Secrets of Prince Vladimir of Kiev
We know little about the life of Prince Vladimir of Kiev. Not only the life but even birth and death of the Prince-reformer is shrouded in fog.
Folk stories call Vladimir the Red Sun. This name is repeated with such persistence that it does not at all seem merely a poetic accident. After Vladimir’s death and the murder of his sons Boris and Gleb, mysterious events took place.
Efrem Novotorzhskiy, equerry (in medieval times this position corresponded to the Prime Minister) of Prince Boris created a Christian community of the New Torah in Torzhok on the River Tverts; from there Christianity began to spread throughout the north-west and the Baltic. This is where the Boris and Gleb monastery was established to honor of the sons of Vladimir, who became the first Russian Orthodox saints.
Hitherto it is not known for certain who Malusha, the mother of Prince Vladimir really was: the slave in the palace of Princess Olga in Vyshgorod or the princess of the clan of drevlian prince Mala, who rebelled against Prince Igor, Olga’s husband? Let us remind you that the Drevlians killed Igor and were devastated by the troops of Kiev.
If Malusha was a simple concubine of Prince Svyatoslav, Olga’s son, then Vladimir, the pledge of their love is ordinary bastard who at the age of 18 seized the throne in Kiev. If Malusha was a Drevlian Princess, then the case is completely different. Her marriage to Prince Svyatoslav is no longer a banal love affair, but turns into an important state and political act – act of legitimization of the ruling Varangian dynasty.
From this point of view, the aim of the alliance between the Rurik family and Drevlian princely family of Kievan Rus was to stabilize political situation in medieval Eastern Europe. The people began to see Tsar Vladimir Svyatoslavich not as the descendant of the Varangian, but the heir of Prince Mal, ruling in the land of drevlians from time immemorial. After that, the prince of Kiev Rus Vladimir became the sacred descendant of Dazhdbog-the-Sun, so it is no accident that he was called the Red Sun. It is the title of the kings of the western principalities of Kievan Rus – the sun dynasty.
In ancient times, the prince in Russia was not the supreme priest, but the “father” of the whole people. There was always an elder next to him, and the young prince did not take any serious decisions without his advice. This tradition has been preserved since the time of the flood 12,600 years ago, when society acquired class-based social order. The highest class was the class of the Magi. The ancient kings had the title of “twice-born”.
The elderly prince could get a second life after being transformed into a sorcerer. In ancient religions, the rite of the initialization (rebirth) of the king was held on the 13th year of the reign. However, in later centuries, ancient kings began to hold this rite at the age of 50-55 years regardless of the term of reign. At this age, men reach such a level of intelligence that it becomes possible to transform the consciousness, leading to disclosure of subconscious.
At the moment of transformation, a person receives superhuman knowledge – from some inhuman source. From time immemorial people search for that special place for this riot of transformation where many centuries ago man first received this superhuman knowledge. People are looking for the center of the world, the place of meeting with God. Nobody knows where this center is located. There are secondary centers of the world, say the Holy Land – Israel, Tibetan places. Yet, the center of the world is not known. The most dedicated people, however, went north to the 35th meridian. Jerusalem is located on this meridian, as well as Solovetsky archipelago in the very north, in the White Sea. Again and again explorers discover mysterious labyrinths of unknown archaic civilization in that area. This is a place where many Orthodox male monasteries can be found.
MYSTERIOUS DEATH OR DISAPPEARANCE?
The Tale of Bygone Years tells that the Prince died in the village of Berestovo near Kiev in the summer of 1015. However, the boyars hid his death from the people and the squad. Even his burial was decided to be held in secret. They did not take the deceased outside through the doors. Instead, at night, having broken a platform between two chambers, a body wrapped in a carpet was lowered to the ground with ropes, and then it was taken to Kiev, where the Prince was buried in the Church of the Tithes.
A few years before Vladimir’s death, his adopted son Svyatopolk arranged a conspiracy. The plot was disclosed; Svyatopolk and his wife were arrested and remained in custody until Vladimir’s death. In 1014 Yaroslav from Novgorod (future Yaroslav the Wise), another son of Vladimir rebelled. He refused to pay annual tax to Kiev – 2 thousand hryvnia. This provoked Vladimir’s wrath, and he announced a campaign against Novgorod.
However, this is where the mysterious events begin. Vladimir invited his beloved son Boris to Kiev; after this Boris and his army go against the Pechenegs. On July 15, 1015 Vladimir suddenly died. In the absence of Boris, Svyatopolk who has just released from custody got power in Kiev. For some time Vladimir’s death is kept in secret: “Vladimir died in Berestovo, and they hid his death, because there was then Svyatopolk in Kiev,” says the chronicler. Later, when it was no longer possible to conceal Vladimir’s disappearance, he was buried in Kiev, in the Church of the Tithes built by him, with a huge crowd of people present on his funeral. According to inheritance principle, effective those days, Svyatopolk, as a senior after Vladimir Rurikovich, was to reign in Kiev.
The relics of Prince Vladimir, just as the relics of Princess Olga, had the tragic fate of the Tithe Church that was destroyed by the Horde in 1240. In 1635, the Metropolitan of Kiev found two sarcophagi, one of which, according to his assumption, was the relics of St. Vladimir. Only the head and the right hand were found in the grave. What happened to the rest of the body remained a mystery. Later the head of the prince was placed in the main temple of the Kiev Pechersk Lavra, and his hand – in the Kiev Sophia Cathedral. Today, part of the holy relics rests in the Assumption Cathedral inMoscow. However, modern researchers question the authenticity of this find. Such circumstances, according to George Vernadsky, could have generated rumors that Prince Vladimir did not die in 1015, and it is not his body that was buried in Kiev.
In the nineteenth century, similar legend arose after the sudden death of Emperor Alexander I. And then the rumor spread that the tsar was alive, but withdrew from affairs and was hiding in a remote Siberian monastery under the name of the elder Fyodor Kuzmich… This corresponds to the tradition of Drevlians to go to the monastery when reaching certain age.
LIFE AFTER DEATH
If we assume that Vladimir The Red Sun undertook the transition to a second life according to the rite of the Drevlyans, whose princess may have been his mother – then where did he spend the rest of his life? In the Balkans? This is not a fact. The chronicle from the monastery in Elbasan could tell that Prince Vladimir had a second life, but did not specify the location. We do not know anything about this. But the analysis of events that occurred after the death (disappearance) of Prince Vladimir says that he went to the north, to the 35th degree of eastern longitude, to Umphalus – the line connecting Jerusalem and Solovki.
SACRIFICE OF SAINTS
Proceeding from these premises, Saint Vladimir lived two lives. Up to 55 years he was a warrior, the rest of his life he was a monk. When he died, he was 95 years old.
The relics of the Monk Ephraim were found in 1572. His body was buried in the temple he built himself, in a stone coffin, carved from white limestone by his own hands. For more than five centuries, the holy relics were resting in the earth, and yet remained incorruptible and unharmed. Torzhok was repeatedly ruined and burned, but the monastery of the Monk Ephraim remained unscathed.
In the reign of Ivan the Terrible, Leonid, Archbishop of Novgorod and Pskov drove past Torzhok. In the monastery of Ephraim, he asked about his relics. When the monks pointed the place where his body lay, Leonid ordered to open the coffin. Immediately the whole temple filled with a fragrance from the relics of the Monk that were incorruptible. Ivan the Terrible and Cornelius, the Metropolitan of Moscow, were immediately informed about that. Since that time, the commemoration of the Monk is on February 10 – the day of his death, and June 24 is celebrated as the day of the discovery of his miraculous relics.
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