Shambhala

Written By Tripzibit on Sep 23, 2009 | 07:15

For thousands of years rumors and reports have circulated that somewhere beyond Tibet, among the icy peaks and secluded valleys of Central Asia, there lies an inaccessible paradise, a place of universal wisdom and ineffable peace called Shambhala. Legends say that only the pure of heart can live in Shambhala, enjoying perfect ease and happiness and never knowing suffering, want or old age. Love and wisdom reign and injustice is unknown. The inhabitants are long-lived, wear beautiful and perfect bodies and possess supernatural powers; their spiritual knowledge is deep, their technological level highly advanced, their laws mild and their study of the arts and sciences covers the full spectrum of cultural achievement, but on a far higher level than anything the outside world has attained. By definition Shambhala is hidden. Of the numerous explorers and seekers of spiritual wisdom who attempt to locate Shambhala, none can pinpoint its physical location on a map, although all say it exists in the mountainous regions of Eurasia. Many have also returned believing that Shambhala lies on the very edge of physical reality, as a bridge connecting this world to one beyond it.

In Tibetan Buddhist tradition, Shambhala (also spelled Shambala or Shamballa; Tibetan: bde 'byung, pron. De-jung) is a mythical kingdom hidden somewhere in Inner Asia. It is mentioned in various ancient texts, including the Kalachakra Tantra and the ancient texts of the Zhang Zhung culture which predated Tibetan Buddhism in western Tibet. The Bön scriptures speak of a closely related land called Olmolungring. Whatever its historical basis, Shambhala gradually came to be seen as a Buddhist Pure Land, a fabulous kingdom whose reality is visionary or spiritual as much as physical or geographic. It was in this form that the Shambhala myth reached the West, where it influenced non-Buddhist as well as Buddhist spiritual seekers--and to some extent, popular culture in general. The Sanskrit name means “place of peace, of tranquility.” Though it’s true location has never been found, its beginnings are unknown and its existence is unproven, Shambhala is recognized and honored by at least eight major religions, and is regarded by most esoteric traditions as the true center of the planet and the world’s spiritual powerhouse.

It is said to be inhabited by adepts from every race and culture who form an inner circle that secretly guides human evolution. This remarkable kingdom reputedly exists both above and below ground, with a network of tunnels hundreds of miles long. “Cars of strange design flash along their length,” writes Andrew Tomas, author of Shambhala, Oasis of Light, “and they are illumined by a brilliant, artificial light which affords growth to the grains and vegetables and long life without disease to the people.”

Victoria LePage writes in her superbly researched book, Shambhala: “Modern society is in desperate need of a zone of order, a mandalic center within spiraling chaos.” And she maintains, the quest for this center leads us directly to Shambhala, which she calls “The World Axis.” LePage, who has been studying Shambhala for nearly fifty years, says that many marvels are supposed to have been seen in this underground world: museums, libraries, stores of jewels, and technological inventions thousands of years before their time. And, according to Chinese lore, the aircraft and space vehicles of the Immortals of Shambhala journey among the stars, observing the habitats of other races and kingdoms. It would be easy to dismiss Shambhala as pure mythical fantasy, were it not for a very credible explorer who searched for, found and returned to tell us something about his experiences in Shambhala.

Nicholas Roerich, a Russian- born artist, poet, writer and distinguished member of the Theosophical Society, led an expedition across the Gobi Desert to the Atlai mountain range from 1923 to 1928, a journey which covered 15,500 miles across 35 of the world’s highest mountain passes. Nicholas Roerich and party set out in 1924 to explore India, Mongolia and Tibet. Like Ossendowski before him, Roerich soon encountered stories about a secret underground kingdom. He jotted down his thoughts on this hidden kingdom and these notes were later published in a remarkable record of the expedition entitled Altai-Himalaya: A Travel Diary.

In the summer of 1926, Roerich reported a strange event in his travel diary. He was encamped with his son, Dr. George Roerich, and a retinue of Mongolian guides in the Sharagol valley near the Humboldt mountain chain between Mongolia and Tibet. At the time of the event in question, Roerich had returned from a trip to Altai and built a stupa, “a stately white structure,” dedicated to Shambhala. In August the shrine was consecrated in a solemn ceremony by a number of notable lamas invited to the site for the purpose, and after the event, writes Roerich, the Buriat guides forecast something auspicious impending. A day or two later, a large black bird was observed flying over the party. Beyond it, moving high in the cloudless sky, a huge, golden, spheroid body, whirling and shining brilliantly in the sun, was suddenly espied. Through three pairs of binoculars the travellers saw it fly rapidly from the north, from the direction of Altai, then veer sharply and vanish towards the southwest, behind the Humboldt mountains.

One of the lamas told Roerich that what he had seen was “the sign of Shambhala,” signifying that his mission had been blessed by the Great Ones of Altai, the lords of Shambhala. They had also been witness to a classic UFO, twenty years before the “official” beginning of the phenomenon with Kenneth Arnold’s sighting in 1947. As LePage puts it, “Roerich was a man of unimpeachable credentials: a famous collaborator in Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, a colleague of the impresario Diaghilev and a highly talented and respected member of the League of Nations.” He was also influential in the FDR administration, and was the pivotal force behind placing the Great Seal of the United States on the dollar bill. Roerich may have been on a mission to return what was said to be part of the sacred “Chintamani Stone, which was itself believed to be part of a magical meteorite from a solar system in the constellation of Orion.

According to lamaist legend, a fragment of this Chintamani Stone from what is probably the star Sirius is sent wherever a spiritual mission vital to humanity is set up, and is returned when that mission is completed. Once held in the possession of the League of Nations, it was entrusted to Roerich after the organization failed. Though it is not known whether he was able to return the fragment or not, the expedition lent credibility to those who believed that Shambhala was more than a myth. Roerich kept a diary during the trip and, while in Mongolia, noted that; “belief in the imminence of the era of Shambhala was very strong.”

In his book, Heart of Asia, Roerich describes both his scientific observations and his personal spiritual quest. This blending of the scientific and the spiritual is also present in the hundreds of paintings Roerich made throughout the expedition. “His eye captured the shapes and colors of the mountains, monasteries, rock carvings, stupas, cities and peoples of Asia,” writes Jaqueline Decter in Nicholas Roerich; “his soul understood their spirit; and his brush forged a synthesis of beauty.” Throughout his life, Roerich strove to link all scientific and creative disciplines to advance true culture and international peace, citing the power of art and beauty to accomplish such a feat.

The Roerich Peace Pact, which obligated nations to respect museums, cathedrals, universities and libraries as they did hospitals, was established in 1935 and became part of the United Nations organizational charter. “Today,” notes Le Page, “every major Russian city has a Roerich organization that expresses his ideas for a new type of enlightened civilization based on the utopian principles of Shambhala.” Tomas, an admirer of Roerich and a strong believer in Shambhala’s physical reality, claims that Vatican archives contain reports by Jesuit missionaries which concern importations from the emperors of China to the “Spirits of the Mountains” in the Nan Shan and Kun Lun Ranges, “usually in times of national crisis when the Chinese rulers could not reach a decision.”

Tomas wasn’t the only one to consider Shambhala a physical reality: his conviction was shared both by a growing metaphysical school in Europe, and by Rene Guenon, a Sufi scholar and skilled student of the ancient Jewish Cabala, and a contemporary of Roerich and spiritual teacher George Gurdjieff. His book, Le Roi du Monde (The King of the World), though written in a cryptic style that requires decoding, contains some of the most specific information available on the sacred site. He considered Shambhala the prototypic Holy Land, of which Jerusalem, Delphi and Benares are or were simply reflections.

The neo-Theosophist Alice Bailey wrote that “Shambhala is the vital centre in the planetary consciousness.” And, interestingly enough, a belief in Shambhala’s powers is documented to have been the driving force behind the Nazi neo-occultist mystique. Numerous writers have stated that the Nazis attempted to contact the hidden center by sending emissaries to Tibet, seeking to elicit the secrets of a great “Ahrimaic” earth-force, unknown to science, that exerts power over all of material nature, which they believed had its seat in Shambhala. But the power-base is reputed to have invincible, divine protection, and attempts by malevolent forces to penetrate its sacred boundaries are always thwarted. Indeed, even benevolent individuals who seek to enter before they have been “called” are said to meet with disaster. One must be a purified “initiate” willing to sacrifice the human ego and human comforts before she or he is considered ready to make the arduous “journey up the mountain.”

(Sources : Atlantis Rising Magazine vol.21 : “Searching For Shambhala” by Cynthia Gage; New dawn Magazine No.72 : “Mystery of Shambhala” by Jason Jeffrey; and Wikipedia)

(Pic source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:KalachakraSera.jpg)


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2 komentar:

htcs said...

Well written Tripzbit. Not many people know of Roerich or the Shambhala 'myth'. You've done a good job of giving us a snapshot of this fascinating subject. Victoria LePage is arguably the most authoritarian source on this:
http://www.victoria-lepage.org
has some further info as well as a series of new articles.

Thanatomaton said...

I don't know that "distinguished member of the Theosophical Society" lends as much credibility to the proceeding tale as you may think it does, honestly.