Blog Directory Mankind Mysteries: The Legend of Shambhala , Part II (In search of Shambhala)

The Legend of Shambhala , Part II (In search of Shambhala)

The Sign of Shambhala - Roerich's Story

Roerich too, maintained a diary of thoughts, from which we find the following: 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 mou

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.

Roerich’s account of such a sighting aroused great interest in Europe and brought to the West the first concrete evidence that there might be something p
resent in Eurasia that defied understanding. Victoria LePage describes its significance as such:

In its vivid colour and factuality, its bizarre but unarguable reference to an unknown golden aircraft that behaved as no ordinary airplane could, the Roerich story could rightly be called the first reliable intimation that the kingdom of Chang Shambhala was perhaps knowable as more than an intellectual curiosity, a popular Asian fable… and from about 1927 onward the world centre in the northern mountains exerted on Western occult circles the fascination of an idea whose time has come.

Which brings us to the very nature of reality. Paranormal experiences, including UFO sightings, are always indicative of an altered state of consciousness that allows the witness to see other realities. Often the experience is similar to a lucid dream, where ordinary space-time physics no longer applies.

What Shambhala Looks Like

For an idea as to what the Shambhala Kingdom looks like, we must delve slightly into Tibettan Buddhist mythology. Mount Meru is a place which simultaneously represents the center of the universe and the single-pointedness of mind sought by adepts. Thousands of miles in height, Meru is located somewhere beyond the physical plane of reality, in a realm of perfection and transcendence. Symbolic representations of Mount Meru are commonly found in Tibetan mandalas, contemplative diagrams designed to aid meditators in focusing.

It is said that Meru has its roots in hell, and its summit in heaven. Meru is surrounded by seven rings of golden mountains, each separated from the other by one of seven circular oceans. It is crowned by a golden palace wherein Indra, king of Hindu gods, resides. This entire superstructure rises from an outer ocean, and is flanked by four main continents, each with two subcontinents.

The southern continent, Jambudvipa, corresponds to the physical earth. Each of the other continents represents a nearby planet upon which transmigrating souls following the yellow light-path may be reborn. However, it is said that all of these worlds are undesirable, for they are non-human worlds inhabited by sheep, cattle, or horses. The teachings of Buddhism clearly state that existence as a human being is the only way to achieve Buddhahood, so rebirth in any other form (including that of a deva or demigod) is a distraction from the path to enlightenment.

According to legend, somewhere in the northwest region of Jambudvipa lies a land called Shambhala. This is a magical land which is shaped like an eight-petalled lotus flower. It has been ruled by priest-kings for many thousands of years; in fact, the legend of Shambhala predates the introduction of Buddhism into Tibet. In the aboriginal Bon religion, Shambhala is known as Olmolungrung, and is based on the square instead of the circle.

Shambhala forms a gateway between the physical and spiritual realms. It is endowed with riches, and is ideally suited for the habitat of enlightened souls. They are not attached to the fruits of karma, and are but one step from Buddhahood. This is the realm to be sought for rebirth if one desires the swiftest path to nirvana.

Finding Shambhala

Many western explorers, hearing tales of a "golden city" of Shambhala, sought to find it in the frozen wastes of northern Tibet. This resulted in the present-day term "Shangri-la," which, like El Dorado, signifies an unattainable goal. This is an unfortunate misunderstanding, for ultimately Shambhala is a place accessible to anyone, if only one can be free of karmic attachments.

While people (especially Tibetan lamas) have been searching for Shambhala for centuries, those who seek the kingdom often never return, either because they have found the hidden country and have remained there or because they have been destroyed in the attempt. Tibetan texts containing what appear to be historical facts about Shambhala, such as the names and dates of its kings and records of corresponding events occurring in the outside world, give Tibetans additional reason for believing that the kingdom exists. Recent events that seem to correspond to the predictions of the mythic kingdom add strength to their belief. The disintegration of Buddhism in Tibet and the growth of materialism throughout the world, coupled with the wars and turmoil of the 20th century, all fit in with the prophecy of Shambhala.

The Nazi Connection

Even Hitler was intrigued with the idea of Shambhala. Hitler was quite mystic-minded. In his youth, he studied the occult and yoga in Vienna, and received initiation into the American Indian peyote cult. Later he turned to Theosophy. He was invited to join an occult group in Germany, called Ultima Thulli, which planned to take over Germany. This later became the Nazi Party.

Once Hitler assumed power, one of his ministries was that of Ancestral Memories, headed by the Chairman of the Sanskrit Department at Munich University. It controlled the concentration camps. Through this connection with Sanskrit studies, the Nazis adopted the swastika, an ancient Indian symbol of immutable good luck. "Swastika" is a Sanskrit word that means well-being or good luck. It has appeared as a symbol throughout the Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain worlds for thousands of years. Hitler hoped it would likewise bring him good fortune.

Hitler gathered information about as many of the occult groups of the world as he could. His aim was to find the elements common with Theosophy and to reinterpret these teachings in terms of its theory. With the help of the explorer Sven Hedlin, he sent several expeditions to Tibet. They were searching for contacts with Shambhala to obtain their help for ruling the world. They claimed that although Shambhala rejected them, they were able to contact and gain help from the mystic kingdom of Agardhi that Blavatsky had mentioned. Before the main Nazi leaders were executed after the Nürenberg trials, it was reported that the leaders held an unknown religious ceremony led by a man with the keys to Agardhi.


The Eastern mystical view of the world can be quite different from the Western scientific view of it. It maybe that the guidebooks to Shambhala are describing a landscape transformed by the visions of a yogi taking the journey there: Where we would see a mountaintop gleaming with snow, he would see a golden temple with a shining god. In that case, we might be able to travel the same path, but with a different view of reality.

To travel to Shambhala is to undertake at one and the same time an inner mystical journey and an outer physical one through desolate and mountainous territory to a cosmic powerhouse.

An old Tibetan story tells of a young man who set off on the quest for Shambhala. After crossing many mountains, he came to the cave of an old hermit, who asked him, “Where are you going across these wastes of snow?”

“To find Shambhala,” the youth replied.

“Ah, well then, you need not travel far,” the hermit said. “The kingdom of Shambhala is in your own heart.

(both parts may be originally found at )

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