Agartha (sometimes Agartta, Agharti, Agarath, Agarta or Agarttha) is a legendary kingdom that is said to be located in the Earth's core. It is related to the belief in a hollow Earth and is a popular subject in esotericism.
Nineteenth-century French occultist Alexandre Saint-Yves d'Alveydre published the first "reliable" account of Agartha in Europe. According to him, the secret world of "Agartha" and all of its wisdom and wealth "will be accessible for all mankind, when Christianity lives up to the commandments which were once drafted by Moses and God", meaning "When the Anarchy which exists in our world is replaced by the Synarchy." Saint-Yves gives a lively description of "Agartha" in this book as if it were a place which really exists, situated in the Himalayas in Tibet. Saint-Yves' version of the history of "Agartha" is based upon "revealed" information, meaning received by Saint-Yves himself through "attunement".
The explorer Ferdynand Ossendowski wrote a book in 1922 titled Beasts, Men and Gods. In the book, Ossendowski tells of a story which was imparted to him concerning a subterranean kingdom which exists inside the Earth. This kingdom was known to the Buddhists as Agharti.
Connections to mythology
Agartha is frequently associated or confused with Shambhala (often called Shangri-la in some texts) which figures prominently in Vajrayana Buddhism and Tibetan Kalachakra teachings and revived in the West by Madame Blavatsky and the Theosophical Society. Theosophists in particular regard Agarthi as a vast complex of caves underneath Tibet inhabited by evil demons, called asuras. Helena and Nicholas Roerich, whose teachings closely parallel theosophy, see Shambhala's existence as both spiritual and physical.
In popular culture
Agartha features prominently as the setting in the 2011 Japanese anime film Children Who Chase Lost Voices. It is depicted as a vast, subterranean land where a mystical and highly-advanced civilization once thrived alongside beings called Quetzalcoatl. Agarthan civilization has declined significantly over the centuries due to constant invasions by greedy surface countries, but it continues to guard the Gate of Life and Death, where one can wish for a person to be returned to life.
- Ossendowski, Ferdinand; Palen, Lewis Stanton (2003), Beasts, Men and Gods, Kessinger Publishing, p. 118, ISBN 978-0-7661-5765-1
- Eco, Umberto (5 August 2006). "Commentary: Spheres of influence". The Observer.
- Tamas, Mircea Alexandru (2003), Agarttha, the invisible center, Rose-Cross Books, ISBN 978-0-9731191-1-4
- Guenon, Rene (1958), Le Roi du Monde, Gallimard
- Ferdynand Ossendowski (1922). Beasts, Men and Gods. New York: E. P. Dutton & Company.
- Greer, John Michael (2003), The New Encyclopedia of the Occult, Llewellyn Publications, ISBN 1-56718-336-0
- File:"About Shambala" N.Roerich.ogg
- Saint-Yves d’Alveydre and the Agartthian Connection, by Joscelyn Godwin.
- Map/diagram of Agharta and the Hollow Earth, based on writings of Raymond W. Bernard.
- On Edward Bulwer-Lytton: Agharta, Shambhala, Vril and the Occult Roots of Nazi Power, by Joseph George Caldwell.
- "An Algorithmic Agartha"—Essay-Contribution to Culture Machine 16, 2015 (the journal's Special-Issue on Drone Culture).