Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Recent Research Notes.....August 2015 - July 2016

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Rinpungpa's Guidebook to Shambhala .... "The Knowledge Bearing Messenger" (1557 AD)...From Kailas continue northwest to Ladakh and down through mountains and forest to the vale of Kashmir...... then north, hrough a maze of treacherous mountains....you will pass safely through and come out in the land of the Paksik, horsemen who wear white turbans......over an 'outer ring' of sky-high ice mountains, down through a vicious desert, into unknown vistas....only to reach a second 'inner ring' of snow mountains. Beyond there, you must choose rightly among high valleys and low cities, having the good sense to know Shambhala when you reach it.….

Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772 AD) Tantra, Kabbalism & Shambhala...Swedenborg was fascinated with the 'Shambhala' myth, and under cover of employment for the Swedish East India Company .... his interest in India and Central Asia, and the sexual rites that went with his New Jerusalem Society, later to be frequented by William Blake....Swedenborg became intrigued by the similarity of Yogic Tantra techniques of meditation and sexual magic to Kabbalistic techniques....Swedenborg argued that the Yogis of Central Asia discovered the secrets of Kabbalism….

Tzimtzum: Primordial Space & Time in the Kabbalah...The first act of creation was to bring about space in which the divine emanations and the evolving finite world could have a place to exist....it was screened, dimmed, hidden and concealed...where this concealment and occulation of the light occurred, an 'empty' place, a 'void' evolved into primordial space....this is the act of the first Tzimtzum ….

Yungdrung Tharpaling...Lamayuru Monastery & Mahasiddha Naropa (11th c. AD)...Lamayuru Monastery....according to popular tradition," it was originally the foremost Bon monastery in Ladakh….Mahasiddha Naropa (c. 1016–1100) visited Lamayuru coming from Zanskar...... He spent a long time in strict retreat in a cave there and turned the place into a sacred land. The cave still exists, well preserved and forms part of the main shrine

Yu Zurpuchen: The Crystal Youth of the gZermig Terma Text ...At that time there came from the void sky....the little boy Yui Zurpuchen....of a complexion as clear as crystal, arrayed in a coat covered with magic writ, riding on the blue horse of the turquoise dragen….

Druk: Dragon, the Sound of Thunder, Druk Sakyong...Druk in Tibetan means dragon but it also refers to the Sound of Thunder....Dorje Dradul of Mukpo, The Druk Sakyong.....The Sakyong holds and propagates the teachings of Shambhala, an enlightened society.....Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche is regarded as the first in this lineage of Sakyongs, and as such he is referred to as the "Druk Sakyong", or "Dragon Earth-Protector".….

Yungdrung Chakshing... "Yungdrung Chakshing is a symbol of continuity and willpower in the Bon religion which its followers say was the pre-Buddhist faith of the Tibetan people.....the Swastika (also known as the gammadion cross, cross cramponnée, or wanzi) (as a character: 卐 or 卍) is an ancient religious symbol considered to be a sacred and auspicious symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism, Bon and Jainism ....It has been used as a decorative element in various cultures since at least the Neolithic. It is known most widely as an important symbol long used in Indian religions, denoting "auspiciousness".….

A Cavern of Treasures and Shenchen Luga (1017 AD)...A Cavern of Treasures (Tibetan: མཛོད་ཕུག, Wylie: mdzod phug) is a terma uncovered by Shenchen Luga (Tibetan: གཤེན་ཆེན་ཀླུ་དགའ, Wylie: gshen chen klu dga') in the early eleventh century. .. the mDzod phug is one of the most intriguing of all Bon scriptures, since it is the only lengthy bilingual work in Zhang-zhung and Tibetan ….

The Nine Ways of Bon & Iranian Central Asia... The teachings of Yungdrung Bon did not solely originate in Zhang-zhung, but were said to have been brought from Tazik, that is, Iranian speaking Central Asia, to Zhang-zhung in Western and Northern Tibet by a number of mysterious white-robbed sages long before the political events of the seventh and eighth centuries ….

Hadda: Greek-Buddhist Archeological Site (1st c. AD)...Some 23,000 Greco-Buddhist sculptures, both clay and plaster, were excavated in Haḍḍa during the 1930s and the 1970s. The findings combine elements of Buddhism and Hellenism in an almost perfect Hellenistic style….Tapa Shotor, one of the most interesting sites to be excavated during this period, revealed shrines housing cultic images....as well as an underground room, probably restricted to the monks’ meditation practices dedicated to the theme of meditation on death.

.... Avestan Geography: The Mixture of Mythical and Historical ElementsThe Sixteen Great Districts...Airyana Vaēǰah lies at the center of the sixteen lands, in the central Afghan highlands....According to Skjærvø, and Gnoli it was situated between the Helmand River and the Hindu Kush Mountains…..it was common among the Indo-Iranians to identify concepts or features of traditional cosmography—mountains, lakes, rivers, etc.—with their concrete historical and geographical situation as they migrated.

The Bairam-Ali Manuscript & the Gyaur Kala near Merv... The Bairam-Ali manuscript appears to present the story of Buddhism’s first female adherents with the addition of several new details that reflect the influence of the Mahāyāna...We know of the formation of the Buddhist female community and women’s monasteries since the end of the first centuries A.D., although Buddhist tradition links this fact with permission granted by the Buddha after many requests by Mahāprajāpatī Gautamī (the Buddha Sakyamuni’s aunt, who raised him after his mother’s death) and support from Ānanda.….

The Sasanian high priest Kartir & Iconoclastic Mazdaism (241 - 275 AD)...Kartir was a significant force in an iconoclastic movement that would result in the loss of favour of the shrine cults, a religious tradition alien to Indo-Iranian forms of worship that was inherited instead from the Babylonians; shrine cults had been instituted six centuries earlier by Artaxerxes II.....It was during Kartir's time as high priest that the shrines were - by law - stripped of their statues, and then either abandoned or converted into fire temples.….

Iranian Migration into Eastern Tibet (7th - 9th Centuries AD)...After the Arabs had conquered the Persian empire.....the Tibetans who had become the dominant eastern power in the seventh century AD, it is they who provided the Persians and Sogdians sanctury.....As they fled east, the Persians first took refuge in Sugd (Sogdiana) ....then Sogdians continued east along the Silk Route into China and then into Eastern Tibet...... the rise of Tibetan power was because of the assistance of Persian refugees fleeing from the Arab invasion in the 650s AD.

Mount Mandara & The Ocean of Milk...East of Sumeru (Mt. Meru...Tibetan: Ri Rab) is the Ocean of Milk, in which there is a white city on a white island where the Lord Shiva can be seen sitting with his consort Parvati.....Mount Kailash is a rather small member of the Himalayas. The name of this stupendous range stems from Himavat, the father of Lord Shiva’s bride, Parvati.….

Bactrian Timeline: 2500 BC - 870 AD...The rise of Tibetan power was because of the assistance of Persian refugees fleeing from the Arab invasion of Persia in the 650s AD. According to Nikitin, when the Persians arrived in the Tibetan court, they trained the Tibetans in the art of imperial warfare….

Uttarakuru and Uttaramadra in the Aitareya Brahmana (c.1000 BC)...Uttarakuru (Sanskrit: उत्तर कुरु) is the name of a dvipa ("continent") in ancient Hindu and Buddhist mythology......Uttarakuru country and its people are sometimes described as belonging to the real world, whereas at other times they are mythical or otherworldly spiritual beings.....Aitareya Brahmana makes first reference to Uttarakuru and Uttaramadra as real-life Janapadas. According to Aitareya Brahmana, these two nations lay beyond the Himalayan ranges (Hindukush)....The Ramayana testifies that the original home of the Kurus was in Bahli country. Ila, son of Parajapati Karddama was a king of Bahli, where Bahli represents Sanskrit Bahlika (Bactria)....Bahlika or Bactria may have constituted the Uttarakuru.

Paradesha, Parádeisos, Chahar Bagh: Royal Walled Gardens of Kalapa... The mythical paradise of Shamballa, sometimes thought to be in a parallel world or dimension , is a land of a thousand names. The Hindus call it "Paradesha" (Paradesa: Sanskrit) (Paradise....Persian: پردیس,.....High Land).....or "Aryavarsha", the land from which the Vedas came from; the Buddhists "Shambala"; the Chinese know it as " Hsi Tien", the Western Paradise of Hsi Wang Mu, the Royal Mother of the West; the Russians knew it as "Belovodye" and "Janaidar", the Christians and the Jews the "Garden of Eden". ….

Polaris, Ursa Major, the Saptarishi Mandala and Yungdrung...In the Puranas, connected with the Kali-Yuga and Kalki Avatara prophecies, computations utilizing the cycle of the Big Dipper (The Great Bear, in Sanskrit, the Seven Rishis (Saptarsi)....revolving around the circle of the 27 asterisms....staying in each of them for 100 years....this cycle is strikingly similar to the one hundred year reigns of the Kings of Shambhala….

The Sanskrit Kālacakra and the Vimalaprabha Commentary...The Vimalaprabha (Wyl. dri med 'od), translated as Stainless Light or Immaculate Light, is the main commentary on the Kalachakra tantra. Composed by Pundarika, the 8th king of Shambhala and the second Kalkin king, brought to India in about 967 AD and introduced in Tibet 60 years later in 1027 AD, still existing in Sanskrit, it is the basis for all Kalachakra commentaries.….

Otzi, the Frozen Copper Age Mummy (3239 BC) & Indo-European Migration...Otzi’s stomach bacterium, Helicobacter pylori, is a nearly pure Asian strain. Genetically, it is most closely related to an H. pylori strain now found primarily in north India. …. In the far north of India, H. pylori from the stomach of Buddhists is genetically distinct from H. pylori from the stomach of Muslims."

Kapila and the Samkhya School (6th c. BC)...Kapila (Drang-srong Ser-skya).....was a Vedic sage credited as one of the founders of the Samkhya school of Hindu philosophy. He is prominent in the Bhagavata Purana, which features a theistic version of his Samkhya philosophy..... He is estimated to have lived in the 6th-century BC....Samkhya is called one of the several major atheistic schools of Hinduism by some scholars..... Others, such as Jacobsen, Samkhya is more accurately described as non-theistic..….

Nietzsche’s Zarathustra and Zarathushtra Spitama...Artaxerxes II invokes the goddess Anahita and the god Mithra, but as we have already seen above, Zarathustra was not a monotheist; he wrote Yashts for these two gods….

Barak Baba & the Il-khanid (Tibetan Buddhist/Muslim) Rulers of Persia (1257-1307 AD)...In Sufism, teachers of ‘crazy wisdom’ are termed ‘Malamati’ or followers of the ‘Path of Blame.’ They may find it necessary in their teaching function to incur feelings of opposition in others, in order to challenge fixed ideas and assumptions......Individuals who follow the ‘Malamati’ approach do not worry about appearances, image or the impression made on others. They incur reproach, take no care of their repute, and simplydo and say what they consider right….

The Kingdom of Zhun and Takzig/Tibetan Bon...The shrine of Zun in Zamindawar, which was believed to be located about three miles south of Musa Qala in today's Helmand Province of Afghanistan.......Scholars have noted several similarities between the religion of Zhun and the pre-Buddhist, religion of Tibet….

Shamanism & the Malang of The Oxus/Hindu Kush Region...Shamanic beliefs in Central Asia have shown a remarkable ability to persist alongside major religious traditions, not only Islamic, but also Buddhist….Scholars have noted several similarities between the religion of Zhun, and the pre-Buddhist, dragon-god religion of Tibet....

