WHAT IS SHAMBALLA? IS SHAMBALLA A REALITY??

I was reading a book called ´The autobiography of an yogiµ. It is a very famous book and it is a book that gives a glimpse of spiritual India. It gives a glimpse of the other face of India. Incredible India. The writer was a disciple of Shyama Charan Lahiri also known as Lahiri mohashoy. The writer was Swami Yogananda Lahiri Mohashoy·s Guru was Babaji a celestial guru who is believed to have been living for the past hundreds of years. He is believed to be living in the Himalayas and is believed to have powers to materialize anywhere at will and dematerialize at will. I will narrate a story here to illustrate this very nature of such Gurus. This story is a factual story as experienced by Shyama Charan lahiri mohashoy. "Babaji's first meeting with Lahiri Mahasaya is an enthralling story, and one of the few which gives us a detailed glimpse of the deathless guru." These words were Swami Kebalananda's preamble to a wondrous tale. The first time he recounted it I was literally spellbound. On many other occasions I coaxed my gentle Sanskrit tutor to repeat the story, which was later told me in substantially the same words by Sri Yukteswar. Both these Lahiri Mahasaya disciples had heard the awesome tale direct from the lips of their guru. "My first meeting with Babaji took place in my thirty-third year," Lahiri Mahasaya had said. "In the autumn of 1861 I was stationed in Danapur as a government accountant in the Military Engineering Department. One morning the office manager summoned me. "'Lahiri,' he said, 'a telegram has just come from our main office. You're to be transferred to Ranikhet, where an army post [1] is now being established.' "With one servant, I set out on the 500-mile trip. Travelling by horse and buggy, we arrived in thirty days at the Himalayan site of Ranikhet. [2] "My office duties were not onerous; I was able to spend many hours roaming in the magnificent hills. A rumour reached me that great saints blessed the region with their presence; I felt a strong desire to see them. During a ramble one early afternoon, I was astounded to hear a distant voice calling my name. I continued my vigorous upward climb on Drongiri Mountain. A slight uneasiness beset me at the thought that I might not be able to retrace my steps before darkness had descended over the jungle.

"I finally reached a small clearing whose sides were dotted with caves. On one of the rocky ledges stood a smiling young man, extending his hand in welcome. I noticed with astonishment that, except for his copper-coloured hair, he bore a remarkable resemblance to myself. "'Lahiri, you've come!' The saint addressed me affectionately in Hindi. 'Rest here in this cave. It was I who called you.' "I entered a neat little grotto which contained several woollen blankets and a few kamandulus (begging bowls). "'Lahiri, do you remember that seat?' The yogi pointed to a folded blanket in one corner. "'No, sir.' Somewhat dazed at the strangeness of my adventure, I added, 'I must leave now, before nightfall. I have business in the morning at my office.' "The mysterious saint replied in English, 'The office was brought for you, and not you for the office.' "I was dumbfounded that this forest ascetic shouldn't only speak English but also paraphrase the words of Christ. [3] "'I see my telegram took effect.' The yogi's remark was incomprehensible to me; I inquired his meaning. "'I refer to the telegram that summoned you to these isolated parts. It was I who silently suggested to the mind of your superior officer that you be transferred to Ranikhet. When one feels his unity with mankind, all minds become transmitting stations through which he can work at will.' He added gently, 'Lahiri, surely this cave seems familiar to you?' "As I maintained a bewildered silence, the saint approached and struck me gently on the forehead. At his magnetic touch, a wondrous current swept through my brain, releasing the sweet seed-memories of my previous life. "'I remember!' My voice was half-choked with joyous sobs. 'You're my guru Babaji, who has belonged to me always! Scenes of the past arise vividly in my mind; here in this cave I spent many years of my last incarnation!' As ineffable recollections overwhelmed me, I tearfully embraced my master's feet.

"'For more than three decades I've waited for you here-waited for you to return to me!' Babaji's voice rang with celestial love. 'You slipped away and vanished into the tumultuous waves of the life beyond death. The magic wand of your karma touched you, and you were gone! Though you lost sight of me, never did I lose sight of you! I pursued you over the luminescent astral sea where the glorious angels sail. Through gloom, storm, upheaval, and light I followed you, like a mother bird guarding her young. As you lived out your human term of womb-life, and emerged a babe, my eye was ever on you. When you covered your tiny form in the lotus posture under the Nadia sands in your childhood, I was invisibly present! Patiently, month after month, year after year, I've watched over you, waiting for this perfect day. Now you're with me! Lo, here's your cave, loved of yore! I've kept it ever clean and ready for you. Here's your hallowed asana-blanket, where you daily sat to fill your expanding heart with God! Behold there your bowl, from which you often drank the nectar prepared by me! See how I've kept the brass cup brightly polished, that you might drink again therefrom! My own, do you now understand?' "'My guru, what can I say?' I murmured brokenly. 'Where has one ever heard of such deathless love?' I gazed long and ecstatically on my eternal treasure, my guru in life and death. "'Lahiri, you need purification. Drink the oil in this bowl and lie down by the river.' Babaji's practical wisdom, I reflected with a quick, reminiscent smile, was ever to the fore. "I obeyed his directions. Though the icy Himalayan night was descending, a comforting warmth, an inner radiation, began to pulsate in every cell of my body. I marvelled. Was the unknown oil endued with a cosmic heat? "Bitter winds whipped around me in the darkness, shrieking a fierce challenge. The chill wavelets of the Gogash River lapped now and then over my body, outstretched on the rocky bank. Tigers howled near-by, but my heart was free of fear; the radiant force newly generated within me conveyed an assurance of unassailable protection. Several hours passed swiftly; faded memories of another life wove themselves into the present brilliant pattern of reunion with my divine guru. "My solitary musings were interrupted by the sound of approaching footsteps. In the darkness, a man's hand gently helped me to my feet, and gave me some dry clothing. "'Come, brother,' my companion said. 'The master awaits you.'

"He led the way through the forest. The sombre night was suddenly lit by a steady luminosity in the distance. "'Can that be the sunrise?' I inquired. 'Surely the whole night hasn't passed?' "'The hour is midnight.' My guide laughed softly. 'Yonder light is the glow of a golden palace, materialised here tonight by the peerless Babaji. In the dim past, you once expressed a desire to enjoy the beauties of a palace. Our master is now satisfying your wish, thus freeing you from the bonds of karma.' [4] He added, 'The magnificent palace will be the scene of your initiation tonight into kriya yoga. All your brothers here join in a paean of welcome, rejoicing at the end of your long exile. Behold!' "A vast palace of dazzling gold stood before us. Studded with countless jewels, and set amidst landscaped gardens, it presented a spectacle of unparalleled grandeur. Saints of angelic countenance were stationed by resplendent gates, half-reddened by the glitter of rubies. Diamonds, pearls, sapphires, and emeralds of great size and lustre were imbedded in the decorative arches. "I followed my companion into a spacious reception hall. The odour of incense and of roses wafted through the air; dim lamps shed a multicoloured glow. Small groups of devotees, some fair, some dark-skinned, chanted musically, or sat in the meditative posture, immersed in an inner peace. A vibrant joy pervaded the atmosphere. "'Feast your eyes; enjoy the artistic splendours of this palace, for it has been brought into being solely in your honour.' My guide smiled sympathetically as I uttered a few ejaculations of wonderment. "'Brother,' I said, 'the beauty of this structure surpasses the bounds of human imagination. Please tell me the mystery of its origin.' "'I'll gladly enlighten you.' My companion's dark eyes sparkled with wisdom. 'In reality there's nothing inexplicable about this materialisation. The whole cosmos is a materialised thought of the Creator. This heavy, earthly clod, floating in space, is a dream of God. He made all things out of His consciousness, even as man in his dream consciousness reproduces and vivifies a creation with its creatures. "'God first created the earth as an idea. Then He quickened it; energy atoms came into being. He co-ordinated the atoms into this solid sphere. All its molecules are held together by the will of God. When He withdraws His will, the earth again will disintegrate into energy. Energy will dissolve into consciousness; the earth-idea will disappear from objectivity.

"'The substance of a dream is held in materialisation by the subconscious thought of the dreamer. When that cohesive thought is withdrawn in wakefulness, the dream and its elements dissolve. A man closes his eyes and erects a dream-creation which, on awakening, he effortlessly dematerialises. He follows the divine archetypal pattern. Similarly, when he awakens in cosmic consciousness, he will effortlessly dematerialise the illusions of the cosmic dream. "'Being one with the infinite all-accomplishing Will, Babaji can summon the elemental atoms to combine and manifest themselves in any form. This golden palace, instantaneously created, is real, even as this earth is real. Babaji created this palatial mansion out of his mind and is holding its atoms together by the power of his will, even as God created this earth and is maintaining it intact.' He added, 'When this structure has served its purpose, Babaji will dematerialise it.' "As I remained silent in awe, my guide made a sweeping gesture. 'This shimmering palace, superbly embellished with jewels, hasn't been built by human effort or with laboriously mined gold and gems. It stands solidly, a monumental challenge to man. [5] Whoever realises himself as a son of God, even as Babaji has done, can reach any goal by the infinite powers hidden within him. A common stone locks within itself the secret of stupendous atomic energy; [6] even so, a mortal is yet a powerhouse of divinity.' "The sage picked up from a near-by table a graceful vase whose handle was blazing with diamonds. 'Our great guru created this palace by solidifying myriads of free cosmic rays,' he went on. 'Touch this vase and its diamonds; they will satisfy all the tests of sensory experience.' "I examined the vase, and passed my hand over the smooth room-walls, thick with glistening gold. Each of the jewels scattered lavishly about was worthy of a king's collection. Deep satisfaction spread over my mind. A submerged desire, hidden in my subconsciousness from lives now gone, seemed simultaneously gratified and extinguished. "My stately companion led me through ornate arches and corridors into a series of chambers richly furnished in the style of an emperor's palace. We entered an immense hall. In the centre stood a golden throne, encrusted with jewels shedding a dazzling medley of colours. There, in lotus posture, sat the supreme Babaji. I knelt on the shining floor at his feet. "'Lahiri, are you still feasting on your dream desires for a golden palace?' My guru's eyes were twinkling like his own sapphires. 'Wake! All your earthly thirsts are about to

