Nicholas Roerich - Shambhala, The Resplendent
"LAMA, tell me of Shambhala."
- "But you Westerners know nothing about Shambhala--you wish to know nothing. Probably you ask only out of curiosity; and you pronounce this sacred word in vain."
"Lama, I do not ask about Shambhala aimlessly. Everywhere, people know of this great symbol under different names. Our scientists seek each spark concerning this remarkable realm. Csoma de Koros knew of Shambhala, when he made his prolonged visit to the Buddhist monasteries. Grunwedel translated the book of the famous Tashi Lama Pal-den ye-she, about 'The Way to Shambhala.' We sense how, under secret symbols, a great truth is concealed. Truly, the ardent scientist desires to know all about Kalachakra."
- "Can this be so, when some of your Western people desecrate our temples? They smoke within our holy sanctuaries; they neither understand nor wish to venerate our faith and our teachings. They mock and deride the symbols whose meaning they do not penetrate. Should we visit your temples, our conduct would be completely different, because your great Bodhisatva, Issa, is verily an exalted one. And none of us would defame the teaching of mercy and righteousness."
"Lama, only the very ignorant and stupid would ridicule your teaching. All the teachings of righteousness are as in one sacred place. And each one possessed of his senses, will not violate the sacred place. Lama, why do you think that the essential teaching of the Blessed One is unknown to the West? Why do you believe that in the West we do not know of Shambhala?
"Lama, upon my very table you may see the Kalachakra, the Teaching brought by the great Atticha from India. I know that if a high spirit, already prepared, hears a voice proclaiming Kalagiya it is the call to Shambhala. We know which Tashi Lama visited Shambhala. We know the book of the High Priest, T'aishan--'The Red Path to Shambhala.' We even know the Mongolian song about Shambhala. Who knows--perhaps we even know many things. We know that quite recently a young Mongolian lama issued a new book about Shambhala."
The Lama studies us with his piercing glance. Then he says:
- "Great Shambhala is far beyond the ocean. It is the mighty heavenly domain. It has nothing to do with our earth. How and why do you earthly people take interest in it? Only in some places in the Far North, can you discern the resplendent rays of Shambhala."
"Lama, we know the greatness of Shambhala. We know the reality of this indescribable realm. But we also know about the reality of the earthly Shambhala. We know how some high lamas went to Shambhala, how along their way they saw the customary physical things. We know the stories of the Buryat lama, of how he was accompanied through a very narrow secret passage. We know how another visitor saw a caravan of hill-people with salt from the lakes, on the very borders of Shambhala. Moreover, we ourselves have seen a white frontier post of one of the three outposts of Shambhala. So, do not speak to me about the heaven Shambhala only, but also about the one on earth; because you know as well as I, that, on earth Shambhala is connected with the heavenly one. And in this link, the two worlds are unified."
The Lama becomes silent. With eyes half concealed by the lids, he examines our faces. And in the evening dusk, he commences his tale:
- "Verily, the time is coming when the Teaching of the Blessed One will once again come from the North to the South. The word of Truth, which started its great path from Bodhgaya, again shall return to the same sites. We must accept it simply, as it is; the fact that the true teaching shall leave Tibet, and shall again appear in the south. Really, great things are coming. You come from the West, yet you are bringing news of Shambhala. We must take it verily so. Probably the ray from the tower of Rigden-jyepo has reached all countries.
- "Like a diamond glows the light on the Tower of Shambhala. He is there--Rigden-jyepo, indefatigable, ever vigilant in the cause of mankind. His eyes never close. In his magic mirror he sees all events of earth. The might of his thought penetrates into far off lands. Distance does not exist for him; he can instantaneously bring assistance to worthy ones. His powerful light can destroy all darkness. His immeasurable riches are ready to aid all needy ones who offer to serve the cause of righteousness. He may even change the karma of human beings. . . ."
"Lama, it seems to me that you speak of Maitreya; is it not so?"
- "We must not pronounce this mystery? There is much which may not be revealed. There is much which may not be crystallized into sound. In sound we reveal our thought. In sound we project our thought into space and the greatest harm may follow. Because every thing divulged before the destined date, results in untold harm. Even the greatest catastrophies may be provoked by such light-minded acts. If Rigden-jyepo and the blessed Maitreya are one and the same for you--let it be so. I have not so stated!
- "Uncountable are the inhabitants of Shambhala. Numerous are the splendid new forces and achievements which are being prepared there for humanity. . . ."
"Lama, ancient teachings tell us that very soon new energies shall be given to humanity. Is this true?"
- "Innumerable are the great things predestined and prepared. Through the Holy Scriptures we know of the Teachings of the Blessed One about the inhabitants of the distant stars. From the same source we have heard of the flying steel bird . . . . about iron serpents which devour space with fire and smoke. Tathagata, the Blessed One, predicted all for the future."
"Lama, if the great warriors are incarnated, will not the activities of Shambhala take place here on our earth?"
- "Everywhere--here and in heaven. All benevolent forces shall come together to destroy the darkness. Each one who will help in this great task shall be rewarded a hundred-fold and upon this very earth, in this incarnation. All sinners against Shambhala will perish in this very incarnation, because they have exhausted mercy."
Lama, you know the truth. Then tell me why there are so many unworthy priests.”
- “Certainly this is not an excuse: but if the Teaching must move to the South then it is not surprising that many learned lamas have left Tibet. In the West, do they know that Pan-chen-rinpoche (the Tashi Lama) is connected with Shambhala?”
"Lama, we certainly know that Pan-chen-rinpoche is greatly esteemed everywhere. In different countries we have heard how highly not only Buddhists, but the people of many nations, talk about His Holiness. It is even said that in his private apartments, long before his departure, the details of his coming travels were outlined in the frescoes. We know that Pan-chen-rinpoche follows the customs of all the great lamas. We have been told how during his flight he and his followers escaped many of the greatest dangers."
- "We know how at one time his pursuers from Lhassa were already quite upon him, when a heavy snowfall cut off the pursuers' road. Another day, Pan-chen-rinpoche arrived at a lake in the mountains; a difficult problem confronted him. His enemies were close behind; but in order to escape, it would be necessary for him to make a long circuit around the lake. Thereupon, Pan-chen-rinpoche sat in deep meditation for some time. Arousing himself, he gave orders, that despite the danger, the entire caravan would have to spend the night on the shores of the lake. Then the unusual happened. During the night, a heavy frost arose, which covered the lake with ice and snow. Before sunrise, while it was still dark, Tashi Lama gave orders to his people to move on speedily, and he, with his three hundred followers, crossed the lake over the ice by the shortest way, thus escaping danger. When the enemies arrived at the same spot, the sun was already high and its rays had melted the ice. There remained for them only the roundabout way. Was it not so?"
- "Verily, so it was. Pan-chen-rinpoche was helped by Holy Shambhala throughout his travels. He saw many wondrous signs when he crossed the uplands hastening to the North."
"Lama, not far from Ulan-Davan we saw a huge black vulture which flew low, close to our camp. He crossed the direction of something shining and beautiful, which was flying south over our camp, and which glistened in the rays of the sun."
The eyes of the Lama sparkled. Eagerly he asked:
- "Did you also feel the perfumes of the temple incenses in the desert?"
"Lama, you are quite right--in the stony desert, several days from any habitations, many of us became simultaneously aware of an exquisite breath of perfume. This happened several times. We never smelt such lovely perfume. It reminded me of certain incense which a friend of mine once gave me in India--from where he obtained it, I do not know."
- "Ah--you are guarded by Shambhala. The huge black vulture is your enemy, who is eager to destroy your work, but the protecting force from Shambhala follows you in this Radiant form of Matter. This force is always near to you but you cannot always perceive it. Sometimes only, it is manifested for strengthening and directing you. Did you notice the direction in which this sphere moved? You must follow the same direction. You mentioned to me the sacred call--Kalagiya! When one hears this imperative call, he must know that the way to Shambhala is open to him. He must remember the year when he was called, because from that time evermore, he is closely assisted by the Blessed Rigden-jyepo. Only you must know and realize the manner in which people are helped because often people repel the help which is sent."
“Lama, tell me how are the simple people helped by Shambhala? We know of the adepts and of incarnate co-workers of Shambhala. But in what manner does the might of Shambhala manifest itself among the humble?”
- “In untold and manifold ways. Each one who in previous incarnations followed the teaching of righteousness and was useful to the Common Cause, is helped by this Common Cause. Not many years ago during the war and unrest, one man asked a lama if he should change his dwelling. The lama answered that he could remain in the same place for about six months longer, but that afterwards he would be in great danger and would have to flee without delay. During the six months which followed, the man was most successful in his work; everything was peaceful and his possessions multiplied. When the six months had expired, he thought,
- ‘Why should I risk my property by leaving this quiet spot? Everything seems so prosperous for me and there is apparently no danger. Probably the lama was mistaken.’
- “But the cosmic flux was not arrested. And the predestined danger suddenly arose. The troops of the enemies approached the place at full speed from both directions. And the man realized that his best opportunity had been lost and his way was now cut off. He hurried to the same lama and told him of what had happened.
- “The lama told him that for certain reasons it was necessary that he be saved—
- ‘But,’ he added, ‘it is now more difficult to help you. The best opportunity is lost, but I still can do something for you. To-morrow, take your family with you and ride towards the North. On the road you will meet your enemies. This is inevitable. When you see them coming, go away from the road and remain quiet. Even though they may approach you, even though they speak to you, remain quiet and unmoving until they pass.’
- “So it happened. The man, with his family and belongings, set out at early morning. Suddenly in the dusk of morning, they distinguished the outlines of soldiers rapidly approaching. They turned aside from the road and stood silent, tense.
- “The soldiers hurriedly approached, and the poor man heard one of them shouting,
- ‘Here they are. I see people here. Probably there is a nice booty for us.’
