He kept the true purpose of his expedition confidential. Until this day many people still do not know what kind of inner force drove him on such a risky journey. Only he knew what had to be done…
Was it too late for him to fulfill the mysterious Buddhist prophecy?
Nicholas Roerich is mainly known for his beautiful paintings and his long expedition to Tibet.
Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, Nicholas Konstantiniv Roerich (1847-1947) was an internationally recognized artist, author, archaeologist, humanitarian and peacemaker.
Roerich came from a distinguished Russian family who could trace their ancestry back to the Nordic Viking of the tenth century. Nicholas was interested in archaeology and exploration already as a young child. When he was ten years, he excavated some ancient mounds dating from the Vikings. The discovered objects were presented by him to the Archaeological Society.
Roerich became interested in ancient Eastern knowledge through his wife Helena Ivanovna (1879-1955) who was a gifted musician, and healer. She had been studying the ancient spiritual writings of India and East for years.
Roerich and his wife Helena studied the teachings of Rama Krishna, Buddha and Theosophist Madame Helena Blavatsky’s writings. They were both eager to gain more knowledge and wisdom.
They traveled across the world and although they visited many countries, they always knew that India was their ultimate destination.
It took some years before they could enter India that was under British control at the time. The British were constantly on guard against infiltration by Russian Bolsheviks. The Roerichs were considered species and they were not allowed to enter the country.
After leaving Russia, the Roerichs and their two sons went first to Scandinavia. From there they continued their journey to England and later they arrived on the shores of America.
Roerich became a recognized artist and his paintings were exhibited in 26 US states.
Together with his wife he traveled across the country. The couple met and exchanged ideas with many interesting and open-minded individuals.
In 1924, the couple left New York and went to Europe. This was their last stop before they embarked on their four-year Central Asian expedition.
Nicholas and Helena were both past fifty years when they started their journey. To traverse Central Asia for four years on foot, camel and horse, was by no means an easy journey to traverse Central Asia for four years on foot, camel and horse.
It took strength to cope with the incredible heat of the lowest desert elevations and to conquer the highest mountain ranges on the planet.
People younger than the Roerichs would not have managed to participate in the expedition, but Nicholas and Helena were determined to continue their journey.
Roerich hoped he could be the first Westerner to paint and document the vast mountains ranges of India, Tibet and Central Asia.
He wanted also to search for an uncover treasures long-hidden by the desert sands.
Many people think Roerich and his wife set out on their long journey searching for Shambala, the mystical and hidden kingdom. This is partly true, but only partly…
Nicholas and Helena were in fact hoping they could fulfill the famous Buddhist prophecy…
Shambhala is a very special place. Shambhala is a Sanskrit word meaning “place of peace, tranquillity and happiness.”
No-one knows its exact location. It is considered a mystical place that is both visible and invisible. It is a place where the higher world connects with the realm of Earth.
According to the most sacred Tibetan books Kanjur and Tanjur, Shambhala is a hidden kingdom located somewhere north of Bodh Gaya, the Buddhist shrine in northern India.
Shambhala is believed to be an oasis completely surrounded by high, snowy, mountains that glisten with ice.
Soma lamas say it has peaks that are perpetually hidden in the mists. Others believe this mysterious place is visible but too remote for anyone to get close enough to see it.
It is said that people who tried to find Shambhala were never seen nor heard from again.
Some have speculated that Shambhala is in fact an ancient gateway leading to another reality. Could Shambhala be an interdimensional portal? This could explain why people who searched for the place were never seen again… They could have crossed the invisible gates connecting our world and another dimension.
Nicholas Roerich first heard about Shambhala from a Buddhist lama who visited St. Petersburg back in 1912.
In Himalayas, Abode of Light (1974) he writes: “It was during the construction of a Buddhist temple in the Russian capital that I first heard of Shambhala . Being a member of the committee, I met a very learned Buriat lama who was the first to pronounce the name Chang Shambhala .
It will be known one day why this name pronounced under such circumstances had a great significance.”
While wandering through the “remote dangerous, and seldom visited parts of Asia for four years”, Roerich kept a diary of their progress and all encounters with lamas.
Roerich was searching for clues, trying to gain as much knowledge as possible about Shambhala.
In Lamayuru-Hemis he met a Buriat lama who told him that at the heart of Agharti was a great and fabulous city called Shambhala . This was where the “King of the World” dwelt.
“There are several ways into this forbidden place,” the lama told Roerich enigmatically. “And those are taken are led by an underground passage. This passage sometimes becomes so narrow that one can hardly push through. All the entrances are safeguarded by the lamas.”
Roerich spoke with several lamas and in time he realized there was a connection between the mysterious Shambhala and a Buddhist prophecy.
The prophecy involved the Panchen Lama, who shared the leadership of Tibet. The Dalai Lama was the temporal leader of the country and the Panchen Lama was the spiritual leader.
According to the prophecy, one day the Panchen Lama would leave Tibet. When this happened, a great army would arise to destroy the forces of evil. The country would experience a golden age and a thousands years of peace and harmony.
However, in order for this to happen the Panchen Lama would have to die first.
When he was reborn, he would be named Rigden Jypo, and be the Maitreya, the Coming One, the King of Shamabal.
In addition, when Roerich’s spiritual teacher spoke of Shambhala , he referred to a new country that he wanted Roerich to create.
This new land was meant to be a Buddhist spiritual country on the borders of Mongolia, the Gobi desert and Siberia. It was to be governed by the Panchen Lama together with Roerich.
The Roerichs kept their two major purposes of the expedition confidential. Roerich’s mission was to prepare the ground for the new country and find the Panchen Lama so they could share the plan with him.
The whole idea was far-fetched and the fulfillment of the plan was improbable. All the land was already occupied by various governments. To create a new country within these borders would be impossible.
In addition, during their four year expedition the Roerichs were constantly struggling with Visa and passport difficulties. In their journal, Helena Roerich wrote that both the Panchen Lama and her husband were too old to accomplish this feat.
Nicholas Roerich’s dream was unrealistic, but being a man who all his life longed for peace he naturally hoped that the Buddhist prophecy will be fulfilled one day.
That has not yet happened and Shambhala remains an unknown kingdom shrouded in mystery… We still do not know the true meaning of this remarkable place…
Written by Ellen Lloyd – AncientPages.com
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About the author:Ellen Lloyd – is the owner of AncientPages.com and an author who has spent decades researching ancient mysteries, myths, legends and sacred texts, but she is also very interested in astronomy, astrobiology and science in general.