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SACRED AND PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY

July 2003....Montreal

Current Notes @......

BALKH and HISTORICAL SHAMBHALA

SACRED GEOGRAPHY...Concerning the relationship between sacred geography and physical geography..."the contours of this sacral geography show remarkable similarities with the mythical 'Ol mo lung ring', surrounded by a wall of mountains." (Blondeau: 1996..pg 103)..

The Bonpo account of the hidden land of Olmo Lungring is found in the “gZer-mig” and the “gZi-brjid”. There it is explained that Olmoling is physically part of our world and is not an imaginary holy land nor a celestial pure realm like the Sukhavati or Dewachan (bde-ba-can) of the Buddha Amitabha. Symbolically Olmo Lungring is the geographical, psychic, and spiritual center of our world of Jambudvipa (`dzam-bu`i gling) and at its center rises the holy mountain of nine levels, known as Yungdrung Gutseg (g.yung-drung dgu-brtsegs), which links heaven and earth. It is a kind of axis mundi connecting three planes of existence- the heaven worlds, the earth, and the nether regions. Therefore, Olmo Lungring possesses a different ontological status than ordinary geographical regions and countries. In terms of our own age, it is a hidden land or “beyul” (sbas-yul), inaccessible to all but realized beings or Siddhas. This land is said to be inhabited by Vidyadharas (rig-`dzin) or holders of esoteric knowledge. It exists on earth, but it is not an ordinary country or nation which could be observed from an orbiting satellite or sighted from a high flying airplane, for it possesses a special reality all its own. It is in this world, but not quite of it. It is part of our physical geographical world because it is located in Tazig, yet it partly exists in another spiritual dimension, and although material, it is in a certain sense imperishable and indestructible. When, at the end of the kalpa, the world will be destroyed and consumed by fire, Olmo Lungring will spontaneously rise up and ascend into the sky and there it will merge with its celestial archetype in the heavens which is called Sidpa Yesang (srid-pa ye-sangs). Olmo Lungring is truly the imperishable sacred land. Olmo Lungring or Shambhala, this imperishable sacred land, which is the spiritual center of the world, existed on earth from the very beginning of the human race.

"While the mountain deity is viewed as a male spirit, that of the lake situated near the mountain is his consort." (Blondeau: 1996..pg 59)....

Grapard (1982) describes the different stages of the process of sacralization of space in Japan.

The Indo-Iranians transferred geographical names from Iran to India as they migrated south about 1400 BC. Indian Sarasvati and Iranian Hara Vaiti for example. (Burrow: 1973..pg 126)...

MANDALA..."The psycho-cosmogram (mandala) is a complex 3-dimensional system of inter-relations applied to reality at different levels. An elaborate tiered palace on the central cosmic mountain and the world around it organized into 3 planes: celestial or sky zone, the surface of the earth, and the subterranean. This threefold ordering of space is tribhubvana in Sanskrit (So gsum in Tibetan). The 24 Tantric power places of India are arranged in this system with eight existing on each of the three planes. Lapchi or Godaqua are listed as one of the 'eight sites of celestial actions'." (Lopez: 1997...pg 124)...

The Hindu Kush, Pamirs, Tien Shan, Kun Lun, Karakoram, Hamalayan...each mountain range has its own character....

Snow Range of the Eight Sky Lha..(Nalanda: 1980..pg 45)

FLYING MOUNTAINS: "My research on pilgrimages to sacred mountains has brought to my attention a phenomenon in which nobody seems to have been interested in: flying mountains. According to Tibetan tradition, some mountains came flying from another country." (Katia Buffetrille in Blondeau:1996..pg 77)...The mountains are kept in place by driving in four sacred stakes at their four corners.....

HINDU KUSH..."The world mountain, sometimes identified with the Hindu Kus, whose substance was ruby"...(Campbell:1968..pg 203)...

