The term Agni yoga was introduced to the western public by
the Roerichs — Nicholas and Helena. They learned it in their expedition across
Central Asia from mountain dwellers. This term means “Mergence with Divine Fire”
or “Path to such Mergence”. Fire in this context is a flame-like state of
Divine Consciousness. The Divine Consciousness can assume
this form when It enters Its Creation.
The Roerichs developed the
Teachings of Agni yoga and brought them to Russia
and other countries of Europe and America. And now
the term Agni yoga is firmly associated with their
The Roerichs were a remarkable
couple: he was a zealous traveler and talented
painter; she was his constant companion. Helena
Roerichs possessed a prophetic skill — the ability
to converse with God. Records of these holy
conversations were collected in fourteen volumes
titled Living Ethics.
What do these records represent?
They are very non-uniform; some parts of the text
are hard to comprehend; some parts are not edited
literally; profound truths are mixed sometimes with
jokes of God or with long series of meaning-less
phrases. Why do they look so?
The point is that according to
the intent of God these records were not meant for
publication in their original form: He suggested
publishing only thematic selections of them: “It is
right to assign to the followers the task of making
selections from the books of the Teachings. … The
Teachings of Living Ethics are needed in different
layers of people. First, one may select simple ideas
and then proceed with those requiring some basic
knowledge.” (Fiery World, III:530).
The reason for the qualitative
diversity of the text is the following. God, with
the purpose of training the prophetic skill of
Helena Roerich, insisted that she make systematic,
everyday records: “Why do I insist on making records
everyday? — To maintain the rhythm. He who has
realized the value of constancy is near the Fiery
Gate already. One has to strive for constancy in
everything. This results in indefatigability and
invincibility” (Fiery World, III:486).
Yet, it did not happen always
that there was material actual for the current
moment. And then Helena Roerich, waiting for words
from the Lord, was given almost meaningless series
of beautiful phrases. It is a typical case of
And such jokes as: the legs feel
cold because the entire energy was used for kindling
the heart — were meant only for encouraging the
tired travelers in hard moments.
Another point that needs to be
mentioned about these texts is the broader meaning
of the terms fire and fiery, which was
expanded to psycho-energetical processes and
phenomena. It was done with the purpose of filling
the readers with the spirit of struggle. However, to
understand these Teachings correctly, one has to
differentiate the concepts of the Divine Fire — and
the “fiery” manifestations of the psychical activity
The texts of Living Ethics and expressive paintings of Nicholas Roerichs are filled with “fiery” energy. It was one of the most distinctive features of the spiritual movement initiated through the Roerichs.