Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Shambhala Path and The Kalachakra


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"What Chogyam Trungpa introduced was not just the Buddhist Kalachakra teachings on Shambhala – Khyentse Rinpoche himself once warned against taking such a view, and that this is how most Tibetan Buddhists would see it. Related to this, Michael Chender writes.....I put the direct question myself to HH Khyentse Rinpoche, on behalf of the Shambhala Training leadership of the time after the Vidhyadhara’s parinirvana in 1987, “Do Shambhala Training students have to become Buddhists at some point to continue?” He said, “No, Shambhala Training is a complete path to enlightenment–it has view, meditation, action.”.....What CTR did insist on was that people (including Buddhists) who have a religious tradition (and he often asked people to _not_ become buddhists) carry it on, but in a “yogic”, practice-oriented fashion."... .

"Although the “gZi-brjid” specifically identifies Ölmoling and Shambhala, neither in the “gZi-brjid” nor the “gZer-mig” is there any mention of Armaggedon or the climactic battle between the forces of the Mlechas from the West and the forces of Shambhala led by the Kulika Rudrachakrin, as is found in the Buddhist recension of the “Kalachakra Tantra”. ....

"Tibetan Buddhism's Kalachakra uses the Hindu Vedic legend of Mount Meru (Avestan Hara Berezaiti) and surrounds Mount Meru with the mythic kingdom of Shambhala, a Sanskrit word meaning the land of peace. Shambhala, also spelt Shambala or Shamballa, is said to be the land of the Living Fire and Gyanganj, the home of immortal wisdom and the omniscient wise god of time (descriptions some use for Ahura Mazda, God, in Zoroastrianism). The concept, description and qualities of Shambala coincide with those for Arya Varta / Airyana Vaeja, the Aryan homeland, and help provide us with added information on its possible location. .....

"As with many concepts in the Kalachakra Tantra, the idea of Shambhala is said to have "outer", "inner", and "alternative" meanings. The outer meaning understands Shambhala to exist as a physical place....."

"The Kalachakra Tantra is more properly called the Kalachakra Laghutantra, and is said to be an abridged form of an original text, the Kalachakra Mulatantra which is no longer extant.

"Kālá (Sanskrit: काल, IPA: [kɑːˈlə], time) denotes a fixed or right point in time (compare rtu, kairos). It is also the name of a deity, in which sense it is not always distinguishable from kāla meaning "black". It often used as one of the various names or forms of Shiva, especially when referring to him in relation to his consort Kali who is, in turn, another name or form of Shiva's consort Parvati.

"The Kalachakra system is clearly related to the ancient Vedic tradition in India which existed long before Buddhism appeared.....The Kalachakra refers to many different traditions, for example the Hindu; Saivite, Samkya, Vaishnava, the Vedas, Upanisads and Puranas traditions, but also Jainism. For example, the Kalachakra mandala includes deities which are equally accepted by Hindus, Jainas and Buddhists.

David Reigle , "Among the many traditional ideas which must be mastered to understand Kalachakra are several which are not found within Buddhism.... These include .... the Sankya system .... the Mandukya Upanisad .... and even the Jaina tradition."

"Although the "gZi-brjid" specifically identifies Olmoling and Shambhala, neither in the "gZi-brjid" nor the "gZer-mig" is there any mention of Armaggedon or the climactic battle between the forces of the Mlecchas from the West and the forces of Shambhala led by the Kulika Rudrachakrin, as is found in the Buddhist recension of the "Kalachakra Tantra". The Bonpo canon also possesses a variant recension of this "Kalachakra Tantra", but it is said to be incomplete and it is classified as Kriya Tantra rather than Anuttara Tantra, as is the case in the Buddhist system.

King Suchandra came from Shambhala (some say north of Kashmir) to request and receive the Kalachakra teachings from Shakyamuni Buddha. After the teachings, he wrote them down and composed the 'Mula' or 'Root Text' of the Kalachakra tantra, comprising 12,000 verses. However, this text has never reached us....he died and was followed by 6 Kings, each reigning 100 years over Shambala. These first 7 kings are called the 7 Dharma-Kings. The following kings of Shambhala are known as the Kalki kings or "Rigden"-kings; meaning "Holder of the Castes" or the Shambala's Knowledge Holders....The second Kalki king, Pundarika wrote a commentary called "Vimalaprabha" (Skt.) or "Stainless Light". The Sri Kalachakra and the Vimalaprabha together comprise all the source texts of the Kalachakra system in our world today. All other available texts are commentaries to these root texts.....

There are currently two main traditions of Tibetan Kalachakra, the Ra lineage (Tib. Rva-lugs) and the Dro lineage (Tib.'Bro-lugs). Although there were many translations of the Kalachakra texts from Sanskrit into Tibetan, the Ra and Dro translations....The Dro lineage was established in Tibet by a Kashmiri disciple of Nalandapa named Pandita Somanatha, who traveled to Tibet in 1027...

Buddha himself taught The Root Kalachakra Tantra and that the First Kalki King of Shambhala compiled The Abridged Kalachakra Tantra seven centuries later compiled in perhaps several areas in the region between eastern Afghanistan and Kashmir.(re Balkh). Only the latter text has survived.

The basic text of the system is the Kalachakra Tantra, first of the Books of Kiu-te, The Kalachakra Tantra is largely unintelligible without its voluminous commentary entitled Vimalaprabha. Both were originally written in Sanskrit, then translated into Tibetan....they still await direct Sanskrit to English translation. translation.

Trungpa's modification of the traditional Tibetan teachings on the Lalos (kla.klo, literally "barbarians"), which he translated as the "Three Lords of Materialism,"

"622 AD is the first year of the new Mohammedian era according to the Islamic tradition...Year of Hegira (flight from Mecca)... ....."In 624 AD, a Moslem invasion weakened the Kingdom of Shambhala."(Roerich: 753) (Geoffrey Hopkins: 60)... In 624 AD the Sassian Shah Yazdigird is defeated by the Arabs at the battle of Nahavand...In Iran, the great Sassanian dynasty collapsed in the 7th century under the Arab onslaught...."in the era of the Mlecchas, the starting year of the Kalacakra chronology is the first year of the Hijra, calculated from the year 624 AD."..( 753)....624 AD...'the Emperor Heraclkes captures the Persian residence of Ganzaca (Ganjak) with its cosmic throne room." (Sacral Kingship: 484)......632 AD....Muhammad died in 632 AD, beginning an expansion of the Muslim Empire in central Asia...11th year of Hegira (Flight from Mecca)... He died in the evening of the twelfth of Rabi’ al-Awwal (June 8, 632 A.D.) at the age of sixty-three.

KALACHAKRA...(dus kyi khor lo)...Taught by the Buddha to Dawa Sangpo in South India in 881 BC (Dudjom:1991 pg 947)...Appeared in India from 966 AD with Chilupa. (Jeffrey Hopkins:1985, pg 61)... Introduced into Tibet from India in 1026 AD.(Norbu:1995,pg 272)... "Shen Rab explained the mighty Kalachakra Tantra in the Palace called dBan chen sa bdag." (Kvaerne: 1971, pg 221).... [Was the Kalachakra taught in Zhang Zhung and Persia before India? before Tibet?]...."the 1047 verses of the Kalachakra Tantra used today (the original is 12,000 verses) was composed by the eighth King of Shambhala, the first Kulika (Kalki), Jampal Trakpa. The original 12,000 verses have never been translated into Tibetan." (Kongtrul: 271)..."The Kalachakra is one of the last Sanskrit works to have been written in a Central Asian land." (Geoffrey Hopkins: 60)..."King Sucandra wrote the 12,000 verse root text to the Kalachakra in an unknown tongue called the 'twilight language.'(Bryant: 68)..."Sixteen translations of the Sri Kalachakra from Sanskrit to Tibetan appeared between the 11th and 14th centuries." (Bryant: 71)

dBAN-CHEN-SA-bDAG...."Shenrab taught the Kalachakra tantra in the palace dBan chen sa bdag." (Kvaerne: 221)...

Most sources assert that the Kalachakra was brought from Shambhala to India and introduced at Nalanda Monastery in 966 or 967 AD by the mahasiddihi Tsilupa (Csoma's Tsilu, as mentioned in his JASB article).

the Indian pandit Shribhadra (a.k.a. Shri Bhadrabhodhi], traveled to Tibet in 1026-27 and worked with Tibetan translator Jyojo Dawai Ozer on translations of Kalachakra texts. The introduction of the Kalachakra into Tibet would seem to date from then. Most sources also credit Jyojo Dawai Ozer with initiating the use of the Kalachakra calendar, which uses a 60 year cycle based the names of twelve animals in combination with five elements. This dating system, with the first year of the first cycle dating from 1027 a.d., is still in use in Tibet today.

Even Dhargyey’s “forbidden” text (A Commentary on the Kalachakra Tantra) can be found in large public libraries. David Snellgrove, an outstanding and incorruptible interpreter of Tibetan religious history, snidely remarks of the widespread secretiveness also promoted by the lamas that, “There is nothing particularly secret about sexual yoga in the Highest Yoga Tantras; one merely has to read the texts” (Snellgrove, 1987, vol. 1, p. 269)....Dhargyey, Lharampa Ngawang, A Commentary on the Kalachakra Tantra, New Delhi 1985.

The Kalachakra Tantra is explicitly modeled upon the traditional Indian coronation ceremony (Rajasuya).

The Kalachakra Initiation is generally given over 12 days. First, there are eight days of preparation rituals, during which the monks make the mandala. Then the students are initiated, after which they are allowed to see the completed sand mandala. The ceremony ends when the monks release the positive energy of the mandala into the everyday world through a final ritual.....

As Kornman notes, the Shambhala tradition was not particularly textually based on the Kalachakra tantra. However, as he noted, it does rely on it for some of its "mythological machinery"--in particular, the name and concept of "Shambhala" itself, and the personage of the Rigden (Tib.; wylie: rigs ldan, Sanskrit: Kalki). The Shambhala tradition of Chogyam Trungpa also derives an ethos of syncretism and ecumenicism from the Kalachakra tradition. As John Newman, one of the world's leading Kalachakra scholars, explains: The Kalacakra, or "Wheel of Time," was the last major product of Indian Vajrayana Buddhism. All late Vajrayana Buddhism is syncretic - it takes elements from non-Buddhist religious traditions and assimilates them to a Buddhist context. However, in the Kalacakra tantra syncretism is unusually obvious and is even self-conscious—the tantra makes little effort to disguise its borrowings from the Śaiva, Vaisnava, and Jaina traditions. The basic structure of the Kalacakra system is itself non-Buddhist: the Kalacakra uses the ancient idea of the homology of the macrocosm and the microcosm as the foundation of its soteriology....

His Holiness the Dalai Lama from: 'The Kalachakra tantra, rite of initiation': "The Kalachakra system was one of the last and most complex tantric systems to be brought to Tibet from India. Due to their colorful and intricate nature, mandalas have attracted a great deal of interest. Although some can be openly explained, most are related to tantric doctrines that are normally supposed to be kept secret. Consequently, many speculative and mistaken interpretations have circulated among people who viewed them simply as works of art or had no access to reliable explanations. Because the severe misunderstandings that can arise are more harmful than a partial lifting of secrecy, I have encouraged a greater openness in the display and accurate description of mandalas."

Kongtrul, Jamgon (Lodro Taye)..."Myriad Worlds: Buddhist Cosmology in Abhidharma, Kalachakra, and Dzog-chen"...(1995)
Hopkins, Geoffrey..."Commentary to the Initiation Rite of Kalachakra"....1985
Mullin, Glen..."The Practice of the Kalachakra"...1992
Geshe Lhundub Sopa..."The Wheel of Time: The Kalachakra in Context"...1992
"Kalachakra: The Wheel of Time"...(VHS)...1996


John Hopkins.....Northern New Mexico….June 2014


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