At first it may appear somewhat confusing to associate Shambhala with Christianity. Shambhala is usually associated with Eastern thought and religion, such as Tibetan Buddhism. Public knowledge of Shambhala in Western society really began with the Theosophical Society, founded in 1875.
According to theosophical literature, Shambhala was originally a small colony of Atlantean adepts in eastern Asia who had survived the cataclysmic submergence of the ancient continent. This sanctuary-colony was established by a high initiate known in the East as “Manu.” These primordial survivors gathered on a sacred island in a prehistoric sea now occupied by the Gobi Desert: “An island, where now the Gobi Desert lies, was inhabited by the last remnant of the race that preceded ours; a handful of Adepts―the “Sons of God,” now referred to as Brahman Pitris … This sea existed until the last great glacial period, when a local cataclysm, which swept the waters south and west, formed the present great desolate desert …” (“Theosophy,” Vol. 42, No. 3, January, 1954).
Long before the Gobi Sea became a desert, Shambhala had already ceased to exist as a physical, geographical location. Nevertheless, it continued to exist as a superphysical centre of activity for high initiates (Himalayan Masters) within the etheric sphere of the earth. Once Shambhala passed from physical sight, it passed into obscurity, legend and mythology.
According to esoteric Christianity, however, the mysterious “land of Shambhala” will once again become ‘visible’ to non-initiates beginning in the twentieth century; but in this case, visible to supersensible (clairvoyant) sight. When Christ-Jesus “ascended into heaven,” he took up residence within the etheric sphere of the earth, becoming the Lord of Shambhala. In the words of Rudolf Steiner:
Mankind will rise through normal human faculties into the land of Shambhala, the land whence the Initiates draw strength and wisdom for the missions they are to fulfill. Shambhala is a reality, was a reality, will be a reality again for humanity. And when Shambhala reveals itself again, one of the first visions to come to men will be that of Christ in His etheric form. Into the land declared by Oriental writings to have vanished there is no Leader other than Christ. It is Christ who will lead men to Shambhala (from a lecture entitled, “The Second Coming of Christ in the Etheric World,” given on 06 March 1910).
Under the direction and influence of Christ-Jesus, the lotus-centre of Shambhala that once invisibly hovered ‘beyond the Himalayas,’ is now etherically situated above the geographical city of Jerusalem. This new sacred heart-centre of Shambhala is known esoterically as the “New Jerusalem.”
[I designed the header artwork for this website by carefully and respectfully transforming an evocative painting entitled, “Song of Shambhala,” by Russian artist, Nicholas Roerich (1874-1947).]