On February 12, 1879 in St. Petersburg, Russia, in a house on Sergiyevsky Street, a daughter was born to the family of architect-academician Ivan Ivanovich Shaposhnikow and his wife Ekaterina Vassilyevna. The daughter's name was Elena. She developed an interest in books at a very early age, where they became her best tutors and friends. She learned about nature, ethnography, and life in the Far East.
During her early childhood, Elena would experience profound and prophetic dreams and visions that were both personal and spiritual in nature. One of her first dreams at the age of six was of a man about whom she would later learn was St. Sergius of Radonezh (1314-1392), who was considered to be a great Russian spiritual leader.
In 1901 she married the master artist Nicholas Roerich, who to this day, is known all over the world for his nobility, statesmanship, and artistic mastery. (He was specially noted for his remarkable command of color.) In the early 1920s, Elena, known in the West as Helena Roerich, began composing a series of books called the Agni Yoga Series, or the Living Ethics, as well as On Eastern Crossroads, and Foundations of Buddism. After her death in 1955, her students published two books of her letters--letters of spiritual and practical instruction--which were written to pupils all over the world. Helena Roerich is considered by many to be one of the most remarkable women of the twentieth century.