The Bon Tradition & The Naubahar/NoGombad Ruins of Balkh...Shambhala is the Central Asian kingdom that developed in the countries of the Middle East, Russia, China, and Tibet altogether. The basic idea of Shambhala vision is that a sane society developed out of that culture, and we are trying to emulate that vision. That particular system broke down into the Taoist tradition and Bon tradition of Tibet, the Islamic tradition of the Middle East, and whatever tradition Russia might have. It has broken into various factions.….

The Shulgara Valley, Bactra & Chashma-i-Shafa...Bactra and Zariaspa are not synonymous with Balkh but are located further south in the Shulgara Valley in the Paraopamisus mountain range.….In the spring of 2008 French and Afghan archaeologists announced that they had uncovered the ruins of a vast, hither-to unknown, ancient city at Cheshm-e-Shafa, the 'City of Infidels' (Unbelievers), some 20 miles (30 kilometres) from the ruins of Balkh fortress..... this was once an important Zoroastrian city. The dig team have uncovered a 6-foot-tall (2-meter-tall) anvil-like stone believed to have been an altar at a fire temple dating back to around the 6th century BC.

Balkhab River & the Band-e Amir Lakes...Greek accounts describe Bactra and Zariaspa as twin cities and 'that the two cities lay at the foot of the Paraopamisus mountains and the Bactra river flowed past their walls'.….Bactra and Zariaspa are not synonymous with Balkh but are located further south in the Shulgara Valley in the Paraopamisus mountain range.

Iranian, Persian, Parsa, Persia & Iran: Distinctions...There were in the territory of Iran two hundred and forty princes" at the beginning of Iranian Parthian Empire (247 BC – 228 AD) .....The dominant kingdom of Iran has at various times been Balkh (Bactria), Mada (Media), Parsa (Persia), Parthava (Parthia) and then Persia again. The king of the dominant kingdom was called king-of-kings (shah-en-shah in modern terms) - an Emperor. ….

The Deity Oxus & Ancient Bactrian Polytheism...The single most important element that dominates the landscape of ancient Bactria is the river Amu Darya, the ancient Oxus, and its many tributaries. Bactria without Oxus is almost unimaginable.....yet most research has been confined to the study of the "major" religions (Buddhism, Zoroastrianism and/or Islam)...... Despite that, the local Bactrian polytheistic pantheon presents an amazing richness and forms a fascinating field of study, yet acknowledged by not many modern scholars.….

Aq Kupruk, Balkh...Early Human Representation....(18,000 BC)... Aq Kupruk artifacts belong to a cultural phase that lasted some 5,000 years, from circa 20,000 to 15,000 years ago, during which some unknown artist carved the face of a man (or is it a woman?) on a small limestone pebble — giving us one of the earliest representations of a human face made by human hand.….

Malahim, Armageddon, the Mappō Cycle & Kalachakra Prophecies ...The 1,300-year-old hadith, which is a report of the deeds, teachings and sayings of the Prophet Mohammed, refers to the 'horde' flying 80 banners as they take on a Muslim army in the Syrian town of Dabiq. It warns of a 'malahim' - the equivalent to Armageddon in Christian teachings – in which the Muslims ultimately prevail.….

Dilbarjin, the Balḵāb River & the Greek Dioscuri Temple (2500 BC)...Dilbarjin: (2500 BC) A large urban site surrounded by city walls....dominated by a fortified enclosure and citadel (Kala) in the center, and has a vast unfortified urban area to the east and south of the city walls.….

Hephthalites, Tibetans and White Huns (408 - 670 AD) ...Saint-Martin was among the first to suppose that the Hephthalites were descendants of the Yuezhi and had a Tibetan origin....Bernshtam, states that the Hephtalites were shamanists….honoured their own god. “Each morning they came out of their own tents and prayed. Possibly, they honoured the sun."

Chinese Travelers in Bactria, Kapisa and Oḍḍiyāna (400 - 675 AD)... Xuanzang reports that at the time of his visit to Balkh in 630 AD there were about a hundred viharas and 30,000 monks, a large number of stupas and other religious monuments, and that Buddhism was flourishing in Bactria.….

The Takht Bahi Monastery & Early Tantric Buddhism (520 AD) ...Trisong Detsen, Emperor of Tibet, ruled from 755 until 804 AD.......he invited Padmasambhava and various other teachers to come to Tibet to spread Tantric Buddhism... the Tantric Buddhist complex at Takht Bahi in Ghandara, was constructed as early as 520 AD......200 years before Tantric Buddhism entered Tibet….

King Gondophares & the St Thomas Legend (52 AD) ...King Gondophares I took over the Kabul valley and the Punjab and Sindh region area from the Scythian King Azes...….According to one of the legends in the Acts, Thomas was forced to accompany an Indian merchant, Abbanes, to his native place in northwest India, where he found himself in the service of the Indo-Parthian king Gondophares.

Sīta, Sītā, Śīta, Shita, Sita: Daughter of the Earth Goddess Bhūmi ...The Sita of the Ramayana may have been named after a more ancient Vedic goddess Sita, who is mentioned once in the Rigveda as an earth goddess who blesses the land with good crops. In the Vedic era, she was one of the goddesses associated with fertility...Mount Sita Ram is a mountain in the Spin Ghar range south of the Kabul (aka: Sita) River ….

Shukla Yajurveda & the Vedic Age (c. 1500–500 BC)...Yajurveda is the Veda of prose mantras.....a compilation of ritual offering formulas that were said by a priest while an individual performed ritual actions such as those before the yajna fire......The exact century of Yajurveda's composition is unknown, and estimated by scholars to be around 1200 to 1000 BC….The Yajurveda is broadly grouped into two – the "black" (Krishna) Yajurveda and the "white" (Shukla) Yajurveda.

Judaism & Ancient Bactria/Balkh (586 BC) ...Balkh was formerly the stronghold of Jewish settlements in Afghanistan. According to Persian and Muslim traditions, it was founded after the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar (586 B.C.E.), who is said to have settled the exiled Jews there.….

Anionic and Anthropomorphic Greco-Bactrian Buddhist Art (250 BC) ..The first Buddha statues were produced in about the 1st or 2nd century AD in Bactria (Afghanistan and northern Pakistan) perhaps as a result of Greek influence….

Charikar (Kapisa) and the Panjshir Valley... Vasubandhu came from the "Kingdom of Shambhala' (approximately, modern Begram, otherwise known as the ancient kingdom of Kapisha, north of Kabul)....Bagram was founded as Alexandria on the Caucasus by Alexander the Great and known in medieval times as Kapisa….

The Pashto Language & Pashtun Origins...French Buddhist Alexandra David-Néel associated Shambhala with Balkh, also offering the Persian Sham-i-Bala, "elevated candle" as an etymology of its name.....In the Pashto language 'candle is Sham' and 'castle/fortress is Kala'….

Darius the Great and the Kabul River (515 BC) ...Darius the Great ..... third Achaemenid king of kings (r. 522-October 486 B.C.)......Darius sent a naval reconnaissance mission down the Kabul River (aka Sita) to the Indus....Scylax, a man of Caryanda....started from the city of Caspatyrus in the land of Pactyïke ….

Sogd to Bactria Migration (4500 BC) ...The migration from Sogd to Bactria, took place about 5000 BC...When the climate was altered by some vast disturbance of nature, the Arians migrated…. Sogdiana is "listed" as the second of the "good lands and countries" ... second after Airyanem Vaejah, "homeland of the Aryans".

The Palola Shahi Dynasty (6–8th C. AD) ...In the 6th–8th C. AD, the Patola (Palola) Shahis ruled the country of Bolor, in what today is in the area of Gilgit-Baltistan….The people of this region have historically been referred to as Balawars (or highlanders), which is said to have come from the term BALA, which means high.....Before the invasion of Tibetans in 727, the official language of both the Palola Shahis and the clergy was Brahmi..."

