The word Kalachakra means “Cycle of Time”.
The Kalachakra Tantra is a profound Buddhist system of teaching and practice which encompasses three aspects:
The Disciple’s Obligations
The Sponsor and a few representatives of the group take part in this ritual. After making prostrations and request to the Lama, the Disciple throws the Tooth Stick and creates, through visualization, the Wheel of Protection.
The Lama’s Obligations
(A) Preparation of the Ritual Ground.
- Testing the ground: The ritual of testing the ground has been replaced by a reading of the entire 8000 verse Prajnaparamita concerning the profound wisdom of Voidness.
- Obtaining permission to use the land: For these purposes from local governmental authorities, and performing the rituals of seeking permission from the earth protectors.
- Purifying the ground: The Lama eliminates interfering forces by creating the wheel of protection. He invokes the protecting deities and blesses the atmosphere by the power of meditation of voidness
- Utilizing the land: Following the performance of the complete Sadhana (Meditation Lituragy) of the Kalachakra, the lama and assistants perform the ritual of making request for permission to create the Mandala. They generated the Bodhicitta motivation – the motivation to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings – and develop the confidences of Dorje-Shug, the Protector aspect of Kalachakra. Arrayed around the Mandala the ritual assistants perform the Dance of the Ground (Sa-gar). The dancers adorned in full ritual costume and carrying the vajra and bell, are symbolically, in the full appearance of the wrathful protecting Deities. Accompanied by chanting they summon the forces of interference with mudras and steps, and the banish them. The dancers create the wheel of protection to safeguard the complete success of the initiation.
(B-I) Preparation Rituals
These rituals consist of inviting the Earth Goddess to enter the Mandala structure and consecrating the materials and implements used in the ceremony. The assistants being to draw the outlines of the Mandala Deities, who were visualized to enter the chalk-lines used for outlining the Mandala, return to their respective abodes.
(B-II) Preparation Rituals
This ritual begins with an invocation, and involves the placing of the Deities in their respective positions within the wisdom, body, speech and mind sections of the mandala.
(C) Actual Ritual
- Setting the lines and color composition:
The chalk-lines are blessed and consecrated with the five-coloured strings which are symbolic of the five consorts of the five Dhyani Buddhas. The ritual procedures of outlining the Mandala are completed and the Mandala team begins the creation of the sand Mandala.