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.
“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.’
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.”