The impulse to believe the absurd when presented with the unknowable is called religion. Whether this is wise or unwise is the domain of doctrine. Once you understand someone's doctrine, you understand their rationale for believing the absurd. At that point, it may no longer seem absurd. You can get to both sides of this conondrum from here.


Postby admin » Fri Jun 19, 2015 1:27 am

(Cont'd. from Chapter 5)

The “alchemic female sacrifice”:

"The Kalachakra Tantra”, writes the American David Gordon White in his comprehensive history of Indian alchemy,”.... offers us the most penetrating view we have of any specifically Buddhist alchemical system” (White, 1996, p. 71). In the fifth chapter of the Time Tantra, the “great art” is treated as a separate discipline (Carelli, 1941, p. 21). In his commentary on the Kalachakra text, Pundarika compares the whole sexual magic procedure in this tantra with an alchemical work.

In India, alchemy was and still is a widely spread esoteric body of knowledge, and has been since the fourth century C.E. It is taught and employed as a holistic healing art, especially in Ayurveda. Alongside its medical uses, it was considered (as in China and the West) as the art of extracting gold (and thus wealth and power) from base substances. But over and above this, it was always regarded as an extremely effective means of attaining enlightenment. Indian yogis, especially the so-called Nath Siddhas, who had chosen the “great art” as their sacred technique, experienced their alchemic attempts not as “scientific” experimentation with chemical substances, but rather as a mystical exercise. They described themselves as followers of Rasayana and with the use of this term indicated that had chosen a special initiatory path, the “Path of Alchemy”. In their occult praxis they combined chemical experiments with exercises from Hatha Yoga and tantric sexual rites.

Arabic influences upon Indian alchemy are presumed, but the latter certainly predates these. Even older are the sophisticated alchemic–sexual magic experiments of the Taoists. For this reason, some important Western scholars of Asia, for example, David Gordon White, Agehananda Bharati, and Joseph Needham, are of the opinion that China could be considered a possible origin for both the “high art” and Indian Tantrism. On the other hand, European alchemy of early modern times (16th to 18th century) has so many similarities to the symbolic world of tantric-alchemic India, that — since a direct influence is difficult to imagine — one must either posit a common historical, most probably Egyptian, origin, or must assume that both esoteric currents drew upon the same archetypal reservoir of our collective unconsciousness. Most probably, both are the case.

In the West, the close relationship between occidental alchemy and Tantrism has been thematized by, among others, the religious studies scholar Mircea Eliade and Carl Gustav Jung, the depth psychologist. Jung more than once drew attention to the parallels between the two systems. His introduction to a quasi-tantric text from China with the title Das Geheimnis der goldenen Blüte [‘The Secret of the Golden Flower’] is just one example from many. Mircea Eliade also saw “a remarkable correspondence between Tantrism and the great western mysteriosophical [sic] current ..., in which at the beginning of the Christian era gnosis, hermetics, Greek/Egyptan alchemy and the traditions of the mysteries flowed together” (Eliade, 1985, p. 211). Of the more modern authors, it is primarily David Gordon White who deserves mention; he has exhaustively studied the close link between alchemic ideas and experiments and the Indian Siddhas (sorcerers) and their tantric practices. Without doubt, Tantrism and alchemy, whether of Indian or European provenance, share many fundamental images with one another.

Just like their oriental colleagues, the occidental alchemists expressed themselves in a twilight language (sandhabhasa). All the words, signs, and symbols, which were formulated to describe the experiments in their obscure “laboratories”, possessed multiple meanings and were only comprehensible to the “initiated”. Just as in some tantra texts, “secret” practices were represented by “harmless” images in the European treatises; this was especially true of the topic of erotic love and sexuality. This strong link to the erotic may appear absurd in the case of chemical experiments, but the alchemic world view was, just like that of Tantrism, dominated by the idea that our universe functions as the creation and interplay of a masculine and a feminine principle and that all levels of existence are interpenetrated by the polarity of the sexes. “Gender is in everything, everything has masculine and feminine principles, gender reveals itself on all levels”, we can read in a European treatise on the “great art” (Gebelein, 1991, p. 44).

This was also true for the sphere of chemical substances and compounds, the metals and elements. Both the tantric and the alchemic writings are therefore maps of the erotic imagination and anyone with a little speech psychology can recognize the pervasive sexual system of reference hidden in a hermetical text from the 16th century. At that time people did not have the slightest qualms about describing chemical processes as erotic events and erotic scenarios as chemical fusions. They behaved in exactly the same manner in the West as in the East.

Let us now examine tantric alchemy a little more closely. The Tibetan lama, Dragpa Jetsen, for example, distinguishes three aspects of the royal art: the “Alchemy of life: he can make his life last as long as the sun and moon [; the] Alchemy of body: he can make his body eternally be but sixteen years old [; and the] Alchemy of enjoyments: he can turn iron and copper into gold” (quoted by Beyer, 1978, p. 253). These three experiments, then, primarily concern two goals: firstly the attainment of immortality, and secondly the production of gold, that is, material wealth. Correspondingly, in a commentary on the Kalachakra Tantra we can read: “Then comes the practice of alchemy, which in this case means the production of gold through the use of the elixirs” (Newman, 1987, p. 120).

But for the “true” adept (whether Tantric or European alchemist) it was not just a matter of the actual yellow metal, but also the so-called “spiritual gold”. In the West this was understood to mean the “Philosopher’s Stone” or the “hermetical elixir”, which transformed the experimenter into a superman. Alchemy and Tantrism thus have the same spiritual goal. In order to achieve this, numerous processes of conversion were needed in the laboratory of the adept, which did not just take the form of chemical processes, but which the alchemist also experienced as successive transmutations of his personality, that is, his psyche was dissolved and then put together again a number of times in the course of the experimentation. Solve et coagula (dissolve and bind) is for this reason the first and most well-known maxim of the hermetical art. This principle too, controls the tantric ritual in numerous variants, as, say, when the yogi dissolves his human body in order to reconstruct it as a divine body.

Without going into numerous further parallels between Tantrism and the “great art”, we would like to concentrate here upon a primary event in European alchemy, which we term the “alchemic female sacrifice” and which plays an equally central role for the adept of the high art as the “tantric female sacrifice” does for the Tantric. There are three stages to be examined in this sacrificial event:

The sacrifice of the “dark woman” or the “black matter” (nigredo)
The absorption of the “virgin milk” or gynergy (albedo)
The construction of the cosmic androgyne (rubedo)

1. The sacrifice of the black matter (karma mudra):

The starting point for an alchemical experiment is in both systems, the European and the Indian, the realm of coarse matter, the ignoble or base, so as to then transmute it in accordance with the “law of inversion” into something beneficent. This procedure is — as we have shown — completely tantric. Thus the Buddhist scholar, Aryadeva, (third century C.E.) can employ the following comparison: “Just as copper becomes pure gold when it is spread with a wonder tincture, so too will the [base] passions of the Knowing become aids to salvation” (von Glasenapp, 1940, p. 30). The same tantric view is taken up in the eighteenth century by the French adept Limojon de Saint-Didier, when he ascertains in his Triomphe Hermétique that, “the philosophers [alchemists] say, that one must seek perfection in imperfect things and that one finds it there” (Hutin, 1971, p. 25).

In European alchemy the coarse starting material for the experiments is known as the prima materia and is of a fundamentally feminine nature. Likewise, as in the tantras, base substances such as excrement, urine, menstrual blood, part of corpses and so forth are named in the alchemic texts, no matter which culture they belong to, as the physical starting materials for the experiments. Symbolically, the primal material is describe in images such as “snake, dragon, toad, viper, python”. It is also represented by every conceivable repulsive female figure — by witches, mixers of poison, whores, chthonic goddesses, by the “dragon mother” so often cited in depth psychology. All these are metaphors for the demonic nature of the feminine, as we also know it from as far back as the early phase of Buddhism. We may recall that Shakyamuni compared women in general with snakes, sharks and whores.

These misogynous terms for the prima materia are images which on the one hand seek to describe the untamed, death-bringing nature; on the other one readily admit that a secret force capable of producing everything in the phenomenal world is hidden within “Mother Nature”. Nature in alchemy has at its disposal the universal power of birth. It represents the primordial matrix of the elements, the massa confusa, the great chaos, from which creation bursts forth. On this basis, Titus Burckhardt, an enthusiastic expert on the great art, brings the western prima materia into direct comparison with tantric Shakti and the black goddess, Kali: “On the idea of Shakti are based all those tantric spiritual methods which are more closely related to alchemy than to any other of the spiritual arts. The Hindu, indeed, regard alchemy itself as a tantric method. As Kali, the Shakti is on the one hand the universal mother, who lovingly embraces all creatures, and on the other hand the tyrannical power which delivers them over to destruction, death, time, and space” (Burckhardt, 1986, p. 117). The alchemic first substance (prima materia or massa confusa) cannot be better personified in Tantrism than by Kali and her former retinue, the crematoria-haunting, horrifying dakinis.

Experimenting around with the primal material sounds quite harmless to someone who is not initiated. Yet a symbolic murder is hidden behind this. The black matter, a symbol of the fundamental feminine and of powerful nature from which we all come, is burned or in some cases vaporized, cut to pieces or dismembered. Thus, in destroying the prima materia we at the same time destroy our “mother” or, basically, the “ fundamentally feminine”. The European adept does not shy away from even the most crass killing metaphors: “open the lap of your mother”, it says in a French text from the 18th century, “with a steel blade, burrow into her entrails and press forward to her womb, there you will find our pure substance [the elixir]” (Bachelard, 1990, p. 282). Symbolically, this violent first act in the alchemic production is located within a context of sacrifice, death and the color black and is therefore called nigredo, that is “blackening”.

2. The absorption of the “virgin milk” or gynergy (inana mudra):

The “pure substance” or the “elixir”, which according to the quotation above is obtained from the entrails of Mother Nature, is in alchemy nothing other than the gynergy so sought after in Tantrism. Just like the Tantric, the alchemist thus draws a distinction between the “coarse” and the “sublime” feminine. After the destruction of the “dark mother”, the so-called nigredo, the second phase follows, which goes by the name of albedo ("whitening”). The adept understands this to mean the “liberation” of the subtle feminine ("pure substance”) from the clutches of the coarse “dragon” (prima materia). The master has thus transformed the black matter, which for him symbolizes the dark mother, following its burning or cutting up in his laboratory into an ethereal “girl” and then distilled from this the “pure Sophia”, the incarnation of wisdom, the “chaste moon goddess”, the “white queen of heaven”. One text talks “of the transformation of the Babylonian whore into a virgin” (Evola, 1993, p. 207).

Now this transmutation is not, as a contemporary observer would perhaps imagine the process to be, a purely spiritual/mental procedure. In the alchemist’s laboratory some form of black starting substance is in fact burned up, and a chemical, usually liquid substance really is extracted from this material, which the adept captures in a pear-shaped flask at the end of the experiment. The Indians refer to this liquid as rasa, their European colleagues as the “elixir”. Hence the name for Indian alchemy — Rasayana.

Even though all the interpreters in the discussion of the alchemic “virgin image” (the subtle feminine) are of the unanimous opinion that this is a matter of the spiritual and psychological source of inspiration for the man, this nevertheless has a physical existence as a magical fluid. The “white woman”, the “holy Sophia” is both an image of desire of the masculine psyche and the visible elixir in a glass. (In connection with the seed gnosis we shall show that this is also the case in Tantrism.)

This elixir has many names and is called among other things “moon dew” or aqua sapientiae (water of wisdom) or “white virgin milk”. The final (chemical) extraction of the wonder milk is known as ablactatio (milking). Even in such a concrete point there are parallels to Tantrism: In the still to be described “Vase initiation” of the Kalachakra Tantra, the ritual vessels which are offered up to the vajra master in sacrifice, represent the wisdom consorts (mudras). They are called “the vase that holds the white [the milk]" (Dhargyey, 1985, p. 8). Whatever ingredients this “moon dew” may consist of, in both cultural circles it is considered to be the elixir of wisdom (prajna) and a liquid form of gynergy. It is as strongly desired by every European adept as by every Tibetan tantric master.

We can thus state that, in Tantrism, the relation between the real woman (karma mudra) and the imaginary spirit woman (inana mudra) is the same as that between the dark mother (prima materia) and the “chaste moon goddess” (the feminine life-elixir or gynergy) in European alchemy. Therefore, the sacrifice of karma mudra (prima materia), drawn usually from the lower classes, and her transformation into a Buddhist “goddess” (inana mudra) is an alchemic drama. Another variation upon the identical hermetic play emerges in the victory of the vajra master over the dark horror dakini (prima materia) and her slaughter, after which she (post mortem) enters the tantric stage as a gentle, floating figure — as a nectar-giving “sky walker” ("the chaste moon goddess”). The witch-like cemetery whore has transformed herself into a sweet granter of wisdom.

3. The construction of the cosmic androgyne (maha mudra):

Following the consumption of the “virgin milk”, the drawing off of the gynergy, the ethereal feminine is dissolved in the imagination of the alchemist and now becomes a part of his masculine-androgyne being. Thus, the second sacrifice of the woman, this time as “Sophia” or as an independent “spiritual being” takes place here, then the goal of the opus is reached only when the adept, just like the Tantric, has completely obliterated the autonomy of the feminine principle and integrated it within himself. To this end he works on and destroys the “chaste moon goddess” or the “white woman” (inana mudra), once more through the element of fire. The Italian occultist, Julius Evola, has described this procedure in clear and unvarnished terms: in this phase “sulfur and fire become active again, the now living masculine exerts an influence on the substance, ... gains the upper hand over the feminine, absorbs it and transmits its own nature to it” (Evola, 1983, p. 435). Accordingly, the feminine principle is completely absorbed by the masculine. Somewhat more prosaically expressed, this means the alchemist drinks the “virgin milk” mentioned above from his flask.

In summary, if we compare this alchemical process with Tantrism once more, then we can say that the alchemist sacrifices firstly the feminine “mother of all” (prima materia), just as the Tantric sacrifices the real woman, the karma mudra. From the destruction of the karma mudra the vajra master then obtains the “spiritual woman”, the inana mudra, just as the alchemist obtains the “Sophia” from the destruction of the prima materia. Then the Tantric internalizes the “spiritual woman” as maha mudra ("inner woman”), just as the adept of alchemy takes in the “white virgin” in the form of the luck-bringing feminine “moon dew”.

Once the work is completed, in both cases the feminine disappears as an external, independent and polar correspondence to the masculine and continues to function solely as an inner force (shakti) of the androgyne tantra master, or androgyne alchemist respectively. Within alchemy this internalization of the feminine principle (i.e., the construction of the maha mudra in Tantrism) is known by the term rubedo, that is “reddening”.

Since the symbolic sacrifice of the woman in both cases involves the use of the element of fire, in alchemy just as in Buddhist Tantrism we are dealing with an androcentric fire cult. Within both contexts a bisexual, ego-centered super being is produced via magic rites — a “spiritual king”, a “grand sorcerer” (Maha Siddha), a powerful “androgyne”, the “universal hermaphrodite”. “He is the hermaphrodite of the initial being,” C. G. Jung writes of the target figure of the alchemic project, “which steps apart in the classic brother–sister pair and unites itself in the ‘conjunctio’” (Jung, 1975, pp. 338, 340). Consequently, the final goal of every alchemical experiment which goes beyond simple moneymaking is the union of the sexes within the person of the adept, in the understanding that he could then develop unlimited power as a man–woman. The identical bisexual definition of the occidental super being is mirrored in the self-concept of the Tantric, who following his mystic union (conjunctio) with the feminine — that is to say, after the absorption of the gynergy — is reborn as the “lord of both sexes”.

In the West, as in the East, he then experiences himself to be the “father and mother of his self” — as a “child of his self” (Evola, 1993, p. 48) — “He marries himself, he impregnates himself”. He becomes “known as the father and begetter of all, because in him lives the seed and template of all things” (Evola, 1993, p. 35) To put it in one sentence — the mystic king of alchemy is in principle identical with the tantric Maha Siddha (grand sorcerer).

It would spring the bounds of this study to examine further patterns which link the two systems to one another. We shall, however, return to this where it seems necessary. In our opinion, all the events of Tantrism can be rediscovered in one form or another in the symbolic scenario of alchemy: the eroticization of the universe, the deadly dangers which are associated with the unchaining of the feminine elements, the “law of inversion”, the play upon fire, the swallowing of the “moon” (of the feminine) by the “sun” (the masculine), the mystical geography of the body, the mantras and mandalas, the mysticism surrounding the planets and stars, the micro-macrocosmic theory, the dark light and the clear light, the staged apocalypse, the grasp for power over the universe, the despotism of the patriarchal hermit, and so forth. We would like to let the matter rest with this list and close the chapter with a succinct statement from Lhundop Sopa, a contemporary Tibetan specialist on the Kalachakra Tantra: “Thus, the Kalachakra path becomes in the end like a kind of alchemy” (Newman, 1985, p. 150). Both systems are thus based upon the same original script.



6. Kalachakra: The Public and the Secret Initiations:

The Kalachakra Tantra (Time Tantra) is considered the last and most recent of all the revealed tantra texts (c. tenth century), yet also as the “highest of all Vajrayana ways”, “the pinnacle of all Buddhist systems”. It differs from earlier tantras in its encyclopedic character. It has been described as the “most complex and profound statement on both temporal and spiritual matters” (Newman, 1985, p. 31). We can thus depict it as the summa theologia of Buddhist Tantrism, as the root and the crown of the teaching, the chief tantra of our “degenerate era” (Newman, 1985, p. 40). Tsongkhapa (1357-1419), the significant reformer and founder of the Tibetan Gelugpa order, was of the opinion that anybody who knew the Kalachakra Tantra mastered all other secret Buddhist teachings without effort.

Even though all Tibetan schools practice the Kalachakra Tantra, there have always only been individual experts who truly command this complicated ritual. For the Yellow Hats (Gelugpa), these are traditionally the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama. A small study group from the Namgyal monastery are available to assist the Dalai Lama in executing the ceremonies with technical knowledge.

The ritual consists of a public part and a secret part, staged by the participants behind closed doors. Pupils with little prior knowledge or even people with none may participate in the public initiations. In contrast, the secret initiations are only accessible for the chosen few.

Despite the elitist selection, the texts sometimes suggest that the possibility of reaching the highest level of enlightenment in the Kalachakra Tantra within a single lifetime lies open to everybody. The reality is otherwise, however. Of the hundreds who participate in a public event, one commentary states, in the end only one will say his daily prayer. Of the thousands just one will commence with the yoga praxis which belong to this tantra and of these, only a handful will be initiated into the most secret initiations (Mullin, 1991, p. 28). In the Vimalaprabha, the earliest commentary upon the original text, it is stated in unmistakable terms that laity (non-monks) may absolutely not set foot upon the path to enlightenment (Newman, 1987, p. 422).

But even if the supreme goal remains closed to him, every participant ought nevertheless to gain numerous spiritual advantages for himself from the ritual mass events. According to statements by the Dalai Lama, karmic stains may thus be removed and new seeds for good karma begin to grow. The eager are beckoned by the prospect of rebirth in Shambhala, a paradise closely associated with the Kalachakra myth. At any rate the pupil has “ the opportunity to bask in the bright rays of spiritual communion with the initiating lama, in this case His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and hopefully to absorb a sprinkling of spiritual energy from the occasion” (Mullin, 1991, p. 28). Since, according to the official version, the celebrant guru conducts the Kalachakra ritual for, among other things, the “liberation of all of humanity” and the “maintenance of world peace”, both the masses present at the spectacle and the individual initiates participate in this highly ethical setting of goals (Newman, 1987, p. 382).

Fundamentally, the Buddhist tantras are subdivided into father tantras, mother tantras, or non-dual tantras. In father tantras it is principally the “method” of creation of a divine form body (vajrakaya) with which the yogi identifies which is taught. Hence the production of the self as a divinity is central here. To this end the following negative attributes of the adept need to be transformed: aggression, desire, and ignorance.

The mother tantras primarily lay worth upon the creation of a state of emptiness and unshakable bliss, as well as upon the calling forth of the clear light. Here the yogi exclusively employs the transformation of sexual desire as a means.

The non-dual tantras are a combination of father tantras and mother tantras. The “creation of a divine form body” is thus combined with the “calling forth of the clear light” and “blissful emptiness”. Thus, the yogi wants to both appear as a powerful deity and attain the ability to rest unconditionally in a state equivalent to nirvana and to bathe himself in mystic light.

Since the Kalachakra Tantra promises all these possibilities of enlightenment, the famous Tibetan scribe, Buston (1290-1364), classified it as a non-dual tantra. His opinion did not remain uncontested, however. Another outstanding expert on the rituals, Kay-drup-jay (1385-1438) described it, as do the majority of Gelugpa authors, as a mother tantra.

A further classification subdivides the “Time Tantra” into an external, internal, and alternative section.

The “external” tantra describes the formation and destruction of the universe, includes treatises on astronomy and geography, and concerns itself with the history of the world, with prophecies and religious wars. The reports on the magic realm of Shambhala are of great importance here. Emphasis is also placed upon astrology and the mathematical calculations connected with it. The entire national calendar and time-keeping methods of the Tibetans are derived from the astronomical and astrological system in the Kalachakra.

In contrast, the “internal” Kalachakra treats the anatomy of energy in the mystic body. From a tantric viewpoint, the body of every person is composed of not just flesh and blood but also a number of energy centers which are connected to one another by channels. Fluids, secretions, and “winds” flow through and pervade this complex network. Among the secretions, male semen and female menstrual blood play an important role.

In the “alternative” Kalachakra we get to know the techniques with which the yogi calls up, dissolves, or regulates these inner energy currents as needed. Further, how these can be brought into a magic relation to the phenomena of the external Kalachakra (sun, moon, and stars ...) is also taught here.

Since the Time Tantra belongs to the highest secret teachings (Anuttara Yoga Tantra), it may only be practiced by a chosen few. In the introduction to a contemporary commentary by Ngawang Dhargyey, we can thus read the following: “Sale and distribution of this book is restricted. We urgently request that only initiates into Highest Yoga Tantra and preferably into the Kalachakra system itself should read it. This caution is customary to the tradition, but to disregard it can only be detrimental” (Dhargyey, 1985, p. iii).

Such threatening gestures are a part of occult show business, then these days it is no longer even necessary to understand Tibetan or Sanskrit in order to dip into the tantras, since numerous texts plus their commentaries have been translated into European languages and are generally accessible. Even Dhargyey’s “forbidden” text (A Commentary on the Kalachakra Tantra) can be found in large public libraries. David Snellgrove, an outstanding and incorruptible interpreter of Tibetan religious history, snidely remarks of the widespread secretiveness also promoted by the lamas that, “There is nothing particularly secret about sexual yoga in the Highest Yoga Tantras; one merely has to read the texts” (Snellgrove, 1987, vol. 1, p. 269).

This was in fact different in the Tibet of old. The highest yoga teachings were not allowed to be printed, and could at best be distributed in handwriting instead. Even for monks it was very difficult to receive higher initiations, and these afforded a much longer preparation time than is usual in our day. Mass initiations were, in contrast to the present day, extremely rare occasions.

The seven lower public initiations and their symbolic significance:

Let us now turn to the various stages of initiation treated in the Kalachakra Tantra and their features and methods. What can be understood by the term initiation (abhisheka)? It concerns the transmission of spiritual energies and insights from a priest to an individual who has requested this of him. The initiation thus presupposes a hierarchical relationship. In its classic form, a master (guru or lama) communicates his knowledge and mystic powers to a pupil (sadhaka). This master too once sat facing his own guru before the latter likewise initiated him. The chains of the initiated, all of which can be traced back to the historical Buddha, are known as “transmission lines”. It is usual for the transmission to proceed orally, from ear to ear. This is thus also known as the “ear-whispered lineage” (Beyer, 1978, p. 399). But words are in no sense a necessity. The initiation can also proceed without speech, for example through hand gestures or the display of symbolic images.

Both forms of transmission (the oral and the nonverbal) still take place between humans. When, however, the Buddhist deities initiate the pupil directly, without a physical go-between, this is known as the “consciousness lineage of the victors”. The transcendent Buddhas (Dhyani Buddhas) who approach an earthly adept directly are referred to as “victors”. A subtype of such communication from beyond is known as the “trust lineage of the dakinis”. Here an adept discovers holy texts which were hidden for him in caves and mountain clefts by the dakinis in times of yore in order to instruct him following their discovery. Such “consciousness treasures”, also known as termas, generally provoked sharp criticism from the orthodox lamas, as they called into question their privilege of being the only source of initiation.

The Kalachakra Tantra is explicitly modeled upon the traditional Indian coronation ceremony (Rajasuya). Just as the Rajasuya authorizes the heir to the throne to take on the status of a king, so the tantric initiation empowers the adept to function as the emanation of a Buddhist deity. Of course, it is also not as a person that the lama communicates the divine energies to the initiand, but rather as a superhuman being in human form.

It is the pupil’s duty to imagine his guru as a living Buddha (Tibetan Kundun) during the entire initiatory process. So that he never forgets the superhuman nature of his master, the Kalachakra Tantra prescribes a Guruyoga liturgy, which is to be recited by the initiand at least three times a day and three times per night. Several of these liturgies are hundreds of pages long (Mullin, 1991, p. 109). But in all of them words to the following effect can be found, with which the lama demands the pupil’s (sadhaka) absolute obedience: “From henceforth I am your [deity] Vajrapani. You must do what I tell you to do. You should not deride me, and if you do, ... the time of death will come, and you will fall into hell” (Dalai Lama XIV, 1985, p. 242).

Since it is the goal of every tantric initiation that the sadhaka himself achieve a transhuman status, right from the outset of the initiatory path he develops a “divine pride” and, as the First Dalai Lama informs us, is transformed into a “vessel” in which the supernatural energies collect (Mullin, 1991, p. 102). This is also true for the Kalachakra Tantra.

The self-sacrifice of the pupil:

But doesn’t a metaphysical contest now arise between the deity which stands behind the guru and the newly created pupil deity? This is not the case for two reasons. On the one hand, the divine being behind master and pupil forms a unity. One could even consider it characteristic of divine entities that they are simultaneously able to appear in various forms. On the other, it is not the pupil (sadhaka) who produces the deity; in contrast, he absolutely and completely loses his human individuality and transforms himself into “pure emptiness”, without having to surrender his perceivable body in the process. This empty body of the sadhaka is then in the course of the initiation occupied by the deity or the lama respectively. Chögyam Trungpa has expressed this in unmistakable terms: “If we surrender our body to the guru we are surrendering our primal reference point. Our body becomes the possession of the lineage; it is not ours any more. ... I mean that surrendering our body, psychologically our dear life is turned over to someone else. We do not have our dear life to hold any more” (June Campbell, 1996, p. 161). The pupil has completely ceased to exist as an individual soul and mind. Only his body, filled by a god or respectively by his guru, visibly wanders through the world of appearances.

The Kalachakra Tantra describes this process as an “act of swallowing” which the lama performs upon the initiand. In a central drama of the Time Tantra which is repeated several times, the oral destruction of the sadhaka is graphically demonstrated, even if the procedure does only take place in the imagination of the cult participants. The following scene is played out: the guru, as the Kalachakra deity, swallows the pupil once he has been melted down to the size of a droplet. As a drop the initiand then wanders through the body of his masters until he reaches the tip of his penis. From there the guru thrusts him out into the vagina and womb of Vishvamata, the wisdom consort of Kalachakra. Within Vishvamata’s body the pupil as drop is then dissolved into “nothingness”. The rebirth of the sadhaka as a Buddhist deity takes place only after this vaginal destruction. Since the androgyne vajra master simultaneously represents Kalachakra and Vishvamata within one individual and must be imagined by the adept as “father–mother” during the entire initiation process, he as man takes over all the sex-specific stages of the birth process — beginning with the ejaculation, then the conception, the pregnancy, up to the act of birth itself. [1]

In a certain sense, through the use of his pupil’s body the guru , or at least his superhuman consciousness, achieves immortality. So long as the master is still alive he has, so to speak, created a double of himself in the form of the sadhaka; if he dies then his spirit continues to exist in the body of his pupil. He can thus reproduce himself in the world of samsara for as long as there are people who are prepared for his sake to sacrifice their individuality and to surrender him their bodies as a home.

Accordingly, Tantrism does not develop the good qualities of a person in order to ennoble or even deify them; rather, it resolutely and quite deliberately destroys all the “ personality elements” of the initiand in order to replace them with the consciousness of the initiating guru and of the deity assigned to him. This leads at the end of the initiatory path to a situation where the tantra master now lives on in the form of the pupil. The latter has de facto disappeared as an individual, even if his old physical body can still be apprehended. It has become a housing in which the spirit of his master dwells.

The lineage tree:

The pupil serves as an empty vessel into which can flow not just the spirit of his master but also the lineage of all the former teachers which stretches back behind him, plus the deities they have all represented. It is all of these who now occupy the sadhaka’s body and through him are able to function in the real world.

In Lamaism, once anyone counts as part of the lineage of the High Initiates, they become part of a “mystic tree” whose leaves, branches, trunk, and roots consist of the numerous Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of the Tibetan/tantric pantheon. At the tip or in the middle of the crown of the tree the Highest Enlightenment Being (the ADI BUDDHA) is enthroned, who goes by different names in the various schools. The divine energy flows from him through every part to deep in the roots. Evans-Wentz compares this down-flow to an electric current: “As electricity may be passed on from one receiving station to another, so ... is the divine Grace ... transmitted through the Buddha Dorje Chang (Vajradhara) to the Line of Celestial Gurus and thence to the Apostolic Gurus on earth, and from him, to each of the subordinate Gurus, and by them, through the mystic initiation, to each of the neophytes” (Evans-Wentz, 1978, p. 9, quoted by Bishop, 1993, p. 118).

All of the high initiates are separated by a deep divide from the masses of simple believers and the rest of the suffering beings, who either prostrate themselves before the dynastic line tree in total awe or are unable to even perceive it in their ignorance. Yet there is still a connection between the timeless universe of the gurus and “normal” people, since the roots of the mystic tree are anchored in the same world as that in which mortals live. The spiritual hierarchy draws its natural and spiritual resources from it, both material goods and religious devotion and loving energy. The critical Tibet researcher, Peter Bishop, has therefore, and with complete justification, drawn attention to the fact that the mystic line tree in Lamaism takes on the appearance of a bureaucratic, regulated monastic organization: “This idealized image of hierarchical order, where everything is evaluated, certified and allotted a specific place according to the grade of attainment, where control, monitoring and authorization is absolute, is the root-metaphor of Tibetan Buddhism” (Bishop, 1993, p. 118).

The first seven initiations:

All together the Kalachakra Tantra talks of fifteen initiatory stages. The first seven are considered lower solemnities and are publicly performed by the Dalai Lama and open to the broad masses. The other eight are only intended for a tiny, select minority. The Tibetologist Alexander Wayman has drawn a comparison to the Eleusian mysteries of antiquity, the first part of which was also conducted in front of a large public, whilst only a few participated in the second, secret part in the temple at night (Wayman, 1983, 628).

The seven lower initiations ought to be succinctly described here. They are as follows: the (1) the water initiation; (2) the crown initiation; (3) the silk ribbon initiation; (4) the vajra and bell initiation; (5) the conduct initiation; (6) the name initiation; and (7) the permission initiation. All seven are compared to the developmental stages of a child from birth to adulthood. In particular they serve to purify the pupils.

Before beginning the initiatory path the neophyte swears a vow with which he makes a commitment to strive for Buddhahood incessantly, to regret and avoid all misdeeds, to lead other beings along the path to enlightenment, and to follow absolutely the directions of the Kalachakra master. But above all he must visualize his androgyne guru as the divine couple, Kalachakra in union with his consort Vishvamata. With blindfolded eyes he must imagine that he is wandering through a three-dimensional mandala (an imaginary palace) which is occupied by the four meditation Buddhas (Amitabha, Ratnasambhava, Amoghasiddhi, Vairochana) and their partners.

After his blindfold has been removed, he tosses a blossom onto a sacred image (mandala) spread out before him, which has been prepared from colored sand. The place where the flower comes to rest indicates the particular Buddha figure with which the pupil must identify during his initiation journey. In the following phase he receives two reeds of kusha grass, since the historical Buddha once experienced enlightenment as he meditated while seated on this type of grass. Further, the Lama gives him a toothpick for cleansing, as well as a red cord, which he must tie around the upper arm with three knots. Then he receives instructions for sleeping. Before he goes to bed he has to recite certain mantras as often as possible, and then to lay himself on his right side with his face in the direction of the sand mandala. Dreams are sent to him in the night which the guru analyzes another day. It is considered especially unfavorable if a crocodile swallows the pupil in his dream. The monster counts as a symbol for the world of illusions (samsara) and informs the sadhaka that he is still strongly trapped by this. But via meditation upon the emptiness of all appearances he can dissolve all unfavorable dream images again.

Further instructions and rites follow which likewise concern purification. At the end of the first seven stages the Vajra master then dissolves the pupil into “emptiness” in his imagination, in order to then visualize him as his own polar image, as Kalachakra in union with Vishvamata. We should never forget that the androgynous tantric teacher represents both time deities in one person. Since the pupil possesses absolutely no further individual existence right from the beginning of the initiation, the two time deities are doubled by this meditative imagining — they appear both in the tantra master and in the person of the sadhaka.

We can thus see that already in the first phase of the Kalachakra initiation, the alternation between dissolution and creation determines the initiatory drama. The teacher will in the course of the rituals destroy his pupil many times more in imagination, so as to replace him with a deity, or he will instruct the sadhaka to perform the individual act of destruction upon himself until nothing remains of his personality. In a figurative sense, we can describe this destruction and self-destruction of the individual as a continually performed “human sacrifice”, since the “human” must abandon his earthly existence in favor of that of a deity. This is in no sense a liberal interpretation of the tantra texts; rather it is literally demanded in them. The pupil has to offer himself up with spirit and mind, skin and hair to the guru and the gods at work through him. Incidentally, these, together with all of their divine attributes, are codified in a canon, they can no longer develop themselves and exert their influence on reality as frozen archetypal images.

In the light of the entire procedure we have described, it seems sensible to remind ourselves of the thesis posed above, that the “production” of the deity and the “destruction” of the person stand in an originally causal relation to one another, or — to put it even more clearly — that the gods and the guru who manipulate them feed themselves upon the life energies of the pupil.

The first two initiations, the water and crown initiations, are directed at the purification of the mystic body. The water initiation (1) corresponds to the bathing of a child shortly after its birth. The five elements (earth, water, fire, air, and ether) become purified in the energy body of the sadhaka. Subsequently, the guru in the form of Kalachakra imagines that he swallows the initiand who has melted down to the size of a droplet, then thrusts him out through his penis into the womb of his partner Vishvamata, who finally gives birth to him as a deity. As already mentioned above, in this scenario of conception and birth we must not lose sight of the fact that the androgynous guru simultaneously represents in his person the time god and the time goddess. The complete performance is thus set in scene by him alone. At the close of the water initiation the master touches the initiand at the “five places” with a conch shell: the crown, the shoulder, the upper arm, the hip and the thigh. Here, the shell is probably a symbol for the element of water.

The crown initiation (2) which now follows corresponds to the child’s first haircut. Here the so-called “five aggregates” of the pupil are purified (form, feeling, perception, unconscious structures, consciousness). By “purification” we must understand firstly the dissolving of all individual personality structures and then their “re-creation” as the characteristics of a deity. The procedure is described thus in the tantra texts; however, to be exact it is not a matter of a “re-creation” but of the replacement of the pupil’s personality with the deity. At the end of the second initiation the vajra master touches the “five places” with a crown.

The third and fourth initiations are directed at the purification of speech. In the silk ribbon initiation (3), the androgynous guru once more swallows the pupil and — in the form of Vishvamata — gives birth to him as a god. Here the energy channels, which from a tantric way of looking at things constitute the “mystic framework” of the subtle body, are purified, that is dissolved and created anew. In the development of the human child this third initiation corresponds to the piercing of the ears, so that a golden ring can be worn as an adornment.

The vajra and bell initiation (4) follows, which is compared to the speaking of a child’s first words. Now the guru cleanses the three “main energy channels” in the pupil’s body. They are found alongside the spine and together build the subtle backbone of the adept, so to speak. The right channel becomes the masculine vajra, the left the feminine bell (gantha). In the middle, “androgynous” channel both energies, masculine and feminine, meet together and generate the so-called “mystic heat”, which embodies the chief event in the highest initiations, to be described in detail later. The pupil now asks the Kalachakra deity, represented through the guru, to give him the vajra and the bell, that is, to hand over to him the emblems of androgyny.

Yet again, an act of swallowing takes place in the fifth initiation. The conduct initiation (5) corresponds to a child’s enjoyment of the objects of the senses. Accordingly, the six senses (sight, hearing, smell, etc.) and their objects (image, sound, scent, etc.) are destroyed in meditation and re-created afterwards as divine characteristics. The vajra master ritually touches the pupil’s “five places” with a thumb ring.

In the name initiation (6) which follows, the ordained receive a secret religious name, which is usually identical with that of the deity assigned to them during the preparatory rites. The guru prophecies that the pupil will appear as a Buddha in the future. Here the six abilities to act (mouth, arms, legs, sexual organs, urinary organs, and anus) and the six actions (speech, grasping, walking, copulation, urination, and defecation) are purified, dissolved and re-created. As seems obvious, the texts compare the naming of a child with the sixth initiation. The fifth and sixth initiations together purify the spirit.

The permission initiation (7) remains — which corresponds on the human level to the child’s first lesson in reading. Five symbols (the vajra, jewel, sword, lotus, and wheel) which act as metaphors for various states of awareness in deep meditation are purified, dissolved and replaced. The androgynous guru swallows the pupil once more and as Kalachakra in union with his consort gives birth to him anew. He then hands him the vajra and the bell, as well as the five symbolic objects just mentioned, one after another. A river of mantras pours from the lama’ mouth, flows over into the mouth of the pupil, and collects in his heart center. With a golden spoon the master gives him an “eye medicine”, with which he can cast aside the veil of ignorance. He then receives a mirror as an admonition that the phenomenal world is illusory and empty like a reflection in a mirror. A bow and arrow, which are additionally handed to him, are supposed to urge him on to extreme concentration.

The ritual lays especial weight on the handing over of the diamond scepter (vajra). The guru says “that the secret nature of the vajra is the exalted wisdom of great bliss. Holding the vajra will recall the true nature of the ultimate vajra, or what is called ‘method’” (Bryant, 1992, p. 165). Through this closing remark the tantra master forcefully evokes the masculine primacy in the ritual. In that the pupil crosses his arms with the vajra in his right hand and the feminine bell in his left (the Vajrahumkara gesture), he demonstrates his androgyny and his tantric ability to control the feminine wisdom energies (prajna) with “method” (upaya).

With this demonstration of dominance the seven lower initiations are ended. The adept can now describe himself as a “lord of the seventh level”. With immediate effect he gains the right to disseminate the teaching of Buddha, albeit only within the limits of the lower initiations described. The vajra master thus calls out to him, “Turn the vajra wheel (teach the Dharma) in or to help all sentient beings” (Bryant, 1992, p. 164).

In the truest sense of the word the first seven solemnities are just the “foreplay” of the Kalachakra initiation. Then only in the higher initiations which follow does it come to sexual union with a real partner. The wisdom consorts of the seven lower levels are of a purely imaginary nature and no karma mudra is needed for their performance. Therefore they can also be given in public, even in front of great crowds.

The divine time machine:

So far, the vajra master and his pupil appear as the sole protagonists on the initiatory stage of the Time Tantra. Predominant in all seven initiation scenes is the uninterrupted consolidation of the position of the master, primarily depicted in the act of swallowing and rebirth of the initiand, that is, in his destruction as a human and his “re-creation” as a god. We can therefore describe the “death of the pupil” and his “birth as a deity” as the key scene of the tantric drama, constantly repeated on all seven lower initiation levels. The individual personality of the sadhaka is destroyed but his visible body is retained. The guru uses it as a living vessel into which he lets his divine substances flow so as to multiply himself. The same gods now live in the pupil and the master.

But is there no difference between the guru and the sadhaka any more after the initiation? This is indeed the case when both are at the same level of initiation. But if the master has been initiated into a higher stage, then he completely encompasses the lower stage at which the pupil still finds himself. For example, if the initiand has successfully completed all seven lower solemnities of the Kalachakra Tantra yet the Kalachakra master is acting from the eighth initiation stage, then the pupil has become a part of the initiating guru, but the guru is in no sense a part of the pupil, since his of spiritual power skills are far higher and more comprehensive.

The initiation stages and the individuals assigned to them thus stand in a classic hierarchical relation to one another. The higher always integrate the lower, the lower must always obey the higher, those further down are no more than the extended arm of those above. Should, for example — as we suspect — the Dalai Lama alone have attained the highest initiation stage of the Kalachakra Tantra, then all the other Buddhists initiated into the Time Tantra would not simply be his subordinates in a bureaucratic sense, but rather outright parts of his self. In his system he would be the arch-god (the ADI BUDDHA), who integrated the other gods (or Buddhas) within himself, then since all individual and human elements of the initiand are destroyed, there are only divine beings living in the body of the pupil. But these too stand in a ranked relationship to one another, as there are lower, higher and supreme deities. We thus need — to formulate things somewhat provocatively — to examine whether the Kalachakra Tantra portrays a huge divine time machine with the Dalai Lama as the prime mover and his followers as the various wheels.

The four higher “secret” initiations:

The seven lower initiations are supposed to first “purify” the pupil and then transform him into a deity. For this reason they are referred to as the “stage of production”. The following “four higher initiations” are considered to be the “stage of perfection”. They are known as: (8) the vase initiation; (9) the secret initiation; (10) the wisdom initiation; and (11) the word initiation. They may only be received under conditions of absolute secrecy by a small number of chosen.

In all of the higher initiations the presence of a young woman of ten, twelve, sixteen, or twenty years of age [is required]. Without a living karma mudra enlightenment cannot, at least according to the original text, be attained in this lifetime. The union with her thus counts as the key event in the external action of the rituals. Thus, as the fourth book of the Kalachakra Tantra says with emphasis, “neither meditation nor the recitation of mantras, nor the preparation, nor the great mandalas and thrones, nor the initiation into the sand mandala, nor the summonsing of the Buddhas confers the super natural powers, but alone the mudra” (Grünwedel, Kalacakra IV, p. 226).

Further, in the higher initiations the adept is obliged to ritually consume the five types of meat (human flesh, elephant meat, horseflesh, dog, and beef) and drink the five nectars (blood, semen, menses ...).

In texts which are addressed to a broad public the vase initiation (8) is euphemistically described as follows. The vajra master holds a vase up before the sadhaka’s eyes. The adept visualizes a sacrificial goddess who carries the vase. The vessel is filled with a white fluid (Henss, 1985, p. 51). In reality, however, the following initiation scene is played out: firstly the pupil brings the lama a “beautiful girl, without blemish”, twelve years of age. He then supplicates to receive initiation and sings a hymn of praise to his guru. “Satisfied, the master then touches the breast of the mudra in a worldly manner” (Naropa, 1994, p. 190). This all takes place before the pupil’s watchful gaze, so as to stimulate the latter’s sexual desire.

According to another passage in the texts — but likewise in reference to the Kalachakra Tantra — the vajra master shows the undressed girl to the sadhaka and requires him to now stroke the breasts of the karma mudra himself (Naropa, 1994, p. 188). “There is not actually any vase or any pot that is used for this empowerment”, we are informed by Ngawang Dhargyey, a modern commentator on the Time Tantra. “What is referred to as ‘the pot’ are the breasts of the girl, which are called the ‘vase that holds the white’” (Dhargyey, 1985, p. 8). We have already drawn attention to the fact that this white substance is probably the same magic secretion from the female breast which the European alchemists of the seventeenth century enthusiastically described as “virgin’s milk” and whose consumption promised great magical powers for the adept.

The sight of the naked girl and the stroking of her breasts causes the “descent” of the semen virile (male seed) in the pupil. In the tantric view of things this originally finds itself at a point below the roof of the skull and begins to flow down through the body into the penis when a man becomes sexually aroused. Under no circumstances may it come to the point of ejaculation here! If the pupil successfully masters his lust, he attains the eighth initiation stage, which is known as the “immobile” on the basis of the fixation of the semen in the phallus.

Let us now continue with the euphemistic depiction of the next secret initiation (9): The pupil is blindfolded. The master unites the masculine and feminine forces within himself and subsequently lets the adept taste the “mystic nectar”, which is offered to him in the form of tea and yogurt so that he may experience great bliss (Henss, 1985, p. 52). In reality something different is played out on this level: firstly the adept hands valuable clothes and other sacrificial offerings over to the master. Then he presents him with a young and gracile girl. The lama demands that the sadhaka leave the room or blindfold himself. Tantric dishes are served, the master venerates and praises the mudra with songs of adulation, elevates her to the status of a goddess and then couples with her “until her sexual fluids flow” (Farrow and Menon, 1992, p. 121). He then, exceptionally, allows his semen to flow into her vagina.

The mixture of “red-white fluid” thus created, that is, of the male and female seed, is scooped out of the sexual organs of the wisdom consort with a finger or a small ivory spoon and collected in a vessel. The master then summons the pupil, or instructs him to remove his blindfold. He now takes some of the “holy substance” with his finger once more and moistens the tongue of the adept with it whilst speaking the words, “This is your sacrament, dear one, as taught by all Buddhas ... “ — and the pupil answers blissfully, “Today my birth has become fruitful. Today my life is fruitful. Today I have been born into the Buddha-Family. Now I am a son of the Buddhas” (Snellgrove, 1987, vol. 1, p. 272). Concretely, this means that he has, through the consumption of the female and the male seed, attained the status of an androgyne.

But there are also other versions of the second initiation. When we read that, “The pupil visualizes the secret vajra of the vajra masters in his own mouth and tastes the white bodhicitta of the guru lama. This white bodhicitta sinks to his own heart chakra and in so doing generates bliss ...The name ‘secret initiation’ is thus also a result of the fact that one partakes of the secret substance of the vajra master” (Henss, 1985, p. 53; Dhargyey, 1985, p. 8), then this in truth means that the guru lays his sperm-filled penis in the mouth of the adept and the latter tastes the semen, since the “white bodhicitta” and the “secret substance” are nothing other than the semen virile of the initiating teacher.

In the wisdom initiation (10) which follows, the pupil is confronted with an even more sexually provocative scene: “... he is told to look at the spreading vagina of a knowledge lady. Fierce passion arises in him, which in turn induces great bliss” (Dalai Lama I, 1985, p.155). The tantra master then “gives” the sadhaka the girl with the words, “O great Being, take this consort who will give you bliss” (Farrow and Menon, 1992, p. 186). Both are instructed to engage in sexual union (Naropa, 1994, pp. 188, 190). During the ritual performance of the yuganaddha (fusion) the adept may under no circumstances let go of his semen.

The Kalachakra Tantra does not give away all of the secrets which are played out during this scene. It therefore makes sense to fall back upon other tantra texts in order to gain more precise information about the proceedings during the tenth initiation stage. For example, in the Candamaharosana Tantra, once the master has left the room, the mudra now provokes the pupil with culinary obscenities: “Can you bear, my dear,” she cries out, “to eat my filth, and faeces and urine; and suck the blood from inside my bhaga [vagina]?” Then the candidate must say: “Why should I not bear to eat your filth, O Mother? I must practice devotion to women until I realize the essence of Enlightenment” (George, 1974, p. 55).

The final “word initiation” (11) is in a real sense no longer an initiation by the guru, as its name indicates it only exists in a literal form. It is thus also not revealed in any external scenario, but instead takes place exclusively within the inner subtle body of the former pupil, since the latter has already made the switch to a perfected consciousness and been transformed into a deity. A commentary upon the eleventh higher initiation thus belongs in the next chapter, which concerns the microcosmic processes in the energy body of the practitioner.
Site Admin
Posts: 29965
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am


Postby admin » Fri Jun 19, 2015 1:28 am


Sperm and menstrual blood as magic substances:

But before we continue with a discussion of the four highest initiations, we would like to make a number of reflections on the topic of sperm gnosis, which so decisively shapes not just the Kalachakra but rather all tantras. The same name, bodhicitta, is borne by both the male seed and the supreme mystic experience, that of the “clear light”. This already makes apparent how closely interlaced the semen virile and enlightenment are. The bodhicitta ("wisdom-mind”) is characterized by the feeling of “supreme bliss” and “absolute self-awareness”. A connection between both states of consciousness and the male sperm seems to be a necessity for the tantric, since, as we may read in the Hevajra Tantra, “without semen there would be no bliss and without bliss semen would not exist. Since semen and bliss are ineffective on their own they are mutually dependent and bliss arises from the union with the deity” (Farrow and Menon, 1992, p. 169).

In the tantras, the moon and water are idiosyncratically assigned to the male seed, which is idiosyncratic because both metaphors are of largely feminine character in terms of cultural history. We will need to look into this anomaly in Tantric Buddhism later. But a solar assignation of sperm is likewise known (Bharati, 1977, p. 237). The exceptional meaning which is accorded to the semen virile in Vajrayana has given rise to the conception among the Tibetan populace that, rather than blood, male seed flows in the veins of a high lama (Stevens, 1993, p. 90).

The retention of sperm:

For a Buddhist Tantric the retention of the male seed is the sine qua non of the highest spiritual enlightenment. This stands in stark opposition to the position of Galen (129–199 C.E.), the highest medical authority of the European Middle Ages. Galen was of the opinion that the retentio semenis would lead to a putrefaction of the secretion, and that the rotten substance would rise to the head and disturb the functioning of the brain.

In contrast, the tantras teach that the semen is originally stored in a moonlike bowl beneath the roof of the skull. As soon as a person begins to experience sexual desire, it starts to flow out, drop by drop, passing through the five energy centers (chakras). In each of these the yogi experiences a specific “seminal” ecstasy (Naropa, 1994, p. 191). The destination of the sperm’s journey within the body is the tip of the penis. Here, through extreme meditative concentration, the adept collects the lust: “The vajra [penis] is inserted into the lotus [vagina], but not moved. When lust of a transient art arises, the mantra hum should be spoken. ... The decisive [factor] is thus the retention of the sperm. Through this, the act obtains a cosmological dimension. ... It becomes the means of attaining enlightenment (bodhi)” (Grönbold, Asiatische Studien, p. 34). “Delight resides in the tip of the vajra [penis]", as is said in a Kalachakra text (Grönbold, 1992a).

With the topic of sperm retention an appeal is made to ancient Indian sexual practices which date from pre-Buddhist times. In the national epic poem of the Indians, the Mahabharata, we can already read of ascetics “who keep the semen up” (Grönbold, Asiatische Studien, p. 35). In early Buddhism a holy man (Arhat) is distinguished by the fact that his discharges have been conquered and in future no longer occur. From Vajrayana comes the striking saying that “A yogi whose member is always hard is one who always retains his semen” (Grönbold, Asiatische Studien, p. 34). In contrast, in India the flowing of the male seed into “the fiery maw of the female sexual organ” is still today regarded as a sacrificium and therefore feared as an element of death (White, 1996, p. 28).

The in part adventurous techniques of semen retention must be learnt and improved by the adept through constant, mostly painful, practice. They are either the result of mental discipline or physical nature, such as through pressure on the perineum at the point of orgasm, through which the spermatic duct is blocked, or one stops the seminal flow through his breathing. If it nonetheless comes to ejaculation, then the lost sperm should be removed from the mudra’s vagina with the finger or tongue and subsequently drunk by the practitioner.

Yet that which is forbidden under penalty of dreadful punishments in hell for the pupil, this is not by a long shot the case for his guru. Hence, Pundarika, the first commentator upon the Kalachakra Tantra, distinguishes between one “ejaculation, which arises out of karma and serves to perpetuate the chain of rebirth, and another, which is subject to mental control ...” (Naropa, 1994, p. 20). An enlightened one can thus ejaculate as much as he wishes, under the condition that he not lose his awareness in so doing. It now becomes apparent why the vajra master in the second higher initiation (9) of the Time Tantra is able to without harm let his sperm flow into the vagina of the mudra so as to be able to offer the mixture (sukra) which runs out to the pupil as holy food.

The female seed:

As the female correspondence to male sperm the texts nominate the seed of the woman (semen feminile). Among Tantrics it is highly contested whether this is a matter of the menstrual blood or fluids which the mudra secretes during the sexual act. In any case, the sexual fluids of the man are always associated with the color white, and those of the woman with red. Fundamentally, the female discharge is assigned an equally powerful magic effect as that of its male counterpart. Even the gods thirst after it and revere the menses as the nectar of “immortality” (Benard, 1994, p. 103). In the old Indian matriarchies, and still today in certain Kali cults, the menstruating goddess is considered as one of the highest forms of appearance of the feminine principle (Bhattacharyya, 1982, pp. 133, 134). It was in the earliest times a widespread opinion, taken up again in recent years by radical feminists, that the entire natural and supernatural knowledge of the goddess was concentrated in the menstrual blood.

Menstruating Dakini

Outside of the gynocentric and tantric cults however, a negative valuation of menstrual blood predominates, which we know from nearly all patriarchal religions: a menstruating woman is unclean and extremely dangerous. The magic radiation of the blood brings no blessings, rather it has devastating effects upon the sphere of the holy. For this reason, women who are bleeding may never enter the grounds of a temple. This idea is also widely distributed in Hinayana Buddhism. Menstrual blood is seen there as a curse which has its origins in a female original sin: “Because they are born as women,” it says in a text of the “low vehicle”, “their endeavors toward Buddhahood are little developed, while their lasciviousness and bad characteristics preponderate. These sins, which strengthen one another, assume the form of menstrual blood which is discharged every month in two streams, in that it soils not just the god of the earth but also all the other deities too” (Faure, 1994, p. 182). But the Tantrics are completely different! For them the fluids of the woman bear Lucullan names like “wine”, “honey”, “nectar”, and a secret is hidden within them which can lead the yogi to enlightenment (Shaw, 1994, p. 157)

According to the tantric logic of inversion, that precisely the worst is the most appropriate starting substance for the best, the yogi need not fear the magical destructive force of the menses, as he can reverse it into its creative opposite through the proper method. The embracing of a “bleeding” lover is therefore a great ritual privilege. In his book on Indian ecstatic cults, Philip Rawson indicates that “the most powerful sexual rite ... requires intercourse with the female partner when she is menstruating and her ‘red’ sexual energy is at its peak” (Rawson, 1973, p. 24; see also Chöpel, 1992, p. 191).

Astonishingly, the various types of menses which can be used for divergent magical purposes have been cataloged. The texts distinguish between the menstrual blood of a virgin, a lower-class woman, a married woman, a widow, and so on. (Bhattacharyya, 1982, p. 136) The time at which the monthly bleeding takes place also has ritual significance. In Tibet yiddams (meditation images) exist which illustrate dakinis from whose vaginas the blood is flowing in streams (Essen, 1989, vol. 1, p. 179).

In keeping with the Tantric’s preference for every possible taboo substance, it is no wonder that he drinks the menses. The following vision was in fact perceived by a woman, the yogini Yeshe Tsogyal; it could, however, have been just as easily experienced by pretty much any lama: “A red lady, perfectly naked and wearing not even a necklace of bones, appeared before me. She placed her vagina at my mouth and blood flowed out of it which I drank with deep draughts. It now appeared to me that all realms were filled with bliss! The strength, only comparable to that of a lion, returned to me!” (Herrmann-Pfand, 1992, p. 281).

As has already been mentioned, the monthly flow is not always recognized as the substance yearned for by the yogi. Some authors here also think of other fluids which the woman releases during the sexual act or through stimulation of the clitoris. “When passion is produced, the feminine fluid boils”, Gedün Chöpel, who has explored this topic intensively, tells us (Chöpel, 1992, p. 59). From him we also learn that the women guard the secret of the magic power of their discharges: “However, most learned persons nowadays and also women who have studied many books say that the female has no regenerative [?] fluid. Because I like conversation about the lower parts, I asked many women friends, but aside from shaking a fist at me with shame and laughter, I could not find even one who would give me a honest answer” (Chöpel, 1992, p. 61).

The sukra

In the traditional Buddhist conception an embryo arises from the admixture of the male seed and the female seed. This red-white mixture is referred to by the texts as sukra Since the fluids of man and woman produces new life, the following analogic syllogism appears as obvious as it is simple: if the yogi succeeds in permanently uniting within himself both elixirs (the semen virile and the semen feminile), then eternal life lies in store for him. He becomes a “born of himself”, having overcome the curse of rebirth and replaced it with the esoteric vision of immortality. With the red-white mixture he attains the “medicine of long life”, a “perfected body” (Hermanns, 1965, pp. 194, 195). Sukra is the “life juice” par excellence, the liquid essence of the entire world of appearances. It is equated with amrta, the “drink of immortality” or the “divine nectar”.

Even if many tantric texts speak only of bodhicitta, the male seed, at heart it is a matter of the absorption of both fluids, the male and the female, in short — of sukra. Admittedly the mixing of the sexual fluids does seem incompatible with the prohibition against ejaculation, but through the so-called Vajroli method the damaging consequences of the emission of semen can be reversed, indeed this is considered a veritable touchstone of the highest yogic skill. Here, the tantra master lets his bodhicitta flow into his partner‘s vagina in order to subsequently draw back into himself through his urethra the male-female mixture which has arisen there. “After he has streamed forth,” Mircea Eliade quotes a text as saying, “he draws in and says: through my force, through my seed I take your seed — and she is without seed” (Eliade, 1985, p. 264). The man thus steals the seed of the woman under the impression that he can through this become a powerful androgynous being, and leaves her without her own life energy.

Some of the “initiated” even succeed in drawing up the semen feminile without ejaculating any sperm so as to then produce the yearned-for sukra mixture in their own body. The mastery of this method requires painful and lengthy exercises, such as the introduction of small rods of lead and “short lengths of solder” into the urethra (Eliade, 1985, p. 242). Here can be seen very clearly how much of a calculating and technical meaning the term upaya (method) has in the tantras. Yet this does not hinder the Tantric Babhaha from celebrating this thieving process in a poetic stanza:

In the sacred citadel of the vulva of
a superlative, skillful partner,
do the praxis of mixing white seed
with her ocean of red seed.
Then absorb, raise, and spread the nectar—
A stream of ecstasy such as you’ve never known.

(quoted by Shaw, 1994, p. 158).


Now what happens if the yogi has not mastered the method of drawing back? Fundamentally, the following applies: “Through the loss of the bindu [semen] comes death, through its retention, life” (Eliade, 1985, p. 257). In a somewhat more tolerant view, however, the adept may catch the sukra from out of the vagina in a vessel and then drink it (Shaw, 1994, p. 157). It is not rare for the drinking bowl to be made from a human skull. The Candamaharosana Tantra recommends sucking the mixture up with a tube (pipe) through the nose (George, 1974, p. 75). If one sips the sukra out of his mudra’s genitals with his mouth, then the process is described as being “from mouth to mouth” (White, 1996, p. 200). Without exaggeration one can refer to this drinking of the “white-red bodhicitta” as the great tantric Eucharist, in which semen and blood are sacredly consumed in place of bread and wine. Through this oriental “Last Supper” the power and the strength of the women are passed over to the man.

Already, centuries before Tantrism ,the nightly ejaculations of the Buddhist Arhats (holy men) were a topic of great debate. In Tantrism, a man who let his sperm flow was referred to as a pashu, an “animal”, whereas anyone who could retain it in the sexual act was a vira, a “hero”, and accorded the attribute divya, “divine” (Bharati, 1977, p. 1977 148).

We have already reported how ejaculation is equated simply with death. This too we already learn from the pre-Buddhist Upanishads. In fact, Indian culture is, in the estimation of one of its best interpreters, Doninger O’Flaherty, characterized by a deadly fear of the loss of semen far beyond the limits of the tantric milieu: “The fear of losing body fluids leads not only to retention, but to attempts to steal the partner's fluid (and the fear that the partner will try the same trick) — yet another form of competition. If the woman is too powerful or too old or too young, terrible things will happen to the innocent man who falls into her trap, a fact often depicted in terms of his losing his fluids” (O'Flaherty, 1982/1988, p. 56). Agehananda Bharati also shares this evaluation, when he writes in his book on the tantric traditions that, “the loss of semen is an old, all-pervasive fear in Indian tradition and probably the core of the strongest anxiety syndrome in Indian culture” (Bharati, 1977, p. 237).

The drawing up of sperm by a woman is viewed by a tantric yogi as a mortally dangerous theft and a fundamental crime. Is this purely a matter of male fantasies? Not at all — a gynocentric correspondence to the thieving seed-absorption is, namely, known from the Kali cults to be a ritual event. Here, the woman assumes the upper position in the sex act and in certain rites leaves the man whose life energies she has drained behind as a corpse. According to statements by the Tibet researcher, Matthias Hermanns¸ there were yoginis (female yogis) who received instruction in a technique “through which they were able to forcibly draw their partners’ semen from out of the penis”, and the author concludes from this that, “It is thus the counterpart of the procedure which the yogi employs to soak up the genital juices of several women one after another through his member” (Hermanns, 1965, p. 19). The theft of the male sperm in waking and in dream likewise counts as one of the preferred entertainments of the dakinis.

Alchemy and semen gnosis:

Before we continue with the initiation path in the Kalachakra Tantra, we would like to throw a brief glance over Indian alchemy and the sexual substances it employs, because this half-occult science by and large coincides with the tantric seed gnosis. The Sanskrit term for alchemy is Rasa-vada. Rasa means ‘liquid’ or ‘quicksilver’. Quicksilver was considered the most important chemical substance which was made use of in the “mystic” experiments, both in Europe and in Asia. The liquid metal was employed in the transformation of materials both in the east and the west, in particular with the intention of producing gold. In the Occident it bore the name of the Roman god, Mercury. The Kalachakra Tantra also mentions quicksilver at several points. The frequency with which it is mentioned is a result of its being symbolically equated with the male seed (bodhicitta); it was, in a manner of speaking, the natural-substance form of the semen virile.

It is a characteristic of quicksilver that it can “swallow” other substances, that is, chemically bind with them. This quality allowed the liquid metal to become a powerful symbol for the tantric yogi, who as an androgyne succeeds in absorbing — i.e., “swallowing” — the gynergy of his wisdom consort.

The corresponding feminine counterpart to mercury is sulfur, known in India as Rasa-vada, and regarded as a chemical concentrate of menstrual blood. Its magic efficacy is especially high when a woman has been fed sulfur twenty-one days before her menses. Both substances together, mercury and sulfur, create cinnabar, which, logically, is equated with sukra, the secret mixture of the male and female seed. In the Indian alchemic texts it is recommended that one drink a mixture of quicksilver and sulfur with semen and menstrual blood for a year in order to attain exceptional powers (White, 1996, p. 199).

Just how fundamental the “female seed” was for the opus of the Indian alchemists can be deduced from the following story. The yogi and adept Nagarjuna, highly revered by the Tibetans and a namesake of the famous founder of Mahayana Buddhism with whom he is often put on the same level, experimented for years in order to discover the elixir of life. Albert Grünwedel has therefore christened him the “Faust of Buddhism”. One day, fed up with his lack of success, he threw his book of formulas into the river. It was fished out by a bathing prostitute and returned to the master. He saw this as a higher sign and began anew with his experimentation with the assistance of the hetaera. But once more nothing succeeded, until one evening his assistant spilt a liquid into the mixture. Suddenly, within seconds, the elixir of life had been created, which Nagarjuna had labored fourteen years in vain to discover.

Anyone who knows the tantras would be aware that the prostitute was a dakini and that the wonderful liquid was either the female seed or menstrual blood. Nagarjuna could thus only attain his goal once he included a mudra in his alchemical experiments. For this reason, among the Alchemists of India a “female laboratory assistant” was always necessary to complete the “great work” (White, 1996, p. 6).

There are also European manuals of the “great art” which require that one work with the “menstrual blood of a whore”. In one relevant text can be read: “Eve keeps the female seed” (Jung, 1968, p. 320). Even the retention of sperm and its transmutation into something higher is known in the west. Hence the seventeenth-century doctor from Brussels, Johannes Baptista Helmont, states that, “If semen is not emitted, it is changed into a spiritual force that preserves its capacities to reproduce sperm and invigorates breath emitted in speech” (Couliano, 1987, p. 102). Giordano Bruno, the heretic among the Renaissance philosophers, wrote a comprehensive essay on the manipulation of erotic love through the retention of semen and for the purposes of attaining power.

“Ganachakra” and the four “highest” initiations:

The initiation path of the Kalachakra Tantra, to which we now return following this detour into the world of seed gnosis, now leads us on to the four highest initiations, or rather to the twelfth to fifteenth initiation stages. The reader will soon see that we are dealing with an extended copy of the four “higher initiations” (8–11). They thus also bear the same names: (12) the vase initiation; (13) the secret initiation; (14) the wisdom initiation; and (15) the word initiation. The difference primarily consists in the fact that rather than just one mudra, ten wisdom consorts now participate in the ritual. All ten must be offered to the master by the pupil (Naropa, 1994, p. 193). There are different rules for monks and laity in this regard. It is required of a layman that the mudras be members of his own family — his mother, his sister, his daughter, his sister-in-law, and so on (Naropa, 1994, p. 192). This makes it de facto impossible for him to receive the Kalachakra solemnity. Although the same commandment applies to a monk, it is interpreted symbolically in his case. Hence, he has to deliver to his guru numerous girls from the lower castes, who then adopt the names and roles of the various female relatives during the ritual. Among other things the elements are assigned to them: the “mother” is earth, the “sister” water, the “daughter” fire, the “sister’s daughter” is the wind, and so on (Grünwedel, Kalacakra III, p. 125).

After the pupil has handed the women over to his master, he is given back one of them as a symbolic “spouse” for the impending rites (Naropa, 1994, p. 193). There are thus ten women present on the tantric ritual stage — one as the “wife” of the sadhaka and nine as substitutes for the rest of his female relatives. The master now chooses one of these for himself. The chosen wisdom consort bears the name of Shabdavajra. It is prescribed that she be between twelve and twenty years old and have already menstruated. First the guru fondles the jewelry of the young women, then he undresses her and finally embraces her. The tantric couple are surrounded by the remaining eight women along with the pupil and his “spouse” in a circle. All the yoginis have a particular cosmic meaning and are assigned to among other things the points of the compass. Each of them is naked and has let down her hair so as to evoke the wild appearance of a dakini. In their hands the women hold a human skull filled with various repulsive substances and a cleaver (Naropa, 1994, p. 193/194).

The guru now moves to the center of the circle (chakra) and performs a magic dance. Subsequently he unites with Shabdavajra in the divine yoga, by inserting “the jewel of his vajra” (his phallus) into her (Naropa, 1994, p. 194). After he has withdrawn his member again, in the words of Naropa, the following happens: “'He places his vajra [phallus], which is filled with semen in the mouth [of the pupil]'. After that the master gives him his own mudra, whom he has already embraced” (Naropa, 1994, p. 1994,195). On the basis of the texts before us we have been unable to determine whether or not the pupil now couples with the girl. This part of the ritual is referred to as the vase initiation and forms the twelfth initiation level.

In the secret initiation (13) which now follows, “the master must lay his own vajra [phallus] in the mouth of the pupil’s wife and, whilst the pupil is blindfolded, he [the guru] must suck upon the Naranasika of the wisdom consort” (Naropa, 1994, p. 195). Translated from Sanskrit, naranasika means ‘clitoris’. “Then,” Naropa continues, “the master must give his own mudra to the pupil with the idea that she is his wife” (Naropa, 1994, p. 195). This passage remains a little unclear, since he has already given a mudra to the pupil as “wife” during the preceding vase initiation (12).

During the following wisdom initiation (14), the sadhaka, surrounded by the remaining women, unites firstly with the mudra which the guru has let him have. But it does not remain just the one. “Since it is a matter of ten mudras, the master must offer the pupil as many of them as he is able to sexually possess, and that in two periods of 24 minutes each, beginning from midnight until the sun rises”, Naropa reports (Naropa, 1994, p. 195). He thus has tenfold sexual intercourse in the presence of the master and the remaining women.

In contrast to his guru, the sadhaka may under no circumstances express his semen during the ritual; rather he must only bring his drops of bodhicitta to the tip of his penis and then draw up the semen feminile of one yogini after another (Naropa, 1994, p. 196). Should he not succeed, he is condemned to hell. There is, however, still a chance for him to escape divine judgment: “If, due to a weakness of the spirit, the bodhicitta [semen] is spilled in the vulva, then it is advisable to collect with the tongue that of it which remains outside of the lotus [vagina]" (Naropa, 1994, p. 196).

The fourth, word initiation (15) designates the “supreme state of perfection”. In the three prior initiations the sadhaka has drawn off the gynergy of his partners and reached a state of bliss. He has now become a vajra master himself. This is the result of the inner energy processes in his mystic body, which he has completed during the ritual and which we describe in the next chapter.

What happens now, at the end of this “disciplined” orgy, to the women who participated in the “witches’ Sabbath”? The sources are scant. But we nonetheless have access to a translation from the third chapter of the Kalachakra Tantra by Albert Grünwedel. This is to be treated with great caution, but taking into account the concreteness of the images the translator can not have made many errors here. Grünwedel tells us that, “At the end of the solemnity a breast-jacket, beneficial to her tender body, is to be given to the blessed earthly formed [i.e., the karma mudras mentioned above]. Holy yoginis are to be given another breast-jacket with a skirt” (Grünwedel, Kalacakra III, p. 201). And in the following section the tantra recommends giving the girls scented flowers, fruit, and a scarf as mementos of the unique rendezvous (Grünwedel, Kalacakra III, p. 202).

The four-stage ritual just described is known as Ganachakra. It is the deepest secret of the Kalachakra Tantras, but is also known in the other Highest Tantras. Now, at which secret locations are such Ganachakras carried out? The famous (fourteenth-century) Tibetan historian, Buston, suggests using “one’s own house, a hidden, deserted or also agreeable location, a mountain, a cave, a thicket, the shores of a large lake, a cemetery, a temple of the mother goddess” (Herrmann-Pfand, 1992, p. 376). Not recommendable are, in contrast, the home of a Brahman or noble, a royal palace or a monastery garden. The Hevajra Tantra is more degenerate and less compromising regarding the choice of location for the Ganachakra ritual: “These feasts must be held in cemeteries, in mountain groves or deserted places which are frequented by non-human beings. It must have nine seats which are made of parts of corpses, tiger skins or rags which come from a cemetery. In the middle can be found the master, who represents the god Hevajra, and round about the yoginis ... are posted” (Naropa, 1994, p. 46). With the guru in the center these form a magic circle, a living mandala.

The number of participating yoginis differs from tantra to tantra. It ranges from eight to sixty-four. Numbers like the latter appear unrealistic. Yet one must bear in mind that in the past Ganachakras were also carried out by powerful oriental rulers, who would hardly have had difficulties organizing this considerably quantity of women together in one place. It is, however, highly unlikely that these tantra masters copulated with all 64 yoginis in one night.

Various ritual objects are handed to the women during the ritual of which the majority, if not all, are of an aggressive nature: cleavers, swords, bone trumpets, skulls, skewers. As a cult meal the above-mentioned holy nectars are served: excrement, human flesh, and the meat of various taboo animals. To drink there is menstrual blood, urine, semen, and so forth. The third chapter of the Kalachakra Tantra recommends “slime, snot, tears, fat, saliva, filth, feces, urine, marrow, excrement, liver, gall, blood, skin, flesh, sperm, entrails” (Grünwedel, Kalacakra III, p. 155).

The sacrificial flesh of the “sevenfold born” which we mention above is, when available, also offered as a sacred food at a Ganachakra. In the story which frames a tantric tale, the Vajradakinigiti, several dakinis kill a sevenfold-born king’s son in order to make a sacrificial meal of his flesh and blood. Likewise, two scenes from the life of the Kalachakra master Tilopa are known in which the consumption of a “sevenfold born” at a dakini feast is mentioned (Herrmann-Pfand, 1992, pp. 393-394).

