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Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Kalachakra: Bridging The Gap Between Hinduism & Buddhism
Kalachakra Tantra is the most controversial tantra of all
Buddhist tantras. It is the last known tantra ever compiled before the collapse
of Buddhism in India. Critics doubted the authenticity of Kalachakra Tantra as
Buddhist works as there are too many Hindu elements contained inside.
Personally, I see whoever compiled Kalachakra Tantra tried
to squeeze all Hindu and Buddhist elements into it and makes the practice of
Kalachakra extremely difficult and time consuming. This is perhaps a desperate
move to save the best of Hinduism and Buddhism before Islamic invasion somewhere
around the 11th century in medieval India.
I have particular interest in Kalachakra because of my
interest in Feng Shui, Astrology and Traditional Medicine. All the former
elements evolve with time and it is my personal interest in deciphering secrets
hidden in Kalachakra Tantra system.
Those one who practices Kalachakra long sadhana will know
that, around 720 deities are invoked to dwell in Kalachakra Mandala. Not many
gurus are willing to point out that this Kalachakra Mandala actually symbolises
the human body and the Deity Kalachakra represents the illusion body. All of
the 720 deities, mainly from Hinduism are placed in all of the major-minor and
minor-minor chakras and linked by 180 major and minor nadis.
This gives a complete and accepted view of an individual in
Hinduism and Buddhism. In the past tantras such as the Chakrasamvara and
Yamantaka, emphasize is not put on human body as it is thought to be
impermanent and not important. But in Kalachakra tantra, it is deemed necessary
to put much importance on human body as a sick body is of no use in producing
an illusion body. Hence by including all of the patron gods and goddesses of
Hindu pantheon together with all chakras and nadis; not only Kalachakra Tantra
can be accepted by the Hindu, it also serves as a teaching tool for Hindu and
Buddhist Medicine at that time.
Another use of Kalachakra is in the Astrology. Do you know
that Astrology actually calculates the flow of human life force inside the
naval chakra? Our naval chakra has 64 petals, with 60 petals forming the 12
houses in Astrology and 4 void petals. So, by calculating this energy flow, we
will know our future. If the life force is blocked, then we will be facing with
troubles. And that’s all to the relation of Astrology with Kalachakra.
It is perhaps fair to say that the Kalachakra generation
stage symbolises the world of Hinduism. The real separation between Hindu and
Buddhist ideology happens in the Kalachakra completion stage. The practice of
completion stage is related to the formation of ‘empty body’. Unlike other
Buddhist tantra in that other tantras said that one’s illusion body can only be
formed during dying process; the ‘empty body’ of Kalachakra forms when a person
is still alive. This is something like the ‘rainbow body’.
I actually like such arrangements in Kalachakra as I can
appreciate the Hindu wisdom as well as keeping the Buddhist elements without
having to mask out the core value of both of the ancient beliefs in this world!