Ancient Aliens – The Lost Kingdom: According to Tibetan traditions, hidden in the Himalaya Mountains is a kingdom of the gods – Shambhala. Is it possible that this mystical realm truly exists, and can be reached through ancient practices designed to access other dimensions?
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Ancient Aliens is an American television series that premiered on April 20, 2010, on the History channel. Produced by Prometheus Entertainment in a documentary style, the program presents hypotheses of ancient astronauts and proposes that historical texts, archaeology, and legends contain evidence of past human-extraterrestrial contact. The show has been widely criticized by historians, cosmologists, archaeologists and other scientific circles for presenting and promoting pseudoscience, pseudohistory and pseudoarcheology.
Ancient Aliens – The Lost Kingdom
The show opens by describing Tibet and its Buddhist culture, albeit without any reference to the tensions between native Tibetans and its Chinese overlords, which might make it harder to sell History shows in China. The show takes less than two minutes before the first description of Tibetans as “exotic,” firmly aligning Ancient Aliens with a white, Western perspective. David Childress calls it “magical” and “mystical,” again exoticizing an actual country where there are real everyday people who live actual lives independent of Western fantasies of exploration and enlightenment.
Giorgio Tsoukalos alleges that Tibet became a religious center due to its ancient alien visitors.
The mythical kingdom of Shambhala gets a mention, but the show claims it is some sort of secret fantasy land, and no one mentions that it likely derives from the real Sambhal in Uttar Pradesh. That kind of takes some of the wind out of the Atlantis-of-the-Himalayas sails.
In Tibetan Buddhist tradition, Shambhala is a mythical kingdom. Shambhala is mentioned in the Kalachakra Tantra. The Bon scriptures speak of a closely related land called Tagzig Olmo Lung Ring.
The Sanskrit name is taken from the name of a city mentioned in the Hindu Puranas, probably in reference to Sambhal in Uttar Pradesh. The mythological relevance of the place originates with a prophecy in Vishnu Purana (4.24) according to which Shambhala will be the birthplace of Kalki, the final incarnation of Vishnu, who will usher in a new age (Satya Yuga) and the prophesied ruling Kingdom of Maitreya, the future Buddha.