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[ Mandala KALACHAKRA -Highest tantra ]

Kalachakra (‘Wheel of Time’ or ‘Circle of Time’) is the universal symbol of Buddhism, representing the teaching of the Buddha and symbolizes the perfect creation. Eight spokes of the Kalachakra wheel mark the directions in time and each one is ruled by a deity and having a unique quality.
This powerful symbol (also known as the Kalachakra Sand Mandala) is a powerful symbol imparts healing and peace to all beings on this planet and to the planet itself. We can see complex, beautifully patterns, their perfection and symbols rich in meaning. It is also a 2D representation of the five-story palace of the Kalachakra deity, in which totally 722 deities reside.
Kala (‘time’) is not linear but the flow of all events (past, present, future). Chakra (‘wheel’) is with no beginning and no end.
Though the philosophy of the Kalachakra is at the highest level of Buddhism anyone can use it at any time. This philosophy urges us to reach a splendid, pure inner world while still living in our imperfect, earthly one, using Kalachakra as a model. For example, a pure body comes from healthy eating and not smoking, drinking alcohol, or taking drugs. Pure speech means not gossiping or saying unkind things about others. A pure mind is trained away from angry, hateful and selfish thoughts. Once each of us purifies our body, speech and mind, we can find inner peace. When we have inner peace, at last it is possible to experience the state of bliss, or perfect happiness.
King Suchandra
King Suchandra
King Pundarika; from www.tibetart.com
The Kalachakra teaching as taught by Shakyamuni Buddha is called the Root Kalachakra Tantra, the Kalachakra Mulatantra or Paramadibuddhatantra of 12,000 lines. The Shambhala King Suchandra wrote a commentary called the Explanatory Tantra in 60,000 lines. However, both these texts never reached us.
Some parts of the original Paramadibuddhatantra have been preserved by citation in other texts; mainly 200 verses in the Vimalaprabha, and in the Sekoddesa, which circulated as an independent text in early eleventh-century India and has traditionally been considered to be a part of the Paramadibuddhatantra."[5].
According to tradition, the Shambhala King Manjushri-Yashas composed the Abridged Kalachakra Tantra or Kalachakra Laghutantra (Skt.), bsDus-rgyud (Tib.), it is also called 'the' Kalachakratantra or Shri Kalachakra, as for us it fulfills the function of the main tantric root text, although it is about one quarter the length of the original Mulatantra. Together with the Stainless Light Commentary, Vimalaprabha (Skt.), or Dri-med ‘od (Tib.) written by Shambhala King Pundarika (see right), these two texts form the basis of the Kalachakra practice.
A confusing factor can be the frequent reference to 'Adibuddhatantra' by various authors in history. It most likely refers to the original Root or Mulatantra, but some scholars assume it refers to the Laghutanta.
All texts follow the same sequence and are divided in five chapters. The first two chapters concern the External (outer) and Internal (inner) Kalachakra, respectively. The last three chapters present the so-called Alternative Cycles: the third chapter discusses the Empowerment (initiation), the fourth the Generation Stage and the fifth the Completion Stage and the attainment of enlightenment. All later commentaries also follow this five-part structure.
Outer Kalachakra refers to the outer world which is the vessel supporting the living beings. It is compounded by the six elements of earth, water, fire, air, space and wisdom; and all objects of smell, sight, taste, touch, sound and Dharma. Another division follows the cosmic buildup of the universe; the center made up by Mt. Meru, surrounded by the four continents and the eight subcontinents. Around its' peak circle the planets of our solar system, the moon, sun, stars and so forth. This system is dictated by time cycles of years, months and days; also described as "the procession of the external solar and lunar days."
Inner Kalachakra consists of the body and mind of living beings, the psychophysical aggregates, the sensory and psychic capacities so forth. This includes the six types of living beings (gods, demigods, humans, animals, hungry ghosts and hell-beings), the six energy centers (chakras) of the body, the ten vital energies, the energy channels, the eight drops that carry the instincts of the two obscurations, and so forth. Inner Kalachakra deals with the astrological relationships of the internal energies, chakras, channels and drops to mental and emotional states, physical organs, and transformation processes. The basic theory is that on the body's subtle energies normally move in synchronicity with the cycles of the planets. This movement of planetary energies within the body is the subject of the astrology of the Internal Kalachakra.
In other words, Inner and Outer Kalachakra include all the living beings and the external world in an astrological relation to the living beings. The relation is similar to the Greek expression "as above, so below".
Alternative (or 'Other') Kalachakra describes the spiritual method leading to enlightenment in the form of Kalachakra. It describes the initiation, the Generation and Completion Stage Yogas. These two Yoga stages are the methods that have the power to purify the Outer and Inner Kalachakras (living beings and the universe).
Outer and Inner Kalachakras are the bases to be purified, whereas Alternative Kalachakra refers to the yogic practices that effect this purification and produce the three purified results.
"There exists an archetypal pattern behind both {inner and outer Kalachakra}, and it is this pattern which is the "other", shown in the Kalacakra mandala. .... Through the practice of the Kalacakra sadhana, the practitioner who is the microcosm, can become an instrument for manifesting in the world, which is the macrocosm, the cosmic order or universal harmony from the blueprint which is the Kalacakra mandala. ... the whole cosmos is a single living entity, and all that makes it up is interconnected. This single living entity is depicted as the Purusa, or "cosmic Person", in the Vedic teachings, and as the Adi-Buddha, or "cosmic Buddha" in the Kalacakra teachings. ... A Buddha is described as one who has the thirty-two major marks and the eighty minor marks of a Maha Purusa, or "Great Person", and in Kalacakra this is applied to the Adi-Buddha, which represents the cosmos."
David Reigle [4]
The Kalachakratantra also takes a firm stand on social issues, specifically against the Indian caste system.
As Vesna Wallace writes in [5],
"It regards social discrimination and the interpretation of scriptures that support such discrimination as detrimental to both the socio-political, material, and spiritual welfare of society and to the psychological and physical well-being of the individual."
In the New Translation schools,kalachakra is classified in the Highest Yoga Tantra section of tantra.
"Kalachakra itself is divided into four types of tantra, giving us an elaborate framework to understand its specifics. First, there is the outer Kalachakra. In large part, these sections are concerned with visualizing and meditating on the Buddha in the form of the meditational deity Kalachakra and chanting his mantra. Second comes the inner Kalachakra, which addresses applying the profound internal meditations on the subtle channels, vital winds, elements, and essential drops that make up the subtle (psychic) body. Third, the secret Kalachakra involves meditating on and within the ultimate meaning of the truth of emptiness. Fourth is “other,” or “alternative,” Kalachakra, which relates to the study of and meditation on the outer cosmos of our realm of existence. Alternative Kalachakra teaches us how all the physical appearances of this world are the manifestation of our collective karma; it teaches us the causes that bring about this universe. It describes the outer universe and how it directly corresponds with and reflects the inner propensities and karmic vision of all the beings within this universe. Thus, the Kalachakra tantra contains the deepest meanings of four types of tantras all within a single tradition."