Book 7. The Energy of Life (2003)
In those days the Vedic way of life was still the prevalent culture in Rus’. The Vedruss people still had no cities. Rus’ was made up of a large number of settlements, rich in extraordinary foods, the joy of life and bright people who lived in their
There were other countries at that time, which boasted of great cities where the power of money was becoming more and more dominant over human aspirations. And there were great armies, and with their help rulers attempted to bring the whole world under their own control. And many countries bowed under the control of the dark forces.
Once an elite Roman legion was sent to Rus’. Five thousand warriors approached the boundary of the first settlement they came to. And they threateningly made camp right on the outskirts of the little village.
The military officers called for the village elders to come to them. And the elders came, knowing no fear in the face of this ominous force. The officers explained that they came from the most powerful country of all and that, consequently, all the settlements must pay tribute to them. Anyone unable to pay would be taken into slavery
The elders replied that they were not disposed to share their food with any evil-doers, thereby feeding hordes of dark forces.
Whereupon the commander-in-chief said to the elder most advanced in age:
“I have heard about your barbarity and your unusual way of life. Your mind is incapable of even appreciating the correlation of forces here. With a mind like that you will never be free in a civilised Empire. You will either exist as slaves or not exist at all.”
And the Vedruss village elder replied:
“It is the one who is not capable of using Divine provisions for his food that is not allowed to exist. Look.”
And with these words the elderly Vedruss took two identical fresh and beautiful apples out of his pocket. He surveyed the officers, all glistening in their armour, but his gaze rested on a young private soldier. He went over to the soldier and held out one of the apples, saying:
“Take this, my son, may this fruit be a delight to your soul.” The young private took the fruit and tasted it right there in the sight of all those standing around. His face lit up with a delight that provoked envy among the others.
Then the elder, still holding the second beautiful apple in his hand, turned again to the commander-in-chief, went over to him and said:
“My soul has no desire to offer this marvellous fruit to you. What that means, try to understand yourself.” And he placed the second apple at the feet of the commander-in-chief “How dare you, old man, answer back that way to a commander distinguished in battle?” a Roman orderly exclaimed, as he picked up the apple and gasped in amazement.
And all the commissioned officers and their subordinates were in shock from what they saw. For the beautiful apple had begun rotting right before their eyes in the orderly’s hands. And right before their very eyes a swarm of midges suddenly appeared and devoured the rotting fruit. And the Vedruss elder continued:
“Nobody can buy the fruit of Divine grace for gold or take it by force. You may call yourself a lord and master and imagine yourself defeating countries, but the only thing you will eat that way is rot.”
“This is not mysticism, Vladimir, you must understand. Fruits grown with love can give their grace only to those who them-selves have instilled love in them, or to those to whom the growers give them of their own free will. This is the order of the Universe, and for proof of this you need only take a careful look at the present day People are doomed to eat fruit which is far from fresh.”
“But what about the wealthy?” I queried. ‘And those that rule the world?”
“They face even greater problems with food. They are afraid of poisoned fruit and dainty dishes. And before they eat anything themselves, they have those around them taste it first. They post guards and special servicemen around their foodstuffs, but to no avail... Many a ruler has died in agony from eating bad food.
“You will note that many people are trying today to produce health-restoring cedar-nut oil. Only the healing properties of this oil vary, depending upon the thought of the producer.
‘And that Vedruss elder was no mystic. He was merely out-lining what every child growing up in Vedic Rus’ knew about all the time.”
But the aged Vedruss’s remarks provoked anger and he was taken captive. He was put into a cage so that he could witness the torching of the houses and gardens in his village. And so that he could watch its men, women and children parade before him in chains.
The commander said to him spitefully:
“Look there, old man. There are your fellow-villagers, now they are slaves. You made fun of me in front of my retinue in a bad way, and the fruit you gave me showed immediate signs of decay. Now all your fellow-villagers are slaves, and they will now produce undecaying fruit for us under pain of death.”
“Under pain of death,” observed the elder, “one can only grow that which brings death, even though it may have a pleasant appearance. You are primitive. You will not be able to conquer my country. I have released a pigeon with information about you. Once they see it, my magi will tell everyone the news.”
The commander issued an order. Runners fanned out to all the Vedruss settlements with a view to delivering the order. It demanded that each settlement send representatives to see how strong, well-trained and well-equipped were the Roman troops. And how they were capable of wiping any bravely resisting settlements off the face of the Earth and taking the children and young women as slaves. And for everybody to bring tribute to his warriors so fearsome. And from now on to collect tribute for the Empire, and deliver the tribute to the Empire in person.
On the appointed day, at dawn, ninety Vedruss lads appeared before the huge camp.
Out in front stood Radomir — whom you have heard about before — wearing a long shirt Liubomila had sewn for him with love. And all the young men with him had on light- coloured shirts.
No helmets of iron covered their light-brown hair. Their heads were framed instead by bands woven from grasses. They carried no shields to protect themselves from fatal blows. Only two swords hung from a belt around each one’s waist. They stood silently holding their steeds by the bridle; many of their horses did not even have a saddle.
The officers in command of the five-thousand-strong well- trained troops, who had gathered together in council, stared at the ninety young lads. The commander-in-chief came over to the cage in which the head of the razed Vedruss settlement was being held, and asked:
“What can the presence of these lads possibly mean? I ordered the elders of all the settlements to come and hear the decrees of my country’s Emperor.”
The Vedruss replied from his cage:
‘All the village elders know what you want to tell them. They do not like what you have to say. And they decided not to go meet someone they do not like. In front of your troops’ camp you see but ninety lads from the next village. They are wearing swords. Possibly they want to do battle.”
Oh you brainless barbarians! mused the commander-in-chief. I could send a single detachment to fight them and it would be a light task, of course, to kill them off completely. But what good would come from a bunch of dead bodies? Would it not be better to explain the situation to them and bring them back hale and hearty to the Emperor for slaves?
“Listen to me, old man,” the commander addressed the Vedruss elder. “The young people will pay heed to what you say. You explain to them the absurdity of such an unequal combat. Tell them they ought to submit to us. I’ll spare their
lives. Of course they’ll be taken captive and I’ll make slaves out of them. But they will not be living in a barbaric land, they’ll be provided with food and clothing if they become obedient slaves. You tell them, old man, how utterly absurd it would be to shed their blood in such unequal combat.”
The Vedruss elder replied:
“I shall try I shall tell them. I can see for myself the blood boiling in these young Vedruss lads.”
“Then go ahead, old man.”
The Vedruss elder began speaking from his cage in a loud voice so that the warriors standing before the camp could hear.
“My sons, I can see the two swords hanging from each of your belts. I can see the spirited steed that each of you has by his side. You are holding them by the bridle, you are not overexerting them with your own weight, but you are saving their strength for battle. You have decided to go into battle, under the wise Radomir. Answer me.”
The commanders and troops watched as Radomir stepped forward. After making a deep bow before the elder in the cage, he responded by confirming the elder’s words.
“I thought as much,” said the Vedruss elder, and went on: “You are their leader, Radomir. I believe you are aware that the forces you see before you are not equal to your own.”
And once more Radomir bowed in acknowledgement of the elder’s affirmation.
The officers were satisfied with this dialogue. But what they heard next astounded them like nothing they had ever heard before. The elder went on:
“Radomir, you are young and your thought moves swiftly So spare the visitors’ lives. Do not kill all of them. Make them depart and put down their weapons and not play with them any more.” At first the officers were in a state of shock upon hearing the elder’s extraordinary words. Then the commander-in- chief exclaimed with irritation:
“You’re mad! You’re out of your mind, old man! Who is in a position to spare whose life here — you have absolutely no idea! You have just condemned all your fellow-villagers to death. I’ll give the orders now...”
