Nicholas Roerich. Sword of Ghessar khan.

Nicholas Roerich. Sword of Ghessar khan. Stronghold fiery. Riga, Vieda, 1991

The water is served in a tin cup. The cup is still intact, regardless of the fact that is has travelled the whole of Tibet, China and Mongolia with us.

Here is a yagtan made in Kashmir. It survived a long trip across Asia, on all thinkable means of transport. It’s crucial to take good care of it as it is a bearer of vast knowledge.  And here is the banner of the former expedition – “Maitreya”. Since then we have come across this concept many times. The artist who made the banner has long passed away. Lama Malonov, who decorated the banner with Chinese silks, is also no longer with us. And the Banner has seen a lot: participated in the battle and conquered the savage Goloks, surprised and softened the Tibetan governor, hit Khotanese Amban’s head and dazzled with all the bright colors during the construction of suburgan in Sharagolchi. Now it’s kept in the Himalayan Institute, which emerged from the expedition – let it protect all the Himalayan medicinal herbs, which offer so many great solutions!

Every item, that travelled the whole of Asia with us, becomes extremely loveable and memorable. The difficulties of the journey become unusual joys, as we are surrounded by terrific views that bear some many beautiful memories.

Again mules’ bells jingle in the caravans while they are climbing steep slopes of the mountains. Again one meets oncoming travelers, bear their own life secrets. Again stories are told about local spiritual treasures of the memorable places.  There is a heroic sword of Ghessar Khan captured in the rock; we can again view the caves and mountain peaks of the sacred pilgrimage. Eternally wandering pilgrims are drawn to it with knapsacks on their shoulders. Not only faith, but also an irresistible desire for the Life of the wandering draws them onto the difficult mountain paths.


We are going to Lahul – the expedition continues. As if it has already happened to us before. The only difference is that here is no post office; no information from outside world has reached us for the past few months. But here we are still at the last postal runners’ line and the confusion of the world may still reach us every week. However, straight after the Rotang notch we can already feel the dry Tibetan air – healing and inspiring; the air that attracted so many seekers of spiritual ascent. At night, blazing strange lightings appear in the clear skies full of stars, milky ways and undecipherable newborn and dead heavenly spheres. These are not even lightings, but the most wonderful Himalayan glow, which is often described in literature.

Once we have passed Tibet and Ladakh, we can now enjoy Lahul. Snow peaks, blooming flowers, fragrant juniper, bright rosehips are as good as the best Tibetan valleys. Many shrines, steps,  stupas are as majestic as the ones in Ladakh. On the rocks There are the same ritual figures of archers on the rocks, catching an arrow sharp-horned mountain sheep. But old Aibek was a symbol of the Light!

There one can find similar burials in graves laden with stones, and stone vaults cameras. The powerful Bell Mountain stretches Over Kyelang– “a spiritual resting place” with its sacred peaks, reminding of Norbu Rinpoche. This is the depository of many medical books and records, stored by lamas. Local famous Lama Healer, like Panteleimon the Healer, is already taking care of us with the coolie boy, filling a long backpack basket with herbs and roots.

It’s wonderful that Yuri knows the Tibetan language so well; that Lama Mingiyur, who excellently knows Tibetan literature, has also joined us. In the first few days we got hold of several pieces of work that have never been translated. Among them are medical records and poetic description of the local shrines.

Everything around us is full of famous names: here is the cave of Milarepa, who was listening to the voices of the divas at the dawn; Padma Sambhava was there, as well as Java Guzampa, and all the gurus of teaching needed indispensable radiance of the Himalayas. the Himalayas.

Not far from here there is Palden Lhamo waterfall; the nature itself inscribed the terrible goddess statue, galloping on his favorite mule, on this rock. “Can you see the mule lifting his head and his right hoof? See how clear the head of the goddess is. ” We see, we see, listening to the endless song of a mountain stream.

We pass caves and rocks of the Nagas – unusual snakes live there. We are astoundsed by the ancient castle of Thakur of Gundlach. With amazement we see that some of the peaked roof terraces again remind us of Norway. With great curiosity we observe the flat roofs, which are the indispensable legacy of ancient Asia, and the unexpectedly sharp edges, resembling north.

The unforgettable reception is arranged for us in Kyelang, the capital of Lahul. Festooned with flower garlands, preceded by trumpets and drums, we enter Kyelang.

Upon entering the town, we witness an unexpected and touching performance. Lamas wearing purple high tiaras with giant tubes are lined along the roofs. People standing on the rooftops shower us with yellow and red petals of rose hips. The crowd is thronged in festive attire. Local school students, lined in espaliers, shout greetings following the local Vazir’s signal. Arches and houses are decorated with the bright posters displaying welcome greetings. Approaching the summer rooms of our Himalayan Institute with the increasing crowd, we are met by another group of  lamaistic pipes and the neighbor’s daughter, Ana, in a turquoise high headdress, holds the sacred yak milk. In such way, Kyelang, lost in the snowy mountains, wants to express its heartfelt.

Not only the new findings came flooding back at once, but  we also managed to see the rare Lamistic mystery “Breaking the stone”. The group of wandering lamas from the  Spiti valley performed this unusual, not yet published mystery in our yard. Jury will give an accurate translation of it in the Institute’s journal.

It began with the scene when Lamas brought a huge, over half a yard long, stone from the hill – two people barely managed it. A camp altar was put up and, in a long series of ritual dances, songs and prayers; the destruction of evil was depicted.

The cheek piercing was shown, as was a wonderful sword dance. Great skills require to be commended, otherwise the two swords, wedged in the stomach, can easily pierce the intestines. Dramatic episodes intertwined with funny interludes, as it should be. The latter showed a wild country’s ruler under the guise of a shepherd, while a dialogue went on, making the public laugh, about that ruler’s invisible treasures. But by the end of the mystery all the humorous elements were silent and a more focused inner preparation became noticeable. These spells and preparations were concluded by the episode where one of the Lamas laid on the ground and the other two raised prepared a huge stone prepared for him, and laid it on his stomach. In the meantime, the old Lama, the one that pierced his cheeks and fell on the swords, raised the round boulder, the size of at least two human heads, fiercely threw this stone into the stone on Lama’s stomach, twice. To the crowd’s amazement, this second throw split the long stone into two parts, releasing the laying Lama. Thus, the heavy material world collapsed, the evil powers were defeated and the mystery ended with the cheerful round dance and lama’s singing, accompanied by the painted Tibetan balalaika.

Ester Lichtman managed to film the initial episode, before the stone was laid, but we must admit that during the episode with the splitting stone on Lama’s stomach we all simply forgot about the photos and just took a deep breath. Of course, the means of this extraordinary mystery of the victory over the material world in this extraordinary mystery are harsh, but, in fact, no less harsh is the real everyday world. Also, do not forget that the breaking stone depicted a man’s figure drawn in charcoal and chalk, whose body was pierced by lama in the preliminary ritual dance by magical phurba daggers.

Lama from Kolong comes to us. Yuri and Lama Mingiyur record local tunes and Esther Lichtman writes a music line. We go to watch the old pictures on the rocks. Here again we see that Chortens added to the old images of hunters and upland sheep are newer additions. As previously thought, the sharp-horned sacred sheep – a symbol of light, and their seekers, tireless archers, are symbols of a much more distant cults. Here again we are reminded of the still unexplained solar cults, reminiscent of distant origin of Druidism and fiery swastika.

Again we visit the monasteries. We come across the interesting books about the hermits. Again we admire the vast glaciers, snow peaks and deep valleys with the thundering streams from the high flat rooftops. Here is the mountain of “spiritual resting” and the peak of M., here is the enticing way to Ladakh, and the sacred Kailas.

Lama’s dance. Those unaware call them ‘demon dances’. Lama’s dance has a deep symbolical meaning. – ‘What about the horns?’ – ‘The patrons of animal kingdom and the masters of elements have them, but there is no connection to demons. Soon you’ll think that Moses’ beams are also horns – what ignorance!’ A very long ritual is finished by the mystery, dedicated to the blackcap Lama, who killed the godless king Landarm, known for his tough prosecution of the Faith.

