Mary Joyce Punacha speaks after SNRís death

(Transcript)

First of all let me thank... let me thank each and every one from any part of Russia and throughout the world for all the good condolences and encourages given to Madam during the time when she lost her good husband our Doctor Roerich, our dear Doctor Roerich, who has been the light of our life. Not only to us, to the whole world. He does not belong only to Russia, to India, but he is a world-known artist and a friend, adviser, a philosopher... But he is... even didnít think even a little bit of hate thought of anybody. Anyway it is a great loss for us. Every minute, every second, you know, how it is difficult to live without Doctor Roerich. Especially Madam and myself miss him a lot in every ways. We miss his advice, we miss his presence, we miss his love. But it was unfortunate that God took away him so soon.

...Had a peaceful death, but he had little wishes also, which Madam Roerich and myself will definitely fulfill his wish. His heritage, his motherís and fatherís heritage will be preserved throughout the world, the Teachings will be brought up. This is what was his wish. Of course his wish was to take his body to Petersburg, where he was born. But if Russia was not in the position, he had already given alternative, that he can be buried in India in his home estate. Even though I had informed the proper tenant that the plane has to be arranged for his death, I think I have to thank the President of Russia, Mr. Eltsin, that he did arrange a plane, but because of few handful diplomats we could not bring his body to Petersburg. Because the diplomats demanded that if we do not open Doctor Roerichís testament they would not be in a position to take his body to Petersburg. Secondly, they said, the plane can not be arranged. Thirdly, Shaposhnikova and Kadakin said that if we take Doctorís body to Petersburg Madam should not come along with it, because her... she can not stand the temperature and maybe her... coffin will be flown back. So... putting everything together Devika decided that it be much peaceful for Doctor Roerich to be buried in India.

Whatever it is across Doctor Roerichís body, when he is dead and when she had a great loss of her husband, these are the not the words of diplomats to speak to her like that. And may we thank our Ambassador Mr. Drukov who had flown immediately after Madamís call to Delhi, made the things peaceful, gave her little courage and gave her all the assurance, and the funeral went on successfully. We thank all the people who give us courage and help during this time. If not for such few friends it would have been a miserable place. Of course I have to thank our Chief Minister in Bangalore, in Karnataka, who gave the Doctor the best funeral; he had the state honor and whatever was asked and requested he had the best of his till the end.

So... we thank each and every one. But in future we would like all Roerichsí heritages, his books, their Teachings to be taken in the propership. That is why Devika has requested Minister of Culture in Moscow and the President to take over the Roerich Center to be the state museum and see that things are taken from Shaposhnikova and put for the public use; about the Roerichsí heritage, Roerichsí articles which she had taken it few years back for the Roerich Center as a Vice-Chairman of the Roerich Center. But so far we have got a report that nothing has been done and nothing has been utilized for the people.

So... I think it is not given to Shaposhnikova, it is given to the Roerich Center for the people, for the people of Russia. That all the archives of the mother, father and brother was given to the people of Russia, not for Madam Shaposhnikova to keep it. And may we have high regards for the people of Russia. I hope they will all cooperate with Devika, who is the next heir of Svetoslav Roerich, the Roerich family, who has got every right to act upon the Roerichs. And I hope, if given an opportunity, when we have time to come to Moscow, we will come and address all the people and we try to explain everything. Weíll always be friends and bring lot of coordination and good relationship between India and Russia, where Svetoslav always have been a bailor as an ambassador for Russia and an ambassador for India. Where he had lot of volunteer and lot of work cooperation given to both the countries. So I hope all Russians and Indians cooperately work for the Russians. I hope each and every one of Russia people, students be given an opportunity to visit India and visit the Samadhis of Professor Roerich, Madam Roerich and Svetoslavís Roerich. We welcome each and every one of you.

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