Locating Shambhala

Shambhala is a mystical kingdom that is said to be hidden somewhere in Tibet, according to Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Mention of this mystical kingdom is found in several ancient Buddhist texts, including the sacred Kalachakra Tanra and the texts from the ancient Zhang Zhung culture which came way before Tibetan Buddhism was instituted in the country.

Common Description

Shambhala was taken from a Sanskrit word combination of "swayam" and "bhala" which means "self-empowerment". Shambhala is generally considered as a place where peace, tranquility and happiness reign. It is sometimes believed to be a society where all the inhabitants are enlightened in the general Buddhist tradition. Shambhala is said to have a central capital city called Kalapa.

The mystical kingdom of Shambhala is said to be ruled by kings known as Kulika or Kalki Kings. The monarch has the responsibility to uphold the integrity of the Kalachakra Tantra in the kingdom. There is a prophesy in the Kalachakra Tantra that speaks of a time when the world will finally decline into the grips of war and greed, the 25th Kalki King will emerge from the kingdom of Shambhala and then lead a huge army that would defeat the dark forces and bring a new era of peace and tranquility.

Different Concepts

There are said to be different concepts being accepted in the Buddhist religion when it comes to the existence of Shambhala. The different concepts say that it has outer, inner and alternative manifestations. Many believe that Shambhala is a physical kingdom just like any other country. But many also believe that in order to enter or "see" it, one must have the appropriate form of "karma"  or reach a certain level of enlightenment.

Western Influence

Shambhala was a source of fascination for many people in the West. It first started during the Portuguese colonization of different areas in Asia. The Portuguese heard of stories about Shambhala from the people and believed it to be another name for Cathay or China.

Other Western beliefs such as the Theosophical Society in the 19th Century took on the Shambhala myth and introduced a similar idea of a hidden society existing with enlightened inhabitants that work for the good of humanity.

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