Rosicrucian Writings Online


Rishis

 A MESSAGE FROM THE HEIGHTS OF THE HIMALAYAS!
 
By Nicholas Roerich
 
[From The Rosicrucian Digest June 1943]
 
The Rishis are sacred Hindu sages, masters of Hindu and Tibetan teachings. The following article is allegorical in part, and must be read carefully for its inner meaning. The author is a world-renowned artist of Tibetan landscapes, a Legate of the Great White Brotherhood, also a member of A. M. O. R. C. In a communication from India to the late Imperator, which accompanied one of his manuscripts, he said in part: "On our snow-peaked Himalayas, we are looking forward to receiving records of your enlightened activity, and I shall be glad if you will send us the Rosicrucian Digest."
 
FROM the steep cliffs waterfalls glitter like silvery heavenly threads. Brilliant splashes caress the stones which have ancient inscriptions about Truth Eternal. The stones are different, the signs of them are also different, but they are all about the same infinite Truth. A sadhu thrusts himself with his lips to the stone and drinks the blissful drops of water. Drops of the Himalayas!
 
A long row of sadhus and lamas is stretched along the road to Triloknath, the old sanctuary and place of pilgrimage and prayer. From many different roads these pilgrims have met here. Some complete their spiritual wanderings walking along with a trident, some with a bamboo cane, others without anything, even without clothing; and the snow of the Rotang Pass is no impediment to them.
 
Are all of them good? Are all highly spiritual? But even for the sake of a single righteous one, a City is sometimes pardoned. Thus forgive them, they are going along the good path.
 
The pilgrims walk, knowing that here lived the Rishis and Pandavas. Here is the Beas, or Vyas, here is Vyasakund--the place of fulfillment of all wishes. Here the Vyasa Rishi collected the Mahabharata.
 
Not according to legends, but in reality, Rishis lived here. Their presence animates the cliffs, which are crowned with glaciers, the emerald grazing places of the yaks, the caves, and the roaring torrents. From here spiritual calls were sent out, of which humanity has heard throughout all ages. They are taught in schools, they have been translated into many languages--and this crystal of accumulations has been stratified on the cliffs of the Himalayas.
 
"Where to find words to praise the Creator, when I see the incomparable beauty of the Himalayas?" sings the Hindu. Along the paths of the Guru, along the heights of the Rishi, along the mountain passes of the pilgrims of the spirit, has been accumulated that treasure which no torrents of rains can wash away, and which no lightning can turn to ashes. He who goes to the Good, is blessed on all paths. How touching are all the narratives which describe the meeting of righteous ones of various nations. In a forest the deodar trees touch each other with their tops in the wind. Thus everything of the highest meets, neither injuring nor harming aught. In the past quarrels were settled by single combat; now agreements are reached by a discussion of the chiefs, as devidars discuss matters between themselves. What a nice word: devidar--the gift of God! And not without reason is this significant name, for the resin of the devidar has healing powers. Devidar, musk, valerian, roses and other similar substances form the beneficent medicines of the Rishis. Some wanted to abolish them by an invasion of new discoveries, however humanity again reverts to the fundamental knowledge.
 
Is the story of miraculous stone a fairy-tale? But you know well that it is true. You know how the stone comes. Is the heraldic unicorn a fairy tale? But you know of the Nepalese single horned antelope. Is the Rishi a fairy-tale? The hero of the spirit can be no imagination and you know this also.
 
There is the photo of a man who without harm walks through fire. This is not a tale, but an indisputable photograph taken by the Chief of Police of Pondicherry. Witnesses will tell you of the same fiery trials in Madras, Lucknow, Benares. And not only the sadhu walks without harm on flaming coals, but he leads behind himself those who wish to follow him and hold themselves to him.
 
At the Ganges in Benares a sadhu sits on the water in a sacred posture. His crossed legs are covered by the surface of the water. The people flock to the riverside and are amazed at the sight of the holy man. Another sadhu is lying on the points of iron nails, as if on a soft bed, and on his face there is not even a trace of suffering or discomfort. Yet another sadhu has been buried for many days, still another takes various poisons internally without harm to himself. Here is a lama, who can fly in the air; another lama by means of "to-mo" develops in himself heat to protect himself on the snows and mountain glaciers; there a lama can strike dead a mad dog with his "deadly eye." A venerated lama from Bhutan tells how during his stay in Tibet in the Tzang district, some lama asked a ferryman to take him across the Tzam-Po free of charge, but the cunning man replied: "I shall take you over all right, if you can prove that you are a great lama. There runs a mad dog that is doing much harm here, --kill it?" The lama said nothing, but looked at the dog, raised his hand, said a few words, and the dog fell dead! This the Bhutanese Lama had seen himself. Of the same "deadly eye" and "eye of Kapila" one hears frequently in Tibet and in India.
 
On a map published in the seventeenth century by authority of the Catholic clergy, there is mentioned the country Shambhala. As on the map printed in Antwerp, so also on the photo of the Chief of Police in Pondicherry, and in other testimonies of lamas, everywhere are scattered parts of the same great Knowledge.
 
If one can walk through fire, and another can sit on water, and a third remain suspended in the air, and a fourth rest on nails, and a fifth swallow poison, and a sixth kill with his sight, and a seventh harmlessly lie underground, then someone may gather within himself all these grains of knowledge. Thus can be transmuted the obstacles of lower matter! Not in some far-off fictitious age, but now, right here, where there are also being investigated Millikan's cosmic rays!
 
But all these are not yet Rishis. Of the Rishis, the great Spirits, Sri Visvani speaks so wonderfully. This enlightened preacher of the Good and spiritual leader, to whose voice great veneration is accorded, comments as follows:
 
"Blessed is the nation whose leaders follow thinkers, sages, seers. Blessed is the nation that receives its inspiration from its Rishis. They are men who will bow alone to Truth, not to customs, conventions, and popularity. The Rishis are the great Rebels of humanity. They tear up our comfort-cults. They are the great non-conformists of history. Not consistency, but Truth is their watchword. We need today this rebel-spirit in all spheres of life, --in religion, in politics, in education, in social life."
 
Remarkable words! Not all Rishis walked on fire and not all had themselves buried alive, but every one of them brought a whole spiritual realm for the Good of the world. Every one of them, as a Boddhissatva possessing mastership, strengthened the new achievements of progress! Every one of them pronounced in his own language the sacred vow of the construction of a revived, refined and beautiful world!
 
For the life of a single righteous one, a whole City was preserved. As such beacons, lightning arresters and strongholds of the Good, stood up the Rishis of various nations, of various creeds, of various ages, but of One Spirit, for the salvation and ascension of all!
 
Whether the Rishi came on fire, whether he arrived sailing on a stone, whether he came on the whirlwind, he always hastened for the general Good. Whether he prayed on mountain summits, or on a high river bank, or in a hidden cave, he always sent his orisons for the unknown, for strangers, for laboring ones, for the sick and disabled! Whether the Rishi sent white horses to save unknown travellers or whether he blessed unknown sea-farers, or guarded the City at night, he always stood up as a pillar of light for all, without condemnation, without extinguishing the flame. Without condemnation, without mutual suspicion, without weakening each other, the Rishis ascended ever upwards the eternal Mount Meru.
 
Before us is the road to Kailas. There rises one of the fifteen wonders enumerated in Tibetan books. The Mount of the Bell! Along sharp ridges one climbs to its summit. It stands above the last junipers, above the last yellow and white mountain folds. There Padma Sambhava had walked--this is recorded in the ancient monastery Gando-La. Many Rishis walked there. And he who gave the mountain the calling name "Mount of the Bell" also thought of the Bell for all, of helping all, of the Universal Good! Here Rishis lived for the Universal Good!
 
When Rishis meet on mountain paths they do not query each other: whence do you come? Whether from the East, or West, or South or North? This is quite evident: that they come from the Good and go to the Good. An exalted, refined, flaming heart knows where the Good is and in what it can be found.
 
Some travellers of the caravan started arguing and discussing the properties of the various Rishis. But a gray-haired pilgrim pointed at the snowy peaks, radiant in full beauty, and said: "Are we to judge of the properties of these Summits? We can but bow in admiration of their unreachable splendour!"
 
"Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram!"
  


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