Tantra Magazine

PART 7
SHAMBALA – ONCE UPON A TIME IN TIBET
For several centuries, Tibet was the area of projection for Shambala on earth. This is the reason for which the Tibetan tradition contains so many legends connected to the mysterious kingdom of the wise, including stories of people who have traveled to Shambala.

This is the very reason why in the West people tend to interpret this issue in its very concrete sense, assuming that Shambala really exists in the physical plane, hidden somewhere in one of the many unexplored areas of Tibet, Mongolia or the Himalayan mountains.

In fact, the tendencies amongst Westerners, due to their material orientations (which makes it almost impossible to conceive the existence of the subtle parallel universes) are to either consider that Shambala exists in this physical universe, or to interpret the tradition of Shambala as purely symbolic and abstract.

In the following, we will try to clarify the aspect related to this first approach on Shambala.

It is useful to present some data about Tibet, so that we will be able to understand the depths to which Tibet was marked by its relationship with the world of Shambala, a fact that determined this country to be totally different from all others.

On the other hand, this presentation helps us explain the idea that Shambala actually exists in this physical plane, most likely in Central Asia (in this vast region there are many unexplored areas even to this day).

Tibet (in Tibetan this name means “The Land of Snows” justly called “The Roof of the World”) remains one of the most isolated and less known areas of our planet especially due to the geographic conditions, but also due to the Tibetan rulers’ policy.

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A MONKS’ LAND OCCUPIED BY COMMUNISTS
Tibet is practically a natural fortress, as it is surrounded to the South, West, and North by chains of mountains of more than 7,500 meters altitude.

The barren Tibetan plateau has a medium altitude of over 4,000 meters and is traversed by mountains and deep valleys. It descends slowly towards the east, with an extremely rocky relief, which has made the crossing to China impossible.

Due to the natural and political isolation, the first maps of Tibet were drawn only around 1900, and the precise location of the Tibetan capital was made in 1866, by the Indian explorer Nain Singh.

These days Tibet is included into China under the name “The Autonomous Region of Tibet” – a region with a surface of 1,222,000 square km and a population of approximately 2,190,000 inhabitants.

An aspect revealing Tibet’s profound spirituality before the Chinese occupation and another proof supporting the assertion that the projection of Shambala on Earth was in the area of Tibet is the fact that in 1950 approximately one quarter of the Tibetan population were monks.

For instance, in a country of 22 million people, this would mean that five and a half of them would be monks.

However, we should not expect too much of the actual spiritual state of Tibet: after the Chinese occupation, the traditional civilization started being destroyed (the dramatic “cultural revolution”).

This destruction was mainly directed towards Tibetan spirituality. Most of the monasteries were thus destroyed, and the monks were killed, persecuted or expelled from Tibet.

Adding to these the fact that during the past 50 years the education of the Tibetan people was mainly atheistic, according to communist principles, we can only infer that Tibet has become a “relic” of its past spirituality, even though it is endowed with innumerable sacred places, and with a powerful subtle field of spiritual energy around it.

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Furthermore, we should understand that this “spiritual destruction” of Tibet means the projection of Shambala is no longer in Tibet.

For political reasons, the access of strangers, mainly Europeans to Tibet was either restricted or very difficult for centuries.

The travelers who managed to enter into this beautiful and fascinating country recall with great admiration and amazement the fascination that this beautiful, unusual, wild and most often mysterious land has awakened in them.

These travelers tell that the landscape itself is impressive through its vastness, through the striking contrast between the sky, ice-covered mountains, deserted places, breath-taking abysses, and deep valleys.


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