be quenched forever.' He murmured some mystic words of blessing. 'My son, arise. Receive your initiation into the kingdom of God through kriya yoga.' "Babaji stretched out his hand; a homa (sacrificial) fire appeared, surrounded by fruits and flowers. I received the liberating yogic technique before this flaming altar. "The rites were completed in the early dawn. I felt no need for sleep in my ecstatic state, and wandered around the palace, filled on all sides with treasures and priceless objets d'art. Descending to the gorgeous gardens, I noticed, near-by, the same caves and barren mountain ledges which yesterday had boasted no adjacency to palace or flowered terrace. "Re-entering the palace, fabulously glistening in the cold Himalayan sunlight, I sought the presence of my master. He was still enthroned, surrounded by many quiet disciples. "'Lahiri, you're hungry.' Babaji added, 'Close your eyes.' "When I reopened them, the enchanting palace and its picturesque gardens had disappeared. My own body and the forms of Babaji and the cluster of chelas were all now seated on the bare ground at the exact site of the vanished palace, not far from the sunlit entrances of the rocky grottoes. I recalled that my guide had remarked that the palace would be dematerialised, its captive atoms released into the thought-essence from which it had sprung. Although stunned, I looked trustingly at my guru. I knew not what to expect next on this day of miracles. "'The purpose for which the palace was created has now been served,' Babaji explained. He lifted an earthen vessel from the ground. 'Put your hand there and receive whatever food you desire.' "As soon as I touched the broad, empty bowl, it became heaped with hot butterfried luchis, curry, and rare sweetmeats. I helped myself, observing that the vessel was ever-filled. At the end of my meal I looked around for water. My guru pointed to the bowl before me. Lo! the food had vanished; in its place was water, clear as from a mountain stream. "'Few mortals know that the kingdom of God includes the kingdom of mundane fulfilments,' Babaji observed. 'The divine realm extends to the earthly, but the latter, being illusory, can't include the essence of reality.'

"'Beloved guru, last night you demonstrated for me the link of beauty in heaven and earth!' I smiled at memories of the vanished palace; surely no simple yogi had ever received initiation into the august mysteries of Spirit amidst surroundings of more impressive luxury! I gazed tranquilly at the stark contrast of the present scene. The gaunt ground, the skyey roof, the caves offering primitive shelter-all seemed a gracious natural setting for the seraphic saints around me. "I sat that afternoon on my blanket, hallowed by associations of past-life realisations. My divine guru approached and passed his hand over my head. I entered the nirbikalpa samadhi state, remaining unbrokenly in its bliss for seven days. Crossing the successive strata of self-knowledge, I penetrated the deathless realms of reality. All delusive limitations dropped away; my soul was fully established on the eternal altar of the Cosmic Spirit. On the eighth day I fell at my guru's feet and implored him to keep me always near him in this sacred wilderness. "'My son,' Babaji said, embracing me, 'your role in this incarnation must be played on an outward stage. Prenatally blessed by many lives of lonely meditation, you must now mingle in the world of men. "'A deep purpose underlay the fact that you didn't meet me this time till you were already a married man, with modest business responsibilities. You must put aside your thoughts of joining our secret band in the Himalayas; your life lies in the crowded marts, serving as an example of the ideal yogi-householder. "'The cries of many bewildered worldly men and women have not fallen unheard on the ears of the Great Ones,' he went on. 'You've been chosen to bring spiritual solace through kriya yoga to numerous earnest seekers. The millions who are encumbered by family ties and heavy worldly duties will take new heart from you, a householder like themselves. You must guide them to see that the highest yogic attainments aren't barred to the family man. Even in the world, the yogi who faithfully discharges his responsibilities, without personal motive or attachment, treads the sure path of enlightenment. "'No necessity compels you to leave the world, for inwardly you've already sundered its every karmic tie. Not of this world, you must yet be in it. Many years still remain during which you must conscientiously fulfil your family, business, civic, and spiritual duties. A sweet new breath of divine hope will penetrate the arid hearts of worldly men. From your balanced life, they will understand that liberation is dependent on inner, rather than outer, renunciations.'

"How remote seemed my family, the office, the world, as I listened to my guru in the high Himalayan solitudes. Yet adamantine truth rang in his words; I submissively agreed to leave this blessed haven of peace. Babaji instructed me in the ancient rigid rules which govern the transmission of the yogic art from guru to disciple. "'Bestow the kriya key only on qualified chelas,' Babaji said. 'He who vows to sacrifice all in the quest of the divine is fit to unravel the final mysteries of life through the science of meditation.' "'Angelic guru, as you've already favoured mankind by resurrecting the lost Kriya art, will you not increase that benefit by relaxing the strict requirements for discipleship?' I gazed beseechingly at Babaji. 'I pray that you permit me to communicate Kriya to all seekers, even though at first they can't vow themselves to complete inner renunciation. The tortured men and women of the world, pursued by the threefold suffering, [7] need special encouragement. They may never attempt the road to freedom if Kriya initiation be withheld from them.' "'Be it so. The divine wish has been expressed through you.' With these simple words, the merciful guru banished the rigorous safeguards that for ages had hidden Kriya from the world. 'Give Kriya freely to all who humbly ask for help.' "After a silence, Babaji added, 'Repeat to each of your disciples this majestic promise from the Bhagavad Gita: "Swalpamasya dharmasya, trayata mahato bhoyat"-"Even a little bit of the practice of this religion will save you from dire fears and colossal sufferings."' [8] "As I knelt the next morning at my guru's feet for his farewell blessing, he sensed my deep reluctance to leave him. "'There's no separation for us, my beloved child.' He touched my shoulder affectionately. 'Wherever you are, whenever you call me, I shall be with you instantly.' "Consoled by his wondrous promise, and rich with the newly found gold of Godwisdom, I wended my way down the mountain. At the office I was welcomed by my fellow employees, who for ten days had thought me lost in the Himalayan jungles. A letter soon arrived from the head office. "'Lahiri should return to the Danapur [9] office,' it read. 'His transfer to Ranikhet occurred by error. Another man should have been sent to assume the Ranikhet duties.'

"I smiled, reflecting on the hidden crosscurrents in the events which had led me to this furthermost spot of India. "Before returning to Danapur, I spent a few days with a Bengali family at Moradabad. A party of six friends gathered to greet me. As I turned the conversation to spiritual subjects, my host observed gloomily: "'Oh, in these days India is destitute of saints!' "'Babu,' I protested warmly, 'of course there are still great masters in this land!' "In a mood of exalted fervour, I felt impelled to relate my miraculous experiences in the Himalayas. The little company was politely incredulous. "'Lahiri,' one man said soothingly, 'your mind has been under a strain in those rarefied mountain airs. This is some daydream you've recounted.' "Burning with the enthusiasm of truth, I spoke without due thought. 'If I call him, my guru will appear right in this house.' "Interest gleamed in every eye; it was no wonder that the group was eager to behold a saint materialised in such a strange way. Half-reluctantly, I asked for a quiet room and two new woollen blankets. "'The master will materialise from the ether,' I said. 'Remain silently outside the door; I shall soon call you.' "I sank into the meditative state, humbly summoning my guru. The darkened room soon filled with a dim aural moonlight; the luminous figure of Babaji emerged. "'Lahiri, do you call me for a trifle?' The master's gaze was stern. 'Truth is for earnest seekers, not for those of idle curiosity. It's easy to believe when one sees; there's nothing then to deny. Supersensual truth is deserved and discovered by those who overcome their natural materialistic scepticism.' He added gravely, 'Let me go!' "I fell entreatingly at his feet. 'Holy guru, I realise my serious error; I humbly ask pardon. It was to create faith in these spiritually blinded minds that I ventured to call you. Because you've graciously appeared at my prayer, please don't depart without bestowing a blessing on my friends. Unbelievers though they be, at least they were willing to investigate the truth of my strange assertions.'

"'Very well; I'll stay awhile. I don't wish your word discredited before your friends.' Babaji's face had softened, but he added gently, 'Henceforth, my son, I shall come when you need me, and not always when you call me. [ [10]' "Tense silence reigned in the little group when I opened the door. As if mistrusting their senses, my friends stared at the lustrous figure on the blanket seat. "'This is mass-hypnotism!' One man laughed blatantly. 'No one could possibly have entered this room without our knowledge!' "Babaji advanced smilingly and motioned to each one to touch the warm, solid flesh of his body. Doubts dispelled, my friends prostrated themselves on the floor in awed repentance. "'Let halua [11] be prepared.' Babaji made this request, I knew, to further assure the group of his physical reality. While the porridge was boiling, the divine guru chatted affably. Great was the metamorphosis of these doubting Thomases into devout St. Pauls. After we had eaten, Babaji blessed each of us in turn. There was a sudden flash; we witnessed the instantaneous dechemicalisation of the electronic elements of Babaji's body into a spreading vaporous light. The God-tuned will power of the master had loosened its grasp of the ether atoms held together as his body; forthwith the trillions of tiny lifetronic sparks faded into the infinite reservoir. "'With my own eyes I've seen the conqueror of death.' Maitra, [12] one of the group, spoke reverently. His face was transfigured with the joy of his recent awakening. 'The supreme guru played with time and space, as a child plays with bubbles. I've beheld one with the keys of heaven and earth.' "I soon returned to Danapur. Firmly anchored in the Spirit, again I assumed the manifold business and family obligations of a householder." Lahiri Mahasaya also related to Swami Kebalananda and Sri Yukteswar the story of another meeting with Babaji, under circumstances which recalled the guru's promise: "I shall come whenever you need me." "The scene was a Kumbha Mela at Allahabad," Lahiri Mahasaya told his disciples. "I had gone there during a short vacation from my office duties. As I wandered amidst the throng of monks and sadhus who had come from great distances to attend the holy festival, I noticed an ash-smeared ascetic who was holding a begging bowl. The thought arose in my mind that the man was hypocritical, wearing the outward symbols of renunciation without a corresponding inward grace.

"No sooner had I passed the ascetic than my astounded eye fell on Babaji. He was kneeling in front of a matted-haired anchorite. "'Guruji!' I hastened to his side. 'Sir, what are you doing here?' "'I'm washing the feet of this renunciate, and then I shall clean his cooking utensils.' Babaji smiled at me like a little child; I knew he was intimating that he wanted me to criticise no one, but to see the Lord as residing equally in all body-temples, whether of superior or inferior men. The great guru added, 'By serving wise and ignorant sadhus, I'm learning the greatest of virtues, pleasing to God above all others-humility.'" There is another factual story about Babaji which only proves that such Gurus are still there in India, The spiritual center of the earth,and that they have tremendous powers that will be harnessed by such Gurus to pull mankind from slipping into oblivion. This is an incident of 1942 when the king of Kumaon invited an army officer of Western Command, LP. Farrel for a picnic trip to the hills. There was a special reason for inviting Mr. Farrel; in spite of his being a Britisher he was very much interested in Indian religion, philosophy and culture. He had a few opportunities of witnessing demonstration of miraculous feats of some Indian yogis. He had become a pure vegetarian. That is why he always welcomed any opportunity to go towards the Himalayan wilderness, with the hope of meeting some saint or yogi who could initiate him into spiritual sadhana. Mr. Farrel, the king and the queen and their entourage reached a place near Nainital full of natural beauty. It so enchanted them that they decided to camp overnight there. So, the dozens of tents were pitched and the lonely place got filled with the hustle and bustle of servants. Gossip, merriment, eating and drinking went on till midnight. Everyone went to bed and due to exhaustion of the whole day·s exertions, immediately slipped into deep sleep. The first phase of the sleep was hardly over when Mr. Farrel felt that there was someone near his cot. He waked up and clearly listened-"We need the place where your tents have been pitched. You vacate this place. If you are unable to understand, then you should come to that northwestern hill in front of you. I will explain you everything." "But who are you?" ² saying this Mr. Farrel got up from the bed and lit his torch. But there was no one. He came out of the tent but there too no one could be seen nor heard anyone·s footsteps. After a momentary fear he became normal and then went back to his bed again for sleeping. It was 3.30 AM by his watch.

Despite his best efforts he could not sleep. Somehow he was keeping his eyes shut. Again he felt someone·s presence. Still lying on the bed he opened the eyes and he saw a shadow of a person standing in front of him. This time again he uttered the same words. In order to identify that person, as soon as Mr. Farrel lit the torch, even the shadow vanished. His body started shaking and perspiring. This army officer who did not get frightened even by watching the horrible bloodshed in the war, momentarily got un-nerved and dumbfounded by mere imagination of a supernatural being. He lay awake in his bed with his eyes closed till the morning but heard nothing. A strange attraction was arousing within him to see the hill mentioned by the shadowy presence. He put on his clothes and shoes and silently came out of the tent and walked towards that hill. Describing this incident Mr. Farrel has himself written: "The way to the place where I was directed to reach was very difficult, narrow and dangerous. I was not at all able to climb up by myself but I was constantly feeling that somebody was showing me the way and was providing me the energy to climb up. After a hard effort of three and a half hours I could climb up. It seemed difficult to go ahead due to heavy breathing and perspiration. So I sat down on a square stone, lying down on it to take some rest. Hardly two minutes had passed and the same voice awakened me. ¶Mr. Farrel! Now you put off your shoes and slowly climb down the stone and come to me. With these words in the ears, I looked around and saw that a saint, with very weak constitution but brilliant splendor on the forehead, was standing in front of me. Leave aside the acquaintance, I had never met or seen him earlier. Then how could he know my name? He was here, then how did his shadow reach in my tent in the night? There was no communication link like a radio or a microphone etc between us. Then how could his voice reach me? Several such questions arose in my mind. Putting a stop to the unending trail of questions the sadhu said-whatever you have heard and seen cannot be understood by ordinary human mind. For this purpose one has to do long sadhana and the practice of yoga, abandoning the worldly pleasures and attraction of the senses. There is a specific purpose for which you have been called here." Farrel could not make out whether the saintly person was a human being or a god. The thoughts arising in his mind were being constantly read by that person like an open book. Mr. Farrel climbed down the rock and in a short time reached the place where the Sadhu was sitting. The place was so small that only one person could take rest there. There was nothing except the fire burning in the Dhooni (firepit).

Farrel further writes- "The Sadhu patted me on the back with his weak hand and I was stunned how could this electricity like power be there in that old body. My body that was almost breaking with pain due to exhaustion - now seemed light like a flower. As an humble gesture of respect for him I knelt down and touched his feet. I had seen many sadhus; but I have always felt that sahdus and saints who had influenced Indian philosophy and increased its dignity were not those who were roaming around on the roads but they were truly such secluded and devoted persons only. Their physical bodies might weigh 80-90 pounds but intensity of their energy and power was more than that of thousand bombs and they were the storehouses of knowledge." The Sadhu told me-"I have inspired a youth to reach the place where your tents have been pitched. He was my disciple in his previous birth. His sadhana is half-completed. Now I want to guide him again to undertake his sadhana and penance for the universal welfare. But the memories of his previous birth are dormant. The impressions and circumstances of this birth are attracting him. Therefore he is unable to take up the sadhana again. I have called him through subtle inspiration. If he comes here and is unable to locate the directed place, then he will get confused. In that event, whatever I want will not become possible, Therefore, please vacate that place immediately." Mr. Farrel said ² "Lord! Please tell me also a few things about my previous birth "? The Sadhu replied-"My son! These siddhis (accomplishments) are not for demonstration. They are meant for some special purposes and it is better they are utilized for that only. Of course, if you wish you can be present at the time when I show him the events of his previous birth. Now you go. People are searching for you in the camp. I too am in a hurry." Mr. Farrel returned to the camp. Indeed, people had been searching for him. Mr. Farrel narrated the incident to the king. They then left that place and pitched the camp some 200 yards away. By the evening of that day a young man did indeed come searching for that place. After satisfying himself in all respects, he sat down there. In the meantime, Mr. Farrel also reached there. His curiosity was getting more and more intense as the time passed. In a short while sadhu too reached there. Mr. Farel and the young man touched his feet and stood waiting for his instructions. That place was in the centre of a grove of trees.. After lighting the fire sadhu did some puja, recited some mantras and told us to sit down in a meditating posture. A ray of light emanated from his forehead and a circular spot of light appeared on the trunk of a thick tree. Then whatever was seen in the spot was just like a cinema where they saw the characters actually walking and talking. Like a movie, they saw the events of the previous birth of that youth with their own naked eyes. In between that youth used to get excited and would say ² ¶Yes-yes I had done that·.

At the end, that youth touched the feet of that sadhu and said "Lord! Now my attachment with the mundane world is broken. I am ready to take up the unfinished sadhana of my previous life. Please guide me so that I can complete the unfinished task." The Sadhu said ² "My son! Today you take rest here. In the morning, you return to your home. At an appropriate time, I will call you." After that Mr Farrel did not know when that youth was called again? What he became later and with what name he became popular? But he became a staunch devotee of Indian religion and spirituality. This incident has been narrated by Mr. Farrel himself in an article in the May 17, 1959 issue of Saptahik Hindustan (a weekly Hindi magazine). These incidents though, are rare, but they are true and these incidents do happen of and on but it happens to people who are choosen by the powers themselves. Not all and everybody is priviledge to such sightings and incidents. Celestial gurus and saints do live for eternity and it is believed that they stay somewhere in the Himalayas and that these gurus can materialize out of no where and can vanish in thin air. It is believed that there are seven such celetial gurus or saints and that they keep a watch on humanity and when the earth is burdened with evil and when the people of this earth begin to play GOD themselves and Humans begin to looses all qualities of the most precious creation of GOD, these saints come into action. They select certain people with qualities that are essence of the creator and then will save the earth and its inhabitants from total annihilation. Indian scriptures are filled with descriptions of immortal souls like Shiva, Bhairav, Hanuman, Ashwatthama and many siddhas. There is a story in Kalki Purana, which goes like this. When Lord Kalki saw that the entire world has sunk neck-deep in perversities like sex indulgence, anger, greed, attachment, ego, laziness, etc. and the light of the souls had been extinguished, he decided to guide the masses groping in the darkness of ignorance. The darkness was dense. The entire world was badly trapped in the materialistic pursuits and the pleasures of the senses. Lord Kalki felt that he lacked the power required for this awakening of the masses. Then his spiritual mentor Parashuram called him to the Himalayas and made him undertake a penance at a place where he (Parashuram) had himself done it. This penance awakened the enormous power, which was needed for the transformation of the era, within Kalki. Lord Parshuram was born in Vedic Yuga, which came much earlier than the Kaliyuga. His presence in Kaliyuga too is an indication of his immortality and a testimony of the fact that immortal souls like him are still present in the Himalayas. Dr. Hari Dutta Bhatta, Shailesh has given an interesting description of his mountaineering experience of Janwali (Garhwal) hill, which is 22000 feet above the sea level, in Dharmayuga (Hindi

weekly, 23 rd August 1964 issue). He was convinced that some supernormal power saved him and his group from getting buried under a landslide. All these incidents prove the fact that immortal souls possessing fierce supernatural power are still present in the Himalayas and they will remain there for an infinite time. Modern scientists are also actively engaged in the research for finding the elixir of life. Zoologists of Russia, France, Britain, Germany, USA, etc. have been investigating for a long time the process of aging and death. On the basis of the results obtained so far, they have concluded that death is not an inevitable phenomenon. Aging is a kind of disease. If it be possible to find a cure for it, a person could live for a thousand years. The modes and methods of kayakalpa (rejuvenation) mentioned in Ayurveda also prove this fact. In traditional histories of India like the Puranas and Brahmanas, it is pointed out that in addition to the kingdoms in northern India, there were kingdoms north of the Himalayas with the same culture as in India, which would be in the regions that we are considering for the Celtic peoples. Most important is the famous land of the Uttara Kurus, described as a spiritual paradise north of the Himalayas. Comparison of European Celtic culture with Hindu culture shows a large number of similarities between them. Some of these were shown in a two part article that appeared in the May and June issues of the magazine Hinduism Today. Therefore, we have cultural evidence to back up the traditions and the archaeology. Religiously, these red-haired northern Vedic people are known to have some point taken up Buddhism. Certain traditional sources indicate that they learned Buddhism from the Buddha previous to Siddhartha Gautama, who was named Kashyapa. A Kashyapa rishi also appears as one of the oldest Vedic rishis and as associated with northern regions like Kashmir, that was originally called Kashyapa Mira or Kashyapa·s lake. Tibetan literature, I have been told, indicates that they learned their Buddhism, not from India, but from "Shamballa" which is placed exactly where these people lived. Such a prediction has been made in Kalchakra a sacred text of the buddhist,now mainly of Tibet of which I will speak later, one can find the necessary teaching provided for preparation of the prophesized war. We find in it ¶the psychology of invasions· and detailed instructions on how to build various machines to ward off the invaders. The sacred texts go on to say the Dark Age will last until the year 2424 AD, when a ¶great war· will begin in India. The human race will be rescued from total destruction by the armies of Shambhalla riding ¶flying horses· and ¶boats that fly in the air·. According to the Vedic Text Shambhalla is also called as the ´Paradeshµ.

James Hilton wrote about it in the 1933 book Lost Horizon, Hollywood portrayed it in the 1960s film ¶Shangri-la·, and recent films such as ¶Kundun·, ¶Little Buddha· and ¶Seven Years in Tibet· allude to the magical utopia. Even author James Redfield, noted for his New Age best seller The Celestine Prophecy, has written a book called The Secret of Shambhala: In Search of the Eleventh Insight. Shambhala, which in Sanskrit means ´place of peace, of tranquillity,µ is thought of in Tibet as a community where perfect and semi-perfect beings live and are guiding the evolution of humanity. Shambhala is considered to be the source of the Kalachakra, which is the highest and most esoteric branch of Tibetan mysticism. As per the vedic scriptures this esoteric place lies somewhere in the Himalayas and it could be the ultimate Hindu pilgrimage place which Mount Kailash and the Mansorovar lake. Shambhala can be identified with the region surrounding Mount Kailash, the mountain in southwestern Tibet holy to both Hindus and Buddhists. This makes sense because, according to Tibetan etymology, Shambhala means the abode of bliss, a synonym for both the Hindu god Shiva and the Buddha-figure Heruka. Hinduism regards Mount Kailash as the seat of Shiva, and Buddhism as the main location of Heruka. Some scholars identify the three regions between India and Shambhala ² Bhotia, Li and Chin ² as Tibet, Khotan and China, and then presume that Shambhala is somewhere in East Turkistan (the modern Chinese province of Xinjiang), but this seems to be erroneous. These three names are also used respectively for the Terai, Kathmandu Valley and Dolpo regions of southern, central and northwestern Nepal. The sixth region, Himavan, the land of snows, is a common name for Tibet. Mount Kailash is not really Shambhala, however, but only represents Shambhala on this earth. The Kalachakra Tantra speaks of four holy places around Vajrasana (Bodh Gaya), the site where Buddha manifested his enlightenment: Five-peaked Mountain in the east, Potala Mountain in the south, Shambhala in the north and Oddiyana in the west. These are the special places associated, respectively, with Manjushri, Avalokiteshvara, the Kalki rulers and Guru Rinpoche. They can be identified with Wutaishan in northern China, the Vindhya Range in southern India, Mount Kailash in southwestern Tibet and Swat in northern Pakistan. If we go to these places, however, we do not actually find these great beings living there, or even archeological traces of them. As explained earlier, the journey to Shambhala is a spiritual, not a physical one. "Holy places never had any beginning. They have been holy from the time they have been discovered, strongly alive because of the invisible presence breathing through them. Man is amazed or fearful as he feels the vibrations of invisible power in the air,

and religions, feebly falling behind like all human institutions, gradually assign various names and symbols to delineate the mystery." Mount Kailash is the ultimate place of pilgrimage for the disciples of four religions. For Hindus the mountain is the abode of Shiva, the God symbolising all the destructive forces in the universe and yet at the same time all regenerative power and energy. At the summit of Kailash, Shiva sits on his celestial throne. Almost significantly, the mountain is also perceived as the physical manifestation of the mythical Mount Meru. The Hindus have for centuries traversed the Himalayas to circumnavigate Kailash, believing that a circuit of the mountain will erase the sins of a lifetime and break the karmic cycle. Hindus also believe that the waters of the sacred lake Manasarover were created from the mind or 'manas' of Brahma, the God who symbolizes the creative force in the universe. Hindus revere the whole Himalayan Range as a manifestation of the divine consciousness. The presence of the mountain and sacred lake is the ultimate endorsement of the sanctity of the whole range. Buddhists, particularly the Mahayana Buddhists of Tibet and the surrounding region, call the mountain Kang Rinpoche, the 'precious snow mountain'. For them this is the cosmic mountain, a link between the physical world and the spiritual universe. For Buddhists and Jains the concept of Meru is also crucial, for it lies at the centre of their cosmology. Kailash is seen as the physical manifestation of Mount Meru. The Jains, a small but important religious sect in India, know Kailash as Mount Ashtapade. It was on the mountain that the founder of the faith, Rishabanatha, attained spiritual liberation. Prior to the introduction of Buddhism in Tibet, the prevailing faith was the Bonpo religion. To the adherents of Bonpo, Kailash was, and is still known as the nine-storied swastika mountain, the mystical soul of the Tibetan Plateau. The swastika is the holy image for all these religions and is symbolic of spiritual strength. Kailash and Manasarover have also been dubbed the fountainhead of the world. Early pilgrims recognized Kailash and the nearby lake as the source from which stemmed the river systems of virtually the whole of the Indo-Gangetic plain. Indeed within a few miles of the holy peak can be traced the source of the rivers Indus, Brahmaputra, Sutlej, Karnali, and although somewhat further off, the holy river Ganges. That the rivers should be considered holy is no surprise, for they are the lifeblood of Northern India, Pakistan and Bangladesh and irrigate the land that still sustains a third of the subcontinent's population. That they their legendary source should be seen as an object of devotion

and pilgrimage is easily explained. The rivers which find their source in this remote part of the Tibetan Plateau enter the plains thousands of miles apart, a unique and extraordinary phenomenon. In geographical chronology, The Tibetan Plateau was formed before the Himalayas themselves, and thus the river systems, which drain from the plateau predate, the mountains through which they flow. As the Aryan tribes moved from Central Asia Southwards onto the Indian subcontinent, so they developed a cosmology, which became the basic of Vedic faith. Central in this cosmological model was a mountain called Meru, 'Shining like the morning sun and like a fire without smoke, immeasurable and unapproachable by men of manifold sins'. On the summit of Mount Meru stood Indra's heavenly city Swarga and leading upto the mountain was the pathway to the stars, where the souls of the dead await rebirth. Perhaps the most complete description of the cosmological pattern comes from the Vishnu Purana, which explains how the world is made up of seven continents, ringed by seven oceans. The central island has Meru as its core, bounded by three mountain ranges to the north and three to the south. Mount Meru is the central fulcrum of the universe, and the navel of the world, from which four mighty rivers take their source. This legend spread throughout Asia and found expression in the design of temples, stupas, pagodas and other places of religious worship. As the early Vedic beliefs became transformed into the religions we are aware of today, so Kailash has become the earthy avatar of Mount Meru. People of all times from around the world have stood in awe when faced with majestic mountains. From these sublime experiences have come myths about great mountains as homes of the gods, as stairways to the heavens, as pillars of the earth. One mountain range in particular inspired this kind of awe, wonder and devotion - the vast Himalayas. The Tibetans and the Hindus especially held the great Himalayan mountain range as sacred. Its grand peaks seemed to reach beyond the profane human realm and stretch up, touching the divine realm of the gods, so the Tibetans and Hindus saw the mountains as a means of transition between both the human and heavenly worlds. The mountains were created, myth tells us, by the god Indra. A huge herd of flying elephants had displeased him, so he punished them by cutting off their wings and they turned into the Himalayas. The mountains were important to all of the gods for they all made sacrifices there. They were especially significant to the god Shiva, however, whose paradise was on Mount Kailas and whose deep meditation upon the mountain ensured the continued existence of all things. The most sacred mountain of the whole Himalayan range though was most definitely Mount Meru. As we have discussed,

Mount Kailas is the home of the great god Shiva. Well, Mount Kailas is an actual Himalayan mountain in the Ngari region of Tibet. It rises 22,000 feet high from the edge of the Tibetan Plateau and is highly inaccessible. It is Mount Kailas then that is the physical embodiment of Mount Meru for the Buddhist and Hindu peoples. Mythical Mount Meru was thought to be the axis of the universe, sitting at the centre of the Himalayas. Myths say that Meru rested on the hood of the coiled primeval cobra Vasuki, who, it was said, caused earthquakes when he yawned. It was also believed that the whole world would be devoured by this ancient snake at the end of the present age, world cycle. The Hindus and Buddhists both regarded Mount Meru as sacred for it was thought to be the centre of the cosmos and supported all of the spheres of existence, from Brahma's divine city of gold at its peak, to the seven netherworlds at its base, and especially as the source of the sacred Ganges river. They said that Mount Meru's slopes were studded with glittering gemstones and were thick with trees heavy with delicious fruit. Its peaks were rimmed with gold and a huge lake encircled it. The divinity of this mountain is reflected in the religious objects of worship, yantras, of these peoples for the mountain is symbolized in their conical shape. Mt. Kailash, at 6714 m also known as Tise, Kailasa & Kang Rinpoche(Jewel of the Snows), has since time immemorial been celebrated in many Eastern cosmologies as Mt. Meru, the axis mundi. And as the center of the physical & metaphysical universe, Mt. Meru is sacred to the Buddhist, Jains, the Hindus & the Bonpos. For the Hindus, the mountain represents the seat of Lord Shiva; for the Buddhists, a terrestrial projection of the cosmic mandala of Dhyani-Buddhas & Boddhisatvas«.The Wheel of Life; for the Bonpos, Kailash was the sacred nine storey Swastika Mountain, upon which the Bonpo founder Sherab alighted from heaven. Four of the great rivers of the Indian subcontinent originates from here: the Karnali, which feeds into the Ganges (south); the Indus (north); the Sutlez (west) & the Brahmaputra (Yarlung Tsangpo, east. A single circumnambulation around Mount Kailish wipes away the sins of a lifetime. Revered by Buddhists, Hindus, Jains and Böns, this remote Tibetan mountain attracts scores of pilgrims. High on the remote western Tibetan plateau, in the northernmost region of the Himalayas, sits Mount Kailash, the holy mountain. The Tibetan people have named it Kang Rinpoche, or Snow Jewel, and the Indians refer to it as Mount Meru. Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain pilgrims from the world over go to this holy mountain to circumambulate rather than scale the 22,028-foot high peak. In fact, climbing Mount Kailash is forbidden. The only person to have ever been atop the sacred mountain was Milarepa, a 11th century Tibetan Buddhist yogi.

Mount Kailash is commonly referred to as the center of the universe in Eastern religious texts from India to Japan. Rooted in the seventh hell and bursting through the highest heaven, it is also believed to be the World Pillar. Hopi Indians recognize Kailash as being at the opposite side of their Black Mesa, thus it·s a cosmic backbone. Hindus who walk around the 32-mile circumference of Mount Kailash use the term parikrama. They believe that Lord Shiva, one of their three main gods, resides atop what they call Mount Meru. Tibetans refer to the clockwise circumambulation as a kora. Both words mean the same thing: pilgrimage. Doing a walk around the mountain can wipe away a lifetime·s worth of sins, or negative karma as is the term in Eastern religions. ´He who performs the Parikrama, the ritual circumambulation of the holy mountain, with a perfectly devoted and concentrated mind goes through a full cycle of life and deathµ Lama Anagarika Govinda, ¶The Way of the White Clouds.· The Jains who refer to Kailash as Mount Ashtapada believe the founder of their faith, Rishabanatha, resides atop the mountain. And the Böns [or Bönpos], the religion which predates Buddhism in Tibet, maintain that the entire mystical region and the Nine-Story Swastika Mountain is the seat of all power. When viewed from the south face, a swastika can be seen. Unlike the Jains, Buddhists or Hindus, the Böns make counterclockwise circumambulations. ´According to Bönpo accounts, 18 enlightened teachers will appear in this eon and Tönpa Shenrab, the founder of the Bön religion, is the enlightened teacher of this age. He is said to have been born in the mythical land of Olmo Lung Ring, whose location remains something of a mystery. The land is traditionally described as dominated by Mount Yung-drung Gu-tzeg (Edifice of Nine Swastikas), which many identify as Mount Kailash in western Tibet. Due to the sacredness of Olmo Lung Ring and the mountain, both the counter-clockwise swastika and the number nine are of great significance in the Bön religion.µ From ¶The Office of Tibet· Devout Tibetan Buddhists will do full length prostrations, a feat which takes several weeks, around Mount Kailash, increasing the amount of purification they will receive. Many pilgrims do a complete round of the mountain in one day, an accomplishment made more difficult by the 15,000-foot high altitude. Pilgrimages are by their very nature meant to be arduous, and as the Ngari region of Mount Kailash has no airports or train stations nearby, people arrive at their spiritual destination by foot, horseback, yak or jeep. Tarchen is a small settlement near the south face of the mountain; the place where most pilgrimages begin. Those unwilling or unable to make the kora around the mountain can hire someone who will, thereby splitting the accumulated merit 50/50. This doesn·t allow either the person who sponsors the kora or the one who actually

makes the journey to attain instant enlightenment. For those who make the kora, aside from enduring highly changeable weather conditions, there are four prostration points in which to pay physical homage. Many pilgrims make sure they visit the three monasteries located along the path. Near the top of the kora is the Shiwa Tsal, named after the famed cremation grounds in India. Pieces of clothing, a lock of hair or a drop of blood are left there as an offering, signifying the pilgrim·s understanding of death and rebirth. At the highest point of the circuit, just over 18,000 feet, is Dolma La Pass, meaning ¶She Who Helps Cross.· [The Sanskrit name for the female Buddha is Tara]. This refers to the crossing over to liberation as well as being able to complete the pilgrimage circuit around Kailash. The great boulder of Tara is swathed with long, colorful strings of prayer flags which send out messages of peace with each flap they make in this windy region. Mount Kailash is also the source of four major rivers: the Indus, the Brahmaputra, the Karnali and the Sutleg. The comparison to the Indian legend of Mount Meru from whose summit flows four great rivers that irrigate all of Asia is hard to miss. Eighteen miles southeast of Kailash is the circular, turquoise Lake Manasarovar, or Tso Rinpoche, [Precious Lake], a 64-mile circuit, which is rarely completed except by the most devout. Bathing in the lake, or even dousing one·s head with the holy water, is said to be of enormous spiritual benefit to those who can brave the icy water which many claim contain miraculous powers. Hindus are told that complete immersion into the lake ensures they be reborn as a god. Tibetans, on the other hand, avoid bathing in the lake so as not to make it dirty. This is a freshwater lake, three miles above sea level. There is a saltwater lake, separated by a narrow peninsula, named Raksas Tal, or devil·s lake. Pilgrims don·t bathe or circumambulate this crescent moon-shaped body of water, but do pay their respect by glancing in its direction. Five monasteries have been rebuilt on the shores of Lake Manasarovar since 1981³ before the Chinese invasion in 1959 there were eight. Fatigued pilgrims are allowed to stay in the monasteries. Fewer than 500 Indian nationals are allowed to make the pilgrimage per year due to the Chinese and Indian governments. Most of the Indians allowed in are selected via a lottery and the ability to pay their own way is evident in the fact that the majority of them are middle-aged businessmen from large cities. Before the Cultural Revolution, pilgrims were selected by their bountiful faith. They traveled on foot or horseback. Some of them made the journey by doing the full-length prostrations along the way, an endeavor which could last for years, depending upon the distance and the weather conditions. Few pilgrims were armed, making them prey

to thieves. But even under such extreme conditions, they were unafraid of death; dying during a pilgrimage pretty much guaranteed them a lot of good karma points. Pilgrimages require a degree of flexibility that most people aren·t required to possess in a world with guaranteed insurance benefits and retirement plans. To make a spiritual journey is to rid oneself of habits and to open the heart, making the pilgrim ego less and pure; then allowing this transformation to reach out and positively affect others. µThere is no place more powerful for practice, more blessed, or more marvelous than this; May all pilgrims and practitioners be welcome!" Milarepa, Tibetan Buddhist yogi [circa 1052 ² 1136] The spiritual center of the World has had different names in different traditions, but in many spiritual systems there is referred to a certain and unique point of emanation of spiritual order, most often described in a way that indicates it being placed in a parallel world or a higher dimension. The Hindus have called it "Paradesha", the Buddhists "Shambhala", the Christians and the Jews the "Garden of Eden". In the esoteric literature it has become known as "Shangri-La", "Agarttha" or "the Land of the Living". The early European travellers to Tibet consistently told the same tale of a hidden spiritual centre of power. Adventurers recounted fantastic tales of a hidden kingdom near Tibet. This special place is known by numerous local and regional names, which no doubt caused much confusion among early travellers as to the kingdom·s true identity. These early travellers knew it as Agharta (sometimes spelt Agharti, Asgartha or Agarttha), although it is now commonly known as Shambhala. Is there really a hidden galaxy of minds living in seclusion in an inaccessible part of Asia, or is it merely a myth? Shambhala, the "Hidden Kingdom," is thought of in Tibet as a community where perfect and semiperfect beings live and are guiding the evolution of humankind. Shambhala is considered to be the source of the Kalacakra, which is the highest and most esoteric branch of Tibetan mysticism. The Buddha preached the teachings of the Kalacakra to an assembly of holy men in southern India. Afterwards, the teachings remained hidden for 1,000 years until an Indian yogi-scholar went in search of Shambhala and was initiated into the teachings by a holy man he met along the way. The Kalacakra then remained in India until it made its way to Tibet in 1026. Since then the concept of Shambhala has been widely known in Tibet, and Tibetans have been studying the Kalacakra for the least 900 years, learning its science, practicing its meditation, and using its system of astrology to guide their lives. As one Tibetan lama put it, how could Shambhala be the source of something which has affected so many areas of Tibetan life for so long and yet not exist?

Tibetan religious texts describe the physical makeup of the hidden land in detail. It is thought to look like and eight-petaled lotus blossom because it is made up of eight regions, each surrounded by a ring of mountains. In the center of the innermost ring lies Kalapa, the capital, and the king·s palace, which is composed of gold, diamonds, coral, and precious gems. The capital is surrounded by mountains made of ice, which shine with a crystalline light. The technology of Shambhala is supposed to be highly advanced; the palace contains special skylights made of lenses which serve as highpowered telescopes to study extraterrestrial life, and for hundreds of years Shambhala·s inhabitants have been using aircraft and cars that shuttle through a network of underground tunnels. On the way to enlightenment, Shambhalans acquire such powers a clairvoyance, the ability to move at great speeds, and the ability to materialize and disappear at will. The prophecy of Shambhala states that each of its kings will rule for 100 years. There will be 32 in all, and as their reigns pass, conditions in the outside world will deteriorate. Men will become more warlike and pursue power for its own sake, and an ideology of materialism will spread 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 icy mountains of Shambhala. The barbarians will attack Shambhala with a huge army equipped with terrible weapons. Then the 32nd king of Shambhala, Rudra Cakrin, will lead a mighty host against the invaders. In a last great battle, the evil king and his followers will be destroyed. By definition Shambhala is hidden. It is thought to exist somewhere between the Gobi Desert and the Himalayas, but it is protected by a psychic barrier so that no one can find the kingdom who is not meant to. Tibetan lamas spend a great deal of their lives in spiritual development before attempting the journey to Shambhala. Those who try to get there who are not wanted are swallowed by crevasses or caught in avalanches. People and animals tremble at its borders as if bombarded by invisible rays. There are guidebooks to Shambhala, but they describe the route in terms so vague that only those already initiated into the teachings of the Kalacakra can understand them. Strange sightings in the area where Shambhala is thought to be seem to provide evidence of its existence. Tibetans believe that the land is guarded by beings with superhuman powers. In the early 1900s an article in an Indian newspaper, the Statesman, told of a British major who, camping in the Himalayas, saw a very tall, lightly clad man with long hair. Apparently, noticing that he was being watched, the man leaped down the vertical slope and disappeared. To the major·s astonishment, the Tibetans with whom he was camping showed no surprise at his story; they calmly explained that he had seen one of the snowmen who guard the sacred land.