SACRED MOUNTAINS

AMNE MACHEN....Range of the Kunlun Mountains in Tsinghai Province of China. Highest peak is Amne Machin (Anye Machin) 99E 34N....23,490 ft...Magyel Pomra (Amnye Machen...rMa rgyal spom ra) mountain range....(100E 35N) south of Lake Kokonor (mTsho sngon) in the Amdo region...inhabited by the Goluk Tribe (See Kornman in Lopez: 1997..pp 77-98)...(6282 M)...see map in Clark:1954)...See Life Magazine: Oct, 1949....."Every twelve years (during the Horse year) a great pilgrimage to Amnye Machen (Magyel Pomra) takes place. The pilgrimage route is marked by various power places." (Blondeau: 1996..pg 80)....

MT ALVAND...(Arvand)...(34N..48E)...(Kuh-E)...SW of Hamadan. Great mountain. Always snow capped...(LeStrange: 1966..pg 195)...

MT ARJAISH....(Argaeus)...(39N..35E)..."near Kaysariyah. A great castle (kal'ah) at the foot of the extremely high mountain, whose summit was always covered in snow. On the summit was a great church: Kaysariyah (Caesarea Mazaka). The chief city east of the Karaman frontier. The Halys River." (Le Strange: 1966..pg 146)...

MT ATHOS...NE Greece.....6667'...the Holy Mountain of the Greek Church since the 9th Century......"One of these days I'm going to take my students to Mt Athos." (Trungpa: Heart of the Buddha..pg 215)...

MT AVENTINE...Mithraic practice on the slopes of Aventine...

MT BISUTUN...(47E...35N)..."between Ecbatana (Hamadan, the ancient capital of Media) and Kirmanshah. The Bisutun mountain is known in the Achaemenid period as 'bagastana' (place of the gods). Ancient Persians and Greeks made many offerings here." (Wiesehofer:1996..pg 13)...

MT BELUKHA.... (49 N..86 E)...(Belucha)((Gora Belukha)(Bye Lu Kha)...One of the Katun Mountains. It is the highest mountain in the Soviet portion of the Altai Mountains. (14,783')(4506 m) Has twin peaks. Lies in a region of year round snow. Many ancient myths describe a subterranean civilization that continues to dwell there. It is also called Ak-Sumer and in Buddhist mythology, it is the center of the world..."the true natives of the Altai were Turkish tribes who worshipped the mountain Belukha. They had their own version of Shambhala, which they called Belovodye (White Waters)."...(Roerich:1989..pg166)..."No change in climate in the Altai for the past 2,000 years...ancient society was equestrian...thoroughbred horses..."(Rudenko: 1970..pg 57)..."The home of the supreme chiefs, tribal nobility, was in the central Altai, in the Ursal Valley." (Rudenko:1970..pg 215)..."The Altaic peoples of 400 BC resembled the peoples west of the Caspian Sea in the Caucasus Mountains. The Altai is the eastern limit of Scythian art and is a marked ethnic and linguistic boundary." (Rudenko: 1970..pg xxx)

MONT BLANC....Highest mountain in the Alps....15, 771'.... in Switzerland..."The new abode of a mountain god which has followed the Tibetan community to Switzerland."(Blondeau: 1996..pg x)

Mount O Daishan....in China...

MT DEMAVEND....(Damavand...Dunbavand).(35N..52E)...(Qolleh-Ye)...location of Mithraic dragon...."In 676 BC an Assyrian raid penetrated Median territory as far as Mt Bikni (Demavend) in the district of Patusharri." (Culican: 1965..pg 44)..."in the Alburz Mountains of Northern Persia. Mount Hara or Harburz. Described in the Avesta (Yasht 19) as the first mountain in the world."...Lar Valley..."The Chinvat Bridge is conceived of as being somewhere in Media, at the northern foot of Mt Harburz (Alburz). Also mentioned are Eran Vez, the river Daitik. This may be the magnificent Demavand, the most imposing peak of the Alburz range." (Pavry: 1929...pg 79)........All others in the group were also wearing the 'sudrehkusti'. Behramshahji later learned that they were the "Saheb-e-Dil" (Masters of heart) who lived a pious and secluded life in an unknown area near Mount Daemavand. ......To devout Zarathushtis, Mount Daemavand is as sacred as Mount Kailash is to devout Hindus and Mount Fujiyama is to the Japanese. Behramshahji joined the caravan which took him from Peshawar to Kafristan and then to Afghanistan and Khorasan in Iran. From Khorasan the caravan proceeded in the northwest direction towards Azarbaijan-which in ancient times was a Zarathushti stronghold and according to some, possibly the birthplace of Asho Zarathushtra. Finally, the caravan moved towards the Alburz range whose peak is Mount Daemavand. The place where these highly evolved Masters dwell is called "Firdaus" (paradise).........It appears the Masters had retreated to the mountains decades before the fall of the Sassanian Empire and the Arab invasion. According to Behramshahji, the inhabitants of Firdaus lead a simple pious life dedicated to the service of Ahura Mazda. They mainly thrive on a diet of milk, fruits and vegetables. The colony, according to Behramshahji had a population of two thousand men, women and children - all highly evolved souls.

MT ELBURG...(43N...42E)...(Alburz, El'brus, Elbruz)...18,510'..."Haoma was discovered on the Elburg Mountain in the Caucasus."..(James:1963..pg 92)..."The cosmic mountain, called either Haraiti or Hara Barazaiti in northern Iran."..

MT EVEREST...Chomolangma is the goddess of Mt Everest

GANE...forested mountain of the low country...

Gangwa Zangpo...(Gang bzang)...Complete Good...like a crystal tent piercing the sky...

Gyogchen Dongra...Great Cannon Horse Face...

MOUNT GAURISHANKAR..(T: Jomo Tseringma) Nepalese border...one of the 24 Tantric power spots in India

MT HARA....the Mithra deity...Persian God of Light..."Fire and water of the sky were believed to issue from Harburz, the sky mountain which was regularly described as lofty (bereza, a retranslation of hara, which also means high). The opening verses urge the worship of the great mountains of the earth, the first being Hara Bareza (Hara in Mazanderan, the Alborz) and is said to surround the whole earth. The hollow cave. The world mountain, sometimes identified with the Hindu Kus. The mythical Lake Kasava. (Campbell: 1968..pg 202+)...."Hara Berezaiti, the lofty Hara on whose summit Mithra was located."..(Campbell..1968..pg 95)..."Mt Hara Barazaiti...the action of Mithra rising from the peak of Mt Hara expresses the rising of Daena from Hara." (Piras: 1996..pg 11)..."Mithra, the first celestial god to rise from Mt Hara is most endowed with that asna-xratu that grants vision.' (piras: 1996..pg 15)..."Mt Hara, Indo-Iranian sacred mountain (Sanskrit: Meru)." (Boyce: 1984...pg 11)...

MT HAZZI...(36N..36E)..."On the remote Ugaritic Olympus, the 'mount of the north', identified with Mons Cassius, the modern el-Akra in the north of Ras Shamra, the highest mountain in Syria (Sham). Abode of the Ugaritic sky-god. On the Syrian coast near Antioch." (James: 1963..pg 32,41)...

MT ILO...in Swat...Home of the Pairika (Peri) witches

MT IDA...sacred mountian in Crete

MT KAILAS...Mt Tise Gangkar (31N 81E)...
...Kailas, The Snow Mountain...Kailas appears in the Mahabharata....(22,000 ft)(6714 M).....in northwestern Tibet. One of the most sacred mountians in Asia. Its four faces are like jewells. Crystal in the east, ruby in the west, sapphire in the south and golden in the north. For Buddhists, the dwelling place of Chakrasamvara. For Hindus, the dwelling place of the god Shiva [Also spelled Shiwa]. Sacred for the Jains. Also the location of the Zhang Zhung capital, Khyunglung Nulkhar (80E 31N)("Silver Palace of the Garuda Valley"). For the Bon religion it is the dwelling place of the 360 Werma deities and also the dwelling place of the deity Nyi pang se (Nyi=sun, se=lha or god). Nyipangse is depicted as a great king, astride a white horse bearing a banner of white silk. (Kvaerne in Lopez:1997)..."The palace of the Rigdens, the imperial rulers of Shambhala, is built on top of a circular mountain in the center of the country. The mountain is Kailasa. The palace is called Kalapa." (Trungpa:1984..Pg 26)....Film by Brian Beresford: "Kailash: The Sacred Mountain"..90 minutes. Distributed by Wisdom Films....:Mt Tago (Tise) (Mt rTa sgo ) near Lake Dwangs ra in Northwest Tibet is a name for Mt Tise.' (Norbu: 1995..pg 261)...

KULHA NGANG-YA...Born in Tibet...pg 161

KYO RINCHEN-PUNGPA...."I was able to finish my 1000 page book on meditation there. I was able to begin an allegory about the Kingdom of Shambhala." (Trungpa: Born in Tibet: pg 163 & 180)

LHARI...Bla ri...mountain of the soul/soul-mountain....Lha-ri: mountain of the god(s)/ mountain-god..(Blondeau: 1996...pg VIII)...

MT MERU..."the Aryans developed a cosmography that established Meru as the central core of the universe and navel of the earth." (Allen: 1982..pg 18)..."Shenrab climbed to the summit of Meru (Ri-rab)." (Francke: 1950..pg 166)... 'on the summit of Meru stood Swarga, the heavenly city of Indra."..."Seven golden mountain ranges surround Mr Meru, each forming a square."..(Kongtrul: 1995..pg 110)..." Mt Meru (ri rab lhun po) is the axis mundi in Traditional Indian cosmology."...Jain map of Meru in Allen: 1982...pg 33....

MUKPO RONG...sMug po rong..."a physical description of the mountain" (Blondeau: 1996..pg 125)...

NAMCHA BARWA....Peak at the Eastern end of the Himalayas...SE Tibet in the bend of the Brahmaputra River....22, 445 ft.... (95E...29N)..(7,782 m)...in the East..Blazing Meteoric Iron..."Fiery Mountain of Heavenly Metal...Photo in Born in Tibet by Trungpa...pg 236"

NYENCHEN TANGLHA....Range of mountains 60 miles NW of Lhasa...23,250 ft is the highest peak (Nyenchen tanglha Peak)... (gNyan chen thang lha): 700 mile long mountain range in Northern Tibet. [See Lopez pg 387]...."The god Thang la of the powerful Thangla mountain range is also known as a great Nyen." (Hoffman: 1979..pg 95)..."Name of a mountain range north of Lhasa, the abode of the deity of the same name. Subjugated by Padmakara, he is an important protector." (Nalanda: 1980..pg 358)...

The sacred mountain Ode Kunggyel, identified with the king of the sky (Stein: 1972..pg 242)...

MT OLYMPUS....Indo Europeans settled on Mt Olympus in 2000 BC...

Mt Pago Punsum (18,000ft): high plateau in northeastern Tibet. Home of the King of Spirits. Near Geje in an area called Nyishu-tza-nga....The birthplace of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

PENERITA of Pur...the first mountain...Clear Mountain of Tamarisk...

Pori Ngeden...Fragrant Incense Mountain...in Khyungpo Shangshung...

PRESELI MOUNTAINS....in Wales

SHEY...the Crystal Mountain in Dolpo...National Geographic: May 1977...

MT SHRIPARVATA...The Shriparvata sacred mountain in South India near Dhanyakataka, where according to the Buddhist tradition, the place where the Kalachakra was taught to Dawa Sangpo, the first Rigden King of Shambhala.

Tana Lhari (in Amdo)...Horse Ears Mountain...

TIEN SHAN.....in Sinkiang Uighur...Highest point is Pobeda Peak....(24, 406 ft)....Tian Shan Mountains..."make up the southern boundary of Shambhala." (Cabezon: 1996..pg 488)...

