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 3:04 am


As surprising as it may sound after our critical analysis of Vajrayana, we would in conclusion like to pose the question of whether Tantric Buddhism does not harbor a religious archetype the disclosure, dissemination and discussion of which could meet with great transcultural interest. Would it not be valuable to discuss as religious concepts such tantric principles as the “mystical love between the sexes”, the “union of the male and female principles”, or the unio mystica between god and goddess?

As we demonstrated at the start of our study, Tantrism in all its variants is based upon a vision of the polarity of being. It sees the primary cultic event on the path to enlightenment in a mystical conjunction of poles, specifically in the mystical union of the sexes. From a tantric point of view, all the phenomena of the universe are linked to one another through erotic love and sexuality, and our world of appearances is seen as the field in which these two basic forces (Tibetan yab and yum; Chinese yin and yang) act. They manifest themselves as a polarity in both nature and the realm of the spirit. In the tantric view of things, love is the great life force that pulsates through the cosmos, primarily as heterosexual love between god and goddess, man and woman. Their mutual affection acts as the creative principle.

“It is through love and in the face of love that the world unfolds, through love it regains its original unity and its eternal nondivision” — this statement is also proclaimed in Vajrayana (Faure, 1994, p. 56). For the Tantric, erotic and religious love are not separate. Sexuality and mysticism, eros and agape (spiritual love) are not mutually exclusive contradictions.

Let us once more repeat the wonderful words with which tantric texts describe the “holy marriage” between man and woman. In yuganaddha (the mystic union) there is “neither affirmation nor denial, neither existence nor non-existence, neither non-remembering nor remembering, neither affection nor non-affection, neither the cause nor the effect, neither the production nor the produced, neither purity nor impurity, neither anything with form nor anything without form; it is but the synthesis of all dualities” (Dasgupta, 1974, p. 114). In this synthesis “egoness is lost and the two polar opposites fuse into a state of intimate and blissful oneness” (Walker, 1982, p. 67).

A cooperation between the poles now replaces the struggle between contradictions (or sexes). Body and spirit, erotic love and transcendence, emotions and reason, being (samsara) and non-being (nirvana) are wedded. In yuganaddha, it is said, all wars and disputes between good and evil, heaven and hell, day and night, dream and perception, joy and suffering, praise and contempt are pacified and stilled. Mirada Shaw celebrates the embrace of the male and female Buddha as "an image of unity and blissful concord between the sexes, a state of equilibrium and interdependence. This symbol powerfully evokes a state of primordial wholeness an completeness of being" (Shaw, 1994, p. 200).

Divine erotic love does not jut lead to enlightenment and liberation; the tantric view is that mystic gendered love can also free all suffering beings. All forms of time originate from the primordial divine couple. Along with the sun and moon and the “pair of radiant planets”, the five elements also owe their existence to the cosmogonic erotic love. According to the Hevajra Tantra, “By uniting the male and female sexual organs the holder of the Vow performs the erotic union. From contact in the erotic union, as the quality of hardness, Earth arises; Water arises from the fluidity of semen; Fire arises from the friction of pounding; Air ist famed to be the movement and the Space is the erotic pleasure” (Farrow and Menon, 1992, p. 134). Language, emotions, the senses — all have their origin in the love of the primordial couple. In a world purged of darkness the couple stand at the edge of darkness, the Kalachakra Tantra itself says (Banerjee, 1959, p. 24).

Nevertheless, as we have demonstrated, this harmonious primordial image is misused in tantric rituals by an androcentric caste of monks for the ends of spiritual and secular power. We refrain from describing once more the sexual magic exploitation in Vajrayana, and would instead like to turn to a philosophical question raised by this topic, namely the relationship between the ONE (as the male principle) and the OTHER (as the female principle).

Since Friedrich Hegel, the OTHER has become a key topic of philosophical discussion. The absolute ONE or absolute mind is unable to tolerate any OTHER besides itself. Only when the OTHER is completely integrated into the ONE, only when it is “suspended” in the ONE is the way of the mind complete. For then nature (the OTHER) has become mind (the ONE). This is one way of succinctly describing one of the fundamental elements of Hegelian philosophy.

In Vajrayana terminology, the absolute ONE that tolerates no OTHER beyond himself is the androgynous ADI BUDDHA. The OTHER (the feminine) surrenders its autonomy to the hegemony of the ONE (the masculine). It is destroyed with one word. Yet the absolute ONE of the ADI BUDDHA is radically questioned by the existence of an OTHER (the feminine); his claims to infinity, cosmocentricity, omnipotence, and divinity are threatened. “All is ONE or all is the ADI BUDDHA” is a basic maxim of the tantric way. For this reason the OTHER frightens and intimidates the ONE. The Buddhist Ken Wilber (a proponent of the ADI BUDDHA principle) quotes the Upanishads in this connection: Wherever the OTHER is, there is dread (Wilber, 1990, p. 174) — and himself admits that everywhere where there is an OTHER, there is also fear (Wilber, 1990, p. 280).

As already indicated, behind this existential fear of the OTHER lies a fundamental gender issue. This has been taken up and developed primarily by French feminists. In the “otherness” (autruité) of the female Simone de Beauvoir saw a highly problematic fixing of the woman created by the androcentric persective. Men wanted to see women as the OTHER in order to be able to control them. The woman was forced to define her identity via the perspective of the man. Beauvoir’s successors, however, such as the femininst Luce Irigaray, have lent “gender difference” and AUTRUITÉ (otherness) a highly positive significance and have made it the central topic of their feminine philosophy. Otherness here all but becomes a female world unable to be grasped by either the male perspective or male reason. It evades any kind of masculine fixation. Female subjectivity is inaccessible for the male.

It is precisely the OTHERNESS which lets women preserve their autonomy. They thus escape being objectified by men (the male subject) and develop their own subjectivity (the female subject). Irigaray very clearly articulates how existing religions block women’s path to a self-realization of their own: “She must always be for men, available for their transcendence” (quoted by June Campbell, 1996, p. 155) — i.e., as Sophia, prajna, as the “white virgin”, as a “wisdom dakini” (inana mudra). In the male consciousness she lacks a subjectivity of her own, and is a blank screen (shunyata) onto which the man projects his own imaginings.

Yet the autonomy of the OTHER does not need to be experienced as separation, fragmentation, lack, or as an alienating element. It can just as well serve as the opposite, as the prerequisite for the union of two subjects, complementarity, or copula. The masculine and the feminine can behave in completely different ways toward one another, either as a duality (of mutually exclusive opposites = annihilation of the OTHER) or as a polarity (mutually complentary opposites = encounter with the OTHER). It is almost a miracle that the sexes are fundamentally permitted to meet one another in love without having to renounce their autonomy.

Buddhist Tantrism, however, is not about such an encounter between man and woman, but purely the question of how the yogi (as the masculine principle of the ONE) can integrate the OTHER (the feminine principle) within himself and render it useful by drawing off its gynergy. Occult feminism involves the same phenomenon in reverse: how can the yogini (here the feminine principle of the ONE) appropriate the androenergy of the man (here the OTHER) so as to win gynandric power.

The appropriation of the OTHER (the goddess) by the ONE (the ADI BUDDHA) is the core concept of Buddhist Tantrism. This makes it a phenomenon which, at this level of generality, also shapes Western cultures and religions: “Male religiosity masks an appropriation,” writes Luce Irigaray. “This severs the relationship to the natural universe, its simplicity is perverted. Certainly, this religiousness symbolizes a social universe organized by men. But this organization is based on a sacrifice — of nature, of the gendered body, especially that of the woman. It impels a spirituality cut off from its natural roots and its surroundings. It can thus not bring humanity to perfection. Spiritualization, socialization, cultivation require that we set out from what is there. The patriarchal system does not do this because it seeks to obliterate the foundations upon which it is based” (Irigaray, 1991, p. 33).

The solution to the riddle of its mysteries that Tantrism poses is obvious. It can only involve the union of the two poles, not their domination of one another. On its own the (masculine) spirit is not sufficient to become “whole”, instead nature and spirit, emotions and reason, logos and eros, woman and man, god and goddess, a masculine and a feminine Buddha as two autonomous beings must wed mystically (as yab and yum, yin and yang) as two subjects that fuse together into a WE. The ADI BUDDHA of the Kalachakra Tantra, however, is a divine SUBJECT (a SUPER EGO) that tries to consume the OTHER (the goddess). Not until ONE SUBJECT forms a copula with ANOTHER SUBJECT can a truly new dimension (WE) be entered: the great WE in which both egos, the masculine and the feminine, are truly “suspended”, truly “preserved”, and truly “transcended”. Perhaps it is this WE that is the cosmic secret to be discovered in the profoundest sections of the tantras, and not the ADI BUDDHA.

For in WE all the polarities of the universe fuse, subjectivity and objectivity, rule and servitude, union and division. The unio mystica with the partner dissolves both the individual and the transpersonal subjectivity (the human ego and the divine ego). Both poles, the masculine and the feminine, experience their spiritual, psychic and physical unity as intersubjectivity, as exchange, as WE. They join into a higher dimension without destroying one another. The mystic WE thus forms a more encompassing quality of experience than the ADI BUDDHA’s mystic EGO which seeks to swallow the OTHER (the goddess).

Were man and woman to understand themselves as the cosmic center, as god and goddess — as the tantric texts proclaim — were they to experience themselves together as a religious authority, then the androgynous guru in his role as the supreme god of “the mysteries of gendered love” would vanish. In an essay on tantric practices, the Indologist Doninger O’Flaherty describes several variants on androgyny and supplements these — not without a trace of irony — with an additional “androgynous” model which is basically not a model at all. “A third psychological androgyne, less closely tied to any particular doctrine, is found not in a single individual but in two: the man and the woman who join in perfect love, Shakespeare’s beast with two backs. This is the image of ecstatic union, another metaphor for the mystic realization of union with godhead. This is the romantic ideal of complete merging, one with the other, so that each experiences the other’s joy, not knowing whose is the hand that caresses or whose the skin that is caressed. In this state, the man and the woman in tantric ritual experience each other’s joy and pain. This is the divine hierogamy, and, in its various manifestations — as yab–yum, yin and yang, animus and anima — it is certainly the most widespread of androgynous concepts” (O’Flaherty, 1982, p. 292).

When together — as Tantrism teaches us despite everything — power is concentrated in man and woman; divided they are powerless. WE equally implies both the gaining of power and its renunciation. In WE the two primal forces of being (masculine—feminine) are concentrated. To this extent the WE is absolute, the Omnipotent. But at the same time WE limits the power of the parts, as soon as they appear separately or lay claim to the cosmos as individual genders (as an androgynous Almighty God or as a gynandric Almighty Goddess). To this extent, WE is essentially relative. It is only effective when the two poles behave complementarily. As the supreme principle, WE is completely unable to abuse any OTHER or manipulate it for its own ends since every OTHER is by definition an autonomous part of WE. In political terms, WE is a fundamental democratic principle. It transcends all concepts of an enemy and all war. The traditional dualisms of upper and lower, white and black, bright and gloomy unite in a creative polarity in the WE.

As we have been able to demonstrate on the basis of both the ritual logic of Vajrayana and, empirically, the history of Tantric Buddhism (especially Lamaism), the androgynous principle of Buddhist Tantrism leads ineluctably to human sacrifice and war. The origins of every war lie in the battle of the sexes — this aphorism from Greek mythology is especially true of Tantrism, which traces all that happens in the world back to erotic love. Doesn’t this let us also conclude the reverse, that peace between the sexes can produce peace in the world? Global responsibility arises from mutual recognition and from respect for the position of the partner, who is the other half of the whole. Compassion, sensitivity towards everything that is other, understanding, harmony — all have their origin here. In the cosmogonic erotic love between two people, Ludwig Klages sees a revolutionary power that even has the strength to suspend “history”. “Were the incredible to happen, even if were only between two out of hundreds of millions, the power of the spirit’s curse would be broken, the dreadful nightmare of ‘world history would melt away’, and ‘awakening would bloom in streams of light’” (Klages, 1930, p. 198). The end of history via the love between man and woman, god and goddess: the concept would definitely be compatible with a tantric philosophy if it were not for the yogi’s final act of masculine usurpation.

