Ferdinand Ossendowski

In 1920, the Russian physicist Ferdinand Ossendowski, fleeing Siberia, made a long voyage throughout Asia.  It was while he was traversing Mongolia and on his way to Tibet that he heard about Agarttha – that he calls Agharti – and the King of the World.  Here is his testimony, taken from Betes, Hommes et Dieux, published by Editions Plon, in 1924.  A paperback version was published a few decades ago in the collection J’ai lu.


One day when we were crossing the plain near Tzagan Luk, my Mongol guide murmured to me to stop.

He let himself slide off his camel who knelt down without him needing to give it the order.

The Mongol raised his hands in front of his face in a gesture of prayer and began to repeat the sacred phrase:

“Om mani padme Hung.”

The other Mongols immediately stopped their camels and began to pray.

I was wondering what was happening and looking around me at the tender green grass which extended to the horizon as far as the cloudless sky, illuminated by the last dreamy rays of the evening sun.

The Mongols prayed for a moment, murmured among themselves and, after having adjusted the camels’ harnesses, started advancing again.  The Mongol asked me:

“Did you see how our camels were wiggling their ears in fear, how the herd of horses on the plain was standing motionless and attentive and how the sheep and the cattle were down on the ground?  Did you notice that the birds were ceasing to fly, the marmots to run and the dogs to bark?  The air was gently vibrating and bringing from afar the music of a chant which was penetrating right to the heart of men, beasts and birds.  The land and the sky were holding their breaths.  The wind was ceasing to blow;  the sun was stopping in its course.  In a moment like this, the wolf who is approaching sheep in stealth stops his sneaky advance;  the herd of frightened antilopes pulls back its frantic rush;  the knife of the shepherd ready to cut the throat of the sheep falls from his hands;  the rapacious ermine ceases to crawl behind the unsuspecting salga partridge.  All living things, suddenly afraid, involuntarily fall down in prayer, awaiting their destiny.  That was what was happening just now.  That is what happens each time that the King of the World, in his underground palace, prays, seeking the destiny of the peoples of the Earth.”

So spoke the old Mongol, a simple shepherd without culture.


Mongolia, with its naked, terrible mountains, its limitless plains covered with the scattered bones of the ancestors, has given birth to a Mystery.  Its people, frightened by the stormy passions of Nature, or hypnotised by its deathly quiet, feel the depth of this Mystery, the Red and Yellow Lamas conserve it and poetise it.  The Pontiffs of Llassa and of Urga safeguard its silence and its possession.

It was during my voyage in Central Asia that I learned for the first time of the Mystery of Mysteries, that I am unable to call otherwise.  In the beginning, I did not give it much attention, but I perceived its importance afterwards, when I had analyzed and compared certain testimonies which were sporadic and often the subjects of controversy.

The elders from the banks of the Amyl recounted to me an ancient legend according to which a Mongol tribe, in seeking to escape the exigencies of Gengis-Khan, hid in an underground country.  Later on, a Soyote from around the Nogan Kul Lake showed me the door which serves as the entrance to the Kingdom of Agharti, as it was letting out a cloud of smoke.  It is through this door that a hunter, in earlier days, penetrated the Kingdom and, after his return, began to recount what he had seen.  The Lamas cut out his tongue to prevent him from speaking of the Mystery of Mysteries.  In his old age, he returned to the entrance of the cavern and disappeared inside the Underground Kingdom, the memory of which had adorned and rejoiced his nomad heart.

I obtained more detailed information from the mouth of the Hutuktu Jelyl-Djsamsrap of Narabanchi-Kure.  He told me the story of the arrival of the powerful King of the World when he came out of the Underground Kingdom, his apparition, his miracles and his prophecies;  it was only then that I began to understand that, within this legend, this hypnosis, this collective vision, whatever way that one interprets it, there hides not only a Mystery, but a real sovereign force, capable of influencing the course of political life in Asia.  From this moment, I began my research.

Lama Gelong, the favourite of Prince Chultun-Beyli, and himself a prince, gave me a description of the Underground Kingdom.

“In the world, all is constantly in a state of transition and of change, the peoples, the religions, the laws and the customs.  How many great empires and brilliant cultures have perished!  And the only thing that remains unchanged is Evil, the instrument of Evil Spirits.  Over six thousand years ago, a Holy Man disappeared with a whole tribe inside the ground’s interior and has never re-appeared on the surface of the Earth.  Many people, however, have since visited this Kingdom, Cakya Muni, Undur-Geghen, Paspa, Baber and others.  No-one knows where this place is.  One says Afghanistan, others say India.  All the men of this religion are protected against Evil, and crime does not exist inside its borders.  Science has developed there in tranquillity, nothing there is threatened with destruction.  The Underground People have attained the highest knowledge.  Now it is a great Kingdom, counting millions of subjects over whom reigns the King of the World.  He knows all of Nature’s forces, reads inside all human souls and in the great Book of Destiny.  Invisible, he reigns over eight hundred million men who are ready to execute all of his orders.”

To be continued.