Grigori Rasputin

Russian mystic (1869-1916)

Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin (21 January [ O.S. 9 January] 1869 – 30 December [O.S. 17 December] 1916) was a Russian peasant, mystical faith healer and a trusted friend to the family of Nicholas II, the last Tsar of Russia. He became an influential figure in Saint Petersburg, especially after August 1915 when Nicholas took command of the army at the front.

There is much uncertainty over Rasputin's life and the degree of influence he exerted over the shy and irresolute Tsar and Alexandra Feodorovna, his nervous and depressed wife. Accounts are often based on dubious memoirs, hearsay and legend. While his influence and position may have been exaggerated—he had become synonymous with power, debauchery and lust—his presence played a significant role in the increasing unpopularity of the Imperial couple.

Griorgori Rasputin
Rasputin among his admirers in 1914
Rasputin in 1910

Quotes edit

  • I write and leave behind me this letter at St. Petersburg. I feel that I shall leave life before January 1st. I wish to make known to the Russian people, to Papa, to the Russian Mother and to the children, to the land of Russia, what they must understand. If I am killed by common assassins, and especially by my brothers the Russian peasants, you, Tsar of Russia, have nothing to fear, remain on your throne and govern, and you, Russian Tsar, will have nothing to fear for your children, they will reign for hundreds of years in Russia. But if I am murdered by boyars, nobles, and if they shed my blood, their hands will remain soiled with my blood, for twenty-five years they will not wash their hands from my blood. They will leave Russia. Brothers will kill brothers, and they will kill each other and hate each other, and for twenty-five years there will be no noblers in the country. Tsar of the land of Russia, if you hear the sound of the bell which will tell you that Grigory has been killed, you must know this: if it was your relations who have wrought my death then no one of your family, that is to say, none of your children or relations will remain alive for more than two years. They will be killed by the Russian people...I shall be killed. I am no longer among the living. Pray, pray, be strong, think of your blessed family.
    • Grigory Rasputin in a letter to the Tsarina Alexandra, 7 Dec 1916
  • God has seen your tears and heard your prayers. Do not grieve. The Little One will not die. Do not allow the doctors to bother him too much.
    • As quoted in Rasputin: The Untold Story By Joseph T. Fuhrmann p.100
  • God has seen your tears and heard your prayers. Fear not, the child will not die.
    • As quoted in the opening of The Chalice of Immortality - Page xi - Google Books Result [1]

About Grigori Rasputin edit

  • There lived a certain man in Russia long ago
    He was big and strong, in his eyes a flaming glow
    Most people looked at him with terror and with fear
    But to Moscow chicks he was such a lovely dear
    He could preach the bible like a preacher
    Full of ecstasy and fire
    But he also was the kind of teacher
    Women would desire
    • Boney M., in their 1978 song "Rasputin"
  • Ra ra Rasputin
    Lover of the Russian queen
    There was a cat that really was gone
    Ra ra Rasputin
    Russia's greatest love machine
    It was a shame how he carried on
    • Boney M., in their 1978 song "Rasputin"
  • What eyes he has! You cannot endure his gaze for long.
    • Elena Dzhanumova "Grigory Rasputin – Russiapedia History and mythology Prominent Russians". Retrieved 27 December 2014.
  • An illiterate itinerant peasant, Rasputin was monk able to wield considerable influence over Russia’s autocratic rulers. He rose to prominence as an enigmatic mystic, finding a ready audience for his peculiar brand of religious devotion at a time when many Russian aristocrats were fixated by mysticism and the occult. He appears to have embraced a distorted version of the ‘Khlysty’ creed, reworking its emphasis on flagellation to advocate sexual exhaustion as the surest path to God.
  • Introduced to the royal family in 1905, Rasputin eased the suffering of Tsarevich Alexei — the heir to Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and a sufferer from haemophilia. He swiftly became the confidant and personal adviser of Tsarina Alexandra (a German by birth), and when, in September 1915, Tsar Nicholas made himself commander-in-chief of the Russian armies following the outbreak of the First World War — spending much of his time at the front — fears grew that Rasputin was effectively running the country. Alexandra heeded Rasputin’s advice in sacking several ministers and appointing new ones — but ultimately authority lay with her and the tsar, who ratified all decisions and, indeed, had rebuffed Rasputin’s advice to stay out of the war.
  • Nicholas and Alexandra were actually inept, cruel, rigid and obtuse reactionaries. Nicholas, in a speech made in 1895, had deplored the ‘senseless dreams’ of those seeking democracy, and had helped fund the murderous anti-Semitic Black Hundreds movement after crushing the 1905 Revolution. The country’s problems, then, were firmly down to the incompetence of the tsar and tsarina, but Rasputin provided a scapegoat. Rasputin’s close relationship with the tsarina provoked rumours of sexual deviance at the Russian court led by the ‘Mad Monk’, and before long his position had become a national scandal. He came to symbolize the perceived corruption of the tsar’s rule — with stories widespread about Alexandra’s supposed lesbianism and Nicholas’ impotence. Finally, in December 1916, a high-level plot involving senior politicians, noblemen and members of the imperial family - desperate to safeguard the regime — succeeded in eliminating the cleric. Rasputin was poisoned, shot (twice), beaten and eventually dumped into the River Neva, where he finally drowned. His astonishing resistance to poison and bullets suggested to some the mysterious potency of his powers.
  • I have always responded to challenges, followed apocalyptical personalities, apostles, Rasputins, Joan of Arcs who hear voices that come from Heaven, illuminated guides of humanity, holders of truth, priests.
    • Elena Poniatowska "A Question Mark Engraved on my Eyelids" in The Writer on Her Work (1992), translated from Spanish by Cynthia Steele

External links edit

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