Symbols

Kalachakra

कालचक्र · [ kālacakra ] · Wheel of Time

Kāla means time and chakra means wheel. Kalachakra is usually translated as wheel of time. This term refers simultaneously to the practice of meditation, the mandala serving as a tool for this practice, the inauguration ceremony and to the Tantric deity which underlies the practice. This deity is usually depicted with three necks, four faces, 12 eyes, 24 arms and two legs. 

The Kalachakra is considered the highest and at the same time most complex ritual of Tibetan Buddhism. The related, Tantric meditation practices are accelerating the development of the practitioners on his way to enlightenment. The Kalachakra tradition is closely linked to the myth of Shambala. The aim of Kalachakra practice is not to find this legendary Kingdom in the first place, but as in all Buddhist practices, to attain enlightenment.

In the Western world iInitiations into the Kalachakra Tantra were given by the 14th Dalai Lama, Penor Rinpoche, Kalu Rinpoche and Sakya Trizin. During these initiations also other instructions to Buddhist rituals and lectures on Buddhist ethics and philosophy take place. The ceremony is to constitute a special blessing for the venue of the event and the participants. The practice associated with Kalachakra is also known as Kalachakra for world peace, because it plays a role in unifying different peoples.

In simplified terms, the Kalachakra ritual wants to bring the individual powers of the microcosm and the macrocosm back together in harmony.

 

The Kalachakra Mandala

The Kalachakra mandala is mainly created in the form of short-living sand mandalas to which Tibetans revere as a sacred object and believe that it exerts a healing effect on people. Alone the mere sight is enough to trigger a development impulse toward enlightenment in every sentient being. Therefore it is not surprising that this powerful mandala is also created and worshiped in a more durable form as painted thangkas (rolled, ritual paintings). There are even three-dimensional versions existing of the Kalachakra mandala. The compositions allways follow the same, precisely defined structure and symbolism. In its entirety, the Kalachakra mandala shows the cosmos in the form of a palace surrounded by a cosmic flame circuit, protection rings, lotus leaves, various forecourt, instruction chambers, guarded gates, several interior courtyards and finally the central shrine.

 

> Usage of the symbol

The healing, inspiring and profoundly enhancing effects of this mandala can not only be used for meditation, but also in everyday environment. Best, it unfolds its power in the center of your home or as an altarpiece. The mandala can also be "usefull" in the area for helpful friends and travel (Bagua n° 6), in the bedroom, in the living room or in the corner of knowledge (Bagua n° 8).

For more information about symbols based on circles please refer to the following article:

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