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| HH Dalai Lama on Kalachakra|
Kalachakra refers both to a Tantric deity (Tib. yidam) of Vajrayana Buddhism and to the philosophies and meditation practices contained within the Kalachakra Tantra and its many commentaries. The Kalachakra Tantra is more properly called the Kalachakra Laghutantra, and is said to be an abridged form of an original text, the Kalachakra Mulatantra which is no longer extant. Some Buddhist masters assert that Kalachakra is the most advanced form of Vajrayana practice; it certainly is one of the most complex systems within tantric Buddhism.
The Kalachakra tradition revolves around the concept of time (kāla) and cycles (chakra): from the cycles of the planets], to the cycles of human breathing, it teaches the practice of working with the most subtle energies within one's body on the path to enlightenment.
The Kalachakra deity represents a Buddha and thus omniscience. Since Kalachakra is time and everything is under the influence of time, Kalachakra knows all. Whereas Kalachakri or Kalichakra, his spiritual consort and complement, is aware of everything that is timeless, untimebound or out of the realm of time. In Yab-yum, they are temporality and atemporality conjoined. Similarly, the wheel is without beginning or end.
Kalachakra Deity with consort Visvamata
The Kalachakra Tantra is divided into five chapters.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalachakra - cite_note-1
The first two chapters are considered the "ground Kalachakra." The first chapter deals with what is called the "outer Kalachakra"—the physical world– and in particular the calculation system for the Kalachakra calendar, the birth and death of universes, our solar system and the workings of the elements.
The second chapter deals with the "inner Kalachakra," and concerns processes of human gestation and birth, the classification of the functions within the human body and experience, and the vajra-kaya; the expression of human physical existence in terms of channels, winds, drops and so forth. Human experience is by some described in terms of four mind states: waking, dream, deep sleep, and a fourth state which is available through the energies of sexual orgasm. The potentials (drops) which give rise to these states are described, together with the processes that flow from them.
The last three chapters describe the "other" or "alternative Kalachakra," and deal with the path and fruition. The third chapter deals with the preparation for the meditation practices of the system: the initiations of Kalachakra. The fourth chapter explains the actual meditation practices themselves, both the meditation on the mandala and its deities in the generation stage practices, and the perfection or completion stage practices of the Six Yogas. The fifth and final chapter describes the state of enlightenment (Relijin) that results from the practice.
The phrase "as it is outside, so it is within the body" is often found in the Kalachakra tantra to emphasize the similarities and correspondence between human beings and the cosmos; this concept is the basis for Kalachakra astrology, but also for more profound connections and interdependence as taught in the Kalachakra literature.
In Tibet, the Kalachakra astrological system is one of the main building blocks in the composition of Tibetan astrological calendars. The astrology in the Kalachakra is not unlike the Western system, in that it employs complicated (and surprisingly accurate astronomical calculations to determine, for example, the exact location of the planets.
There are currently two main traditions of Kalachakra, the Ra lineage (Tib. Rva-lugs) and the Dro lineage (Tib.'Bro-lugs). Although there were many translations of the Kalachakra texts from Sanskrit into Tibetan, the Ra and Dro translations are considered to be the most reliable (more about the two lineages below). The two lineages offer slightly differing accounts of how the Kalachakra teachings returned to India from Shambhala.
The Dro lineage was established in Tibet by a Kashmiri disciple of Nalandapa named Pandita Somanatha, who traveled to Tibet in 1027 (or 1064CE, depending on the calendar used), and his translator Droton Sherab Drak Lotsawa, from which it takes its name. The Ra lineage was brought to Tibet by another Kashmiri disciple of Nadapada named Samantashri, and translated by RaChoerab Lotsawa (or Ra Dorje Drakpa). Today Kalachakra is practiced by all four Tibetan schools of Buddhism, although it appears most prominently in the Gelug lineage. It is the main tantric practice for the Jonang school.
Monks attending the January 2003 Kalachakra initiation in Bodhgaya, India.
As in all vajryana practices, the Kalachakra initiations empower the disciple to practice the Kalachakra tantra in the service of attaining Buddhahood. There are two main sets of initiations in Kalachakra, eleven in all. The first of these two sets concerns preparation for the generation stage meditations of Kalachakra. The second concerns preparation for the completion stage meditations known as the Six Yogas of Kalachakra. Attendees who don't intend to carry out the practice are often only given the lower seven initiations.