Tago Chegye...Mountain Range in the North

MT YUNGDRUNG GUTSEG..."old Bonpo texts describe how the 'nine story swastika mountain' had to be moved from the north to the present location at Kailas." (Allen: 1982..pg 30)..See: Flying Mountains..."To the west of Tibet in a larger country called Tazig is Mount Yungdrung Gutseg. At its bas springs 4 rivers flowing in the four directions. The mountain is surrounded by temples, cities and parks."...

ZAGROS MOUNTAINS... "in ancient Persia marked the dividing line between the Semitic world of Mesopotamia and the Aryan Media." (Frye: 1975..pg 13)...

Zurgnon...Mountain island in the middle of Kokonor..(Clark: 1954..pg 351)

the country of Olmo Lungring where Tonpa Shenrab descended from the celestial spheres and took up incarnation among human beings as an Iranian prince. The mysterious land of Olmo Lungring (`ol-mo lung-rings) or Olmoling (`ol-mo`i gling) is said to be part of a larger geographical region to the northwest of Tibet called Tazig (stag-gzig, var. rtag-gzigs), which scholars identify with Iran or, more properly, Central Asia where in ancient times Iranian languages such as Avestan and later Sogdian were spoken. According to the “gZer-mig” the traditional etymology of the name Olmo Lungring is as follows: “`ol” means “unborn”, “mo” “undermined”, “lung” “the prophetic words of Shenrab”, and “rings” “everlasting compassion”. According to the “gZi-brjid”, Olmo Lungring was also known as Shambhala in Sanskrit and it continues to be known by this name among Tibetan Buddhists even today. Moreover, it is said that in ancient times it encompassed fully one-third of the known world a statement which could apply to the historical Persian empire.

SACRED LAKES, SEAS, RIVERS:

"The Indo-Aryans transferred river names from the old to the new country. For example, the Indian Sarasvati was named after the Iranian Hara Vaiti after the migration in India." (Burrow: 1973..pg 126)...

When Zoroaster died, his sperm was miraculously preserved in Iran’s Lake Kansaoya. When the time arrives, the sperm will impregnate a girl who is swimming there, and she will give birth to three sons. The first will be Ukhshyat-ereta ("He who makes righteousness grow"); later he will be called Hoshedarmah. One millennium later, Ukhshyat-nemah ("He who makes reverence grow") will be born, to be followed 1,000 years later by Astavat-ereta ("Righteous world"), who will oversee the end of time.

APSU....."The Apsu. like the Oceanus of Homer, was all-encompassing water, the primeval sea. Anahita, the goddess of heavenly water." (Campbell: 1968..pg 123)

BAIKAL...Lake Odzer...Lake Balkhash Ozero...(75 E 45 N) near Alma-Ata....Northern Lake, Like a crocodile...

CANDRABHAGA RIVER....Site of present day Multan...

CASPIAN SEA....called Kok Kuz (blue or heavenly eye) by the Turcomans....Sea of the Rising Sun to the Indo-Europeans

Dzamgyel Rewa...Blood Lake...

LAKE KASAOYA...."In the Gathic texts, the daena, after the rise of Astunat Arata from Lake Kasaoya, will render the corporeal imperishable with their salvific gaze." (Piras: 1996...pg 14)...

Kokonor...(37N 100E) in Amdo...Sacred Mountain of Zurgnon in middle of the Lake....(khri shar rgyal mo)...(Tib: mtsho sngon po: blue lake)..."Kokonor is a salt sea although it's waters are quite drinkable. Many Chinese, Tibetans and Moslems make annual pilgrimages to Kokonor to honor the lake's spirit." (Clark: 1954 pg 353)

Kyareng Ometsochen....Great Milk Lake Dawn...

Kyaring Nagpo (35N 98E or 80E 31N)....Black Dawn...Poisonous Lake...

Kyaring Tso....(Cha Lin)...31N 88E...40 miles long....

