In her latest title, Ruth Drayer provides a factual account of the two Russian visionaries who believed beauty could solve the world's problems and unify humanity. Partners in all things, charismatic Nicholas (1874-1947) was an internationally acclaimed artist (responsible for over 7,000 paintings), author, daring explorer, conservationist, archeologist, humanitarian and peacemaker, while his wife, Helena (1879 - 1955), was a teacher and healer as well as the inspired co-author of the Agni Yoga (www.agniyoga.org) series. This is the first book in English to interweave the Agni Yoga writings and the Roerichs' relationship with their spiritual teacher in with their fascinating travels, disclosing the long-hidden story of the Roerichs' connection with Tibetan Buddhism.
Though it may read like a tale, Drayer takes us on the real-life adventures of the Roerichs as they travel to the most remote and dangerous regions of India, China, Mongolia, the Gobi, Tibet and Siberia. We bear witness as the couple flees the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 Russia and as they arrive in New York City in the fall of 1920 where they later founded the first school that teaches all of the arts under one roof. We experience their trials and tribulations as the Roerichs trek through the following years, which were marked by spy charges, political upheaval and even captivity. Though the courageous couple reached the border of Tibet by 1927 in their search of the sacred Buddhist site, Shambhala, which was to complete their mission of peace by establishing a true “heaven on Earth,” their journey was again met with conflict.
Sadly, Nicholas Roerich died before this dream could be fully realized. From the 1935 Roerich Pact and Banner of Peace (introduced to the world under FDR’s administration in an effort to preserve the world's artistic treasures) and the 27-story Roerich Museum (www.roerich.org) that still proudly sits on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, to the recently released British Secret Files detailing their unjust incarceration, these are but mere symbols of the Roerichs’ immense contributions to the art, humanitarian and spiritual worlds. Drayer unlocks the door to these worlds and provides us with a never-before-seen account of the complete story that is the legacy of Nicholas and Helena Roerich.