Sunday, June 25, 2017

Carpe Diem #1208 Shambhala, the mystical and mysterious kingdom

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I hope you have had a wonderful weekend and I hope you are ready for an all new week of haiku-ing here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. I had a good weekend, I was on the night-shift, but that is part of my job of course.

Today I love to tell you a little bit more about Shambhala, or Shambala (I don't know which to use, because there are several different ways of writing it). As you (maybe) know I have written a novel several years ago, a kind of fantasy-storty like Tolkiens Ring, and in that novel I used also Shambala as a kind of after world, or heaven. And that is exactly what Shambala is I think. Shambala, as legend tells us, is a mystical kingdom somewhere in the Himalayans, but I don't think it's a real kingdom actually, I think it's more a "kingdom" like "Heaven" and you only can reach that kingdom through dead and living in the righteous way.

The 14th Dalai Lama (Lhamo Dondrub)

As the 14th Dalai Lama noted during the 1985 Kalachakra initiation in Bodhgaya, Shambhala is not an ordinary country:

[...] “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.” [...]

Shambhala ... the mystical invisible place of peace somewhere in the Himalayans.

Shambhala, which is a Sanskrit word meaning “place of peace” or “place of silence”, is a mythical paradise spoken of in ancient texts, including the Kalachakra Tantra and the ancient scriptures of the Zhang Zhung culture which predated Tibetan Buddhism in western Tibet. According to legend, it is a land where only the pure of heart can live, a place where love and wisdom reigns and where people are immune to suffering, want or old age. (Sounds like Heaven or the New Jerusalem).

The legend of Shambhala is said to date back thousands of years, and reference to the mythical land can be found in various ancient texts. Hindu texts such as Vishnu Purana mention Shambhala as the birth place of Kalki, the final incarnation of Vishnu who will usher in a new Golden Age. The Buddhist myth of Shambhala is an adaptation of the earlier Hindu myth. However, the text in which Shambhala is first discussed extensively is the Kalachakra.
The Kalachakra refers to a complex and advanced esoteric teaching and practice in Tibetan Buddhism. Shakyamuni Buddha is said to have taught the Kalachakra on request of King Suchandra of Shambhala.
As with many concepts in the Kalachakra, the idea of Shambhala is said to have outer, inner, and alternative meanings. 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. The inner and alternative meanings refer to more subtle understandings of what Shambhala represents in terms of one's own body and mind (inner), and during meditative practice (alternative). These two types of symbolic explanations are generally passed on orally from teacher to student.

Kalachakra sand mandala (33th Kalachakra Empowerment 2014)
The concept of Shambhala plays an important role in Tibetan religious teachings, and has particular relevance in Tibetan mythology about the future.  The Kalachakra prophesies the gradual deterioration of mankind as the ideology of materialism spreads over the earth. When the “barbarians” who follow this ideology are united under an evil king and think there is nothing left to conquer, the mists will lift to reveal the snowy mountains of Shambhala. The barbarians will attack Shambhala with a huge army equipped with terrible weapons. Then the king of Shambhala will emerge from Shambhala with a huge army to vanquish "dark forces" and usher in a worldwide Golden Age.
Though the Kālachakra prophesies a future war, this appears in conflict with the vows of Buddhist teachings that prohibit violence. This has led some theologians to interpret the war symbolically – the Kālachakra is not advocating violence against people but rather refers to the inner battle of the religious practitioner against inner demonic tendencies.

Over many centuries, numerous explorers and seekers of spiritual wisdom have embarked on expeditions and quests in search of the mythical paradise of Shambhala, and while many have claimed to have been there, no one has yet provided any evidence of its existence or been able to pinpoint its physical location on a map, however most references place Shambhala in the mountainous regions of Eurasia.
In Altai folklore, Mount Belukha is believed to be the gateway to Shambhala. Modern Buddhist scholars seem to conclude that Shambhala is located in the higher reaches of the Himalayas. Some legends say that the entrance to Shambhala is hidden inside a remote, abandoned monastery in Tibet, and guarded by beings known as the Shambhala Guardians.

Somewhere in the Himalayans according to legends you will find Shambhala
It's a wonderful story, a mysterious kingdom hidden somewhere in the Himalayan Mountains ... well it all sounds like a dream, but ... well if there is nothing left to dream of what will be there ...?

It was really a joy to do the research for this episode and I have found a lot about Shambhala all over the Internet. I used several sources for this episode. I will give you the URL's at the end.

high in the mountains
through the streets of Shambhala
the cry of an eagle
welcoming new citizens
who finally found their path

© Chèvrefeuille

I love it as a tanka works ... in this case it wasn't easy to create it, but ... well ....

Used sources:

Ancient Origins
Collective Evolution

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until June 30th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, reincarnation, later on.

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