Shambhala

Mysteries of the Kingdom of Shambhala

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Shambhala, which is a Sanskrit word meaning “place of peace” or “place of silence”, is a mythical paradise spoken of in ancient texts, including the Kalachakra Tantra and the ancient scriptures of the Zhang Zhung culture which predated Tibetan Buddhism in western Tibet. According to legend, it is a land where only the pure of heart can live, a place where love and wisdom reigns and where people are immune to suffering, want or old age.

Shambhala is said to be the land of a thousand names. It has been called the Forbidden Land, the Land of White Waters, Land of Radiant Spirits, Land of Living Fire, Land of the Living Gods and Land of Wonders. The Hindus call it Aryavartha (‘The Land of the Worthy Ones); the Chinese know it as Hsi Tien, the Western Paradise of Hsi Wang Mu; and to the Russian Old Believers, it is known as Belovoyde.  But throughout Asia, it is best known by its Sanskrit name, Shambhala, Shamballa, or Shangri-la.

Shambhala

Shambhala is described as a land of paradise. Photo credit: Naughty Dog-Uncharted

The legend of Shambhala is said to date back thousands of years, and reference to the mythical land can be found in various ancient texts. The Bön scriptures speak of a closely related land called Olmolungring. Hindu texts such as Vishnu Purana mention Shambhala as the birth place of Kalki, the final incarnation of Vishnu who will usher in a new Golden Age. The Buddhist myth of Shambhala is an adaptation of the earlier Hindu myth. However, the text in which Shambhala is first discussed extensively is the Kalachakra.

The Kalachakra refers to a complex and advanced esoteric teaching and practice in Tibetan Buddhism. Shakyamuni Buddha is said to have taught the Kalachakra on request of King Suchandra of Shambhala.

As with many concepts in the Kalachakra, the idea of Shambhala is said to have outer, inner, and alternative meanings. The outer meaning understands Shambhala to exist as a physical place, although only individuals with the appropriate karma can reach it and experience it as such. The inner and alternative meanings refer to more subtle understandings of what Shambhala represents in terms of one's own body and mind (inner), and during meditative practice (alternative). These two types of symbolic explanations are generally passed on orally from teacher to student.

As the 14th Dalai Lama noted during the 1985 Kalachakra initiation in Bodhgaya, Shambhala is not an ordinary country:

Although those with special affiliation may actually be able to go there through their karmic connection, nevertheless it is not a physical place that we can actually find. We can only say that it is a pure land, a pure land in the human realm. And unless one has the merit and the actual karmic association, one cannot actually arrive there.

Buddhist depiction of Shambhala from Sera Monastery

A Buddhist depiction of Shambhala from Sera Monastery (private collection). Image source.

The Prophecy of Shambhala

The concept of Shambhala plays an important role in Tibetan religious teachings, and has particular relevance in Tibetan mythology about the future.  The Kalachakra prophesies the gradual deterioration of mankind as the ideology of materialism spreads over the earth. When the “barbarians” who follow this ideology are united under an evil king and think there is nothing left to conquer, the mists will lift to reveal the snowy mountains of Shambhala. The barbarians will attack Shambhala with a huge army equipped with terrible weapons. Then the king of Shambhala will emerge from Shambhala with a huge army to vanquish "dark forces" and usher in a worldwide Golden Age.

Though the Kālachakra prophesies a future war, this appears in conflict with the vows of Buddhist teachings that prohibit violence. This has led some theologians to interpret the war symbolically – the Kālachakra is not advocating violence against people but rather refers to the inner battle of the religious practitioner against inner demonic tendencies.

Shambhala’s hidden location

Over many centuries, numerous explorers and seekers of spiritual wisdom have embarked on expeditions and quests in search of the mythical paradise of Shambhala, and while many have claimed to have been there, no one has yet provided any evidence of its existence or been able to pinpoint its physical location on a map, however most references place Shambhala in the mountainous regions of Eurasia. 

Ancient Zhang Zhung texts identify Shambhala with the Sutlej Valley in Punjab or Himachal Pradesh, India. Mongolians identify Shambhala with certain valleys of southern Siberia. In Altai folklore, Mount Belukha is believed to be the gateway to Shambhala. Modern Buddhist scholars seem to conclude that Shambhala is located in the higher reaches of the Himalayas in what is now called the Dhauladhar Mountains around Mcleodganj.  Some legends say that the entrance to Shambhala is hidden inside a remote, abandoned monastery in Tibet, and guarded by beings known as the Shambhala Guardians.

Comments

rbflooringinstall's picture

Shambala is obviously not a physical place. People aren't reading in between the lines. Shambala is a place in the spiritual realm, like heaven. Awesome article.

Peace and Love,

Ricky.

Venus/Lucifer is a fallen angel. Velikovsky understood that Venus came into this solar system as a comet and has over time become a planet. Shamash (Saturn) was the sun of this solar system until the great deluge when this solar system went through major changes. The end of the golden age that is remembered in the celebration of Saturnilia. But, did she fall because she was evil???? No, that was not the case, she agreed to come into this solar system to be an agent of change, to be a light in a solar system full of darkness. History is written by the victor and she has been demonized. But, Ahriman's 9000 years are about over. Venus/Inanna holding the vase of pure water....Venus the astral consciousness, Aquarius the higher consciousness of the very same entity. The turning of the grand wheel. As in the Lost Book of Nostradamus the pages of the book are clean and the eighth spoke of the wheel is in place. Inanna/Lucifer, the eight pointed star. Queen of heaven and earth....I hope her time has come.
When Enki took the human he created to Anu, he told the human to not eat or drink anything Anu offered because it would kill him, but in truth Anu with his offering the human food and drink was offering him immortality. Now I wonder why Enki did not want the human to have immortality. Maybe to keep that human in bondage where he would always be a slave to the will of Enki represented by the snake. These "myths" are something to ponder.

I realize now that this article was written 9 months ago....but, it is something I was thinking about last night and have some thoughts on this issue. The Dalia Lama idea of merit and Karma...I disagree with. The dogma of religions have a lot of do's and do not's. I heard some one the other day say he was a sinner because he thinks a certain way and I had to smile. Some of the ancients wrote that man's greatest sin is ignorance and I consider this to be true. Now, it has to be understood that in this case the word "man" refers to those who have a soul, they have a moral code in them, they do not have to be told right from wrong, that moral code dictates to them and holds them to a higher standard than any moral code written by a human. The Sultan Valad, Rumi's son, in a poem wrote "she looks like a soul, but she does not deserve the name". Not every human form has a soul....Manly Hall in The Mystery of Fire wrote that there are two kinds of humans. Understanding this is a key to understanding our world. Gurdjieff wrote that most humans are machines because they remain in the lower three chakras of survival, greed and fear. So to merit, does not mean we need to abide by laws and standards written by "humans", but it is good that those laws are there because we otherwise would have chaos. It is the herd instinct of survival that keeps most people in line. To avoid being exiled from the herd, people abide by the law....they will not steal, but they will con others out of what they want. They do not break a law, but they steal just the same. Those with an internal moral code will not take from others or do them harm except when justice is required. This is the new age of Justice and the lambs will become lions....evil will not be tolerated.
So, we do not merit by abiding by the rules and codes set by religions, we have to know ourselves and understand....overcome ignorance and follow that small still voice inside of us. Over these last six years I have been terribly angry...all that repressed anger of a life time came to the surface.....was I evil, no I was not....I was learning to be myself, to honor myself, to love myself....just the way I am. Am I "sinner" because I see evil in a person, absolutely not, if I see evil in someone it is not because of evil in me, I am seeing things without the blinders on.
By the way, history is corrupted, Sin was a god, the father of Shamash (Saturn) and Inanna (Venus)....Lucifer represented by the Statue of Liberty as well as Sin has been demonized by the very entities that keep real man in bondage and gives them all these religions and moral rules that makes people think they are a "sinner" if they do not adhere to them.

amazing!  I can't wait to look into this more.

As a theologian, I can read about Shambhala in several passages of Jewish/Christian Bible. Has a Special passage in Epistle to the Hebrews Cap. 11:38.
The King James Bible Updated
Walked as refugees, wandering the deserts and mountains, by caves and holes in the ground. People of whom the world was not worthy!
There develops the same idea of those saints of the past that no longer conformed with the mundane lifestyle of humanity, then they retreat to a place of isolation and retreat, in the bowels of the Earth. Has a dual emphasis in which the translators Simply did not know explore the deeper meaning, just put "CAVES and dens of Earth."

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