Thursday, September 12, 2013

'Sun Worship': Shambhala, Sham Ash, Bactria, Sumeria : 2500 BC


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"In Shambhala, the country’s capital, Kalapa…. There the Shambhala king lives in a palace made from every conceivable gem and diamond. The architecture is based upon the laws of the heavens. There is a sun temple and a moon temple…."

The “sun chariot” of the Rishis....Although all its rulers are known by name, the Shambhala realm has no history in the real sense. Hence in the many centuries of its existence hardly anything worthy of being recorded in a chronicle has happened…..But there is an event which shows that this country was not entirely free of historical conflict. This concerns the protest of a group of no less than 35 million Rishis (seers) led by the sage Suryaratha ("sun chariot”).....As the first Kulika king, Manjushrikirti, preached the Kalachakra Tantra to his subjects, Suryaratha distanced himself from it, and his followers, the Rishis, joined him. They preferred to choose banishment from Shambhala than to follow the “diamond path” (Vajrayana). Nonetheless, after they had set out in the direction of India and had already crossed the border of the kingdom, Manjushrikirti sank in to a deep meditation, stunned the emigrants by magic and ordered demon birds to bring them back….This event probably concerns a confrontation between two religious schools. The Rishis worshipped only the sun. For this reason they also called their guru the “sun chariot” (suryaratha). But the Kulika king had as Kalachakra master and cosmic androgyne united both heavenly orbs in himself. He was the master of sun and moon. His demand of the Rishis that they adopt the teachings of the Kalachakra Tantra was also enacted on a night of the full moon. Manjushrikirti ended his sermon with the words: “If you wish to enter that path, stay here, but if you do not, then leave and go elsewhere; otherwise the doctrines of the barbarians will spread even in Shambhala.” (Bernbaum, 1980, p. 234)……The Rishis decided upon the latter. “Since we all want to remain true to the sun chariot, we also do not wish to give up our religion and to join another”, they rejoined (Grünwedel, 1915, p. 77). This resulted in the exodus already outlined. But in fetching them back Manjushrikirti had proved his magical superiority and demonstrated that the “path of the sun and moon” is stronger than the “pure sun way”. The Rishis thus brought him many gold tributes and submitted to his power and the primacy of the Kalachakra Tantra. In the fifteenth night of the moon enlightenment was bestowed upon them…..priest-king Manjushrikirti integrated in his office the energies of both the priestly and the military elite. Within himself he united worldly and spiritual power, which — as we have already discussed above — are allotted separately to the sun (high priest) and the moon (warrior king) in the Indian cultural sphere. The union of both heavenly orbs in his person made him an absolute ruler."…..

"In Ancient Persia, the Indo-European words for King (Sanskrit: rajan...Latin: rex...Old Iranian: Rig...Gallic: rix)(Lincoln: 35)..means not only to regulate and direct in a manner that is right but also to shine with luster (Sk: raj). The divine right of the king was derived from the brilliance (cihr) and sovereignty (sahr) of the sky itself; therefore it was fitting that his palace should be in the 'padak' of the sun and that his 'tiara' should resemble the surrounding sky-wall and rays of the sun." ..(Campbell: 101)

"Both the Homage and the Invocation are based on the opening section of the terma (Tib. “treasure”) text, The Golden Sun of the Great East, which was received by the Dorje Dradül of Mukpo in October of 1976…..THE GREAT EASTERN SUN….Radiating confidence, peaceful, Illuminating the way of discipline, Eternal ruler of the three worlds:…..May the Great Eastern Sun be victorious….The Great Eastern Sun is the unsetting awareness, which arises as the power and dignity of human beings. Such lucid and direct awareness is magical—it is what opens the treasury of phenomena, the golden quality of phenomena. At the same time it is the experience of waking up from personal confusion and darkness to a connection with our own courage. Sometimes referred to as the genuine sun that rises in one’s heart, the Great Eastern Sun’s radiance is perceived through the senses as the luminosity of the world—the worlds of heaven, earth and man—above, below and in-between. Such light is not ordinary light, but is the innate brilliance of mind that shows one how to proceed and how to care for others. Sometimes referred to as the feminine aspect of warriorship, the Great Eastern Sun illuminates the deep, subtle and fluid energies of reality, bringing unshakable confidence and doubtless precision to the warrior’s mind."…..

The two chief centres of sun-worship in Babylonia were Sippar, represented by the mounds at Abu Habba, and Larsa, represented by the modern Senkerah. At both places the chief sanctuary bore the name E-barra (or E-babbara) "the shining house"—a direct allusion to the brilliancy of the sun-god. Of the two temples, that at Sippara was the more famous, but temples to Shamash were erected in all large centres – such as Babylon, Ur, Mari, Nippur, and Nineveh.

"Sippar was the cult site of the sun god (Sumerian Utu, Akkadian Shamash) and the home of his temple E-babbara……In his 29th year of reign Sumu-la-El of Babylon reported building the city wall of Sippar. Some years later Hammurabi of Babylon reported laying the foundations of the city wall of Sippar in his 23rd year and worked on the wall again in his 43rd year. His successor in Babylon, Samsu-iluna worked on Sippar's wall in his 1st year. The city walls, being typically made of mud bricks, required much attention. Records of Nebuchadnezzar II and Nabonidos record that they repaired the Shamash temple E-babbara……Sumu-la-El (also Sumulael or Sumu-la-ilu) was a King in the First Dynasty of Babylon. He reigned ca. 1817 BC - 1781 BC…….

"Shamash (Akkadian Šamaš "Sun"), was a native Mesopotamian deity and the sun god in the Akkadian, Assyrian and Babylonian pantheons. Shamash was the god of justice in Babylonia and Assyria, corresponding to Sumerian Utu. Akkadian šamaš is cognate to Syriac šemša or šimšu Hebrew שֶׁמֶשׁ šemeš and Arabic شمس šams."....

"Utu (Akkadian rendition of Sumerian UD 𒌓 "Sun", Assyro-Babylonian Shamash "Sun") is the Sun god in Sumerian mythology….Utu is the god of the sun, justice, application of law, and the lord of truth…..every day, Utu emerges from a mountain in the east, symbolizing dawn, and travels either via chariot or boat across the Earth, returning to a hole in a mountain in the west, symbolizing sunset. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh seeks to establish his name with the assistance of Utu, because of his connection with Mashu, the cedar mountain. Gilgamesh and his father, Lugalbanda were kings of the first dynasty of Uruk, a lineage that Jeffrey H. Tigay suggested could be traced back to Utu himself. He further suggested that Lugalbanda's association with the sun-god in the Old Babylonian version of the epic strengthened "the impression that at one point in the history of the tradition the sun-god was also invoked as an ancestor"."….

"About four thousand years ago a collection of tribes known as the Aryans swept into South and West Asia - by a series of wave-like migration….First tribes were the Aryan tribe, which later were pushed down over the Paropamisus [mountains] into Punjab. The Iranians split into two sections, one section went West and founded settlements on the Tigris and Euphrates valley - which later became strong Kingdoms. Of this section, separated yet other tribes such as the Persians and the Medes. The Persians spread over the elevated lands of the Persian golf region. The Medes subdivided into smaller clans and occupied The land between the Caspian Sea to the land of Persis. The other section of the Iranians took the easterly direction. They also pushed the Aryans before them to the mountains and settled on the banks of the Oxus. They made Bactra {modern Balkh} their capital, and seized the ancient shine of Bactra. Forming an aristocracy over the local people they lived in isolation. They had a swift cavalry which suddenly attacked the enemy from the slopes and quickly retired to their strongholds…..The Aryans and the Iranians of Bactria, had a lot in common. They spoke the same language, worshiped the forces of nature, such as: Varuna, the shining Vault of Heaven; Mithra, the friendly light of the sun; Vayu; the wind that pushes aside the storms and clears the heaven…."….

"Tibetans believe that Shamballah is somewhere north of Tibet, in the Kunlun Mountains, or in Mongolia, the Sinkiang Province of China, or Siberia. Others suggest the North Pole or even another planet! Historians and mythographers, on the other hand, have suggested that if the legend has any basis, Shamballah may correspond to the Tarim Basin, West Turkestan, the ancient Kushan Empire, the Greek Kingdom of Bactria, theYarkand, Kashgar, or Khotan oases, or, finally, the old Uighur Kingdom of Khocho [= "Tcho-tcho"?] in the Turfan Depression beneath the Tien Shan Mountains (Bernbaum, p. 46). Probably the most attractive guess, however, is that of Idries Shah, who believes that "it could be derived from Shams-i-Balkh, the Bactrian Sun Temple, the ruins of which can still be seen at Balkh near the northern frontier of Afghanistan" (J. G. Bennett, Gurdjieff: Making a New World, p. 26)

" ... the Surya Temple at Martand in Jammu & Kashmir….'The most impressive and grandest ruins in Kashmir, are at Marttand, which is about three miles east of Islamabad...According to the testimony of the Raja Tarangini, the colonnade was built by Lalitaditya, who reigned in Kashmir from A.D.693 to 729; and the character of the fluted columns, would lead to the supposition that the architects of Kashmir had been influenced by those of the Graeco Bactrians.' Kashmir is dotted with the remnants of temples dating from its pre-Islamic history prior to the 14th century. Buddhism was established here from the 3rd century BC and the Hindu Vaishnava and Shaiva cults also flourished here. Kashmir was a great centre for Sanskrit learning and literature. The main source of its history is the poetical work Rajatarangini, written by the 12th century court-poet Kalhana. Situated on a high plateau and commanding superb views over the Kashmir valley, the ruined temple, dedicated to the sun god (Surya), is considered a masterpiece of early temple architecture in Kashmir. It was built by Lalitaditya Muktapida (ruled c.724-c.760) of the Karkota dynasty, one of the greatest of Kashmir's rulers, under whom both Buddhism and Hinduism flourished. The main shrine consists of a portico, an entrance hall and a sanctum, with a monumental doorway before the sanctum and two small shrines flanking the portico. It stands at one end of a large rectangular colonnaded court entered by a central gate in its western side. The cells (about 81)around the court are shaped by columns and pilasters supporting tall pediments and trilobate arches. The fluted columns reveal a Hellenistic style derived from Gandhara and Bactria."……

"Sun worship was prevalent in ancient Egyptian religion. The earliest deities associated with the sun are all goddesses: Wadjet, Sekhmet, Hathor, Nut, Bast, Bat, and Menhit. ….Rituals to the god Amun who became identified with the sun god Ra were often carried out on the top of temple pylons. A Pylon mirrored the hieroglyph for 'horizon' or akhet, which was a depiction of two hills "between which the sun rose and set", associated with recreation and rebirth. On the first Pylon of the temple of Isis at Philae, the pharaoh is shown slaying his enemies in the presence of Isis, Horus and Hathor. In the eighteenth dynasty, Akhenaten changed the polytheistic religion of Egypt to a monotheistic one, Atenism of the solar-disk and is the first recorded state monotheism. All other deities were replaced by the Aten, including Amun-Ra, the reigning sun god of Akhenaten's own region. Unlike other deities, the Aten did not have multiple forms. His only image was a disk—a symbol of the sun."….

"The purpose of the Vajra Caste was not force everyone to convert to Buddhism but for people to re-discover the purity of their own traditions. The Kalachakra empowerment is given to anyone who wishes to participate. No one is asked to give up their own religion. The Kalachakra, open to all who wish to participate, has the power to benefit all beings on this planet."...


September 2013

John Hopkins....Northern New Mexico


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