Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Arab Moslem Conquest of Shambhala (642-870 AD)


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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 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.".....http://www.dharmafellowship.org/biographies/historicalsaints/lord-padmasambhava.htm#eightcentury

"Yaqub bin Laith al-Saffar rose to be the most powerful man in East Iran around 861 CE; his first goal was Zabulistan, which he finally defeated in several campaigns in 870/871 CE. In the same year he continued on to Kabul, where the Kabul Shah was taken prisoner and the holy temple plundered. 50 standing statues of gods made of gold and silver are said to have fallen into his hands and were sent to the caliph in Baghdad."....http://pro.geo.univie.ac.at/projects/khm/showcases/showcase16?language=en

"Ya'qub ibn al-Layth al-Saffar.....(October 25, 840 – June 5, 879), Persian founder of the Saffarid dynasty in Sistan, with its capital at Zaranj (a city now in south-western Afghanistan). He ruled territories that are now in Iran and Afghanistan, as well as portions of western Pakistan.....In Iranian folklore, He is known for his harsh iconoclasm of Buddhist stupas as well as forceful enslavement of Buddhists and their subsequent conversion to Islam. He was also known for generating at that time the largest sex slave trade in the region, kidnapping Zoroastrian, Buddhist, and Hindu women and selling them as sex slaves in the Islamic markets.......His army would later march to Ghazna, Kabul, and Bamyan, conquering these territories in the name of Islam by appointing Muslim governors. From there they moved to north of the Hindu Kush and by 870 AD the whole of Khorasan was brought under their control.......It was during his rule that Persian was introduced as an official language, and Yaqub reportedly did not know Arabic....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ya'qub_ibn_al-Layth_al-Saffar

Islam and Tibet: Interactions Along the Musk Routes (Ashgate Publishing: 2011)
edited by Anna Ayşe Akasoy, Charles S. F. Burnett, Ronit. Yoeli-Tlalim
Chapter 3....The Bactrian Background of the Barmakids by Kevin van Bladel

"In a unique ninth century manuscript found at Dunhuang, called Huichao wang wu tianzhuguo shuan (Account of Huichao's Journey to the Five Lands of India)...Around 726 AD a Buddhist monk from Silla (Korea?) named Huichao travelled in the region of Balkh.......After coming to India from China by sea, Huichao made his way through much of India, and then travelled over the Hindu Kush into Tokharistan before returning to China overland through the Tarim basin. In the time since Xuanzang's visit (629-645 AD), Arab armies had conquered all of the Persian Empire and had been making war on Tokharistan for a long time....In 725 AD the Arab garrison had been moved into Balkh proper, as Arab sources tell.........

"From the land of Bamiyan I travelled northwards 20 days, and I arrived in Tokharistan (Tuhuoluo-guo). The home city of the king is called Balkh. At this time the troops of the Arabs are there and they occupy it. Its king was forced to flee one month's journey to the east and lives in Badakhshan. Now Balkh belongs to the Arabs' domain.....the language is different from that of the other lands; though somewhat similar to that of Kapisa....From the King to the lowly people, they all wear fur and cotton....there are plenty of horses, camels, cotton and grapes....the king, the nobles and the people revere the Three Jewels....the men cut their beards and hair....the land has many mountains...."....From a unique ninth century manuscript found at Dunhuang, called Huichao wang wu tianzhuguo shuan (Account of Huichao's Journey to the Five Lands of India).....In his view the King of Balkh was still alive and in exile in Badakhshan (Pashto/Persian: بدخشان‎) a historic region comprising parts of what is now northeastern Afghanistan and southeastern Tajikistan. The name is retained in Badakhshan Province which is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan, in the far northeast of Afghanistan, and contains the Wakhan Corridor.

In 642 A.D., a " King Ta-mo-yin-t'o-ho-szu" of Uddiyana is said to have sent a gift of camphor and an embassy to the Emperor of China. This is the year that the Arabs succeeded in defeating the King of Kings, Yazdagird 111, of Persia. The latter, fleeing eastward, met his death near Merv in 651. With the death of Yazdagird, last of the Sassanid dynasty, the southern bedouin hordes of Islam for the first time marched onto the soil of Iran and began their great, rapacious advance eastward. The kings of the Orient had cause to fear the coming of the Arabs. These southerners were savagely barbarian; a patchwork of desert tribes woven together by the threads of a fanatical monotheism and a religion which encouraged them to slay with the sword those whom they could not convert to their personal dominion. " Fight those who do not believe in Allah and the Last Day," says the Koran (Sura 9:29), " ...until they pay you tribute out of hand, having brought them low.".....http://www.dharmafellowship.org/biographies/historicalsaints/lord-padmasambhava.htm#eightcentury

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"Arabs occupied Persia in 642 (during the Caliphate of Uthman, 644-656 AD). Attracted by grandeur and wealth of Balkh, they attacked it in 645 AD. It was only in 653 when Arab commander, al-Ahnaf raided the town again and compelled it to pay tribute. The Arab hold over the town, however, remained tenuous. The area was brought under Arabs' control only after it was reconquered by Muawiya in 663 AD. Prof. Upasak describes the effect of this conquest in these words: "The Arabs plundered the town and killed the people indiscriminately. It is said that they raided the famous Buddhist shrine of Nava-Vihara, which the Arab historians call 'Nava Bahara' and describe it as one of the magnificent places which, comprised a range of 360 cells around the high stupas'. They plundered the gems and jewels that were studded on many images and stupas and took away the wealth accumulated in the Vihara but probably did no considerable harm to other monastic buildings or to the monks residing there".....http://ikashmir.net/rktamiri/barmarks.html

"The Arabs could bring Balkh under their control in 715 AD only, inspite of strong resistance offered by the Balkh people. Qutayba bin Muslim al-Bahili, an Arab General was Governor of Khurasan and the east from 705-715. He established a firm Arab hold in lands beyond the oxus. He fought and killed Tarkhan Nizak in Tokharistan (Bactria) in 715. In the wake of Arab conquest the resident monks of the Vihara were either killed or forced to abandon their faith. The Viharas were razed to the ground. Priceless treasures in the form of manuscripts in the libraries of monasteries were consigned to ashes. Presently, only the ancient wall of the town, which once encircled it, stands partially. Nava-Vihara stands in ruins, near Takhta-i-Rustam."....http://ikashmir.net/rktamiri/barmarks.html

"The inexorable expansion of the Arabs spread along two fronts: the first moved through Nishapur to Herat, Merv and Balkh, reducing the northern provinces of Persia; the second passed south by way of Sistan (Sijistan) to the Helmand. In 650 Abdallah ibn Amr began the yet further push forwards across the desert of the Dasht-i-Lut. He was followed over the years by succeeding Moslem armies which, through continuous raids, massacres and looting, systematically transformed the wondrous flower-garden of Persian civilization and Mazdean or Buddhist culture into a scorched wasteland. Today all these lands lie under the yoke of Arabic culture."......http://www.dharmafellowship.org/biographies/historicalsaints/lord-padmasambhava.htm#eightcentury

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"The Shahis of Kabul/Gandhara are generally divided into the two eras of the so-called Buddhist-Shahis and the so-called Hindu-Shahis, with the change-over thought to have occurred sometime around AD 870......The Shahi rulers of Kapisa/Kabul who ruled Afghanistan from early 4th century till AD 870 were Hindu Kamboj Kshatriyas. The Shahis of Afghanistan were discovered in 1874 to be connected to the Kamboja "race" by E. Vesey Westmacott.......E. Vesey Westmacott,Bishan Singh, K. S. Dardi, et al. connect the Kabul Shahis to the ancient Indian Ksatriya clans of the Kambojas/Gandharas......Barhatigin is said to be the founder of the dynasty which is said to have ruled for 60 generations until AD 870.....Alberuni's reference to the supplanting of the Kabul Shahi dynasty in about AD 870 by a Brahmin called Kallar actually implies only that the religious faith of the royal family had changed from Buddhism to Hinduism by about that date; it might not have actually involved any physical supplanting of the existing Kabul Shahi dynasty as is stated by Alberuni whose account of early Shahis is indeed based on telltale stories. Archeological sites of the period, including a major Hindu Shahi temple north of Kabul and a chapel in Ghazni, contain both the pre-dominant Hindu and Buddhist statuary, suggesting that there was a close interaction between the two religions....In the wake of Muslim invasions of Kabul and Kapisa in second half of 7th century (AD 664), the Kapisa/Kabul ruler called by Muslim writers Kabul Shah (Shahi of Kabul) made an appeal to the Ksatriyas of the Hind who had gathered there in large numbers for assistance and drove out the Muslim invaders as far as Bost......In AD 671 Muslim armies seized Kabul and the capital was moved to Udabhandapura,[74] where they became known as the Rajas of Hindustan......The first Hindu Shahi dynasty was founded in AD 870 by Kallar, well documented to be a Brahmin. The kingdom was bounded on the north by the Hindu kingdom of Kashmir, on the east by Rajput kingdoms, on the south by the Muslim Emirates of Multan and Mansura, and on the west by the Abbasid Caliphate....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kabul_Shahi

"The Arab conquest of Armenia was a part of the Muslim conquests after the death of Muhammad in AD 632. Persian Armenia had fallen to the Byzantine Empire shortly before, in AD 629, and was conquered in the Rashidun Caliphate by AD 645.....After Muhammad’s death in 632, his successors started a military campaign in order to increase the territory of the new Caliphate. During the Muslim conquests, the Arabs conquered most of the Middle East.....Towards the year 639, under the leadership of Abd‑er‑Rahman, 18,000 Arabs penetrated the district of Taron and the region of the Lake of Van and put the country to fire and sword. The Arab warriors were poor and ill-armed, but recklessly brave and inflamed with an intense fanaticism.....On January 6, 642 the Arabs stormed and took the city of Dvin.....After the battle of Nahavand in 642 AD, Hamedan fell to the hands of the invading Arab-Muslim army; the city was pillaged......The Battle of Nahāvand (also Nihāvand or Nahāwand) (Arabic:معركة نهاوند) Battle of Nahāwand was fought in 642 between Arab Muslims and Sassanid armies. The battle is known to Muslims as the "Victory of Victories." The History of Tabari mentions that Firuzan, the officer serving the Persian King Yazdgerd III had about 100,000 men, versus a Muslim army of about 30,000. The Persians were outmanoeuvered, trapped in a narrow mountain valley, and lost many men in the ensuing rout. Yezdigerd escaped to the Merv area.....Yazdegerd failed to rally enough support in Eastern Persia where the Sassanians were unpopular with the locals.Muslim sources like Tabari reported that the province of Khorasan revolted against Sassanian rule.....Before Islamization of the region, the inhabitants of Khorasan had mostly practiced Zoroastrianism but at different stages there were also various adherents of Manichaeism, Sun worshippers (Mithraism), Nestorianism, Paganism, Shamanism, Buddhism and a small number of Jews too......The name "Khorasan" is derived from Middle Persian khor (meaning "sun") and asan (or ayan literally meaning "to come" or "coming" or "about to come"), hence meaning "land where the sun rises". The Persian word Khāvar-zamīn (Persian: خاور زمین‎), meaning "the eastern land", has also been used as an equivalent term....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_Khorasan

The Bamiyan Valley lies south of Shamis en Balkh, enclosed within the high mountains of the Caucasus (Hindu Kush), in the central highlands of Afghanistan. The valley, at an altitude of 2,500 m, follows the Bamiyan River. It formed one of the branches of the Silk Road and its beautiful landscape is associated with legendary figures. It was these aspects that contributed to its development as a major religious and cultural centre. It was inhabited and partly urbanized from the 3rd century BC. ....Buddhism eventually demised with the Arab Muslim invasion of the 7th century. The Muslims considered Buddhists idol worshipers and did all they could to destroy "heretical" temples and deface artwork. Even one of the most famous testaments to Buddhism in the middle east, the massive Buddha rock carvings at Bamiyan were vandalized, a task that was tragically completed when the Taliban blew up what remained of the statues in 2001 with explosives, tanks, and anti-aircraft weapons. The colossal Buddhas were cut at immeasurable cost (probably in the third and fifth centuries A.D.) into the tall, sandstone cliffs surrounding Bamiyan, an oasis town in the centre of a long valley that separates the mountain chains of Hindu Kush and Koh-i-Baba. The taller of the two statues (about 53 meters or 175 feet) is thought to represent Vairocana, the "Light shining throughout the Universe Buddha" The shorter one (36 meters or 120 feet) probably represents Buddha Sakyamuni, although the local Hazara people believe it depicts a woman.

"Heraclius's victories, the devastation of the richest territories of the Sassanid Empire and the humiliating destruction of high-profile targets such as Ganzak and Dastagerd undermined Khosrau's prestige and his support among the Persian aristocracy, and early in 628 he was overthrown and murdered by his son Kavadh II (628), who immediately brought an end to the war, agreeing to withdraw from all occupied territories. Kavadh died within months and chaos and civil war followed.....Over a period of fourteen years and twelve successive kings, including two daughters of Khosrau II, the Sassanid Empire weakened considerably. The power of the central authority passed into the hands of the generals.....In the spring of 632, a grandson of Khosrau I, Yazdegerd III who had lived in hiding, ascended the throne. In that same year, the first raiders from the Arab tribes, newly united by Islam, made their raids into Persian territory. Years of warfare had exhausted both the Byzantines and the Persians. The Sassanids were further weakened by economic decline, heavy taxation, religious unrest, rigid social stratification, the increasing power of the provincial landholders, and a rapid turnover of rulers. These factors facilitated the Islamic conquest of Persia.....The Sassanids never mounted a truly effective resistance to the pressure applied by the initial Arab armies. The abrupt fall of Sassanid Empire was completed in a period of five years, and most of its territory was absorbed into the Islamic Caliphate, the Islamic form of government representing the political unity and leadership of the Muslim world."......http://www.xtimeline.com/evt/view.aspx?id=24062


The Turkic Ghaznavids conquered Kabul in the 980s. It was at about this time that the Kalachakra teachings openly appeared in India, transmitted in visions to two Indian masters attempting to reach Shambhala. Although the Muslim Ghaznavids tolerated Buddhism and Hinduism in Kabul, they smashed the Ismaili Islamic state of Multan in north central Pakistan in 1008. The Ismaili Fatimids in Egypt were the rivals of the Ghaznavids for supremacy over the entire Muslim world. After this victory, the Ghaznavad ruler Mahmud of Ghazni, driven undoubtedly by greed for more land and wealth, pressed his invasion further eastward as far as Madhura, south of Delhi. He looted and destroyed the wealthy Buddhist monasteries that lay in his path. When the Ghaznavad troops pushed northward from Delhi, however, and tried to invade Kashmir, the Kashmiri King Samgrama Raja, a supporter of both Buddhism and Hinduism, defeated them in 1021. This was the first attack on Kashmir by a Muslim army. The Kalachakra Tantra reached Tibet from Kashmir in 1027, the year predicted by the First Kalki."......

"In the 12th and 13th centuries, Muslim armies from the west invaded Northern India and totally destroyed the flourishing monastic universities of Nalanda, Vikrmashila, and Odantapuri. In the process, they massacred tens of thousands of monks who did not resist the invaders. This slaughter was justified because the saffron-robed monks were regarded as infidels and idolaters. The temples were destroyed, the books burned, and the Buddha images melted down for their gold. All that remained in the wake of these armies was death and desolation from Uddiyana to Bengal. And Buddhism ceased to be a functioning religious culture in the lands of the West. The Jains and the Brahmans, however, were able to survive this onslaught because they did not concentrate their clergy and intelligenzia in a few large monastic-universities. They remained decentralized in the villages throughout Northern India and did not usually become the targets for these marauding armies.".......http://vajranatha.com/teaching/Dakinis.htm



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


1 comment:

  1. I have wondered also whether "Kamboja" of the Indian sources can be another name or nickname of the Kushans given that there were several Kushan kings with the name "Kadphises" which could be a distorion (in the Saka speach?) of the Old Persian name Kambujiya (Gr. Kambyses).