Nicholas Roerich Estate Museum in Izvara
Nicholas Roerich
Estate Museum
in Izvara
O.A. Cherkasova «Synthesis of life»
(In regard to cultural and educations ideas of the Roerichs.)
Original in Russian

It was the time of crises and world instability when Nicholas and Elena saw Culture and Education as the only stronghold understanding that in these conditions they are made up only by heroic efforts. Thus, the great Russian word “deed” is encountered in their works so often”:

Nicholas Roerich believed: “If Culture is impoverished the Russian deed will help, the deed which supported the Russian Land”. “The great mission implies burning people’s mind by the deed… Probably, now the notion of “deed” is so much required” – Elena wrote in her letters.

The work of enlightening itself acquires deliberate meaning of heroic efforts. Enlightenment is the struggle with ignorance which cannot be reduced only to illiteracy: ignorance also implies rudeness of feelings (“fossil perception” – Nicholas wrote), heartlessness and aggression. Thus, war is consequence of the same ignorance.

But there is no other way to the New World, “only active enlightenment can prepare to the great perception of the world”.

Therefore, to perceive the genuine world one should understand all genuine treasures of the mankind. One who cognizes these values could learn and preserve them – the formula is very simple, thus, the notion of “the Banner of Peace” as a Symbol of Culture uniting religion, art and science, all the former, present and future achievements of the mankind in cognition of Infinity naturally obtains another profound sense – it embodies the goal of education in all the possible forms.

We can create the World only communing Culture.

There is no other way but “the World through culture…”

Uniting of all cultural forces is very relevant in difficult times – thus, the Roerichs called for joining. “Let youngsters, let women implement sacred watch. They were addressed to in the name of bright future. Now in particular when there are many clouds and fog they should come to cultural unity”. The quality of mutual heartiness between cultural workers is very important “because heart and Culture are interlinked”.

An educator should have a number of necessary qualities. According to Nicholas Roerich, since education means “formation of world outlook” which is achieved by “synthesis of happiness of self-improvement and creative activity” teachers themselves are to carry this gaiety and it is possible only if they are convinced in credibility of cultural programme, accept and participate in communion with it.

The most important question is active practice. “Touching Culture we do not need words,- Roerich wrote, - and are obliged to enlightened activity”.

This continuous deed of active enlightenment desperately requires heartiness, tirelessness, courage and “tireless labour of learning to General Good” which is “the task of culture” – the Roerichs supposed. Calling to everyone who values the ideal of Culture they addressed: “Let everyone in his own area invent and bring all the good, his experience and creative life are capable of burning the hearth of General Benevolence”.

Analogous to the Red Cross – calling “the Banner of Peace” the Red Cross of Culture Roerich compared educators with doctors: “A doctor is always available for the sick patient, during day and night”.

Museum Address: 188414, Izvara Village, Volosovo District, Leningrad Region, Russia.
Phones: +7-813-73-73-273 (group tours); Phone/Fax +7-813-73-73-298 (general)
Museum Director: Cherkasova Olga Anatolievna E-mail: