Shambhala is an ancient kingdom believed to be hidden somewhere in Central Asia. The name finds a mention in both Hindu as well as Tibetan Buddhist literature. It is a believed to be a place filled with happiness, peace and tranquility. It is even referred to as a paradise on Earth whose inhabitants are loving, wise, kind and compassionate.
Shambhala has been the topic of acute interest for many a scholar, scientist, philosopher and researcher but their findings show enormous variations. While certain texts place Shambhala in modern day India, others believe that the kingdom lies in Southern Siberia. There are even texts that suggest that the kingdom is located in China.
The legend of Shambhala dates back a few millennia. The epic Hindu text Vishnu Purana mentions Shambhala as the birth place of Kalki, the final incarnation of Lord Vishnu, who is expected to usher in the Satya Yuga, the age of truth where intrinsic goodness in people is expected to reign supreme. Buddhist texts state that Shakyamuni Buddha is said to have taught the principles of Kalachakra to King Suchandra, the then ruler of Shambhala. Vajrayana, a sect of Buddhism, suggests that Shambhala would be ruled by thirty two kings and the reign of each of them lasts one hundred years. The first seven kings are known as the Dharmarajas (meaning messengers of Truth) and the remaining 25 kings are known as the Kalki Kings. Legend has it that the last Kalki king and his army will triumph over evil and bring peace to the world.
While the kingdom of Shambhala can possibly be dismissed as a work of pure fiction, the philosophies and ideas that it stands for are worth reflecting upon. The kingdom can be perceived as a symbol of hope for a good, honest and fulfilling life and its inhabitants as examples of how a human being should live. In fact, many Tibetan Buddhist teachers view Shambhala as more than just a physical place. The place has a subtle meaning for it also represents one’s own mind and body. The ideal of Shambhala is built on the fact that in order to establish an enlightened society, one first has to have a pure heart.Tags: Religion, Spirituality, Hinduism, Buddhism