The Vidyādharas of Uddiyana & Kashmir...Vidyadhara: someone who constantly abides in the state of pure awareness of 'rigpa’. .... ….

Gilgit Manuscript (5th C. AD) ...The Gilgit Manuscript contains references to iconometry, folk tales, philosophy and culinary skills. It also has a chronological list of the various Buddhist Shahi kings of Gilgit.….Kanishka was a Kushan of probable Yuezhi ethnicity. He used an Eastern Iranian, Indo-European language known as Bactrian (called "αρια," i. e. "Aryan" in the Rabatak inscription)"

Marco Polo: Uddiyana & Kashmir (1280 AD) ...From Homurz to Kerman, passing Herat, Balkh, they arrived Badakhshan, where Marco Polo convalesced from an illness and stayed there for a year........in about the year 1280 AD Marco Polo went from Balkh in Afghanistan near the present day Mazari Sharif, crossed Badakhshan, ascended the Oxus or Amu Dariya River to the Wakhan Corridor....In the thirteenth century Marco Polo wrote that, "The people of Pashai (i.e., Uddiyana) are Great Adepts in sorceries and the diabolic arts. ….

King Sophagasenus & The Kapisa Valley (206 BC) ... Sophagasenos also spelt Sophagasenus or Sophagasenas (Sanskrit: Subhagasena) was a local King ruling in Kabul and Kapisa valley (Paropamisade of the classical writings) during the last decade of 3rd century BC...Polybius, the Greek historian, makes reference to Sophagasenus in context with Antiochus III’s expedition across the Caucasus Indicus (Hindu Kush Mountains) in around 206 BC. Having crossed the Caucasus Mountains, Antiochus moved up to Kabul and met Sophagasenus the King with whom he renewed league and friendship he had made previously.....

Uddiyana Kurukulla & Vashya-Karma Magic... One Buddhist Dakini originating from the country of Uddiyana is the goddess Kurukulla. The name Kurukulla is translated into Tibetan as Rigjyedma (rig-byed-ma), “she who is the cause knowledge.” She is associated with a king of Uddiyana named Indrabhuti...... there exists a sadhana text attributed to him for the red Kurukulla......she is generally known as the Uddiyana Kurukulla. ….

Gendün Chöphel (1903–1951) & the White Annals ...The White Annals - an unfinished work on the early history of Tibet by Gendün Chöpel….Gendun Chopel is revered as Tibet's greatest modern poet......He published articles questioning traditional Tibetan views on history, world geography, and the origin of Tibetan writing..... He became a target for ecclesiastical extremists and conservative nobles. He was arrested, whipped, and thrown into prison at the foot of the Potala Palace. His research materials written during twelve years of exile in India were stolen and never returned.

Buddhagupta-natha & Dumasthira, Oddiana (1580 AD) ... Buddhaguptanatha (1514-1610)...locates Urgyan (Uddyana) in Ghazni, about 50 miles south of Kabul in modern Afghanistan, which is in contrast with the traditional location of Urgyan in the Swat area......Tāranātha (1575–1634) gives a detailed description of the country and Dumasthira, the capital city of Uddyana....the focal location of the magic dakini women.….

Kushan Empire Mint Cities...The Mint Cities of the Kushan Empire: Balkh, Surkh Khotal, Kapisa (Begram), Peshawar (Puskavalait), Taxila, Kanishakapura, Sagala (Sialkot), Mathura….

The Pāratas & King Yolamira (125 AD) ...The Pāratas, an Iranian people and ruling dynasty from what is now western Pakistan, are known essentially through their coinage, which typically exhibit the bust of a particular monarch on the obverse ( having long hair within a headband), and a swastika within a circular legend on the reverse….The swastika mark is not encountered on Kushan coins, but it is an element on Kushanshah coins

Updated July 2016.....Northern New Mexico

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