BALKH...Shamis en Balkh (Sham-i-bala)


This survey of published materials explores the Central Asian historical roots of the Shambhala Teachings and The Great Eastern Sun, particularly the region of ancient Bactria & 'Shamis en Balkh' (36° N 66° E) as the 'historical' location (before the 9th century AD eastward migrations) of the 'legendary' Shambhala….Balkh, also known as 'Sams-i-Bala', (Elevated Candle) was located in the once extremely wealthy and fertile Oxus River region of Bactria and was encircled by the great Pamir and Caucasus Asia Mountains......Tagzig Olmo Lung Ring...With Tagzig to the west, Oddiyana to the east, Zhang-Zhung to the south-east, Gandharva to the south, Airyana Vaeja to the north and Uighur/Khotan to the northeast, the legendary Bactria was an ancient spiritual vortex, the location of the great Sams (Sun) Temple and very important in the development of Mahayana Buddhism, Sufism, Dzogchen, Tantra, Zoroastrianism, Bon, Manichaeanism, Elemental Shamanism, Mithraism, etc ...Shamis en Balkh was an important crossroads of trade prior to 5000 BC, reached it height about 2400 BC, was looted and conquered numerous times, finally destroyed by Ghenghis Khan in 1220 AD, but still impressed Marco Polo when he visited in 1275 AD......

Restricted Texts and Practices are not included in these public research notes….these links begin to explore 'Outer' levels of the Shambhala, Dzogchen & Kalachakra paths…the notes on the Inner (Practice) and Secret (Realization) levels are private ….. the ancient historical & geographical 'Shambhala' …..Trungpa: "Shambhala is the Central Asian kingdom... the basic idea of Shambhala vision is that a sane society developed out of that culture, and we are trying to emulate that vision."

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"There is also a tradition that Dzogchen,and Padmasambhava, come from a place called Oddiyana in Shamballa. Texts from this same Tun huang site identify Oddiyana as "Shamis en Balkh" in modern day Balkh, Afghanistan where many ruins, Buddhist stupas and monasteries exist. This is not the Swat Valley.

Padmasambhava's birth. It is commonly stated that he was miraculously born from a lotus-flower on Dhanakosha lake in Uddiyana. (Lake Danakosha is located on the Afganistan-Pakistan frontier on the river Sindhu, one of the four great rivers that springs from the four directions of Kailash mountain, flows towards the Western Land of Odiyana and finally empties into the Arabian Sea.)

“All roads lead to Balkh,” uttered Gurdjieff, referring to the Sufic origin of all systems. Yesai Narai writes, “Balkh is the town often associated with Padmasambhava, and Rabia and Rumi as well.”

Balkh was referred to as the “Mother of Cities” and the “Elevated Candle” (Sham-i-Bala) and it was in Balkh that the great Prophet Zoroaster was born. It is said he is also interred there, according to the Persian poet Firdousi. For many years, Balkh was the central hub of the Zoroastrian religion......http://home.earthlink.net/~drmljg/id17.html

Balkh was built similar to Ecbatana... In the fifth century B.C., Herodotus wrote of Ecbatana: "The Medes built the city now called Ecbatana, the walls of which are of great size and strength, rising in circles one within the other. The number of the circles is seven, the royal palace and the treasuries standing higher within center. The circuit of the outer wall is very nearly the same with that of Athens. On this wall the battlements are white, of the next black, of the third scarlet, of the fourth blue, the fifth orange; all these colors with paint."

French Buddhist Alexandra David-NĂ©el associated Shambhala with Balkh in present day Afghanistan, also offering the Persian Sham-i-Bala, "elevated candle" as an etymology of its name. In a similar vein, the Gurdjieffian J. G. Bennett published speculation that Shambalha was Shams-i-Balkh, a Bactrian sun temple.(wiki)

The Sanskrit and Tibetan Shambhala has also been identified by Alexandra David-Neel, who spent years in Tibet, with Balkh in the far north of Afghanistan the ancient settlement known as "the mother of cities". Present day folklore in Afghanistan asserts that after the Muslim conquest, Balkh was known as the "Elevated Candle" ("Sham-i-Bala"), a Persianisation of the Sanskrit Shambhala.

Bon religion traces itself from Shenrab (gShen-rab), a teacher from the fabled land of Olmo-lungring (‘Ol-mo lung-ring) on the eastern edge of Tagzig (sTag-gzig), who brought it to Zhang-zhung (Zhang-zhung) in the remote, distant past. Zhang-zhung was an ancient kingdom with its capital in western Tibet near the sacred Mount Kailash. Some modern Russian scholars, basing themselves on linguistic analysis, identify Olmo-lungring with Elam in ancient western Iran and Tagzig with Tajik, referring to Bactria.

At the time of the Islamic conquest of Persia in the 7th century, however, Balkh had provided an outpost of resistance and a safe haven for the Persian emperor Yedzgird who fled there from the armies of Umar. Later, in the 9th century, during the reign of Ya'qub bin Laith as-Saffar, Islam became firmly rooted in the local population.

Xuanzang visited Balkh in 630 when it was a flourishing centre of Buddhism. People called the city ‘Little Rajagriha’ since it housed many sacred relics. According to Memoirs of Xuanzang, there were about a hundred Buddhist convents in the city or its vicinity at the time of his visit there in the 7th century. There were 30,000 monks and a large number of stupas and other religious monuments. The most remarkable stupa was the Navbahara (Sanskrit, Now Vihara: New Monastery), which possessed a very grand statue of Buddha. Shortly before the Arabic conquest, the monastery became a Zoroastrian fire-temple.

The entire region was considered a "Pagan Enclave" by the Arab mapmakers. Tremendous silk route influences. Crossroads between the Indian Tantric traditions moving northward and the Vedic Mithraic traditions of Persia (Tazik). Bon moved into Tibet via this region, Padmasambhava entered Tibet from Balkh. Early teachings of Dzogchen in the Bon and Nyingma traditions appeared here in the 8th century AD. Manichaenism was flourishing. Mithra was an important deity historically.

Balk is the homeland of Baha ad-Din Naqshband, the greatest of the Khwjaghan Masters. Baha al-Din Walad of Balkh (d. 1230 CE), meaning "the splendor/glory of religion from Balkh" is the designation of the father of Jalal al-Din Balki, more commonly known as Jalal al-Rumi, famed author of the ‘Persian Qur'an/Bible’, the Mathnawi.


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October 23, 2012

John Hopkins.....Northern New Mexico


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