Excerpt 1 from Chogyam Trungpa's "Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior"
This fascinating excerpt from Chogyam Trungpa's seminal work Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior explores the possibility of the actual existence of the legendary Himalayan kingdon called Shambhala -- a place where prosperity, happiness and enlightenment reign.
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There are also many texts that give us elaborate descriptions of the kingdom. For example, according to the great commentary on the Kalacakra by the renowned 19th century Buddhist teacher, Mipham, the land of Shambhala is north of the river Sita and the country is divided by eight mountain ranges. The palace of the Rigdens or the imperial Shambhala is built on top of a circular mountain in the center of the country. This mountain, Mipham tells us, is named Kailasa. The palace, which is called the palace of Kalapa, comprises many square miles. In front of it to the south is a beautiful park known as Malaya and in the middle of the park is a temple devoted to Kalacakra that was built by Dawa Sangpo.
According to the legends, this was a place of peace and prosperity governed by wise and compassionate rulers. The citizens were equally kind and learned so that in general the kingdom was a model society. This place was called Shambhala. It is said that Buddhism played an important role in the development of the Shambhala society. The legends tell us that Shakyamuni Buddha gave advanced tantric teachings to the first king of Shambhala, Dawa Sangpo. These teachings, which are preserved as a Kalacakra tantra, are considered to be among the most profound wisdom of Tibetan Buddhism. After the king had received this instruction, the stories say that all of the people of Shambhala began to practice meditation and to follow the Buddhist path of loving kindness and concern for all beings. In this way, not just the rulers, but all of the subjects of the kingdom became highly developed people.
Among the Tibetan people, there is a popular belief that the kingdom of Shambhala can still be found hidden in a remote valley somewhere in the Himalayas. There are as well a number of Buddhists texts that give detailed but obscure directions for reaching Shambhala. But there are mixed opinions as to whether these should be taken literally or metaphorically.