Albert Grünwedel believed that the female partners of the gurus were originally sacrificed at the Ganachakra and in fact were burned at the stake like European witches so as to then be resurrected as “dakinis”, as tantric demonesses. His hypothesis is difficult to confirm on the basis of the available historical evidence. Nonetheless, as far as the symbolic significance of the ritual is concerned, we can safely assume that we are here dealing with a sacrificial ceremony. For example, Buston (14th century), in connection with the highest Kalachakra initiations and thus also in relation to the Ganachakra, speaks of “secret victims” (Herrmann-Pfand, 1992, p. 386). The ten karma mudras present during the ritual go by the name of “sacrificial goddesses”. One event in the Ganachakra proceedings is known as “sacrifice of the assembly”, which can only have meant the sacrifice of the women present (Herrmann-Pfand, 1992, p. 386). A further interpreter of the tantras, Abhinavagupta, refers to the Ganachakra as the “sacrifice of the wheel” (chakra means ‘wheel’) or as the “highest sacrifice” (Naropa, 1994, p. 46).

Everything which we have said about the “tantric female sacrifice” is without doubt also true for the Ganachakra. There are documents which prove that such sacrifices were really carried out. In the eleventh century a group of the notorious “robber monks” became prominent, of whom the following can be read in the Blue Annals: “The doctrine of the eighteen [robber monks] consisted of a corrupt form of the tantric praxis, they kidnapped women and men and were in the habit of performing human sacrifices during the tantric feasts (ganacakra - puja)” (Blue Annals, 1995, p. 697). Such excesses were criticized already by the traditional Tibetan historians, albeit with a certain leniency. Thus the Fifth Dalai Lama, who himself wrote a history of Tibet, exonerated the guru of the eighteen robber monks, Prajnagupta by name, of all guilt, whilst he condemned his “pupils” as the guilty party (Herrmann-Pfand, 1992, p. 418, note 11).

Obviously, a Buddhist Ganachakra is always led by a man. Yet, like much in Tantrism, this ritual also seems to have had a matriarchal origin. The Indologist Marie-Thérèse de Mallmann describes in detail such a gynocentric “circle feast” from the sixth century. It was staged by a powerful oriental queen. In one document it is said of her that, “through her [the queen], the circle king was reduced to the role of a sacrifice which was performed in the circle (chakra) of the goddesses” (Mallmann, 1963, p. 172). It thus involved the carrying out of a king sacrifice, found in many ancient matriarchal cultures, in which the old king was replaced by a new one. The sacrificial victim here is at any rate a man. In the Ganachakra of Buddhist Tantrism precisely the opposite took place! The yoginis are sacrificed and the guru elevates himself to the triumphant king of the circle.

The gynocentric ritual was also known under the names of “wheel of the goddesses”, “wheel of the mother” or “wheel of the witches”. Its wide distribution in the fifth and sixth centuries, above all in Kashmir, supports our above hypothesis, that there was a powerful reawakening of old matriarchal cults in India during this period.

Contemporary feminism has also rediscovered the matriarchal origins of the Ganachakra. Adelheid Herrmann-Pfand is able to refer to several somewhat ambivalent Tibetan textual passages in which in her view Ganachakras were formerly directed by women (Herrmann-Pfand, 1992, pp. 379, 479). She therefore reaches the conclusion that this ritual is a matter of a “patriarchal usurpation” of a matriarchal cult.

Miranda Shaw on the other hand, can almost be said to revel in the idea of “female witch circles” and takes every Ganachakra which is mentioned in the tantras to be a purely female feast. She reverses the proceedings outright: “Tantric literature”, the feminist writes, “records numerous instances wherein yogis gain admittance to an assembly of yoginis. Inclusion in a yogini feast is seen as a high honor for a male practitioner. In the classic scenario, a yogi unexpectedly finds himself in the presence of a convocation of yoginis, perhaps in the depths of a forest, a deserted temple, or a cremation ground. He seeks entry to their assembly circle and feasts with them, receives initiation from them, and obtains magical lore and tantric teachings” (Shaw, 1994, p. 82). Based upon what we have analyzed to date, Shaw’s interpretation cannot be dismissed out of hand. In Buddhist Tantrism women were indeed accorded all power, it is just that at the end of the game the gynergy and power of the woman have, through the accomplished use of method (upaya), landed in the hands of the male guru.

As always, in this case too the question emerges as to whether the Ganachakra is to be understood as real or “just” symbolically. Texts by Sapan (thirteenth century) and Buston (fourteenth century) leave no doubt about its really being conducted. Alexandra David Néel nevertheless concludes that the sacrificial feast in the described form have no longer been practiced in our century. Symbolic stagings, in which no real women participate and are replaced by substitutes such as vases, are a different matter. According to statements by modern lamas, such ersatz Ganachakras were widespread up until the Chinese occupation (Herrmann-Pfand, 1992, p. 416).

We would like to briefly discuss whether we are dealing with an orgy in the case of the Ganachakra. Archaic people understood an orgy to be indiscriminate sexual mixing within a group. It was precisely the chaotic, ecstatic, and uncontrolled behavior of the participants that determined the course of events amid the general promiscuity. Through the orgy ordered time was suspended, there was no hierarchy among the participants. For a few hours the “profane” state of established social order seceded to the “holy” turbulence of chaos. Usually, this occurred so as to invoke the fertility of the earth. It was agricultural and horticultural societies who preferentially fostered the orgy as a high point of their sacred rites. In contrast , the Buddhist Ganachakra must be seen as a controlled performance from start to finish. Admittedly it does make use of elements of the orgy (group sexuality and the wild dances of the yoginis), but the tantra master always maintains complete control over events.

Thus, at the end of this presentation of the fifteen initiation stages of the Kalachakra Tantra we can establish that all the essential features which we described in the general section on Tantrism reemerge in this “highest” occult teaching of Tibetan Buddhism: the absorption of gynergy, the alchemic transmutation of sexual energy, indeed from sexual fluids into androcentric power, the creation of androgyny, the sacrifice of the mudra and the sadhaka, the destruction of people to the benefit of the gods, and so on. To this extent the Kalachakra in essence does not differ from the other tantric systems of teachings. It is simply more comprehensive, magnificent and logically consistent. Additionally, there is its political eschatology, which allowed it to become the state tantra of Lamaism and which we still have to explore.

All the events in the tantric performance which we have described so far have been played out in the external world, in the system of rituals, the sexual magic practices and perceptible reality. The final goal of this visible tantric endeavor is that the yogi absorb all of the energies set free during the ritual (those of the mudra, the pupil, and the evoked deities). Only thus can he become the ONE who concentrates within himself the “many”, but above all the masculine and feminine principles, so as to subsequently, in a still to be described second phase, bring it all forth again. From here on he has first reached his perfected form, that of the ADI BUDDHA (the Highest Buddha), who in Tantrism is the ultimate cause of all appearances.



[1] The self-sacrifice (chod): in the chod ritual the pupil, in order to attain enlightenment, offers his own body up to be devoured by the dakinis (who, as we know, represent his master). It preferably takes place at burial grounds. The flesh-devourers appear in the dark of night or at full moon and begin to tear the candidate’s skin from his body and to tear him apart piece by piece down to the bone. Even then they do not pause, and instead with a dreadful cracking finally consume the bones and marrow. The initiand “dies” in the process and all of his bodily parts are destroyed. With this he achieves complete liberation from all that is earthly and makes the jump into a state of enlightenment. De facto, this ritual killing only takes place symbolically — not, however, in the imagination of the pupil — there the scene is experienced with real emotion, as in a dream. This is almost unbearable for people who behave purely passively. On her travels in Tibet, Alexandra David-Neel encountered ghostly figures, shunned by all, who wandered around lost and insane because they had not mentally survived the chod ceremonies. For this reason, the ritual also prescribes that the adept should imagine himself as not just the victim, but likewise as the active party, the sacrificer in the form of a goddess or a dakini. “As soon as your consciousness enters the body of the goddess, imagine that your former body is now a corpse which slumps to the ground. ... You, who are now the goddess, use the curved knife in your right hand to cut off the skull just above the eyebrows” (Hopkins, 1982, p. 162). Afterwards the pupil, as a bloodthirsty vajra dakini, consumes his own body lain out before him. Thus, in this ritual he not only surrenders his life, but likewise also plays the sadistic executioner who destroys it. Since the latter is always a female being, he identifies with the image of the evil goddess. He thereby attempts to overcome the act which he as a Tantric fears most of all, namely to be killed by the feminine, in that he carries it out on himself in the form of a woman.
Site Admin
Posts: 29965
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am


Postby admin » Fri Jun 19, 2015 1:29 am

7. Kalachakra: The Inner Processes:

So far we have only described what takes place in the external world of the rituals. But the perceivable tantric stage has its correspondences in the “inside” of the yogi, that is, in his consciousness and what is called his mystic body. We now wish to examine this “internal theater” more closely. It runs in parallel to the external events.

An anatomically trained person from the twenty-first century requires a godly portion of tolerance to gain a familiarity with the concepts of tantric physiology, then for the tantras the body consists of a network of numerous larger or smaller channels through which the life energies flow. These are also known as “veins” or “rivers” (nadi, rtsa). This dynamic body structure is no discovery of Vajrayana, rather it was adopted from pre-Buddhist times. For example, we can already find it in the Upanishads (ninth century B.C.E.).

Three main channels are considered to be the central axis within the subtle-physical system of a person; these run from the lower spine to the head. They are, like everything in the tantras, assigned a gender. The left channel is called lalana (or ida, kyangma, da-wa), is masculine, its symbol is the moon and its element water. The right, “feminine” channel with the name pingala (or roma, nyi-ama) is linked to fire and the sun, since both are also seen as feminine in the Buddhist tantras. We can provisionally describe the central channel (avadhuti or susumna, ooma, ) as being androgynous. It represents among other things the element of space. All of the life energies are moved through the channels with the help of winds — by which the Tantric means various forms of breathing.

In a simplified depiction (such as is to be found in most commentaries), the left, masculine channel (lalana) is filled with white, watery semen, the right-hand, feminine channel (rasana) with red, fiery menstrual blood. The main channel in the middle, in contrast, is originally empty. Via sacred, in part extremely painful, techniques the yogi succeeds in pressing the substances from both side channels into the avadhuti, the main channel. The mixture (sukra) thus created now flows through his entire body as enlightenment energy body and transforms him into an androgynous “diamond being”, who unites within himself the primary energies of the masculine and the feminine.

The three inner channels (see footnote 1)

All three channels pass through five energy centers which are to be found in the body of the yogi, which are known as chakras (wheels) or “lotus circles”. In Tibetan Buddhism, the count begins with the navel chakra and leads via the heart, throat, and forehead chakras to the highest thousandfold lotus at the crown of the skull. Of great importance for the tantric initiation is the equation of the individual “energy wheels” with the five elements: navel = earth; heart = water; throat = fire; forehead = air (wind); highest lotus (crown of skull) = space (ether). Likewise, the chakras are apportioned to the various senses and sense objects. In addition to this there are numerous further assignments of the lotus centers (chakra), as long as these can be divided into groups of five: the five “blisses” similarly count among these, likewise the five meditation Buddhas with their wisdom consorts, and the five directions.

Fine energy channels extend from the “wheels” and, like the physiological nervous system, branch through the entire human body. The tantras describe an impressive total of 72,000 fine channels, which together with the lotus centers and the three main channels form the “subtle” body of the yogi. In an “ordinary mortal” this network is blocked. The energies cannot flow freely, the chakras are “dead”, the “wheels” are motionless, the perception of spiritual phenomena limited. One also speaks of a “knotting”.

Now it is the first task of the yogi to untie these knots in himself or in his pupil, to free and to clean the blocked channels in all directions so as to fill the whole body with divine powers. The untying of the “knots” is achieved in the Guhyasamaja Tantra through the blocking off of the two side channels (lalana and pingala), in which the energies divided according to their sexual features normally flow up and down, and the introduction of the masculine and feminine substances into the avadhuti (the middle channel) (Dasgupta, 1974, p. 155). In the original Kalachakra texts (see footnote) the anatomy of the channels is much more complicated. [1]

The tantric dramaturgy is thus played out between three protagonists within the yogi — the masculine, the feminine, and the androgynous principle. Correspondingly, the three main energy channels reflect the tantric sexual pattern with the lalana as the man, the pingala as the woman, and the avadhuti as the androgyne. The lotus centers (chakras) are the individual stage sets in which the plot unfolds around the relationship between this trinity. Thus, if the microcosmic, “inner” world of events of the tantra master is supposed to square with the external, already described ritual actions, then we must rediscover the climaxes of the external performance in his “internal” one: for example, the tantric female sacrifice, the absorption of gynergy, the creation of androgyny, the destruction and the resurrection of all body parts, and so forth. Let us thus inspect these “internal” procedures more closely.

The Candali:

The Kalachakra Tantra displays many parallels with the Hindu Kundalini yoga. Both secret doctrines require that the yogi’s energy body, that is, his mysto-magical channels and chakras, be destroyed through a self-initiated internal fire. The alchemic law of solve et coagole ("dissolve and rebuild”) is likewise a maxim here. We also know of such phoenix-from-the-ashes scenarios among the occidental mystics. For our study it is, however, of especial interest that this “inner fire” carries the name of a woman in the Time Tantra. The candali — as it is called — refers firstly to a girl from the lowest caste, but the Sanskrit word also etymologically bears the meaning of ‘fierce woman’ (Cozort, 1986, p. 71). The Tibetans translate “candali” as ‘the hot one’ (Tum-mo) and take this to mean a fiery source of power in the body of a tantra adept.

The candali thus reveals itself to be the Buddhist sister of the Hindu fire-snake (kundalini), which likewise lies dormant in the lowest chakra of a yogi and leaps up in flames once it is unchained. But in Buddhism the destructive aspect of the inner “fire woman” is far more emphasized than her creative side. It is true that the Hindu kundalini is also destructive, but she is also most highly venerated as the creative principle (shakti): “She is a world mother, who is eternally pregnant with the world. ... The world woman and Kundalini are the macrocosmic and microcosmic aspects of the same greatness: Shakti, who god-like weaves and bears all forms” (Zimmer, 1973, p. 146).

With regard to the bodily techniques which are needed to arouse the kundalini, these vary between the cultural traditions. The Buddhist yogi, for example, unleashes the inner fire in the navel and not between the anus and the root of the penis like his Hindu colleagues. The candali flares up in his belly and, dancing wildly, ascends the middle energy channel (avadhuti). One text describes her as “lightning-fire”, another as the “daughter of death” (Snellgrove, 1959, p. 49). Then, level for level, the “hot one” burns out all the adept’s chakras. The five elements equated with the energy centers are destroyed in blazing heat. Starting from below, firstly the earth is burned up in the region of the navel and transforms itself into water in the heart chakra. Then the water is burnt out and disintegrates in fire in the throat. In the forehead, with the help of the candali the air consumes the fire, and at the crown of the skull all the elements vanish into empty space. At the same time the five senses and the five sense objects which correspond to the respective lotus centers are destroyed. Since a meditation Buddha and his partner inhabit each chakra, these also succumb to the flames. The Kalachakra Tantra speaks of a “dematerialization of the form aggregate” (Cozort, 1986, p. 130).

Lastly the candali devours the entire old energy body of the adept, including the gods who, in the microcosmic scheme of things, inhabit him. We must never forget that the tantric universe consists of an endless chain of analogies and homologies and links between all levels of being. Hence the yogi believes that by staging the destruction of his imperfect human body he simultaneously destroys the imperfect world, and that usually with the best intentions. Thus, Lama Govinda describes with ecstatic enthusiasm the five stages of this fascinating micro-macrocosmic apocalypse: “In the first, the susumna (the middle channel) with the flame ascending within it is imagined as a capillary thin as a hair; in the second, with the thickness of a little finger; in the third, with the thickness of an arm; in the fourth, as broad as the whole body: as if the body itself had become the susumna (avadhuti), a single fiery vessel. In the fifth stage the unfolding scenario reaches its climax: the body ceases to exist for the meditator. The entire world becomes a fiery susumna, an endless storm-whipped ocean of fire” (Govinda, 1991, 186).

But what happens to the candali, once she has completed her pyrotechnical opus? Does she now participate as an equal partner with the yogi in the creation of a new universe? No — the opposite is true! She disappears from the tantric stage, just like the elements which were destroyed with her help. Once she has vaporized all the lotus centers (chakras) up to the roof of the skull, she melts the bodhicitta (male seed) stored there. This, on account of its “watery” character, possesses the power to extinguish the “fire woman”. She is, like the human karma mudra on the level of visible reality, dismissed by the yogi.

In the face of this spectacular volcanic eruption in the inner bodily landscape of the tantra master we must ask what the magic means might be which grant him the power to ignite the candali and make her serve his purpose. Several tantras nominate sexual greed, which brings her to the boil. The Hevajra Tantra speaks of the “fire of passion” (Farrow and Menon, 1992, p. xxix). In another text “kamic fire” is explicitly mentioned (Avalon, 1975, p. 140). The term refers to the Hindu god Kama, who represents sexual pleasure. Correspondingly, direct reference is made to the act of love in a further tantric manual, where it can be read that “during sexual intercourse the Candali vibrates a little and great heat arises” (Hopkins, 1982, p. 177).

The equation of the sexual act with a fire ritual can be traced to the Vedas, and was later adopted by Tantric Buddhism. There the woman is referred to as the “sacrificial fire, her lower portion as the sacrificial wood, the genital region as the flame, the penetration as the carbon and the copulation as the spark” (Bhattacharyya, 1982, p. 124). From a Vedic viewpoint the world cannot continue to exist without a fire sacrifice. But we can also read that “the fire offering comes from union with the female messengers [dakinis]" — this from Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Tibetan Yellow Hat school (Shaw, 1994, p. 254).

In his classic, Yoga and the Geheimlehren Tibets [Yoga and the Secret Teachings of Tibet], Evans-Wentz described an especially impressive scene concerning the “kindling” of the candali. Here the “fire woman” is set aflame through a meditation upon the sun. After the master has required of his pupil that he visualize the three main channels, the chakras, and the “empty form” of a yogini, the exercise should continue as follows: “At this point in the performance you should imagine a sun in the middle of each palm and the sole of each foot. Then see these suns placed opposite one other. Then imagine a sun at the meeting of the three main psychic nerves [the main channels] at the lower end of the reproductive organ. Through the influence upon one another of the suns at your hands and feet, a flame is kindled. This fire ignites the sun beneath the navel. ... The whole body catches fire. Then when breathing out imagine the whole world to be pervaded by the fire in its true nature” (Evans-Wentz, 1937, p. 154). The inner unleashing of the candali in the body of the yogi is so unique that it raises many still unanswered questions which we can only consider step by step in the course of the following chapter: Why must it be a woman and not a man who flames up in the belly of the tantra master? Why is the woman, who is linked with the element water in most cultures, equated with fire here? Why is the candali so aggressive and destructive, so enraged and wild instead of mild, constructive, and well-balanced? But above all we must ask ourselves why the adept needs to use a real girl in order to ignite the “inner woman” in his own body? Is there perhaps a connection between the external woman and the inner woman, the karma mudra and the candali?

We shall only address these questions briefly here, pointwise as it were, in order to treat them in more detail in the course of the text. As we have already said, the origin of the candali lies in the Hindu kundalini snake, of which Heinrich Zimmer says: “The snake embodies the world- and body-developing life force, it is a form of the divine world-effecting force [shakti].” (Zimmer, 1973, p. 141). Life, creation, world, power: kundalini or candali are manifestations of the one and the same energy, and this is seen in both Hinduism and Buddhism as female. Zimmer therefore explicitly refers to the mystic snake as the “world woman” (Zimmer, 1973, p. 146). Corresponding descriptions of the candali are likewise known. The Buddhist yogi, whose attitude towards the world of appearances is extremely hostile, makes woman and the act of birth responsible for the terrible burden of life. For him, “world” and “woman” are synonymous. When, in his imagination, he burns up a woman within himself, then he is with this pyromaniacal act of violence symbolically casting the “world woman” upon the pyre. But this world likewise includes his old bodily and sensory aggregates, his psychological moods, and his human structures of awareness. They all become victims of the flames. Only once he has destroyed the existing universe, which suffers under the law of a woman, in an inferno, can he raise himself up to be a divine ruler of the universe.

Thus the assignation of the feminine to the fiery element imputed by Tantrism proves itself upon closer examination to be a symbolic manipulation. Everything indicates that in Indian culture too, woman was and is fundamentally associated with water and the moon rather than with fire and the sun as is claimed in the tantras. In non-tantric Indian cults (Vedic, Vishnuite) the classic assignments of the sexes have completely retained their validity. Hence, the ignition of the “fire woman” concerns an “artificial” experiment which runs contrary to the cultural norms; what the European alchemists referred to as the “production of burning water”. Water — originally feminine — is set on fire by the masculine potency of the flame and then becomes destructive. We shall have to show later that the candali is also to be symbolically understood as no more than such an ignited water energy. The water serves in this instance as a type of fuel and “explodes” as the ignited feminine principle in the service of androcentric strategies of destruction. Such a clever idea can only be derived from the tantric law of inversion which teaches us that a thing arises from its opposite. As the Candamaharosana Tantra thus says, “Women are the supreme fire of transformation” (Shaw, 1994, p. 39).

If one assumes that the feminine catches fire against its will in the Kalachakra ritual, then one can understand why the candali reacts so aggressively and destructively. Perhaps, once she has flared up, she instinctively detects that the entire procedure concerns her systematic destruction? Perhaps she also has an inkling of the perfidious intentions of the yogi and like a wild animal begins to destroy the elementary and sensory aggregates of her tormentor in the hope of thus exterminating him and freeing herself? Confronted with her obvious success in the bodily destruction of the patriarchal archenemy, she becomes maddened by power, unaware that she thereby only serves her enemy as a tool. For precisely what the tantric adept wants is to attain a state in which he still exists only as pure consciousness. His first goal is therefore the complete dematerialization of his human body, down to the last atom. For this he needs the fiery rage of the candali, who represents nothing other than the hate of a goddess incapacitated by patriarchy.

But it could also be the opposite, that the candali falls into the grip of the “consuming fire”, that mystic fire of love which burns women up when they celebrate the “sacred wedding” with their god. Christian nuns often describe the unio mystica with Christ, their heavenly husband, with metaphors of fire. In the case of Theresa of Avila, the flames of love are linked with an unequivocally sexual symbolism. The words with which she depicted the divine penetration of her love have become famous: “I saw Him with a long lance of gold, and its tip was as if made of fire, it seemed to me as if he repeatedly thrust it into my heart and it penetrated to my very entrails! .... The pain was so great that I had to groan, and yet the sweetness of this excessive pain was such that I could not wish to be freed of it” (quoted by Bataille, 1974, p. 220). A woman, who completely and totally surrenders herself to her yogi with her whole being, who opens to him the love of her entire heart, she too can burst into flames. Hate and mystic love are both highly explosive substances.

Regardless of what sets the feminine on fire, the pyromaniacal drama which is played out on this inner stage is from start to finish under the control of the yogi as the “master of the fire”. He never surrenders this position as “director”. Two beings are always sacrificed at the end of the tantric theater: the old energy body of the vajra masters and the ignited candali herself. She is the tragic inner symbol of the “tantric female sacrifice”, which — as we have explained above — was in the outside world originally executed upon a fire altar.

But here too the already often-repeated warning applies: Woe betide the adept who loses control over the kundalini or candali. For then she becomes a “terrible vampire, like an electric shock”, the “pure potency of death”, which exterminates him (Evola, 1926, p. 232).

The “drop theory” as an expression of androgyny:

Let us now following the act of destruction examine the inner act of creation in the mystic body of the yogi as it is described in the various tantras, especially the Kalachakra Tantra. We have already considered the event where the “fire woman” (candali) reaches the inner roof of the yogi’s skull and melts the bodhicitta (semen) there. This latter is symbolically linked with water and the moon. Its descent is therefore also known as the “way of the moon”, whilst the ascent of the candali goes by the name of the “sun way”. The bodhicitta is also called bindu, which means ‘point’, ‘nil’, ‘zero’, or ‘drop’. According to the doctrine, all the forces of pure consciousness are collected and condensed into this “drop”, in it the “nuclear energy of the microcosm” is concentrated (Grönbold, Asiatische Studien, p. 33).

After the channels and chakras have been cleansed by the fire of the candali, the bodhicitta can flow down the avadhuti (the middle channel) unrestricted. At the same time this extinguishes the fire set by the “fire woman”. Since she is assigned the sun and the “drops of semen” the masculine moon, the lunar forces now destroy the solar ones. But nevertheless at the heart of the matter nothing has been changed through this, since the descent of the “drop”, even though it involves a reversal of the traditional symbolic correspondence, is, as always in the Buddhist tantras, a matter of a victory of the god over the goddess.

Step by step the semen flows down the central channel, pausing briefly in the various lotus centers and producing a feeling of bliss there, until it comes to rest in the tip of the aroused penis. The ecstatic sensations which this progress evokes have been cataloged as “the four joys”. [2]

This descending joy gradually increases and culminates at the end in an indescribable pleasure: “millions upon millions of times more than the normal emission [of semen]" (Naropa, 1994, p. 74). In the Kalachakra Tantra the fixation of orgiastic pleasure which can be attributed to the retention of semen is termed the “unspilled joy” or the “highest immovable” (Naropa, 1994, p. 304, 351).

This “happiness in the fixed” is in stark opposition to the “turbulent” and sometimes “wild” sex which the yogi performs for erotic stimulation at the beginning of the ritual with his partner. It is an element of tantric doctrine that the “fixed” controls the “turbulent”. For this reason, no thangka can fail to feature a Buddha or Bodhisattva who as a non-involved observer emotionlessly regards the animated yab–yum scenes (of sexual union) depicted or impassively lets these pass him by, no matter how turbulent and racy they may be. We also do not know of a single illustration of a sexually aroused couple in the tantric iconography which is not counterbalanced by a third figure who sits in the lotus posture and observes the copulation in total calm. This is usually a small Buddha above the erotic scene. He is, despite his inconspicuousness the actual controlling instance in the sexual magic play — the cold, indifferent, serene, calculating, and mysteriously smiling voyeur of hot loving passions.

The orgiastic ecstasy must at any price be fixed in the mystic body of the adept, he may never squander his masculine force, otherwise the terrible punishments of hell await him. “There exists no greater sin than the loss of pleasure”, we can read in the Kalachakra commentary by Naropa (Naropa, 1994, p. 73, verse 135). Pundarika also treats the delicate topic in detail in his commentary upon the Time Tantra: “The sin arises from the destruction of pleasure, ... a dimming then follows and from this the fall of the own vajra [phallus], then a state of spiritual confusion and an exclusive and unmediated concern with petty things like eating, drinking and so on” (Naropa, 1994, p. 73). That is, to put it more clearly, if the yogi experiences orgasm and ejaculation in the course of the sexual act then he loses his spiritual powers.

Since the drops of semen symbolize the “moon liquid”, its staged descent through the various energy centers of the yogi is linked to each of the phases of the moon. Beneath the roof of the skull it begins as a “new moon”, and grows in falling from level to level, to then reach its brightest radiance during its sixteenth phase in the penis. In his imagination the yogi fixates it there as a shining “full moon” (Naropa, 1994, p. 72, 306).

Logically, in the second, counterposed sequence the “ascent of the full moon” is staged. For the adept there is no longer a waning moon. Since he has not spilled his seed, the full shining abundance of the nightly satellite remains his. This ascendant triumphal procession of the lunar drop up through the middle channel is logically connected to an even more intensive pleasure than the descent, since “the unspilled joy” starts out in the penis as a “full moon” and no longer loses its full splendor.

During its ascent it pauses in every chakra so as to conjure up anew the “highest bliss” there. Through this stepwise ecstatic lingering in the lotus centers the yogi forms his new divine body, which he now refers to as the “body of creation” (Naropa, 1994, p. 311). This is first completed when the “full-moon drop” reaches the lotus in the forehead.

Sometimes, even if not all the time, in wandering through the four pleasure centers the “drop” encounters various goddesses who greet it with “diamond” song. They are young, tender, very beautiful, friendly, and ready to serve. The hissing wildness and the red wrath of the candali is no more!” May you,” the beauties call, “the diamond body, the revolving wheel that delights many beings, the revealer of the benefit of the Buddha aim and the supreme-enlightenment aim, love me with passion at the time of passion, if you, the mild lord wish that I live” (Wayman, 1977, p. 300). Such erotic enticements lead in some cases to an imaginary union with one of the goddesses. But even if it doesn’t come to this, the yogi must in any case keep his member in an erect state during the “ascent of the full moon” (Naropa, 1994, p. 75).

In several Kalachakra commentaries the ecstatic model of the rise and fall of the white moon-drops within the mystic body of the adept is determined by the triumph of the male bodhicitta alone. In the first, falling phase it destroys the fiery candali and leads her into emptiness, so to speak, since the bindu (drop) also means “nothing”, and has control over the power of dissolution. In the second phase the drop forms the sole cosmic building block with which the new body of the yogi will subsequently be constructed. In this view there is thus now talk of the male seed alone and not of a mixture of the semen virile and semen feminile. In his Kalachakra commentary Naropa writes explicitly that it is the masculine moon which produces the creation and the feminine sun which brings about the dissolution (Naropa, 1994, p. 281). One must thus be under the impression that after the extinguishing of the candali there are no further feminine elements existing in the body of the yogi, or, to put it in the words of the popular belief which we have already cited, that sperm rather than blood flows in his veins. But there are other models as well.

Daniel Cozort, for example, in his contemporary study of the Highest Yoga Tantra, speaks of two fundamental drops. The one is white, masculine, lunar, and watery, and is located beneath the roof of the skull; the other is red, feminine, solar, and fiery, and located in the region of the genitals (Cozort, 1986, p. 77). The “four joys from above” are evoked when the white drop flows from the forehead via the throat, heart, and navel to the tip of the penis. The “four joys from below” arise in reverse, when the red drop streams upwards from the base of the spine and through the lotus centers. There are a total of 21,600 masculine and the same number of feminine drops stored in the body of the yogi. The adept who gets them to flow thus experiences 21,600 moments of bliss and dissolves 21,600 “components of his physical body”, since the drops effect not just pleasure but also emptiness (Mullin, 1991, p. 184).

The process is first completed when two “columns of drops” have been formed in the energy body of the adept, the one beginning above, the other from below, and both having been built up stepwise. At the end of this migration of drops, “a broad empty body, embellished with all the markings and distinguishing features of enlightenment, a body which corresponds to the element of space [is formed]. It is 'clear and shining', because it is untouchable and immaterial, emptied of the earthly atomic structure”, as the first Dalai Lama already wrote (Dalai Lama I, 1985, p. 46).

A further version (which also applies to the Time Tantra) introduces us to “four” drops of the size of a sesame seed which may be found at various locations in the energy body and are able to wander from one location to another. [3] Through complicated exercises the yogi brings these four principle drops to a standstill, and by fixating them at certain places in the body creates a mystic body.

The anatomy of the energy body becomes even more complicated in the Kalachakra commentary by Lharampa Ngawang Dhargyey when he introduces another “indestructible drop” in the heart of the yogi in addition to the four drops mentioned above. This androgynous bindu is composed of the “white seed of the father” in its lower half together with the “red seed of the mother” in the upper. It is the size of a sesame seed and consists of a mixture of “extremely fine energies”. The other lotus centers also have such “bisexual” drops, with mixtures of varying proportions, however. In the navel, for example, the bindu contains more red seed than white, in the forehead the reverse is true. One of the meditation exercises consists in dissolving all the drops into the “indestructible heart drop”.

Luckily it is neither our task, nor is it important for our analysis, to bring the various drop theories of tantric physiology into accord with one another. We have nonetheless made an effort to do so, but because of the terminological confusion and hairsplitting in the accessible texts, were left with numerous insoluble contradictions. In general, we can nevertheless say that we are dealing with two basic models.

In the first the divine energy body is constructed solely with the help of the white, masculine bodhicitta. The feminine energy in the form of the candali assists only with the destruction of the old human body.

In the second model the yogi constructs an androgynous body from both red and white, feminine and masculine bodhicitta elements.

The textual passages available to us all presume that the masculine-feminine drops can already be found in the energy system of the adept before the initiation. He is thus regarded from the outset as a bisexual being. But why does he then need an external or even an imagined woman with whom to perform the tantric ritual? Would it in this case not be possible to activate the androgyny (and the corresponding drops) apparently already present in his own body without any female presence? Probably not! A passage in the Sekkodesha, which speaks of the man (khagamukha) possessing a channel filled with semen virile and the woman (sankhini) a channel filled with semen feminile, leads us to suspect that the yogi first draws the red bodhicitta or the red drop off from the karma mudra (the real woman), and that his androgyny is therefore the result of this praxis and not a naturally occurring starting point.

This view is also supported by another passage in the Kalachakra Tantra, in which the sankhini is mentioned as the middle channel in the mystic body of the yogi (Grönbold, 1969, p. 84). Normally, the menstrual blood flows through the sankhini and it may be found in the lower right channel of the woman (Naropa, 1994, p. 72). In contrast, in the body of the yogi before the sexual magic initiation no “menstrual channel” whatever exists. Now when this text refers to the avadhuti (the middle channel) of the tantra master as sankhini, that can only mean that he has “absorbed” the mudra’s red seed following union with her.

We must thus assume that before the sexual magic ritual the red bodhicitta is either completely absent from the adept’s body or, if present, then only in small quantities. He is forced to steal the red elixir from the woman. The extraction technique described above also lends support to this interpretation.

Regardless of whether the Tibetan Lamas are convinced of the overwhelming superiority of their theories and practices, there is in principle no fundamental difference between Hindu and Buddhist techniques (Snellgrove, 1987, vol. 1, 294). Both systems concern the absorption of gynergy and the production of a microcosmic/ masculine/androgyne/divine body by the yogi. There are, however, numerous differences in the details. But this is also true when one compares the individual Buddhist tantras with one another. The sole teaching contrary to both schools which one could nominate would be total “Shaktism”, “which elevates the goddess above all gods” (von Glasenapp, 1936, p.125).

Excursus: The mystic female body:

But is it at all possible to apply the mystic physiology described in the Buddhist tantras to a woman? Or is the female energy body subject to other laws? Does the kundalini also slumber in the perineum of a woman? Does a woman carry her red drop in her forehead? Where can the white bodhicitta be found in her and what are its movements? Are the two side channels within her arranged just like those in a man or are they reversed? Why does she also work with fire in her body and not with water?

There are only very few reports about the mystic body of the woman, and even fewer instructions. The books on praxis which we have been able to consult are all drawn from the Chinese cultural sphere. The Frenchwoman, Catherine Despeux, has collected some of these in a historical portrait (Immortelles de la Chine Ancienne). A practical handbook by Mantak and Maneewan Chia is available; it is subtitled The Secret Way to Female Love Energy.

Generally, these texts allow us to say that the spiritual energy experiences undergone by women within their mystic bodies follow a different course to those for men described above. The two poles between which the “tantric” scenario is played out in the woman are not the genitals and the brain as in the case of a man, but rather the heart and the womb. Whilst for the yogi the highest pleasure is first concentrated in the tip of the penis, from where it is drawn up to the roof of the skull, the woman experiences pleasure in the womb and then a “mystic orgasm” in the heart, or the energy emerges from the heart, sinks down to the womb and then rises up once more into the heart. “The sudden opening of the heart chakra causes an ecstatic experience of illumination; the heart of the woman becomes the heart of the universe” (Thompson, 1981, p. 19).

According to Chinese texts, for example, the red seed of the woman arises between her breasts, and from there flows out into the vagina and is, unlike the male seed in Vajrayana, not to be sought under the roof of the skull (Despeux, 1990, p. 206). The techniques for manipulation of the energy body which result from this are therefore completely different for men and women in Taoism.

Without further examining the inner processes in the female body, what has been said in just a few sentences already indicates that an undifferentiated transferal of Vajrayana techniques to the female energy body must have fateful consequences. It thus amounts to a sort of rape of the feminine bodily pattern by the masculine physique. It is precisely this which the Fourteenth Dalai Lama encourages when he — as in the following quotation — equates the internal processes of a woman with those of a man. “Some people have confirmed that the white element is also present in women, although the red element is stronger in them. Therefore the praxis in the previously described tantric meditation is the same for women; the white element sinks in exactly the same manner and is then drawn back up” (Varela 1997, p. 154).

Should a woman adopt androcentric yoga techniques then her sexual distinctiveness disappears and she is transformed in energy terms into a man. In so doing she thus fulfills the sex change requirement of Mahayana Buddhism which is supposed to make it possible for a woman to already in this lifetime be reincarnated as men — at least in regard to their mystic bodies.

Spiritual feminists (and there are a number of these) who believe they can overcome their female impotence by copying the male yoga techniques of Tantrism become caught in the most insidious and cynical trap which the patriarchy was able to set. In the delusion that by unchaining the candali within their own body they can shake off the androcentric yoke, they unwittingly employ sexual magic manipulations which effect their own dissolution as gendered beings. They perform the “tantric female sacrifice“ upon themselves without knowing, and set fire to the stake at which they themselves are burned as a candali or a witch (dakini).

The method or the manipulation of the divine:

But let us return again to the male tantra techniques. The “method” which the adept employs to produce his androgynous body is referred to as the “Yoga with Six Limbs” (Sadanga yoga). This system of teaching is valid for both the Kalachakra Tantra and the Guhyasamaja Tantra. It has been referred to as the highest of all techniques in Vajrayana Buddhism. Fundamentally, sexual intercourse with a woman and the retention of semen are necessary in performing this yoga. Of course, if a partner cannot be found, masturbation can also be employed (Grönbold, Asiatische Studien, p. 34). [4]

The six stages of Sadanga yoga are called (1) Individual retreat (pratyahara); (2) Contemplation (dhyana); (3) Breath control (pranayama); (4) Fixation or retention (dharana); (5) Remembering (anusmrti); and (6) Unfolding or enlightenment (samadhi). We shall briefly present and interpret the six levels.

1. Pratyahara (individual retreat): The yogi withdraws from all sensory abilities and sense objects back into himself; he thus completely isolates himself from the external world. It is also said that he locks the doors of the senses and draws the outside winds into himself so as to concentrate them into a drop (Cozort, 1986, p. 124). The meditation begins at night and must be conducted in complete darkness. The American tantra interpreter, Daniel Cozort, recommends the construction of a “light-proof cabin” as an aid. The yogi rolls back his eyes, concentrates on the highest point of his middle energy channel and envisions a small blue drop there. During this exercise the ten photisms (light and fire signs) arise in the following order before his inner eye as forebodings of the highest enlightenment, the infinite clear light. (1) Smoke; (2) a ray of light; (3) glow worms; (4) the light of a lamp — these are the first four phenomena which are also assigned to the four elements and which Sadanga yoga describes as “night signs, since one still lives in darkness so to speak, as in a house without windows” (Grönbold, Asiatische Studien, p. 36). The remaining six phenomena are called the “day signs”, because one now, “as it were, looks into a cloudless sky” (Grönbold, Asiatische Studien, p. 35). They begin with (5) the steadfast light, followed by (6) fire, which is considered to be the shine of emptiness, (7) moonlight and sunshine, (8) the shine of the planet Rahu, which is compared to a black jewel. Then, in (9) an atom radiates like a bright bolt of lightning, and lastly (10) the great drop appears, which is perceived as “a shining of the black orb of the moon” (Grönbold, Asiatische Studien, p. 35). Grönbold interprets the fact that a “dark light” is seen at the end as an effect of bedazzlement, since the light phenomena are now no longer comprehensible for the yogi (Grönbold, Asiatische Studien, p. 35). [5]

2. Dhyana (contemplation): On the second level of Sadanga yoga the adept through contemplation fixes beneath the roof of the skull his thoughts and the ten day and night signs. This contemplation is characterized by five states of awareness: (1) wisdom; (2) logic; (3) reflection; (4) pleasure; and (5) imperturbable happiness. All five serve to grant insight into the emptiness of being (Grönbold, Asiatische Studien, p. 32). When he has stabilized the signs, the yogi has attained the purity necessary to ascend to the next level. He now possesses the “divine eye” (Naropa, 1994, p. 219).

3. Pranayama (wind or breath control): Breath, air, and wind are synonymous in every form of yoga. The energies internal to the body which flow through the subtle channels are called winds. A trained adept can control them with his breathing and thus has the ability to reach and to influence all 72,000 channels in his body by inhaling and exhaling. The energy wind generally bears the name prana, that is, pure life force. In the Kalachakra school the opinion is held that prana is the primordial wind from which the nine main winds are derived (Banerjee, 1959, p. 27). Time is also conceived of as a coming and going of breath. Accordingly one who has his breathing under control also has mastery over time. He becomes a superhuman being, that “knows [about] the three times”: about the future by inhaling, about the past by exhaling, and about the eternal present by holding his breath (Grönbold, Asiatische Studien, p. 29).The wind, as the yogi’s highest instrument of control, dominates the entire scenario, sometimes propelling the mystic indestructible drops through the channels, sometimes pushing through the knots in the chakras so that the energies can flow freely, sometimes burning up the yogi’s bad karma via breathing exercises. There are numerous catalogs of the various types of wind. Coarse and subtle, secondary and primary, ascending and descending winds all waft through the body. In the Kalachakra Tantra a total of ten principle types of breath wind are distinguished. The high point in pranayama yoga consists in the bringing of the winds found in the right and left side channels into the central channel (avadhuti). In an ordinary person, prana pulses in both outer channels, of which one is masculine and the other feminine. Therefore, from a tantric point of view he still lives in a world of opposites. Through the activation of his middle, androgynous channel the yogi now believes he can recreate the original bisexual unity.

4. The fourth exercise is called dharana (fixation). The breath wind is fixated or retained firstly within the middle channel, then in the individual chakras. The emotions, thoughts, and visions of particular deities are also fixed through this. Throughout this exercise the yogi’s penis must remain constantly erect. He is now the “lord of the winds” and can let the energies wander through his body at will in order to then fix them in particular locations. This also applies to the entry of the breath into the drops, wherever these are to be found. Although the adept now controls the ten main winds, at this stage his body is not yet purified. Therefore he concentrates the energy in the navel chakra and combines it with “the drop of sexual ecstasy”. It is this procedure which first results in the ignition of the candali.

5. The entrance of the “fire woman” (candali) dominates the scenario of the fifth yoga, known as anusmriti. Oddly, this has the meaning of ‘recollection’ (Grönbold, 1969, p. 89). Why is the catching sight of the candali “in the body and in the sky” linked to a mystic reminiscence? What is it that the yogi remembers? Probably the “original unity”, the union of god and goddess.

6. In the last stages of Sadanga yoga the adept reaches samadhi (enlightenment or unfolding), the “indestructible bliss”. This state is also equated with the “vision of emptiness” (Wayman, 1983, p. 39). All winds, and thus all manifestations of existence as well, are now brought to a standstill — peace reigns among the peaks. For a night and a day the yogi suspends the 21,600 breaths, that is, he no longer needs to breathe. His material bodily aggregates are dissolved. Complete immobility occurs, all sexual passions vanish and are replaced by the “motionless pleasure” (Naropa, 1994, p. 219).

Since the flow of time depicts nothing other than the currents of the energy winds in the body, the adept has, by stilling these, elevated himself beyond the cycle of time and become its absolute master. Back at the third level of the exercises, during pranayama, he had already won control over the flow of time, but he only halts it when he attains the state of samadhi.

It is astonishing that all six stages of Sandanga yoga should be performed during sexual union with a karma mudra (a real woman). But until it comes to this, many hours of preparation are needed. The inner photisms described also arise in the course of the sexual act.

For example, to press the masculine and feminine energy currents into the middle channel in pranayama, the adept employs drastic Hatha yoga practices, which are known as “the joining of the sun and moon breaths” (Evans-Wentz, 1937, p. 33). In translation ha means ‘sun’, and tha ‘moon’. Hatha, the combination of ha and tha, significantly means ‘violence’ or ‘violent exertion’ and thereby announces the element of violence in the sexual magic act (Eliade, 1985, p. 238). This consists of a sudden, jerking leap up during sexual intercourse accompanied by simultaneous pressure on the perineum with the hand or the heel. That such “methods” (upaya) are especially enticing and erotic for a “wisdom consort” (prajna) is something we would like to doubt. The lack of feeling, the coldness, the cunning, and the deep misogyny which lies behind these yoga techniques actually ought to hit the karma mudra in the eye at once. Yet in the arms of a godlike Lama she would only seldom dare to take her skeptical impressions seriously or even articulate them.

Sadanga yoga describes the Kalachakra Tantra “method” (upaya) to be employed during the higher and highest initiations. We are dealing here with an emotionless, “rational”, purely technical set of instructions for the manipulation of energies which are profoundly emotional, arousing, and instinctive — like love, eroticism, and sexuality. In the classic tantric polarity of “wisdom” (prajna) and “method” it is the latter which is covered by these yoga techniques. The yogi does not need to bother about anything else — wisdom, knowledge, or feelings. They are already to be found in the “prajna”, the feminine elixir which he can snatch from the woman by properly practicing Sandanga yoga. Now what is the result of this calculating and sophisticated sexual magic?



[1] The Kalachakra Tantra distinguishes between an upper part to the three main channels and a lower one. Above, the following symbolic division is made: left — moon, masculine; right — sun, feminine; middle — Rahu, androgynous. Rahu is an imaginary planet which can cause a solar or lunar eclipse. The upper three energy flows thus possess a planetary character. The lower part is determined by the substances which can be found in the three channels before the yoga praxis: left — urine; right — semen; middle — excrement. This arrangement becomes more complicated owing to the fact that the upper and lower channels change their positions. The lalana (moon, upper left) appears below in the middle and is there filled with excrement. The pingala (sun, upper right) is linked to the lower left, urine-filled channel. Rahu, in the middle above, is found to the right below, as the sperm channel. The upper and lower channels also have different names and are filled with different substances in men and women, hence the lower right-hand channel is said to contain menstrual blood rather than semen in the female body (Naropa, 1994, pp. 274, 275). In the women the lower right channel bears the name sankhini and is filled with female seed; the lower right channel of the man is known as khagamukha and contains the semen virile (Naropa, 1994, p. 72). Martin Brauen’s graphical depiction of the channels in the Kalachakra Tantra (Brauen, 1992, p. 55) is admittedly logically consistent for a number of reasons — in that he shows the middle channel as continuous from top to bottom, for instance. However, it does not accord with the quoted textual passages from the Sekkodesha (Naropa, 1994, p. 72 ff.).

[2] The “first joy” takes effect in the forehead and stretches down to the throat chakra. The second reaches from there to the heart and bears the name “highest joy”, the third ends in the navel and is called the “special joy”. The fourth, the “inborn joy”, realizes itself in the tip of the penis (Cozort, 1986, p. 76).

[3] The first “drop of deep sleep” lies in the heart or at the tip of the penis. The second “drop of the dreaming state”, which is also known as the “drop of speech”, is likewise to be sought in the genital region or in the throat. The third “drop of the waking state” moves between the forehead and the navel. The fourth “drop of erotic ecstasy”, which is experienced during sexual intercourse between man and woman, may be found in the genitals or beneath the roof of the skull. It is also referred to as the “drop of transcendental wisdom” (Dhargyey, 1985, pp. 121,122).

[4] The Sadanga Yoga is not identical to the “Six Part Yoga of Naropa” which is far better known in the West. The Maha Siddha (Naropa) must nevertheless have known both types of yoga, since he refers to the Sadanga exercises in his commentary on the Kalachakra Tantra. In the original text of the Time Tantra (Sekkodesha) this yoga is only very briefly mentioned, in verses 115-119 of the fourth chapter. However, this brief passage has nothing to say about its fundamental importance, rather just that numerous specific documents exist to which the yogi can easily obtain access. Of these, many of these are in the meantime available in English or German translations. (See above all the works by Grönbold.)

[5] In contrast, alongside the four “night signs” mentioned above, Daniel Cozort mentions the following six “day signs”: (5) destructive fire; (6) the sun; (7) the moon; (8) the planet Rahu; (9) a stroke of lightning; and (10) the blue point (Cozort, 1986, p. 125). In the eleventh sign Kalachakra and Vishvamata reveal themselves in sexual union within the blue drop. The Sekkodesha calls this event the “universal, clear shining image” and speaks of an epiphany of the all-knowing Buddha, who shines “like the sun in water, unbesmirched, of every color, with all aspects, recognized as an expression of our own consciousness, without any objectivity” (Naropa, 1994, pp. 229, 254). Other texts specify still more photisms, but in all cases they concern pure fire and light meditations which the yogi has to successfully traverse.
Site Admin
Posts: 29965
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am


Postby admin » Fri Jun 19, 2015 1:33 am


8. The Adi Buddha: His Mystic Body and his Astral Aspects:

The highest goal of the Kalachakra initiation is the attainment of a spiritual state which is referred to as ADI BUDDHA. In the year 1833, the founder of western Tibetology, the Hungarian Csoma de Körös, quoted for the first time in a European language the famous Kalachakra theses which the Maha Siddha Tilopa is said to have fixed to the gates of the Buddhist university in Nalanda. In them the ADI BUDDHA is introduced as the highest ONE, from whom everything else emerges: “He, that does not know the chief first Buddha (Adi-Buddha), knows not the circle of time (Kalachakra). He, that does not know the circle of time, knows not the exact enumeration of the divine attributes. He that does not know the exact enumeration of the divine attributes, knows not the supreme intelligence. He, that does not know the supreme intelligence, knows not the tantric principles. He, that does not know the tantric principles, and all such, are wanderers in the orb transmigratos, and are out of the way of the supreme triumphator. Therefore Adi-Buddha must be taught by every true lama, and every true disciple who aspires to liberation must hear them” (quoted by Körös, 1984, pp. 21, 22). No other tantra has made the idea of the ADI BUDDHA so central to its teaching as the Kalachakra Tantra.

It would be false to assume that the ADI BUDDHA is a being who resides in the highest spiritual sphere which the historical Buddha referred to as nirvana. This becomes apparent when we examine the three gateways of consciousness which lead to this ultimate realm of enlightenment (nirvana): (1) the emptiness (shunyata); (2) the signless (animitta); and (3) the wish-less (apranihata).

Nirvana, the raison d’être of Buddhism, is because of these three gateways a greatness no longer able to be defined in words. We can only ever talk “about” it, yet never capture it in words or conceptually grasp it. Edward Conze, the eminent historian of Buddhism, has assembled a great number of such formulations with which Buddhist authors have attempted to “picture” the highest spiritual level of their religion. We would like to quote some of these here: nirvana is the deathless, immutable, endless, enduring, it is peace, rest, silence, liberation, renunciation, the invisible, refuge, supreme good.

The impersonal “character” of nirvana is already apparent from this list. Nirvana is thus under no circumstances a person, but rather a state of consciousness. For this reason the bodily depiction of the enlightened Buddha was forbidden in early Buddhist iconography. Following his entry into nirvana he could only be portrayed symbolically and never physically — as, for example, a wheel or a pillar of fire or even through his absence whereby the artist drew an “empty” throne. The “Sublime One” who already dwells in the emptiness could not be portrayed more graphically.

Accordingly, nirvana is no creation, not even the prime cause of creation, but rather standstill. It is no action, but rather inaction; no goal-directed thought, rather non-thought. It is without intent and knows no motivation. It does not command, but rather remains silent. It is disinterested and lacks engagement. It stands outside time. It has no gender. It is not even, in the initial historical phase of Buddhism, identical with the mystical “clear light”. All this, however — the creative force, the highest clear light, action, thought, motivation, command — does apply to the ADI BUDDHA.

Unlike nirvana, the ADI BUDDHA is not sexually neutral, rather he is the Great Cosmic Androgyne who has integrated the polarity of the sexes within himself. He arose from himself, exists through himself, that is, he has no father or mother. He is birthless and deathless, without beginning and without end. He is the highest bliss and free of all suffering. He is untarnished and flawless. He is the collapse of opposites, the undivided. He is wisdom and method, form and formlessness, compassion and emptiness. He is the quiet and the motion, he is static and dynamic. He has countless names. He is the universal god, the highest lord. In the words of an old Indian hymn dedicated to him,

He is the ONE and proclaims the teaching of unity;
He stands at the summit of being.
He permeates everything; he is the infallible way.
He is the victor, one whose enemy is defeated,
a conqueror, a world ruler who possesses the great powers.
He is the leader of the flock, the teacher of the flock,
the lord of the flock, the master of the flock, the wielder of power.
He has great power, withstands all burdens.
He does not need to be led by others; he is the great leader.
He is the lord of speech, the master of speech,
the eloquent one, the master of the voice, the eternal word.

(quoted by Grönbold, 1995, p. 53)

We are standing here at an interesting turning point in the history of the Buddhist teaching. Instead of the unnamable, impersonal and sexless emptiness of nirvana, we are suddenly confronted by an androgynous universal ruler. A Buddha dwelling in nirvana is outside of all time, the ADI BUDDHA in contrast is, according to a statement by the Maha Siddha Tilopa, identical with the time god Kalachakra. “He is the Wheel of Time, without an equal, imperishable” (Carelli, 1941, p. 21). “The Primordial Buddha [ADI BUDDHA] gives rise to Wheel of Time, the cycle of creation and destruction, unceasing change, that defines our existence”, we are told by Bernbaum (Bernbaum, 1980, p. 127). He is the “king of the Kalachakra Tantra”.

He knows the entire secret doctrine of the tantras, controls the body, the language, the awareness and possesses all magic powers. The Kalachakra Tantra celebrates him as the lord of illusions, “who emanates many illusory forms. He uses those emanated forms to uproot trees, and also to shake the mountain tops” (quoted by Newman, 1987, p. 296). He is a dharmaraja, a king of laws, because he commands all beings as the hierarch. He presides over gods and mortals as the highest universal judge. As the bringer of salvation he vanquishes the foes of Buddhism and leads his followers into the golden age. The ADI BUDDHA stands active at the center of the Buddhist universe, which at the same time emanates from him. Nevertheless he can appear in the anthropomorphic form of a human, a yogi.

If we were to describe the ADI BUDDHA in the terms of philosophical idealism, then we would have to introduce such phrases as “absolute spirit”, “absolute subjectivity”, “absolute ego”. He is the ego ipsissimus of the yogi, whom the latter tries to attain through his sexual magic practices. At the end of his initiation, in one tantric text he proudly cries out: “I make the universe manifest within myself in the Sky of Consciousness. I, who am the universe, am its creator. [….] The universe dissolves within me. I who am the flame of the great eternal fire of Consciousness.” (quoted by Dyczkowski, 1987, p. 189). Of course, these sentences are not addressed to an individual “ego”, but rather the “superego” of a divine universal being.

Alongside the absolute subjectification of the ADI BUDDHA, whose will is law and whose power is unbounded, there is oddly also the view which would see in this supreme being a great cosmic machine. The universal Buddha has also been imagined to be a clockwork in which every cogwheel is linked to others and all the cogs mesh. The mechanism of Buddhist cosmogony and its controller proceeds in unending repetition, without anything in this chain of events being able to be changed. Everything has its place, its order, its repetition. Even its own destruction — as we shall show — has become an inbuilt event of this mega-machine, just like the inevitable subsequent resurrection of the divine apparatus. A never-ending process, which can never be stopped, never turned back, never varied. Friedrich Nietzsche must have caught a glimpse of this cosmic clock when he experienced his vision of “eternal repetition”. The ADI BUDDHA is this world clock, the dieu machine or divine machine. Absolute will and absolute mechanism, absolute subjectivity and absolute objectivity, the absolute EGO and the OTHER are supposed to find unity in the absolute archetype of the ADI BUDDHA. This paradox is put about by the tantric teachers as a great mystic secret.

Undoubtedly the universal Buddha (ADI BUDDHA) of the Kalachakra Tantra exhibits all the characteristics of a universal god, a world ruler (pantocrat), a messiah (savior) and a creator; he undoubtedly possesses monotheistic traits. [1]

The idea of an omnipotent divine being, many of whose characteristics match the Near East concept of a creator god, was already accepted in Mahayana Buddhism and was taken up from there by the early tantras (fourth century C.E.). It first found its maturity and final formulation in the Kalachakra teachings (tenth century). Many western researchers are led by the monotheistic traits of the ADI BUDDHA to suspect non-Buddhist, primarily Near Eastern influences here. Convincing references to Iranian sources have been made. The continuing development of the image and its contour are further indebted to a reaction against Islam. In India and the Near East the personally-oriented theophany of Allah presented the common populace with an attractive and emotional counter-model to the elitist and “abstract” nirvana doctrine of the learned Buddhist monks. It thus seemed natural to incorporate appropriate charismatic images into one’s own cult. As arch-god, the ADI BUDDHA also represents an alternative to Hindu polytheism, which at that time threatened Buddhism just as strongly as the teachings of the Koran later did.

There had not been such a subjectification of the image of god in the philosophically oriented opinions of the early Buddhist schools up until the great scholar Nagarjuna (second to third century C.E.). They were all at pains to portray the “Buddha” as a level of consciousness, a cognitive field, a stage of enlightenment, as emptiness, in brief as a mental state, yet not as a Creator Mundi. In the ADI BUDDHA system, however, the creative aspect plays just as great a role as, for example, the epiphany of divine wrath or the apocalyptic judgment of divine destruction. But the highest mental and transpersonal Buddha consciousness exists on a level beyond creation and destruction, beyond life and death.

The ADI BUDDHA is according to doctrine the “theological” principle, which pervades the entire tantric ritual system. In his perfected form he appears as the “androgyne cosmocrat”, in his incomplete form he is still progressing through the individual initiation levels of the Kalachakra Tantra as a practicing yogi. In principle the mystic body of the tantra master coincides with that of the ADI BUDDHA, but complete identity first occurs when the yogi has “exterminated” all elements of his human body and transformed it into a divine body.

Let us now look at the expansion of power of the ADI BUDDHA as it is described in the Kalachakra Tantra. Essentially it exhibits five aspects:

An inner aspect, which can be described via microcosmic procedures in the androgynous energy body of the yogi (or of the ADI BUDDHA respectively). There is a “physiological map” of this, depicted with a complicated symbolic character, the so-called dasakaro vasi (the ten energy winds). We shall examine this sign more closely.

A temporal/astral aspect, which stretches to the stars. In his macrocosmic dimension the ADI BUDDHA encompasses the whole universe. As far as the heavenly bodies of sun, moon and stars are mentioned, they are treated, in the Kalachakra Tantra as in all archaic cultures, as the indicators of time. Anyone who controls them is accordingly the master of time. In this chapter we analyze the various tantric models of time.

A spatial/cosmic aspect, which likewise extends across all of space. The ADI BUDDHA is, although also a person, likewise identical with the structure of the Buddhist cosmos, or — to put it another way — the macrocosmic model of the universe is homologous with the microcosmic body of the ADI BUDDHA. Both take the form of a mandala (a cosmic diagram). Here we describe the structure of the universe over which the ADI BUDDHA exerts his power.

A global/political aspect, which is focused upon the idea of a Buddhist world ruler (Chakravartin). As we shall show, the ADI BUDDHA makes an outright claim for real political power over the whole globe.

A mytho-political program. The Kalachakra Tantra does not just treat the topic of the world ruler in general, but has also developed a specific utopia, ideology, and form of state, which are summarized in what is called the Shambhala myth. This global political program of the ADI BUDDHA is so significant for an understanding of the Kalachakra Tantra and later for the analysis of Tibetan history that we devote a separate section to it.

In the second, political part of our study (“Politics as ritual”) we shall examine all of these five aspects in connection with the Fourteenth Dalai Lama. He is currently the highest Kalachakra master, whose person, actions and thoughts most closely approximate the conception of an ADI BUDDHA.

The “Power of Ten”: The mystic body of the ADI BUDDHA:

The control of cosmic energies through a mystic body described in the Kalachakra Tantra is a tradition which was also known in medieval Europe. There were philosophical schools in the West as well which regarded the anatomy of the human mystic body and cosmography as the same science. The person and the universe formed a unity. Homo omnis creatura — “man is the entire creation”. In this view, the microcosmic organs and limbs — the heart, the navel, the arms, the head, the eyes, for example — all had their macrocosmic correspondences.

In order to realize the microcosmic conditions for the expansion of power of the ADI BUDDHA, an androgynous body of a yogi is needed, that is, the internalization of the maha mudra (inner woman) which we have described above. This obsessive conception, that absolute power can be conjured up through the “mystic marriage” of the masculine and feminine principles within a single person, also had European alchemy in its thrall. We are once again confronted with an event which plays so central a role in both cultures (Western and Eastern) that the equation Tantrism = alchemy ought to be taken most seriously. At the end of the “great work” (opus magnum) of the Westerners we likewise encounter that transpersonal and omnipotent super being of whom it is said that it is “at the same time the controlling principle (masculine) and the controlled principle (feminine) and therefore androgynous” (Evola, 1989, p. 48). In the relevant texts it is also referred to as Hermaphroditus, to indicate that its masculine part consists of the god Hermes, and its feminine part of the goddess of love, Aphrodite. This bisexual deity is like the ADI BUDDHA a creative spirit who produces the universe. In the Corpus Hermeticum, the late Egyptian collection of mysto-magical texts (200 B.C.E.–200 C.E.) from which European alchemy is derived, we can already read that an “intellectual being, the masculine/feminine god, is the life and light”, which produced the universe (Evola, 1989, pp. 78, 79). Such fundamental correspondences reveal that we are confronted with far more than an astounding parallel between two cultural spheres. There is therefore much to be said for the suggestion that the Kalachakra Tantra and European alchemy both stem from a common source.

As we have already reported in some detail, the artificial genesis of the cosmic androgyne in both the occidental/alchemic and the tantric/Buddhist experiments is preceded by the sacrifice of the feminine sphere and its subsequent integration into the masculine sphere. Additionally, in both cases the old mental and physical “aggregates” of the adept are destroyed. At the same time as his tantric colleague, the alchemist also dies and “lives through” several subtle deaths until he attains his goal. He too dissolves his human existence so as to be born as a deity. He strips away what the texts refer to as his “old Adam” (his human existence) in order to develop himself up into the “new Adam”, the universal superhuman (or god), just as the Tantric must let his earthly personality and ego die so as to then serve as the vessel of a deity.

According to the micro/macrocosmic doctrine, the cosmic androgyne — in alchemy as in Vajrayana — exercises control over the entire universe with the help of his mysto-magical body. The origin of the universal power lies inside the yogi and then grows out of his “small” body to finally expand to the “great” body of the universe, just as an oak tree grows from an acorn. In this micro/macrocosm theory we must regard the mystic body of the yogi as the central monad of which all other monads (and all other people too) are simply reflections, or, to put it more concretely — and both the alchemists and the Tantrics were so concrete — through the control of his energy body the cosmic androgyne (the ADI BUDDHA or the alchemic Hermaphroditus) determines the orbit of the stars, the politics of the world we know, and the psyche of the individual.

The dasakaro vasi:

The microcosmic body of the ADI BUDDHA, with which he controls the whole universe, is depicted in the Kalachakra Tantra by an enigmatic symbol which goes by the name of the “Power of Ten” (Sanskrit dasakaro vasi; Tibetan namchuwangdan). The German orientalist, Albert Grünwedel, called it the “Powerful in Ten Forms” and the first Western Tibetologist, Csoma de Körös, the “Ten Protectors of the World”.

We find the character on numerous Lamaist objects. It adorns the covers of books, small boxes and containers for amulets, appears on stupas, and is considered a talisman in everyday life. As the personal seal of the Panchen Lama it is surrounded by the mythic bird, garuda, swallowing a snake. The dasakaro vasi is said to have been displayed for the first time together with the above-mentioned ADI BUDDHA theses of the Maha Siddha and Kalachakra specialist, Tilopa, on the gates of the Indian monastic university in Nalanda.

The dasakaro vasi (Tib. namchuwangdan)

The sign incorporates seven interwoven letters, of which each is in a different color. Letters one to five depict the five elements in the following order: air, fire, water, earth, space. The sixth letter represents Mount Meru, the cosmic axis of the Buddhist universe; the seventh the lotus, or the twelve continents arranged in a wheel around Mount Meru in Buddhist cosmology, one of which is supposed to be our earth. Above this we find the moon (10), and the sun (11). Both are crowned by the dark demon Rahu in the form of a small flame.

This entwined character (dasakaro vasi) is the anatomical map of the microcosmic body of the ADI BUDDHA. The individual lines forming the letters are therefore described as his inner venous or nervous system. On a mysto-physical level the dasakaro vasi symbol refers to the ten main energy channels from which a total of 72,000 side channels branch off. The starting point for the whole body schema is — as we have described above — formed by the three central veins assigned to the genders, the masculine on the left (lalana), the feminine on the right (rasana) and the androgynous middle channel (avadhuti).

Each of the letters composing the dasakaro vasi corresponds to a particular form of energy. The elements — earth, fire, water and space— also count as energies. Each of the energy currents which flow through the veins can be activated by a corresponding magic spell (mantra). Put together, the various mantras form a single magic formula, which is said to grant whoever pronounces it correctly power over the entire universe; the word is “hamkshahmalavaraya” (Mullin, 1991, p. 327). This global mantra controls all ten of the main energies which constitute creation and which the tantra master controls through the force of his spirit and his breathing.

This too has its counterpart in European alchemy or in the cabbala closely interwoven with it. The androgynous cabbalist deity in the Jewish system likewise possesses a mystic body composed of ten (!) energy centers, the ten sephirot, and 32 canales occultae (occult channels) coming out of these. The first three sephirot correspond to the three main tantric channels of the sexes: chochma is the masculine, bina the feminine, and kether the androgynous one.

There is no doubt that the ADI BUDDHA is identical with the venous system of the dasakaro vasi. Yet we must make a differentiation here, for there are numerous indications in the Kalachakra Tantra that the “Power of Ten” (dasakaro vasi) is exclusively regarded as the symbol of a feminine energy system which the adept renders subservient via the “method” (upaya). The term is namely also translated as the “ten shaktis” or the “ten powerful goddesses”. (Bryant, 1992, p. 157). Each of them bears a special name. These shaktis represent the ten primal forces of the ADI BUDDHA. They are additionally equated with the ten “states of perfection” of the consciousness: magnanimity, morality, patience, effort, concentration, wisdom, method, spiritual goal setting, spiritual power, and transcendent wisdom.

The ADI BUDDHA has — as it says in one Kalachakra text — dissolved the shaktis within himself (Dalai Lama XIV, 1985, p.406). It must be concluded from this sentence that prior to this inner act of dissolution they must have existed in the external world, either really or subtly. If our suspicion is correct, then these ten shaktis of the dasakaro vasi are the ten mudras who celebrated a ganachakra together with the tantra master in the four highest initiations of the Time Tantra. A further passage from the Kalachakra Tantra makes reference to this: “At that time there appear the forms of the various empty body Shaktis”, it says there, “The yogi, who has arisen in the form of the empty body deity, then sexually unites with these goddesses, giving rise to the extraordinary, supreme, unchanging bliss” (Mullin, 1991, p. 235).Here, his “empty body” absorbs the “form bodies” of the goddesses, so that these continue to exist within his interior as energy currents or as a mystic venous system. In the previous sections we have shown how the real women (karma mudras) at a ganachakra are transformed via a ritual sacrifice into spirit women (dakinis) so as to then continue their existence as the maha mudra ("inner woman”) in the body of the yogi. Adelheid Herrmann-Pfand writes that “the dakinis (or ten shaktis) are identified with the veins of the mystic yoga physiology, so that the [yogi’s] body [becomes] a horde of dakinis. The process of their union is conceived as a union of these veins or, respectively, of the energies circulating within them which unite into a great current, ascend, and finally pulse through the whole body. ... Through the union with all dakinis one becomes the same as all Buddhas” (Hermann-Pfand, 1992, pp. 400, 401).

In the image of the dasakaro vasi then, the ten shaktis (the ten mudras) flow together into a single powerful female being, the so-called “world woman”. We know her from the Kalachakra Tantra under the name of Vishvamata, the goddess of time. The various lines of the sign (dasakaro vasi) therefore symbolize, strictly speaking, her mystic venous system which is inserted into the empty body of the yogi or ADI BUDDHA at the culmination of the tantric ritual, becomes a part of his self and lies under his control. The male tantra master is thus in possession of a female energy body.


We must thus now ask what remains of him as a man? Are the yogi and his male body made female and transformed into the “great goddess”? No! As “empty” as the tantra master may have made himself, he would never relinquish his breathing. His breathing is the absolute control instrument with which he steers the incorporated “world woman” or the “ten shaktis”. A yogi who has mastered his breathing is said to ride the energy wind. He possesses a “wind or breath body”. Wind, air, and breath form a unity in tantric terminology and praxis. For this reason, and homologous to the ten shaktis or the ten veins of the “world woman”, the dasakaro vasi are spoken of in the Time Tantra as the ten “main winds”: “The first eight winds correspond to the eight goddesses (shakti) who surround the divine couple, Kalachakra and Vishvamata, whilst the last two are linked to the center and are associated with the goddess Vishvamata” (Brauen, 1992, p. 55).

The final step in controlling the winds is “holding the great breath”. With it, the yogi dissolves the “world woman” in his imagination into emptiness, that is, he exterminates her or brings her to a standstill. But since he can recreate her from nothing at any moment he is “lord over her life and her death”. With her death the world ends, with her creatio ex nihilo it arises anew, then the wind energies of the yogi “are endowed with special potencies that are capable of shaping a new world”, as the Tibetan Kalachakra interpreter Lodrö Tayé tells us (Tayé, 1995, p. 177).

Once the yogi has incorporated the dasakaro vasi, the world woman or the “ten powerful goddesses” he has become the ADI BUDDHA, who now possesses a bisexual “diamond body” (vajrakaya). The tantra researcher, Alex Wayman, has described how the vajrakaya emerges from the gender dynamics: “The fact that in each instance the goddess is imagined as the initiator, or as the female element behind the scenes, indicates the initiations as the step-wise progress in the solidification of the innate body of the tantras ... meaning the progress of that body to the pregenetic androgyne state and then to the Clear Light” (Wayman, 1977, p. 69). European alchemy also has its vajrakaya, the “glory body” which the adept receives in the finale of the opus (the great work).

Let us summarize: according to the teachings of the Kalachakra Tantra, the mystic body of the ADI BUDDHA consists of ten main energy channels. These correspond on a macrocosmic level to the ten main energies from which all the forces of our universe are derived. To move and lead the individual energies, the ADI BUDDHA makes use of above all his breathing. His energy body is symbolically depicted as the dasakaro vasi.

An “etiology” of this sign leads us to the ganachakra, or the four last initiations of the Time Tantra. The ten energy winds, which also go by the name of the ten shaktis, correspond to the ten karma mudras who participate in the sexual magic ritual. The dasakaro vasi is therefore a further proof for the fundamental significance of the “tantric female sacrifice” in Vajrayana Buddhism, since the gynergy of the ten tantric sexual partners is stolen in the ganachakra and then integrated into the mystic body of the yogi so that he can obtain the androgynous diamond body of an ADI BUDDHA with it. This body is the powerful instrument through which he controls all the processes of the universe.

The astral-temporal aspects of the ADI BUDDHA:

There is an occult correspondence between the microcosmic body of the ADI BUDDHA and the macrocosmic universe. In the Kalachakra Tantra the term ADI BUDDHA encompasses both the energy body of the practicing yogi or vajra master and the entire universe with all its worlds and stars. The yogi, the ADI BUDDHA, the tantra master, and the laws of the universe are thus synonymous and form a mystic unity. (We take the liberty of repeating that this doctrine of magic correspondences is absolutely essential to an understanding of tantric logic and that, under the influence of our western/scientific world view, we tend to forget this.)

Already, the story has it, when the historical Buddha was explaining the Kalachakra Tantra to King Suchandra for the first time, he indicated that the entire universe was to be found within his body. The map of the heavens is similarly inscribed in his body. Sun, moon, and stars are found not just outside, but also within, the mystic body of the yogi (ADI BUDDHA). It was thus that the conception could arise that an enlightened tantra master could move the planets through his internal energy winds. Consequently, the rotation of the stars which we can observe in the firmament is also an action of the winds. “The wheel of stars, fixed at both poles [the pole star], propelled by driving winds, rotates untiringly”, it says in an astronomical fragment from the Kalachakra Tantra (quoted by Petri, 1966, p. 58). This driving wind is considered to be “the cosmic breath” of the ADI BUDDHA. Since the motion of the heavenly bodies proclaims the time, the microcosmic “star body” of the tantra master (ADI BUDDHA) is correspondingly a type of time machine, a “cosmic clock”.

Since a universal drama (the fiery ascent of the candali) is played out in the energy body of the yogi, there must, according to the doctrine of correspondences, be a matching performance in the macrocosmic heavens. We now wish to examine this spectacle in more detail: the sun and moon play the main roles here, the five planets have bit parts. Two further powerful astral protagonists, unknown to us here in the West, also take to the stage. They are called Rahu and Kalagni. The zodiac and the fixed stars initially remain in the audience, but become caught up in the general whirlwind of events at the end.
Site Admin
Posts: 29965
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am


Postby admin » Fri Jun 19, 2015 1:33 am


Sun—feminine ∙ Moon—masculine:

The sun and moon correspond in the Kalachakra Tantra to the right and left energy channels in the mystic body of the yogi respectively. Here too, just as in tantric astrology, the sun is considered feminine and linked to fire and menstrual blood; the moon in contrast is masculine and corresponds to water and semen. This homology is, as we have already pointed out more than once, very unusual in terms of cultural history, then traditionally the moon is seen as feminine and the sun as masculine.

Perhaps we can grasp this symbolic inconsistency better if we take a look at the astral and elemental associations of fire and water, sun and moon in the Indian cultural sphere. In the Vedic era (1500–1000 B.C.E.) the symbolic linkages were still classical: man = fire and sun; woman = water and moon. The horse symbolism at this stage central to religious life also reflected this “classic” orientation: The stallion represented the sun and the day, the mare the moon and the night. The “sun stallion” symbolized the accumulation of masculine power, the “moon mare” feminine power. The latter was thus equated with the loss of male power in the androcentric society and was considered a symbol for castration anxieties.

In the Upanishads (800–600 B.C.E.) fire continued to be regarded as a masculine element. The man thrust his “fire penis” and his “fire semen” into the “watery” cave of the female vagina. (O'Flaherty, 1982, p. 55). Here too the feminine was classified as inferior and harmful. The “way of the sun” led to freedom from rebirth, the “way of the moon” led to unwanted incarnation.

Even in the first century (C.E.), the Puranas (a collection of old Indian myths) employed the fiery energy as a name for the semen virile. Yet at this time the conception had already emerged that the male seed ought to be assigned to the moon on account of its pale color, while menstrual blood should depict a solar energy. This idea then became codified in Tantrism, of both the Hindu and Buddhist form. For example, we can read in a shivaite text that “the male semen represents the moon, the female flux represents the sun, therefore the Yogi with great care must combine the sun and the moon in his own body” (O’Flaherty, 1982, p. 255).

The symbolic equipment of the Hindu god Shiva also provides a vivid example of this 180-degree change in the sexual significance of the sun and moon. Shiva wears the moon upon his head as a crown, is mounted upon the animal symbol of the great mother, the bull Nandi, and has her midnight blue skin (like the goddess Kali). He, the masculine god, is also fitted out with emblems which were regarded as feminine in the preceding cultural epochs. In terms of religious history, the symbolic reinterpretation of sun and moon probably takes effect in his appearance.
But why?

We have already indicated on a number of occasions times that androcentric Tantrism must be deeply rooted in matriarchal religious concepts since it accords the universe a feminine character, even if the yogi exercises universal dominance at the end of the tantric ritual. This could be the reason why the male seed is symbolically linked to the moon. An androcentric claim to power over the traditionally feminine is, namely, already expressed in this association, before the whole tantric initiation process is set in motion. The most supreme masculine substance of all, the semen virile, reveals itself in feminine guise in order to demonstrate its omnipotence over both genders. Shiva wears the moon crown to indicate that he has integrated all the energies of the moon goddess in himself, that is, he has become the commander of the moon (and thereby of the feminine).

Naturally, we must now ask ourselves what happens to the semen feminile and the menstrual blood of the goddess. For reasons of symmetry, these symbols are assigned to the sun and to fire. But doesn’t the woman through this culturally anomalous distribution now absorb the force and power of the formerly masculine solar principle? Not at all — then in the tantras the “feminine sun” and “feminine fire” have obviously not taken on the many positive characteristics which distinguished the “masculine sun” and “masculine fire” in the preceding cultural epochs in India. In the Kalachakra Tantra they are no longer shining, warm, rational, and creative, in contrast they represent deadly heat, pyromania, flaming destructive frenzy, and irrationality on all levels. The yogi does admittedly understand how to deal skillfully with these negative feminine fire energies, he even outright uses them to burn up his coarse body and the universe, but they are not thereby transformed into anything positive. Whilst the tantra master — as we have shown — survives as “pure spirit” the flaming adventure of destruction in which his human body is exterminated, in the end his “inner fire woman” (the autonomous feminine principle) burns herself up and disappears for good from the tantric activities. We must thus distinguish between a destructive feminine sun and a creative masculine sun, just as we must draw a distinction between the ruinous fire of the candali and fire as a significant masculine symbol of the Buddha’s power.

The ADI BUDDHA (Kalachakra master) as the androgynous arch-sun:

The association of the image of the Buddha with sun and fire metaphors is, in contrast to his links to moon and water symbols, pervasive and is already attested to in early Buddhism. Buddha’s father, Suddhodana, was descended from a “sun dynasty” and counted as a member of the “sun race”. As a sign of his solar descent his son bore images of the sun upon the soles of his feet, a thousand-rayed wheel or a “hooked cross” (the swastika is an ancient sun symbol), for example. A sun-wheel adorns the back of his “spiritual” throne.

In all cultures the lion represents the “sun animal” par excellence; this is also true of Buddhism. According to a well-known legend, Shakyamuni Gautama Buddha roared like a lion upon leaving his mother’s body. From then on he was called the “lion of the house of Shakya”. After the young Gautama had fled his palace in order to follow the path of enlightenment, he also roared “with the sound of a lion”: “Till I have seen the farther shore of birth and death, I will never enter again the city ...” (Joseph Campbell, 1973, p. 265). How the gods rejoiced when they heard this powerful “leonine voice”. Joseph Campbell, a researcher of myths, comments upon this significant moment in world history in the following words: “The adventure had begun that was to shape the civilization of the larger portion of human race The lion roar, the sound of the solar spirit, the principle of the pure light of the mind, unafraid of its own force, had broken forth in the night of stars. And as the sun, rising, sending forth its rays, scatters both the terrors and the raptures of the night: as the lion roar, sending its warning out across the teeming animal plane, scatters the marvelously beautiful gazelles in fear: so that lion roar of the one who had thus come gave warning of a lion pounce of light to come.” (Joseph Campbell, 1962, 265)

Both in Mahayana Buddhism which followed and later in Tantrism this solar apotheosis of the Buddha is strictly maintained and even extended. The sun metaphors lie at the center of the Kalachakra Tantra too. The time god has a “body like the Sun”, it says there (Newman, 1987, pp. 225, 326). Kalachakra is particularly often spoken of as the “daymaker sun” (Newman, 1987, p. 243). He is the lord of the “three hundred and sixty solar days” (Newman, 1987, p. 454) and sits upon a “vajra lion throne”. His believers worship him as “the splendid lion of the Sakyas” (Newman, 1987, p. 243). In a commentary upon the Time Tantra we can read that “Kalachakra is in all three worlds as the sun, which is the image of time” (Banerjee, 1959, p. 133).

When the universal regal power of the Buddha needs to be illustrated, then the sun symbols step back out into the limelight in Tantrism as well. The images of the moon, which are of such great significance in the mystic body of the yogi, now in the very same texts play second fiddle, or sometimes count as emblems of negativity. Hence the Kalachakra researcher Günter Grönbold places the “solar” descent of the historical Buddha in direct contrast to the lunar sphere: “The dynasty of the sun stands, as the reader is aware, for the principle of the unadulterated light. The light of the sun is pure. The light of the moon in contrast has its share of darkness. Moreover, the light of the sun is eternal, whilst the light of the moon, which waxes and wanes in the counterplay with its own darkness, is mortal and immortal at the same time” (Grönbold, 1969, p. 38). That such a sudden “heliolatry” can be only poorly squared with the logic of tantric physiology, in which the masculine principle is represented by the moon and the feminine by the sun, is also apparent to several commentators upon the Kalachakra Tantra. Therefore, so that no doubts can arise about the solar superiority of the male time god, these authors have degraded the time goddess, Vishvamata, who according the tantric understanding of the body possesses a solar nature, as follows: She “represents not the sun itself, but the sun's effect of daily cycles [hours]" (Mullin, 1991, p. 273). She thus symbolizes a “small feminine sun” which is overshadowed by the “great masculine sun” of the ADI BUDDHA.

Fundamentally it must be said that in the Kalachakra Tantra the androgynous ADI BUDDHA unites fire and water, sun and moon within himself — but nevertheless in the final instance he lets himself be glorified as an androcentric arch-sun, so as to demonstrate the masculine light’s primacy in comparison to the darkness. The sun symbol is therefore of a far greater radius than the natural sun. It integrates within itself all the light metaphors of the universe. In a description by Herbert Guenther the highest Buddha (ADI BUDDHA) appears “as if the light of the sun were to fall into an ocean of vermilion; as if the luster of all the suns in the universe were to gather in a single sun; as if a golden altar were rising higher and higher in the sky; ... as it fills the sky with its rays of light as if all the suns in the universe had become a single sun” (quoted by Guenther, 1966, p. 101). The reader should never lose sight of the fact that the ADI BUDDHA, and hence the arch-sun, is identical with the mystic body of the initiated yogi.

Rahu—the swallower of sun and moon:

In Greek mythology the union of sun (Helios) and moon (Selene) is celebrated as a mystic marriage, as the collapse of opposites. We can also find such statements in the Kalachakra school, but here the Hieros Gamos is a marriage of death, brought about by a terrible existence by the name of Rahu, which we now wish to examine in more detail.

In Tibetan astronomy and astrology (which are not distinguished from one another) two further planets with the names of Rahu and Ketu are to be found alongside the seven wandering stars (the sun, moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn). Seen from an astronomical point of view we are not dealing with real heavenly bodies here, but rather with the ascendant and descendant lunar nodes, that is, the two points at which the moon’s orbit intersects the ecliptic (the path of the sun). These are also known in the occident as the “dragon’s head” and the “ dragon’s tail”, or together as the “ dragon points”. When, at times which can be determined astronomically, the moon passes through such an orbital node (or syzygy), then an eclipse can occur: when the moon is full a lunar eclipse, and with a new moon a solar eclipse.

Rahu – the Kalachakra demon of darkness

Both types of eclipse gave rise to the belief in the minds of the Indian astronomers that a gigantic planet swallowed the relevant heavenly orb. Since the shadow of the moon which obscures the sun during a solar eclipse is always pitch black, one of the imaginary planets, Rahu (which consumes the sun), is also black. In lunar eclipses the shadow of the earth appears to have a colored border and the moon becomes copper red, and hence the other planet, Ketu (which consumes the moon), is described as being colorful. Nonetheless, in the Kalachakra Tantra Ketu remains largely in the background and all the events associated with it (the lunar eclipses) are transferred to Rahu. Thus Rahu appears here as the swallower of the sun and the moon.

Let us now take a closer look at the mythical origin of the dark demon (Rahu). In old Indian tales Rahu storms across the heavens in a dark chariot drawn by eight black horses as swift as thought itself. He pursues the orbs of sun and moon, snapping at their heels with his huge jaws. In another version of the myth, however, only Rahu’s head still exists floating above the firmament, having been severed by Indra, the sun god, as the dark demon tried to steal the vital drink of the gods. Nonetheless, this decapitation did not hinder him from continuing to fly through the heavens and swallowing the sun and moon. It is just that these now passed through him unharmed and soon reappeared, freed from the lower end of his throat. In astronomical terms this process signifies the end of the solar or lunar eclipse respectively.

Rahu plays such a prominent role in the philosophy of the Kalachakra Tantra that according to Helmut Hoffmann the events associated with him form a “darkness theology” of their own (Hoffmann, 1964, p. 128). The epithets of the dark demon alone have much to say about his psychology and proclaim his comprehensive mythic program. He is known, among other things, as the “enemy of the moon, subduer of the moon, darkling, flesh-devourer, lion’s son, the roarer, but also [as the] lightgiver of the heavenly paradise” (Petri, 1966, p. 141). He is also called “dragon”, “snake”, “eclipser”, and “lord of the darkness”. In the Hevajra Tantra it is still said that it is solely the consciousness of the yogi which brings the sun and moon under control. But in the Kalachakra Tantra, the Vajra master in league with Rahu pronounces the sentence of destruction over the two heavenly bodies. It becomes the task of the “darkling” (Rahu) to destroy the two shining orbs as autonomous forces, that is, to bring the masculine and feminine energies to a standstill.

The destruction of the gender polarity appears — as we have seen — as a necessary stage along the road to power in every tantric ritual. The final goal is first reached by that initiand, “by whom the ways of the sun and the moon are completely destroyed” (Grönbold, 1969, p. 74), as a text from the Sadhanga Yoga says, and the famous tantra master Saraha requires that: “Where motility and intentionality are not operative / And where neither sun nor moon appear, / There, you fools, let mind relax restfully” (Guenther, 1976, pp. 69-70). Since the sun and moon both indicate the time, their exterminator Rahu is also described as “free from time” (Wayman, 1973, p. 163).

Likewise, in the Kalachakra Tantra the middle energy channel within the yogi’s body (avadhuti), which draws the right-hand, solar and left-hand, lunar energy currents into itself and thereby shuts them down as independent forces, is equated with Rahu which indeed also destroys the sun and moon. The avadhuti therefore bears its name and is called “Rahu’s channel” (Wayman, 1973, p. 163). In reference to the “lord of the darkness” the middle channel is also known as the “leading channel of the darkness” (Naropa, 1994, p. 272).

Its association with the bodily geography of the yogi also brings the planetary demon into contact with the mystic heat. Accordingly, Rahu, the swallower of the shining orbs, blazes as an “androgyne fire” in the Tantric’s body (Wayman, 1983, p. 616). “Hence also when one reaches the androgyne as fire in the middle the sun and the moon will disappear” (Wayman, 1983, p. 616), The relationship of this fire symbolism to the candali, who is conceived of as purely feminine and not at all androgynous, remains unresolved. But then the tantras are often not very exact when it comes to the details. Important for us is that in the Rahu myth the destruction of the heavenly orbs is executed through fire as well as through darkness. This combination has also earned the imaginary planet Rahu the name of “dark sun”. [2]

The power symbol of Rahu adorns every Tibetan stupa. In tantric doctrine it is this small, unprepossessing flame which has elevated itself above the sun and the moon so as to demonstrate that both shining orbs are under its control. The androgynous violence of the “black sun” could hardly be demonstrated more vividly or concisely.

Kalagni and the doomsday mare:

The demon Rahu also occupies a central place in the iconography of the Kalachakra couple. The four cushions upon which the time god dances with his partner (Vishvamata) contain in concentrated form the entire program of this tantra. The two upper cushions depict the sun and moon respectively and must be seen as the emblems of the two time deities (Kalachakra and Vishvamata). Beneath them lie the cushions of Kalagni and Rahu, the two demons of death which shall exterminate the mystic couple. We have already made Rahu’s acquaintance, but who is Kalagni?

Kalagni is considered the “apocalyptic fire” which destroys the world. On a microcosmic level Kalagni is equated with the “inner fire woman” of the yogi, the candali. On a macrocosmic scale this fire demoness (we have several still to be presented reasons for regarding it as a feminine force) destroys the entire universe. She liquidates the sexes as the two universal primal forces of being and therefore like the planet Rahu has the epithet of “devourer of the sun and moon”. But primarily she is known as the “fire of destruction”. The Sanskrit word kalagni is, namely, etymologically composed of kala (‘time’/‘destruction’) and agni (‘fire’). But kala also means ‘black’ and reminds us of Kali, the wrathful black goddess, ruler of the dark last days, the Kali yuga. Kalagni, Kali and Candali are accordingly variants of the terrible mother who plunges the universe and herself into a sea of flames, so that the tantra master as the ADI BUDDHA can then bring it forth from himself in an autonomous act of creation.

We can thus see that Kalagni performs similar functions to Rahu, so that we can quite reasonably regard both planets as the two aspects of the same energy (the one masculine, the other feminine). The German explorer of Kalachakra astronomy, Winfried Petri, refers to them on the basis of their limitless destructive power “as the highest instances of cosmic activity” (Petri, 1966, p. 146). They are at any rate the two protagonists of the Time Tantra who systematically bring about the downfall of the heavens, then Rahu’s and Kalagni’s destructive role is not limited to the destruction of the sun and moon. Just as the yogi burns up the various aggregate states of his body from the bottom to the top using the inner fire (candali), so too do Rahu and Kalagni destroy all the planets of the heavens (Saturn, Jupiter, etc.) in parallel, then the energy centers (chakras) in the mystic body of the tantra masters correspond to the various planetary spheres. Just as all the chakras are microcosmically burnt out by the “inner heat”, so to a corresponding planetary holocaust takes place in the macrocosmic world. Candali and Kalagni are thus aspects of the same feminine destructive force.

In the Kalachakra Tantra, Kalagni also has the epithet of “the mare's mouth fire” (Newman, 1987, pp. 229, 481). Based upon a study by the American Indologist, Doninger O’Flaherty, we would like to devote a few considerations to this peculiar phrase. The myth of the so-called “doomsday mare” has a long tradition in India. The customary tales tell of how she is held captive at the deepest point of the ocean and how flames stream continuously from her nostrils. At the end of time the monstrous horse escapes its watery prison and sets the whole universe on fire. “The fire of the mare's mouth drinks the waters of the ocean and lets them out again; eventually this fire of the underworld will destroy the universe, at the end of the Kali age”, we are told in the Indian national epic, the Mahabharata (O’Flaherty, 1982, p. 213).

In general, in Indian mythology the “mare” has characteristics similar to those we know from descriptions of the candali. It is a symbol for a “lower-class woman”, for the insatiable sexual appetite of men-destroying witches, for all erotic excesses of the female sex. “The minute she sees a man,” we read in one text, “a woman's vulva becomes wet immediately. ... Death, hell, the mare-headed [fire], a razor's edge, poison, a serpent, and fire — women are all of these in one” (O’Flaherty, 1982, p.214). Women from the retinue of the Indian goddess Kali, who are considered as seductive and highly sexual, are still today feared as emanations of the dangerous doomsday mare. [3]

Deep down, the demonic mare, inflamed with rage, is the arch-enemy of the tantra master, who can only bring her under control through the reining in of all his passions. O’Flaherty sees in her the outright cosmic gynocentric opponent to the androgynous cosmocrat, the bisexual yogi: “For the mare is the quintessential female androgyne, the phallic woman. ... female androgynes are comparatively rare but, when they occur they are more deadly than the males” (O’Flaherty, 1982, p. 236) But we ought never forget that the tantra master has mastered the magic art with which to put the deadly energy of the woman to use in his own pursuit of power. Let us also not forget that at the end of the eschatological fire occasioned by the doomsday mare (Kalagni/Candali/Kali), it is not she, but rather the yogi as ADI BUDDHA who ascends the world throne.

It is particularly striking that in the myth of the mare the apocalyptic fire comes out of the water. (The fiery mare is to be found in the depths of the world’s oceans.) If we interpret the story from the viewpoint of the tantric initiation this origin may become more comprehensible. This concerns, namely, a phenomenon which is known as “burning water” in European alchemy. Water, originally feminine, is ignited by the masculine energy of fire and then functions destructively. In the old Indian legal codex of Manu we can also read that, “Fire is born of water, as is seen in the case of lightning and the mare fire” (O’Flaherty, 1982/1988?, p.214).

Once ignited water behaves like some sort of cosmic fuel and serves the masculine as a destructive energy. On the macrocosmic level the yogi makes use of the “submarine fire” of the mare to dissolve the old universe with its help, just as he destroys his old bodily aggregates on the microcosmic level with the help of the candali. Thereby, the “death” of the ocean and of the feminine with it is preprogrammed, since when the doomsday mare has burnt up all of the seas it ultimately destroys itself, just as in parallel the candali collapses and quits the tantric stage once the tantric combustion procedure is concluded.

The doomsday mare and the apocalyptic fire, Kalagni, represent the same destructive energy, it is just that one is to be found in the depths of the sea, the other in contrast at the roots of the of the world mountain Meru, there where the fires of hell burn. When the time has come, Kalagni rises up out of the lower layers and step by step burns down the world, the planets, and the stars. Just as the yogi is weighed down with past karmic debts which he must cleanse with a baptism of fire along his way to enlightenment, so too, according to the Kalachakra doctrine, the debt of many millennia weighs upon the stars and planets. Therefore the heavenly bodies must also undergo a total purification by fire. The same is true for the twelve months and the zodiacal signs which correspond to them. They are likewise blemished with a special nidama, a type of karmic stain: the star sign Capricorn with ignorance, for example, Leo with desire, Scorpio with rebirth, and so forth (Banerjee, 1959, p. 166).

Inexorably and cruelly, Kalagni lets the whole universe go up in flames. Along with the stars the inhabitants of heaven are also burnt out, the Buddhas and the gods; with the earth humanity and all other living creatures are also consumed by fire. The elements dissolve themselves — space, air, fire, water, and earth. The entire creation sinks into a sea of fire. In the macrocosm only a few “galactic seeds” remain, which form the starting material for a new world (Tayé, 1995, p. 41). The sole element which survives this apocalypse is wind, that is, in microcosmic terms, the breath of the tantra masters (ADI BUDDHA). In the next cosmic epoch it has an effect on the remaining “galactic seeds” and creates a new universe from them. [4]

The myth of eternal recurrence:

The myth of the world fire, which dominates the Kalachakra Tantra, was originally at home in the Greek and Oriental cultures. The majority of orientalists assume that it came from Iran. From there it penetrated the Indian cultural sphere and became linked to, among other things, Buddhist systems of yoga. Hence we also find the traditional motif of the apocalyptic fire doctrine in the Time Tantra, namely the destructive triumph of Good over Evil: In an epoch of decadence Evil has seized power. Therefore the great fire which consumes the corrupted universe acts as the final catharsis. The apocalyptic logic to be found in many religions which infers that the new can only be born out of the catastrophic destruction of the old, is thus also a paradigm in the Kalachakra teachings and has, as we shall later show through examples from Tibetan history, had disastrous consequences — incidentally no less than the Apocalypse of St. John has had for the West.

Time and time again Rahu will swallow the sun and the moon, time and again Kalagni will drown the universe in a sea of flames, time and again the world will end and time and again it will arise anew. Such concepts of “eternal recurrence” repeatedly display the same apocalyptic schema: a state of paradise at the start, then accelerating decline of morals and the conditions of life, a destructive global catastrophe at the end and a glorious new beginning which recreates the original paradise.

In the Indian beliefs about world time (which were taken up by Buddhism) just as in the Greco-Roman world a distinction is drawn between four great cycles. In the West these are known as the golden, silver, copper, and iron ages. The first of these corresponds in the Indian system to the Krta yuga the last to the Kali yuga. All four eras form a Mahakalpa, a great cycle, at the end of which stands the sacrifice of the whole universe and at whose new beginning a redemptive figure stands. (We shall consider in detail this messianic figure who emerges at the interface between the destruction and the renewal of the world and who also makes a spectacular appearance in the Kalachakra Tantra in our discussion of the Shambhala myth.) [5]

In eternal recurrence the universe runs through this rhythm of destruction and resurrection. Billions upon billions of universes suffer the same fate. Something like this exceeds human comprehension, but the truly monstrous in this conception is that the tantra master, for whom there is an occult correspondence between the inner world and the outside world, is supposed to be the director of this cosmic drama, in that he purposefully frees the candali (the fire woman) within his mystic body. He appears in the Kalachakra Tantra both as the great destroyer, the Rudra Chakrin, the wrathful “wheel turner”, who moves the wheel of cyclical time, and also in the form of the long awaited messiah who leads the chosen out of the terrible hell of the Kali yuga (to which he administers the death-blow) into the sunlight of the Krta yuga. He is the ADI BUDDHA, the lord of the astral worlds and of the times. [6] The famous scholar of religious studies, Mircea Eliade, speculates over a number of pages in a text on the Mythos der ewigen Wiederkehr [Myth of eternal recurrence] as to how the people of antiquity found comfort in the idea that one day the time of their misery and torment would pass and be replaced by a joyful time (Eliade, 1953). As bad as it may be for us, the hour will come in which we enter the original paradise once more. The resurrection inevitably follows the catastrophe. But — and this is something Eliade suppresses — in this model, the catastrophe inevitably follows the resurrection. (He also suppresses the fact that in most religions those of different faiths are sacrificed in the apocalyptic downfall and only the true believers are allowed to enter the Christian “New Jerusalem” or the Buddhist mythic realm, “Shambhala”.)



[1] This doesn’t mean that he must therefore renounce the nameless “characteristics” of nirvana in the tantric texts. Indeed, Tantrism sees itself as the continuation and further development of the two previous schools of Hinayana and Mahayana Buddhism and is constantly at pains to integrate their teachings. In its view they can be all but said to form the necessary steps which must be climbed before the diamond path may be set foot upon. It is, however, not rare for Vajrayana to become caught up in incurable contradictions in this undertaking. One of these is the personification of the ADI BUDDHA as a creator god.

[2] We also know of a “dark” or “black sun” in the symbolic world of European alchemy, which — exactly like Rahu in the Kalachakra Tantra — has the role of destroying the sun and moon as the masculine and feminine principles and replacing them with an androgynous principle.

[3] The “mare” as the symbol of dangerous, aggressive and morbid femininity must therefore be seen in stark contrast to the “cow”, highly revered in India. In the two animals prostitution (mare) and marriage (cow), dissolution and fidelity, lecherousness and motherhood, sex and love, destruction and fertility confront one another.

[4] The cynicism and the consequences of such or similar statements as — “The microcosmic apocalypse experienced by the yogi is only from one side a downfall: It is opposed by a becoming in the spiritual [side]" — is something the authors are barely aware of, simply because they do not take the micro/macrocosmic consequences seriously (Hinze, 1983, p. 48). Everything which is within, so Tantrism teaches us, is also outside. This means without exception that the yogi through the ritual destruction of the internal (his bodily aggregates) also destroys the external. Or, to put about the above quotation, the “becoming in the spiritual” is linked to an extermination of the material (the external world).

[5] Normally the sequence of yugas is conceived as a series in time. This is also true in general for the Kalachakra Tantra. Yet here a further, very original conception is adopted from Indian mythology, which says that all four ages exist simultaneously alongside one another, as the segments of a circle, so to speak. The time god wanders through this circle as the savior, pacing the periphery. The territory which he is walking through always finds itself in the last phase of the Kali yuga. But as soon as the “messiah” has set foot in it, the golden era (Krta Yuga) dawns at this location. The time god thus finds himself constantly on the borderline between catastrophe and paradise. He is the clock hand which in every second transforms hell into heaven and, since he is walking in circles, this situation repeats itself incessantly (Petri, 1966., p. 39).

[6] In the Four Noble Truths, all schools of Buddhism teach the origin of suffering, the way to alleviate the suffering, and the entry into timelessness (nirvana). It is difficult too understand why the doctrine — already in Mahayana and later in Vajrayana — adopted as its own a cyclic vision of world history, which predicates suffering as a constantly to be repeated cosmic program.
Site Admin
Posts: 29965
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am


Postby admin » Fri Jun 19, 2015 1:36 am


9. The Adi Buddha: The Mandala Principle and the World Ruler:

We have described how the “starry body” of the tantra master (ADI BUDDHA) indexes the time, but his mystic body likewise embraces all of space and everything we have said about the heavenly bodies is basically also true for the spatial arrangement of the universe. The ADI BUDDHA incorporates the entire Buddhist cosmos. This is to be understood most concretely in a tantric point of view, and means that the structural elements of the “great world” must be able to be found again as structural elements in the body (the “small world”) of the yogi (ADI BUDDHA). We thus begin with a look at the construction of the Buddhist cosmos.

The Buddhist mandala cosmos:

As soon as we have gained some insight into the cosmography of Buddhism it becomes apparent how fundamentally different it is from our modern scientific world view. It is primarily based upon the descriptions of the Abhidharmakosa, a written record from the Mahayana scholar Vasubhandu (fifth century C.E.). The Kalachakra Tantra has largely adopted Vasubhandu’s design and only deviates from it at particular points.

At the midpoint of the Buddhist universe rises Meru, the world mountain, which towers above everything else and on which heaven and earth meet. It is round like the “axle of a wheel”. In a passage in the Kalachakra Tantra it is compared to the vajra and described as a gigantic “thunderbolt” (Newman, 1987, p. 503). The Swiss mandala expert, Martin Brauen, sees in it a “dagger-like shape” and therefore calls it the “earth dagger” (Brauen, 1992, p. 127). According to Winfried Petri the world mountain has the form of the “inverted base of a cone”. All of these are phallic metaphors.

Five circles of different sizes surround the gigantic “phallus” like wheels; they are each assigned to an element. Starting from the outermost they are the circle of space, the circle of air, the circle of fire, the circle of water, the circle of earth. Air and fire, however, permeate the entire cosmic architecture. “In all directions are wind [air] and fire”, the Kalachakra Tantra says (Newman, 1987, p. 506). These two elements are the spirit, so to speak, which blows through the entire construction, but they also form the two forces of destruction which shall obliterate the world structure at the end of time, exactly as the breath (air, wind) and the flames (fire, candali) together burn down the old bodily aggregates in the yogi’s mystic body. The circle of the earth consists of a total of twelve individual continents which swim on the circle of water like lotus blossoms. It thus forms a discontinuous, non-homogenous circular segment. One of these continents is our world, the “earth”. It bears the name Jambudvipa, which means “rose apple tree continent”.

In Vasubandhu’s original account, Meru is not surrounded by the five elements, but rather by seven ring-like chains of mountains, which lie like wheels around the world axis. Huge oceans are found between these wheels. The last of these seas is also the largest. It is called Mahasa Mudra, the Great Mudra.

Thus, in the Buddhist concept of the world Meru forms the vertical, which is divided into three segments — from bottom to top: (1) hell, (2) earth, and (3) heaven.

At its roots, (1), the seven main hells are found, each more horrific than the last. In contrast to Western beliefs about the under world, in Buddhism there are “cold hells” in addition to the hot, where souls are tormented not with fire but with ice. Watery hells can also be found there, in others only smoke. The precise description of the torments in these dreadful places has been a favorite pastime of Tibetan monks for centuries. Above the underworld, at the foot of Meru, live the so-called hunger spirits (pretas), a restless horde of humanoid beings, who are driven by constant desire.

In the middle segment of the mountain, (2), we encounter the twelve continents, and among them Jambudvipa, the earth. Since the continents are surrounded by ocean, there is no natural land bridge to the world axis. We humans live on the “rose apple tree continent” (Jambudvipa). This continent is also called the “land of karma”, since the beings who live there are still burdened with karma (stains as a consequence of bad deeds). But we inhabitants of Jambpudvipa have the chance to work off such karmic stains for good, by following the teachings of the Buddha. This is a great privilege which is not as readily available to the inhabitants of other spheres or the other continents.

Above the earthly world rises the segment of the heavens, (3), and here we find ourselves in the realm of the stars and planets. Beyond this one can wander through various divine circles, which become ever more powerful the higher one goes. The “divine” ascent begins in regions inhabited by deities who have not yet freed themselves from their desires. Then we enter the victorious residences of the thirty-three deities of the “realm of forms”, which we can regard as “Forms” in the platonic sense, that is, as immobile, downward radiating energy fields. Among them are to be included, just as with Plato, the higher entities which represent the pure essence of the five elements.

We now leave behind Mount Meru as a geographically describable region and “fly” through a “zone of intersection”, in which the realm of the form gods and the even more powerful, more grandiose, and more holy imperium of formlessness can be found. The “inhabitants” of this sphere are no longer personalities at all and cannot be visualized, rather, they bear the names of general terms. The Abhidharmakosa calls them “Without sorrow”, “Nothing greater”, “Great success”, Stainless”, and so forth. Even higher up we encounter a sphere, which has names such as “Infinite consciousness “ and “ Nothing whatever” (Tayé, 1995, p.155). The Kalachakra Tantra has completely incorporated this model of the world from Mahayana Buddhism.

From this staged symbolism of the world mountain we can easily recognize that it embodies not just a cosmic model, but also, homologously, the likeness of an initiatory way. Now whether this way begins down in hell or from the middle of the continent of earth, it should in any case lead, via a progression through various earthly and heavenly spheres, to the highest regions of the formless realm.

The cosmos and the energy body of the yogi:

As we have already indicated a number of times, a homology exists between the Buddhist cosmogram and the bodily geography of the yogi. Microcosm and macrocosm are congruent, the world and the mystic body of a practicing yogi form a unity. The ADI BUDDHA, as the perfected form of the highest tantra master, and the cosmos are identical.

"Everything is in the body” — this famous occult correspondence is of fundamental significance for Tantrism too. The parallel to the world axis (Meru) is formed, for example, by the middle channel (avadhuti) in the mystic body of the yogi. The texts then also refer to it simply and straightforwardly as “Meru”. Just as the realm of formlessness is to be sought above Mount Meru in the cosmos, so the yogi (ADI BUDDHA) experiences the highest bliss of the “emptiness of all forms” above his head in the “thousand-petaled lotus”. The forehead chakra and the throat chakra correspond to the residences of various of the thirty-three form gods (Forms) mentioned above. Humanity lives in the heart of the yogi and below this it goes on to the genitals, where the realms of hell are situated.

Correspondingly, it says in the Kalachakra Tantra: “Earth, wind, gods, seas, everything is to be recognized amidst the body” (Grünwedel, Kalacakra II, p. 2). All the parts of the “small” body correspond to the parts of the “great” body: The yogi’s (ADI BUDDHA’s) rows of teeth form the various lunar houses; the veins the rivers. Hands and feet are islands and mountains, even a female louse hidden in the pubic hair of a Tantric has a “transcendent” significance: It counts as the dangerous vulva of a demoness from a particular region in hell (Grünwedel, Kalacakra II, p. 34). This bodily homology of the cosmos is the great secret which Buddha revealed to King Suchandra as he instructed him in the Kalachakra Tantra: “As it is without, so it is in the body.” (Newman, 1987, pp. 115,104, 472, 473, 504, 509). At the same time as the secret was exposed, the “simple” recipe with which the yogi could attain and exercise absolute control over the whole universe was also revealed: in that he controls the energy currents within his mystic body he controls the cosmos; on the scale in which he lets bliss flow through his veins (wind channels), on that scale he brings delight to the universe; the turbulence which he calls forth in his insides also shakes the external world through storms and earthquakes. Everything happens in parallel: when the yogi burns up his body during the purification the very same procedure reduces the whole universe to rubble and ash.

Chakravala or the iron wheel:

Just as the androgynous body of the ADI BUDDHA or of the enlightened yogi concentrates within itself the energies of both sexes, so Buddhist cosmography is also based upon a gender polarity. Meru, the world mountain, has a most obviously phallic character and is therefore also referred to as Vajra or, more directly, as Lingam (phallus). The great oceans which surround the masculine symbol represent — as a circle and as water — the feminine principle.

Oddly, the outermost chain of mountains within the cosmic model are forged from pure iron. This iron crown must have a deep symbolic significance since the whole system is named after it; its name is Chakravala ("iron wheel”). We thus have to ask ourselves why the Buddhist universe is framed by a metal which is seen all over the world as a symbol of injury, killing, and war. The image naturally invites a comparison to the “iron age” to which in Greco-Roman mythology humanity is chained before its cyclical downfall. The Indian idea of the Kali yuga and the European one of the “iron age” are congruent in a surprising number of aspects. In both cases it comes to an increasingly rapid degeneration of the law, customs, and morality. In the end only a war of all against all remains. Then a savior figure appears and the whole cosmic game begins afresh.

Modern and Buddhist world views:

The reader may have already asked him or herself how contemporary Tibetan lamas reconcile their traditional Buddhist cosmology with our scientific world view. Do they reject it outright, have they adopted it, or do they seek for a way to combine both systems? Someone who knew the Kalachakra Tantra well, the Kagyupa guru, Kalu Rinpoche, who died in 1989, gave a clear and concise answer to all three questions: “Each of these cosmologies is perfect for the being whose karmic projections cause them to experience their universe in this manner. ... Therefore on a relative level every cosmology is valid. At a final level, no cosmology is absolutely true. It cannot be universally valid as long as there are beings in fundamentally different situations” (Brauen, 1992, p. 109). According to his, the cosmos is an apparition of the spirit. The world has no existence outside of the consciousness which perceives it. If this consciousness changes then the world changes to the same degree. For this reason the cosmography of Buddhism does not describe nature but solely forms of the spirit. Such an extreme idealism and radical relativism helps itself to the power to undermine with a single dry statement the foundations of our scientific world view. But if nothing is final any more, it follows that everything is possible, even the cosmology of the Abhidharmakosa. Yet, the lamas argue, only at the point in time where all of humanity have adopted the Buddhist paradigm can they also perceive the gigantic Meru mountain in the middle of their universe. Today, Tibetan gurus claim, only the few “chosen” have this ability.

In the second part of our study, we shall examine the intensive and warm relationship between the Fourteenth Dalai Lama and modern Western scientists and show that the radical relativism of a Kalu Rinpoche is also distributed in such circles. Similar philosophical speculations by Europeans can be found, even from earlier times. Heinrich Harrer, who traveled extensively through Tibet tells in an anecdote of how Westerners readily — even if purely out of coquetry — take on the Tibetan world view. Harrer was assigned to impart to the Tibetans, but in particular the young Dalai Lama, the modern scientific world view. In the year 1948, as he tried to explain to a group of Tibetan nobles at a party that our earth is round and is neither flat nor a continent, he called upon the famous Italian Tibetologist, Giuseppe Tucci, who was also present, to be his witness and support his theory. “To my greatest surprise”, says Harrer, “he took the side of the doubters, since he believed that all sciences must constantly revise their theories and one day the Tibetan teaching could just as well prove to be right” (Harrer, 1984, p. 190).

Thus, following a Buddhization of our world there would be no need for the “converted” population of the world to do without the traditional cosmic “map” of the Abhidharmakosa, since in accordance with the Buddhist theory of perception the “map” and the territory it describes are identical. Both, the geography and its likeness in consciousness, ultimately prove themselves to be projections of one and the same spirit.

The downfall of the tantric universe:

The mystic bodily structure of the yogi (ADI BUDDHA) duplicates the cosmogram of the Chakravala. Correspondingly, the fate of his energy body proves to be identical to the fate of the universe. Just as the fire woman in the form of the candali burns up all the coarse elements inside the tantra master step by step, so at the end of time the whole universe becomes the victim of a world fire, which finds its origin at the roots of Mount Meru in the form of Kalagni. Step by step, Kalagni set the individual segments of the world axis aflame and arises flickering up to the region of the form gods (the Forms). Only in the highest heights, in the sphere of formlessness, does the destructive fire come to a standstill. When there is nothing more to burn the flame is extinguished from alone. That which remains of the whole of Chakravala are atomic elements of space ("galactic seeds”), which provide the building blocks for the construction of a new cosmos, and which, in accordance with the law of eternal recurrence, will look exactly the same as the old one and share the same fate as its predecessor.

The mandala principle:

The Buddhist universe (Chakravala) takes the form of a mandala. This Sanskrit word originally meant ‘circle’ and is translated into Tibetan as kyl-khor, which means, roughly ‘center and periphery’. At the midpoint of the Chakravala we find Mount Meru; the periphery is formed by the gigantic iron wheel we have already mentioned.

There are round mandalas, square mandalas, two- and three-dimensional mandalas, yet in all cases the principle of midpoint and periphery is maintained. The four sides of a square diagram are often equated with the four points of the compass. A five-way concept is also characteristic for the tantric mandala form — with a center and the four points of the compass. The whole construction is seen as an energy field, from which, as from a platonic Form, tremendous forces can flow out.

A mandala is considered to be the archetype of order. They stand opposed to disorder, anarchy and chaos as contrary principles. Climatic turbulence, bodily sicknesses, desolate and wild stretches of land, barbaric peoples and realms of unbelief all belong to the world of chaos. In order to seize possession of such regions of disorder and ethnic groupings or to put an end to chaotic disturbances (in the body of a sick person for instance), Tibetan lamas perform various rites, which ultimately all lead to the construction of a mandala. This is imposed upon a “chaotic” territory through symbolic actions so as to occupy it; it is mentally projected into the infirm body of a patient so as to dispel his or her illness and the risk of death; it is “pulled over” a zone of protection as a solid fortification against storm and hail.

Like a stencil, a mandala pattern impresses itself upon all levels of being and consciousness. A body, a temple, a palace, a town, or a continent can thus as much have the form of a mandala as a thought, an imagining, a political structure. In this view, the entire geography of a country with its mountains, seas, rivers, towns and shrines possesses an extraterrestrial archetype, a mandala-like prototype, whose earthly likeness it embodies. This transcendent geometry is not visible to an ordinary eye and conceals itself on a higher cosmic level.

Hidden behind the geographical form we perceive, the country of Tibet also has, the lamas believe, a mandala structure, with the capital Lhasa as its center and the surrounding mountain ranges as its periphery. Likewise, the street plan of Lhasa is seen as the impression of a mandala, with the holiest temple in Tibet, the Jokhang, as its midpoint. The architectural design of the latter was similarly based on a mandala with the main altar as its center.

The political structure of former Tibet also bore a mandala character. In it the Dalai Lama formed the central sun (the mandala center) about which the other abbots of Tibet orbit as planets. Up until 1959 the Tibetan government was conceived of as a diagram with a center and four sections (sides). “The government is founded upon four divisions”, wrote the Seventh Dalai Lama in a state political directive, “These are (1) the court of law, (2) the tax office, (3) the treasury, and (4) the cabinet. They are all aligned to the four points of the compass along the sides of a square which encloses the central figure of the Buddha” (Redwood French, 1985, p. 87).

The prototype of the highest Buddha and the emanations surrounding him was thus transferred to the state leadership and the various offices which were subordinate to it. Of course, the central figure of this political mandala is intended to be the Dalai Lama, since he concentrates the entire worldly and spiritual power in his person. Every single monastery reiterates this political geometry with the respective abbot in the middle.

But the mandala does not just structure the world of appearances; in Buddhist culture it likewise determines the human psyche, the spirit and all the transcendental spheres. It serves as an aid to meditation and as an imaginary palace of the gods in the tantric exercises. On a microcosmic level the energy body of the yogi is seen as the construction of a three-dimensional mandala with the middle channel (avadhuti) as the central axis. The whole cosmic-psychic anatomy of the ADI BUDDHA (tantra master) is thus a universal mandala. For this reason we can comprehend Buddhist culture in general (not just the Tibetan variant) as a complicated network of countless mandalas. Further, since these exist at different levels of being, they are encapsulated within one another, include one another, and overlap each other.

Quite rightly one aspect of the Buddhist/tantric mandalas has been compared in cross-cultural studies with the magic circles used by the medieval sorcerers of Europe to summon up spirits, angels, and demons. Then a mandala ("magic circle”) can also be used to conjure up Buddhas, gods and asuras (demons).

The Kalachakra sand mandala:

Mandalas are employed in all tantric rituals, yet in the Kalachakra Tantra it plays an extremely prominent role. Before the seven lower solemnities of the Time Tantra even begin a mandala –a very lavish one indeed — is constructed in the visible external world. Specially trained monks — for the Dalai Lama a special unit from the Namgyal institute — are entrusted with its construction. The “building materials” consist primarily of colored sand, lines and figures of which are applied to a sketch in a complicated process lasting several days. Every line, every geometric form, every shading, every object inserted has its cosmic significance. Since the mandala is built from sand, we are dealing with a very vulnerable work of art, which can easily be destroyed; and this, astonishingly — and as we shall see — is the final goal of the entire complicated procedure.

The sand mandala of the Time Tantras can be deciphered as the visual representation of the whole Kalachakra ritual by anyone who understands the symbols depicted there. Such an interpreter would once again come across all the semantic content we have encountered in the above description of the tantric initiatory way.

The Kalachakra sand mandala

For this reason, we must regard this external image in sand as just the visible reflection of an inner-spiritual construction which (in another sphere) the yogi imagines as a magnificent palace built upon the peak of Mount Meru. [1] As the center and the two regents of the imagined temple palace we encounter Kalachakra and his wisdom consort, Vishvamata. They are enthroned as the divine couple in the midpoint of the holy of holies.

This Buddhist “Versailles” is inhabited by a total of 722 deities, the majority of whom represent the individual segments of time: the gods of the twelve-year cycles, the four seasons, twelve months, 360 days, twelve hours, and sixty minutes all dwell here. In addition there are the supernatural entities who represent the five elements, the planets, the 28 phases of the moon and the twelve sensory regions. Very near to the center, i.e., to the divine couple Kalachakra and Vishvamata, the four meditation Buddhas can be found in union with their partners, then follow a number of Bodhisattvas.

The architecture of the Kalachakra palace encompasses five individual mandalas, each enclosing the next. Segments which lie closer to the center (the divine couple) are accorded a higher spiritual evaluation than those which are further away. The fivefold organization of the building complex is supposed to reflect, among other things, the five rings (the five elements) which lie around Mount Meru in Buddhist cosmography. Likewise the height and breadth of the palace are in their relation to one another a copy of the proportions of the cosmos. Thus the Kalachakra mandala is also a microcosmic likeness of the Buddhist universe.

Anyone entering the Kalachakra palace from outside progresses through a five-stage initiation which culminates in the inner sanctum where the primordial couple, Kalachakra and Vishvamata, are in union. But seen from within, each of the individual mandala segments and the deities dwelling within them represents an outward radiation (emanation) of the divine first couple.

Just as the macrocosmic mandala of the universe with Mount Meru as its axis can be rediscovered in the microcosmic body of the yogi (ADI BUDDHA), so too the Kalachakra palace is identical with his mystic body. We must never lose sight of this. For this reason, the detailed description of the Kalachakra sand mandala which now follows must also be regarded as the anatomy of the tantra master (ADI BUDDHA). The anatomical “map” of the ADI BUDDHA thus exhibits a number of different images: on one occasion it possesses the structure which corresponds to that of the entire universe, on another it forms that of the Kalachakra palace, or it corresponds to the complicated construction of the dasakaro vasi ("the Power of Ten”) described above. But in all of these models the basic mandala-like pattern of a center and a periphery is always the same.

The structure of the Kalachakra palace:

The primordial divine couple, the time god Kalachakra and the time goddess Vishvamata, govern from the center of the Kalachakra palace. They are depicted in the visible world of the sand mandala by a blue vajra (Kalachakra) and an orange dot (Vishvamata). Directly beneath them a yellow layer of sand which represents Kalagni, the destructive fire, is found; beneath this there is a blue layer, symbol of the apocalyptic planet, Rahu. Layers for the sun, the moon, and for a lotus flower follow. The destruction of the primordial couple is thus, through the presence of Kalagni and Rahu, already preprogrammed in the center of the sand mandala, or rather of the palace of time.

Kalachakra and Vishvamata are surrounded by eight lotus petals (all of this is made from colored sand). Now these do not — as one might assume — represent eight further emanation couples, but rather– in the official interpretation — we encounter the eight shaktis here. We are thus dealing with eight female beings, eight energy bearers (or eight “sacrificial goddesses”). They correspond to the eight karma mudras who surround the tantra master in union with his partner in the ganachakra, the twelfth level of initiation (the vase initiation). However, when we think back, there was talk of ten Shaktis before. We reach the number “ten” by counting two feminine aspects of Vishvamata (the central goddess) in addition to the eight “sacrificial goddesses” (lotus petals). Together they signalize the ten chief winds (the dasakaro vasi) with which the tantra master controls all the microcosmic energies in his mystic body.
Site Admin
Posts: 29965
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am


Postby admin » Fri Jun 19, 2015 1:37 am


The center of the Kalachakra sand mandala

Thus, within the innermost segment of the palace of time the whole tantric sacrificial scenario is sketched out using only a very few symbols, since the ten shaktis (originally ten women) are, as we have described in detail above, manipulated and eradicated as autonomous individuals in the ganachakra ritual so that their feminine energies can be transferred to the tantra master. This central segment of the sand mandala bears the name of the “mandala of great bliss” (Brauen, 1992, p. 133).

The second, adjacent complex is called the “mandala of enlightened wisdom”. Here there are sixteen pillars which symbolize different kinds of emptiness and which divide the space into sixteen different rooms. The latter are occupied by couples who are in fact peaceful deities. They are represented in the mandala by small piles of colored sand. In this part of the palace ten (!) vases (kalashas) can also be found. These are filled with revolting substances like excrement, urine, blood, human flesh, and so on, which are transformed into bliss-conferring nectars during the ritual by the tantra master. These vessels symbolize once again the ten “sacrificial goddesses” or the ten mudras of the ganachakra. In the first precise description of a Kalachakra ritual by a Western academic (Ferdinand Lessing), reference is made to the feminine symbolic significance of the vases: the “lamas ... proceed to the podium, each with a large water pot (kalasha). They move it to and fro. It symbolizes the young lady of the initiation, who plays such a great role in this cult” (Wayman, 1973, p. 62). Yet again, the kalashas correspond to the ten winds or the “Power of Ten” (dasakaro vasi) and thereby to the diamond body of the ADI BUDDHA.

On our tour of the palace of time, the third segment with the name of “the mandala of enlightened mind” follows. This is the house of the Bodhisattvas and Buddhas. The latter, the Dhyani or meditation Buddhas, reside here in close embrace with their consorts: to the East, the black Amoghasiddhi with Locana; to the South, the red Ratnasambhava with Mamaki; to the North, the white Amitabha with Pandara; to the West, Vairocana in the arms of Tara. The areas between the points of the compass are likewise occupied by Buddha couples. All the Bodhisattvas who dwell the in the “mandala of enlightened mind” are also portrayed in the yab-yum posture (of sexual union). This third segment demonstrates most vividly that Tantrism derives the emanation of time from the erotic love of divine couples.

The fourth “mandala of enlightened speech” follows. Within it are found eight lotus flowers, each of which itself has eight petals. Once again the pattern of the ganachakra, which we have already encountered in the center of the sand mandala, is repeated in this bouquet. In the middle of each of the eight lotuses a couple sits in close embrace and on each of the eight surrounding petals we can discern a goddess. This makes a total of eighty deities (64 shaktis, 8 female partners, and 8 male deities).

The large number of shaktis, “daughters” of the mudras “sacrificed” in the ganachakra, is an indicator of how fundamentally the idea of the tantric female sacrifice determines the doctrine of time and its artistic representation. At the gates which lead out from the fourth segment into the third “mandala of enlightened mind”, we are once again confronted with the symbolic representation of “sacrificial goddesses”. Aside from this, 36 further shaktis, who represent the root syllables of the Sanskrit alphabet and thereby the building blocks of language, live in this building complex.

As the final and outermost segment of the mandala palace we enter the “body mandala”. There we meet the 360 deities of the days of the year. Here too we encounter the basic pattern of the ganachakra. There are twelve large lotuses, each with 28 petals. In the center of each flower a god and a goddess embrace one another, all around them sit 28 goddesses grouped into three rows. Each lotus thus exhibits 30 deities, multiplying by twelve we have the 360 day gods (five days are not calculated). In addition we meet in the body mandala twelve pairs of wrathful deities and 36 goddesses of desire.

We have nonetheless not yet described all the grounds of the palace. The five square architectural units already mentioned are namely bordered by six circular segments. Numerous symbols of bliss like wheels, wish-granting jewels, shells, mirrors, and so on, rest in the arcs (quadrants) which are formed between the last square and the first circle. The five subsequent circles symbolize the elements in the following order: earth, water, fire, wind, and space. Cemeteries are to be found on circles three and four, depicted in the form of wheels. In the imagination they are inhabited by ten horrifying dakinis with their partners. From a Buddhist point of view this “ring of the dead” signifies that only he who has surmounted his bodily existence may enter the mandala palace.

The fifth circle of space is represented by a chain of golden vajras. The whole mandala is surrounded by a circle of flames as a sixth ring. According to a number of commentators this is supposed to represent the wisdom of Buddha; however, if we further pursue the fate of the sand mandala, it must be associated with the “world fire” (Kalagni) which in the end burns down the palace of the time gods.

As aesthetic and peaceful as the sand mandala may appear to be to a Western observer, it still conceals behind it the frozen ornament of the sacrificial ritual of Tantrism. Every single female figure which inhabits the palace of time, be she a dakini, shakti, or a “sacrificial goddess”, is the bearer of the so sought after “gynergy” which the yogi has appropriated through his sexual magic practices so as to then let it flow as the power source of his androgynous mystic body. The Kalachakra palace is thus an alchemic laboratory for the appropriation of life energies. In the ritual fate of the sand mandala we shall unmistakably demonstrate that it is a gigantic sacrificial altar. It is not just the shaktis who are sacrificed, but the erotic couples as well, who delight the temple with their untroubled pleasures of love, indeed the time god (Kalachakra) and the time goddess (Vishvamata) themselves. The downfall of them all is preordained, their fate is sealed.

The construction of the Kalachakra sand mandala:

The construction of the Kalachakra sand mandala is a complex and multilayered procedure which is carried out by a number of specially trained lamas. The “master builder “ of the diagram and the spiritual leader of the Kalachakra initiation need not always be the same person. They are so to speak the assistants of the tantra master. Nonetheless, at the outset the latter makes the following appeal to the time god: “Oh, victorious Kalachakra, lord of knowledge, I prostrate myself to the protector and possessor of compassion. I am making a mandala here out of love and compassion for my disciples and as an offering in respect to you. Oh Kalachakra, please be kind and remain close to me. I, the vajra master, am creating this mandala to purify the obstructions of all beings. Therefore, always be considerate of my disciples and me, and please reside in the mandala” (quoted by Bryant, 1992, p. 141).

The grounds sought out for the ritual are now subjected to a rigorous examination, the so-called “purifying of the site”. Monks investigate the ground, measurements are taken, mantras and sutras are quoted. Subsequently it comes to a highly provocative scene, in which the local spirits and the earth goddess are violently forced to agree to the construction of the mandala.

Vajravega – the terrifying emanation of Kalachakra

For this purpose one of the lamas takes on the appearance of Vajravega, that is, he visualizes himself as this deity. Vajravega is blue in color, has three necks and 24 hands. As clothing he wears a tigerskin skirt, decorated with snakes and bones. He is considered to be the terrifying emanation of the time god Kalachakra. He can evoke sixty wrathful protective deities from out of his inscrutable heart, who then storm out through his ears, nostrils, eyes, mouth, urethra, anus, and from an opening in the top of his skull. Among these are found zombies, vampires and dakinis with the heads of animals.

In the imaginations of the lamas who conduct the ritual, this monster now drags in the impeding local spirits with iron hooks and, once they have been bound in chains, nails them down in the ten directions with ritual daggers. A further ten wrathful deities are projected into each of these daggers (phurbas). There are indications which must be regarded seriously that in the performance of the Kalachakra rituals it is not just the local spirits, but likewise the earth mother (Srinmo) who embody the nailed down victims. This myth of the nailing of Srinmo played a central “national” role in the construction of Tibetan temples, which actually represent nothing more than three-dimensional mandalas. We shall come to speak of this in detail in the second part of our study.

Now the tantra master solemnly circles the mandala location in a clockwise direction, and sprinkles it with various substances and holy water. After this the monks who participate in the ritual imagine in their spirits that this location is covered in numerous small vajras.

Afterwards there is a significant demonstration of power: The tantra master sits down on his own in the center of the mandala space, faces the East and says the following: “I shall build on this place a mandala in the manner in which I have imagined it” (quoted by Brauen, 1992, p. 77). With this act of occupation he makes it unmistakably clear who the lord of the ritual action is. Further liturgical actions follow.

The tantra master evokes the terrifying deity, Vajravega, anew, and once again drives potential disruptive spirits out of the mandala grounds. He is so filled with wrathful deities that horror figures who are supposed to protect the mandala even emanate from out of the soles of his feet. Afterwards the place is occupied by the symbols of the five Dhyani Buddhas. On the table top, the lama lays a lotus, a sword, a wish-granting jewel, a wheel and, in the middle, a vajra. This centrally placed “thunderbolt” demonstrates yet again the masculine control of the earth.

This dominating, patriarchal behavior has not always been present in the history of Buddhism. In a famous scene from the life of the historical Buddha, he calls upon the earth to bear witness to his enlightenment by touching it with his right hand (Bhumisparsha mudra). Tantric Buddhism has preserved this scene among its Buddha legends, but has added a small change; here Shakyamuni makes the gesture of stroking the earth with a vajra, the scepter of phallic power. “This instrument is indispensable for the liturgy of the Great Path”, Giuseppe Tucci writes, “The earth transformed by the vajra becomes diamond” (Tucci, 1982, p. 97). As spiritually valuable a symbol as the diamond may appear to be, it is not just an image of purity but is also a metaphor for sterility. Between the vajra and the earth lies the opposition between spirit and life, or — as the American Buddhist Ken Wilber would express it — the “noosphere” (the realm of the spirit) and the “biosphere” (the realm of nature). In that the earth is transformed into a diamond by the tantric gesture of the Buddha, nature is symbolically transformed into pure spirit and woman into a man.

But let us return to the script which describes the construction of the sand mandala. After the fixation of the earth spirits or the earth mother, the “procession of the ten vases” which are filled with nectars follows. These are carried by monks around the ritual table upon which the sand mandala will be built. Yet again the number ten! The ten vases, the ten powers, the ten winds, the ten shaktis — they are all variations on the ten mudras, who participated and were “sacrificed” in the highest initiation of the ganachakra ritual.

All their energies flow into Vishvamata, the chief consort of the Kalachakra deity. The time goddess is symbolized by a seashell which the monks lay in the middle of the ritual table and which is to be filled with the essences from all ten vessels (vases). Here the shell represents the feminine element at its highest concentration.

The tantra master now ties a golden vajra to a thread. He puts the other end of the thread to his heart and then lays the “thunderbolt” with emphasis on the central shell. The sovereignty of the masculine principle (vajra) over the feminine principle (the shell) could not be demonstrated more unequivocally. Afterwards, all the ritual objects are removed from the mandala.

The time has now come to begin with the preparatory sketches of the sand mandala. The monks commence with the “snapping of the wisdom string”. Here we are dealing with five different threads which symbolize the five Dhyani Buddhas with their consorts. Through a ritual “plucking” of these strings, the texts tell us, the mandala site becomes occupied by these five supreme beings. [2]

After many recitations the monks now begin with the actual artistic work, surrounded by numerous containers filled with the colored sand. This is carefully applied to the preliminary sketch with a type of funnel. This requires extreme precision, since the sand must form hair-thin lines, and there are even a number of drawings of figures to be rendered in sand. Work begins in the middle and proceeds outwards, that is, the center of the mandala is created first and one then works step by step towards the periphery. It takes another five days before the artwork is completed.

At the end, the complete work is surrounded by ten (!) ritual daggers (phurbas) which act as protective symbols. Likewise, ten (!) vases which are supposed to represent the ten shaktis are arranged around the mandala. Since all the tenfold symbols in the Kalachakra Tantra stand in a homologous relation to the “sacrificed” mudras (shaktis, dakinis, yoginis) of the ganachakra ritual described above, the mandala, with- we repeat — its numerous sequences of ten, is an ornamental demonstration of the “tantric female sacrifice” also described above.

Once the vases and daggers have been put in place, the whole artwork is hidden behind a curtain, as if the sacrificial scenario concealed behind the sacred work ought to be masked. To close, the monks perform another dance. Anyone who has up till now doubted whether the Kalachakra sand mandala concerns the visual portrayal of a sacrificial rite, actually ought to be convinced by the name of this dance. It is called the “ritual dance of the sacrificial goddesses”.

The destruction of the mandala:

The sand mandala accompanies the seven lower levels of the public Kalachakra ritual as the mute and earthly likeness of a transcendental tantric divine palace. It is supposed to help the initiand create a corresponding architectural work with all its inhabitants within his imagination and to thus give it a spiritual existence. As in the real construction, within the imagination work also begins at the center of the mandala, in which Kalachakra and Vishvamata are united. Starting from there, the initiand visualizes step by step the construction of the whole palace of time with its 722 gods. He thus commences at the inner sanctum, and then imagines every mandala segment which follows, ending with the periphery of the ring of flame, which blazes around the entire architectural construct.

During the imaginary construction of the mandala, the initiand is suddenly required to imagine an extremely puzzling scene which we would like to examine more closely: “Out of the syllable HUM”, it says in the Kalachakra Tantra, “Vajravega emanates in the heart of the medititator [the initiand], the wrathful form of Kalachakra — grinning and with gnashing teeth Vajravega stands upon a chariot drawn by a fabulous being; he thrusts a hook into the navel of Kalachakra, ties his hands up, threatens him with weapons and drags him before the meditator, in whose heart he finally dissolves himself” (Brauen, 1992, p. 114).

What is happening? Vajravega, the wrathful emanation of the time god, suddenly turns against his own “emanation father”, Kalachakra, and brutally drags him before the meditating adept. In this scene a distinction is thus drawn between Kalachakra and Vajravega. Is this — as Martin Brauen suspects — to be interpreted as the symbolic repetition of the act of birth, which is indeed also associated with pain?

Such an interpretation does not seem convincing to us. It seems far more plausible to recognize a somewhat obscure variant of the dark demon Rahu in the Vajravega figure, who destroys the sun and the moon in the Kalachakra Tantra so as to claim power over time in their stead. Brauen also indirectly concedes this when he compares the aggressive emergence of Vajravega with the activation of the “middle channel” (avadhuti) in the mystic body of the yogi and the associated destruction of both energy streams (the sun and moon). The same procedure is also regarded to be the chief task of Rahu, and likewise, as we have described above, the middle channel bears the name of the dark planet (Rahu). Be that as it may, the destructive arrival of Vajravega heralds the fate of the whole sand mandala and of the palace of time hidden behind it.

During the seven lower solemnities of the Kalachakra Tantra, the mandala artwork is left standing. At the end of the whole performance the tantra master recites a number of prayers and certain mantras. He then circles the sand mandala, removing with his fingers the 722 gods who were scattered across it in the form of seeds and laying them on a tray. At the same time he imagines that they enter his heart. He thus absorbs all the time energies and transforms them into aspects of his own mystic body. He then grasps a vajra, symbol of his diamond masculinity, and begins to destroy the sandy “divine palace” with it. The whole impressive work dissolves into colorful heaps and is later swept together. The monks tip the colored mixture into a vase. The master sprinkles a little of this in his head, and gives a further mini-portion to his pupils. With prayers and song a procession carries the sandy contents of the vase to a river and surrenders it there to the nagas (snake gods) as a gift.

But an important gesture is still to come. The tantra master returns to the site of the mandala and with water washes off the white basis lines remaining on the site. Then he removes the ten ritual daggers. Facing the East he now seats himself on the cleansed mandala site, vajra and bell in his hands, the absolute lord of both sexes (Kalachakra and Vishvamata), of time and of the universe.

This destruction of the sand mandala is usually seen as an act which is supposed to draw attention to the transience of all being. But this forgets that the palace of time is only destroyed as an external construction and that it continues to exist in the interior of the highest tantra master (as ADI BUDDHA). In his mystic body, Kalachakra and Vishvamata live on as the two polar currents of time, albeit under his absolute control. At the end of the ritual, the yogi (ADI BUDDHA) has transformed himself into a divine palace. Then his microcosmic body has become identical to the Kalachakra palace; we can now rediscover all the symbols which we encountered there as forces within his energy body.

The world ruler: The sociopolitical exercise of power by the ADI Buddha:

In his political function the ADI BUDDHA is a world ruler, a “universal sovereign”, a “world king” (dominus mundi), an “emperor of the universe”, a Chakravartin. The early Buddhists still drew a distinction between a Buddha and a Chakravartin. Hence we can read in the legends of Buddhism’s origins how a holy man prophesied to Shakyamuni’s father that his wife, Maya, would soon bear an enlightened one (a Buddha) or a world ruler (Chakravartin), depending upon which this son would as a young man later decide to be. Gautama chose the way of the “spiritual” Buddha and not that of the “worldly” Chakravartin, who in the customs of his time also had to act as military leader alongside his political duties.

In Mahayana Buddhism this distinction between a dominus mundi and an enlightened being increasingly disappears, yet the Chakravartin possesses exclusively peaceful characteristics. All his “conquests”, reports the scholar Vasubandhu (fourth or fifth century C.E.), are nonviolent. The potentates of the world voluntarily and unresistingly subject themselves on the basis of his receptive radiation. They bow down before him and say: “Welcome, O mighty king. Everything belongs to you, O mighty king!” (quoted by Armelin, n.d., p. 21). He is mostly incarnated as an avatar, as the reincarnation of a divine savior, who should lead humanity out of its earthly misery and into paradise.

In Vajrayana Buddhism, especially in the Kalachakra Tantra, the Chakravartin is the successful result of the sexual magic rites we describe above. The “asocial” yogi, who during his initiatory phase hangs around cemeteries and with prostitutes like an outlaw has become a radiant king whose commands are obeyed by nations. The Time Tantra thus reveals itself to be a means of “conquering” the world, not just spiritually but also in power political terms; in the end the imperial idea of a Chakravartin includes the whole universe. Boundlessly expanding energies are accumulated here in a single being (the “political” ADI BUDDHA).

The eminently political character of the Indian Chakravartin makes him an ideal for Tibetan Lamaism, which could first be realized, however, in the person of the Fifth Dalai Lama (1617-1682). Before the “Great Fifth” ascended the throne, the arch-abbots of the individual Lamaist sects — whether voluntarily or by necessity aside — accorded the title of world ruler only to the mighty Chinese Emperors or, depending on the political situation, to individual Mongolian Khans. The Tibetan hierarchs themselves “only” claimed the role of a Buddha, an enlightened being, whom they nonetheless considered superior to the Chakravartin. The Fifth Dalai Lama, who combined in his person both worldly and spiritual power for the first time in the history of Tibet, was also still careful about publicly describing himself as Chakravartin. This could have provoked his Mongolian allies and the “Ruler on the Dragon Throne” (the Emperor of China). Such restraint was a part of the diplomacy of the Tibet of old; or rather, since the Dalai Lamas were during their enthronement handed the highest symbol of universal rule — the “golden wheel” — they were the “true”, albeit hidden, rulers of the world, at least in the minds of the Tibetan clergy. The worldly potentates of neighboring states were at any rate accorded the role of a protector.

We shall come to speak in detail about whether such cosmocratic images still excite the imagination of the current Fourteenth Dalai Lama in the second part of our study. In any case, the Kalachakra Tantra which he has placed at the center of his ritual politics contains the phased initiatory path at the end of which the Lion Throne of a Chakravartin rears up.

The “golden wheel” (chakra) is regarded as the world ruler’s coat of arms and gave him his name, which when translated from Sanskrit means “wheel turner”. Already at birth a Chakravartin bears a signum in the form of a wheel on his hand and feet as graphic proof of his sovereignty. In Buddhism the wheel symbol was originally understood to be the “teaching” (the Dharma) and the first “wheel turner” was no lesser than the Buddha himself, who set the “wheel of Dharma” in motion by distributing his truths among the people and among the other beings. Later, in Mahayana Buddhism, the golden wheel already indicated “The Great Circle of Power and Rule” (Simpson, 1991, p. 45). The Chakravartin was referred to as the “King of the Golden Wheel”. This is the title given to the “Emperor of Peace”, Ashoka (273–236 B.C.E.), after he had united India and with great success converted it to Buddhism; but is also a name which the Dalai Lama acquires when the “golden wheel” is presented to him during his enthronement.

A Buddhist world ruler grasps the “wheel of command”, symbol of his absolute force of command. In the older texts the stress is primarily on his military functions. He is the supreme commander of his superbly armed forces. As “king and politician”, the Chakravartin is a sovereign who reigns over all the states on earth. The leaders of the tribes and nations are subordinate to him. His epithet is “one who rules with his own will, even the kingdoms of other kings” (quoted by Armelin, n.d., p. 8). He is thus also known as the “king of kings”. His aegis extends not just over humanity, but likewise over Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, wrathful kings, gods, demons, nagas (snake gods), masculine and feminine deities, animals and spirits. Of his followers he demands passionate devotion to the point of ecstasy.

The seven “valuable treasures” which are available to a Chakravartin are (1) the wheel, (2) the wish-granting jewel, (3) the wonder horse, (4) the elephant, (5) the minister, (6) the general, and (7) the princess. Sometimes, the judge and the minister of finance are also mentioned. [3]

Opinions differ from text to text about the spatial expansion of power of the Chakravartin. Sometimes he “only” controls our earth, sometimes — as in the Kalachakra Tantra — the entire universe with all its suns and planets. This is — as we have already shown — described in the Abhidharmakosha, the Buddhist cosmology, as a gigantic wheel with Meru the world mountain as its central axis. The circumference is formed by unscaleable chains of mountains made of pure iron, from whence the name of this cosmic model is derived — Chakravala, that is, ‘iron wheel’. The Chakravartin is thus sovereign of an “iron wheel” of astronomical proportions.

In terms of time, the Buddhist writings nominate varying lengths of reign for the Chakravartin. In one text, as a symbol of control the supreme regent carries in his hand a golden, silver, copper, or iron wheel depending upon the eon (Simpson, 1991, p. 270). This corresponds to the Indo-European division of the ages of the world in which these become increasingly short and “worse” nearer the end. For this reason, world rulers of the golden age reign many millions of years longer than the ruler of the iron age. The Chakravartin also represents the Kalachakra deity, he is the bearer of the universal “time wheel” and hence the “Lord of History”.

As lawmaker, he monitors that human norms stay in keeping with the divine, i.e., Buddhocratic ones. “He is the incarnate representation of supreme and universal Law”, writes the religious studies scholar, Coomaraswamy (Coomaraswamy, 1978, p. 13, n. 14a). As a consequence, the world ruler governs likewise as “protector” of the cosmic and of the sociopolitical order.

As a universal guru he sets the “wheel of the teaching” (Dharmachakra) in motion, in memory of the famous sermon by the historical Buddha in the deer park of Benares, where the “first turning of the Wheel of the Word” took place (Coomaraswamy, 1979, p. 25). As a consequence, the Chakravartin is the supreme world teacher and therefore also holds the “wheel of truth” in his hands. As cosmic “wheel turner” he has overcome the “wheel of life and death” through which the unenlightened must still wander.

In the revolutionary milieu of the tantras (since the fourth century C.E.), the political, war-like aspects of the “wheel turner” known from Hinduism became current once more, to then reach — as we shall see — their most aggressive form in the Shambhala myth of the Kalachakra Tantra. The Chakravartin now leads a “just” war, and is both a Buddha (or at least a Bodhisattva) and the glorious leader of an army in one person. The “lord of the wheel” thus displays clear military political traits. As the emblem of control the “wheel” also symbolizes his chariot with which he leads an invincible army. This army conquers and subjugates the entire globe and establishes a universal Buddhocracy. The Indian religious scholar, Coomaraswamy, also makes reference to the destructive power of the wheel. Like the discus of the Hindu god Vishnu, it can shave off the heads of the troops of entire armies in seconds.

Destruction and resurrection are thus equally evoked by the figure of the Chakravartin. He therefore also appears at the intersection of two eras (the iron and the subsequent golden age) and represent both the downfall of the old and the origin of the new eon. This gives him marked apocalyptic and messianic characteristics. He is incarnated as both world destroyer and world redeemer, as universal exterminator and universal savior.

Profane and spiritual power:

The history of India, just like that of medieval Europe, is shaped by the clash between spiritual and worldly power. “Pope” and “Emperor” also opposed one another on the subcontinent in the form of Brahman and King, the battle between sacerdotium (ecclesiastical rule) and regnum (kingly rule) was also a recurrent political topic in the India of old. Interestingly, this dispute is regarded in both the Occident and in Asia as a gender conflict and the two sex roles are transferred onto the two pretenders to power. Sometimes the king represented the masculine and the priest the feminine, on other occasions it was the reverse, depending on which political party currently had the say.

This long-running topic of the “political battle of the sexes” was picked up by the intellectual elite of European fascism in the thirties of this century. The fascists had an ideological interest in conceding the primary role in the state and in society to the warrior type and thus the monarchy. It was a widespread belief at that time that the hypocritical and cunning priestly caste had for centuries impeded the kings in their exercise of control so as to seize power for themselves. Such warrior-friendly views of history influenced the national socialist mythologist, Alfred Rosenberg, just as they did the Italian Julius Evola, who for a time acted as “spiritual” advisor to Mussolini. Both believed the masculine principle to be obviously at work in the “king” and the inferior feminine counterforce in the “priest”. “The monarchy is entitled to precedence over the priesthood, exactly as in the symbolism [where] the sun has precedence over the moon and the man over the woman “, Evola wrote (Evola, 1982, p. 101).

The Indian philosopher of religion, Ananda Coomaraswami, answers him with a counter-thesis: originally the king was “unquestionably feminine” and the priest masculine: “The sacerdotium and the man are the intellectual, and the regnum and the woman the active elements in what should be literally a symphony” (Coomaraswamy, 1978, p. 6). Thus we find here the conception, widespread in India, that the feminine is active, the masculine passive or contemplative, and that control can be exercised through meditation (such as through holding the breath). In this we are confronted with the view that the practice of yoga is transferable to politics. Such a conception is in fact characteristic of Hinduism. In Tantric Buddhism, however, the order is reversed, as it is in the West: the goddess is passive and the god active. For this reason the fascist, Julius Evola, for whom the heroic masculine principle is entitled to the royal throne, was much more strongly attracted to Buddhist Vajrayana than to the Hindu tantras.

But when the sacerdotium unites with the regnum in one person, as in the case of the Dalai Lama, then the two celebrate a “mystic wedding”. The powers of the two forces flow together in a great current out of which a universal “wheel turner”, a Chakravartin arises, who has condensed within himself the masculine and feminine principle, worldly and priestly power, and is thus capable of exercising supreme control. Ananda Coomaraswamy has emotionally described this exceptional situation with the following words: “It is, then, only when the priest and the king, the human representatives of sky and earth, God and his kingdom, are ‘united in the performance of the rite’, only when ‘thy will is done on earth as it is in heaven’, that there is both a giving and a taking, not indeed an equality but a true reciprocity. Peace and prosperity, and fullness of life in every sense of the words, are the fruits of the ‘marriage’ of the temporal power to the spiritual authority, just as they must be of the marriage of the ‘woman’ to the ‘man’ on whatever level of reference. For ‘verily, when a mating is effected, then each achieves the other’s desire’; and in the case of the ‘mating’ of the sacerdotium and the regnum, whether in the outer realms or within you, the desire of the two partners are for ‘good’ here and hereafter” (Coomaraswamy, 1978, p. 69). The marriage of the masculine and the feminine principle, which here forms the foundation for absolute political power, shows the Chakravartin to be an androgyne, a bisexual superhuman.

Neither Coomaraswamy nor Evola appear to have the slightest doubts about according feminine energies to masculine individuals and institutions in their theories. For this reason, the patriarchal power visions of Tantrism are as obvious in the two authors’ interpretations of history as they otherwise only are in the original Tibetan texts. Since for Coomaraswamy the feminine is incarnated in the “king”, and as such may never rule alone, the religious philosopher considers the autonomous power of the kings to be the origin of evil: “But, if the King cooperating with and assimilated to the higher power is thus the Father of his people, it is none the less true that satanic and deadly possibilities inhere in the Temporal Power: When the Regnum pursues its own devices, when the feminine [!] half of the Administration asserts its independence, when Might presumes to rule without respect for Right, when the ‘woman’ demands her ‘rights’[!], then these lethal possibilities are realised; the King and the Kingdom, the family and the house, alike are destroyed and disorder prevails. It was by an assertion of his independence and a claim to ‘equal rights’ that Lucifer fell headlong from Heaven and became Satan, the ‘enemy’” (Coomaraswamy, 1978, p. 69). The equation of the feminine with the epitome of evil is here no less clear and crass than it is in the work of the fascist, Julius Evola, who interprets our “unhappy” age as the result of a “gynocracy” which was prepared by the priests of the various religions.

That the role of the Chakravartin is reserved exclusively for men must be a self-evident assumption in the light of what has been said above. In a very early Buddhist text we already find this succinct formulation:

It is impossible and cannot be
that the woman a Holy One, a Completely Awakened [One]
or a King World-Conqueror [Chakravartin] may embody:
such a case does not occur.

(quoted by Herrmann-Pfand, 1992, p. 172)



[1] As we have already seen , the world mountain itself with its surrounding cosmic circles possesses the form of a huge mandala.

[2] However, the actual marking up of the diagram is carried out with a cord coated in chalk powder, which is placed in particular directions on the ritual table. With a brief pluck upon this cord the powder is transferred to the surface and forms a line there. Together, all the lines sketch the pattern of the sand mandala foundations.

[3] Where his golden wheel, (1), appears on the horizon the Buddhist teaching is spread. “This wheel has a thousand rays. The monarch who possesses it is called ‘the Holy King who causes the wheel to turn’, because from the moment of his possessing it, the wheel turns and traverses the universe according to the thoughts of the king” (Simpson, 1991, p. 269). Thanks to the wish-granting jewel, (2), the world ruler need only raise his hand and gold coins start to rain down (Coomaraswamy, 1979, fig. 19). The wonder horse, (3), transports him anywhere in next to no time. The elephant, (4), is obedient and represents the workforce among his subjects. The minister, (5), has no ulterior motives and stands by him with moral and tactical support. The general, (6), has the power to defeat all enemies. The body of the princess, (7), smells of sandalwood and from her mouth comes the scent of the blue lotus. She performs the functions of a royal mother: “Contact with her provokes no passions; all men regard her as their mother or sister. ... She gives birth to many sons [!]. When her husband is absent (she maintains chastity) and never succumbs to the pleasures of the five senses” (Tayé, 1995, p. 136). — With the following seven “semi-valuable” treasures it becomes even clearer how the magic political objects of the Chakravartin coincide with those of the tantric Maha Siddha (Grand Sorcerer): (1) the sword, which defends the king’s laws; (2) a tent which withstands any weather; (3) a palace full of goddesses playing music; (4) a robe impenetrable for any weapon and immune against fire; (5) a garden of paradise full of wondrous plants and animals; (6) a sleeping place which repels all false emotions and dreams and produces a clear awareness; and (7) a pair of seven league boots with which any point in the universe can be reached in a flash.
Site Admin
Posts: 29965
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am


Postby admin » Fri Jun 19, 2015 1:39 am

10. The Aggressive Myth of Shambhala:

The role of the ADI BUDDHA or rather of the Chakravartin is not just discussed in general terms in the Kalachakra Tantra, rather, in the “myth of Shambhala” the Time Tantra presents concrete political objectives. In this myth statements are made about the authority of the world monarch, the establishment and administration of his state, the organization of his army, and about a strategic schedule for the conquest of the planet. But let us first consider what exactly the Shambhala myth can be understood to be.

According to legend, the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni, taught the king of Shambhala, Suchandra, the Kalachakra Mulatantra, and initiated him into the secret doctrine. The original text contained 12,000 verses. It was later lost, but an abridged version survived. If we use the somewhat arbitrary calendar of the Time Tantra as a basis, the encounter between Shakyamuni and Suchandra took place in the year 878 B.C.E. The location of the instruction was Dhanyakataka close to the Mount Vulture Heap near Rajagriha (Rajgir) in southern India. After Suchandra had asked him for instruction, the Buddha himself assumed the form of Kalachakra and preached to him from a Lion Throne surrounded by numerous Bodhisattvas and gods.

Suchandra reigned as the king of Shambhala, a legendary kingdom somewhere to the north of India. He did not travel alone to be initiated in Dhanyakataka, but was accompanied by a courtly retinue of 96 generals, provincial kings and governors. After the initiation he took the tantra teaching back with him to his empire (Shambhala) and made it the state religion there; according to other reports, however, this only happened after seven generations.

Suchandra recorded the Kalachakra Mulatantra from memory and composed a number of comprehensive commentaries on it. One of his successors (Manjushrikirti) wrote an abridged edition, known as the Kalachakra Laghutantra, a compendium of the original sermon. This 1000-verse text has survived in toto and still today serves as a central text. Manjushrikirti’s successor, King Pundarika, composed a detailed commentary upon the Laghutantra with the name of Vimalaprabha (‘immaculate light’). These two texts (the Kalachakra Laghutantra and the Vimalaprapha) were brought back to India in the tenth century by the Maha Siddha Tilopa, and from there reached Tibet, the “Land of Snows” a hundred years later. But only fragments of the original text, the Kalachakra Mulatantra, have survived. The most significant fragment is called Sekkodesha and has been commented upon the Maha Siddha Naropa.

Geography of the kingdom of Shambhala:

The kingdom of Shambhala, in which the Kalachakra teaching is practiced as the state religion, is surrounded by great secrecy, just as is its first ruler, Suchandra. Then he is also regarded as an incarnation of the Bodhisattva Vajrapani, the “Lord of Occult Knowledge”. For centuries the Tibetan lamas have deliberately mystified the wonderland, that is, they have left the question of its existence or nonexistence so open that one has to paradoxically say that it exists and it does not. Since it is a spiritual empire, its borders can only be crossed by those who have been initiated into the secret teachings of the Kalachakra Tantra. Invisible for ordinary mortal eyes, for centuries the wildest speculation about the geographic location of Shambhala have circulated. In “concrete” terms, all that is known is that it can be found to the north of India, “beyond the River Sitha”. But no-one has yet found the name of this river on a map. Thus, over the course of centuries the numerous Shambhala seekers have nominated all the even conceivable regions, from Kashmir to the North Pole and everywhere in between.

A mandala of Shambhala

The most widespread opinion in the studies tends toward seeking the original region in what is today the desert of the Tarim Basin (Tarim Pendi). Many lamas claim it still exists there, but is screened from curious eyes by a magical curtain and is well guarded. Indeed, the syncretist elements which are to be found in the Kalachakra Tantra speak for the view that the text is a product of the ancient Silk Road traversed by many cultures, which leads through the Tarim Basin. The huge chain of mountains which surround the plateau in almost a circle also concord with the geography of Shambhala.

Typically, the mythical map of Shambhala, of which there are numerous reproductions, resembles a mandala. It has the form of a wheel with eight spokes, or rather it corresponds to a lotus with eight petals. Each of the petals forms an administrative region. There a governor rules as the highest official. He is the viceroy of not less than 120 million villages which can be found on each “lotus petal”. Shambhala thus possesses a total of 960 million settlements. The whole land is surrounded by a ring of barely scaleable snowcapped mountains.

In the center of the ring of mountains lies the country’s capital, Kalapa by name. By night, the city of light is lit up as bright as day, so that the moon can no longer be seen. There the Shambhala king lives in a palace made from every conceivable gem and diamond. The architecture is based upon the laws of the heavens. There is a sun temple and a moon temple, a replica of the zodiac and the astral orbits. A little to the south of the palace the visitor finds a wonderful park. In it Suchandra ordered the temple of Kalachakra and Vishvamata to be built. It is made from five valuable materials: gold, silver, turquoise, coral, and pearl. Its ground plan corresponds to the Kalachakra sand mandala.

The kings and administration of Shambhala:

All the kings of Shambhala belong to an inherited dynasty. Since the historical Buddha initiated the first regent, Suchandra, into the Time Tantra there have been two royal houses which have determined the fate of the country. The first seven kings called themselves Dharmaraja (kings of law). They were originally descended from the same lineage which produced Buddha Shakyamuni, the Shakyas. The following 25 kings of the second dynasty are the “Kulikas” or “Kalkis”. Each of these rulers reigns for exactly 100 years. The future regents are also already laid down by name. The texts are not always unanimous about who is presently ruling the realm. Most frequently, King Aniruddha is named, who is said to have taken the reins of power in 1927 and shall set them aside again in the year 2027. A great spectacle awaits the world when the 25th scion of the Kalki dynasty takes office. This is Rudra Chakrin, the wrathful wheel turner. In the year 2327 he will ascend the throne. We shall come to deal with him in detail.

Like the Indian Maha Siddhas, the Kalkis have long hair which they tie up in a knot. Likewise, they also adorn themselves with earrings and armbands. “The Kalki has excellent ministers, generals, and a great many queens. He has a bodyguard, elephants and elephant trainers, horses, chariots, and palanquins. His own wealth and the wealth of his subjects, the power of his magic spells, the nagas, demons, and goblins that serve him, the wealth offered to him by the centaurs and the quality of his food are all such that even the lord of the gods cannot compete with him. ... The Kalki does not have more than one or two heirs, but he has many daughters who are given as vajra ladies during the initiations held on the full moon of Caitra each year” (Newman, 1985, p. 57). It thus appears they serve as mudras in the Kalachakra rituals.

The ruler of Shambhala is an absolute monarch and has at his disposal the entire worldly and spiritual power of the country. He stands at the apex of a “hierarchical pyramid” and the foundations of his Buddhocracy is composed of an army of millions of viceroys, governors, and officers who carry out the decrees of the regent.

As spiritual ruler, he is the representative of the ADI BUDDHA, as “worldly” potentate a Chakravartin. He is seated upon a golden throne, supported by eight sculptured lions. In his hands he holds a jewel which grants him every wish and a magic mirror, in which he can observe and control everything in his realm and on earth. Nothing escapes his watchful eye. He has the ability and the right to look into the deepest recesses of the souls of his subjects, indeed of anybody.

The roles of the sexes in the realm of Shambhala are typical. It is exclusively men who exercise political power in the androcentric state. Of the women we hear only something of their role as queen mother, the bearer of the heir to the throne, and as “wisdom consorts”. In the “tantric economy” of the state budget they form a reservoir of vital resources, since they supply the “gynergy” which is transformed by the official sexual magic rites into political power. Alone the sovereign has a million (!) girls, “young as the eight-day moon”, who are available to be his partners.

The highest elite of the country is formed by the tantric clergy. The monks wear white, speak Sanskrit, and are all initiated into the mysteries of the Kalachakra Tantra. The majority of them are considered enlightened. Then come the warriors. The king is at the same time the supreme commander of a disciplined and extremely potent army with generals at its head, a powerful officer corps and obedient “lower ranks”. The most effective and “modern” weapons of destruction are stored in the extensive arsenals of Shambhala. Yet — as we shall later see — the army will only mobilize completely in three hundred years time (2327 C.E.).

The totalitarian power of the Shambhala king extends over not just the inhabitants of his country, but likewise over all the people of our planet, “earth”. The French Kalachakra enthusiast, Jean Rivière, describes the comprehensive competencies of the Buddhist despots as follows: “As master of the universe, emperor of the world, spiritual regent over the powerful subtle energy flows which regulate the cosmic order just as [they do] the lives of the people, the Kulika [king] of Shambhala directs the spiritual development of the human masses who were born into the heavy and blind material [universe]" (Rivière, 1985, p. 36). [1]

The “sun chariot” of the Rishis

Although all its rulers are known by name, the Shambhala realm has no history in the real sense. Hence in the many centuries of its existence hardly anything worthy of being recorded in a chronicle has happened. Consider in contrast the history-laden chain of events in the life of Buddha Shakyamuni and the numerous legends which he left behind him! But there is an event which shows that this country was not entirely free of historical conflict. This concerns the protest of a group of no less than 35 million (!) Rishis (seers) led by the sage Suryaratha ("sun chariot”).

As the first Kulika king, Manjushrikirti, preached the Kalachakra Tantra to his subjects, Suryaratha distanced himself from it, and his followers, the Rishis, joined him. They preferred to choose banishment from Shambhala than to follow the “diamond path” (Vajrayana). Nonetheless, after they had set out in the direction of India and had already crossed the border of the kingdom, Manjushrikirti sank in to a deep meditation, stunned the emigrants by magic and ordered demon birds to bring them back.

This event probably concerns a confrontation between two religious schools. The Rishis worshipped only the sun. For this reason they also called their guru the “sun chariot” (suryaratha). But the Kulika king had as Kalachakra master and cosmic androgyne united both heavenly orbs in himself. He was the master of sun and moon. His demand of the Rishis that they adopt the teachings of the Kalachakra Tantra was also enacted on a night of the full moon. Manjushrikirti ended his sermon with the words: “If you wish to enter that path, stay here, but if you do not, then leave and go elsewhere; otherwise the doctrines of the barbarians will come to spread even in Shambhala.” (Bernbaum, 1980, p. 234).

The Rishis decided upon the latter. “Since we all want to remain true to the sun chariot, we also do not wish to give up our religion and to join another”, they rejoined (Grünwedel, 1915, p. 77). This resulted in the exodus already outlined. But in fetching them back Manjushrikirti had proved his magical superiority and demonstrated that the “path of the sun and moon” is stronger than the “pure sun way”. The Rishis thus brought him many gold tributes and submitted to his power and the primacy of the Kalachakra Tantra. In the fifteenth night of the moon enlightenment was bestowed upon them.

Behind this unique historical Shambhala incident hides a barely noticed power-political motif. The seers (the Rishis) were as their name betrays clearly Brahmans; they were members of the elite priestly caste. In contrast, as priest-king Manjushrikirti integrated in his office the energies of both the priestly and the military elite. Within himself he united worldly and spiritual power, which — as we have already discussed above — are allotted separately to the sun (high priest) and the moon (warrior king) in the Indian cultural sphere. The union of both heavenly orbs in his person made him an absolute ruler.

Because of the Shambhala realm’s military plans for the future, which we will describe a little later, the king and his successors are extremely interested in strengthening the standing army. Then Shambhala will need an army of millions for the battles which are in store for it, and centuries count for nothing in this mythic realm. It was thus in Manjushrikirti’s interest to abolish all caste distinctions in an overarching militarily oriented Buddhocracy. The historical Buddha is already supposed to have prophesied that the future Shambhala king, “.. possessing the Vajra family, will become Kalki by making the four castes into a single clan, within the Vajra family, not making them into a Brahman family” (Newman, 1985, p. 64). The “Vajra family” mentioned is clearly contrasted to the priestly caste in this statement by Shakyamuni. Within the various Buddha families as well it represents the one who is responsible for military matters. Even today in the West, high-ranking Tibetan lamas boast that they will be reborn as generals (!) in the Shambhala army, that is, that they think to transform their spiritual office into a military one.

The warlike intention behind this ironing out of caste distinctions becomes more obvious in Manjushrikirti’s justification that the land, should it not follow Vajrayana Buddhism, would inevitably fall into the hands of the “barbarians”. These — as we shall later show — were the followers of Islam, against whom an enormous Shambhala military was being armed.

The journey to Shambhala:

The travel reports written by Shambhala seekers are mostly kept so that we do not know whether they concern actual experiences, dreams, imaginings, phantasmagoria or initiatory progress. There is also no effort to keep these distinctions clear. A Shambhala journey simply embodies all of these together. Thus the difficult and hazardous adventures people have undertaken in search of the legendary country correspond to the “various mystical practices along the way, that lead to the realization of tantric meditation in the kingdom itself. ... The snow mountains surrounding Shambhala represent worldly virtues, while the King in the center symbolizes the pure mind at the end of the journey” (Bernbaum, 1980, p. 229).

In such interpretations, then, the journeys take place in the spirit. Then again, this is not the impression gained by leafing through the Shambha la’i lam yig, the famous travel report of the Third Panchen Lama (1738–1780). This concerns a fantastic collection , which is obviously convinced of the reality of its factual material, of historical and geographic particulars from central Asia which describe the way to Shambhala.

The landscapes which, according to this “classic travel guide”, a visitor must pass through before entering the wonderland, and the dangerous adventures which must be undergone, make the journey to Shambhala (whether real or imaginary) a tantric initiatory way. This becomes particularly clear in the central confrontation with the feminine which just like the Vajrayana controls the whole travel route. The quite picturesque book describes over many pages encounters with all the female figures whom we already know from the tantric milieu. With literary leisure the author paints the sweetest and the most terrible scenes: pig-headed goddesses; witches mounted upon boars; dakinis swinging skull bowls filled with blood, entrails, eyes and human hearts; girls as beautiful as lotus flowers with breasts that drip nectar; harpies; five hundred demonesses with copper-red lips; snake goddesses who like nixes try to pull one into the water; the one-eyed Ekajati; poison mixers; sirens; naked virgins with golden bodies; female cannibals; giantesses; sweet Asura girls with horse’s heads; the demoness of doubt; the devil of frenzy; healers who give refreshing herbs — they all await the brave soul who sets out to seek the wonderland.

Every encounter with these female creatures must be mastered. For every group the Panchen Lama has a deterrent, appeasing, or receptive ritual ready. Some of the women must be turned away without fail by the traveler, others should be honored and acknowledged, with yet others he must unite in tantric love. But woe betide him if he should lose his emotional and seminal control here! Then he would become the victim of all these “beasts” regardless of whether they appear beautiful or dreadful. Only a complete tantra expert can pursue his way through this jungle of feminine bodies.

Thus the spheres alternate between the external and the internal, reality and imagination, the world king in the hearts of individual people and the real world ruler in the Gobi Desert, Shambhala as everyday life and Shambhala as a fairytale dream, and everything becomes possible. When on his travels through Inner Asia the Russian painter, Nicholas Roerich, showed some nomads photographs of New York they cried out: “This is the land of Shambhala!” (Roerich, 1988, p. 274).

The “raging wheel turner”: The martial ideology of Shambhala:

In the year 2327 (C.E.) — the prophecies of the Kalachakra Tantra tell us — the 25th Kalki will ascend the throne of Shambhala. He goes by the name of Rudra Chakrin, the “wrathful wheel turner” or the “Fury with the wheel”. The mission of this ruler is to destroy the “enemies of the Buddhist teaching” in a huge eschatological battle and to found a golden age. This militant hope for the future still today occupies the minds of many Tibetans and Mongolians and is beginning to spread across the whole world. We shall consider the fascination which the archetype of the “Shambhala warrior” exercises over western Buddhists in more detail later.

Rudra Chakrin – the militant messiah of Shambhala

The Shambhala state draws a clear and definite distinction between friend and enemy. The original idea of Buddhist pacifism is completely foreign to it. Hence the Rudra Chakrin carries a martial symbolic object as his insignia of dominion, the “wheel of iron” (!). We may recall that in the Buddhist world view our entire universe (Chakravala) is enclosed within a ring of iron mountains. We have interpreted this image as a reminder of the “doomsday iron age” of the prophecies of antiquity.

Mounted upon his white horse, with a spear in his hand, the Rudra Chakrin shall lead his powerful army in the 24th century. “The Lord of the Gods”, it is said of him in the Kalachakra Tantra, “ joined with the twelve lords shall go to destroy the barbarians” (Newman, 1987, p. 645). His army shall consist of “exceptionally wild warriors” equipped with “sharp weapons”. A hundred thousand war elephants and millions of mountain horses, faster than the wind, shall serve his soldiers as mounts. Indian gods will then join the total of twelve divisions of the “wrathful wheel turner” and support their “friend” from Shambhala. This support for the warlike Shambhala king is probably due to his predecessor, Manjushrikirti, who succeeded in integrating the 120 million Hindu Rishis into the tantric religious system (Banerjee, 1985, p. xiii).

If, as legend has it, the author of the Kalachakra Tantra was the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni, in person, then he must have forgotten his whole vision and message of peace and had a truly great fascination for the military hardware. Then weaponry plays a prominent role in the Time Tantra. Here too, by “weapon” is understood every means of implementing the physical killing of humans. It is also said of Buddha’s martial successor, the coming Rudra Chakrin, that, “with the sella (a deadly weapon) in the hand ... he shall proclaim the Kalachakra on earth for the liberation of beings” (Banerjee, 1959, p. 213).

Lethal war machines:

The graphic description of the war machines to which the Kalachakra deity devotes a number of pages already in the first chapter of the tantra is downright impressive and astonishing (Newman, 1987, pp. 553-570, verses 135-145; Grönbold, 1996). A total of seven exceptionally destructive arts of weapon are introduced. All take the form of a wheel. The text refers to them as yantras. There is a “wind machine” which is primarily put into action against mountain forts. They float over the enemy army and let burning oil run out all over them. The same happens to the houses and palaces of the opponent. The second art of weapon is described as a “sword in the ground machine”. This acts as a personal protection for the “wrathful wheel turner”. Anyone who enters his palace without permission and steps upon the machine hidden beneath the floor is inevitably cut to pieces. As the third art follows the “harpoon machine”, a kind of ancient machine gun. At the squeeze of a finger, “many straight arrows or sharp Harpoons that pierce and pass through the body of an armored elephant” (Newman, 1987, p. 506).

We are acquainted with three further extremely effective “rotating weapons” which shear everything away, above all the heads of the enemy troops. One of them is compared to the wheels of the sun chariot. This is probably a variant of the solar discus which the Indian god Vishnu successfully put to use against the demon hordes. Such death wheels have played a significant role in Tibet’s magic military history right up into this century. We shall return to this topic at a later point. These days, believers in the Shambhala myth see “aircraft” or “UFOs” in them which are armed with atomic bombs and are guided by the world king’s extraterrestrial support troops.

In light of the numerous murderous instruments which are listed in the Kalachakra Tantra, a moral problem obviously arose for some “orthodox” Buddhists which led to the wheel weapons being understood purely symbolically. They concerned radical methods of destroying one’s own human ego. The great scholar and Kalachakra commentator, Khas Grub je, expressly opposes this pious attempt. In his opinion, the machines “are to be taken literally” (Newman, 1987, p. 561).

The “final battle”:

Let us return to the Rudra Chakrin, the tantric apocalyptic redeemer. He appears in a period, in which the Buddhist teaching is largely eradicated. According to the prophecies, it is the epoch of the “not-Dharmas”, against whom he makes a stand. Before the final battle against the enemies of Buddhism can take place the state of the world has worsened dramatically. The planet is awash with natural disasters, famine, epidemics, and war. People become ever more materialistic and egoistic. True piety vanishes. Morals become depraved. Power and wealth are the sole idols. A parallel to the Hindu doctrine of the Kali yuga is obvious here.

In these bad times, a despotic “barbarian king” forces all nations other than Shambhala to follow his rule, so that at the end only two great forces remain: firstly the depraved “king of the barbarians” supported by the “lord of all demons “, and secondly Rudra Chakrin, the wrathful Buddhist messiah. At the outset, the barbarian ruler subjugates the whole world apart from the mythical kingdom of Shambhala. Its existence is an incredible goad to him and his subjects: “Their jealousy will surpass all limits, crashing up like waves of the sea. Incensed that there could be such a land outside their control, they will gather an army together und set out to conquer it.” (Bernbaum, 1980, p. 240). It then comes, says the prophecy, to a brutal confrontation. [2]

Alongside the descriptions from the Kalachakra Tantra there are numerous other literary depictions of this Buddhist apocalyptic battle to be found. They all fail to keep secret their pleasure at war and the triumph over the corpses of the enemy. Here is a passage from the Russian painter and Shambhala believer, Nicholas Roerich, who became well known in the thirties as the founder of a worldwide peace organization ("Banner of Peace”). “Hard is the fate of the enemies of Shambhala. A just wrath colors the purple blue clouds. The warriors of the Rigden-jyepo [the Tibetan name for the Rudra Chakrin], in splendid armor with swords and spears are pursuing their terrified enemies. Many of them are already prostrated and their firearms, big hats and all their possessions are scattered over the battlefield. Some of them are dying, destroyed by the just hand. Their leader is already smitten and lies spread under the steed of the great warrior, the blessed Rigden. Behind the Ruler, on chariots, follow fearful cannons, which no walls can withstand. Some of the enemy, kneeling, beg for mercy, or attempt to escape their fate on the backs of elephants. But the sword of justice overtake defamers. The Dark must be annihilated.” (Roerich, 1985, p. 232) The “Dark”, that is those of different faiths, the opponents of Buddhism and hence of Shambhala. They are all cut down without mercy during the “final battle”. In this enthused sweep of destruction the Buddhist warriors completely forget the Bodhisattva vow which preaches compassion with all beings.

The skirmishes of the battle of the last days (in the year 2327) are, according to commentaries upon the Kalachakra Tantra, supposed to reach through Iran into eastern Turkey (Bernbaum, 1982, p. 251). The regions of the Kalachakra Tantra’s origin are also often referred to as the site of the coming eschatological battlefield (the countries of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan). This has a certain historical justification, since the southern “Islamic” flank of the former Soviet Union counts as one of the most explosive crisis regions of the present day (see in this regard the Spiegel, 20/1998, pp. 160-161).

The conquest of Kailash, the holy mountain, is nominated as a further strategic goal in the Shambhala battle. After the Rudra Chakrin has “killed [his enemies] in battle waged across the whole world, at the end of the age the world ruler will with his own fourfold army come into the city which was built by the gods on the mountain of Kailash” (Banerjee, 1959, p. 215). In general, “wherever the [Buddhist] religion has been destroyed and the Kali age is on the rise, there he will go” (Banerjee, 1959, p. 52). [3]

Buddha versus Allah:

The armies of Rudra Chakrin will destroy the “not-Dharma” and the doctrines of the “unreligious barbarian hordes”. Hereby, according to the original text of the Kalachakra Tantra, it is above all the Koran which is intended. Mohammed himself is referred to by name several times in the Time Tantra, as is his one god, Allah. We learn of the barbarians that they are called Mleccha, which means the “inhabitants of Mecca” (Petri, 1966, p. 107). These days Rudra Chakrin is already celebrated as the “killer of the Mlecchas” (Banerjee, 1959, p. 52). This fixation of the highest tantra on Islam is only all too readily understandable, when the followers of Mohammed had in the course of history not just wrought terrible havoc among the Buddhist monasteries and communities of India — the Islamic doctrine must also have appeared more attractive and feeling to many of the ordinary populace than the complexities of a Buddhism represented by an elitist community of monks. There were many “traitors” in central Asia who gladly and readily reached for the Koran. Such conversions among the populace must have eaten more deeply into the hearts of the Buddhist monks than the direct consequences of war. Then the Kalachakra Tantra, composed in the time where the hordes of Muslims raged in the Punjab and along the Silk Road, is marked by an irreconcilable hate for the “subhumans” from Mecca.

This dualist division of the world between Buddhism on the one side and Islam on the other is a dogma which the Tibetan lamas seek to transfer to the future of the whole of human history. “According to certain conjectures”, writes a western commentator upon the Shambhala myth, “two superpowers will then have control over the world and take to the field against one another. The Tibetans foresee a Third World War here” (Henss, 1985, p. 19).

In the historical part of our analysis we shall come to speak of this dangerous antinomy once more. In contrast to Mohammed, the other “false doctrines” likewise mentioned in the first chapter of the Kalachakra Tantra as needing to be combated by the Shambhala king appear pale and insignificant. It nevertheless makes sense to introduce them, so as to demonstrate which founders of religions the tantric blanket conception of enemy stretched to encompass. The Kalachakra nominates Enoch, Abraham and Moses among the Jews, then Jesus for the Christians, and a “white clothed one”, who is generally accepted to be Mani, the founder of Manichaeism. It is most surprising that in a further passage the “ false doctrines “ of these religious founders are played down and even integrated into the tantra’s own system. After they have had to let a strong attack descend upon them as “heresies” in the first chapter, in the second they form the various facets of a crystal, and the yogi is instructed not to disparage them (Grönbold, 1992a, p. 295).

Such inconsistencies are — as we have already often experienced — added to tantric philosophy by itself. The second chapter of the Kalachakra Tantra thus does not switch over to a western seeming demand for freedom of religion and opinion, on the contrary apparent tolerance and thinking in terms of “the enemy” are both retained alongside one another and are, depending on the situation, rolled out to serve its own power interest. The Fourteenth Dalai Lama is — as we shall show in detail — an ingenious interpreter of this double play. Outwardly he espouses religious freedom and ecumenical peace. But in contrast, in the ritual system he concentrates upon the aggressive Time Tantra, in which the scenario is dominated by destructive fantasies, dreams of omnipotence, wishes for conquest, outbreaks of wrath, pyromaniacal obsessions, mercilessness, hate, killing frenzies, and apocalypses. That such despotic images also determine the “internal affairs” of the exiled Tibetans for the Tibetan “god-king”, is something upon which we shall report in the second part of our study.

After winning the final battle, the Kalachakra Tantra prophecies, the Rudra Chakrin founds the “golden age”. A purely Buddhist paradise is established on earth. Joy and wealth will abound. There is no more war. Everybody possesses great magical powers. Science and technology flourish. People live to be 1800 years old and have no need to fear death, since they will be reborn into an even more beautiful Eden. This blissful state prevails for around 20,000 years. The Kalachakra Tantra has by then spread to every corner of the globe and become the one “true” world religion. (But afterwards, the old cycle with its wars of destruction, defeats and victories begins anew.)

The non-Buddhist origins of the Shambhala myth:

Apocalyptic visions, final battles between Good and Evil, saviors with lethal weapons in their hands are absolutely no topic for Hinayana Buddhism. They first emerge in the Mahayana period (200 B.C.E.), are then incorporated by Vajrayana (400 C.E.) and gain their final and central form in the Kalachakra Tantra (tenth century C.E.). Hence, as in the case of the ADI BUDDHA, the question arises as to where the non-Buddhist influences upon the Shambhala myth are to be sought.

Yet before we come to that, we ought to consider the widespread Maitreya prophecy, which collides with the Shambhala vision and the Kalachakra Tantra. Already in the Gandhara era (200 B.C.E.), Maitreya is known as the future Buddha who shall be incarnated on earth. He is still dwelling in the so-called Tushita heaven and awaits his mission. Images of him strike the observer at once because unlike other depictions of Buddha he is not resting in the lotus posture, but rather sits in a “European” style, as if on a chair. In his case too, the world first goes into decline before he appears to come to the aid of the suffering humanity. His epiphany is, however, according to most reports much more healing and peaceable than those of the “wrathful wheel turner”. But there are also other more aggressive prophecies from the seventh century where he first comes to earth as a messiah following an apocalyptic final battle (Sponberg, 1988, p. 31). For the Russian painter and Shambhala seeker, Nicholas Roerich, there is in the end no difference between Maitreya and Rudra Chakrin any more, they are simply two names for the same redeemer.

Without doubt the Kalachakra Tantra is primarily dominated by conceptions which can also be found in Hinduism. This is especially true of the yoga techniques, but likewise applies to the cosmology and the cyclical destruction and renewal of the universe. In Hindu prophecies too, the god Vishnu appears as savior at the end of the Kali yuga, also, incidentally, upon a white horse like the Buddhist Rudra Chakrin, in order to exterminate the enemies of the religion. He even bears the dynastic name of the Shambhala kings and is known as Kalki.

Among the academic researchers there is nonetheless the widespread opinion that the savior motif, be it Vishnu or Buddha Maitreya or even the Rudra Chakrin, is of Iranian origin. The stark distinction between the forces of the light and the dark, the apocalyptic scenario, the battle images, the idea of a militant world ruler, even the mandala model of the five meditation Buddhas were unknown among the original Buddhist communities. Buddhism, alone among all the salvational religions, saw no savior behind Gautama’s experience of enlightenment. But for Iran these motifs of salvation were (and still are today) central.

In a convincing study, the orientalist, Heinrich von Stietencron, has shown how — since the first century C.E. at the latest — Iranian sun priests infiltrated into India and merged their concepts with the local religions, especially Buddhism. (Stietencron, 1965. p. 170). They were known as Maga and Bhojaka. The Magas, from whom our word “magician” is derived, brought with them among other things the cult of Mithras and combined it with elements of Hindu sun worship. Western researchers presume that the name of Maitreya, the future Buddha, derives from Mithras.

The Bhojakas, who followed centuries later (600–700 C.E.), believed that they emanated from the body of their sun god. They also proclaimed themselves to be the descendants of Zarathustra. In India they created a mixed solar religion from the doctrines of the Avesta (the teachings of Zarathustra) and Mahayana Buddhism. From the Buddhists they adopted fasting and the prohibitions on cultivating fields and trade. In return, they influenced Buddhism primarily with their visions of light. Their “photisms” are said to have especially helped shape the shining figure of the Buddha Amitabha. Since they placed the time god, Zurvan, at the center of their cult, it could also be they who anticipated the essential doctrines of the Kalachakra Tantra.

Like the Kalachakra deity we have described, the Iranian Zurvan carries the entire universe in his mystic body: the sun, moon, and stars. The various divisions of time such as hours, days, and months dwell in him as personified beings. He is the ruler of eternal and of historical time. White light and the colors of the rainbow burst out of him. His worshippers pray to him as “father-mother”. Sometimes he is portrayed as having four heads like the Buddhist time god. He governs as the “father of fire” or as the “victory fire”. Through him, fire and time are equated. He is also cyclical time, in which the world is swallowed by flames so as to arise anew.

Manichaeism (from the third century on) also took on numerous elements from the Zurvan religion and mixed them with Christian/Gnostic ideas and added Buddhist concepts. The founder of the religion, Mani, undertook a successful missionary journey to India. Key orientalists assume that his teachings also had a reverse influence upon Buddhism. Among other aspects, they mention the fivefold group of meditation Buddhas, the dualisms of good and evil, light and darkness, the holy man’s body as the world in microcosm, and the concept of salvation. More specific are the white robes which the monks in the kingdom of Shambhala wear. White was the cult color of the Manichaean priestly caste and is not a normal color for clothing in Buddhism. But the blatant eroticism which the Kalachakra translator and researcher in Asia, Albert Grünwedel, saw in Manichaeism was not there. In contrast; Mani’s religion exhibits extremely “puritanical” traits and rejects everything sexual: “The sin of sex”, he is reported to have said, “is animal, an imitation of the devil mating. Above all it produces every propagation and continuation of the original evil” (quoted by Hermanns, 1965, p. 105).

While the famous Italian Tibetologist, Guiseppe Tucci, believes Iranian influences can be detected in the doctrine of ADI BUDDHA, he sees the Lamaist-Tibetan way in total rather as gnostic, since it attempts to overcome the dualism of good and evil and does not peddle the out and out moralizing of the Avesta or the Manichaeans. This is certainly true for the yoga way in the Kalachakra Tantra, yet it is not so for the eschatology of the Shambhala myth. There, the “prince of light” (Rudra Chakrin) and the depraved “prince of darkness” take to the field against one another.

There was a direct Iranian influence upon the Bon cult, the state religion which preceded Buddhism in Tibet. Bon, often erroneously confused with the old shamanist cultures of the highlands, is an explicit religion of light with an organized priesthood, a savior (Shen rab) and a realm of paradise (Olmolungring) which resembles the kingdom of Shambhala in an astonishing manner.

It is a Tradition in Europe to hypothesize ancient Egyptian influences upon the tantric culture of Tibet. This can probably be traced to the occult writings of the Jesuit, Athanasius Kirchner (1602-1680), who believed he had discovered the cradle of all advanced civilizations including that of the Tibetans in the Land of the Nile. The Briton, Captain S. Turner, who visited the highlands in the year 1783, was likewise convinced of a continuity between ancient Egypt and Tibet. Even this century, Siegbert Hummel saw the “Land of Snows” as almost a “reserve for Mediterranean traditions” and likewise nominated Egypt as the origin of the tradition of the Tibetan mysteries (Hummel, 1954, p. 129; 1962, p. 31). But it was especially the occultist Helena Blavatsky who saw the origins of both cultures as flowing from the same source. The two “supernatural secret societies”, who whispered the ideas to her were the “Brotherhood of Luxor” and the “Tibetan Brotherhood”.

The determining Greek influence upon the sacred art of Buddhism (Gandhara style) became a global event which left its traces as far afield as Japan. Likewise, the effect of Hellenistic ideas upon the development of Buddhist doctrines is well vouched for. There is widespread unanimity that without this encounter Mahayana would have never even been possible. According to the studies of the ethnologist Mario Bussagli, hermetic and alchemic teachings are also supposed to have come into contact with the world view of Buddha via Hellenistic Baktria (modern Afghanistan) and the Kusha empire which followed it, the rulers of which were of Scythian origin but had adopted Greek language and culture (Bussagli, 1985).

Evaluation of the Shambhala myth:

The ancient origins and contents of the Shambhala state make it, when seen from the point of view of a western political scientist, an antidemocratic, totalitarian, doctrinaire and patriarchal model. It concerns a repressive ideal construction which is to be imposed upon all of humanity in the wake of an “ultimate war”. Here the sovereign (the Shambhala king) and in no sense the people decide the legal norms. He governs as the absolute monarch of a planetary Buddhocracy. King and state even form a mystic unity, in a literal, not a figurative sense, then the inner bodily energy processes of the ruler are identical with external state happenings. The various administrative levels of Shambhala (viceroys, governors, and officials) are thus considered to be the extended limbs of the sovereign.

Further to this, the Shambhala state (in contrast to the original teachings of the Buddha) is based upon the clear differentiation of friend and enemy. Its political thought is profoundly dualist, up to and including the moral sphere. Islam is regarded as the arch-enemy of the country. In resolving aggravated conflicts, Shambhala society has recourse to a “high-tech” and extremely violent military machinery and employs the sociopolitical utopia of “paradise on earth” as its central item of propaganda.

It follows from all these features that the current, Fourteenth Dalai Lama’s constant professions of faith in the fundamentals of western democracy remain empty phrases for as long as he continues to place the Kalachakra Tantra and the Shambhala myth at the center of his ritual existence. The objection commonly produced by lamas and western Buddhists, that Shambhala concerns a metaphysical and not a worldly institution, does not hold water. We know, namely, from history that both traditional Tibetan and Mongolian society cultivated the Shambhala myth without at any stage drawing a distinction between a worldly and a metaphysical aspect in this matter. In both countries, everything which the Buddhocratic head of state decided was holy per se.

The argument that the Shambhala vision was distant “pie in the sky” is also not convincing. The aggressive warrior myth and the idea of a world controlling ADI BUDDHA has influenced the history of Tibet and Mongolia for centuries as a rigid political program which is oriented to the decisions of the clerical power elite. In the second part of our study we present this program and its historical execution to the reader. We shall return to the topic that in the view of some lamas the Tibetan state represents an earthly copy of the Shambhala realm and the Dalai Lama an emanation of the Shambhala king.

“Inner” and “outer” Shambhala:

In answer to the question as to why the “world ruler on the Lion Throne” (the Shambhala king) does not peacefully and positively intervene in the fate of humanity, the French Kalachakra believer, Jean Rivière, replied: “He does not inspire world politics and does not intervene directly or humanly in the conflicts of the reborn beings. His role is spiritual, completely inner, individual one could say” (Rivière, 1985, p. 36).

Such an “internalization” or “psychologization” of the myth is applied by some authors to the entire Buddhocratic realm, including the history of Shambhala and the final battle prophesied there. The country, with all its viceroys, ministers, generals, officials, warriors, ladies of the court, vajra girls, palace grounds, administrative bodies and dogmata, now appears as a structural model which describes the mystic body of a yogi: “If you can use your body properly, then the body becomes Shambhala, the ninety-six principalities concur in all their actions, and you conquer the kingdom itself.” (Bernbaum, 1980, p. 155)

The arduous “journey to Shambhala” and the “final battle” are also subjectified and identified as, respectively, an “initiatory path” or an “inner battle of the soul” along the way to enlightenment. In this psycho-mystic drama, the ruler of the last days, Rudra Chakrin, plays the “higher self” or the “divine consciousness” of the yogi, which declares war on the human ego in the figure of the “barbarian king” and exterminates it. The prophesied paradise refers to the enlightenment of the initiand.

We have already a number of times gone into the above all among western Buddhists widespread habit of exclusively internalizing or “psychologizing” tantric images and myths. From an “occidental” way of looking at things, an internalization implies that an external image (a war for example) is to be understood as a symbol for an inner psychic/spiritual process (for example, a “psychological” war). However, according to Eastern, magic-oriented thinking, the “identity” of interior and exterior means something different, namely that the inner processes in the yogi’s mystic body correspond to external events, or to tone this down a little, that inside and outside consist of the same substance (of “pure spirit” for example). The external is thus not a metaphor for the internal as in the western symbolic conception, but rather both, inner and exterior, correspond to one another. Admittedly this implies that the external can be influenced by inner manipulations, but not that it thereby disappears. Applying this concept to the example mentioned above results in the following simple statement: the Shambhala war takes place internally and externally. Just as the mystic body (interior) of the ADI BUDDHA is identical with the whole cosmos (exterior), so the mystic body (interior) of the Shambhala king is identical to his state (exterior).

The Shambhala myth and the ideologies derived from it stand in stark opposition to Gautama Buddha’s original vision of peace and to the Ahimsa politics (politics of nonviolence) of Mahatma Ghandi, to whom the current Dalai Lama so often refers. For Westerners sensitized by the pacifist message of Buddhism, the “internalization” of the myth may thus offer a way around the militant ambient of the Kalachakra Tantra. But in Tibetan/Mongolian history the prophecy of Shambhala has been taken literally for centuries, and — as we still have to demonstrate — has led to extremely aggressive political undertakings. It carries within it — and this is something to we shall return to discuss in detail — the seeds of a worldwide fundamentalist ideology of war.



[1] In the thirties, Jean Marquès Rivière worked on the journal Voile d'Isis, in which the occult elite of Europe published. The editor was René Guénon. During this period Rivière performed a tantric ritual ("with blood and alcohol”), which left him possessed by a Tibetan deity. Only through the intervention of a Catholic exorcist could he be freed of the possession. In gratitude he reconverted to Christianity. But several years later he was once again to be found in the Buddhist camp (Robin, 1986, p. 325).

[2] In another version of the prophecy the barbarians at first succeed in penetrating into the wonderland and storming the palace of the king. Rudra Chakrin then extends the offer of ruling Shambhala together with his opponents. The barbarian king apparently consents, but then tries to seize control alone with an attempted assassination. But the attempt fails, and the Shambhala king escapes. Only now does the bloody final battle of Good versus Evil occur.

[3] The scenario of the Shambhala wars cannot be easily brought into accord with the total downfall of the world instigated by the tantra master which we have described above. Rudra Chakrin is a commander who conducts his battles here on earth and extends these to at best the other 11 continents of the Buddhist model of the world. His opponents are above all the followers of Allah. As global as his mission may be, it is still realized within the framework of the existing cosmos. In other textual passages the coming Shambhala king is also compared with the ADI BUDDHA, who at the close of the Kali yuga lays waste to the entire universe and lets loose a war of the stars. It is, however, not the aim of this study to explicate such contradictions.
Site Admin
Posts: 29965
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am


Postby admin » Fri Jun 19, 2015 1:39 am

11. The Manipulator of Erotic Love:

In this chapter we want to introduce the reader to a spectacular European parallel to the fundamental tantric idea that erotic love and sexuality can be translated into material and spiritual power. It concerns several until now rarely considered theses of Giordano Bruno (1548-1600).

At the age of fifteen, Bruno, born in Nola, Italy, joined the Dominican order. However, his interest in the newest scientific discoveries and his fascination with the late Hellenistic esotericism very soon led him to leave his order, a for the times most courageous undertaking. From this point on he began a hectic life on the road which took him all over Europe. Nonetheless, the restless and ingenious ex-monk wrote and published numerous “revolutionary” works in which he took a critical stance toward the dogmata of the church on all manner of topics. The fact that Bruno championed many ideas from the modern view of the world that was emerging at the time, especially the Copernican system, made him a hero of the new during his own lifetime. After he was found guilty of heresy by the Inquisition in 1600 and burned at the stake at the Campo dei Fiori in Rome, the European intelligentsia proclaimed him to be the greatest “martyr of modern science”. This image has stayed with him up until the present day. Yet this is not entirely justified, then Bruno was far more interested in the esoteric ideas of antiquity and the occultism of his day than in modern scientific research. Nearly all of his works concern magic/mystic/mythological themes.

Like the Indian Tantrics, this eccentric and dynamic Renaissance philosopher was convinced that the entire universe was held together by erotic love. Love in all its variations ruled the world, from physical nature to the metaphysical heavens, from sexuality to heartfelt love of the mystics: it “led either to the animals [sexuality] or to the intelligible and is then called the divine [mysticism]" (quoted by Samsonow, 1995, p. 174).

Bruno extended the term Eros (erotic love) to encompass in the final instance all human emotions and described it in general terms as the primal force which bonded, or rather—as he put it—"chained”, through affect. “The most powerful shackle of all is ... love” (quoted by Samsonow, 1995, p. 224). The lover is “chained” to the individual loved. But there is no need for the reverse to apply, then the beloved does not themselves have to love. This definition of love as a “chain” made it possible for Bruno to see even hate as a way of expressing erotic love, since he or she who hates is just as “chained” to the hated by his feelings as the lover is to the beloved. (To more graphically illustrate the parallels between Bruno’s philosophy and Tantrism, we will in the following speak of the lover as feminine rather than masculine. Bruno used the term completely generically for both women and men.

According to Bruno, “the ability to enchain” is also the main characteristic of magic, then a magician behaves like an escapologist when he binds his “victim” (whether human or spirit) to him with love. “There where we have spoken of natural magic, we have described to what extent all chains can be related to the chain of love, are dependent upon the chain of love or arise in the chain of love” (quoted by Samsonow, 1995, p. 213). More than anything else, love binds people, and this gives it something of the demonic, especially when it is exploited by one partner to the disadvantage of the other. “As regards all those who are dedicated to philosophy or magic, it is fully apparent that the highest bond, the most important and the most general belongs to erotic love: and that is why the Platonists called love the Great Demon, daemon magnus” (quoted by Couliano, 1987, p. 91).

Now how does this erotic magic work? According to Bruno an erotic/magic involvement arises between the lovers, a fabric of affect, feelings, and moods. He refers to this as rete (net or fabric). It is woven from subtle “threads of affect”, but is thus all the more binding. (Let us recall that the Sanskrit word “tantra” translates as “fabric” or “net”.) The rete (the erotic net) can be expressed in a sexual relationship (through sexual dependency), but in the majority of cases it is of a psychological nature which nonetheless further strengthens its power to bind. Every form of love chains in its own way: “This love”, Bruno says, “is unique, and is a fetter which makes everything one” (quoted by Samsonow, 1995, p. 180).

If they wish, a person can control the one whom they bind to themselves with love, since “through this chain [the] lover is enraptured, so that they want to be transferred to the beloved” as Bruno writes (quoted by Samsonow, 1995, p. 181). Accordingly, the real magician is the beloved, who exploits the erotic energy of the lover in the accumulation of his own power. He transforms love into power, he is a manipulator of erotic love. [1] As we shall soon see, even if Bruno’s manipulator is not literally a Tantric, the second part of the definition with which we prefaced our study still seems to fit:

The mystery of Tantric Buddhism consists in ...
the manipulation of erotic love
so as to attain universal androcentric power.

The manipulator, also referred to as a “soul hunter” by Bruno, can reach the heart of the lover through her sense of sight, through her hearing, through her spirit, and through her imagination, and thus chain her to him. He can look at her, smile at her, hold her hand, shower her with flattering compliments, sleep with her, or influence her through his power of imagination. “In enchaining”, Bruno says, “there are four movements. The first is the penetration or insertion, the second the attachment or the chain, the third the attraction, the fourth the connection, which is also known as enjoyment. ... Hence [the] lover wants to completely penetrate the beloved with his tongue, his mouth, with his eyes, etc.” (Samsonow, 1995, pp. 171, 200). That is, not only does the lover let herself be enchained, she must also experience the greatest desire for this bond. This lust has to increase to the point that she wants to offer herself with her entire being to the beloved manipulator and would like to “disappear in him”. This gives the latter absolute power over the enchained one.

The manipulator evokes all manner of illusions in the awareness of his love victim and arouses her emotions and desires. He opens the heart of the lover and can take possession of the one thus “wounded”. He is lord over foreign emotions and “has means at his disposal to forge all the chains he wants: hope, compassion, fear, love, hate, indignation, anger, joy, patience, disdain for life and death” writes Joan P. Couliano in her book, Eros and magic in the Renaissance (Couliano, 1987, p. 94). Yet the magically enacted enchainment may never occur against the manifest will of the enchanted one. In contrast, the manipulator must always awake the suggestion in his victim that everything is happening in her interests alone. He creates the total illusion that the lover is a chosen one, an independent individual following her own will.

Bruno also mentions an indirect method of gaining influence, in which the lover does not know at all that she is being manipulated. In this case, the manipulator makes use of “powerful invisible beings, demons and heroes”, whom he conjures up with magic incantations (mantras) so as to achieve the desired result with their help (Couliano, 1987, p. 88). We learn from the following quotation how these invoked spirits work for the manipulator: They need “neither ears nor a voice nor a whisper, rather they penetrate the inner senses [of the lover] as described. Thus they do not just produce dreams and cause voices to be heard and all kinds of things to be seen, but they also force certain thoughts upon the waking as the truth, which they can hardly recognize as deriving from another” (Samsonow, 1995, p. 140). The lover thus believes she is acting in her own interests and according to her own will, whilst she is in fact being steered and controlled through magic blandishments.

The manipulator himself may not surrender to any emotional inclinations. Like a tantric yogi he must keep his own feelings completely under control from start to finish. For this reason well-developed egocentricity is a necessary characteristic for a good manipulator. He is permitted only one love: narcissism (philautia), and according to Bruno only a tiny elite possesses the ability needed, because the majority of people surrender to uncontrolled emotions. The manipulator has to completely bridle and control his fantasy: “Be careful,” Bruno warns him, “not to change yourself from manipulator into the tool of phantasms” (quoted by Couliano, 1987, p. 92). The real European magician must, like his oriental colleague (the Siddha), be able “to arrange, to correct and to provide phantasy, to create the different kinds at will” (Couliano, 1987, p. 92).

He must not develop any reciprocal feelings for the lover, but he has to pretend to have these, since, as Bruno says, “the chains of love, friendship, goodwill, favor, lust, charity, compassion, desire, passion, avarice, craving, and longing disappear easily if they are not based upon mutuality. From this stems the saying: love dies without love” (quoted by Samsonow, 1995, p. 181). This statement is of thoroughly cynical intent, then the manipulator is not interested in reciprocating the erotic love of the lover, but rather in simulating such a reciprocity.

But for the deception to succeed the manipulator may not remain completely cold. He has to know from his own experience the feelings that he evokes in the lover, but he may never surrender himself to these: “He is even supposed to kindle in his phantasmic mechanism [his imagination] formidable passions, provided these be sterile and that he be detached from them. For there is no way to bewitch others than by experimenting in himself with what he wishes to produce in his victim” (Couliano, 1987, p. 102). The evocation of passions without falling prey to them is, as we know, almost a tantric leitmotif.

Yet the most astonishing aspect of Bruno’s manipulation thesis is that, as in Vajrayana, he mentions the retention of semen as a powerful instrument of control which the magician should command, since “through the expulsion of the seed the chains [of love] are loosened, through the retention tightened” (quoted by Samsonow, 1995, p. 175). In a further passage we can read: “If this [the semen virile] is expelled by an appropriate part, the force of the chain is reduced correspondingly (quoted by Samsonow, 1995, p. 175). Or the reverse: a person who retains their semen, can thereby strengthen the erotic bondage of the lover.

Bruno’s idea that there is a correspondence between erotic love and power is thus in accord with tantric dogma on the issue of sperm gnosis as well. His theory of the manipulability of love offers us valuable psychological insights into the soul of the lover and the beloved manipulator. They also help us to understand why women surrender themselves to the Buddhist yogis and what is played out in their emotional worlds during the rites. As we have already indicated, this topic is completely suppressed in the tantric discussion. But Bruno addresses it openly and cynically — it is the heart of the lover which is manipulated. The effect for the manipulator (or yogi) is thus all the greater the more his karma mudra surrenders herself to him.

Bruno’s treatise, De vinculis in genere [On the binding forces in general] (1591), can in terms of its cynicism and directness only be compared with Machiavelli’s The Prince (1513). But his work goes further. Couliano correctly points out that Machiavelli examines political, Bruno however, psychological manipulation. Then it is less the love of a consort and rather the erotic love of the masses which should — this she claims is Bruno’s intention — serve the manipulator as a “chain”. The former monk from Nola recognized manipulated “love” as a powerful instrument of control for the seduction of the masses. His theory thus contributes much to an understanding of the ecstatic attractiveness that dictators and pontiffs exercise over the people who love them. This makes Bruno’s work up to date despite its cynical content.

Bruno’s observations on “erotic love as a chain” are essentially tantric. Like Vajrayana, they concern the manipulation of the erotic in order to produce spiritual and worldly power. Bruno recognized that love in the broadest sense is the “elixir of life”, which first makes possible the establishment and maintenance of institutions of power headed by a person (such as the Pope, the Dalai Lama, or a “beloved” dictator for example). As strong as love may be, it is, if it remains one-sided, manipulable in the person of the “lover”. Indeed, the stronger it becomes, the more easily it can be used or “misused” for the purposes of power (by the “beloved”).

The fact that Tantrism focuses more upon sexuality than on the more sublime forms of erotic love, does not change anything about this principle of “erotic exploitation”. The manipulation of more subtle forms of love like the look (Carya Tantra), the smile (Kriya Tantra), and the touch (Yoga Tantra) are also known in Vajrayana. Likewise, in Tantric Buddhism as in every religious institution, the “spiritual love” of its believers is a life energy without which it could not exist. In the second part of our study we shall have to demonstrate how the Tibetan leader of the Buddhists, the Dalai Lama, succeeds in binding ever more Western believers to him with the “chains of love”.

Incidentally, in her book which we have quoted (Eros and Magic in the Renaissance) Couliano is of the opinion that via the mass media the West has already been woven into such a manipulable “erotic net” (rete). At the end of her analysis of Bruno’s treatise on power she concludes: “And since the relations between individuals are controlled by ‘erotic’ criteria in the widest sense of that adjective, human society at all levels is itself only magic at work. Without even being conscious of it, all beings who, by reason of the way the world is constructed, find themselves in an intersubjective intermediate place, participate in a magic process. The manipulator is the only one who, having understood the ensemble of that mechanism, is first an observer of intersubjective relations while simultaneously gaining knowledge from which he means subsequently to profit” (Couliano, 1987, p. 103).

But Couliano fails to provide an answer to the question of who this manipulator could be. In the second part of our analysis we shall need to examine whether the Dalai Lama with his worldwide message of love, his power over the net (rete) of Western media, and his sexual magic techniques from the Kalachakra Tantra, fulfills the criteria to be a magician in Giordano Bruno’s sense.



[1] The Renaissance philosopher attempts to describe this transformation process in his text De vinculis in genere (1591).
Site Admin
Posts: 29965
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am


Postby admin » Fri Jun 19, 2015 1:40 am

12. Epilogue to Part 1:

We have shown that Buddhism has from the very beginning considered the feminine principle to be a force which acts in opposition to its redemptive concepts. All types of women, from the mother to the lover, the wife, the hetaera, even the Buddhist nun, are seen to be more or less obstructions along the path to enlightenment. This negative evaluation of the feminine does not and never did have — as is often currently claimed — a social origin, but must rather be considered as a dogmatic and fundamental doctrine of this religion. It is an unavoidable consequence of the opening sentence of the Four Noble Truths, which states that all life is, per se, suffering. From this we can conclude that each and every birth brings only misery, sickness, and death, or conversely, that only the cessation of reincarnation leads to liberation. The woman, as the place of conception and childbearing, opens the gateway to incarnation, and is thus considered to be the greatest adversary to the spiritual development of the man and of humanity in total.

This implies that the deactivation, the sacrifice, and the destruction of the feminine principle is a central concern of Buddhism. The “female sacrifice” is already played out in one of the first legends from the life of Buddha, the early death of Buddha's mother Maya. Even her name evokes the Indian goddess of the feminine world of illusion; the death of Maya (illusion) simultaneously signifies the appearance of the absolute truth (Buddha), since Maya represents only relative truth.

We have shown how Shakyamuni's fundamentally misogynist attitude was set forth in the ensuing phases of Buddhism — in the meditative dismemberment of the female during a spiritual exercise in Hinayana; in the attempt to change the sex of the woman so that she can gain entry to the higher spiritual spheres as a male in Mahayana.

In Vajrayana the negative attitude towards the feminine tips over into an apparently positive valuation. Women, sexuality, and the erotic receive a previously unknown elevation in the tantric texts, a deification in fact. We have nonetheless been able to demonstrate that this reversal of the image of the woman is for the yogi merely a means to an end — to steal the feminine energy (gynergy) concentrated within her as a goddess. We have termed the sexual magic rituals through which this thieving transfer of energy is conducted the “tantric female sacrifice”, intended in its broadest sense and irrespective of whether the theft really or merely symbolically takes place, since the distinction between reality and the world of symbols is in the final instance irrelevant for a Tantric. All that is real is symbolic, and every symbol is real!

The goal of the female sacrifice and the diversion of gynergy is the production of a superhuman androgynous being, which combines within itself both forces, the masculine and the feminine. Buddhist Tantrics consider such a combination of sexual energies within a single individual to be an expression of supreme power. He as a man has become a bearer of the maha mudra, the vessel of an “inner woman”. In the light of the material we have researched and reported, we must view our opening hypothesis, repeated here, as confirmed:

The mystery of Tantric Buddhism consists in the sacrifice of the feminine principle and the manipulation of erotic love in order to obtain universal androcentric power

Since, from the viewpoint of a tantric master, the highest (androcentric power) can only be achieved via the ritual transformation of the lowest (the real woman), he also applies this miracle of transubstantiation to other domains. Thus he employs all manner of repulsive, base substances in his rituals, and commits criminal deeds up to and including murder, in order to achieve, via the “law of inversion”, the exact opposite: joy, power, and beauty. We have, however, indicated with some force how this “familiarity with the demonic” can become a matter of course. This brings with it the danger that the Tantric is no longer able to overcome the negativity of his actions. The consequence is a fundamentally aggressive and morbid attitude, which — as we will show — forms one of the characteristics of the entire Tibetan culture.

As the Kalachakra Tantra includes within itself the core ideas and the methods of all other tantras, and as it represents the central ritual of the Dalai Lama, we concentrated upon an analysis of this text and offered a detailed description of the various public and secret initiations. We were able to demonstrate how the internal processes within the energy body of the yogi are aligned with external ritual procedures, and how the “female sacrifice” takes place in both spheres — externally through the “extermination” of the real woman (karma mudra) and internally through the extermination of the candali (“fire woman”).

The Kalachakra Tantra, too, has as its goal the “alchemical” creation of a cosmic androgyne, who is supposed to exercise total control over time, the planets, and the universe. This androgynous universal ruler (dominus mundi) is the ADI BUDDHA. Only after he can align his sexual magic rites and his inner physiological processes with the laws of the heavens and earth can a practicing yogi become ADI BUDDHA. He then sets sun, moon, and stars in motion with his breath, and by the same means steers the evolution of the human race. His mystic body and the cosmic body of the ADI BUDDHA form a unit, and thus his bodily politics (the motions of the internal energy flows) affects and effects world politics in every sense.

On the astral plane, the yogi unleashes a gigantic war among the stars before he becomes ADI BUDDHA, which likewise aims to sacrifice the gender polarity (represented by the sun and moon). In the final act of this apocalyptic performance, the tantric master burns up the cosmos in a murderous firestorm so as to allow a new world to emerge from the ashes of the old, a world which is totally subject to his imagination and will. [1] Only then does the ADI BUDDHA's (or yogi's) dominion encompass the entire universe, in the form of a mandala.

In his political role (as King of the World) the ADI BUDDHA is a Chakravartin, a cosmic wheel turner who governs the cosmos, conceived of as a wheel. This vision of power is linked by the Shambhala myth in the Kalachakra Tantra to a political utopia, one which is aggressive and warlike, despotic and totalitarian. This Buddhocratic world kingdom is controlled by an omnipotent priest-king (the Chakravartin), a lord of evolution, a further emanation of the ADI BUDDHA.

Admittedly, there are many literary attempts to interpret the entire construction of the Kalachakra Tantra as the symbolic playing out of psychic/spiritual processes which ought to be accessible to any person who sets out upon the Vajrayana path. But there is a strong suspicion — and in our historical section we table conclusive evidence for this — that the ideas and the goals of the Time Tantra are meant literally, i.e., that we are concerned with a real dominus mundi (world ruler), with the establishment of a real Buddhocracy, the real Buddhization of our planet — even (as the Shambhala myth prophesies) through military force.

But perhaps the Shambhala vision is even more concrete, then the concept of an ADI BUDDHA and a Chakravartin can only refer to one present-day individual, who has for years and uncontestedly fulfilled all the esoteric conditions of the Kalachakra Tantra. This individual is His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama.

The Time Tantra would then form the ideological and dogmatic basis of a strategy for the spiritual conquest of our planet by the Tibetan god-king. Thus, if we wish to understand his political decisions in their full depth, we must start with the magic metapolitics of the Kalachakra Tantra, since both levels (the ritual/magical, and the real/political) are — as we will demonstrate through many examples — intimately interwoven in the ancient world of Lamaism. The autocratic religious system of the god-king integrates all the social domains and political powers which have been separated in our Western culture at least since the North American and French Revolutions. The Dalai Lama is — according to the doctrine — Emperor and Pope, state and god in one person, he is the living sacred center of a “Buddhocracy”.

He meets all the criteria we have brought to light for a tantric world ruler (Chakravartin) or an ADI BUDDHA. But, since he does not really govern our planets, his rituals and political powerplay decisions, his negotiations and his statements must all be seen as tactical and strategic steps towards the eventual achievement of the final global goal (of world domination). [2] This ambitious enterprise will in no way be interrupted by the death of the god-king, since he can — reincarnated — build upon the acts of his predecessor (which he also was) and continue his work.

His Holiness would never publicly admit that he aspired to the global role of a Chakravartin through the Kalachakra initiations. Yet numerous symbolic events which have accompanied his ceremonial life since childhood are harbingers of his unrestricted claim to “world domination”. In 1940, as a five year-old, he was led with much ostentation into the Potala, the “Palace of the Gods”, and seated upon the richly symbolic “Lion Throne”. This enthronement already demonstrated his kingship of the world and expressed his right to worldly power, as the “Lion Throne”, in contrast to the Seat of the Lotus, as a symbol of the imperium (secular power) and not the sacerdotium (spiritual power). On 17 November 1950, the god-king was ceremoniously handed the “Golden Wheel”, which identified him as the “universal wheel turner” (Chakravartin).

But it is less these insignia of power which make him (who has lost his entire land) a potential planetary sovereign in the eyes of his Western believers, [3] than the fact that a long dormant image of desire has resurfaced in the imaginations of Europeans and Americans. “Which people, which nation, which culture”, Claude B. Levenson enthuses about the Dalai Lama, for example, “has not, within its collective consciousness, dreamed of a perfect monarch, who, imbued with a sense of justice and equanimity, is entrusted to watch over the well-ordered course of a harmonic and in every sense just society? The image of the Great King also nestles somewhere in the depths of the human spirit ... there is something of Judgment Day and the Resurrection in these manifold interpretations of sincere belief” (Levenson 1990, p.303).

Such a global dominion, that is, total power over the earth, contradicts the apparent total political impotence of the Dalai Lama which is enhanced by his constantly repeated statements of self-denial ("I am just a simple monk”). But let us not forget the tantric play upon paradox and the “law of inversion”. This secular powerlessness is precisely the precondition for the miracle which reveals how the lowly, the empty, and the weak give rise to the exalted, the abundant, and the strong. The “simple monk from Tibet” can — if the doctrines of his tantric texts are correct — count on the dizzying rotation which will one day hurl him high from the depths of impotence to become the most powerful ruler of the universe. Absolute modesty and absolute power are for him as Tantric two sides of the same coin.

The Dalai Lama never appears in the public light as a Tantric, but always as a Mahayana Bodhisattva, who thinks only upon the suffering of all living beings, and regards it with deepest compassion. Tantrism, upon which Tibetan Buddhism in its entirety is essentially based, thus belongs to the shadow side of the Kundun ("living Buddha”). His sexual magic rites shun the light just as much as the claims for global domination they intend. This is especially true of the Kalachakra Tantra.

We mentioned already in the introduction that a person can deny, suppress, or outwardly project his shadow. Insofar as he knowingly veils the procedures which take place in the highest initiation of the Time Tantra, the Dalai Lama denies his tantric shadow; in as far as he is probably unclear about the catastrophic consequences of the Shambhala myth (as we will demonstrate in the case of Shoko Asahara), he suppresses his tantric shadow; insofar as he transfers everything negative, which according to the “law of inversion” represents the starting substance (prima materia) for spiritual transformation anyway, to the Chinese, he projects his tantric shadow onto others.

The aggression and morbidity of the tantra, the sexual excesses, the “female sacrifice”, the “vampirism” of energy, the omnipotent power claims, the global destructive frenzy — all of these are systematically disguised by the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, and can, even when the majority of the tantric texts are publicly available, be still further disguised — on the one hand by the argument that it is all only a matter of symbolic events that would never be conducted in reality, and, on the other hand, by the tantras’ claim that any negative actions have transformed themselves into positive ones by the end of the ritual.

As far as the first argument is concerned, we have been able to present numerous cases where the tantric texts have been interpreted thoroughly literally. Further, we have shown that this argument collapses upon itself, since no distinction between symbol and reality may be drawn by a Vajrayana Buddhist, as opposed to a contemporary “westerner”.

The second argument, that the tantras transform the negative into the positive (i.e., would call upon the devil to drive the devil out), needs to be able to stand up to empirical testing. The most telling body of evidence for the tantric theory, in particular for the philosophy and vision of the Kalachakra Tantra, is history itself. Over many hundreds of years thousands of tantric rituals have been performed in Tibet; for centuries people have tried to influence the history of the country through tantric rituals. But what, up to now, has this ritual politics achieved for the Tibetans and for humanity, and what is it aiming to achieve? We will consider the use of Buddhist Tantrism as a political method for better understanding the history of Tibet and influencing the country's destiny in the following, second part of our book. Here, our topic will be the influence of Vajrayana upon the Buddhist state, the economy, the military, upon foreign affairs and world politics.



[1] One must ask here whether we can really talk about a will, since the whole cosmic system of Buddhist Tantrism resembles a mega-machine which destroys itself and then sets itself in motion once more along the same lines as before. This would make the ADI BUDDHA much more of a mechanical world clock than a being who possesses free will.

[2] For this reason we must regard statements on practical politics by the Dalai Lama, which contradict the ideas of the Time Tantra (like, for instance his professions of belief in western democracy), as a mere tactic or trick (upaya) in order to mislead those around him as to his true intentions (the establishment of a worldwide Buddhocracy).

[3] For Tibetans and Mongolians who believe in Lamaism, the conception of the Dalai Lama as the Chakravartin is a matter of course.
Site Admin
Posts: 29965
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am


Return to Religion and Cults

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests