The world Kalachakra means cycles of time. The Kalachakra Tantra is a profound Buddhist system of teaching and practice which environment, the universe and its cycles of arising and disintegrating, and our world system and its cycles of sun, moon and planets; Inner Kalachakra the sentient beings living in the universe, and the cycles of death and birth and internal flows of breath and energy; undertaken by an individual and universal level, which are usually uncontrollably subject to the passage of time, become purified into the fully Enlightened state of complete Buddhahood.
The Kalachakra Tantra has particular relevance for our world system. The Tantra was taught by the Buddha in India two and a half thousand years ago at the request of the King of Shambhala, a place variously viewed as having been an actual historical kingdom which existed beyond the Himalaya, or as a pure land existing on another plane not generally accessible but none-the-less strongly connected to our world. Predictions concerning Shambhala have particular relevance to world events of today, being especially concerned with peace on this planet, and can also be compared with predictive literature of other religions.
All Buddhist teachings are based on the Four Noble Truths, the recognition that every sentient being experiences suffering; the understanding of the causes of this suffering; the recognition that if the causes are removed there will be an end to the suffering; and the practical methods by which to achieve Liberation from suffering, or full Enlightenment or Buddhahood. Within the Buddhist Tantra, the practice of Highest Yoga Tantra leads to perfect Buddha hood; the Kalachakra Tantra is a Highest Yoga Tantra, and as such can be said to epitomize the apex of Buddhist teachings. Only in Tibet were the Highest Yago Tantra preserved and practiced s a living tradition after the decline of Buddhism in its native land of India.
The mandala, as represented here in particles of colored sand, it the residence of the Kalachakra deity and the retinue of deities surrounding him, all of which represent the components of an individual person in purified form a fully Enlightened being.
Although depicted here on a flat surface, the mandala is actually three-dimension, being a five-storied divine mansion. At the centre of which stands the Kalachakra deity, the manifest state of Enlightenment.
The sand mandala can be thought of as a plan of Kalachakra’s residence or pure environment. It represents a large building or palace, standing on a raised foundation, with four walls with a door in the centre of each, there is a roof over the whole building. The five storey of the place represent the five levels of body, speech, mind, pristine consciousness, and great bliss. The color of the four directions correspond with the color of the four face of Kalachakra, black in front, red to this right, white to his left, and yellow at the back. The palace is surrounded by articles of offering, and is resting on yellow, white, red, and grey-blue discs which represent the elements of earth, water, fire, and wind. There are eight great cemeteries represented as wheels between the fire and wind perimeters; the other two wheels depict cemeteries above and below. There is a setting sun and a rising moon on the earth perimeter. The whole is surrounded by a protective fence of vajras, and outside it is blazing light.
Once can imagine entering the mandala through one of the outer doors at the first level, that of the body mandala, walking in through the outer walls, which are transparent and in five layers and colored, from outside to inside, yellow, white, red, black, and green. You walk further in and climb up to steps to the second level, the speed mandala, also surrounded by five transparent colored walls; up another set of steps to the third level, the mind mandala, surrounded by three transparent colored walls. You can see inside the mind mandala a square platform, the fourth level, the pristine consciousness mandala. On this platform is another platform, the fifth level, the great bliss mandala. On this is the green eight-petal lotus on which Kalachakra stands.
A representation of this mandala is used by a practitioner of the Kalachakra Tantra for the purpose of visualizing in meditation the Kalachakra deity and his pure environment. Everything within the mandala is significant; nothing is superfluous or arbitrary. As part of his or her training, a practitioner develops the power of meditative concentration to the able to visualize not only every details of the mandala, but also of the deities present within it.
Just to glimpse this sand mandala, however, is thought to establish a positive connection with this profound Buddhist Tantra, and to sow positive seeds upon the mind stream of the observer which will ripen beneficially in the future as the events of our world system manifest as predicted in the Kalachakra teachings.
- The creation of the sand mandala is completed with the ritual of the Sadhana: Ten vases are placed in the ten directions around the perimeter of the Mandala. The mandala is further adorned with curtains, banners and fringes. The offerings of the Initiation ritual are arranged of the altar.
- Offering to consecrate of the mandala and procedures of Initiation: During the course of the day the ritual assistants perform the offering Dance. The dancers are adorned in full ritual costume, in the appearance and with the confidence of the twelve offering Goddesses. The Dance is accompanied by ritual musical instruments including long trumpets and short horns, vertical and horizontal cymbals, bells and drums. The concluding ritual of the Sadhana is then performed.
There are two sections to the Kalachakra initiations the preparatory procedures and the actual initiation. The preparatory section has is parts.