33rd Kalachakra initiation begins tomorrow in Leh
DHARAMSALA, July 2: The Tibetan spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama will confer the 33rd Kalachakra (cycles of time) teachings from July 3-13 to hundreds and thousands of devotees in Leh, Ladakh in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.
It is after a gap of 38 years that the Kalachakra is being held in Leh, Ladakh this year; the last one was held in September 1976.
His Holiness will be giving the Kalachakra at the request of the two main organizers, the Ladakh Buddhist Association and the Ladakh Gonpa Association. The Tibetan Kongpo Association and the Tibetan Jonang Association are co-sponsors.
For the first three days from July 3-6, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, along with the monks of Namgyal Monastery and other senior lamas, will conduct rituals include chanting of prayers, creation of the sand mandala and other rituals which prepare and consecrate the venue, including chanting of prayers, creation of the sand mandala and other rituals.
From July 6 to 8, His Holiness will give preliminary teachings on Nagarjuna’s Letter to a Friend (shetring).
On July 9 the Kalachakra Ritual Dance will be performed by Namgyal Monastery monks. His Holiness will confer the Kalachakra Initiation from July 10 to 12.
On July 13 a long life empowerment (tsewang) and a ceremony offering prayers for the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama will be performed.
The Kalachakra is a very complex teaching and practice of Vajrayana (or tantrayana) buddhism that involves various rituals, purifications and visualizations. Though the practice of tantra is usually reserved for serious practitioners with considerable understanding of the Buddha Dharma, over the years Tibetan spiritual masters, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama have made the teachings available to general public.
According to Buddhist tradition, a year after the attainment of enlightenment, Buddha Shakyamuni gave the first Kalachakra initiation to King Suchandra (Tib: Dawa Zangpo) of Shambhala and his entourage at their request. The Kalachakra teachings were brought into Tibet by Tsong-Kha-Pa, the founder of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. Since then the teaching has been transferred from master to disciple in an unbroken chain. His Holiness received the initiation from his senior tutor Kyabje Ling Rinpoche.
His Holiness gave the first Kalachakra teaching in 1954 at Norbulingka in Lhasa, Tibet. The last teaching was held in Bodh Gaya, Bihar in 2012.