mother of Svetoslav Roerich
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mother of Svetoslav Roerich
Helena Ivanovna Roerich (maiden name - Shaposhnikova) was born in St.Petersburg on 12th February, 1879. It was a nobiliary family distinguished not only for its nobility but for its cultural traditions too. On the maternal line her great-grandfather was the great Russian General Mikhail Kutuzov. Among her relatives there were a composer Modest Musorgsky and a poet Arsenly Golenishchev Kutuzov. Already in her early age - during her studying with teachers of the St.Petersburg Conservatory - Helena Ivanovna showed an outstanding talent for music. As a pianist she performed solo concerts. In 1901 Helena married Nicholas Roerich. Since that time they were inseparable on life and spiritual-creative paths. She became his companion-in-arms in all his public and cultural undertakings. Together with her husband Helena Roerich participated in the heroical transhimalayan expedition. After the Roerich family settled in Kullu valley in Himalayas there was established the Himalayan Institute of the Scientific Studies and its honorary president - the foundress was Helena Ivanovn Roerich. The years of life in India were the time of the most intensive work of Helena Roerich. Here she completed a major part of books of Agni Yoga series (the Living Ethics). There were published 14 volumes of that series. On title pages of the volumes there is no name of the author since Helena Roerich considered that the sacred wisdom stated there can not be the author's property. She considered herself an author of three books only. They were published under different pen-names : "The Foundations of Buddhism" (1927), "The Cryptograms of the East" (1929), "The Banner of the Reverent Sergius" (1934). Besides, she maintained very active correspondence with many people from Europe, Asia and America. Two volumes of her letters were published in Riga in 1940. Helena Roerich also did the translations. She translated into Russian the extracts from the book "The Letters of the Mahatmas to Sinnet" ("The Chalice of the East") and also two volumes of "The Secret Doctrine" by Helena Blavatsky. After death of her husband Helena Ivanovna moved to Kalimpong. Here on 5th of October, 1955, she was no more.