33rd Kalachakra Initiation by His Holiness Dalai Lama in Leh, Ladakh in July, 2014

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.

Kalachakra Initiation:

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *