against the hosts, nor for success. I will not give
thee Zaadotota, nor Addivata, Neither against enmity, nor for
revenge. I will not give thee Kaalbeba, nor Alsibena, Neither
against animus, nor for harm and rupture. I will not give thee the
deadly word. The deadly eye, I will not open.
All conjurations I will gather.
Alshill! Alzelal! Alama! Ashmekh!
Kaaldalbala! Kaalda! Kaldebda!
I will leave them, will forget them!
Anax! Aluxer! Ataiya! Atars!
I will end, will part from them! I will bestow another thing— That
which shall have the power of repulsion—
It will open the Power to none. Hear!
There walks one,
In a white garment he walks.
Swordless he walks.
All that has been done against thee will turn against them. All that
they wished against you, they will themselves receive. Good and
Who desired evil—will receive it. Who desired good—he may accept it.
All will receive. Go. Do not hesitate. I will make an end to the
Alm! Alm! Algarfelmukor!”
Gayatri passed on—
In white and calmly.
Without arrow nor sword
Without hatred nor threat. What passed? The enemies shot their
arrows against Gayatri, poisoned
The arrows turned and struck those who sent them. Others threw
spears at Gayatri and fell, transfixed. Poison they spilt for him
and died themselves terrified.
Hosts of enemies died by their own hand.
With hatred their spirit overflowed.
Their hearts swelled with revenge. What passed?
They destroyed and burned. They poisoned rivers and lakes. They sped
a shower of flames. They shrieked their curses. They burned and
drowned. They turned black, convulsed. They gashed and strangled—
They forgot the good.
They lost the good meeting.
The good eye darkened.
The word of caress they deadened. Thus it passed! The foolhardy
perished. By the strength of enemies, Gayatri went through the
kingdom of the old lands.
Passed through gates and palaces, bridges and villages. Quiet was
the old kingdom. Destroyed were the foolhardy. Gayatri stood still.
To stay the power, he knew not. He could not lay bare the strength.
He could not dare to turn toward his own.
Gayatri kindled a fire.
He bestowed the Power upon the fire.
He sowed the Power to the winds! “Sacred ashes! Light veil of Bliss!
Thou coverest! Thou cleanest! And liberate!”
But the Supreme does not pause:
“Do not ponder over ashes.
Turn toward your own people.
Meet the child.
Carry it before you.
Teach. In the name of the Highest, two cannot fight.
One of them is a dark one—
Conquer the dark.
I made a test—
Into the whirlpool I submerged the old land.
I will overthrow the useless.
I will again raise the summits.
I will uplift. I will test. In heaven and on earth
I fulfil the Law.” Gayatri found the child. Gayatri raised the
child. And returned to Nilgiri. Gayatri forgot Aranyani. He left the
Gayatri prayed for the opening of the righteous eye. And to find the
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Such were the dreams before the war: We were traveling through a
field. Behind the hill the clouds rose. A storm. Through a cloud,
head downwards, a fiery serpent pierced the earth. The serpent was
Or another dream: Again we travel over a gray plain. No sign of
life. Before us, a high hill glimmers dark. We look, but it is not a
hill; it is a huge, coiled gray serpent.
And long before were conjurations. The evil ones were conjured. The
untruth was conjured. Bird and beast were conjured. Earth and water
were conjured. But to no avail. The monsters crept out.
Later were signs. They did not perceive them. They did not trust
them. They did not grasp them. The crowds stamped upon them.
And the serpent awoke. The enemy of mankind rose. Attempted by
slander to conquer the world. To destroy cities. To defame temples.
Turn to ashes human strivings.
He rose to his own destruction.
There were conjurations. There were signs.
Dreams remained. Those dreams that are fulfilled.
He laid himself to rest for the night.
He thought—I shall see great Magi.
There was desire to see—how they look.
There was desire to hear—what names they bear.
He wished to see what is bound to their saddles. What road they
take. They should reveal. Whence and whither.
But they did not appear, the Magi.
Possibly it was too soon.
Did not start out yet.
Instead of the Magi two others appeared.
One middle aged in an old blue shirt. In an old dark kaftan. Long
hair. In the right hand three staffs.
He holds them to-day with points upwards. Mark, upwards. All has its
meaning. But this is Saint Prokopyi, himself.
He who saved Ustyng the Great.
He, who took away the stony cloud from the city. He, who upon high
shores prayed for the unknown travelers.
Marvelous tidings! Himself came Prokopyi the Righteous.
And another one with Him—white and old. In one hand a sword and in
another the city.
Certainly he is Saint Nicholas.
Instead of the Magi with the star, these came.
“Do not depart from the earth. The earth is red, red hot with evil.
But the heat of evil nurtures the roots of the Tree. And upon this
Tree the good creates its Benevolent nest. Attain the labor on
earth. Ascend to the heavenly ocean, the resplendent, but dark only
for us. Guard the Benevolent Tree. Good lives on it. The earth is
the source of sorrow, but out of sorrow grow joys. He who is the
highest knows the predestined date of your joy.
“Do not depart from the earth. Let us sit down and ponder about
The other, the white one, lifted the sword.
And people came closer to him. Many came forward.
“Nicholas, the Gracious! Thou Miracle Maker! Thou, All-powerful!
Thou, Holy Warrior! Thou, Conqueror of Hearts! Thou, Leader of true
thoughts! Thou, Knowing heavenly and earthly forces!
“Thou, Guardian of the Sword! Thou, Protector of Cities! Thou
knowing the Truth! Do you hear the prayers, Mighty One?
“Evil forces are battling against us.
“Protect, Thou Mighty One, the Holy City! The resplendent city calls
wrath in the enemy. Accept, Thou Mighty One, the beautiful city.
Raise, Father, the Sacred Sword!
“Invoke, Father, all saintly warriors. Miracle-maker, manifest a
stern face! Cover the cities with the holy sword! Thou canst, to
Thee is given Power!
“We stand without fear and tremor…”
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THE DESERT CITIES
The world is described as an old man…
The people answer for their striving.
Thoughts grow through striving.
Thought gives birth to desire.
Desire has stirred up the command.
The human structure quivers with desires.
Do not fear, ancient man!
Joy and sorrow are as a river.
Waves are passing, purifying.
The Czar rejoiced: “My land is vast. My forests are mighty. My
rivers are teeming. My mountains are precious. My people are merry.
Beautiful is my wife.”
The Czarina rejoiced:
“Many forests and fields have we. Many song birds have we. Many
varied flowers have we.”
An old man entered the palace. A newcomer. He greeted the Czar and
Czarina. And he sat down exhausted.
The Czar asked:
“Why art thou weary, old man? Hast thou been wandering long?”
The old man became sorrowful.
“Vast is thy land. Mighty, thy forests. Teeming arc thy rivers. Thy
mountains are unsurpassable. During my wanderings I nearly perished.
Yet I could not reach a city where I could find rest. Few cities
hast thou, O Czar! We old ones love city structures. We love the
trusty walls. We love the watchful towers and the gates, which are
obedient to command. Few cities hast thou, O Czar. Thy neighboring
rulers surround themselves more strongly with walls.”
The Czar became sorrowful.
“Few cities have I. Few trusty walls. Few towers have I. Few gates
to encircle all my people.”
The Czar commenced to mourn.
“Old man! Wise in years! Teach me how to cover my vast domain with
cities. How shall I set within walls all my people?”
The old man rejoiced.
“Thou shalt set all thy people within walls. Two lands beyond thine
lives a giant Czar. Give him a great prize. The giants shall bring
thee from the Indian Czar, countless cities. They shall bring them
with walls and gates and towers. Do not spare in rewarding the giant
Czar. Give him a great prize. Even if he shall demand the Czarina,
The old man got up and departed—as though the passer-by had never
been there. The Czar sent his request into the land of the giants.
The giant, woolly Czar was laughing.
“He sent his people to the Indian Czar to steal away the cities with
walls and gates and towers.”
And the giant, woolly Czar did not take a small reward. He took a
precious mountain. He took a teeming river. He took an entire mighty
forest. He took into the bargain the Czarina, the wife of the Czar.
Everything was promised to him. Everything was ceded to him.
The Czarina sorrowed.
“O, the woolly Czar will take me to please a strange man, an old
one! All the people will be enclosed by heavy gates. O, they will
trample all my flowers with cities. And they will cover with towers
the whole starry canopy. Aid me, my blooms—the underground secrets
are known to you. The giants bear the Indian cities, with walls and
gates and towers!”
The blossoms heard the complaint. They began to wave their flowery
heads. From beneath the world rose their thought. The great thought
began to stir beneath the earth. The forests began to waver with
thought. The mountains were devastated by thought: they crumbled
even into small stones. The earth was fissured with thought.
Fissured also became the heavens.
The thought came flowing across the desert sands. The thought
stirred the free sand. It rose as undulating ramparts. The sands
rose against the giant people.
The giants stole the Indian cities with walls, gates and towers.
They drove the Indian people from their huts. They lifted the cities
upon their shoulders. Swiftly they returned. They went to earn their
great prize for the woolly Czar.
The giants approached the desert sands. The desert sands lifted into
masses. The sands rose like dark whirlwinds. The sands veiled the
beautiful sun. The sands raised themselves into the heavens. And how
the sands smote the giant people!
The sands crept into the broad jaws. The sands flowed into the
woolly ears. The sands obscured the eyes of the giants. The sands
conquered the giant-people. The giants abandoned the cities to
desert sands. Scarcely did they escape, without eyes or ears.
The desert sands buried the Indian cities. They buried them with
walls, gates and towers. The people know of these cities, even up to
the present time. But who brought the cities to the desert sands,
the people do not know. The flowers bloom as never before. From the
flowers the Czarina understood that the cities were razed. And the
Czarina sang a merry song—for honest people to hear, to the glory of
The Czar heard the song and rejoiced, exulting. And the Czar laughed
at the giant’s misfortune. And the Czar smiled at the cities, hidden
in the desert sands. No longer yearned the Czar for foreign cities.
The teeming river remained with the Czar. His was the precious
mountain. His was the mighty forest. His, the flowers and singing
birds, and all his people. His, the beautiful Czarina. His, the
merry song. Greatly rejoiced the Czar. Not so soon shall the old man
again enter the Palace.
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LYUT, THE GIANT
On the echoing cape, near the sacred grove, On the lake, lived the
Giant, Lyut. A mighty one, great and good And a mighty hunter was
he. The beard of Lyut had seven tips. An hundred foxes made his
head-gear. The garments of Lyut were of gray wolf. The ax of Lyut
was of red flint. The spear of Lyut was of white flint. The arrows
of Lyut were black, never-failing. Beyond the lake lived the
brethren of Lyut. And on the mountain site Lyut built his dwelling.
From the echoing cape he called his brothers— Even in a whisper.
To his brother beyond the lake, he handed his ax. With his brother,
beyond the lake, Lyut hunted. With his brother beyond the lake, Lyut
cast his nets. With his brother beyond the lake, he brewed his ale.
He boiled his tar and fetched his forage. He lit his bonfires and
danced merrily with his sister.
Then Lyut went strolling beyond the lake.
Ill-starred was his stride—he sank.
Lyut, the Giant, sank even up to his chest. Badly he fared.
His dog followed him and sank.
Who can call the brethren of Lyut?
For a day’s distance, there is no one in sight.
The lake splashes. The wind murmurs.
Death itself walks over the ridge.
Lyut raised his eyes to the clouds—
Cargoose flew by. The giant called,
“Do you see me in the lake?”
“I see-ee,” came the answer.
“Tell my brethren—I drow-w-w-n! I drow-w-wn!”
Far flies the cargoose.
Resoundingly echoes its call: “I drow-w-w-n! I drow-w-wn!”
The cargoose knows not that it proclaims misfortune—
The lake holds no evil for it.
The lake is kind.
Only in the wood the cargoose fares badly, and in the fields.
The brethren are laughing.
They do not hear the cargoose.
They have caught an elk in the marshes.
Finally the brethren of Lyut arrive
But Lyut has perished.
A long mound is built—and a round one for his dog.
Of sorrow dies the sister of Lyut.
The giants throw bars into the lake.
They bury their axes beneath the roots of trees.
The giants abandon our land.
But the cargoose lives on the lake since those ancient days.
A foolish bird. But a prophet bird. It confuses the call of the
In fair weather it calls, “I drow-w-w-n! I drow-w-w-n!” As if
drowning, it flutters its wings. In foul weather, it calls—”Ho,
ho—ho, ho!” Over the water, it flies and screams, “See-ee-ee! I
People remember the lake of Lyut.
People remember the long mounds.
The long mounds of giants.
And the length of the mounds is nine scores of cubits.
The shores of the lake remember the giants.
The trunks of the oaks remember the giants.
The giants carried the stones to the mounds.
The people remember how the giants departed.
From ancient time it was even so. I so affirm!
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STAR OF THE MOTHER OF THE WORLD
Toward that seven-starred constellation known as the Seven Sisters,
the Seven Elders or the Great Bear, the consciousness of humanity
has at all times been directed. The Scriptures extol this celestial
sign and Buddhism’s sacred Trepitaka dedicates an imposing hymn to
it. Ancient Magi and Egyptians carved it upon the stones. And the
black faith of Shaman of the wild taiga paid their obeisance to it.
To another of heaven’s miracles, the constellation of Orion, which
the wisuom of astronomers has named the “Three Magi,” were dedicated
the ancient temples of mystery in Central Asia.
As a pair of iridescent wings, these two constellations are spread
out across the firmament. Between them, darting headlong toward
earth, is the Star of the Morning, resplendent abode of the Mother
of the World. By its dominating light, by its unprecedented
approach, it foretells the new era of humanity.
The dates, recorded eons since, are being fulfilled in the starry
runes. The predictions of the Egyptian Heiro-phants are being
invested with reality before our eyes. Verily, this is a time of
wonder for its witnesses. Likewise predestined and also descending
over humanity is that satellite of the Mother of the World—Beauty,
the living raiment. As a garment of purification must the sign of
Beauty glorify each hearth.
Simplicity—Beauty—Fearlessness: so it is ordained! Fearlessness is
our guide. Beauty is the ray of comprehension and upliftment.
Simplicity is the sesame to the gates of the coming mystery. And not
the menial simplicity of hypocrisy, but the great simplicity of
attainment encircled in the folds of love. Simplicity which unlocks
the most sacred and mysterious gates to him who brings his torch of
sincerity and incessant labor. Not the Beauty of conventionality and
deceit, which harbors the worm of decadence, but that Beauty of the
spirit of truth which annihilates all prejudices. Beauty alight with
the true freedom and attainment and glorious with the miracle of
flowers and of sounds. Not the Fearlessness of artifice, but the
Fearlessness which knows the unsounded depths of creation and
discriminates between self-confidence in action and the presumption
of conceit. Fearlessness which possesses the sword of courage and
which smites down vulgarity in all its forms even though it be
adorned in riches.
The understanding of these three covenants creates faith and support
of the spirit. For within the last decade everything has been
endowed with motion. The most massed clods have become mobile and
the greatest dullards have comprehended that without simplicity,
beauty and fearlessness, no construction of the new life is
conceivable. Nor is the regeneration of religion, politics, science
or the revaluation of labor possible. Without Beauty the closely
inscribed pages, like withered and fallen leaves, will be whirled
away by the winds of life and the wail of spiritual famine shall
shake the foundations of the cities, deserted in their populousness.
We saw revolutions. We saw crowds. We passed through the mobs of
insurrection. But only there did we behold the banner of peace
waving overhead, where beauty was aglow and by the light of its
wondrous power evoked united understanding. We saw in Russia how the
apostles of beauty and the collectors—the true collectors, not those
who were the incidental possessors of some inheritance—were singled
out for honor by the crowd. We saw how the most ardent youth stood
in breathless vigilance, in prayer, under the wings of beauty. And
the remains of religion were revivified there where beauty did not
perish and where the shield of Beauty was most firm.
By practical experience we can affirm that these words are not the
Utopia of a visionary. No, these are the essence of experience
gathered on fields of peace and of battle. And this manifold
experience did not bring disillusion. On the contrary, it
strengthened faith in the destined and in the near, in the
resplendence of the possibilities. Verily, it was experience which
constructed confidence in the new ones who hastened to help in the
erection of the Temple and whose joyous voices resounded over the
hill. The same experience directed our eyes toward the children,
who, untaught, but already permitted to approach, began to unfold
like the flowers of a beautiful garden. And their thoughts became
crystal; and their eyes became enlightened and their spirits strove
to proclaim the message of achievement. And all this was not in
nebulous temples but here upon earth—here where we have forgotten so
much that was beautiful.
It would seem incredible that people could want to forget the best
possibilities—but this happens oftener than one can imagine. Man
lost his key to the symbols of the Rig-Vedas. Man forgot the meaning
of the Kabala. Man mutilated the glorious word of Buddha. Man, with
gold, defiled the divine word of Christ and forgot, forgot, forgot
the keys to the finest gates. Men lose easily, but how to regain
again? The path to recovery permits every one to have hope. Why not,
if a soldier of Napoleon discovered the Rosetta Stone in a trench,
key to the understanding of the complete heiroglyphs of Egypt?
verily when the last hour strikes, men—still too few—begin hurriedly
to recall the treasures which were theirs long since, and again the
keys begin to clink on the girdle of faith. And dreams clearly and
vividly recall the abandoned but ever-existing beauty. Only accept!
Only receive! You shall discern how transformed shall be your inner
life; how the spirit shall quiver in its realization of unbounded
possibilities. And how simply beauty will envelop the temple, the
palace and the hearth, where a human heart is throbbing. Often one
does not know how to approach beauty—where are the worthy chambers,
the worthy raiments, for the festival of color and of sound? “We are
so poor,” is the reply. But beware lest you screen yourselves behind
the specter of poverty. For wherever desire is implanted, there
shall bloom decision.
And how shall we start to build the Museum? Simply. Because all must
be simple. Any room may be a museum —and if the wish that conceived
it is worthy, it shall grow in the shortest time into its own
building and into a temple. And from far will come the new ones and
knock—only do not outsleep the knocking.
How shall we commence our collecting? Again, simply—and without
riches, only with unconquerable desire. We have known many very poor
persons who were very remarkable collectors, and who although
limited by each penny, gathered art collections full of great inner
How can we publish? We know also that great art publications began
with almost negligible means. For instance, such an idealized work
as that tremendous publishing project of art postcards, Saint
Eugenie, began with five thousand dollars, and in ten years afforded
hundreds of thousands of profit yearly. But the value of this work
was not measured by its financial profits. Rather was it gaged by
the quantity of widely-spread art publications which attracted a
multitude of new, young hearts to the path of beauty. The colored
post-cards which were artistically published, and in a definite
method penetrated into new strata of the people and created young
enthusiasts. How many new collectors were born! And measuring their
approach to new hearts, the publishers sent into the world,
reproductions of the most progressive creations. Thus, through
fearlessness, in the simplicity of clearness, were created new works
How can we open schools and teach? Also simply. Let us not expect
great buildings or sigh over the primitive conditions and lack of
material. The smallest room —not larger than the cell of Fra Beato
Angelico in Florence—can contain the most valuable possibilities for
art. The smallest assembly of colors will not diminish the artistic
substance of creation. And the poorest canvas may be the receiver of
the most sacred image.
If there comes the realization of the imminent importance of
teaching beauty, it must be begun without delay. One must know that
the means will come, if there be manifest the enduring enthusiasm.
Give knowledge and you will receive possibilities. And the more
liberal the giving, the richer the receiving.
Let us see what Serge Ernst, director of the Hermitage in Petrograd,
writes about the school which was started by private initiative in
one room and which later grew to an annual enrolment of two
“On a bright May day, the great hall in Marskaya conveys to the eye
a bright festival. What can be lacking! A whole wall is covered with
austere and shining ikons; whole tables are dazzling with polychrome
rows of majolica vases and figures; finally, here are painted
ornaments for the tea table and further off, luxuriantly embroidered
in silk and gold and wool, lie rugs and pillows and towels and
writing pads. Furniture, cozy and ornamented with intricate
handcraft, stands here. And show-cases are filled with lovely
trifles. Upon walls hang the plans for the most various objects of
home decoration, beginning with architectural plans and ending with
the plans for the composition of a porcelain statue.
measurements and drawings of the monuments of ancient art are the
interesting illustrations from the class of graphics; on the windows
in colorful and brilliant spots are exhibited the creations of the
class in stained glass. Further off, in front of the spectator,
stands a white company of the productions of the class of sculptors,
of the class of drawings of animals; and on the top awaits a whole
gallery filled with paintings in oil and still life. And all this
variety of creation lives, is vital with full young enthusiasm. All
the happy field of art of our day receives here its due
consideration, in close relation with the artistic questions of the
present. And what is finer, what can recommend more highly the art
school, than this precious and rare contact?”
In these contacts of enthusiasm and in the economy of all precious
achievements, the school work quickly progresses and yearly new
forces are gathered as the most worthy guardians of the future
culture of the spirit. How to recruit these new ones? This is most
simple. If over the work shall glow the sign of simplicity, beauty
and fearlessness, new forces will readily assemble. Young heads,
long deprived and long expecting the wonderful miracle, will come.
Only, let us not permit these seekers to pass us by! Only, not to
let one of them pass by in the twilight!
And how to approach beauty ourselves? This is the most difficult. We
can reproduce paintings; we can make exhibitions; we can open a
studio; but where will the paintings of the exhibitions find an
outlet? To what parts shall the products of the studio penetrate? It
is easy to discourse, but more difficult to admit beauty into life’s
household. But while we ourselves deny entrance to beauty in our
life, what value will all these affirmations possess? They shall be
meaningless banners at an empty hearth. Admitting beauty into our
home, we must determine the unquestionable rejection of vulgarity
and pom-pousness, and all which opposes beautiful simplicity.
Verily, the hour of the affirming of beauty in life is come! It came
in the travail of the spirits of the peoples. It came in storm and
in the lightning. Came that hour before the coming of Him Whose
steps already are sounding.
Each man bears “a balance within his breast”; each weighs for
himself his karma. And so now liberally, the living raiment of
beauty is offered to all. And each living rational being, may
receive from it a garment, and cast away from him that ridiculous
fear which whispers, “This is not for you.” One must be rid of that
gray fear, mediocrity. Because all is for you if you manifest the
wish from a pure source. But remember, flowers do not blossom on
ice. Yet how many icicles do we strew, benumbing our worthiest
striving through menial cowardice.
Some coward hearts inwardly determine that beauty cannot be
reconciled with the gray dross of our day. But only
faint-heartedness has whispered to them, the faint-heartedness of stagnation. Still among us are those who repeat that
electricity is blinding us; that the telephone is enfeebling our
hearing; that automobiles are not practical for our roads. Just so
timorous and ignorant is the fear of the non-reconciliation of
beauty. Expel at once from our household this absurd unsounding “no”
and transform it, by the gift of friendship and by the jewel of
spirit, into “Yes.”
How much turbid stagnation there is in “No” and
how much of openness to attainment in “Yes”! One has but to
pronounce “Yes” and the stone is withdrawn and what yesterday still
seemed unattainable, to-day comes nearer and within reach. We
remember a touching incident: a little fellow not knowing how to
help his dying mother, wrote a letter as best he could to St.
Nicholas, the Miracle Maker. He went to put it in the letter box,
when a “Casual Passer-by” approached to help him reach it, and
perceived the unusual address. And verily the aid of Nicholas the
Miracle Maker came to this poor heart.
Thus through the work of heaven and earth, consciously and in living
practise, will the raiment of beauty again be enfolded about
Those who have met the Teachers in life, know how simple and
harmonious and beautiful They are. The same atmosphere of beauty
must pervade all that approaches Their region. The sparks of Their
Flame must penetrate into the lives of those who await the
Soon-Coming! How to meet Them? Only with the worthiest. How to
await? Merging into Beauty. How to embrace and to retain? By being
filled with that Fearlessness bestowed by the consciousness of
beauty. How to worship? As in the presence of beauty which enchants
even its enemies.
In the deep twilight, bright with a glory unequaled, shines the Star
of the Mother of the World. From below, is reborn the wave of a
sacred harmony. A Tibetan ikon painter plays his lay upon a bamboo
flute before the unfinished image of Buddha-Maitreya. By adorning
the image with all the symbols of blessed power, this man, with the
long black braid, in his way, brings his utmost gift to Him Who is
Expected. Thus shall we bring beauty to the people: Simply,
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PRAISE TO THE ENEMIES
And so we shall discourse! You will impede and we shall build. You
will delay the structure and we shall temper our skill. You will aim
all your arrows and we shall uplift our shields. While you will
compose subtle strategies, we shall already occupy a new site. And
where we shall have but one way, you will have in persecution to try
hundreds. Your trenches will but point out to us the mountain path.
And when we direct our movements, you will have to compile a
voluminous book of denials. But we shall be unimpeded by these com-
Truly, it is not pleasant for you to enumerate all that is done
against your regulations. Your fingers will become numb as you count
upon them all the cases of forbid-dances and denials. Yet at the end
of all actions, the strength will remain with us. Because we
dispelled fear and acquired patience, and we can no longer be
disappointed. And we will smile at each of your grimaces, your
schemes and your silences. And this, not because we are specially
anointed, but because we do not love the dictionaries of negation.
And we enter each battle only on a constructive plan.
For the hundredth time we smilingly say: Thanks to you, enemies and
persecutors. You have taught us resourcefulness and
indefatigability. Thanks to you, we have found glorious mountains
with inexhaustible beds of ore. Thanks to your fury, the hoofs of
our horses are shod with pure silver, beyond the means of our
persecutors. Thanks to you, our tents glow with a blue light.
You yearn to learn who we are in reality; where are our dwellings;
who are our fellow-voyagers. Because you have invented so many
slanders about us, that you yourselves are hopelessly entangled.
Where is the limit?
At the same time, several keen people insist that it is not only
useful but highly profitable for you to go our way, and that no one
who has walked with us has lost anything, but has rather received
Would you know where is our dwelling place? We have many homes in
many lands, and vigilant friends guard our dwellings. We will not
divulge their names, nor shall we probe into the habitation of your
friends. Nor shall we seek to convert them. Many are traveling with
us and in all corners of the world, upon the heights, flame friendly
beacon fires. Around them the benevolent traveler will always find a
place. And verily, travelers hasten to them. For besides the printed
word and the post, communications are dispatched by invisible
forces, and with one sigh, joy, sorrow and help are transported
through the world fleeter than the wind. And like a fiery wall,
stand the battlements of friends.
This is such a significant time. You need not hope to attract to
your cause many youths, for they also are the designated ones. In
the most varied countries they also are thinking of one thing—and
they easily find the key to the mystery. This mystery leads youth to
the glorious beacon fire, and our youth now is aware that the cruel
every-day can be transformed into a festival of labor, love and
achievement. They have the valiant consciousness that something
glorious and radiant is ordained for them. And from that mighty
fire, none can repulse them.
We have known those who after their hours of labor, come silently,
asking us how to live. And their hands, reddened from toil,
nervously twitch over the whole list of necessary, unuttered
problems. To these hands one does not give a stone instead of the
bread of knowledge.
We remember how in twilight they came, beseeching us not to depart.
One could not tell these young friends that it was not away from
them that we were departing, but for their sake we were going, in
order to bring to them the treasure casket.
And now, you denying ones, you again ask how we can understand each
other without disputes. Thus—a friend contributes that which is most
needed; a friend does not waste time. Thus is the quarrel being
transformed into a discussion. And the most primitive sense of
rhythm and measure is being transformed into the discipline of
freedom. And the comprehension of unity, which doubts not, but
searches for illumination, transforms all life. And then, there is
still some word which you can find only yourself, consciously
unwavering and righteously striving.
Often you are angry and lose your temper, but you should be just the
opposite. You slander and condemn and through this you fill the air
with boomerangs which afterward snap your own forehead. “Poor Makar”
complains at the cones which painfully strike him, but he has strewn
You do not object to becoming important and to surrounding yourself
with presumption, forgetting that self-importance is the surest sign
of vulgarity. Now you speak of science and yet new experiments
appear suspicious to you.
Now you laugh about seclusion and you yourself do not realize the
most practical usages of the laboratory of life. You yourself are
seeking to escape as soon as possible from an over-smoky room.
You often hide yourself and express doubt, while doubt is the most
insidious poison invented by vicious beings. Now you doubt and
betray and do not wish to learn that both of these negations are the
product of ignorance which is in no wise akin to children—on the
contrary, it grows with years into a very ugly garden.
Now you are shocked if you are accused of prejudices, while your
entire life is crowded with them. And you will not concede one of
your customary habits, which are obscuring the most simple,
practical understanding. You fear so much to become ridiculous, that
you provoke smiles. And you are shocked at the call: Be new! be new!
Not as on a stage, but in your own life.
You value property as highly as if you were preparing to take it
with you to the grave. You do not like to hear the talk of death
because it still exists for you, and you have given to cemeteries a
great portion of the world. And you carefully outline your ritual of
funeral processions, as though this procedure was worthy of the
greatest attention. And you eschew the word attainment because for
you it is linked with the cowl or with the red cross. According to
your ideas, it is a strange and improper matter to be occupied in
life with these ideas.
Nor let us even mention your deep reverence for financial matters.
It is not only a necessity with you, but a cult is contained for you
in the sham formulae of a contemporary world. You dream to gild your
rusty shield. But while you will evoke the destroying Siva, we will
turn toward creative Lakshmi.
Just now Saturn is silent and the Star of the Mother of the World
surrounds the earth with its rays of future creations.
You accuse us of nebulous inconsistencies, but we are occupied with
the most practical experiments. And how silently are our friends
working, searching for the means of new experiments for good.
In irritation you named our discoveries “panther’s leaps.” You were
ever ready to judge us utterly without knowledge of what we are
doing. Although you pretend to condemn those who speak of that which
they do not know, yet you yourself are acting so. Where is that
justice for which you have sewn such clumsy theatrical togs for
yourself? When, to your joy, you believe that we have disappeared,
we will be again approaching by a new path. However, let us not
quarrel; we must even praise you. Your activity is useful to us, and
all your most cunning schemes give us the possibility of continuing
the most instructive of chess-games.
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