A more detailed account of these "snowmen" guardians was given by Alexandra DavidNeel, an explorer who spent 14 years in Tibet. While traveling through the Himalayas she saw a man moving with extraordinary speed and described him as follows: "I could clearly see his perfectly calm impassive face and wide-open eyes with their gaze fixed on some invisible distant object situated somewhere high up in space. The man did not run. He seemed to life himself from the ground, proceeding by leaps. It looked as if he had been endowed with the elasticity of a ball, and rebounded each time his feet touched the ground. His steps had the regularity of a pendulum." 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.Shambhala is the place where King Sucandra, having come from the north of Kashmir, brought and developed the practice of Kalachakra, after he had received its empowerment and teachings at Dhanyakataka. Shambhala Prophecy The prophecy of Shambhala states that each of its kings will rule for 100 years. There will be 32 in all, and as their reigns pass, conditions in the outside world will deteriorate. Men will become more warlike and pursue power for its own sake, and an ideology of materialism will spread over the earth. When the ´barbariansµ 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 icy mountains of Shambhala. The barbarians will attack Shambhala with a huge army equipped with terrible weapons. Then the 32nd king of Shambhala, Rudra Cakrin, will lead a mighty host against the invaders. In a last great battle, the evil king and his followers will be destroyed. The Buddha prophesized that all who received the Kalachakra empowerment would take rebirth in its mandala. Kalachakra Mandella - ´Wheel of Timeµ The outer meaning deals with the universe and all traditional sciences such as astronomy, astrology, mathematics, and medicine. The inner meaning relates to the

human body, its internal structure and subtle energies, to be developed through yogas and tantras. The secret meaning refers to the complete cycle of study and practice of the Tantric meditation on the Kalachakra deity and its Mandala. The ´Kalachakra Tantraµ is regarded as the essence and heart of Vajrayana. The first king of Shambhala, Sucandra, an emanation of Vajrapani, requested Buddha Sakyamuni to give teachings about Kalachakra. On the full-moon day of the third month, at the stupa of Dhanyakataka in the south of India, before an assembly of innumerable Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Dakas, Dakinis, gods, nagas and yakshas, the Buddha manifested in the form of Kalachakra, transmitted the complete empowerment and gave teachings on this Tantra, which belongs to the most profound and highest class of Tantras. When back in Shambhala, King Sucandra built up a three dimensional mandala of Kalachakra, absorbed himself in the practice and gave the transmission of the whole cycle to all inhabitants of the kingdom of Shambhala. By definition Shambhala is hidden. It is thought to exist somewhere between the Gobi Desert and the Himalayas, but it is protected by a psychic barrier so that no one can find the kingdom who is not meant to. Tibetan lamas spend a great deal of their lives in spiritual development before attempting the journey to Shambhala. Those who try to get there who are not wanted are swallowed by crevasses or caught in avalanches. People and animals tremble at its borders as if bombarded by invisible rays. There are guidebooks to Shambhala, but they describe the route in terms so vague that only those already initiated into the teachings of the Kalacakra can understand them. Madame Helena Blavatsky (1831-1891) was born in the Ukraine to Russian nobility. Endowed with extrasensory powers, she traveled the world in search of occult, secret teachings and spent many years on the Indian subcontinent. From 1867 to 1870, she studied Tibetan Buddhism with Indian masters, most likely from the Tibetan cultural regions of the Indian Himalayas, during her purported stay at Tashilhunpo Monastery in Tibet.

Blavatsky encountered Tibetan Buddhism at a time when European Oriental scholarship was still in its infancy and few translations or accounts were available. Further, she was able to learn only disjointed fragments of its vast teachings. In her private letters, she wrote that because the Western public at that time had little acquaintance with Tibetan Buddhism, she decided to translate and explain the basic terms with more popularly known concepts from Hinduism and the Occult. For example, she translated three of the four island-worlds (four continents) around Mount

Meru as the sunken lost islands of Hyperborea, Lemuria, and Atlantis. Likewise, she presented the four humanoid races mentioned in the abhidharma and Kalachakra teachings (born from transformation, moisture and heat, eggs, and wombs) as the races of these island-worlds. Her belief that the esoteric teachings of all the world·s religions form one body of occult knowledge reinforced her decision to translate in this manner and she set out to demonstrate that in her writings. Together with the American spiritualist Colonel Henry Steel Olcott, Madame Blavatsky founded the Theosophical Society in 1875 in New York. Its international headquarters moved to Madras, India, shortly thereafter. When her colleague Alfred Percy Sinnett identified Theosophy with esoteric Buddhism in Esoteric Buddhism (1883), Blavatsky refuted his claim. According to her posthumously published Letters of H. P. Blavatsky to A. P. Sinnett, Blavatsky·s position was that Theosophy transmitted the ´secret occult teachings of trans-Himalaya,µ not the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism. Nevertheless, through her writings, the West first came to associate Shambhala with the Occult and many subsequently confused this connection with the actual teachings of Buddhism. In 1888, Blavatsky mentioned Shambhala in her main work, The Secret Doctrine, the teachings for which she said she received telepathically from her teachers in Tibet. She wrote in a letter that although her teachers were reincarnate ´byang-tzyoobsµ or ´tchang-chubsµ (Tib. byang-chub, Skt. bodhisattva), she had called them ´mahatmasµ since that term was more familiar to the British in India. The Tibetan source of the teachings in The Secret Doctrine, Blavatsky claimed, is The Stanzas of Dzyan, the first volume of commentaries to the seven secret folios of Kiu-te. ´Kiu-teµ transcribes the Tibetan ´rgyud-sde,µ meaning ´tantra division,µ which is the title of the first section of the Kangyur, the Tibetan translations of Buddha·s words. ´Dzyanµ transcribes the Sanskrit ´dhyanaµ (Jap. zen), meaning mental stability. Blavatsky was aware that The Kalachakra Tantra was the first item in the tantra division of the Kangyur, since she mentioned that fact in one of her notes. She explained, however, that the seven secret folios were not actually part of the published Kiu-te, and thus we do not find anything similar to The Stanzas of Dzyan in that collection. It is unclear to what extent Blavatsky actually studied the Kalachakra texts directly. The earliest Western material on the topic was an 1833 article entitled ´Note on the Origins of the Kalachakra and Adi-Buddha Systemsµ by the Hungarian pioneer scholar Alexander Csomo de Körös (Körösi Csoma Sandor). De Körös compiled the first dictionary and grammar of Tibetan in a Western language, English, in 1834. Jakov Schmidt·s Tibetan-Russian Dictionary and Grammar soon followed in 1839. Most of Blavatsky·s familiarity with Kalachakra, however, came from the chapter entitled ´The

Kalachakra Systemµ in Emil Schlagintweit·s Buddhism in Tibet (1863), as evidenced by her borrowing many passages from that book in her works. Following her translation principle, however, she rendered Shambhala in terms of similar concepts in Hinduism and the Occult. The first English translation of The Vishnu Purana, by Horace Hayman Wallace, had appeared in 1864, three years before Blavatsky·s purported visit to Tibet. Accordingly, she explained Shambhala in terms of the Hindu presentation in this text: it is the village where the future messiah, Kalki Avatar, will appear. The Kalki, Blavatsky wrote, is ´Vishnu, the Messiah on the White Horse of the Brahmins; Maitreya Buddha of the Buddhists; Sosiosh of the Parsis; and Jesus of the Christians.µ She also claimed that Shankaracharya, the early ninth-century founder of Advaitya Vedanta, ´still lives among the Brotherhood of Shamballa, beyond the Himalayas.µ Elsewhere, she wrote that when Lemuria sank, part of its people survived in Atlantis, while part of its elect migrated to the sacred island of ´Shamballahµ in the Gobi Desert. Neither the Kalachakra literature nor The Vishnu Purana, however, has any mention of Atlantis, Lemuria, Maitreya, or Sosiosh. The association of Shambhala with them, however, continued among Blavatsky·s followers. Blavatsky·s placement of Shambhala in the Gobi Desert is not surprising since the Mongols, including the Buryat population of Siberia and the Kalmyks of the lower Volga region, were strong followers of Tibetan Buddhism, particularly its Kalachakra teachings. For centuries, Mongols everywhere have believed that Mongolia is the Northern Land of Shambhala and Blavatsky was undoubtedly acquainted with the Buryat and Kalmyk beliefs in Russia. Blavatsky might also have received confirmation of her placement of Shambhala in the Gobi Desert from the writings of Csoma de Körös. In an 1825 letter, he wrote that Shambhala is like a Buddhist Jerusalem and lay between 45 and 50 degrees longitude. Although he felt that Shambhala would probably be found in the Kizilkum Desert in Kazakhstan, the Gobi also fell within the two longitudes. Others later would also locate it within these parameters, but either in East Turkistan (Xinjiang, Sinkiang) or the Altai Mountains. Although Blavatsky herself never asserted that Shambhala was the source of The Secret Doctrine, several later Theosophists made this connection. Foremost among them was Alice Bailey in Letters on Occult Meditation (1922). Helena Roerich, in her Collected Letters (1935-1936), also wrote that Blavatsky was a messenger of the White Brotherhood from Shambhala. Moreover, she reported that in 1934 the Ruler of

Shambhala had recalled to Tibet the mahatmas who had transmitted to Blavatsky the secret teachings. Paramahansa Yogananda, in his Autobiography of a Yogi, writes about his guru·s guru·s guru, Mahavatar Babaji, an immortal sage of great age who remains forever young. Yogananda mentions the sage·s abode to be a spot pulsating with the energy of siddhas and yogis³Gyanganj. Hidden in a valley somewhere in the Himalayas, Gyanganj or Siddhashram is supposed to be the abode of immortal saints with supernatural powers who silently and secretly guide humanity·s destiny. Sai Kaka, a yogi who claims to have visted Gyanganj, says: ´On the adhyatmic or spiritual level, it (Gyanganj) runs the universe. On the adhidevik or celestial level, the earth and water elements are absent, enabling powerful activity. At this level, Gyanganj impacts many planes (of existence) and beings. On the adhibhautic or gross level, Gyanganj siddhas guide human beings in spiritual and social fields.µ Available accounts place Gyanganj north of Kailash-Manasarovar in Tibet. It is also believed to exist on a higher plane. References to it are found in the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Gopinath Kaviraj, in his book Siddhabhoomi Gyanganj, details the place and its superhuman inhabitants. He talks about the experience of his guru, Swami Vishudhananda, who visited Gyanganj to learn surya vigyan or solar science. This knowledge empowered him to manifest objects and transform one object into another by manipulating the rays of the sun. In his autobiography, Yogananda describes his encounter with Swami Vishudhananda in Calcutta where he witnessed the master creating perfumes out of thin air. Paul Brunton, in his A Search in Secret India, claimed that he not only witnessed Vishudhananda create perfumes but also bring a dead bird back to life. In Tibetan Buddhism, Shambhala is the source of an esoteric branch of mysticism called the Kalachakra, and great gurus are believed to visit Shambhala to receive these teachings. The myth also finds mention in the indigenous Bon tradition of Tibet, where it is known as Olmolungring

In Tibet, this legendary land of spiritual enlightenment is known as Shambala, a Sanskrit word which to the Tibetans means "the source of happiness". It is not heaven on earth but a mystical kingdom that guards the most sacred and secret spiritual teachings of the world, including the Kalachakra (Wheel of Time), the pinnacle of Buddhist wisdom. Buddhists trace Shambala to Gautama Buddha who is said to have assumed the form of the Kalachakra deity before his death and delivered his highest

teaching to a group of adepts and gods in south India. Among those present was King Suchandra, the first king of Shambala, who wrote down the sermons and took them back with him. Various Buddhist texts give instructions for finding Shambala, though directions are obscure. It is assumed that only accomplished yogis will find it. The kingdom is hidden in the mists of the snow mountains and can be reached only by flying over them with the help of siddhis or spiritual powers. James Hilton's novel, Lost Horizon, about the lost kingdom of Shangri-La, was inspired by the legend of Shambala. Shangri-La has since come to mean a remote, beautiful, imaginary place where life approaches perfection; utopia, in short. Shambala was not a figment of the imagination for Madame Blavatsky , founder of the Theosophical Society . She considered it the abode of the mahatmas or spiritual adepts, in the mountains of Tibet, Mongolia and India. They live on through centuries in various incarnations, perpetuating the knowledge of earlier, more spiritually advanced, civilizations like the Egyptian and the Greek, and teach it to worthy pupils. One of these adepts, Koot Hoomi (or Kuthumi Baba, at least 500 years old) was Blavatsky's guru. In India, this secret, sacred land is known as Gyanganj or Siddhashram. References to Gyanganj or secret ashrams can be found in Hindu scriptures such as Valmiki Ramayan and Mahabharat. Guru Nanak called it Sach Khand. The technology of Shambala is highly advanced. The windows of the palace function as powerful lenses that serve as telescopes high-powered enough for studying life on other worlds. For hundreds of years, the inhabitants have been using aircraft and subways. This advancement is not limited to the mere material, for the inhabitants have been able to develop powers of clairvoyance, swift long-distance travel on foot, and also the ability to materialize and disappear at will. The belief in the existence of Shambala has been reinforced by reports of unusual occurrences in the Himalayan region where it is thought to be. In the early 1900s The Statesman carried a report by a British army officer of a very tall, lightly clad man with long hair who, when he noticed the major, leaped down a vertical slope and disappeared.( This incident I have mentioned earlier in this article also ans I am mentioning here only to impress upon my readers that Himalayas could be that gateway to heaven that we are talking about , without prejudice ) Tibetans back at the encampment showed no surprise at the major's account, but simply explained that he had seen one of the guards of the sacred land.

Alexandra David-Neel, the French adventurer who spent 14 years in Tibet, reported seeing a man moving with extraordinary speed: "I could clearly see his perfectly calm impassive face and wide-open eyes with their gaze fixed on some invisible distant object situated somewhere high up in space. The man did not run. He seemed to lift himself from the ground, proceeding by leaps. It looked as if he had been endowed with the elasticity of a ball, and rebounded each time his feet touched the ground. His steps had the regularity of a pendulum." Shambala supposedly can be perceived only by those sufficiently pure both in mind and karmic resolution. It is also held that the reason we do not hear from anyone who has successfully found it is either because they do not want to return, or because they have been destroyed in the attempt. There are texts listing the Shambala rulers along with corresponding events in the outside world, and also predictions for the future. The decline of Buddhism in Tibet, the rise of materialism everywhere, and events of the tumultuous 20th century can be discerned in those predictions. I have mentioned about the prophecy of the Shambhalla The prophecy of Shamballa describes a situation similar to that of Ithaca in Homer's story of Odysseus. Both involve the idea of returning to the source and both places are threatened with barbarian invasion. This prophecy tells of the thirty-two kings that will rule in Shamballa and of the rise of brutal materialism in the world. It says that when the dungans have become more troublesome than ever, the Panchen Lama will be born as the son of the king of Shamballa. The dungans will lay waste to Tibet, and the people, following the Dalai Lama, will abandon their homeland to set off for Shamballa, where they will be received by the new king. The dungans will subdue Asia and Europe and will even try to invade Shamballa, but they will be defeated by the forces of the king and driven back into their own country. This great final battle represents a confrontation between the desire-ridden personality and the Higher Self, where the true 'king' extends his rule over the vestures of the outside world. But the details of the prophecy are so closely mirrored in the shadowy struggles of recent history that it cannot but remind one of the Tibetan world-view which assumes that everything conceivable probably exists in the world. The great battle between truth and ignorance rages at the gates of Shamballa as it does in the human heart, and whole nations and their armies simply galumph along hideously, acting it out on the gross physical plane. Going home to Shamballa is like the 'journey to the East', to the birthplace of Apollo and Hermes. It is the home of the Sons of Will and Yoga who lived on as remnants of the Third Race, and all of the avatars of Vishnu are said to have sprung from its centre. In the Hindu tradition, Kalki will be the last of these avatars, and according to Tibetan

calculations, he corresponds to Rudra Chakrin, the last king of Shamballa. Just as Rama possessed the aid of Hanuman in the Ramayana as he fought the barbarian demons, so the king will possess a General Hanumanda who will assist him in that final great battle foretold in the prophecy. The link between Vishnu and Shamballa is also forged in the mysterious teachings of time and cycles, which must be understood at some level in order even to enter upon the battleground. This is inextricably interwoven with the mystery of the Earth itself, who demonstrates these cycles in all her shifts and flows. It is said that at the beginning of human life, only the North Pole of the earth was motionless and dry. This island is a 'skull-cap' which prevails during the entire manvantara of our Round. It is the head of the mother from which pure waters flow, to become foul at her feet. When they return to her heart, they are once again purified, for her heart beats "under the sacred foot of Shamballa". This heart also lies beneath the Sea of Knowledge, which existed where the sands of the Gobi Desert now stretch in desolation and throw up miraged outlines of lost cities as though it were a graveyard yielding forth its ghosts. Nicholas Roerich (1874-1947) was the set-designer for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. He was also an ethnographer, a Himalayan explorer, and besides being a disciple of Helena Blavatsky, founder of Theosophy, he may have been a spy for the Soviets. He promoted the notion that he was an incarnation of the Fifth Dalai Lama, because of seven moles on his neck. He wrote, ca. 1928: "I remembered how during our crossing of the Karkaroum Pass, my sais, [syce: groom, master of horse] the Ladaki, asked me. 'Do you know why there is such a peculiar upland up here? Do you know that in the subterranean caves here many treasures are hidden, and that in them lives a wonderful tribe which abhors the sins of the Earth?' And again when we approached Khotan the hooves of our horses sounded hollow as though we rode above caves or hollows. Our caravan people called our attention to this . . . . "Long ago people lived there; now they have gone inside; they have found a subterranean passage to that subterranean kingdom." · Dhaval a ardent tourist has recorded his experience in the website, virtual tourist as follows "In the summer of 1998 we decided to explore sikkim region. we were group of 3 friends. On the summits of Sikkim, the foothills of the Himalayas, among the blooming rhododendrons and the fragrant Balu - the healing plant - a lama who looked like a carved image from the middle ages told us, pointing towards the five summits of Kanchenjunga: 'There is the entrance to the holy land of Shambhala. By passages through wonderful ice caves under the earth, a few deserving ones have, even in this life, reached the holy place where all wisdom, all glory, all splendor are gathered.

Another lama of the Red Hat sect told us about wonderful Asaras, Hindu in appearance, with long hair and white attire, who often appear in the Himalayas, 'wise men who know how to master the inner energies and to unite them with cosmic energies.' According to this lama, the head of the Medical School in Lhasa, a learned old lama, knew such Asaras personally and was in touch with them. Once before sunrise, while camping in the Himalayas, the I went from my camp to the neighboring cliffs to see the majestic snowcapped outlines of the mountains. On the opposite side of the gorge rose a high rock. Great was my astonishment when, through the morning mist, I noticed on the rock the figure of a tall man, almost naked and with long black hair. The man was leaning on a tall bow, attentively watching something behind the rock. Then, apparently noticing something, the silent figure, with great strides leaped down the almost vertical slope. Amazed, the I returned to the camp and asked the servants about this strange apparition. To my surprise, they took it quite calmly and with reverence told him: 'Sahib has seen one of the snowmen who guard the forbidden region.' I asked a lama about the snowmen and again the answer came in a surprisingly calm and affirmative way: 'These snowmen are very rarely seen. They are the faithful guardians of the Himalayan regions where the secret Ashrams of the Mahatmas are hidden. Formerly, even in Sikkim we had several Ashrams of the Mahatmas. These wise Mahatmas of the Himalayas direct our lives through unceasing work and study. They master the highest powers. And, as perfectly ordinary people, they appear in various places, here, beyond the ocean, and through out Asia. ONE TIBETAN LEGEND Wandering in a hidden valley beneath the snow-wrapped shoulders of Dhaulagiri, a lone hunter from the region of Dolpo hearkened to the echo of lamas chanting and the beating of drums. Tibetans tell the story of how this simple transient followed the sound of the music towards its source, which brought him to a doorway in a great cliff. Passing through it, he found himself in a beautiful valley adorned with verdant rice fields, villages and a gracious monastery. The people who lived in this valley were peaceful and happy, and they extended to the hunter a warm welcome, urging him to stay. He was delighted with their blissful existence but soon became anxious to go back to his own family and bring them to enjoy the beautiful valley. The residents there warned him that he would not be able to find the way back, but he was determined to leave. As he made his way out through the cliff door, he took the precaution of hanging his gun and his shoes beside the entrance to mark it. Confidently he went to fetch his

wife and children, but when he returned to the hidden valley, he found the gun and shoes hanging in the middle of a blank rock wall. Old Tibetan records tell of long and difficult journeys undertaken by some who are vainglorious but successfully accomplished only by Adepts who have the eyes to see it. Having heard stories of a celestial temple atop a mountain in India, a British expedition in the nineteen thirties climbed the sacred peak and, having seen no golden temple, mentioned this to a holy man, who smiled and said, "No, you probably wouldn't have." As such places have been called the birthplace of the gods, it is small wonder that sceptical men would find it difficult to see them. The Greeks believed that only the gods and great heroes guided by Hermes could know Elysium and "only those mortals were translated thither who had come through a triple test in life". This was the Hyperborean land that answered to the pure land of Shamballa where, it is said, the Masters of the Snowy Range assemble every seven years. To find one's way into the presence of such beings must be difficult indeed, and yet many have wondered and dreamed and risked all they had in their efforts to discover the way. How can anyone begin to find the way to Shamballa? In 1775 the Panchen Lama wrote a detailed guidebook inspired by the vivid experiences and instructions he had received in dreams. This Shambhalai Lamyig describes many ordeals and is considered by those who pursue these mysteries to be one of the main sources of information about the place and the journey to it. The other major sources are the Kanjur and Tanjur, a threehundred volume set which is considered the sacred Tibetan Buddhist canon. These palm leaves contain the earliest known mention of Shamballa, the Pure Land whose name in Tibetan is bde'byung or 'Source of happiness'. The Buddhists say that the Pure Land is not a paradise but a land only for those who are on their way to nirvana. They believe that whoever reaches it or is reborn there can never fall back into a lower state and that it is the only pure land that exists on earth. The Pure Land Doctrine or Sukhavati teaches that a Bodhisattva may make a vow of compassion that after he has obtained supreme Buddhahood he will establish a Buddha-field wherein conditions will be conducive to enlightenment. Sukhavati is one of the names of the Buddha and is not nirvana itself but a symbol of it, and Japanese Buddhists assert that to be reborn there is to achieve enlightenment. Thus Shamballa is not an end in itself but rather an exalted stage leading to something even more incomprehensible beyond. The Sanskrit sham (happiness) bhal (to give) has the same meaning as the Tibetan and this happiness is born of the shedding of illusions. Popular Tibetan tradition suggests that many who reach there are not immortal nor fully enlightened. They retain some of their illusions and failings, but they continually strive to become free of them as they

