When mankind succumbs to greed, materialism and war, a force for good will rise in the east from a mystical land and vanquish the evil. Though numerous mystics and explorers have not managed to locate the mythical land of Shamballa, we hope it will materialize in humanity’s time of need, as ancient texts decree.
What Is Shamballa?
Shamballa (also spelled Shambhala or Shambala) refers to a mystical kingdom in both Hindu and Buddhist mythology, where the most sacred spiritual teachings are preserved. It is said to exist on both a spiritual and physical plane.
The Vishnu Purana, from the early 4th century AD, mentions Shamballa as the birth place of Kalki, the final incarnation or avatar of Vishnu. Shamballa is also mentioned in the Kalachakra Tantra, as well the ancient Tibetan texts, the Zhangzhung.
Where Is Shamballa?
Though the present Dalai Lama alleges Shamballa is not a physical place, its location is speculated as being in the North, perhaps near Mount Kailash in Tibet, in Kashmir, in the higher regions of the Himalayas, in the Sutlej Valley in Punjab, or more generally in the mountainous regions of Eurasia.
The Levels of Shamballa
The Kalachakra tantra or texts are a collection of material in Buddhist literature containing advanced spiritual and esoteric teachings. Kalachakra means wheel of time or cycles of time and the Kalachakra teachings reference an external, internal and alternative cycle, referring to spiritual cycles. Everything mentioned in the teachings occurs on the three levels, including Shamballa.
The external level of Shamballa is the physical place in the North where the teachings were kept and took place. The external cycles deal with astronomy as well as kaliyuga (the last stage the world will go through) and a war to overcome destructive forces. Shamballa is said to be the origin of those that will overcome the invaders. Sources say Shamballa is a pure realm, though contained within the domain of humans. It is believed to be a physical place, yet no one who ever attempted to get there actually succeeded.
On an internal level, Shamballa represents the heart chakra. It concerns the cycles of breathing and the movement of energy through the body. The heart chakra is the most important chakra, sources indicate.
The alternative level deals with the degree of spiritual practice, specifically in Buddhism. The internal and external forces are driven by karma. The texts cite that when people are confused about reality, they develop negative emotions such as greed, anger and jealousy and become more and more selfish. They build up karma on account of the way they deal with others and this becomes a cycle, both internally (with sickness in the body) and externally (in the world), putting the world out of balance. The winds of karma thus drive these internal and external cycles and the practice of Buddhism aims to overcome these winds or energies of karma. The way to create peace begins as an internal process which then manifests externally as well, the ancient texts claim.
The ultimate level of Shamballa is the ability to bring all three levels together in the heart chakra and dissolve them, bringing out the state of the clear light mind. The clear light mind is said to be the ultimate representation of Shamballa.
In Buddhist Literature
The Kalachakra tantra tells of an ancient king called Kalki, who united the castes. Kalki, whose name means the unifier, predicted there would be an invasion and realized he needed to prepare his people. He lived in a kingdom where numerous religions were practiced, including Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam. According to sources, the area may have been in the vicinity of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Kashmir.
The king warned the people of their imminent destruction if they were not able to band together against the destructive forces. In order to unify them, Kalki performed a spiritual ritual called an initiation or empowerment, making all his people one family of Vajra brothers and sisters. Since the invasion wasn’t meant to come for another 25 generations, however, the spiritual teachings flourished within the unified group. Twenty-five kings would follow after Kalki until the time of the predicted war with the dark forces, which sources claim is yet to come. Then, when the gradual degradation and deterioration of mankind has led to ubiquitous materialism, a king will rise from Shamballa to vanquish the evil and usher in a new, golden era of peace in the world.
The Search for Shamballa
Many explorers sought out the mythical Shamballa, but none brought home proof of its existence. In 1833, Hungarian scholar Csoma de Körös was the first to introduce the concept of Shamballa to the European community. He also compiled the first Tibetan-English dictionary. In 1856, the great theosophist and occultist Madame Blavatsky ventured to India with sparse information available on the mystical realm. She tried to explain the teachings she learned during her years spent in India to Europeans in concepts they could understand. Since the study of the occult was very popular at the time, she used that as the basis for her explanations.
The European concept of Shamballa began to form two schools of thought. The first emphasized Shamballa as a spiritual paradise. The second viewpoint was a more destructive one, focusing on the forces that got rid of the invaders trying to destroy spiritual growth. Blavatsky was a proponent of the first viewpoint. She connected Shamballa with the four types of births in Buddhism: from a womb, from an egg, from heat and moisture, and by some kind of emanation. She eventually linked Shamballa with the mystical island of Lumeria and Atlantis. Though the knowledge of the illusive Shamballa reached across the world through explorers and mystics before and after Blavatsky, the mythological realm still remained hidden from human eyes.
Shamballa and UFOs
Some may wish to connect the mythical land to other realms and other worlds. In Kongka La, one of the possible locations of Shamballa, many UFO sightings have been reported. In the 1920s, Russian explorer and theosophist, NIKOLAI Roerich, in his search for Shamballa, allegedly spotted a UFO while camped near the Altai Mountains between Mongolia and Tibet. UFOs hadn’t even been heard of back then, but he described it as something
…big and shiny reflecting sun, like a huge oval moving at great speed. Crossing our camp this thing changed in its direction from south to southwest, and we saw how it disappeared in the intense blue sky. We even had time to take our field glasses and saw quite distinctly the oval form with the shiny surface, one side of which was brilliant from the sun.