Nicholas Roerich - Peace and Culture

From Wiki Shangri-La
Peace and Culture
To The Young Men’S Buddhist Association, Colombo, 1931

On this memorable day
we must remember each other with especial vividness,
and mutually strengthen each other
by the basic conceptions of true evolution.
The Great Gotama Buddha ordained in manifold ways the conception of Peace and Culture.
Peace signifies an unceasing construction.
Culture means an eternal cognizance and betterment of life through the foundations of glorious progress.


Everything created by hostility is impractical and perishable.
The history of mankind has given us remarkable examples of how necessary for progress is peaceful creativeness.
The hand tires from the sword, but the creating hand, sustained by the might of the spirit, is untiring and unconquerable.
No sword can destroy the heritage of culture.
The human mind may temporarily deviate from the primary sources, but at the predestined hour it will have to recur to them with renewed powers of the spirit.


The subtlest energies which were preordained are already proven to be not an abstraction; and true scientists already apply them for the betterment of life.
The life upon the far-off worlds, foreseen ages ago, as well as the new possibilities for humanity, cease to be fairy tales;
we already use these possibilities, finding new hours for uplifting meditations.
And these very meditations also renew.
They can become shorter and more intense.
The Teaching about pure food has already entered convincingly into life, for even limited minds already know of the most powerful vitamins.
All which is vital, in its glorious prognosis, will not disappear, but like every truth will appear in an ever-broadening conception.
Humanity begins to understand that the hand of Peace is the mightiest.
There never can be such indefatigable tenacity in the hand of War as in the hand of Peace.
He who is the bearer of Peace and Culture does not have to coerce others, for in his constructive enthusiasm he will be imbued with radiant creativeness and the greatest understanding of true cooperation.


The foundations of Peace and Culture make man verily invincible and realizing all spiritual conditions, he becomes tolerant and all-embracing.
Each tolerance is but a sign of weakness.
If we understand that each lie, each fallacy must be exposed, it means that, first of all, a lie is stupid and impractical.
But what has he to hide who has consecrated himself to Peace and Culture?
Studying the foundations of the Teachings, he can do nothing that would violate what is noble, because knowledge is needed for evolution.
Helping his near ones, he helps the general welfare, which in all ages has been appreciated.
Striving to Peace, he becomes a pillar of a progressing State.
By not slandering the near ones, we increase the productiveness of the common creation.
By not quarreling, we prove that we possess the knowledge of the foundations.
By not Wasting time in idleness, we prove that we are true co-workers of the limitless cosmic energies.
Finding joy in the daily labor we show that the conception of Infinity is not alien to us.
In not harming others, we do no harm to ourselves, and by eternally giving, we realize that in giving we receive.
And this blessed receiving is not the secret hoard of a miser.
And we understand how creative is affirmation and how destructive is negation.
Among the basic conceptions, not even a complete ignoramus would dare to attack those of Peace and Culture.


The mentioning of Lalitavistara upon the pages of the “Legende Doree” is one of the benevolent signs through which true understanding is being formed.
The border between Light and Darkness crosses the whole world and disclosing it, we become defenders of the Culture of Light.
There cannot be any culture of darkness.
If we can visualize the stronghold of Light, then as a counterbalance there will be the abyss of darkness of ignorance.
But, on days of commemoration at least, every trace of darkness should be annihilated.


On such memorable days we must bring great spiritual offerings.
And if to-day we bring our true striving to Peace and Culture and vow not to deviate from these high principles,
then we will deserve to have our work
adjudged as noble actions.
Verily ordained are the deeds of nobility
—the deeds of Peace and Culture.

May, 1931.


  • Roerich Nicholas. Peace and Culture.
Nicholas Roerich Museum. n.p. n.d. Web. Accessed March 22, 2014. <>.