move closer towards rebirth in that blissful place. The kings of Shamballa are enlightened and believed to be an incarnation of a Bodhisattva who is in essence a source of happiness. The Panchen Lama was a king there and will be reborn as such in the future as a channel through which the Buddha-state manifests in the world, as though that office was a reflection of an eternal truth which asserts itself cyclically in time. Just so do other centres appear and disappear like the seven sacred localities where the Kabiri created fire on the island of Samothrace. Such places are reflections of Shamballa which manifest, ripen and become forgotten by humanity. They remain in the world as islands or mountains, but their power is doubted and the aura of transcendence which hovers around their floating headlands and barren peaks is sensed only by the very few. The Mahabharata describes Uttarakuru, the land of enlightened Sages, as lying to the north of Mount Meru, although some say it is to be found in the Tarim Basin or in Siberia. Arjuna is described as travelling to Lake Manasasarova and then to Mount Kailas before crossing the Tibetan Plateau leading on to the Kunlun Mountains and Khotan. Some guidebooks place Shamballa far to the north of this, mentioning the polar regions and the North star. Chinese and Tibetan records identify it as the Sacred Island of Adepts which continues to exist in a place well known to them, whether the surrounding topography changes or not. The changes and flow of the earth's history are thus acknowledged, whilst at the same time the changeless nature of Shamballa is suggested. The Kingdom of Shambhala plays a vital role in Vedic cosmogony. It is known as the Axis of the Universe, and there is some evidence that it may have its physical location at Mount Kailash, the mythological abode of Lord Shiva. Shambhala has also been mentioned in the Ramayana and Mahabharata, and is an integral part of Buddhist philosophy. According to legend, somewhere in the Northern mountains of India there is a hidden Kingdom invisible to the outside world, whose land is beautiful beyond measure, abounding with fine golden sands and crystal waters. Its fruits are delicious and of excellent taste, and its flowers exude the most heavenly fragrances. The inhabitants of Shambhala are said to always be cheerful, free from sickness, disease, and old age; and wealthy beyond measure. All are wrapped in the finest silks and adorned with rubies and diamonds, or the lapis lazuli and other sparkling jewels. Sages there live in the highest state of God-Realization, and all live in peace and harmony. The Buddhists, mainly in Tibet, maintain a cultural inheritance rich in allusions to Shambala. It is said, that from there came the most important teachings of the Tibetan Buddhist line, such as the Kalachakra Tantra initiation, which is currently being spread

in the West by the Dalai Lama. He and the Panchen Lama traditionally function as 'ambassadors' of Shambhala in our world. Through the ages Shambhala has also manifested on the earthly plane in different cultures of our planet. According to the ancient Vedic scriptures its representation has been held by people such as the Hyperboreans and the Atlanteans (both also described by Plato) and in historic times by the Tibetans. Any true spiritual path works in accordance with teachings from Shambhala, but few are concerned with the direct communication with the inhabitants and rulers of this sacred realm. Shambhala, known as the ´Hidden Kingdom,µ is thought of in Tibet as a community, where perfect and semi perfect beings live and are guiding the evolution of humankind. Shambhala is considered to be the source of the Kalacakra, which is the highest and most esoteric branch of Tibetan mysticism. The Buddha preached the teachings of the Kalacakra to an assembly of holy men in southern India. Afterwards, the teachings remained hidden for 1,000 years until an Indian yogi-scholar went in search of Shambhala and was initiated into the teachings by a holy man he met along the way. The Kalacakra then remained in India until it made its way to Tibet in 1026. Since then the concept of Shambhala has been widely known in Tibet, and Tibetans have been studying the Kalacakra for the least 900 years, learning its science, practicing its meditation, and using its system of astrology to guide their lives. As one Tibetan lama put it, how could Shambhala be the source of something, which has affected so many areas of Tibetan life for so long and yet not exist? Tibetan religious texts describe the physical makeup of the hidden land in detail. It is thought to look like and eight-petaled lotus blossom because it is made up of eight regions, each surrounded by a ring of mountains. In the center of the innermost ring lies Kalapa, the capital, and the king palace, which is composed of gold, diamonds, coral, and precious gems. The capital is surrounded by mountains made of ice, which shine with a crystalline light. The technology of Shambhala is supposed to be highly advanced. The palace contains special skylights made of lenses which serve as highpowered telescopes to study extraterrestrial life, and for hundreds of years Shambhala?s inhabitants have been using aircraft and cars that shuttle through a network of underground tunnels. On the way to enlightenment, Shambhalans acquire such powers clairvoyance, the ability to move at great speeds, and the ability to materialize and disappear at will. Taking the legend in its most basic form, Shambhalla and Agharta is said to be a mysterious underground kingdom situated somewhere beneath Asia and linked to the

other continents of the world by a gigantic network of tunnels. These passageways, partly natural formations and partly the handiwork of the race which created the subterranean nation, provide a means of communication between all points, and have done so since time immemorial. According to the legend, vast lengths of the tunnels still exist today; the rest have been destroyed by cataclysms. The exact location of these passages, and the means of entry, are said to be known only to certain high initiates, and the details are most carefully guarded because the kingdom itself is a vast storehouse of secret knowledge. Some claim that the stored knowledge is derived from the lost Atlantean civilisation and of even earlier people who were the first intelligent beings to inhabit the earth. The first Westerner to popularise the legend of Agharta was a gifted French writer named Joseph-Alexandre Saint-Yves (1842-1910). Saint-Yves was a self-educated occultist and political philosopher who promoted in his books the establishment of a form of government called ¶Synarchy·. He taught that the body politic should be treated like a living creature, with a ruling spiritual and intellectual elite as its brain. In his quest for universal understanding, he decided in 1885 to take lessons in Sanskrit, the classical and philosophical language of India. He learnt far more than he expected. Saint-Yves·s tutor was a certain Haji Sharif, who was believed to be an Afghan prince. Through this mysterious personage, Saint-Yves learnt a good deal about Oriental traditions including Agharta. The manuscripts of Saint-Yves· Sanskrit lessons are preserved in the library of the Sorbonne, written in exquisite script by Haji. According to Joscelyn Godwin, writing in Arktos: Haji signed his name with a cryptic symbol and styled himself ´Guru Pandit of the Great Agarthian School.µ Elsewhere he refers to the ´Holy Land of Agartthaµ« In due course he informed Saint-Yves that this school preserves the original language of mankind and its 22-lettered alphabet: it is called Vattan, or Vattanian.2 Saint-Yves soon discovered his training enabled him to receive telepathic messages from the Dalai Lama in Tibet, as well as make astral journeys to Agharta. The detailed reports of what he found there became the crowning volume of his series of politicohermetic ´Missionsµ: Mission des Souverains, Mission des Ouvriers, Mission de Juifs, and finally Mission de l·Inde (The Mission of India). In The Mission of India we learn that Agharta is a hidden land somewhere in the East, below the surface of the earth, where a population of millions is ruled by a ´Sovereign Pontiffµ, who is assisted by two colleagues, the ´Mahatmaµ and the ´Mahangaµ. His realm, Saint-Yves explains, was transferred underground and concealed from the surface-dwellers at the start of the Kali Yuga, which he dates around 3200 BCE. According to Saint-Yves, the ´mages of

Agartthaµ had to descend into the infernal regions below them in order to work at bringing the earth·s chaos and negative energy to an end. ´Each of these sages,µ SaintYves wrote, ´accomplishes his work in solitude, far from any light, under the cities, under deserts, under plains or under mountains.µ3 Now and then Agharta sends emissaries to the upper world, of which it has perfect knowledge. Agharta also enjoys the benefits of a technology advanced far beyond our own. Not only the latest discoveries of modern man, but the whole wisdom of the ages is enshrined in its libraries. Among its many secrets are those of the relationship of soul to body, and of the means to keep departed souls in communication with incarnate ones. To Saint-Yves, these superior beings were the true authors of Synarchy, and for thousands of years Agharta had ´radiatedµ Synarchy to the rest of the world, which in modern times has chosen foolishly to ignore it. When the world adopts Synarchical government the time will be ripe for Agharta to reveal itself.Much of what Saint-Yves reveals in his books about Agharta, to the modern reader, appears of a bizarre nature. His writings are in a similar vein to the reports of strange worlds visited by numerous out-of-body explorers over the ages. After his own investigation of Saint-Yves, the respected historian of esotericism Joscelyn Godwin wrote: I believe Saint-Yves did ¶see· what he described, and that he did not consider himself, to the slightest degree, to be writing fiction or deriving anything from anyone else. The proof is in his utter seriousness of character, and in the publications and correspondence of the rest of his life, which take Agartha« for unquestionable realities.

´ I believe the idea of Shambhala has not yet come to full flower, but that when it does it will have enormous power to reshape civilisation. It is the sign of the future. The search for a new unifying principle that our civilisation must now undertake will, I am convinced, lead it to this source of higher energies, and Shambhala will become the great icon of the new millennium.µ³ Victoria LePage In conclusion One can only say that There is a story which illustrates this difficulty in telling of a young man who set off on a quest to find it. He crossed many mountains and finally came to a hermit's cave, and when the hermit asked him where he was going across these wastes of snow, he replied, "To find Shamballa." "Ah well, then," said the hermit, "you need not travel far. The kingdom of Shamballa is in your heart."

Tags: shambhalla,shambala,babaji,yogananda,paramhansa,lahiri,mohashoya,hermit,agharta,t ibet,buddhist,jain,hindu,hinduism,kailash,himalayas,mount,meru,manasarovar,lake,shi va,vishnu,dalai lama,sanskrit,kalachakra,tantra,kali yug,atlantean,atlantis,plato,autobiography,

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