Book 7. The Energy of Life (2003)
The marvellous Vedruss holidays
We can get some idea of the Vedic culture by looking at certain holidays which have survived into our modern times. Even today they still remain among people’s favourites, even though only a few elements of the original pristine rites have been preserved. What holidays are these? I’m talking about New Year’s, Shrovetide and Trinity Sunday2 Of all the many holidays I could mention I shall simply cite here this most prominent example, where the greatest changes have taken place.
This holiday occurs at the beginning of June. As you know, in current practice Trinity Sunday is a day when people go to the cemetery to visit their relatives’ graves. Upon arriving at the cemetery they sanctify the graves and tidy up the enclosures.3 A lot of them bring a bottle of liquor with them; after
having a drink at the gravesite, they leave a small glass and a piece of bread for the deceased. They talk amongst themselves, reminiscing about the deceased’s life. Many people feel obliged to weep at gravesites.
The degree to which this original pagan ceremony has un-dergone profound change is confirmed by the following.
During Vedic times, and even later in the pagan period there were no cheerless, mournful rites as there are now. Each holiday gave people a charge of positive energy, and transmitted to young people the knowledge of their forebears.
And remembrance days in Vedic times were quite different from those of today. There were no processions to the cemetery or lamentations over the graves of the deceased. In fact, during Vedic times there were no cemeteries at all. The deceased were laid to rest in their own family domains without burial vaults or even headstones to mark the occasion. A small raised mound of earth was created, but even this over time became flattened to ground level.
The Vedruss people believed that the best memorial to their forebears was to be found in what they had created during their lifetime. Their knowledge of Nature and of Man’s capacities led them to conclude that if all the relatives were to visualise death, their collective thought would prevent the deceased’s soul from being reincarnated.
On the day of remembrance of one’s forebears all the members of a family would gather in the morning in the oldest domain. In front of everyone the eldest — usually a grandfather or great-grandfather — would approach the youngest generation of children, and begin to talk with them, more or less as follows:
“When your Papa was the same height as you are now,” the grandfather would tell his grandson of about six, “he planted this little sapling. Time went by and now that little sapling has grown into a large fruit-bearing apple tree.”
Whereupon the grandfather led his grandson over to the apple tree and touched it himself as his grandson stroked the tree.
Next, the grandfather went around to other trees and bushes, telling who planted them. All the other members of the family were able to help the grandfather with their own reminiscences, telling amusing anecdotes or the impressions they had had at the time the trees were planted.
Finally, the family members all gathered around the domain’s centrepiece — the family tree, which was usually a cedar or an oak.
“You see this tree,” the eldest family member continued. “It was planted by my great-grandfather’s great-grandfather.”
A general discussion then ensued as to why this variety of tree was chosen over some other. Why had the distant forebear planted the tree in this particular spot, rather than farther to the right or left. Some people asked questions, while others answered them. Occasionally an argument would break out. And it often happened that, in the heat of the argument, all of a sudden one of the children, without being aware of it himself, came out with a strange-sounding declaration:
“How come you do not understand? I myself planted this tree in this particular spot, because...”
The adult family members realised at once that their little one harboured the soul and feelings and knowledge of one of their own distant forebears. And how proud they were that his soul was not aimlessly drifting through the waste spaces of the Universe, that it had not broken up into small particles, but continued to live in perfection, in life eternal.
Paganism, and especially Vedism, could scarcely be termed a ‘religion’. It would be more accurate to refer to it as the culture of a way of life. It was the greatest culture alive on the Earth, belonging to a highly spiritual civilisation. This civilisation did not need to believe in God — its people knew God.
This civilisation’s people communicated with God, they understood the thoughts of the Creator.
They knew the designated purpose of every blade of grass, of every midge, of every planet.
This civilisation’s people continue to rest in our souls even to this day They will most certainly awake. The happy, life- delighted creators of a marvellous planet, the children of God — the Vedruss people.
These are not simply empty words. There is as much evidence to back them up as can be desired. One proof is found in Japan.
As is known, in the sixteenth century Christians began a considerable proselytising campaign injapan. However, upon observing the results of the Christian missionaries’ activity, Tokugawa leyasu, the Japanese ruler at the time, outlawed Christianity in his country
Japan, with its native religion of Shintoism, is the closest country today to paganism. The word Shinto translates to ‘pathway of the gods’. According to Shinto, Man’s ultimate goal is harmonious co-existence with Nature.
