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Shambhala-A Popular Bracelet, but what is Shambhala?
What is Shambhala?
As explained in the Kalachakra writings, Shambhala (also known as Shambala/Shamballa) is a Tibetan Buddhist and/or Indian Buddhist tradition. Shambhala, with the capital city called Kalapa, is a mythical kingdom, hidden in Asia. The world Shambhala is associated with "the land of bliss".
Shambhala is thought of as the "Buddhist Pure Land" with a reality being as spiritual and visionary as it is physical. The belief is that Shambhala is a place of peace, solice, happiness. It is believed that all the residents are enlightened.
The myth or idea of Shambhala has reached and has had an impact on both Buddhist and non-Buddhist persons in search of the spiritual; including pop culture.
Who lives in Shambhala
Lord Maitreya rules the kingdom of Shambhala at present, remaining hidden from the rest of the world. However, It is written by the Kalachakra prophets that the 25th king will emerge from Shambhala with his army into the rest of the world. He will be driven to do so because of the degradation of the world; ruled by greed and torn apart by war. Lord Maitreya's army will vanquish greed and war, a.k.a. "Dark Forces", and into our world a "Golden Age" will be born. By using the calculations written in the Kalachakra Tantra, it is believed that in the year 2424AD this will happen.
Three meanings are associated with the Shambhala kingdom; the outer, inner, and alternative.
- Outer meaning: By no means is Shambhala a country in traditional terms, mythical or not. To reach the city the person has to have the correct karma to find it. As stated in the 1985 Kalachakra initiation in Bodhgaya, the 14th Dalai Lama was quoted as saying:
"Although those with special affiliation may actually be able to go there through their karmic connection, nevertheless it is not a physical place that we can actually find. We can only say that it is a pure land, a pure land in the human realm. And unless one has the merit and the actual karmic association, one cannot actually arrive there."
- Inner meaning: The mental idea of what Shambhala means in relation to your body and psyche.
- Alternative meaning: The practice of meditation.
Inner meaning and Alternative meaning are passed verbally from teacher to student.
Because of the varying ideas of where Shambhala is thought to be located; I believe the journey there is a psychological one; the idea of having the mind and body centered and energized using the Shakra energy areas.