The word Kalachakra means cycles of time. This term is used in the context of the highest tantric practice in Tibetan, Mongolian and Nepali Buddhism. The meaning of Kalachakra Tantra is included within the three Kalachakras, or Wheels of Time: The Outer Wheel of Time, the Inner Wheel of Time, and the Other Wheel of Time. The Outer Wheel of Time is the external world of the environment and it is also called “The procession of the external solar and lunar days.” The Inner Wheel of Time is the human body that is an inner Jambudvipa, or earth-surface. Likewise, the inner channels, elements, and movements of the winds are set forth as the Inner Wheels of Time. The Other Wheel of Time is the initiations and paths of Kalachakra.
|S No||Month||Place||People attended|
|1||May 1954||Norbulingka, Lhasa, Tibet||1,00,000|
|2||April 1956||Norbulingka, Lhasa, Tibet||1,00,000|
|3||March 1970||Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, India||30,000|
|4||January 1971||Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India||10,000|
|5||December 1974||Bodhgaya, Bihar, India||1,00,000|
|6||September 1976||Leh, Ladakh, India||40,000|
|7||July 1981||Madison, Wisconsin, USA||1,500|
|8||April 1983||Dirang, Arunachal Pradesh, India||5,000|
|9||August 1983||Tabo, Himachal Pradesh, India||10,000|
|10||July 1985||Rikon, Switzerland||6,000|
|11||December 1985||Bodhgaya, Bihar, India||2,00,000|
|12||July 1988||Zanskar, Jammu & Kashmir, India||10,000|
|13||July 1989||Los Angeles, California, USA||3300|
|14||December 1990||Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh, India||1,30,000|
|15||October 1991||New York, New York, USA||3000|
|16||August 1992||Kalpa, Himachal Pradesh, India||20,000|
|17||April 1993||Gangtok, Sikkim, India||1,00,000|
|18||July 1994||Jispa, Himachal Pradesh, India||30,000|
|19||December 1994||Barcelona, Spain||3,000|
|20||January 1995||Mundgod, Karnataka, India||50,000|
|21||August 1995||Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia||30,000|
|22||June 1996||Tabo, Himachal Pradesh, India||20,000|
|23||September 1996||Sydney, Australia||3,000|
|24||December 1996||Salugara, West Bengal, India||2,00,000|
|25||August 1999||Bloomington, Indiana, USA||4,000|
|26||August 2000||Kyi, Himachal Pradesh, India||25,000|
|27||October 2002||Graz, Austria||10,000|
|28||January 2003||Bodhgaya, Bihar, India||2,00,000|
|29||April 2004||Toronto, Ontario, Canada||8,000|
|30||January 2006||Amarvati, Andhra Pradesh, India||1,00,000|
|31||July 2011||Washington, DC, USA||8000|
|32||January 2012||Bodhgaya, Bihar, India||2,00,000|
|33||July 2014||Leh (Ladakh), Jammu & Kashmir, India||1,50,000|
The Buddha’s teaching of the Kalachakra is described in the Paramadibuddha, the Kalachakra, Basic Tantra:
Time, in Buddhism, is defined as a measurement of change. For example, a month is the measurement of change involved either externally in the moon circling the earth. Such changes are cyclical in that the pattern repeats, although the events of each cycle are not completely identical. Externally, the universe passes through cosmic, astronomical, astrological and historical cycles.
The initiation process spans several days, with the first day being a preparation ceremony, followed by usually two or three days of actual empowerment. The 33rd Kalachakra initiated by His Holiness Dalai Lama in Leh Ladakh on 3rd July 2014. The accounts of previous Kalachakra Initiations are as follows:-
The most important part of the initial procedures is taking refuge to Buddha. It is believed that without refuge we cannot actually receive empowerment, although we may witness it and derive great benefit.
The empowerment itself involves a complex procedure of imagining ourselves transforming into a series of special forms, entering the mandala of the Buddha, and experiencing in it a sequence of purifications and the awakening and enhancing of potentials for future success in the practice.
The mandala is an enormous multistoried palace, in and around which are 722 figures, including a principal couple in the center. The master conferring the empowerment simultaneously appears as all these figures, not just as the central one. Thus, throughout the process we visualize ourselves, our teacher and our surroundings in a very special way.
The steps of the initiation are extremely intricate and, without familiarity, the visualizations involved can be quite perplexing.
Published in Issue VI, May 2015