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What is Shambhala Buddhism and is it a cult?

From Tibetan Buddhist Encyclopedia
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Jacob Karlins

, M.A. Master of Arts in English, Simmons College, Boston, MA (2017)

It is Trungpa Rinpoche’s distinctive teaching, and combines Vajrayana Buddhism, Bon, and other concepts into what he called a “warriorship tradition.” It is based on terma he discovered, which is an entirely traditional concept in Tibetan Buddhism. It consists of a series of workshops, trainings and classes, which are outlined in his book, “Shambhala.” The workshops aren’t cheap, but not cult-level expensive, and can be paid for up to half with work study at a center (which is what I did- basically I helped set up snacks for after teachings, and did so for about two years).

At a certain level,

What are the differences between Shambhala-Vajrayana Buddhism and Gelug-Mahayana Buddhism? How did the concept of Shambhala begin? If Buddhism is not a religion, then how is it defined? Is Buddhism a cult group or a philosophy?

Is Buddhism a religion or a cult?

Where is Shambhala?

Ragesh Nair

Shambhala Buddhism originated in Tibet which has bits of tantra, zen and some recent concepts. It originated with the struggle of Tibetan people against incursions and their main objective is how to survive in the world. I do not think it is a cult but when you have original Buddhist teachings and sutras why do one take chance.

Chad Harris

Safwan Zabalawi , former Library Information Officer

Shambhala is an imaginary land, a kingdom far away and “beyond beyond” - a mystical heaven in which dwells Maitreya, the future Buddha.

According to Tibetan and others Buddhist sects - the teachings of Buddhism (which they practice) will become ineffective in time. They believe that Buddhism will decline to become dead, and the world will fall into sufferings and destructions, that Buddhism will not be capable of helping people. To make Buddhism active again, a new Buddha called Maitreya will descend from Shambhala heaven (Tushita Heaven)- where he is living now (awaiting disasters to increase

Balthazar Sforza-Krasinski

, Marquis De Carabas, Gay Polish Buddhist, Manticore breeder.

John Light

, Shambhala warrior

What is the difference between Zen Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism and Theravada Buddhism? “What is the difference between Zen Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism and Theravada Buddhism?” John Hardin’s answer is very good, but some of the other answers contain factual errors that likely result from Bill Hulet’s concern. There are people who understand all of these traditions well enough to answer this question perfectly. Until that person comes along, I will write a consolidated answer that will try to clear up some misconceptions.

The most direct answer is:

Zen Buddhism is the Japanese form of Buddhism derived from importing the Chinese Chan Buddhism in the first millenium CE. It is a form of Siddhashram Nivashi

, Knows about real Himalayan spirituality and mystical places.

Is there an invisible country called Shambhala? What is the secret behind it? I have already written about its location so in this answer I will write about its few secrets. I will provide the link in the end of this answer.

Shambhala is first of all not a natural place, it was made by Mahasiddhas of Himalayas. Why did they make it? See, in Himalayas there is a lack of everything e.g. food and water. There are many dangers also such as poisonous trees and animals. So, siddhas thought we must create a place where we can easily do our sadhna without any worries and here you have shambhala. Many dietes, siddha, yogi, tantric, aghori, apsara, yaksha, gandharva, kinnar, kiraat

Navneet Kumar

, Bachelor of Technology Degrees & Electrical, Kurukshetra University (2014)

Where is Shambhala?

Shambhala, which is a Sanskrit word meaning “place of peace” or “place of silence”, is a mythical paradise spoken of in ancient texts, including the Kalachakra Tantra and the ancient scriptures of the Zhang Zhung culture which predated Tibetan Buddhism in western Tibet. According to legend, it is a land where only the pure of heart can live, a place where love and wisdom reigns and where people are immune to suffering, want or old age. Shambhala is said to be the land of a thousand names. It has been called the Forbidden Land, the Land of White Waters, Land of Radiant Spirits, Land of Living Fi

Sid Kemp

, Spiritual practitioner learning from all religions for over 40 years.

