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.