Monday, November 26, 2012

Shamis-en-Balkh, Sam-bala & Historical Shambhala


Click Here to View the Main Index



October 23, 2012…Notes began that the historical Kingdom of Shambala was probably located in the region of Balkh....

Shamis en Balkh... the “Mother of Cities” and the “Elevated Candle” (Sham-i-Bala) ....Elevated/raised (bala) and candle (sham,sam)....Balkh was an ancient city and one of the major cities of Khorasan [khor (meaning "sun") and asan ( "about to come"), hence meaning "land where the sun rises"]. . Marco Polo described Balkh as a "noble and great city". The period between 2600 and 2000 BC was the most important period in the history of Balkh.

Texts from the Tun huang site identify Oddiyana as "Shamis en Balkh" in modern day Balkh, Afghanistan where many ruins, Buddhist stupas and monasteries exist. Oddiyana was conquered in about 176 B.C. and there is no modern city on the site so it is just an archeological site.

"Shams is the Arabic word for "sun" (شمس). The word has roots that go back to at least the time of the writing of the Epic of Gilgamesh, which references the Akkadian deity called Shamash"......

"If then we see a Middle Eastern derivation in the name Shambhala, it would mean "light of the sun" or "vision of the sun." Alternatively, if we spell the word Shambala (as it was spelled in most of the early European references to it), this would mean "the sun above" (from the Persian bala "above"; as in Bala Missar, the fort above Kabul, and many other similar names). Shambhala would then mean "the supernal sun", not merely the ordinary visible sun but the principle of light itself, as coming from the transcendent sun, the source of all light."......

Ancient Balkh from Google Earth......

Near Balkh (Sham-i-bala) is the Kalah (Castle) of Bactria (aka: Bākhtri, Oddiyana, Daxia, Bāxδi , Sham-i-bala, Olmo Lungring, etc) was not really a unified political state but a very wealthy region consisting of the fertile plains on either side of the Oxus River and surrounded by the great Pamir and Hindu Kush mountain ranges. Protected with a mild climate, well irrigated land and rich with gold and gemstones. The palaces of the Balkh region were decorated with silk, gold, and gemstones. Known as the Land of a Thousand Cities, the great cities each had a Calah (Castle, Kala) and a King. Balkh was the largest and most grand. Balkh was at it height from 2700- 2000 BC but of great importance from 600 BC until 600 AD.... Xuanzhang says: "It has many mountains and river-courses. It produces excellent (shen) horses [literally: ‘divine’ or ‘Heavenly’ horses. It was a mounted warrior culture. The Bactrian warriors were famous: they are known to have been part of the army of Xerxes, who invaded Greece in 480. Herodotus mentions their turbans, bows, and spears....high-lifted banners ......By 1000 AD it was in steep decline.

Recent Photo of the Ruins of Balkh...The walls are 7 miles in circumference.

...Bactra (Shamis en Balkh) in Bactria Map:

Click on the map to enlarge.

"Bactria, also called Bactriana or Zariaspa, ancient country lying between the mountains of the Hindu Kush and the Amu Darya (ancient Oxus River) in what is now part of Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. Bactria was especially important between about 600 bc and about ad 600, serving for much of that time as a meeting place not only for overland trade between East and West but also for the crosscurrents of religious and artistic ideas. Bactria’s capital was Bactra, also called Bactra-Zariaspa (modern Balkh, Afghanistan). Bactria was a rich fertile country, fed by numerous rivers and a profusion of mounds and abandoned water channels

"In 1980, Chogyam Trungpa said that the Shambhala Teachings 'most likely' had Iranian origins...."

"During the life of the historical Buddha, two Merchant brothers from Balkh visited the Buddha in his eighth week of enlightenment, became his first disciples and then returned to Balkh to build temples dedicated to him.....during the first century Balkh was famous throughout the region for its Buddhist temples and Nava Vihara University was sencond only to Nalanda..... in the north-west corner of the Indian subcontinent, known as the sacred garden-like Kingdom of Uddiyana. It was in Uddiyana that Padmasambhava was born...."

"Dzog chen comes to Tibet from the northwest - from a persian source (repeated in earlier Nyingmapa sources but affirmed by the great 19 century Nyingmapa scholar and practitioner, Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Taye) and from Oddiyana in Shambhalla (the Tun huang and Central Asian Buddhist texts recovered by Emmerich and discussed by snellgrove and taught as part of recovered Buddhist history in Dharmasala identify this region as 'Shamis en Balkh' - modern day Balkh in Afghanistan where ruins of many Buddhist stupas and monasteries still exist)."

"Zoroastrianism originated in Balkh, perhaps in the 6th century B.C.E....Sufism: “All roads lead to Balkh ,” uttered Gurdjieff, referring to the Sufic origin of all systems.......There was a flourishing Manichaean community in Balkh. ....By the latter half of the 2nd century, Christianity had spread east throughout Media, Persia, Parthia, and Bactria (Balkh).....Buddhist stupas, Zoroastrian fire temples, and Nestorian Christian churches – all religions made their homes here."

"Alexander of Macedonia took Bactria in 329 B.C.E., and made it his base for conquest and amalgamation of the Greek and Iranian civilizations....Balkh was the birthplace of Roxana, the bride of Alexander .....The Greco-Bactrian Kingdom was (along with the Indo-Greek Kingdom) the easternmost part of the Hellenistic world, covering Bactria and Sogdiana in Central Asia from 250 to 125 BC. The expansion of the Greco-Bactrians into northern India from 180 BC established the Indo-Greek Kingdom, which was to last until around AD 10."

"A huge castle (Calah, Kalah) with great towered outer walls of sun-dried brick...surrounded by its gardens. in the centre of the old city, in a circle of palm trees, the great shrines studded with gems and jewels...."Mother of Cities'. Had 7 gates. Shrine to rival the Ka'abah in Mecca. Castle was called Kal'ah Hinduwan after the Arab invasions of the 7th century….migrations eastward into the Uighur, Pamir, Kashmir regions."

"Kalachakra literature was compiled in the region of Shamis-en-balkh at a time when their information about Islam came from contact with the early Abbasids after 750 AD.....Kalachakra and its related commentaries (sometimes referred to as the Bodhisattvas Corpus) were returned to India in 966 CE by an Indian pandit.... the last Sanskrit work to have been written in a Central Asian land...."

Greater Khorasan...'Land Where the Sun Rises'

"......870 A.D. marks the first time that the Kingdom of Shambhala actually came under Moslem domination…".....Dharma Fellowship of His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa

"Legend reports that Vasubandhu came from the "Kingdom of Shambhala' (approximately, modern Begram, otherwise known as the ancient kingdom of Kapisha, north of Kabul) located in the Afghanistan region, north-west of Peshawar....Bagram (بگرام Bagrám), founded as Alexandria on the Caucasus and known in medieval times as Kapisa, is a small town and seat in Bagram District in Parwan Province of Afghanistan, about 60 kilometers north of the capital Kabul….in the old tradition of the 84 Mahasiddhas that the Kingdom of Uddiyana was divided between two countries, to the North and South. To the North, it bordered on the land of Shambhala (i.e., the Kingdom of Kapisa)…… Website of His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, Urgyen Trinley Dorje……….. …."….


John Hopkins.....Northern New Mexico….November 2012


1 comment: