Logo International Kalachakra Network
   International
   Kalachakra Network

 
Miscellaneous subjects
 

SOCIETY

His Holiness the Dalai Lama pointed out:

"I feel that the Kalachakra mandala is somehow associated with the kingdom, with the community, with society ... In brief, the mandala of Kalachakra is not like other mandalas. Other Tantric practices are related to the individual, but the Kalachakra seems to be related to the community, to the global society as a whole."[1]

"In my opinion, you Westerners who are taking an interest in eastern religions should remain connected with and serve your own society. It's not good to extricate or remove yourself from your own society. You yourself in time will experience some difficulties. Since the heart of the Buddhist practice is to help others, to engage in altruistic deeds, then the best thing is to stay within society offering service to society. You need to stay in those very places where there is trouble, where there are problems. Wouldn't it be selfish if you escaped from the places where there are difficulties and went off by yourself to practice a so-called religion.
I will make prayer-wishes that this comes about. Please strive very hard." [2]

Vesna Wallace in Inner Kalachakratantra [3] dedicates a full chapter to the social aspects of the Kalachakra. To mention just a few subjects: the sharp criticism of the caste divisions and social bias, the integration of concepts and terminology of many non-Buddhist traditions, the tantric beginner should not transgress the customs of his country and social group as long a certain siddhis are achieved, and the symbolic relation of social classes to aspects of the body and mind of the practitioner etc.

David Reigle makes a similar point in his booklet Kalacakra Sadhana and Social Responsibility [4], the fact that practicing Kalachakra is certainly related to our responsibilities for society.

MEDICINE

"Buddhist tantric medical treatises and the Kalacakratantra literature integrate classical Ayurvedic medicine, alchemy and magic ... into a unique and comprehensive system of Buddhist tantric medicine."[3]

The Kalachakra Tantra describes various malignant spirits that can be warded off, mantras to treat diseases, but also pranayama (energy-yoga) techniques (mainly for advanced practitioners) and more conventional treatments like; dietary therapy, hydrotherapy, massage, drugs (mostly herbal), fumigation, inhalation, anointing etc. The medical system in the Kalachakra appears mainly based on the balancing of the three humors - wind, phlegm and bile.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama mentions in a discussion with Alex Berzin (see Berzinarchives.com):

"Now if you ask what specific points in Tibetan medicine derive from Kalachakra, there is the formula for making one of the precious pills ngülchu-tsodey (dngul-chu rtso-sde) out of mercury. This comes from The Kalachakra Condensed Tantra."

SANSKRIT

A considerable part of the Kalachakra Tantra deals with the symbolic relationship between the Sanskrit language and the Kalachakra. Probably only genuine Sanskrit scholars may fully appreciate the extent of the explanations that are given, for example in the Chapters 5 of the Kalachakra Tantra and the Vimalaprabha, related to the Speech Mandala. (As can be found in [6].) As in all tantras, deities arise in the visualization from Sanskrit seed syllables, but the symbolism of the Kalachakra extends way beyond that.

MACHINES

The texts of the Outer Kalachakra contain descriptions of a fair number of machines, including war machines, but also for peaceful use.
For example in [5]:

"If an enemy defeated in battle suddenly enters into a fort, construct machines outside. ... Now are stated the machines for destroying the forts of wicked enemies."

This is followed by very technical and precise directions for construction of for example a catapult, a boat to 'destroy a water fort', a kite from which burning oil is thrown onto a fort, a 'cleaver machine' with rotating swords, an armoured vehicle to approach the fort, a harpoon machine, and a chariot. However, these descriptions are accompanied by the instruction [5]:

"Do all these things in order to protect your own place, O Surya, not out of hatred and greed!"

More peaceful machines that are described are a merry-go-round, a chariot for kings, and a machine to irrigate the land. It appears that the types of machines described could be called high-tech around the time the Kalachakra teachings emerged (11th century).

SPECIAL KALACHAKRA PLACES

This page contains details on several places which are of special importance to the practice of Kalachakra, enjoy!

WAR & PEACE

The Kalachakra tantra is often mentioned in it's context of the predictions of war. The War & Peace page contains a collection of Buddhist views on the subject.

BIBLIOGRAPHY


[1]: The Bodhgaya Interviews: His Holiness the Dalai Lama, edited by Jose Ignacio Cabezon, Snowlion 1988.
[2]: The Kalachakra Initiation in Rikon, Switzerland in 1985 by his Holiness the Dalai Lama. (Available to initiates.)
[3]: The Inner Kalacakratantra, A Buddhist Tantric View of the Individual, by Vesna A. Wallace (Oxford University press, 2001)
[4]: Kalacakra Sadhana and Social Responsibility, David Reigle, Spirit of the Sun Publications 1996.
[5]: The Outer Wheel of Time: Vajrayana Buddhist cosmology in the Kalacakra tantra, John Ronald Newman,1987, UMI dissertation.
[6]: Tantric Yoga: A Study of the Vedic Precursors, Historical Evolution, Literatures, Cultures, doctrines, and Practices of the 11th Century Kasmiri Saivite and Buddhist Unexcelled Tantric Yogas, by James Francis Hartzell, 1997, UMI dissertation