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


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- pilations.

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 new possibilities.

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 them himself.

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.


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: