The “spiritual vanguard” of the Orthodox hierarchs, like the Taliban, who scold Christians as “cross-worshipers” and enlisted them as non-humans on the basis of religion, smears the mythological Baba Yaga with tar and calls them evil spirits. The origin of this heroine goes back to antiquity and stems from long-gone civilizations. Many volumes of interesting research have been written about the origin and meaning of such “banal” fairy-tale characters as Baba Yaga, Koschey, Vasilisa the Beautiful, Serpent Gorynych and others, which are based on the ancient cultural sources not only of Russia, but also of Southeast Asia and Ancient Greece , The Middle East and Scandinavia.
Russian folk tales, beloved by all of us, which are unique works of national folklore, as well as the heritage of world culture, reflecting the originality of the Russian people, the ROC considers as devilry. In fact, war has been declared on Russian folk tales. Their share in the total volume of books for children is slowly but surely approaching zero.
In 1860 the famous researcher of Russian folk art A. N. Afanasyev published another collection of folk tales. The Chief Prosecutor of the Holy Synod Count A.P. Tolstoy sent a letter to the Minister of Public Education:
Regarding Mr. Afanasyev’s book published (that is, passed by the censor Naumov) under the title: “Russian Folk Legends”, the highly enlightened Metropolitan Philaret addressed me with a letter in which he explained that … to the name of Christ the Savior and the saints in this book fairy tales were added that offend pious feelings, morality and decency, and that it is necessary to find a means to protect religion and morality from printed blasphemy and desecration.
As a result, by the order of the Main Directorate of Censorship, it was ordered to prohibit the reprinting of new editions of the book “People’s Russian Legends Collected by Afanasyev”, and 5000 already printed copies were destroyed.
It should be noted that in Russian folk tales, pagan images of our ancestors have come down to us, and their archetypes have also been transferred. For a thousand years, the followers of the Orthodox Inquisition have destroyed almost all the antiquities associated with popular beliefs on the territory of Russia. This policy is comparable to the Taliban’s destruction of the UNESCO Buddhist monument in Afghanistan. The ROC does not stop there today.
In 2001, the Vologda diocese declared Father Frost a pagan deity. Bishop of Vologda and Veliky Ustyug Maximilian (Lazarenko) openly declared that the Church would take part in the celebrations in Veliky Ustyug (the homeland of the fairytale hero) only if the official biography of Father Frost noted that he had received Orthodox baptism.
In 2001, in the city of Kirillov, the Vologda diocese closed the unique fabulous museum of Baba Yaga. Bishop Maximilian accused the fairytale heroine of Satanism:
Either she will lure geese-swans into a totalitarian sect, then she will steal small children. There are witnesses (Ivanushka the Fool) accusing the old woman of cannibalism.
In order to attract tourists, the village of Kukoboy in the Pervomaisky district of the Yaroslavl region was declared the birthplace of Baba Yaga. In Kukoboi, a hut was built and costumed performances were organized. This caused a large influx of tourists from Vologda, Cherepovets, Yaroslavl, Kostroma and helped stabilize the village’s economy. Baba Yaga festivals began annually in the summer.
In addition, Poshekhonye, the regional center of the Yaroslavl region, was declared the birthplace of the merman.
The Yaroslavl Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church came out with a sharp condemnation of these phenomena. The official statement of the diocese said: The powers that be patronize the deification of fairy-tale heroes: Baba Yaga and the Water One. Artificially created neo-pagan temples, in which pseudo-religious rituals begin to be performed, children are involved in these rituals. Hiking trails are laid to the demonic temples. Thousands of people are drawn into the worship of the devil, causing terrible harm to their immortal souls … If the authorities are closer to the water and baba-yaga than Christ, the Mother of God and our saints, then such a power is pitiable, like the people who chose it.
As Father Alexander, the rector of the Savior Church, said:
The dictionary says: “a fabulous monster, a big woman over witches.” What does this mean? That she is Satan’s assistant. I didn’t come up with this. She’s simple-haired and in one shirt, without girdle. Both are the height of disorder.
Also, Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, Deputy Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, also warned against flirting with Baba Yaga.
According to the correspondent of the newspaper “Moskovsky Komsomolets” I. Bobrova, during the holiday of Baba Yaga (2005), priests from the Yaroslavl diocese arrived in the village of Kukoboy. People in cassocks shouted insults at those present, frightened tourists and local residents that they would be overtaken by God’s punishment. The performer of the role of Baba Yaga was shouted: “Demonicism! Go away”.
From the point of view of supporters of the Slavic (classical) origin of Baba Yaga, an important aspect of this image is that she belongs to two worlds at once – the world of the dead and the world of the living. A well-known specialist in the field of mythology, associate professor Alexandra Barkov, in this regard, interestingly interprets the origin of the name of the chicken legs on which the hut of the famous mythical character stands: “Her hut” on chicken legs “is depicted standing either in the thicket of the forest (the center of another world), or on the edge , but then the entrance to it is from the side of the forest, i.e. from the world of death. The name “chicken legs” most likely comes from “chicken legs”, i.e. fumigated with smoke, pillars on which the Slavs erected the “hut of death” – a small log house with the ashes of the deceased inside (such a funeral rite existed among the ancient Slavs in the 6th-9th centuries). Baba Yaga inside such a hut seemed like a living corpse – she lay motionless and did not see a person who came from the world of the living (the living do not see the dead, the dead do not see the living). She learned about his arrival by the smell – “it smells of the Russian spirit” (the smell of the living is unpleasant for the dead). ” “A person who meets Baba Yaga’s hut on the border of the world of life and death,” the author continues, as a rule, he goes to another world to free the captive princess. For this, he must join the world of the dead. Usually he asks Yaga to feed him and she gives him the food of the dead. There is another option – to be eaten by Yaga and thus end up in the world of the dead. Having passed the tests in the hut of Baba Yaga, a person turns out to belong simultaneously to both worlds, is endowed with many magical qualities, subjugates various inhabitants of the world of the dead, overcomes the terrible monsters inhabiting it, wins a magic beauty from them and becomes a king. ” (Encyclopedia “Slavic mythology and epic”, article “Beliefs of the ancient Slavs”).