Ancient Karga tract. The remains of the ancient fortifications. Chortens, mendangs  paved with stones covered with inscribed prayers. Rumours have it that ancient graves are located there, but we decide against excavating, so as not to enter into controversy with the department of archaeological control. The main attention is drawn to the numerous rock paintings. Again, rams and archers. Very ancient. Lama Mingiyur proudly calls us to the stone depicting the image of the sword. This is where the idea of “The Gessar Khan Sword” painting was born. Where have we seen these characteristic shapes of a dagger-sword? We’ve seen them in Minusinsk, seen in the Caucasus, seen in many Sarmatian and Celtic antiquities. This sword, so clearly imprinted on the ancient, wind- polished, brownish stone surface, tells us stories of great migration. Is it the Sign of the battle, the sign of a high-spirited mission accomplishment? Or a forgotten border? A Victory?

There is a legend about the warriors of Gesar Khan, who had come from afar and settled here. They also brought the first peach stone. Of course, this is not the Mongols, who reached Lahul in the 17th century … Human memory preserves something much more ancient and significant.

On the opposite bank of the river, high on the edge of the cliff there is the ancient monastery Gando-La, founded by Padma Sambhavah. The antiquity built in the 7th or 8th century, the ancient breathtaking place.

Here is Pintsog, an old narrator of the saga of Gesser Khan. He sits gravely on the floor of my studio, and narrates, and then sings the recitative verse of the great hero of Ladakh, Tibet, China. Was it in the 6th century that this tune was born, alongside the solemn gestures of the singer? Who would suspect a rhythmic smoothness of gestures and a constant search for tune variations in someone as ragged as this Pintsog?
It’s all in this tune:  how the main character is getting ready to step out against the enemies, how he is taking profound advice of his father’s sister, how he is preparing his weapons … Pintsog mentally and visually inspects the armour, and draws the bow, and just detects the enemy in the mountains.  « Did you know that here, in Kama, there is the Gesser Khan’s Chamber, where countless Gesser Khan’s swords are laid in place of the beams?’

-‘Not only in Kama, but also in Tsang, Gesser soldiers laid a foundation for the monument,’ –  says Lama, who kept silent up until now. All Gesser feats cannot be described in just one saga. His wise wife Brugume must also be mentioned.  We must not forget the companions and all the victories of this invincible defender of the truth.

One can come across all sorts of stories in Tibetan mountains in India. Very recently did the newspapers write about a man swimming in Yamuna holding a tiger’s tail! And this is not a myth!

Indian doctor tells us that cancer, this growing scourge of mankind, is completely unknown to the population of the Himalayan heights.

Doctor Lama from Tashi Lhunpo brings Tibetan medicines; among them we find the one for treating cancer. We recall the official certificate of the successful treatment of cancer conducted and issued by the late Buryat doctor Badmaev. Lama Mingiyur tells us about the edible roots found in the forests of the Himalayas, promises to get them.

We receive information from our friend Colonel that Captain B.’s labourers were disturbed by a giant who appeared and night and frightened them so much that they ran away from their workplaces. Lama says that the appearances of such giants, known as Dharmapala messengers sending warnings or preventions against malicious actions, are widely known in Sikkim. The life is so diverse!

There is the house of Thakur of Kolonga, Pratap Chand, or, in Tibetan, Sange Dawa. The old house was molded upon the model of the Tibetan fortresses. The host and hostess greet us at the entrance. Servants sparkle with silver and Chinese brocade. Lama’s pipes peal. First of all, the hosts invite us over for a solemn service in the home oratory. Many heirlooms surround us, many different tankas; Shambhala, and Rigden Jyepo, and Milarepa, and many of their devotees. The service follows the buian rite. Later, we are shown not only jewellery, but also books, and printing boards. This is not an ordinary house: Thakur is the head of the region, and the family is fairly well-off. Of course, Tibetan tea and tsampa follow in the end. Immediately we start a conversation about the construction of the house. They say: ’It’s an honour for us if great people come from great places to visit our small and  modest dwelling’

And again, the conversation is flowing about the images on the rocks, about unreadable inscriptions on stone tombs and hidden sacred books. Apart from the Kullu valley, another place is named near Triloknat, where, according to the legend, the books were hidden books during the persecution of a fierce Langdarma. There on the mountains are the ruins of some ancient dwellings. It is said that when the soldiers of Gessar Khan came, the old Lahul’s residents escaped to the mountain peaks. Chud left the White King in the Altai region and went under the ground, and Lahul’s residents went upwards onto into the mountains. These places are poorly researched both historically and archaeologically.

The painting “Menhirs of the Himalayas” will remind about the menhirs stones, which date back to venerable times and are still there covering mountain passes. This custom is undeniably connected with the ancient menhirs of Tibet, discovered by our expedition in 1928, like menhirs of Carnac.

The painting “The Three Sword” shows the ancient painting on the rock near Kyelang, the main town of Lahul. ‘Lahul’ is the linguistically incorrect version of ‘Southern Tibet’. Local images on rocks and stones are worth further  exploring.

Ladakh, Dardistan, Baltistan, Lahul, Trans Himalaya, part of Persia, Southern Siberia (Irtysh, Minusinsk) are rich in diverse, technically similar images, unwittingly resembling the rocks of Bohuslan, the images of Ostrogoths and other great migrators.


Images of Ladakh, Lahul and all the Himalayan highlands are divided into two main types. The Buddhist Type has reached our era in the form of a swastika (both Buddhist and its opposite one – Bon-po), a leo, Gessar Khan’s horses, numerous religious inscriptions, chortens and other objects of worship.

Another type of images dates back to more ancient times, pre-Buddhist Bon-po and other cults of fire, is even more fascinating in its mystery and its peculiar druidic arts, so fascinating in connection with the study of great migrations.

The main character of these images (partially reproduced in the works of Dr. Franke, 1923) is a mountain goat as a symbol of fire. The technique of these images can be differentiated by the layers, from the ancient (similar to the Swedish halristingar) to the newest proving inner existence of some kind of cult.

In addition to mountain goats, in all possible combinations, we can see images of the sun, hands, dancing ritual figures and other signs of old folklore. This type of images depicting ancient traditions gives a vast research opportunity.

We managed to add two previously non-described more images to the others. In the tract of Karga and near Kyelang (Lahul) we discovered some image of the swords. The meaning of these images is mysterious, but especially interesting is the fact that their shape perfectly matches the shape of bronze swords and daggers of the Minusinsk Siberian type, so characteristic of the first great migrants. Let us not make any assumptions or conclusions, but this instructive detail is listed as another guiding landmark.

Let us not forget that the old Catholic missionary reported that Lhasa place was called Gotha. The ruins of the ancient temples of Kashmir are strikingly reminiscent of the foundations of the Alan constructions, blossomed in the shapes of the “Roman style”. De la Vallee Poussin reports about that foreign have builders participating in the erection of Kashmir temples.  Sten Konov indicates that Irila belonged to the tribe of the ghats, which, in his opinion, means Goths. All these notes are of great importance in the subject of the great migration of peoples.

We receive the telegram from Leh. The expedition has arrived safely. The caravan suffered no sickness and no losses. The collections gathered are excellent. And so we thought that Ladakh would not disappoint our collectors. And so many discoveries lay ahead. Who would not light up with the wonders of the Himalayas?

Where does this extraordinary temptation of Asian ways come from? Mountains are not perceived as giant blocks, but as vocative travel milestones. Over the mountain peak shine the lights of the Himalayan kingdom of snow. The local people, those who have heard about something, speak of these lights with deep respect. After all, it shines because of the work of the great Rigden Jyepo himself, who labors tirelessly for the good of mankind.

Here is a rare image of the Great Gesser Khan. Around the warrior his reincarnation signs and that entire memorabilia are gathered, everything that is not to be forgotten in this great epic. At the steps of the throne there are Tibetan boots. These are the seven-league boots, which are described and noted in Gesser Khan’s exploits. But they stand close by, which means that the great warrior of the new world is ready to exploit. Soon he will come.