“You are too late. Look, a few moments ago Radomir was standing there contemplating, but you saw how he acknowl-edged what I said. That means he understood my words and will not kill you.”
A second later the officers saw the ninety young men standing in front of the camp suddenly leap onto their steeds and head at full speed toward the camp. The commander-in-chief managed to order a detachment of archers to prepare themselves to meet the Vedruss warriors with a hail of arrows.
But when the warriors on horseback came within shooting range, they suddenly jumped down off their horses and began running alongside them.
As soon as they got close to the Roman troops, the Vedruss lads formed an oval encircling half their number along with the horses, while the other half cut through the Roman ranks, which had not yet completely come together, and started fighting. In each hand they held a sword, which they wielded equally deftly with either hand. But they simply knocked the weapons out of their opponents’ hands without fatally wounding them.
The reserve legionnaires had a hard time picking their way through the disarmed and wounded Roman soldiers lying on the ground to replace them in combat. In the meantime, the small Vedruss contingent determinedly pushed through to the tent of the commander-in-chief.
Radomir used his sword to hack open the lock on the cage where the Vedruss elder was being held captive. After bowing to him, he easily picked him up by the waist and set him on a horse.
Two of the young warriors of Radomir’s contingent seized the Roman commander-in-chief, threw him over the rump of another horse and brought him into the centre of their oval.
The valiant warriors quickly pushed ahead, not back the way they came, but forward, and before long they left the crush of the Roman troops behind, jumped on their horses and dashed off. But after only a few minutes’ ride they stopped at a small hillock and dismounted. Almost all of them then lay down on the grass, stretched out their arms and stayed motionless.
The captured Roman commander was amazed to see the Vedruss lads lying on the ground fast asleep. Pleasant smiles brightened their faces. In the meantime their steeds peacefully nibbled at the grass beside them. Only two watchmen kept an eye on the actions of the Roman troops.
Left without their regimental superior, the Roman officers argued for some time, blaming each other for what had happened, and then argued over who should take charge and how to proceed.
At long last they decided to despatch a thousand horsemen (almost all the cavalry) in pursuit of the Vedruss warriors. The remainder would follow the pursuers at a distance, in case of unforeseen events such as the appearance of reinforcements on the Vedruss side. The basic motivating factor behind this decision, however, was fear.
The thousand-strong detachment of well-equipped cavalrymen launched into the chase. No sooner had the ranks of the Roman cavalry begun leaving the camp than one of the warriors of Radomir’s contingent, seated on his steed, gave a blast on his horn.
The warriors lying on the grass sprang up at once, seized their horses’ bridles and began running. Having rested themselves after the battle, the Vedruss lads ran very fast, but gradually, very gradually, the pursuing Roman cavalry started catching up to them.
Anticipating victory, the cavalry commander ordered his bugler to signal an escalation of the pursuit, and the bugle sounded. But the thousand eager legionnaires were already spurring on their frothing horses in a mad rush to shorten the interval between them and the Vedruss lads running on foot ahead of them. There now remained a very small space between the two.
Again the agitated commander ordered an acceleration of the chase. And once again the bugle sounded forth. But by now the mad gallop proved too much for some of the broken- winded Roman horses and they fell in their tracks. Paying no attention to them, the horsemen were already drawing their swords to attack the fleeing Vedruss warriors, when suddenly...
At the sound of the horn all the Vedruss runners leapt onto their horses and... they soon began to put an ever-increasing distance between themselves and their pursuers.
The captured Roman commander-in-chief realised that the Vedruss warriors had been saving their horses’ strength up ’til this point and now there was no way his men would be able to catch up. They changed both the Vedruss elder’s and the Roman commander’s horses. The commander also observed that the lads were not sitting upright, but lying prone along their horse’s rump, clinging on to the mane, once more sound asleep. He wondered about their need to conserve their strength at this stage of the game. It was only later that he would find out why.
The Romans, stimulated by the chase, kept feverishly whipping their horses. Many of their steeds fell beneath them, while the sturdier specimens among them, given the weight of the heavily armoured soldiers on their backs, could not keep up with the Vedruss horses, which remained untired by the pursuit.
Once the cavalry commander was able to discern the folly of trying to overtake his opponents, he ordered all his men
to stop and dismount. But by now it was too late. A good number of the Roman horses were broken-winded and fell to their knees.
‘All rest!” came the command to the Roman cavalry. And then the soldiers, who had just dismounted from their exhausted steeds, saw the Vedruss contingent sweeping down upon them like a whirlwind.
The young warriors held a sword at the ready in each hand. Bounding all along the edge of the circle of dismounted Romans, they inflicted light wounds on soldier after soldier, knocking their weapons out of their hands.
And the Roman legion was seized with horror. And they all began running for help toward the infantry that was following behind. The Vedruss contingent came after them on horseback, but for some reason kept their distance. Nor did they touch the Roman soldiers which had fallen from exhaustion.
The fleeing Romans — by this time no longer running, but swaying from fatigue as they walked — stopped dead in their tracks at the sight of Radomir with his two swords at the ready, along with his horsemen right behind him, all calm and full of energy.
The Roman soldiers dropped to their knees, and those that still held weapons placed them on the ground in front of them. Now utterly powerless, they began awaiting the anticipated vengeance at the hands of the Vedruss warriors.
Radomir and his companions walked among the Roman soldiers seated on the ground, their swords sheathed. And Radomir and his companions began talking with the soldiers about life. Taking off their grass headbands, they gave them to the legionnaires so they could apply the healing herbs to their wounds. The herbs stopped the blood flowing from the wounds and took away the pain. And they returned the com- mander-in-chief to his legion.
Some time later, upon returning from their campaign against Vedic Rus’, the fine-looking columns of soldiers marched into Rome.
The Emperor had been informed by courier-runners about the strange events that had befallen the Roman legions’ elite soldiers. After he had the opportunity to see his soldiers and officers for himself, he was overcome by a sense of embarrassment that lasted for several weeks.
Whereupon he issued a secret order to eliminate all the detachments from his army that had participated in the Vedic Rus’ campaign, both soldiers and officers, and have them transferred — to various corners of the Empire. And he gave strict instructions that nothing should be heard about the campaign even by their friends and close relations, not even a word.
The Emperor himself sent troops to Rus’ no more. And in a secret book written for his successors he implored:
“If you want to keep the Empire intact, as to a war with the Vedruss people, do not even think of such an act.”
The Emperor was no fool. He was alarmed to see his troops returning from their campaign all healthy and unharmed, but carrying no spoil with them. Indeed, their faces betrayed no anger or even a desire to serve in war again. If he let men such as these remain in the Imperial army, who knows whether they might infect the whole corps with the same desire not to go to battle any more.
All the same, the Emperor’s successor made another attempt to conquer the Vedruss people. Having learnt a lot about their tactics from those that had had contact with them, he sent ten thousand soldiers on a second campaign to Rus’. Once more the soldiers arrived at a small Vedruss settlement, where they speedily made camp and set up fortifications. Runners were sent to summon the elders.
But at the appointed hour the Roman officers looked and saw coming toward them from the Vedruss village only a little girl about ten years old, accompanied by a little boy who could not have been more than five. The soldiers parted ranks to make way for them as they arrived, arguing with each other. Tugging at his sister’s skirt, the boy said:
“Sis Palashechka,2 if you don’t let me conduct the talks myself, I shan’t think proper of you.”
“What improper thing would you think of me, you little scamp?” the sister asked her brother.
“I shall think of you, Sis Palashechka, that you were born a jolly naughty girl!”
“It’s not proper to think that.”
“It’s not proper indeed. So let me conduct the talks with the enemies.”
‘And if I agree, how will you think of me then?”
“I shall think that you, Sis Palashechka, are the prettiest, cleverest and kindest girl of all.” гPalashechka (stress on second syllable) — an affectionate name in Medieval Russia.
“Ail right, brother, you start the talks. I don’t find it proper to talk with addle-brained people.”
The children presented themselves boldly before the Roman officers, and the girl’s little brother addressed them, without the slightest hint of trembling:
“My daddykins told me to tell you all that in our village everybody is gathered round for a celebration at our feasting- ground. It is held there every year. And every year the people enjoy themselves at the feasting-ground. It’s not proper, my daddykins says, it would be wrong for him to leave the celebrations and come and talk nonsense with you. So he sent me — and my sister tagged along.”
The commander-in-chief even let out an audible squeal upon hearing the boy’s audacious remarks. His face turned pale, and he grasped at his sword.
“You insolent young whelp, how dare you speak to me like that? I’ll make you a slave in my stables well into your old age! Your sister, now...”
“Hey, there, gramps!” the sister interrupted. “Hey, there, gramps! Give up those silly playthings of yours — your swords and shields and spears — and run back home lickety-split. You better run while you still can. See that cloud coming? It won’t talk with any visitors. It’ll attack you without any words first.”
With that the girl unwrapped the bundle she was carrying and, taking out a thimbleful of some kind of pollen-dust, sprinkled it over her brother. Then she took the remainder and sprinkled it on herself.
In the meantime the cloud-horde kept approaching steadily over the land, all the while buzzing and increasing in size, until it finally descended upon the camp. And before long the Romans’ armour lay on the ground — their shields and spears and swords. The officers’ and the soldiers’ tents were left empty. The brother and sister stood
among the troops’ discarded things, and the little brother said to his elder sister:
“You still didn’t let me speak with the enemies, Sis Pala- shechka! I didn’t finish telling them everything I wanted to.”
‘Anyway, you started. You mustn’t be upset if I interfered a bit — you’re a Vedruss warrior, a defender of your Motherland!”
“Well, okay I shall still think that I have a well-behaved, kind and beautiful sister.”
Picking their way through the discarded armour, the brother and his beautiful sister headed back to their village.
The receding cloud already looked quite small from where they stood. Even so, within it were ten thousand elite Roman warriors fleeing home in terror. They kept falling and getting up again. And kept on fleeing in panic.
Do not think there is any mysticism here, Vladimir. The Vedruss people simply made a decision. In each domain — and there were more than two hundred domains in the settlement — they opened up ten beehives,3 each hive containing approximately fifteen thousand bees. You can figure out the size of the cloud for yourself. A huge number of bee-stings will first cause serious itching and pain. A person could then fall into a fatal sleep.
And so the happy Vedruss people continued to live in peace of mind, knowing neither war nor trouble of any kind. No external foe posed a threat to them for a long, long time. And yet... Rus’ was still conquered, after all. It happened when it fell prey to cunning snares, thereby producing a power which acted against its own self and brought about its fall.
Thus Anastasia recounted several stories about life in Vedic Rus’. Possibly others might have information — in the form of ancient tales — about how people lived in those times. There’s no point in looking for written records since, as we know from history, they were all carefully destroyed. They were burnt in Italy, England and France, and especially zealously in Russia.
But those who feverishly destroyed the culture of our forebears could not eradicate its imprint in the depths of human hearts and souls.
We must perfect the knowledge of our history. We must know it and respect it. But we must also reflect on the understanding that Vedistn, Paganism and Christianity are all stages of our history. Not one of these stages should we neglect. By attacking one of them, we shall only go on attacking ourselves.
We should treat Christianity with understanding and respect. And other faiths as well. Only then will all the stages of our history form a solid foundation for a marvellous future. But this is what can follow from knowledge and understanding. From giving a proper evaluation to each stage of our history, from seeing each stage of our history as lessons for building the future. Otherwise we shall go on living in the world of the absurd.
Governments and legislators in various countries are currently struggling with terrorism. They pass laws forbidding the incitement of racial or religious hatred. Andyet at the same time these countries officially permit and support denominational teachings in which acts of mass terrorism are carried out for political purposes, supposedly in the name of God.