Nicholas Roerich Estate Museum in Izvara
Nicholas Roerich
Estate Museum
in Izvara


Jalnik, the Site of Compassion

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 and unstoried…

“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 East 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!”

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: