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Gerasim Lebedev’s Book Presentation


On September, 25th,2009 a presentation of the first Russian scientist-indologist G.S.Lebedev’s book took place in the Museum of Derzhavin, St.Petersburg, RF. G.S.Lebedev’s book: “Impartial Contemplation of the Eastern India Systems of Bragmen, Solemn Rites and their Popular Traditions”. G.S.Lebedev (1749-1817) was born in Yaroslavl, Russia, for 12 years lived in India, died in St.Petersburg in 1817. He was a legendary man. His book - “Impartial Contemplation of the Eastern India Systems of Bragmen, Solemn Rites and their Popular Traditions” – was first published in St.Petersburg in 1805, after 204 years was republished in Russia. The present publication in done in modern Russian, has old pictures of Madras and Calcutta of  XVIII-XIX centures. The reprinting of the book became one of the important events in the Year of India in Russia celebrations. The presentations took place in the Yaroslavl History Museum on April, 16th and on September, 4th in Moscow Center of the East Literature (the Russian State Library Department).

The St.Petersburg project organizers were: All-Russia Pushkin Museum, Museum of Derzhavin, SPBranch of the ICR, Museum-mansion of N.K.Roerich in Izvara, Yaroslavl City Administration, Yaroslavl History Museum, Yaroslavl Roerich Organization, “Akademia Razvitiya” Publishing House (Yaroslavl), “Peoples of Russia Assembly”; the events were supported by The Consulate General of India in St.Petersburg.

The event was attended by: Institute of Linguistic Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences, institute of Russian literature of the RAS (the Pushkin House), Library of the RAS, the Russian National Library, St.Petersburg   Union of Scientists, media agencies.

The project coordinator E.A.Tomsha greeted the participants and informed them that the event is in the frames of the Year of India in Russia and is devoted to the people who strengthened friendship and cooperation between Russia and India. We remember Afanasiy Nikitin and his book  “Journey Beyond Three Seas” and we remember Gerasim Lebedev. We also remember the Roerich family cultural heritage.

Afanasiy Nikitin  established trade connections between India and Russia; gerasim Lebedev established  cultural cooperation by describing rites and traditions of Inidan culture for the first time in Russia, and the Roerich family established spiritual links by creating spiritual bridge between the two countries and showing deep interaction of our cultures and their philosophical, scientific and art heritage. 

Iyezuitova Raisa V., doctor of philosophy, director deputy of All-Russia Pushkin Museum reminded that Gerasim Lebedev was Derzhavin’s friend and the presentation of his book in the Derzhavin Museum is not by chance. India is a beautiful country which always attracted researchers from many countries of the world. Derzhavin G.R., Pushkin A.S., Zhukovskiy V.A. showed great interest to India. Leo Tolstoy considered that Krishna’s metaphysical philosophy is eternal and all-world basis for all religious and philosophical systems.  Present time shows that these systems, Indian art, Indian history is mastered by Russian culture.

Yaroslavl representatives spoke about work on Lebedev’s book publication. Izvekov Vladimir G., director of the Yaroslavl City History Museum, Chairman of the Commission on cultural and historical heritage of the Yaroslavl Region Public Department  told about the idea and work of the book. He noted that Lebedev G.S. was an extraordinary man. There is a constant exhibition about Lebedev G.S. in the Yaroslavl City History Museum. 

Chernovskaya V.V., doctor of history, spoke about her research work on Lebedev’s heritage, which she started in 1999. Her work resulted in publication of the book in 2009. Now in St.Petersburg famous scientists and researchers of Lebedev’s heritage met to commemorate Gerasim Lebedev, the first Russian scientist-indologist.

The Consulate General of India Mr.Abhai Kumar noted that Yaroslavl gives  great people to the world such as Gerasim Lebedev. Lebedev lived in India and studied Indian culture, languages, rites and traditions. He was the first to make Indian-Russian connections. We know Adanasiy Nikitin quite well, reprinting of the book gives us a new personality – Gerasim Lebedev – who will also become well-known. Lebedev’s work is important for the  humanity and the planet.

Khryascheva Nataliya V., head of the foreign relations  department of the Yaroslavl maypr’s office read the greeting of Bolonchunas Viktor V., the Yaroslavl mayor .

Likhomanov A.V., deputy director of the Russian National Library, noted that the Library Funds have the only copy of the Lebedev’s book  in red binder with Tsarskoye Tselo stamp. This book is very popular and is read every year, so the reprinting is very useful. Now the book could be read not only by specialists, but by the wide circle of readers as well. 

Skorodumov S.V., chairman of the Yaroslavl Roerich Organisation described Lebedev G. as an important person. Lebedev G. often started everything from the very beginning: he started to study literacy at 15, studied several European languages, some Indian languages, opened the first national European theatre in India, opened the first printing shop with devanagari print in St.Petersburg and published his works there in Bengali. Lebedev was very friendly to different cultures and people. 

Scientists, researchers and cultural workers discussed various matters of Lebedev’s creative heritage, life and work.  The event finished with a concert of music of XVIII-XIX centures, played by young musicians, laureates of international contests and students of Music School of St.Petersburg Conservatory by the name of Rimskiy-Korcakov N.A..

Presentation of the first Russian scientist-indologist Gerasim S.Lebedev  book “Impartial Contemplation of the Eastern India Systems of Bragmen, Solemn Rites and their Popular Traditions” has become an important event in St.Petersburg culture in the Year of India in Russia.


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