The Kalachakra sand Mandala is dedicated to both individual and world peace and physical balance. The Dalai Lama explains: "It is a way of planting a seed, and the seed will have karmic effect. One doesn't need to be present at the Kalachakra ceremony in order to receive its benefits."
Kalu Rinpoche in 1987 atKagyu Rintchen Tcheu Ling inMontpellier, France
The Kalachakra tradition practiced in the Karma and Shangpa Kagyu schools is derived from the Jonang tradition, and was largely systematized by Jamgon Kongtrul the Great, who wrote the text that is now used for empowerment. The Second and The Third Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche (1954–1992) were also prominent Kalachakra lineage holders, with the Jamgon Kontrul III giving the initiation publicly in North America on at least one occasion (Toronto 1990).
Kalachakra Tenfold Powerful symbol in stained glass
His Holiness Sakya Trizin, the present head of the Sakya lineage, has given the Kalachakra initiation many times and is a recognized master of the practice.
The Sakya master H.E. Chogye Trichen Rinpoche is one of the main holders of the Kalachakra teachings. Chogye Rinpoche is the head of the Tsharpa School, one of the three main schools of the Sakya tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.
One of the previous Chogye Trichen Rinpoches, Khyenrab Choje (1436–97), beheld the sustained vision of the female tantric deityVajrayogini at Drak Yewa in central Tibet, and received extensive teachings and initiations directly from her. Two forms of Vajrayogini appeared out of the face of the rocks at Drak Yewa, one red in color and the other white, and they bestowed the Kalachakra initiation on Khyenrab Choje. When he asked if there was any proof of this, his attendant showed the master the kusha grass that Khyenrab Choje brought back with him from the initiation. It was unlike any kusha grass found in this world, with rainbow lights sparkling up and down the length of the dried blades of grass. This direct lineage from Vajrayogini is the 'shortest', the most recent and direct, lineage of the Kalachakra empowerment and teachings that exists in this world. In addition to being known as the emanation of Manjushri, Khyenrab Choje had previously been born as many of the Rigden kings of Shambhala as well as numerous Buddhist masters of India. These are some indications of his unique relationship to the Kalachakra tradition.
Chogye Trichen Rinpoche is the holder of six different Kalachakra initiations, four of which, the Bulug, Jonang, Maitri-gyatsha, and Domjung, are contained within the Gyude Kuntu, the Collection of Tantras compiled by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and his disciple Loter Wangpo. Rinpoche has offered all six of these empowerments to H.H. Sakya Trizin, the head of the Sakya School of Tibetan Buddhism. Rinpoche has given the Kalachakra initiation in Tibet, Mustang, Kathmandu, Malaysia, the United States, Taiwan, and Spain, and is widely regarded as a definitive authority on Kalachakra. In 1988 he traveled to the United States, giving the initiation and complete instructions in the practice of the six-branch Vajrayoga of Kalachakra according to the Jonangpa tradition in Boston. Chogye Rinpoche has completed extensive retreat in the practice of Kalachakra, particularly of the six-branch yoga (sadangayoga) in the tradition of the Jonangpa school according to Jetsun Taranatha. In this way, Chogye Rinpoche has carried on the tradition of his predecessor Khyenrab Choje, the incarnation of the Shambhala kings who received the Kalachakra initiation from Vajrayogini herself.
Though the Kalachakra prophesies a future religious war, this appears in conflict with the vows of Mahayana and Theravada Buddhist teachings that prohibit violence. According to Alexander Berzin, the Kalachakra is not advocating violence against people but rather against inner mental and emotional aggression that results in intolerance, hatred, violence and war. Fifteenth century Gelug commentor Kaydrubjey interprets "holy war" symbolically, teaching that it mainly refers to the inner battle of the religious practitioner against inner demonic and barbarian tendencies. This is the solution to violence, since according to the Kalachakra the outer conditions depend on the inner condition of the mindstreams of beings. Viewed that way, the prophesied war takes place in the mind and emotions. It depicts the transformation of the archaic mentality of violence in the name of religion and ideology into sublime moral power, insight and spiritual wisdom.