We believe that you are already familiar with the tale of the mysterious kingdoms like Agartha, and Dwarka. It is said that these cities just vanished into thin air without leaving a trace. In this article, we will discuss the kingdom of Shambhala, where lord Kalki would be born, who as per the Hindu Mythology will be the savior of the human race.
Shambhala is a legendary paradise mentioned in ancient sources, such as the Kalachakra Tantra and the ancient teachings of the Zhang Zhung civilization, which predates Tibetan Buddhism in western Tibet. The term translates to the “Place of Peace” or “Place of Science”. According to tradition, it is a realm where only the virtuous may reside, where love and knowledge rule, and where the inhabitants are immune to pain, lack, and old age.
According to legend, Shambhala is the realm of a thousand names. It has been referred to as the Land of Wonders, the Land of White Waters, the Land of Radiant Spirits, the Land of Living Fire, and the Land of the Living Gods. Hindus refer to it as Aryavartha (The Land of the Worthy Ones), Chinese as Hsi Tien, the Western Paradise of Hsi Wang Mu, and Russian Old Believers as Belovoyde. In Asia, it is known by different names such as Shambhala, Shamballa, or Shangri-la.
It is believed that the legends of this mysterious city date back thousands of years ago, and the reference to the same can be traced in the ancient texts of various cultures. The scriptures of Bon discussed a similar land that is called Olmolungring. Coming to Hindu mythology, the mentions of the same could be found in Vishnu Puran, where it is mentioned that the incarnation of Lord Vishnu will take birth in the mysterious lands of Shambhala. This incarnation of the lord Vishnu will create a new age, eradicating all the evilness and loathes off of Earth. The repetition of the same city is found in the Buddhist texts. Nevertheless, the first reference to the city is discussed descriptively in Kalachakra.
On the surface, the Kalachakra, or “Wheel of Time,” tantra and cycles of teachings and practices are well-known among Tibetan Buddhism practitioners and researchers. Nonetheless, it is regarded as one of the greatest tantra teachings, a practice so difficult that it takes many years for initiates to master it. The visualization of a mandala for an expert practitioner has 722 figures.
One of the reasons for its prominence is that His Holiness, the Dalai Lama has conferred the multi-day initiation on literally millions of individuals in over ten countries and dozens of times. The majority of attendees saw it as a wonderful benefit and not as an introduction to the practice. As said by Dalai Lama:
“The higher meditations of the Kalachakra tradition can be practiced only by a select few. But because of past and future events, and in order to establish a strong karmic relationship with Kalachakra in the minds of the people, there is now a tradition of giving the initiation to large public gatherings.”Dalai Lama
According to legend, Shakyamuni Buddha taught the Kalachakra at the request of King Suchandra of Shambhala. As with many Kalachakra notions, the concept of Shambhala is claimed to have outward, inner, and alternate interpretations. The outside meaning recognizes Shambhala as a physical location but only those with the proper karma may reach there and perceive it as such.
The inner and alternative meanings allude to more nuanced comprehensions of what Shambhala signifies in terms of one’s own body and mind (inner) and during meditation practice (alternative). These two sorts of symbolic explanations are often communicated verbally from instructor to student. As stated by the fourteenth Dalai Lama at the Kalachakra initiation in Bodhgaya in 1985, Shambhala is not an ordinary nation:
“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.”14th Dalai Lama
Prediction of the City of Shambhala
The Kalki Purana is an ancient Indian text that describes the time and location of the birth of Lord Kalki. It also recounts the prevailing signals of the times, which grow so terrible and necessary that Lord Vishnu reincarnates. Throughout the development of mankind, he does this at regular periods with the express aim of elevating the spiritual order.
The period of great evil described in the predictions corresponds to the 20th century, with world wars, regimes of insane dictators and authoritarian rulers, nuclear weapons, famines, illnesses, pollution, crime, violence, disasters, and global moral decay.
Even in the Tibetan religious teachings, Shambhala is of utmost importance. The Kalachakra foretells the eventual decline of humanity as the concept of materialism expands across the world. The mists will rise to reveal the snowy mountains of Shambhala when the “barbarians” who adhere to this worldview are unified under an evil ruler and believe there is nothing else to conquer. The barbarians will assault Shambhala with a massive army armed with horrific weapons. Then, the monarch of Shambhala will emerge from Shambhala with a vast army to destroy “evil forces” and usher in the Golden Age over the globe.
Even if the Kalachakra predicts a future battle, this seems to contradict Buddhist teachings that forbid violence. This has prompted some theologians to interpret the fight figuratively; the Kalachakra does not advocate violence against humans but rather alludes to the religious practitioner’s inner struggle against inner demonic impulses.
Coming back to Hindu mythology, it has been mentioned that the supreme Lord Vishnu will be born on Earth to eradicate evilness from society. He will annihilate the miscreants and establish a world full of faith and compassion. He will be born as the son of Vishnuyasha, a brahmana from the village of Shambhala.
“Thereafter, at the conjunction of two yugas, the Lord of the creation will take His birth as the Kalki incarnation and become the son of Vishnuyasha. At this time the rulers of the earth will have degenerated into plunderers.”(Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.25)
“Lord Kalki will appear in the home of the most eminent Brahmana of Shambhala village, the great soul Vishnuyasha.”(Srimad-Bhagavatam (12.2.18)
The reference to the Kalki being born in the village of Shambhala in both Vishnu Puran and Mahabharata, the great Indian epic.
The Vishnu Purana (Book Four, Chapter 24) also explains that “When the practices taught in the Vedas and institutes of law have nearly ceased, and the close of the Kali age shall be nigh, a portion of that divine being who exists of His own spiritual nature, and who is the beginning and end, and who comprehends all things, shall descend upon earth. He will be born in the family of Vishnuyasha, an eminent Brahmana of Shambhala village, as Kalki, endowed with eight superhuman faculties.”
The Mahabharata (Vana Parva, 190.93-97) adds to the description of Lord Kalki’s appearance: “Impelled by time, a Brahmana named Kalki Vishnuyasha will be born. He will possess great energy, intelligence, and prowess. He will be born in a village called Shambhala in a blessed Brahmana family. As soon as thought of, vehicles, weapons, warriors, and arms and armors will all be at his command. He will be the imperial sovereign, ever-victorious by the strength of his virtue. He will restore order and peace in this world, overcrowded with creatures and contradictory in its laws. That effulgent and greatly intelligent Brahmana will destroy all things. He will be the destroyer of all and He will be the maker of a new Yuga [Satya-Yuga]. That twice-born one surrounded by the Brahmanas will exterminate all the low and despicable mlecchas wherever they will be found.”
The Location of Shambhala
There are a number of researchers who have sought spiritual wisdom and have claimed to see the mystical paradise Shambhala. Numerous explorers and seekers of spiritual wisdom have traveled for centuries in search of the mythical paradise of Shambhala. However, none of them has ever come up with evidence. No one has ever pointed out the physical location of Shambhala on a map. Interestingly, most references locate Shambhala in the mountainous regions of Eurasia.
The ancient texts Zhang Zhung link the mysterious city of Shambhala with the Sutlej valley located in the Indian states of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. On the other hand, Mongolians link Shambala with certain southern Siberian Valleys. It is believed that Mount Belukha is said to be the entrance to Shambhala in Altai legend.
Modern Buddhist academics seem to think that Shambhala is situated in the Dhauladhar Mountains in the vicinity of Mcleodganj, in the Himalayas. According to some traditions, the gateway to Shambhala is concealed inside an abandoned monastery in Tibet and is guarded by creatures known as the Shambhala Guardians. Let us know what is your take when it comes to the lost mystical cities?
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