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The Kalachakra Tantra, Rite of Initiation
by Tenzin Gyatso the Dalai Lama and Jeffrey Hopkins 

Wisdom, 1985, 528 pp, ISBN 0-86171-151-3
Available from Snowlion

Wallossek, Michael (Übers.a.d.Engl.) Berlin: Theseus 2002, 511 S.,

Publisher Wisdom: The Kalachakra or "Wheel of time" tantra is one of the most detailed and encompassing systems of theory and practice within Tibetan Buddhism. This book contains a complete translation of the Kalachakra initiation ritual interspersed with commentary from the Dalai lama, a valuable new index, and a comprehensive introduction by Professor Jeffrey Hopkins that explores the Kalachakra's rich symbolism and history.


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Review by : Rudy Harderwijk
Overall Rating: as scholarly work:
This book represents an excellent scholarly work. A very detailed introduction by Jeffrey Hopkins and an excellent translation of the initiation rite text. Furthermore the additional commentary by His Holiness the Dalai Lama - 'the authority'. I would not necessarily recommend it to try and use it during an initiation unless your Tibetan is pretty good (but then you would not need a book...). For that I would definitely recommend Alex Berzin's book 'Taking the Kalachakra Initiation', as that is much more practical and easy to understand. Hopkin's book however does provide a wealth of information on the background of the Kalachakra tantra and provides much details on the mandala and the ceremony. The only real criticism could be on the minimal number of somewhat strangely colored images of the mandala, some more - and better quality - images would have been justified. If you have the opportunity to really work it through before (or after) a Kalachakra initiation it will certainly move your understanding to a much deeper level.

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