A 12th Century Tibetan Buddhist Prophecy

Backdrop for understanding the prophecy:

The core teaching of the Buddha is the radical understanding of the inter-existence of all things, or that all things are inter-related.

The prophecy speaks to a time when Shambhala Warriors will emerge on our planet. The Shambhala Warriors are not warriors in the traditional sense but are considered to be Bodhisattva’s. 

Bodhisattva is a Sanskrit word meaning a being of enlightenment. In the Tibetan tradition a Bodhisattva is a Buddha in training, one who has not yet attained full enlightenment. Through the depth of their compassion, they delay their own enlightenment in order to first lead others out of suffering, into enlightenment.

The prophecy acknowledges that we all have the capacity to be a Bodhisattva and we are meant to listen to the prophecy as if it is about ourselves. 

And now the prophecy-

There comes a time when all life on earth is in danger due to the great powers of annihilation that have arisen. The barbarians on both sides have much in common as both have created technologies with unfathomable capacity for death and destruction. 

And it is at this point in history when the future of all beings seems to hang by the frailest of threads, that the Kingdom of Shambhala emerges.

You cannot go there because it is not a location but exists only in the hearts and minds of the Shambhala warriors. 

You cannot tell who the warriors are just by looking as they have no particular garments or home turf with which to shield themselves. They have only the terrain of the barbarian powers to move across and act upon. 

Great courage will be required of these warriors, moral and physical, as they will need to go right into the heart of the barbarian powers. They will need to enter the citadels, the place where the decisions are being made in order to deconstruct and dismantle these weapons of mass destruction. 

And they know this is possible because these weapons are mono-maya, or mind made. Because they are mind made, they can be unmade. Because they arise not from some external force, satanic deity or a pre-ordained fate, but they arise out of our relationships, our habits and our priorities. They are made by the human mind and can be unmade by the human mind.

So now is the time for the Shambhala warriors to go into active training, to train in the use of two implements or weapons. What are they you may ask? They are not weapons in the usual sense but are tools of transformation, the powerful weapons of wisdom and compassion. And the warriors need both. 

Compassion provides the warmth, the fuel to move us into action but compassion by itself can become too hot and burn us out, so we need the cooling energy of wisdom. 

Compassion means not being afraid of the suffering of our world and when we are not afraid of suffering, our own and of our world, then nothing can stop us. We can be and do what we are meant to be and do. 

The other tool, wisdom, is the radical insight of the interconnectedness at the heart of existence. It is the recognition of the web of life and our own relationship to this deep ecology.

When we have both of these tools sharpened, we know this is not a battle between good guys and bad guys, but that there exists within every human heart the line between good and evil. And because we know that we are interwoven into the web of life, we recognize that even the smallest intentional act has repercussions throughout all existence, way beyond our capacity to see. 

But this knowing can be abstract and cool so again we need the heat and warmth of compassion.

And so how does this story end you may ask?

It is this not knowing, this uncertainty that awakens the Shambhala warrior, the Bodhisattva within. 

The unknown is what calls forth each of our unique gifts and a deep desire to live in the great mystery of life and death. It is through through the interplay and cultivation of these two powerful energies that we can become who we truly are.