What then? Is the Japanese people’s way of life something terrible and uncivilised? That’s how people see Man’s life during the pagan period. But it’s not true. Quite the opposite.
Many Japanese write poetry and have a reverent attitude toward Nature. The whole world is entranced with Japanese ikebana? And yet the attraction to this refined art is not restricted to Japan’s professional florists. Ikebana is something you can see in practically every Japanese household.
The Japanese show special treatment to their children. Adults go the greatest possible lengths to ensure complete freedom for their children.
A nation of poets and artists, it would seem. Yet the level of Japanese technology surpasses that of even the most developed countries of the world. It is a challenge to compete with them in the field of electronics or motorcar manufacturing. In referring to a modern pagan country like Japan, we are talking only of elements of paganism. Just think what type of Man one could have in a fully pagan culture!
One thing is clear: in terms of the level of knowledge and spirituality he would significantly surpass the type of Man prevalent today. But it was in somebody’s interests to befool us by insisting upon our belief in the exact opposite.
Japan is not an exception — it is by no means the only example. From deep in our millennial past come names of such geniuses among poets, thinkers and scholars as Archimedes, Socrates, Democritus, Hercalitus, Plato and Aristotle. They lived between two and six hundred years B.C. And where did they live? In Greece — which at that time was also a pagan country.
Japan, Greece, Rome, Egypt, with their ancient temple structures, classical art, holidays and traditions, all bear witness even today to the cultural level of these peoples. But what can our own historians tell us about Rus’ of that time? Absolutely nothing.
How does one find tangible evidence thatVedic Rus’was home to artists and poets, not to mention glorious warriors who never attacked anyone but were skilful masters of weaponry?
I said to Anastasia:
“Unless we can find tangible proof of the culture ofVedic Rus’, nobody will believe in it. Your accounts of it will be treated as mere legends. Beautiful legends of course, but still legends. I’m convinced there’s no point in searching historical works. So you are all that’s left. Can you point to any tangible proof, Anastasia?”
“Yes, I can. For there is actually a great deal of proof.” “Then tell me: in what spot should we go with excavation?”
“Why start with excavation? There are a great many human dwellings that offer proof of the Vedruss culture.”
“What kind of dwellings? What do you have in mind?” “Look carefully, Vladimir, at the houses people are constructing today, and compare them with the houses that have been built in the village where you now live. Almost all the old houses in this village are decorated with traditional Russian wood-carvings. You also saw even older houses when you visited the museum-town of Suzdal.”
“Yes, and they are all decorated with even finer carvings. And not just the houses — the portals and garden gates too, they’re all works of art.”
“In other words, the deeper you go into your people’s past, the more beautifully appointed human dwellings you see.
“In museums, too, you can see beautiful wood-carvings adorning distaffs, mugs and other household items which were in common use three to five hundred years ago. You will notice, Vladimir, that the artistry of the masters keeps increasing, the farther one travels back through the ages.
“Creativity like that on a massive scale has not been found over many centuries in any country in the world. Note, Vladimir, that these were not individual artists working on commission for a few rich bigwigs, but absolutely the entire population participated. Judge for yourself: if you see an ordinary distaff in a museum, it did not belong to the Tsar, or the Tsar’s wife, or some kind of bigwig. You are looking at an object which was found in every home. People used these lacy wood-carvings to decorate all their buildings, including the fences; they decorated all their household items, and embroidered their clothes. If this had been done by master craftsmen, it would have taken an unimaginable number to produce all the examples we know about. Each Vedruss family did this on their own.
“The whole population were engaged in artistic pursuits. And this tells us that the whole population lived in plenty. A good deal of time is required if one is to spend a lot of time on artistic creations. Your historians are all wrong when they say that people in ancient times spent their whole day bent over, tending their agricultural lands. If that were true, they would have had no time for artistic pursuits. And yet they did. And as for their skill with weaponry, judge for yourself: if they were able to build such beautiful log mansions with an axe, they must have wielded it like a brush in the hands of an artist.
“Do you know what kind of competitive entertainment they thought up for Shrovetide? They drove into the ground two large upright logs about three metres apart. Two male competitors went up to these logs, carrying an axe in each hand. After being blindfolded, the men worked with both hands simultaneously, competing to see who could cut down their log first. But that was not all — they had to cut it down so that it would fall exactly on their competitor’s log and knock it over.”