Shri Kalachakra is also known as a Buddhist Tantra of the Non-dual classification. Kalacakra is the name of the foundational Buddhist tantric treatise of this tradition, composed in Sanskrit and later translated into Tibetan.
Table of Contents
- 1 - The life of the Kalachakra
- 2 - Iconography of the Kalachakra
- 3 - Depicting Kalachakra Thangka
- 4 - The lineage of the Kalachakra
The life of the Kalachakra
In this portion, we will learn about the life f the Kalachakra. And after that, we’ll learn about the short etymological description of the word Kalachakraitself.
Etymology of the Kalachakra
Previously, we learn about the life of Kalachakra. Now we are going to learn about the iconography of the Kalachakra.
Iconography of the Kalachakra
Stance of the Kalachakra
Shri Kalachakra is shining forth with stainless light rays of five colors. Kalachakra’s body is blue in color. Kalachakra has three necks the central of the neck is blue in color, the right of the neck is red in color and the left of the neck is white in color.
The main face of Kalachakra is black and fierce with bared teeth. The right face of Kalachakra is red and desirous. The back face of Kalachakra is yellow and in samadhi.
The left face is white and very peaceful. Each face has three eyes. The hair is tied in a tuft along with a Vishvavajra, crescent moon, and Vajrasattva as a crown, a vajra jewel, vajra earrings, vajra necklace, vajra bracelets, vajra belt, vajra anklets, vajra scarf, vajra mala, and a loose tiger skin skirt. The first two shoulders of Kalachakra is on the right and left is blue.
The second one is red in color. The third one is white in color. Kalachakra has a total of six pairs of shoulders. Kalachakra has twelve upper arms and twenty-four hands. The first four right and left are black.
The second four is red and the third four is white. The thumbs of all the hands of Kalachakra is yellow. The index finger of Kalachakra is white.
The middle finger of the Kalachakra is red. The ring finger of the Kalachakra is black. And the little finger of the Kalachakra is green.
The first knuckle is black, the second is red, the third is white. All of the fingers of Kalachakra are beautiful and radiant. The first four black right hands hold a vajra, sword, trident, and curved knife.
The four red hold a flaming arrow, vajra hook, a rattling Damaru and hammer. The four white hands hold a wheel, spear, stick, and a battle-ax. The first four black left hands hold a vajra bell, shield, katvanga and a skullcup filled with blood.
The four red hold a bow, vajra lasso, jewel, and a white lotus. The four white hold a conch, mirror, vajra chain, and the four-faced head of Brahma adorned with lotus flowers. Above a moon, sun, and Rahu, standing in a very playful manner.
The right red leg of Kalachakra is extended atop red Kamadeva having one face and four hands. Kalachakra holding five flower arrows, a bow, lasso, and a hook. Under the left white leg of Kalachakra is Rudra.
Kalachakra is white with one face, three eyes, and four arms. Kalachakra is holding a trident, Damaru drum, skullcup, and a katvanga. The demon consorts Rati and Uma in a woeful manner hold the soles of Kalachakra’s feet.
Previously, we learn about the life of Kalachakra and the iconography of the Kalachakra. Now we are going to learn about depicting Kalachakra.
Depicting Kalachakra Thangka
The thangka of Kalachakra is from Central Tibet. It was made in between 1600 AD to 1699 AD. Kalachakra is from Gelug lineage. The base of the painting is ground mineral pigment on cotton. Presently, this painting is in the Rubin Museum of Art.
Vishvamata is yellow in color and embraces Kalachakra from the front. The faces from the right are yellow, white, blue, and red. Each face of Vishvamata is with three eyes.
There are eight arms. The first right hands of Vishvamata hold a curved knife, hook, a rattling Damaru, and bead mala. The left hands of Vishvamata hold a skullcup, lasso, white lotus with eight petals, and a jewel.
Vajrasattva appears as a crown. Vishvamata is adorned with the five mudras. The left leg of Vishvamata is extended-standing together with the Bhagavan.
Vishvamata is standing together with Bhagavan in the thangka. Bhagavan is semi-wrathful in appearance. Bhagavan is blue in color.
Bhagavan has four faces, twenty-four hands, and two legs. The main face is blue, right is red, the left is white and the back face is yellow. Each has three eyes and an open mouth with slightly bared fangs.
The first set of eight hands is blue in color. The second or middle is red in color. And the third or upper is yellow in color. The first pair of hands of Bhagavan hold a vajra and bell crossed at the heart embracing the consort.
The remaining right hands of Bhagavan hold a sword, curved knife, trident, three arrows, vajra hook, Damaru drum, hammer, wheel, spear, club, and axe. The left hands of Bhagavan hold a shield, katvanga staff, skullcup, bow, lasso, jewel, lotus, conch shell, mirror, vajra chains, and the four-faced yellow head of Brahma. The Lord wears a long green scarf and a tiger skin as a lower garment.
Vajradhara is at the top center in the thangka. Vajradhara is known as the primordial buddha. Vajradhara is blue in color with one face and two hands holding a vajra and bell at the heart.
Two Kings of Shambhala
Two Lamas is slightly below in the thangka. Two Lamas is wearing orange and red monastic robes. Two celestial figures are white in color and soar against the dark blue sky.
Sahaja Heruka Kalachakra
Sahaja Heruka Kalachakra is on the left side of the thangka. Sahaja Heruka Kalachakra is there is blue in color with one face and two hands holding a vajra and bell embracing the consort.\
Mahamaya is at the right of the thangka. Mahamaya is the tutelary deity who is blue in color with four faces and four hands holding a skullcup and katvanga staff and in the second pair a bow and arrow.
Hayagriva is at the right of the thangka. Hayagriva is red in color with one face and two hands holding a stick and lasso.
Previously, we learn about the life of Kalachakra, the iconography of the Kalachakra, and depicting Kalachakra. Now we are going to learn about the lineage of the Kalachakra.
The lineage of the Kalachakra
In the lineage, we will learn about the list of the lineage of Kalachakra.
The Sakya school maintains seven distinct lineages of transmission. The RWA lineages are listed below:
- Buddha Shakyamuni-Kalachakra
- Shambala King Suchandra
- A line of 8 Shambhala kings ending with Manjukirti and Pundarika
- Manjushri emanation
- Chilu Pandita
- Pindo Acharya
- Kalachakrapada the younger (Naropa)
- Rwa Chorab
- Rwa Yeshe Sengge
Previously, we learn about the life of Kalachakra, the iconography of the Kalachakra, and depicting Kalachakra. Finally, we learn about the lineage of the Kalachakra.