Monday, December 31, 2012

Ancient Shambhala: The Oxus, Kabul & Sita Rivers


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"Tibetan texts mention that the Kingdom of Shambhala is located north of the river Sita…" ......Shambhala, which is also rendered Shambala, Shamballah, Sambala, Shamballa,...

Dharma Fellowship of His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, Urgyen Trinley Dorje:......"In 672 an Arab governor of Sistan, Abbad ibn Ziyad, raided the frontier of Al-Hind and crossed the desert to Gandhara, but quickly retreated again. The marauder Obaidallah crossed the Sita River (aka Kabul River) and made a raid on Kabul in 698 only to meet with defeat and humiliation. Vincent Smith, in Early History of India, states that the Turkishahiya dynasty continued to rule over Kabul and Gandhara up until the advent of the Saffarids in the ninth century. Forced by the inevitable advance of Islam on the west, they then moved their capital from Kapisa to Wahund on the Indus, whence they contin­ued as the Hindushahiya dynasty. This was in 870 A.D. and marks the first time that the Kingdom of Shambhala actually came under Moslem domination. The Hindushahis recaptured Kabul and the rest of their Kingdom after the death of the conqueror Yaqub but never again maintained Kapisa as their capital.".....

“The Panjshir River flows through the Panjshir Valley in northeastern Afghanistan, 150km from Kabul. It flows southward through the Hindu Kush and adjoins the Kabul River near Sarobi. At this junction, a dam was built in the 1950s to supply water from the Panjshir River to the Kabul River (ancient River Sita).”…….'Narrative of a Journey to the Source of the River Oxus', London: John Murray, 1841.

A·mu Dar·ya (äm däry, -m dr-yä) Formerly Ox·us (kss).....A river of central Asia flowing about 2,574 km (1,600 mi) generally northwest from the Pamir Mountains to the southern Aral Sea. In ancient times it figured significantly in the history of Persia and in the campaigns of Alexander the Great.

"DĀITYĀ, VAŊHVĪ.......the name of a river connected with the religious law, frequently identified in scholarly literature with the Oxus.....According to the Avesta, the Dāityā river was to be venerated (Yt. 1.21). On its banks Zairi.vari offered a sacrifice to Anāhitā (Yt. 5.112; see anāhīd) and Vīštāspa to both Anāhitā (Yt. 9.29) and Aši (q.v.; Yt. 17.61). Zoroaster himself honored “the good waters of the good Dāityā” (Vd. 19.2). As already noted by Josef Markwart (p. 122), it is possible that Vaŋhvī Dāityā was the same river that was called Vaŋhvī in the Tištrya Yašt, where it was characterized as “famous from afar” (dūrāṯ frasrūtąm; Yt. 8.2)........According to the first chapter of the Vidēvdād, “the Aryan expanse of the good Dāityā” was the first of the best countries created by Ahura Mazdā (q.v.), and in the Yašts it was mentioned as the place where Zoroaster worshiped Anāhitā (Yt. 5.17, 5.104) and Ahura Mazdā worshiped Vayu (Yt. 15.2). This country, crossed by the Vaŋhvī Dāityā, was also the place where Ahura Mazdā gathered the spiritual Yazata (Av. mainyava-) and Yima, the best men. Significantly, both Ahura Mazdā and Yima were defined as “famous in the Aryan expanse of the good Dāityā” (Vd. 2.20) and Zoroaster as “famous in the Aryan expanse” (Y. 9.14), with the shortened form of Aryans Vaēǰah."......

"Kalachakra text.....South of the River Śītā, (Oxus?) in the land of Mecca with ten million villages, the demonic teachings of the barbarian Tajiks will be established........Some of these locations described in original Kalachakra paintings. The writing near the top on the right side states: “The 960 million villages north of the Śīta”. In the centre, just above the river, is the circular form of Sambhala. The area below, to the south of, the river has many labels. Some of these labels are: Muslims, Turkestan,Mongolia,China, Khotan, Turkestan,Kashmir,Western Tibet, Nepal (Kathmandu valley),Mon – mountain region, near eastern Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan area, Gar-log, a border tribe, Western India, Eastern India, South-western India, Southern India, South-eastern India, Sri Lanka, North-western Tibet, Turkestan, Western Tibet, Central Tibet, Eastern Tibet, Western Tibet, Central Tibet, Eastern Tibet."

Amu Darya is a river once sourced by a powerful glacier fed stream high in the Pamir Mountains.

OXUS...."The Oxus in Sanskrit (Vaksu) occurs in the Mahabharata and Kalidasa." (Burrow: 126)...

The Amu Darya (Persian: آمودریا‎, Āmūdaryā; Uzbek: Amudaryo; Tajik: Амударё; Turkmen: Amyderýa), also called Amu River (Pashto: د آمو سيند‎, da Āmú Sínd; Chinese: 阿姆河; pinyin: Āmǔ hé), is a major river in Central Asia. It is formed by the junction of the Vakhsh and Panj rivers. In ancient times, the river was regarded as the boundary between Ariana and Turan.......In antiquity, the river was known by the Sanskrit name Vaksu, which now survives in Vakhsh, a tributary of the river.In ancient Afghanistan, the river was also called Gozan, descriptions of which can be found in the book "The Kingdom of Afghanistan: a historical sketch By George Passman Tate". In classical antiquity, the river was known as the Ōxus in Latin and Ὦξος Oxos in Greek. In Middle Persian sources of the Sassanid period the river is known as Wehrōd (lit. "good river").

The name Amu is said to have come from the medieval city of Āmul, (later, Chahar Joy/Charjunow, and now known as Türkmenabat), in modern Turkmenistan, with Darya being the Persian word for "river"......Medieval Arabic and Muslim sources call the river Jayhoun (جيحون) which is derived from Gihon, the biblical name for one of the four rivers of the Garden of Eden......Amu Darya is a river almost in reverse, for long reputed to be sourced by a powerful glacier fed stream high in the Pamir Knot at the eastern end of Afghanistan's Wakhan Corridor, and ending not at the sea but spreading out into the sands of Turkmenistan's Kyzyl Kum desert, well short of its historic terminus of the inland Aral Sea.

"The Aban Yasht, mostly in a very epical in style, has its roots deep in the pre-Zarathushtrian Aryan cult, which had, among other gods and goddesses, its male and female water deities. It presents Aredvi Sûrâ Anâhitâ, a specific river and a specific goddess. Grammatically the first word "Aredvi" is the name and the two following are the epithets. Again, since grammatically "water" is feminine in gender, the name and the two epithets are also feminine. ....The secondary meaning of "anâhitâ" as "undefiled" .... .....The Aredvi River... flows down with mighty volume from Mount Hukairya to the Vouru-kasha Sea....Several rivers of the Central Asia could be Aredvi. It could be Oxus, modern Amu Darya. It rises from the Pamirs and today flows into Lake Ural. But once, it poured into the Caspian Sea.....The odds are in favor of the Amu Darya, a river where the Indo-Iranians lived together before moving southward to split into two. There is a possibility that the upper roaring part of the river was called Aredvi and the lower lake-full as Harakhvaiti. The Avestan people, moving in almost the same terrain, retained the memory better and later applied her names to other prominent rivers along which they settled in due course. And for the early inland Aryan settlers, the Caspian was "Vouru-kasha," quite the "broad-shore" sea.".....

"The Indo-Aryans transferred river names from the old to the new country. For example, the Indian Sarasvati was named after the Iranian Hara Vaiti after the migration in India." (Burrow: 126)...

In the traditions of the prophet Muhammad (hadith), the river is called by the name Jayhun (Arabic form of its ancient name Gozan)......According to Ibn Hanbal's version of this hadith: "Four rivers gush forth from Paradise: the Euphrates, the Nile, the Sayhun, and the Jayhun" (Musnad, II, 260-261).— The introductory chapters of Yāqūt's Muʿjam al-buldān, Page 30

Historians tell us that one of the names for the Oxus or Amu in ancient Afghanistan was Gozan, and that this name was used by Greek, Mongol, Chinese, Persian, Jewish and Afghan historians. However, this name is no longer used....."Hara (Bokhara) and to the river of Gozan (that is to say, the Amu, (called by Europeans the Oxus)...."the Gozan River is the River Balkh, i.e. the Oxus or the Amu Darya....."... and were brought into Halah (modern day Balkh), and Habor (which is Pesh Habor or Peshawar), and Hara (which is Herat), and to the river Gozan (which is the Ammoo, also called Jehoon)..."

Since the end of the 19th Century there have been four different claimants as the true source of the Oxus.... 1: the Pamir River, which emerges from Lake Zorkul (once also known as Lake Victoria) in the Pamir Mountains (ancient Mount Imeon), and flows west to Qila-e Panja, where it joins the Wakhan River to form the Panj River...... 2: the Sarhad or Little Pamir River flowing down the Little Pamir in the High Wakhan........ 3: Lake Chamaktin, which discharges to the east into the Aksu River, which in turn becomes the Murghab and then Bartang rivers, and which eventually joins the Panj Oxus branch 350 kilometres downstream at Roshan Vomar in Tajikistan......... 4:an ice cave at the end of the Wakhjir valley, in the Wakhan Corridor, in the Pamir Mountains, near the border with Pakistan.

Historical records state that in different periods, the river flowed into the Aral Sea (from the south), into the Caspian Sea (from the east), or both, similar to the Syr Darya (Jaxartes, in Ancient Greek).

CASPIAN SEA....called Kok Kuz (blue or heavenly eye) by the Turcomans....Sea of the Rising Sun to the Indo-Europeans

KABALAH...(48E 42N)...On the Caspian Sea where the Caucasus Mountains meet the sea, in the Shirvan province is the capital Ash-Shamakha, near the famous port of Darband. In the mountains near Darband was the ancient fortress of Kabalah, on a hill, near the current Soviet border. north of the port of Baku. Location of a great castle called Kal'ah Taj. The remains of a mighty castle (kal'ah), a 'mother of castles' situated on the great Tarum River that flowed from the mountains of Tarum in northern Persia. Like Samiran, its site remains unidentified. On its walls were lions of gold. The ancient fortress of Kabalah near Darband is more than once mentioned in the campaigns of Timur.
Le Strange, G...."The Lands of the Eastern Caliphate"...1966

There are three rivers named in the Rigveda to which this applies: the SarasvatI, GomatI and Sarayu. The SarasvatI in the Rigveda is the river to the east of the Punjab (flowing through Haryana) and the GomatI and Sarayu in the Rigveda are rivers to the west of the Punjab (western tributaries of the Indus). This is the general consensus, and it is confirmed by an examination of the references in the Rigveda.........But a SarasvatI (HaraxvaitI) and a Sarayu (Haroiiu) are also found in Afghanistan; and a GomatI and a Sarayu are found in northeastern Uttar Pradesh. Clearly, there has been a transfer of name, in the case of these three river-names, from one river to another.....during the period of composition of the Rigveda: the Saptasindhu, it is suggested by some, refers to seven rivers in Central Asia, and the SarasvatI in the Rigveda is not the river of Haryana, but the river of Afghanistan.......

"Identification of Rigvedic rivers is the single most important way of establishing the geography of the early Vedic civilization. Rivers with certain identifications stretch from eastern Afghanistan to the western Gangetic plain, clustering in the Punjab (Five waters(rivers)). Some river names appear to go back to common Indo-Iranian rivers, with cognate river names in Avestan, notably the Sarasvati (Avestan Haraxvaiti, Old Persian Hara(h)uvati) and the Sarayu (Iran. Harayu, Avestan acc. Harōiiūm, mod. Persian Harē)."

"....This chapter is one of the most interesting in the book, and contains one of its most splendid anticipations of modern exploration, whilst conversely Lieutenant John Wood's narrative presents the most brilliant confirmation in detail of Marco's narrative......We have very old testimony to the recognition of the great altitude of the Plateau of PAMIR (the name which Marco gives it and which it still retains), and to the existence of the lake (or lakes) upon its surface. The Chinese pilgrims Hwui Seng and Sung Yun, who passed this way A.D. 518, inform us that these high lands of the Tsung Ling were commonly said to be midway between heaven and earth. The more celebrated Hiuen Tsang, who came this way nearly 120 years later (about 644) on his return to China, "after crossing the mountains for 700 li, arrived at the valley of Pomilo (Pamir). This valley is 1000 li (about 200 miles) from east to west, and 100 li (20 miles) from north to south, and lies between two snowy ranges in the centre of the Tsung Ling mountains. The traveller is annoyed by sudden gusts of wind, and the snow-drifts never cease, spring or summer. As the soil is almost constantly frozen, you see but a few miserable plants, and no crops can live. The whole tract is but a dreary waste, without a trace of human kind. In the middle of the valley is a great lake 300 li (60 miles) from east to west, and 500 li from north to south. This stands in the centre of Jambudwipa (the Buddhist [Greek: oikoumenae]) on a plateau of prodigious elevation. An endless variety of creatures peoples its waters. When you hear the murmur and clash of its waves you think you are listening to the noisy hum of a great market in which vast crowds of people are mingling in excitement.... The lake discharges to the west, and a river runs out of it in that direction and joins the Potsu (Oxus).... The lake likewise discharges to the east, and a great river runs out, which flows eastward to the western frontier of Kiesha (Kashgar), where it joins the River Sita, and runs eastward with it into the sea." The story of an eastern outflow from the lake is, no doubt, legend, connected with an ancient Hindu belief (see Cathay, p. 347), but Burnes in modern times heard much the same story. And the Mirza, in 1868, took up the same impression regarding the smaller lake called Pamir Kul, in which the southern branch of the Panja originates.".....

Ardavarz has left a new comment on your post "Early Shambhala Research": The White River (Skt. Sita) beyond which is Shambhala reminds the Russian legend about Belovod'e and also the Turkic name Aksu ("white river" or "white water"). There is a river Aksu in East Turkestan and also in Central Asia Oxus (Amu-Darya) sounds very similar and it was the border between Iran and Turan in the Persian epic. In Turan was located Kangha - the fabulous city founded by Siyavosh which later became fortress of the immortals ruled by his son Kay Khosrow."

"Once, there had been a semi-arid zone between the fertile area and the river. Some of the mountain streams, however, had reached the river Oxus, and had formed lush corridors through the steppe. When the farmers started to dig canals to irrigate fields immediately north of the foothills, however, the waters disappeared from the arid zone and it changed into a desert. So, after 2000 BCE, several parallel zones can be discerned:....the Hindu Kush mountains in the south; ....the foothills and....the fertile agricultural zone; ....the desert; ....the river Oxus.....The Aryans first settled on the Oxus (AMU DARYA in BACTRIA) around 4000 B.C. They called this river the Sarasvati and here Vedic culture developed. Around this time agriculture begins, allowing the population to move from the foothills into oases along the rivers that flow into the Central Asian desert. The new settlements include large fortified buildings. .....The 2 rivers Sarasvati (Oxus) and Drishadvati (Jaxartes) represent Ikshvaku. Mr. Gangaram writes:” The Aryan civilisation was centered around the Sarasvati and Drishadavati rivers. We know that the goddes Sarasvati is also called Vaks (speech) and that the Sarasvati (daugher of the lake, sea) river is called Va(m)ksu in the Mahabharata. The Greek word Oxus is a corruption of Vaksu. The other river Jaxartes (Caks-sar(i)tes means eye-river) is. Drishadvati which means daugher of the eye (or stone). (Drish means: to see). The one river signifies sight while the other signifies speech. There is a relationship with Iksh-vaku (sight-speech), the well-known sage. Iksh-vaku is the great grandson of sage Kashyapa. The 2 rivers represent Iksh-vaku (see-speak), while Kashyapa is the Caspian sea, which in Vedic times was called Kasyapa Mira. Scientists have shown that the 2 rivers used to flow in the Caspian sea, before they changed their course and emptied in the Aral sea. This could be the cause of the southward movement of the Aryans. The Vedic river Raha ro Rasa is identified with the Volga river, which in old slavonic languages is called Rasa, from which Russia derives its name”.). .....From the Oxus river the Aryans reached the Tarim Basin around 3000 BC. Recently Aryan Nordic type mummies from around 2000 BC have been found in his ormer part of Aryavarta......

"Gihon is the name of the second river mentioned in the second chapter of the biblical Book of Genesis. The Gihon is mentioned as one of four rivers (along with the Tigris, Euphrates, and Pishon) issuing out of the Garden of Eden that branched from a single river within the garden. The name (Hebrew Giħôn גיחון) may be interpreted as "bursting forth, gushing".......The Gihon is described as "encircling the entire land of Cush".......scholars have sought to identify the "land of Cush" with Hindu Kush, and Gihon with Amu Darya (Jihon/Jayhon of the Islamic texts). Amu Darya was known in the medieval Islamic writers as Jayhun or Ceyhun in Turkish.This was a derivative of Jihon, or Zhihon as it is still known by the Persians."....William C. Brice. 1981. Historical Atlas of Islam. Leiden with support and patronage from Encyclopaedia of Islam. ISBN 90-04-06116-9.

"Shambhala in the "North".......Another view, especially popular in the West is that Shambhala is located somewhere to the north of Tibet......These views seem to stem mainly from passages in Tibetan texts that mention Shambhala as located north of the river Sita, or that state travel to the region started by going in a northern direction......Those who place Shambhala to the north equate the Sita with some river to the north, usually the Jaxartes in present-day Xinjiang......However, there is also a very strong argument for the river Sita being located to the east of India."....

Tourism and Tibetan Culture in Transition: A Place Called Shangrila.....By Ashild Kolas


John Hopkins.....Northern New Mexico….January 2013



  1. In Iranian epic Amu Darya is considered as border between Iran and Turan. In Turan was located the legendary city of Kangha founded by Prince Siyavosh which in many respects resembles Shambhala. It was supposedly beyond some water basin (Darya means "sea" or "grand river" in Persian) and there Kay Khosrow (the son of Siyavosh) awaits the end times together with other immortals in order to make his final war with the forces of evil. (Zoroastrian eschatology has many similarities with that of Kalachakra Tantra). Some scholars think that the legend about Kay Khosrow is based on Cyrus the Great. B. I. Kuznetzov suggests that Mithra was actually a sage who has lived in Cyrus' time and later become the Buddha Shenrab Miwo of the Bon religion. He was born in Pasargadae (Tib. Bar-po-so-brgyad) in the country of Elam (Tib. Olmo).

    The kingdom of Shambhala was beyond the river Sita which in Sanskrit means "white". I wonder whether the name of Oxus river can be related to the Turkic Aksu (or Aqsu) - lit. "White River" or "White Water". In the medieval Russian legens there is such utopian country called Belovod'e ("White Water") located somewhere in Central Asia which N. K. Roerich identifies with Shambhala.

  2. Hello, I've found Shambhala is anyone is interested.