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Exploring The Secrets of "Shambhala"

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"For centuries, the people of Tibet and Mongolia have believed in the existence of Shambhala, where a line of enlightened kings, is said to be guarding the highest wisdom, for a time when all spiritual values in the world outside will be lost in war and destruction. Then, according to prophecy, a great king will come out of this sanctuary to defeat the forces of evil and establish a golden age."

Shambhala is a magical place, where all inhabitants are enlightened beings. It is believed that they are the Ones, who still to this day, protect humanity from ourselves and others who wish to cause us harm. They are considered as powerful as gods and will emerge from their hiding place, to take back the Earth when all other hope is lost. This beautiful and magical place has continued to stay hidden, even though, many attempts to find it has been made. Some speculate that it is within the Interior of the earth, inside a massive cavern beneath the great Himalayan mountains. However, many believe that Shambhala is within the etheric realms, and is inaccessible in the physical aspect and only can be visited through the higher consciousness.

The inhabitants of the kingdom live in peace and harmony, free of sickness and hunger. They all have a healthy appearance, with beautiful features, and wear graceful robes of white cloth. They speak a sacred language and all have great wealth but never have to use it. Tibetans have, in fact, taken the Sanskrit name Shambhala to mean “the source of happiness.”

Many Tibetans insist on the necessity of purifying the mind in order to go to Shambhala. Most forms of meditation used for this purpose tend to cut off, or silence, the habitual thoughts, and preconceptions that block the kind of mystic vision, the vision that may actually penetrate into other worlds as solid and as concrete as ours. By clarifying his mind in this way, ridding himself of the mental conditioning that limits his awareness, the traveler to Shambhala may be gaining the ability to see into the fourth dimension and take an actual journey through a strange, but real, landscape of fantastic deserts and mountains that lie parallel to the ones we find on maps of Central Asia.


In Tibetan Buddhist tradition, Shambhala (or Shambala) is a mystical kingdom hidden somewhere beyond the snow peaks of the Himalayas. It is mentioned in various ancient texts including the Kalachakra and the ancient texts of the Zhang Zhung culture which predated Tibetan Buddhism in western Tibet. The Bon scriptures speak of a closely related land called Olmolungring.

Shambhala in the Buddhist Kalachakra Teachings

Kalachakra Mandala

The Wheel of Time.

Buddha prophesized that all who received the Kalachakra empowerment would take rebirth in its mandala of consciousness.

The Kingdom of Shambhala takes a central place in the Kalachakra teachings. Shambhala (Tib. bde 'Byung) is a Sanskrit term meaning place of peace/tranquility/happiness. Shakyamuni Buddha is said to have taught the Kalachakra tantra on request of King Suchandra, also the teachings are said to be preserved there. Shambhala is said to be a society where all the inhabitants are enlightened, centered around a capital city called Kalapa. War and injustice are said to be unknown there, and it is said to be peopled by beautiful women and men dwelling in magnificent abodes.

Shambhala is ruled over by the Kulika or Kalki (Tibetan Ridgen) King, a benevolent monarch who upholds the integrity of the Kalachakra tantra. Religious scholars believe that this figure developed out of the myth of the Hindu conqueror Kalki, a similar personage. The Kalachakra prophesies that when the world declines into war and greed, and all is lost, the twenty fifty Kalika king will emerge from Shambhala with a huge army to vanquish the corrupt world rulers and usher in a worldwide Golden Age. Some scholars put this date at 2424 AD.

As with many concepts in Vajrayana Buddhism, the idea of Shambhala is said to have an 'outer,' 'inner,' and 'secret' meaning. 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. There are various ideas about where this society is located, but it is often placed in central Asia, north of Tibet. The inner and secret meanings refer to more subtle understandings of what Shambhala represents, and are generally passed on orally.

Western Fascination with Shambhala

During the nineteenth century, Theosophical Society founder H.P. Blavatsky alluded to the Shambhala myth, giving it currency for Western occult enthusiasts. Later esoteric writers further emphasized and elaborated on the concept of a hidden land inhabited by a hidden mystic brotherhood whose members labor for the good of humanity.

The myths of Shambhala were part of the inspiration for the tale of Shangri-La told in the popular book Lost Horizon, and thus some people even refer to Shambhala improperly as if it were a Shangri-La. Shambhala's location and nature remain a subject of much dispute, and several traditions have arisen as to where it is or will be, including those that emphasize it as a non-physical realm that one can approach only through the mind.

Ancient Zhang Zhung texts identify Shambhala with the Sutlej Valley in Himachal Pradesh. Mongolians identify Shambala with certain valleys of southern Siberia. Beginning in the 1960s, various occult writers have sought to explain the evil of Nazism by suggesting Adolf Hitler tapped into the malevolent forces of Shambhala when he sent Ahnenerbe researchers to Tibet to measure Tibetan skulls as part of his master race justifications. Also known that Josef Stalin organized an expedition to find Shambala.

Western Esoteric Traditions

Helena Blavatsky, who claimed to be in contact with a Great White Lodge of Himalayan Adepts, mentions Shambhala in several places without giving it especially great emphasis. (The Mahatmas, we are told, are also active around Shigatse and Luxor.) Blavatsky's Shambhala, like the headquarters of the Great White Lodge, is a physical location on our earth, albeit one which can only be penetrated by a worthy aspirant.

Later esoteric writers like Alice Bailey (the Arcane School) and the Roerichs (Agni Yoga) do emphasize Shambhala. Bailey transformed it into a kind of extradimensional or spiritual reality. The Roerichs see its existence as both spiritual and physical.<