MAPHAM...Mapham Yutso (31N 80E) (Ma pang g.yu mtsho)(Manasarovar:Unvanquished Turquoise Lake; Ever Cool Turquoise Lake)...Unconquerable Turquoise Lake....Milarepa died in a cave just south of Manasarovar in the 12th C.....15,000'...Highest freshwater lake in the world (?)...This lake is the consort of Mt Tise..."Sacred to Cakrasamvara"..(Nalanda: 1980..pg 355)...

Madro...Matro Mapham

Migyur Namtso Chugmo (gNam mtsho phyug mo)(consort of Nyanchen Thanglha)..Unchanging Sky Lake Wealth...

Ngoring Nam Ngon Shunma...Long Blue Melted Sky...

OXUS...."The Oxus in Sanskrit (Vaksu) occurs in the Mahabharata and Kalidasa." (Burrow: 1973...pg 126)...

Tungtso Yuter...Spotless Lake...Conch Lake Turquoise Treasure

Yar 'brog g.yu mtsho..(the consort of Mt Gang bzang)

KABALAH...(48E 42N)...On the Caspian Sea where the Caucasus Mountains meet the sea, in the Shirvan province is the capital Ash-Shamakha, near the famous port of Darband. In the mountains near Darband was the ancient fortress of Kabalah, on a hill, near the current Soviet border. north of the port of Baku. Location of a great castle called Kal'ah Taj. The remains of a mighty castle (kal'ah), a 'mother of castles' situated on the great Tarum River that flowed from the mountains of Tarum in northern Persia. Like Samiran, its site remains unidentified. On its walls were lions of gold. The ancient fortress of Kabalah near Darband is more than once mentioned in the campaigns of Timur.
Le Strange, G...."The Lands of the Eastern Caliphate"...1966

200 B.C - 400 A.D Kabala is a capital of Caucasus Albania
400-600 A.D. Barda becomes capital of Caucasus Albania in VI century A.D.
629 A.D. Army of Kok-Turk Empire and Khazars enter Azerbaijan (Albania), defeating Persians. Azerbaijan is declared to be "eternal possesion" of Turks. The capital of Albania - Kabala renamed into Khazar. Albanian nobility and clergyman escape from Barda to the Albanian stronghold - Mountaineous Karabagh. [Source: "History of Albans" by Moisey Kalankatly] The next year both withdraw from Azerbaijan due to internal strife within Empire.
1221-1227 Georgian feudals occupy Sheki and Kabala, but later those cities are liberated and again become part of Shirvan
1755 Sheki khan Haji Chelebi conquers Kabala and Sheki sultanates, but defeated in wars with other khanates.

According to Bonpo tradition, Olmo Lungring fully occupies one-third of our world even now and lies to the northwest of Tibet. The Bonpo texts further speak of the three portals or doors of Zhang-zhung and some of these texts assert that Tazig is the middle door (sgo bar-ma). According to Lopon Tenzin Namdak, the outer door (sgo phyi-pa) is Zhang-zhung itself, the middle door (sgo bar-ma) is Tazig, and the inner door (sgo phug-pa) is Olmo Lungring. From the innermost gate outwards this represents the movement or progress of the teachings of Yungdrung Bon into the outer world and especially Tibet. At that time Tazig was said to have been inhabited by the “sTag-gzig hos rigs”, the royal race (rgyal rigs) of the “Hos” or Persians (the Chinese “Hu”). But in an even earlier time the people belonged to the lineage of the “rGyal-bu `thing-ge”. And in the “Ma-rgyud” is found the story of the emperor Gyer-wer of Tazig who ruled most of the known world. In the Bonpo texts the land of Olmo Lungring is said to be divided into four concentric regions: the inner region (nang gling), the middle region (bar gling), the outer region (phyi gling), and the border region (mtha` gling). The inner and middle regions consist of twelve districts or islands (gling), the outer region of sixteen, and the border region also of twelve. These regions and districts (gling) are all sepepared by rivers and lakes and inland seas. The innermost region has the form geographically of an eight petalled lotus blossom and the sky above it corresponds to the form of a wheel or chakra of eight spokes.