Is Diamond Way Buddhism a cult?

I am answering this question as a long-term Buddhist practitioner and participant in a number of groups who believe that Buddhism should have open and clear ethical standards and ensure the safety of all people - teachers, students, pracyitioners, and all beings - through the creation of safe and sacred space in which all people are respected. Rather than making an evaluation, I am providing publicly available information and a method that anyone can use to decide for him or herself the validity or cult-like qualities of Diamond Way. Definitions and framework

Navneet Nair

, Been studying Buddhism seriously since 1997

What are the differences between Shambhala-Vajrayana Buddhism and Gelug-Mahayana Buddhism? Tibetan Buddhism has four major sects/schools.

They are as follows:





There are a few more that are now no longer practiced. Jonang being one of the smaller Sakya offshoots that did not really die and may make a comeback. And also the Kadam schools founded after Atisha which were then mostly subsumed under the Gelug school.

Of the four, Nyingma is the old school of Tibetan Buddhism while the others are Sarma or the new schools. Based on the motivation and the chronology there are two major divisions to Buddhism in General - Mahayana and Shravakayana (mostly called Hinayana

Ka Wai

, lives in Earth

If Buddhism is not a religion, then how is it defined? Is Buddhism a cult group or a philosophy?

One person guessed that there's an apple in the box, another guessed there's an orange inside, another said papaya. They formed groups who believed there's papaya inside, apple inside and orange inside the box. One day, a person walked towards the box, opened the lid and looked inside the box. That person that told what's inside the box, taught others how to open the box, encouraged others to open the box. Some people followed his suggestion and walked up and opened the box. Some people just believed what that person and the other p

Benjamin Murphy

, Professor, Philosophy and Religious Studies

Is Buddhism a cult?

As other people have noted, the wordcult” has no scientific or academic definition. It tends to be used as a term of disparagements for religions that are new, or are new to a particular area, and have only a small number of followers.

But there are techniques of recruiting and retaining followers which are disreputable and should be disparaged. You offer people a brief glimpse of your teachings, then invite them to learn more in a residential setting. In that residential setting, you control their food and sleep, and don’t allow them to speak to friends or relatives. You alternate between lo

Nguyen Huong

, PhD Women in Leadership & A Yogi, East-West Center (2008)

Is Buddhism a religion or a cult?

What we call Buddhism now is simply the Teachings of the Buddha which were understood and practiced in different ways by different people in different locations & times in this world. Some branches of Buddhism are quite religious in nature. Such are belief in supernatural qualities of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas; Worship many statutes of different Bodhisattvas quite similar to Hindu’s gods; belief in the power of salvation by calling the name of certain Buddha, like Amitabha, or goddess Tara, or Quanzin worship, vv. These characteristics make these forms of Buddhism even more like cults. Develope

Navneet Nair

, Been studying Buddhism seriously since 1997

What is shambhala?

Originally Answered: What is shambhala ?

In Tibetan Buddhist and Hindu traditions, Shambhala (Sanskrit: शम्भलः Śambhalaḥ, also spelled Shambala or Shamballa or "Shambhallah"; Tibetan: བདེ་འབྱུང, Wylie: bde 'byung; Chinese: 香巴拉; pinyin: xiāngbālā) is a mythical kingdom. It is mentioned in various ancient texts, including the Kalacakra Tantra and the ancient Zhangzhung texts of western Tibet. The Bon scriptures speak of a closely related land called Tagzig Olmo Lung Ring.

Hindu texts such as the Vishnu Purana (4.24) mention the village Shambhala as the birthplace of Kalki, the final incarnation of Vishnu who will

Nitin Panchanathan

, Jeeva Nadi astrology

Does the hidden city Shambhala really exist?

It does. There are many hidden kingdoms created by many rishis. It is extremely difficult to know many such kingdoms exist in Total. I have been searching but can't find anyone who can give me a complete picture. Information is available in bits and pieces.