New Ecopsychology
or Spiritual Ecology

How Dobrynya Vanquished Koschei
and Transformed the Iron Kingdom of Death

Dobrynya was riding along the land and thinking:

“A human soul grows being illuminated by Love of God as by the Great Sun. It can become bigger than forests and mountains. It can embrace all the expanse!

“The greatest battle of the soul is the battle against its flaws. If you eliminate all your flaws — then you will become invulnerable!

“In this way, the soul heals diseases and sorrows, obtains its power and beauty, and makes its love invincible! Father-the-Creator helps in this battle and shows the Path to His Abode…”

Dobrynya kept riding and saw a girl of particular beauty walking towards Him. She was stepping on the ground lightly and looked like the shining sun!

She bowed to the ground before Dobrynya and said:

“Accept me, Dobrynya, in Your Heroic host! I’ll help You!

“There is one plague in our land: the iron kingdom of death is growing! It destroys the Earth and people. The ruler of that kingdom is the immortal Koschei.

“Smoke and fumes are above that iron kingdom. The blue sky is covered with the black clouds of stench. The sunlight cannot pass through them and start the spring or summer! Birds don’t live in that realm, and trees don’t grow. An iron shell covered the land! Not even a single sprout can break through it!

“The iron kingdom lives by the laws of death. There is no meaning in human life there! People overstrain themselves doing backbreaking work, and thus they themselves strengthen and extend that iron kingdom which oppresses them!

“People serve Koschei throughout their lives. They only work, sleep, and eat. No one is glad about such a life there, but they do not even know that another life may be.

“Koschei’s food is human anger. He enjoys human obedience and revels in his own power… No one can overcome him…”

“It’s not a girl’s work to fight against Koschei! Just tell Me your name and explain to Me how to reach the iron kingdom. I will find how to overcome Koschei and help people.”

“My name is Nastenka. Don’t refuse my help, Dobrynya! I will serve You! I will not become afraid and run away! I will help You in this difficult task!

“A lot of people live in the realm of Koschei, and he will send them first to protect his kingdom. We should not destroy them! I’ll help You wake them up! It will be possible since free will is given to people by God-the-Father! I’ll try to remind them why souls are sent to the Earth and why we live in human bodies! I can sing magic songs! The words of these songs come true unavoidably!”

She said this and began to sing*:

“Like a river of light, this song flows.

“It will carry away the black clouds of spite,

“And the living source will appear in the heart!

“The sun will rise happily above us!

“I will hear lullabies that the Earth sings!

“I will whisper them to the tender mothers,

“And they will rock the cradles as the Earth rocks!

“And their children will grow with pure strength!

“I can tell to comely girls

“How they can multiply their heart love,

“Run barefoot on the river bank,

“And wash themselves in the morning dew.

“I’ll tell you how to drink the living water

“And how the happiness is born in life.

“I’ll tell grandparents, who are raising

their grandchildren,

“How they can grow a miraculous garden.

“I’ll tell you about the living trees

“And about wild flowers on meadows!

“Let people wake up from their gray sleep!

“Let the joy come back in full to the land!

“Then people will love Mother-the-Earth deeper,

“Grow their children in love and good,

“Create with love and good,

“And live by the laws of God!

“I also have magic seeds that I’ll take with me. If one throws one of them on the ground — it will sprout at once, and a tree will grow in the blink of an eye! Don’t refuse me, Dobrynya! Take me with You!”

Dobrynya marveled at the unbelievable power of this girl, bowed to the ground before her, and said:

“I did not think before that a girl can perform Heroic exploits as well! All right, let’s go together to free people from the iron kingdom!”

Nastenka called her horse, jumped on it without a saddle, and they rode.

At last, they reached the iron kingdom.

Koschei sent simple people to fight against Dobrynya, thinking that He would spare them and go away.

Simple people rushed upon Dobrynya and began to beat Him, but He shook them off — and they were scattered around.

“Why are you beating Me? I’m not your enemy!”

“We were told by Koschei to drive you away! If we don’t do so — we will be killed!”

Dobrynya began telling them how they should live in the world: instead of serving the evil serve the good, create with love, shine with light, give joy, feel peace and calm, and heal with tenderness and kindness!

Here Nastenka came, gave them some bread and started singing her songs.

People became surprised and began thinking…

… Dobrynya and Nastenka rode further.

Dobrynya struck with His sword, and the iron shell that covered the ground started cracking. Where He struck once — a river began to flow! Where He struck another time — a spring gushed from the ground!

Nastenka, in her turn, threw seeds. She threw once, and grass appeared; she threw another time, and an apple tree grew; she threw one more time, and a pine together with a birch grew and started rustling with their crowns! She was shining with joy — everything around bloomed! In the blink of an eye, the forest and garden grew, and animals hurried there!

So the realm of Koschei became green. Birds started singing on the trees; fluffy animals began to dig their burrows; fish started splashing in the rivers! The land became alive, and people woke up…

Koschei began to worry. He raised an army of his closest servants, dressed in iron armor from head to toe, and sent them to kill Dobrynya and Nastenka, to destroy forests and gardens, and to kill birds and other animals.

… The countless army set out. They went to cut down the trees with their axes, to shoot the animals with their arrows, and to kill Dobrynya and Nastenka with their swords.

As they saw Dobrynya, they lined up shield to shield, unsheathed their swords, and rushed to Dobrynya.

He caught a sunbeam with His shield and reflected it to the servants of Koschei clad in armor. They felt unbearably hot! The sun was shining so intensively that soon steam started coming from all the cracks in their armor! It was as if they were being cooked in caldrons or fried in frying-pans!…

They could not withstand the light of the sun anymore! They threw off their iron armor, breathed in the fresh air, and awakened from their terrible life!… They smelt the fragrance of the spring flowers! And none of them wanted to fight anymore!

Then Nastenka stepped forward:

“We’ve come to you not with a war but with peace! We brought you the light of love and the knowledge about the meaning of life!

“You have forgotten why the life on the Earth is given to people and how one can use it! That’s why you live according to Koschei’s orders!

“Even the air over your kingdom was poisonous! You wanted to defend the evil power that enslaves everyone and gives the immortality to Koschei!

“Life in your kingdom is hellish! No one here is glad about his or her bitter fate! You yourself allowed Koschei to subjugate you and ruin your own land! So you yourselves should free it now!

“If you eradicate anger and slavish obedience in yourselves — the power will not come back to Koschei! Only then we will be able to overcome him!

“You should know that a human soul doesn’t live on the Earth only once, and it doesn’t die with the death of its body. Later a soul will be born again: to learn to love and seek the Light!

“We live here to make ourselves as souls better, to be kinder and more beautiful, to transform ourselves into love, to learn the laws of life, to serve the Good and Light, and to love God-the-Father! We can cognize the Unity of all that exists and manifest God’s ideas in this world!”

… Nastenka washed them with the living water and gave them magical bread…

The spring was all around! Apple trees were blooming, and birds were singing!

… Dobrynya rode forth to prepare Himself for the battle with Koschei.

The latter realized that he himself would have to fight against Dobrynya. He gathered all his evil power, saddled a horse, and galloped towards Dobrynya:

“Prepare to die, Dobrynya! It’s impossible to overcome my power with your love! My evil will crush your kindness! I am stronger than any goodness! After all, any good man has even a drop of evil in him or her! And from each drop of evil — my power only increases! That is why I’m immortal!” — Koschei was laughing.

The fight began.

Dobrynya’s shield reflected Koschei’s evil back to him, but Koschei absorbed that evil in himself and rejoiced. Dobrynya cut off with His sword the head of Koschei — but a new head immediately grew in the place of the old one, and every new head was even nastier than the former…

Koschei laughed triumphantly:

“You will never overcome my evil, Dobrynya!”

Dobrynya became tired, but did not retreat even a single step, for the revived land and awakened people were behind Him! He had to find a way to defeat this evil power!

But Koschei rushed upon Dobrynya, wanting to strangle Him with his malice.

Dobrynya understood that there was no anger in Him, only the power of the Great Love received from God-the-Father. Only that power could vanquish Koschei!

Dobrynya began to flood Koschei with the Light of the Father, shining from His chest, and the power of Koschei began melting and disappeared…

As the light drives darkness away — so the power of Love melts and disperses the evil.

Thus Koschei melted away completely. Nothing remained.

People began to thank Dobrynya and Nastenka.

They began to realize the truth: in order to transform the world and revive the land, everyone should start with himself or herself. People began to change, filling the souls with love and doing the good actively! They began to live on their land in a new way.

… And Dobrynya rode further.

Dobrynya was riding along the land and thinking:

“The human soul grows being illuminated by Love of God as by the Great Sun. It can become bigger than forests and mountains. It can embrace all the expanse!

“The greatest battle of the soul is the battle against its flaws. If you eliminate all your flaws — then you will become invulnerable!

“In this way, the soul heals diseases and sorrows, obtains its power and beauty, and makes its love invincible! Father-the-Creator helps in this battle and shows the Path into His Abode…”

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