Representatives of different cultures have different opinions about how many days after death the soul still remains in some proximity to the dead body. For example, we attach special importance to the third, ninth and fortieth days. Arrange a wake, wish the soul of the deceased the kingdom of heaven. There is also a special word – sorokoviny – to denote commemorations on the fortieth day.

Some modern researchers claim that such customs have a natural scientific justification. There is evidence that some biophysical processes in the body continue for at least two to three days after death. On the other hand, the “informational impression” of a personality is sometimes very stable, but after a long time after death it rarely remains attached to the body.

It is interesting to compare the customs of soul wires typical for Russia – I think it is not necessary to describe them – with those adopted in completely different lands, for example, with the predominance of southern Buddhism. The author accidentally had the opportunity to observe a wake on the seventh day after death in a village populated by signals in the western part of Sri Lanka. It turns out that two days are given the greatest importance here – the sixth and seventh. And then – three months from the date of death and anniversaries.

In the evening on the sixth day, a house resembling a basket is placed on branches stuck in the ground near the house. They put hazelnuts there – so that the soul in the next world would not be hungry.

One Buddhist monk is also invited, who preaches the Buddhist law, the Dharma, for an hour. So what is between the ancient Buddhist beliefs, typical of primitive tribes, and the modern Sinhalese faith

There is an opinion among Pushkinists about the “hidden love” of A.S. Pushkin, about the woman whose name he never revealed either in letters to friends or in the list of women he loved, which he captured in 1829 in the album of E.N. Ushakova. The Pushkinists tried many times to solve this riddle, different women from those whom Pushkin knew were offered for the role of “hidden love”.

Maybe Karolina Sobanskaya is hidden under the initials NN in the Ushakov album. Our story will be about her. Pushkin first met her in February 1821 in Kiev. She was one of the most beautiful women of her time. Elegant, versatile, educated, vain, windy – this is how she is represented in the famous dictionary of L. Cherysky “Pushkin and his entourage”. Then Pushkin and Sobanskaya often meet in Odessa. She flirts with the poet, does not let go of herself, but is hardly seriously attracted to him.

In the second issue of the St. Petersburg almanac “Polar Star” Pushkin publishes the elegy “Will you forgive me jealous dreams …”, addressed to Karolina Sobanskaya. Not everything in this elegy could please a beautiful Polish woman. At the beginning of 1824, there was a break between them.

…Karolina by birth belonged to the noble noble family of the Rzhevusskys. After marrying a rich grain merchant Sobansky, she quickly broke up with him and openly got together with Count I.O. Witt, commander of military settlements in the south of Russia. General Witt had a clear predilection for provocation, for political investigation. They also say about such people that they will sell their careers for the sake of their father.

By the autumn of 1825, General Witt already had a fairly complete understanding of the military conspiracy in the Southern Army and asked for a personal audience with Alexander On October 1.18, the emperor received the general in Taganrog and approved his plan to arrest the leaders of the Southern Society in Kiev “with papers and archive”. The arrests were scheduled for January 1826. But the death of Alexander I, which followed a month after this audience, confused all plans…

And Karolina Sobanskaya had her own game. She dreamed of the independence of Poland and hoped to use the military forces subordinate to Count Witt for the success of the Polish uprising. At the same time, in order to strengthen her position, she was secretly cooperating with the bodies of the Russian political investigation.

As you know, Pushkin was under government supervision almost all his adult life. Anna Akhmatova, who was engaged in the Pushkin theme, remarked on this:

“If O.N.A. (Karolina Sobanskaya) was in connection with the Third Department, it is incredible that she did not have any tasks related to Pushkin.”

In the late autumn of 1830, an uprising began in Russian Poland. Count Witt successfully acts against the Polish rebels. Nicholas I appoints him military governor of Warsaw. There is evidence that Karolina Sobanska saved Polish patriots during these terrible months of the suppression of the uprising. Then she goes to Dresden, the foreign center of the Polish resistance. Karolina makes passionate speeches there in defense of Polish independence, curses the actions of the tsarist government. She manages to quickly gain credibility and trust in the leading circles of Polish emigration. This irritates Nicholas I, and he orders her to return to Russia.

Sobanskaya probably played a double game, especially after the suppression of the Polish uprising. Few people guessed about it. Adam Mickiewicz, who a few years ago in Odessa was also passionately in love with Caroline, maintained a warm, respectful relationship with her until his death.

Her cooperation with the secret political police would remain unknown to anyone. But a hundred years have passed, and in the early 1930s in the archives of the Third Department. her handwritten letter to the chief of gendarmes A.H. Benkendorf was found, where she wrote that her long-term, extremely dangerous work in the interests of the government was completely unappreciated, that the authorities wrongly suspect her of pro-Polish sentiments, etc. It is difficult to say now that the beautiful Polish woman lied, and when she was sincere. Pushkin, who knew people well, called Caroline an outstanding being and at the same time evil.

Caroline brought Pushkin a lot of suffering. She outlived him by almost half a century, but left no memories of him. She even destroyed his letters in advance. Not a single authentic portrait of Caroline has been preserved. Only in Pushkin’s manuscripts of 1821-1823 often come across a pen-sketched portrait of a beautiful brunette of the Greek type with almond-shaped eyes, with sharp, strong facial features. And more poems dedicated to her…