H.P. Blavatsky on Shamballa

“Song of Shambhala” – A painting by Nicholas Roerich

Some critics and opponents of Theosophy seem to think, or at least like to imply, that Madame Blavatsky was constantly talking and writing about Shamballa and often making fantastical claims about it. This is simply not true. Perhaps they confuse her with certain later “Theosophical” writers, whose books abound with mention of Shamballa and often with a peculiarly Christian colouring.

HPB maintained that the less one talks of Shamballa, the wiser he is. The great sacredness surrounding this subject is such that it is only directly mentioned or referred to on around ten brief occasions in all the thousands upon thousands of pages of HPB’s writings. We have quoted those passages below and stated their source. “SD” stands for “Secret Doctrine.”

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* “… the sacred Island (now the “fabled” Shamballah, in the Gobi Desert) …” [SD 2:319]

* “In the same manner and on the plan of the Zodiac in the upper Ocean or the heavens, a certain realm on Earth, an island sea, was consecrated and called “the Abyss of Learning”; twelve centres on it in the shape of twelve small islands representing the Zodiacal signs – two of which remained for ages the “mystery signs” and were the abodes of twelve Hierophants and masters of wisdom. This “sea of knowledge” or learning remained for ages there, where now stretches the Shamo or Gobi desert. It existed until the last great glacial period, when a local cataclysm, which swept the waters south and west and so formed the present great desolate desert, left only a certain oasis, with a lake and one island in the midst of it, as a relic of the Zodiacal Ring on Earth.” [SD 2:502-503]

* “What is claimed is simply the fact that the Wisdom imparted by the “Divine Ones” – born through the Kriyashakti powers of the Third Race before its Fall and Separation into sexes – to the adepts of the early Fourth Race, has remained in all its pristine purity in a certain Brotherhood. The said School or Fraternity being closely connected with a certain island of an inland sea, believed in by both Hindus and Buddhists, but called “mythical” by geographers and Orientalists, the less one talks of it, the wiser he will be.” [SD 2:636-637]

* “The “Island,” according to belief, exists to the present hour; now, as an oasis surrounded by the dreadful wildernesses of the great Desert, the Gobi – whose sands “no foot hath crossed in the memory of man”.” [SD 2:220]

*Arghyanath is a title of the Maha-Chohan, meaning “the Lord of Libations;” and Arghya Varsha – “the land of libations” – is the mystery name of that region which extends from Kailas mountain nearly to the Schamo Desert – from within which the Kalki Avatar is expected.” [SD 2:416]

* “… that Sacred Island – ‘from whence the last Saviour will come’ …” [A Commentary quoted in SD 2:350]

* “ … her [Mother Earth’s] heart – which beats under the foot of the sacred Shambalah …” [A Commentary quoted in SD 2:400]

* “Although these matters were barely hinted at in “Isis Unveiled,” it will be well to remind the reader of what was said in Vol. I., pp. 587 to 593, concerning a certain Sacred Island in Central Asia, and to refer him for further details to the chapter in Book II. on “The Sons of God and the Sacred Island”.” [SD 1:209]

* “S’ambhala (Sk.). A very mysterious locality on account of its future associations. A town or village mentioned in the Puranas, whence, it is prophesied, the Kalki Avatar will appear. The “Kalki” is Vishnu, the Messiah on the White Horse of the Brahmins; Maitreya Buddha of the Buddhists, Sosiosh of the Parsis, and Jesus of the Christians (See Revelations). All these “messengers” are to appear “before the destruction of the world”, says the one; before the end of Kali Yuga say the others. It is in S’ambhala that the future Messiah will be born. Some Orientalists make modern Muradabad in Rohilkhand (N.W.P.) identical with S’ambhala, while Occultism places it in the Himalayas. It is pronounced Shambhala.” [Theosophical Glossary p. 287]

* “Every seventh year, these teachers are believed to assemble in SCHAM-CHA-LO, the “happy land.” According to the general belief it is situated in the north-west of Tibet. Some place it within the unexplored central regions, inaccessible even to the fearless nomadic tribes; others hem it in between the range of the Gangdisri Mountains and the northern edge of the Gobi Desert, South and North, and the more populated regions of Khoondooz and Kashmir, of the Gya-Pheling (British-India), and China, West and East, which affords to the curious mind a pretty large latitude to locate it in. Others still place it between Namur Nur and the Kuen-Lun Mountains – but one and all firmly believe in Scham-bha-la, and speak of it as a fertile, fairy-like land, once an island, now an oasis of incomparable beauty, the place of meeting of the inheritors of the esoteric wisdom of the god-like inhabitants of the legendary island.” [Editorial Appendix, The Theosophist, Jan 1882, published in H.P. Blavatsky Theosophical Articles 3:333]

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Those who hold to such ideas as Shamballa being located on the so-called “etheric plane,” or that it is the home of Sanat Kumara, or that the Kalki Avatar/Maitreya is an individual being referred to as the “Lord Christ” and likely to appear sometime soon, are invited to read the articles The Wondrous Being – The Great Sacrifice, Maitreya in the Light of Real Theosophy, and Sanat Kumara and the Pratyeka Buddhas. They will soon learn, probably to their surprise, that the concepts just mentioned go entirely against what HPB and the Masters taught and originate with C.W. Leadbeater, who can be read about in The Unavoidable Facts about C.W. Leadbeater.

To see the complete list of over 200 articles relating to many aspects of Theosophy and the Theosophical Movement, please visit the Articles page.

~ BlavatskyTheosophy.com ~

2 thoughts on “H.P. Blavatsky on Shamballa

  1. so it is located on the physical plane? Closest thing i found is the temple and hermitages in the island of Qinghai lake.

    1. From the descriptions given, Shamballa (or Shambhala) is objective. It is spiritual in nature, yet existing here on this physical plane, although none can ever find it or go there, except the very few who have earned the right and passed through the requisite initiations.

      If one reads the account titled “The Bungalow by the Sea” in the article “The Masters and Madame Blavatsky” (https://blavatskytheosophy.com/the-masters-and-madame-blavatsky/) it can be deduced that occult methods are employed to keep Shamballa – like other places and locations – invisible and untraceable for all but the worthy few. One is not likely to find any indication of it on maps or photographs.

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