Shambala – in search of happiness


When a friend told me about Gyanganj, it felt like I had heard about it before. Something told me it was probably in Parul’s diary. And lo behold when I browsed through her diary, there it was – “Shambala”

Nestled, somewhere deep within the snow-clad mountains there is a place that the Indian sages refer to as Gyanganj or the Shangri La as named by the Tibetans. A mysterious place never visited by any man. A place incomprehensible to the human mind; abode for the immortals.

Shambala, or the source of happiness, is hidden somewhere in the remote valleys of Himalayas. One can only fly on to it by spiritual powers. Remember the James Hilton novel The Lost Horizon; it is about the lost Kingdome of Shangri La.

It is definitely intriguing to know that there lies a secret land amidst us and no amount of hi tech satellite mapping or GPS could actually make it visible to the human eyes. So then the question is does it exist or is it in a different plane and cannot be explained by modern science. What we cant feel or see doesn’t exist is the mantra yet there is a group of people who are search of this hallowed land which apparently has been around from time immemorial.

As I was going through the diary, I wondered how Parul got to know about Shambala. She was just seventeen and her diary seemed like a treasure trove of knowledge. She herself was ‘Gyanganj’ to me.

In my darkest hour, Parul had sat me beside her and had told me, ‘be the Shambala that you seek. Don’t you see that you yourself are the source of light and happiness and yet you waste time and lose sleep searching for it in the wrong places.’ Parul in her little life and even lesser education was more erudite and insightful than most. She was the sunshine for so many, a balm to the healing soul and never for a moment did she not have that radiant smile despite the excruciating pain she was in. Parul, she was just like her name, that rare flower that blooms once in several years and surrounds the hill with her sweet fragrance.

Had she been around she would have probably laughed to see the world so split in differences. Our folly at running after and seeking for the elusive bliss, hunting for that paradise where all wrongs are overlooked, interpreting and misinterpreting scriptures to be transported to Shangri La. Whereas all this while, its been here within us gathering dust.