In Anastasia, Vladimir Megre (2005) shares the insights of a Native Russian woman called Anastasia who lives as a recluse in the Siberian taiga. Anastasia and her ancestors are Vedruss (Ved-Russ), which is a term to describe a person who comes from Vedic Russian culture. Vedic civilization is commonly known as originating in India. “Veda” means sacred knowledge in Sanskrit. Moreover, Sanskrit has been referred to as the language of consciousness, the language of nature, and the father of all languages in Eurasia. Anastasia clarifies that Vedic cultures are ancient cultures that were once throughout Eurasia around 30,000 to 12,000 years ago. These Vedic cultures had a direct connection to the Earth and the Universe as well as vast, sacred knowledge about Earth, nature, human consciousness, and the Universe. Thus, the people of Vedic Russian culture were the indigenous people of Russia who held sacred knowledge. Because of the countless wars, revolutions, and movements throughout history, there are few written accounts of the existence of the Vedruss civilization, except for what Megre has written in his books based off of the oral tradition passed down from generation to generation in Anastasia’s family. Today, Anastasia, her grandfather, and her children are the only living descendants of Vedic Russian culture who still hold the ancient wisdom of their forefathers.
Vedruss Planting Rituals. Embedded within the ancient Vedruss civilization was the sacred knowledge of the healing qualities of seeds, plants, planting, and consuming the food of the Earth in relation to human health. Megre (2005) transcribes Anastasia’s words about how a seed acts as a physician:
Every seed you plant contains within itself an enormous amount of information about the Universe. Nothing made by human hands can compare with this information either in size or accuracy. Through the help of these data the seed knows the exact time, down to the millisecond, when it is to come live, to grow, what juices it is to take from the Earth, how to make use of the rays of the celestial bodies – the Sun, Moon and stars – what it is to go into, what fruit to bring forth. These fruits are designed to sustain Man’s life. More powerfully and effectively than any manufactured drugs of the present or future, these fruits are capable of counteracting and withstanding any disease of the human body. But to this end the seed must know about the human condition. So that during the maturation process it can satiate its fruit with the right correlation of substances to heal a specific individual of his disease, if indeed he has it or is prone to it. (p. 64)
According to Anastasia, the ability of a seed to heal a person is dependent upon the way in which the person plants the seed. In Vedruss tradition, a seed or multiple seeds are put under the tongue for at least nine minutes (Megre, 2005). During this time and throughout the ceremony, the planter thinks only of positive, life-enriching thoughts, or as Cajete (2000) refers to this mode of being, “thinking the highest thought,” which involves “thinking of one’s self, one’s community, and one’s environment ‘richly’—essentially, a spiritual mindset in which one thinks in the highest, most respectful, and most compassionate way, thus systematically influencing the actions of both individuals and the community” (p. 276). Next, the seed or seeds are clasped in the palms of the hands for thirty seconds while the person planting stands barefoot on the spot of the earth where the seed(s) will be planted. Lastly, the seed is lightly blown on. The seed goes unwatered for a few days after the planting ceremony so that the information given from the planter’s saliva can be fully absorbed by the seed (Megre, 2005). After this ritual is performed, Anastasia proclaims, “The wee little seed will know everything that is within you” (Megre, 2005, p. 64). The Vedruss believe that this ritual activates the seed’s abilities to take in information about the person who plants it and to use this information by working together with the energies of the Universe to come up with the proper treatment for the person who planted it. While the plant is growing, the person who planted it regularly communicates with the plant. In addition, the Vedruss approach the plant and touch it during the full moon at least once during its growth period. When the vegetable, fruit, or herb is harvested and eaten, it will have collected and stored just the right amount of energy needed from the Universe, the Earth, and the Self to heal the person who planted and consumes it (Megre, 2005). This Vedruss planting ceremony exemplifies several key elements of Cajete’s (2000) idea of “Native science”: 1) Native life is based on perceptual phenomenology, which is the perception gained from using the entire body and senses in direct participation with the natural world; 2) Humans have reciprocal responsibilities with the beings of the Universe; and 3) Humans engage in creative participation with nature. The Vedruss people were indigenous physicists who acknowledged seeds and plants as their physicians.
To the Vedruss, the human body was also considered to be a physician and the garden was recognized as being a living pharmacy. Anastasia asserts,
The chief physician is your own body. Right from the start it is endowed with the ability to know which herb should be used and when. How to eat and breathe. It is capable of warding off disease even before its outward manifestation. And nobody else can replace your body, for this is your personal physician, given individually to you by God, and personal only to you. I am telling you how to provide it with the opportunity to act beneficially on your behalf. If you make connections with the plants in your garden-plot, they will take care of you and cure you. They will make the right diagnoses all by themselves and prepare the most effective medicine especially designed for you. (Megre, 2005, p. 67)
The ways of the Vedruss correspond to Cajete’s (2000) idea that Indigenous philosophy is naturally spiritual, reverential, qualitative, holistic, evolutionary, and participatory. The Vedruss people carry within them a profound sense of responsibility as well as a great amount of trust in the Universe.
- Cajete, G. (2000). Native science: Natural laws of interdependence. Santa Fe, NM: Clear Light Publishers.
- Megre, V. (2005). Anastasia. L. Sharashkin (Ed.). Columbia, MO: Ringing Cedars Press.