- “Another one laughingly answered him,
- ‘Friend, you probably slept poorly last night, since you cannot distinguish stones from humans. They are quite near us and you say that they are not stones!’
- “The first one insisted,‘But I even see a horse!’ The other one laughed.
- ‘On such a stony horse, you will not ride far. Could you imagine that a horse, aware of all our horses, would remain immovable?’
- “The soldiers all laughed heartily and, deriding the mistake of the first one, passed quite close to the immovable group. They then disappeared into the mist. Thus, even in the most difficult situation, the man was saved. For he had been useful to Shambhala just once.
- “Shambhala knows all. But the secrets of Shambhala are well guarded.”
“Lama, how are the secrets of Shambhala guarded? It is said that many co-workers of Shambhala, many messengers, are speeding through the world. How can they preserve the secrets entrusted to them?”
- “The great keepers of mysteries are watching closely all those to whom they have entrusted their work and given high missions. If an unexpected evil confronts them they are helped immediately. And the entrusted treasure shall be guarded. About forty years ago, a great secret was entrusted to a man living in the Great Mongolian Gobi. It was told to him that he could use this secret for a special purpose, but that when he felt his departure from this world approaching, he should find some one worthy to whom to entrust this treasure. Many years passed. Finally this man became ill and during his illness, an evil force approached him and he became unconscious. In such a state he could, of course, not find any one worthy to whom to entrust his treasure. But the Great Keepers are ever vigilant and alert. One of them from the high Ashram hurriedly started through the mighty Gobi, remaining more than sixty hours without rest in the saddle. He reached the sick man in time to revive him and, though only for a short time, it permitted him to find some one to whom he might transmit the message. Perhaps you may wonder why the Keeper did not take the Treasure with him. And why the same succession had to take place. Because great Karma has its own ways and even the greatest Keepers of mysteries sometimes do not wish to touch the threads of Karma. Because each thread of Karma, if broken, results in the greatest harm.”
“Lama, in Tourfan and in Turkestan they showed us caves with long, unexplored passages. Can one reach the Ashrams of Shambhala through these routes? They told us that on some occasions, strangers came out of these caves and went to the cities. They wished to pay for things with strange, ancient coins which are now no longer used.”
- “Verily, verily, the people of Shambhala at times emerge into the world. They meet the earthly co-workers of Shambhala. For the sake of humanity, they send out precious gifts, remarkable relics. I can tell you many stories of how wonderful gifts were received through the space. Even Rigden-jyepo himself appears at times in human body. Suddenly he shows himself in holy places, in monasteries, and at a time predestined, pronounces his prophecies.
- “By night or at early morning before sunrise, the Ruler of the World arrives in the Temple. He enters. All the lamps at once kindle themselves. Some already recognize the Great Stranger. In deep reverence the lamas gather. They listen with the greatest attention to the prophecies of the future.
- “A great epoch approaches. The Ruler of the World is ready to fight. Many things are being manifested. The cosmic fire is again approaching the earth. The planets are manifesting the new era. But many cataclysms will occur before the new era of prosperity. Again humanity will be tested, to see if the spirit has progressed sufficiently. The subterranean fire now seeks to find contact with the fiery element of the Akasa; if all good forces do not combine their power, the greatest cataclysms are inevitable. It is related how the blessed Rigden-jyepo manifests himself, to give commands to his messengers; how on the black rock, on the way to Ladak, the mighty ruler appears. And from all directions, the messenger-riders approach in deep reverence to listen; and in full speed they rush to fulfil what is ordained by the great wisdom.”
“Lama, how does it happen that Shambhala on earth is still undiscovered by travelers? On maps you may see so many routes of expeditions. It appears that all heights are already marked and all valleys and rivers explored.”
- “Verily, there is much gold in the earth, and many diamonds and rubies in the mountains, and every one is so eager to possess them! And so many people try to find them! But as yet these people have not found all things—so, let a man try to reach Shambhala without a call! You have heard about the poisonous streams which encircle the uplands. Perhaps you have even seen people dying from these gases when they come near them. Perhaps you have seen how animals and people begin to tremble when they approach certain localities. Many people try to reach Shambhala, uncalled. Some of them have disappeared forever. Only few of them reach the holy place, and only if their karma is ready.”
“Lama, you speak of an holy place on earth. Is there a rich vegetation there? The mountains seem barren and the hurricanes and all-devastating frosts seem unusually severe.”
- “In the midst of high mountains there are unsuspected enclosed valleys. Many hot springs nourish the rich vegetation. Many rare plants and medicinal herbs are able to flourish on this unusual volcanic soil. Perhaps you have noticed hot geysers on the uplands. Perhaps you have heard that only two days away from Nagchu where there is not a tree or plant to be seen, there is one valley with trees and grass and warm water. But who may know the labyrinths of these mountains? Upon stony surfaces it is impossible to distinguish human traces. One cannot understand the thoughts of people—and he who can, is silent! Perhaps you have met numerous travelers during your wanderings—strangers, simply attired, walking silently through the desert, in heat or cold, toward their unknown goals. Do not believe, because the garment is simple, that the stranger is insignificant! If his eyes are half closed, do not presume that his glance is not keen. It is impossible to discern from which direction power approaches. In vain are all warnings, in vain are all prophecies—but only by the one path of Shambhala can you attain achievement. By addressing yourself directly to the Blessed Rigden-jyepo you can succeed.”
“Lama, you said that the enemies of Shambhala would perish. How will they perish?”
- “Verily, they perish in due time. They are destroyed by their own nefarious ambitions. Rigden-jyepo is merciful. But the sinners are their own assailants. Who can say when the merited wage is given? Who can discern when help is truly needed? And what shall be the nature of that help? Many upheavals are necessary and have their purposes. Just when our limited human understanding is convinced that all is destroyed, that all hope is perished, then the creative hand of the Ruler projects his powerful ray.
- “How are sinners annihilated? One lama-painter had the exalted gift of painting with incomparable beauty, the sacred images. Superbly he painted the images of Rigden-jyepo and the Blessed Buddha and Dukhar, the All-seeing. But another painter became jealous and in his wrath determined to harm the righteous one. And when he started to slander the lama-painter, his house caught fire from some unknown cause. All his possessions were destroyed and the hands of the slanderer were seriously burnt so that for long he was unable to work.
- “Another calumniator threatened to destroy all the labors of an honest man. And he himself was drowned shortly after, while crossing Tsampo. Another man, who performed many a beautiful deed for charity, was attacked by some one, who sought to destroy all the possessions which had been dedicated to the cause of humankind. But again the powerful ray of Rigden-jyepo reached the assailant and in a day his wealth was swept away and he became a beggar. Perhaps you may see him even now, begging at the Lhassa bazaar.
- “In every city you may hear how those unworthy creatures who turned their venom against worthy ones, were punished. Only by the path of Shambhala may you walk safely. Each diversion from this road of glory will embroil you in the greatest dangers. Everything on earth may be searched and meted out. Not faith nor blind worship does the Blessed One ordain, but the knowledge of experience.”
“It is so, Lama. I can also tell you how one of our near ones became a brother of Shambhala. We know how he came to India on a scientific mission, how he was suddenly lost from the caravan and how, long afterwards, an unexpected message revealed the news that he was in Shambhala.
“I can tell you how, from distant Altai, many Old Believers went to seek for the so-called ‘Belavodye’ (White waters) and never returned. I have heard the names of the mountains, rivers and lakes which lie on the way to the holy places. They are secret; some of the names are corrupted, but you discern their fundamental truth.
“I can tell you how a worthy student of this exalted teaching set out to reach Shambhala, before the time ordained for him. He was a pure and sincere spirit, but his karma had not been exhausted and his earthly task was still undone. It was premature for him, and one of the great Masters met him on horseback in the mountains and personally spoke to this aspiring traveler. Mercifully and compassionately he sent him back to complete his unfinished labors. I can tell you of Ashrams beyond Shigatse. I can tell you how the Brothers of Shambhala appeared in various cities and how they prevented the greatest human calamities, when humanity worthily understood them…
Lama, have you met Azaras and Kuthumpas?”
- “If you are familiar with so many incidents, you must be successful in your work. To know so much of Shambhala is in itself a stream of purification. Many of our people during their lives have encountered the Azaras and Kuthumpas and the snow people who serve them. Only recently have the Azaras ceased to be seen in cities. They are all gathered in the mountains. Very tall, with long hair and beards, they appear outwardly like Hindus. Once, walking along the Brahmaputra, I saw an Azara. I strove to reach him, but swiftly he turned beyond the rocks and disappeared. Yet I found no cave or cavern there—all I saw was a small Stupa. Probably he did not care to be disturbed.
- “The Kuthumpas are no longer seen now. Previously they appeared quite openly in the Tsang district and at Manasarowar, when the pilgrims went to holy Kailasa. Even the snow people are rarely seen now. The ordinary person, in his ignorance, mistakes them for apparitions. There are profound reasons why, just now, the Great Ones do not appear so openly. My old teacher told me much of the wisdom of the Azaras. We know several places where these Great Ones dwelt, but for the moment these places are deserted. Some great reason, great mystery!”
“Lama, then it is true that the Ashrams have been moved from the vicinity of Shigatse?”
- “This mystery must not be uttered. I already said that the Azaras may no longer be found in Tsang.”
“Lama, why do your priests claim that Shambhala is far beyond the ocean, when the Shambhala of earth is far closer? Csoma de Koros even mentions, with justification, the place—the wondrous mountain-valley, where the initiation of Buddha was held.”
- “I have heard that Csoma de Koros reaped misfortune in life. And Grunwedel, whom you mentioned, became insane; because they touched the great name of Shambhala out of curiosity, without realizing its stupendous significance. It is dangerous to toy with fire—yet fire can be of the greatest use for humanity. You have probably heard how certain travelers attempted to penetrate into the forbidden territory and how guides refused to follow them. They said, ‘Better to kill us.’ Even these simple folk understood that such exalted matters may be touched only with utmost reverence.
- “Do not outrage the laws! Await in ardent labor until the messenger of Shambhala shall come to you, amid constant achievement. Await until the Mighty-voiced shall utter, ‘Kalagiya.’ Then you may safely proceed to expound this superb matter. Vain curiosity must be transformed into sincere learning, into application to the high principles of everyday life.
“Lama, you are a wanderer. Where shall I find you once again?”
- “I beg you, do not ask my name. Moreover, should you meet me in some city, or in any other inhabited place, do not recognize me. I shall approach you.”
“And if I should approach you, would you merely depart or would you in some way hypnotize me?”
- “Do not force me to utilize these natural forces. Among certain Red Sects, it is permitted to apply certain powers. But we may only utilize them in exceptional cases. We must not break the laws of nature. The essential Teaching of our Blessed One bids us be cautious in revealing our inner possibilities.”
“Lama, tell me further, if you have personally seen Rigden-jyepo.”
- “No, I have not yet seen the Ruler in the flesh. But I have heard His Voice. And during the winter, while the frost lay over the mountains, a rose—a flower from the far-off valley—was His gift to me. You ask me so much that I can see you are grounded in many matters. What would you do, should I begin to examine you?” “Lama, I should be silent.”
The Lama smiled:
- “So, you do know much. Perhaps you even know how to use the forces of nature, and how in the West during the last few years, many signs were witnessed, especially during the war, which you, or one of you, started.”
“Lama, certainly such unprecedented slaughter of human beings must have precipitated an unexpected flow of reincarnations. So many people died before the predestined hour and through such occurrences, so much was distorted and upheaved.”
- “Probably you did not know the prophecies by which these calamities were foretold long since. If only you would have known, you could never have begun this horrible holocaust.
- “If you know of Shambhala, if you know how to utilize your latent natural forces, you also must know of Namig, the Heavenly Letters. And you will know how to accept the prophecies of the future.”
“Lama, we have heard that all the journeys of Tashi Lama and the Dalai Lama were foretold in the prophecies, long before they occurred.”
- “I repeat, that in the private apartments of the Tashi Lama, at his order, were painted all the events of his future travels. Often unknown strangers report these prophecies, and you can see and hear evident signs of approaching events.
- “You know, that near to the entrance of the great temple of Geser Khan, there are two horses—a white and a red one. And when Geser Khan is approaching, those horses neigh. Have you heard that recently this great sign occurred, and many people heard the neighing of the sacred horses?”
“Lama, you mentioned the third great name of Asia…”
- “Mystery, mystery, you must not speak too much. Sometime we shall speak to one very learned Geshe of Moru-ling. This monastery was founded by our Dalai Lama the Great, and the sound of the Great Name is part of the name of the monastery. It is said that before leaving Lhassa forever, the great Dalai Lama had a mysterious communion in this monastery. Verily, from this monastery, several lamas disappeared for great new tasks.
- “There you could find something familiar to yourself.”
“Lama, can you tell me something of the three greatest monasteries near Lhassa—Sera, Ganden and Depung?”
The Lama smiled.
- “Oh, they are great official monasteries. At Sera, among the three thousand lamas, you can find many real fighters. Many lamas of foreign countries, such as Mongolia, are in Ganden. There is the chair of our great Teacher, Tsong-kha pa. No one can touch this great seat without trembling. Depung has also some learned lamas.”
“Lama, are there some hidden passages under the Potala? And is there a subterranean lake under the chief temple?”
The Lama again smiled.
- “You know so many things that it seems to me you have been at Lhassa. I do not know when you have been there. It makes little difference if you were there now or in other garments. But if you have seen this subterranean lake, you must have been either a very great lama, or a servant bearing a torch. But as a servant you could not know the many things which you have told me. Probably you know also that in many places of Lhassa there are hot springs and in some houses, people use this water for their household.”
“Lama, I have heard how some animals—deer and squirrels and jackals—approach the meditating lamas in the caves of the Himalayan forests; and how apes and monkeys sometimes bring them their food.”
- “On my part, I shall ask you, what is impossible? But one thing is evident, that a deer would not approach a human being in a city because only rarely do you find well-intentioned people in these crowded places. Humanity does not know the significance and the definite effect of auras; they do not realize that not only human beings, but even inanimate objects, have their significant and effectual auras.”
“Lama, we know about it and we have even begun to photograph auras. And as for inanimate objects, Lama, we know also something about the Chair of the Master, and how this Chair must not be touched by any one. In this way the presence of the Great One is always near.”
