Rasputin, one of the most fascinating and controversial figures of the 20th century, has remained cloaked in the myth of his own devising since his extraordinary ascent to power in the court of Nicholas and Alexandra, the last tsar and tsarina of Russia.
At the height of his fame, he was thought to be no less than a demonic figure, possessed of forces of evil with an iron-clad, perhaps sexual, hold on the throne of Imperial Russia.
Grigory Efimovich Rasputin (1869 or 1872-1916), Grigory Efimovich Rasputin came from solid peasant stock. Grigory Efimovich was born on January 10, in Prokovskoe, a small village in Siberia on the banks of the Tura River. As a young lad, Rasputin shocked his village by constantly finding ways to get into trouble with the authorities. Drunkenness, stealing and womanizing were activities particularly enjoyed by the dissolute young man.
At the beginning of 1900’s Grigory Rasputin called himself an “experienced wonderer”. Fifteen years of traveling around the world made him to a real character, full of experiences, knowledgeable of human soul, and able to give a useful advice. That fact attracted many people towards him. At the beginning only the village people he knew came to him, and after the circle kept expanding! Numerous people from different provinces come to visit him; he welcomes everyone, listens and gives advice.
‘Until I was twenty – eight, I lived, as people say, “in the world”; I was with the world, that is, I loved what was in the world’ Rasputin himself recounted. Twenty – eight was the boundary, the moment when the transformation tool place.
He returned to his village already a different person. It was in fact then, during his wanderings, that he began to comprehend a certain mystical secret. From that point Rasputin became a new person. And not only he stopped drinking and smoking; he stopped eating meat and sweets.
To note that so far there is nothing unique in Rasputin’s social condition. During those years there were many people like Rasputin, experienced in life and religion that can give spiritual advices.
In 1903-1904 Grigory has a new inspiration in his mind to build a temple in his village. But where he is going to take the money from? Rasputin is a poor man and even with his follower’s financial help it’s not enough to build the church. He began looking for investors, and in 1904 he goes for the journey of his life to St. Petersburg.