Tag Archives: Mongolia

Roerich’s Shambhala: A Land of Mystery

Nicholas Roerich with Guga Chohan

CELEBRATING over seven enlightening years of research and Theosophical journalism, we gratefully republish the late co-editor Kara LeBeau’s article “Roerich’s Shambhala,” one of our most popular posts.

A naturally spiritual and talented journalist Kara’s presence always seems alive. She was a huge fan of Roerich. And her editorial skills on behalf of Theosophy Watch are deeply missed.

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“Over 120 years ago, it was Helena Blavatsky who introduced the legacy of Shambhala to Western seekers, otherwise it might have remained hidden in the domain of a few scholars.

‘Shambhala’ means ‘source of happiness’ in Sanskrit — ‘a place of peace and tranquility.’ (Wikipedia)

James Hilton, in 1933, further popularized the idea of Shambhala in his novel Lost Horizon about the mythical kingdom ‘Shangri-la.’

losthorizon

Movies based on the novel in 1937, 1942, and 1952 introduced the ‘Shambhala’ ideal to more people around the world than HPB might have ever imagined.

Google ‘Shambhala’ today and you’ll get over a million hits of pages that explore the Buddhist legendary paradise that intrigues so many people now. Some endeavor to find its physical location—others seek it within themselves. Nicholas and Helena Roerich asserted that

“Shamballa is the indispensable site where the spiritual world unites with the material one.”

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Buddha’s Big Fish

Buddha'sfaceCHOOSING Theosophical principles of Universal Unity and Harmony over brutality, the country of Bhutan has a developed “a unique way of judging the development of its society,” says the Humane Society International.

Bhutan accomplishes this, the Society reports, “by measuring its GNH (Gross National Happiness), rather than the more conventional GNP (Gross National Product).”

“In Bhutan the concept of GNH is based on the premise that, for human society, true progress takes place when material and spiritual advancement occur side by side, complementing and reinforcing each other.” Continue reading