- “If you know the value of such a venerated armchair, then you know the meaning of Guruship. Guruship is the highest relation we can attain in our earthly garb. We are guarded by Guruship and we ascend to perfection in our esteem to the Guru. He who knows the essential meaning of the Guru will not speak against relics. In the West you have also some portraits of dear ones and you have great esteem for symbols and the objects used by your forefathers and great leaders. So do not take it as idolatry, but only as a deep veneration and remembrance of the work performed by some one great. And it is not alone this external veneration, but if you know something of psychical emanation from objects, then you also know about natural magic. What do you think of the magic scepter which indicates the subterranean riches of earth?”
“Lama, we know many stories everywhere about the strange power of this moving stick, through which many mines, springs and wells are located.”
- “And who do you think is working in these experiments, the stick or the man?”
“Lama, I think that the stick is a dead thing, whereas man is full of vibration and magnetic power. So that the stick is only as a pen in a hand.”
- “Yes, in our body everything is concentrated. Only know how to use it, and how not to misuse it. Do you in the West know something about the Great Stone in which magic powers are concentrated? And do you know from which planet came this stone? And who possessed this treasure?”
“Lama, about the Great Stone we have as many legends as you have images of Chintamani. From the old Druidic times many nations remember these legends of truth about the natural energies concealed in this strange visitor to our planet. Very often in such fallen stones are hidden diamonds, but these are nothing in comparison with some other unknown metals and energies which are found every day in the stones and in the numerous currents and rays.
“Lapis Exilis, thus is named the stone, which is mentioned by the old Meistersingers. One sees that the West and East are working together on many principles. We do not need to go to the deserts to hear of the Stone. In our cities, in our scientific laboratories, we have other legends and proofs. Would any one have thought that the fairy tales regarding the flying man would ever be fulfilled? Yet now, each day’s mail, each day’s visitors, may come flying.”
- “Certainly the Blessed One said long ago that steel birds would fly in mid-air. But at the same time, without the necessity of lifting such heavy masses, we are able to soar in our subtler bodies. You Westerners always dream of ascending Mount Everest in heavy boots; but we reach the same heights and far higher summits without trouble. It is necessary only to think, to study, to remember and to know how to grasp consciously all one’s experiences in the finer bodies. Everything has been indicated in the Kalachakra, but only few have grasped it. You in the West, with your limited apparati, can hear sounds at long distances. You can catch even the cosmic sounds. But long ago Milaraspa, without any apparati, could hear all the supreme voices.”
“Lama, is it true that Milaraspa in his young days was not a man of spirit? Somewhere we have read that he even killed the entire family of his uncle. How, then, can such a man become a spiritually developed being after such excesses of wrath and even murder?”
- “You are right. In his youth, Milaraspa not only killed this family but probably committed many other heinous crimes. But the ways of the spirit are inexplicable. From one of your missionaries, we have heard of your Saint, named Francis. Yet in his youth he also committed many offenses, and his life was not so pure. Then how could he in one lifetime attain such perfection as to make him esteemed in the West as one of the most exalted of saints? From your missionaries, who visited Lhassa in former centuries, we have learned many tales; and some of your books are in our libraries. It is said that books of your gospel may be found sealed in some of our Stupas. Perhaps we know better than yourselves how to venerate foreign religions.”
“Lama, it is so difficult for us Westerners to venerate your religion, because many things are so confused, many things are corrupted. For instance, how could a stranger, on seeing two monasteries completely alike in exterior, understand that in one, Buddhism is preached, while the other is the bitterest enemy of Buddhism. Even if one enters these monasteries, one sees almost the same images superficially. Thus, for a stranger to distinguish whether a Swastika is turned in an inverse direction or not, is as difficult, as to understand why the same iconography can act for and against Buddha. It is difficult for an outsider to understand why people who are completely illiterate and given to drink are called by the same title of lama as yourself, who know many things and are so deeply cultured.”
- “You are right. Many lamas wear the lamaistic garment, but their inner life is far worse than that of a layman. Often among many thousands of lamas, you can find only a few isolated individuals, with whom you can converse about exalted matters and expect a worthy response. But is it not thus in your own religion?
- “We have seen many missionaries—probably they speak of the one Christ, but they assail one another. Each one calls his teaching superior. It is my belief that Issa gave one teaching—then how can this great Symbol have divisions which declare themselves hostile to the other? Do not think that we are so ignorant. We have heard that rites celebrated by one sect of Christian priests are not recognized by another Christian priest. Therefore you must have many opposing Christs.
- “In our deserts, many Christian crosses have been found. Once I asked a Christian missionary if these crosses were authentic, and he told me that they were spurious crosses; that during all ages false Christianity had penetrated Asia, and that we should not regard these crosses as exalted symbols. Then, tell me, how shall we distinguish the authentic cross from the false one? We also have a cross in the Great Sign of Ak-Dorje. But with us, this is the great sign of life, of the fiery element—the eternal sign. Against this sign, none would speak!”
“Lama, we know that only through the knowledge of spirit can we perceive what is authentic.”
- “Again, you show your knowledge of great things. Again you speak as though from our mighty Kalachakra. But how shall we develop our great understanding? Verily, we are wise in spirit; we know everything—but how shall we evoke this knowledge from the depths of our consciousness and transmit it to our minds? How shall one recognize the needed frontiers between the ascetic life and the plain life? How shall we know for how long we may be hermits and how long we must work among men? How shall we know what knowledge can be revealed without harm, and what—perhaps the most exalted—may be divulged but to a few. This is the knowledge of Kalachakra.”
“Lama, the great Kalachakra is practically unknown, because its teaching is confused with low Tantrik teaching. Just as you have real Buddhists, and their opposites, Bon-Po, so you have also the lowest Tantra of sorcery and necromancy. And did not the Blessed One denounce sorcery? Tell me frankly, if a lama should be a sorcerer?”
- “You are right. Not only sorcery, but an undue display of super-normal forces were forbidden by our great Teachers. But if one’s spirit is so advanced that he can perform many things and utilize any of his energies in a natural way and for the purpose of the Common Good, then this is no longer sorcery, but a great achievement, a great labor for humanity.
- “By our symbols, by our images and tankas, you may see how the great Teachers functioned; among the many great Teachers, you see only few in complete meditation. Usually they are performing an active part of the great labor. Either they teach the people or they tame the dark forces and elements; they do not fear to confront the most powerful forces and to ally themselves with them, if only it be for the common well-being. Sometimes you are able to see the Teachers in actual conflict, dispersing the evil forces of spirit. Earthly war is not sanctioned by us, but Buddhists throughout all history, have been attacked; they have never been the aggressors. We have heard that during your recent Great War, the Christian priests on either side claimed that Issa and God were with them. If God is one, we must understand by this that he was in conflict with himself. How can you explain a contradiction which was so inexplicable to all Buddhists?”
“Lama, this war is over. The most disastrous of mistakes may happen, but now all nations are thinking of how to abolish not only the idea but the veritable material and implements of war.”
- “And do you think that all guns and warships should be abolished? Let them rather be transformed into the implements of peace and of a loftier teaching. I would like to see the great warships become traveling schools of high learning. Is that possible? During my journey to China, I saw so many guns and warships that I thought, if only these ghastly creations might be the symbols of lofty teaching, rather than the symbols of murder, what a tremendous flow of cosmic energy the world would see!”
“Lama, the serpent stings, yet he is considered the symbol of wisdom.”
- “Probably you have heard the old parable of how the snake was cautioned not to bite, but only to hiss. Each one must be powerful—but which protection do you regard as the most powerful?”
“Lama, certainly it is the protection afforded by the power of the spirit. Because only in spirit are we for tified mentally, and physically. A man, spiritually concentrated, is as strong as a dozen of the brawniest athletes. The man who knows how to use his mental powers is stronger than the mob.”
- “Ah, now we once again approach our great Kalachakra: Who can exist without food? Who can exist without sleep? Who is immune against heat and cold? Who can heal wounds? Verily, only he who studies the Kalachakra.
- “The great Azaras who know the Teachings of India, know the origin of Kalachakra. They know vast things which, when they will be revealed to help humanity, will completely regenerate life! Many of the Teachings of Kalachakra are unknowingly used both in East and West, and even in such unconscious utilization, much that is wonderful results. It is therefore comprehensible how incomparably great would be the possibilities made manifest by a conscious achievement, and how wisely could be used the great eternal energy, this fine imponderable matter which is scattered everywhere and which is within our use at any moment. This Teaching of Kalachakra, this utilization of the primary energy, has been called the Teaching of Fire. The Hindu people know the great Agni—ancient teaching though it be, it shall be the new teaching for the New Era. We must think of the future; and in the Teaching of Kalachakra we know there lies all the material which may be applied for the greatest use. Now there are so many teachers—so different and so hostile to each other. And yet so many of them speak of the one thing and this very thing is expressed in the Kalachakra. One of your priests once asked me,
- ‘Are not the Kabala and Shambhala parts of the one teaching?’
- He asked,
- ‘Is not the great Moses an initiate of the same teaching and a follower of its very laws?’
- We may assert one thing only—Each teaching of truth, each teaching of the high principle of life, issues from the one source. Many ancient Buddhist Stupas have been converted into Linga temples and many mosques bear the walls and foundations of ancient Buddhist viharas. But what harm is there, if those buildings have been dedicated to the one lofty principle of life? Many Buddhist images upon the rocks find their origins in teachings which long antedated the Blessed One. Yet they also symbolize the same high Essence.
- “What is revealed in the Kalachakra? Are there any forbiddances? No, the lofty teaching sets forth only the constructive. So it is. The same high forces are proposed for humanity. And it is revealed most scientifically how the natural forces of the elements can be used by humanity. When you are told that the shortest way is through Shambhala, through Kalachakra, it means that achievement is not an unattainable ideal, but that it is something which may be attained through sincere and industrious aspiration here, upon this very earth and in this very incarnation. This is the Teaching of Shambhala. Verily, each one may attain it. Verily, each one may hear the pronunciation of the word, Kalagiya!.
- “But to attain this, a man must dedicate himself entirely to creative labor. Those who work with Shambhala, the initiates and the messengers of Shambhala, do not sit in seclusion—they travel everywhere. Very often people do not recognize them and sometimes they do not even recognize each other. But they perform their works, not for themselves, but for the great Shambhala; and all of them know the great symbol of anonymity. They sometimes seem wealthy, yet they are without possessions. Everything is for them, but they take nothing for themselves. Thus, when you dedicate yourselves to Shambhala, everything is taken and everything is given to you. If you have regrets, you yourself become the loser; if you give joyously, you are enriched. Essentially, the Teaching of Shambhala lies in this—that we do not speak of something distant and secreted. Therefore, if you know that Shambhala is here on earth; if you know that everything may be achieved here on earth, then everything must be rewarded here on earth. You have heard that the reward of Shambhala is verily here and that it is manifold in its returns. This is not because the Teaching of Shambhala is unique from others, but because the Teaching of Shambhala is vital, is given for earthly incarnations and can be applied under all human conditions. In what way can we study how to work? How to be ready for all manner of attainments; how to be open and all-accepting? Only in the practical study of Shambhala. When you read many books about Shambhala, partially translated in other languages and partially veiled, do not be confused with the great symbols. Even in the West, when you speak of great discoveries, you use technical language, and the layman does not understand them and takes the expressions literally, judging only on the surface. The same may be said of the great scriptures, and of scientific documents. Some take the great Puranas in their literal aspect. What conclusion may they draw? Only that which may be gathered from the surface of language, from its philology, but not from the significance of the signs which are used. The harmony of exterior and interior can be attained only through the study of Kalachakra. Probably you have seen the signs of Kalachakra on the rocks, in quite deserted places.
- “Some unknown hand has set a design upon the stones or has chiseled the letters of the Kalachakra upon the rocks. Verily, verily, only through Shambhala, only through the Teaching of the Kalachakra can you attain the perfection of the shortest path.
“Kalagiya, kalagiya, kalagiya. Come to Shambhala!”
Then our conversation became still more beautiful and sacred. Therein entered that note which exalts all human strivings. We spoke of the mountain Kailasa, of the hermits which until now live in the caves of this wondrous mountain, filling the space with their evoking calls of righteousness.
And then we spoke of That Place which lies to the north of Kailasa…
The twilight fell and the whole room seemed enveloped in new significance. The image of Chenrezi, superbly embroidered upon the lustrous silk, which hung above the head of the Lama, seemed to glance down at us in a significant way. Such images are no longer to be found in Tibet.
On either side of this image was another, also of rare luster. One of them was Amitayus; the other the Lord Buddha, ever-steadfast with the unconquerable sign of lightning, the dorje, in his hand. From the shrine in the room benignly smiled Dolma, the White Tara.
From a bunch of fresh fuchsias and violet dahlias, emanated a refreshing vitality. From there, also, shone the image of the Mighty, the Invincible Rigden-jyepo, and His Presence again reminded us of the mysterious Place to the north of Kailasa. In the corners of this banner were four most significant images. Below, was the successor of Rigden-jyepo with a Hindu pundit, one of the first exponents of the Kalachakra. In the top corners were two images of the Tashi Lama—that on the left being the Third Tashi Lama, Pan-chen Pal-den ye-she, who gave intimations of Shambhala. And in the right was a corresponding figure of the present Tashi Lama, Pan-chen Cho-kyi nyi-ma ge-leg nam-jyal pal-zang-po, who has recently issued another prayer to Shambhala the Resplendent. In the center of the banner was Rigden-jyepo himself and from the base of his throne there radiated the crossed Ak-ojir-Ak-dorje—the Cross of Life. A legion of people were gathered before the throne of Rigden: who was not among them! There was a Ladaki, in his high black hat; Chinese, in their round headgear with the red ball on top; here, in his white garments, was a Hindu; there, a Moslem in a white turban. Here, Kirghiz, Bur-yats, Kalmuks; and there, Mongolians, in their characteristic dress.
Each one offered to the Ruler the best gifts of his lands: Fruits and grains; textures and armor and precious stones. No one coerced these nations; they came voluntarily from all parts of Asia, surrounding the Great Warrior. Perhaps they were conquered? No, there was no humility in their approach to Him. The nations approached Him as their own, their sole ruler. His hand pointed toward the earth as in the majestic gesture of the great Lion-Sange; upon the stronghold of earth he gave his oath always to build steadfastly.
From the aromatic incense before the image, bluish streams ascended, floating before the image, inscribing numerous signs in the mysterious Senzar language. Then lest those who do not know the Great Truth should desecrate it, the fragrant signs floated together and faded on, out into space.
- Roerich Nicholas. Shambhala, The Resplendent. In Shambhala. © Copyright 1930.
Nicholas Roerich Museum. n.p. n.d. Web. Accessed February 08, 2014. <http://www.roerich.org/roerich-writings-shambhala.php#a1>.
Copyright © Courtesy of the Nicholas Roerich Museum (New York)