Perhaps, we would like to further speculate, mystic gender love might provide the religious mystery for a universal “culture of erotic love” built upon both sensual and spiritual foundations. Such an idea is by no means new. In the late 1960s in his book Eros and Civilization, the American philosopher Herbert Marcuse outlined an “erotic” cultural schema. Unfortunately, his “paradigmatic” (as it would be known these days) approach, which was widely discussed in the late 1960s has become completely forgotten. Among the basic joys of human existence, according to Marcuse, is the division into sexes, the difference between male and female, between penis and vagina, between you and me, even between mine and yours, and these are extremely pleasant and satisfying divisions, or could be; their elimination would not just be insane, but also a nightmare — the peak of repression” (Marcuse, 1965, p. 239). This nightmare becomes real in the alchemic practices of the Buddhist tradition. In that Vajrayana dissolves all differences, ultimately even the polarity of the sexes, into the androgynous principle of the ADI BUDDHA, it destroys the “Eros” of life, even though it paradoxically recognizes this sexual polarity as the supreme cosmic force.

As we were working on the final proofs of our manuscript, the German magazine Bunte, which only a few weeks before had celebrated the Dalai Lama as a god on earth, carried an article by the cultural sociologist Nicolaus Sombart entitled “Desire for the divine couple”. Sombart so precisely expressed our own ideas that we would like to quote him at length. “Why does the human project have a bipartite form in the divine plan? The duality symbolizes the polarity of the world, the bipolarity that is the basis for the dynamic of everything which happens in the world. Yin and yang. Apparently divided and yet belonging together, contradictory, and complementary, antagonistic but designed for harmony, synthesis and symbiosis. Only in mutual penetration do they complete each other and become whole. The model of the world is that of a couple eternally striving for union. The cosmic couple stand by one another in the interaction of an erotic tension. It is a pair of lovers. The misery of the world lies in the separation, isolation, and loneliness of the parts that are attracted to each other, that belong together; the joy and happiness lie in the union of the two sexes; not two souls, this is not enough, but two bodies equipped for this purpose — a pleasurable foretaste of the return to paradise” (Bunte, 46/1998, p. 40).

It is nonetheless remarkable how unsuccessful mystic gendered love has been in establishing itself as a religious archetype in human cultural history. Although the mystery of love between man and woman is and has been practised and experienced by millions, although most cultures have both male and female deities, the unio mystica of the sexes has largely not been recognized as a religion. Yet there is so much which indicates that the harmony and love between man and woman (god and goddess) could be granted the gravity of a universal paradigm and become a bridge of peace between the various cultures. Selected insights and images from the mysteries of Tantric Buddhism ought to be most useful in the development of such a paradigm.

Divine couples are found in all cultures, even if their religious veneration is not among the central mysteries. We also encounter them in the pre-Buddhist mythologies of Tibet, where the two sexes share their control over the world equally. Matthias Hermanns tells us about Khen pa, the ruler of the heavens, and Khon ma, the earth mother, and quotes the following sentence from an aboriginal Tibetan creation myth: “At first heaven and earth are like father and mother” (Hermanns, 1965, p. 72). In the times of the original Tibetan kings there was a god of man (pho-lha) and a goddess of woman (mo-lha). A number of Central Asian myths see the sun and moon as equal forces, with the sun playing the masculine and the moon the feminine role (Bleichsteiner, 1937, p.19). In one Bon myth, light and darkness are held to be the primordial cosmic couple (Paul, 1981, p. 49).

In Tantric Buddhism, the central Buddhist couple celebrated by the Nyingmapa School, Samantabhadra and Samantabhadri — in translation the “supreme male good” and the “supreme female good” — are such a potential primal couple. This Buddha couple are depicted in a yab–yum posture. Both partners are naked, i.e., pure and free. Neither of them is carrying any symbols which might point to some hidden magicoreligious intention. Their nudity could be interpreted as saying that Samantabhadra and Samantabhadri are beyond the world of symbolism and are thus an image of polar purity, freed of gods, myths, and insignia. Only the color of their bodies could be interpreted as a metaphor. Samantabhadra is blue as clear and open as the heavens, Samantabhadri is white as the light.

Were one to formulate such visions of the religious worship of the couple in Buddhist terminology, the four Buddha couples of the four directions might emanate from a primal Buddha couple, without this mystical pentad needing to be appropriated by a tantric master in the form of an androgynous ADI BUDDHA (or by a sexual magic mistress as a gynandric Almighty Goddess). In one Nepalese tantra text, for instance, the ADI BUDDHA (“supreme consciousness”) and the ADI PRANJNA (“supreme wisdom”) are revered as the primordial father and the primordial mother of the world (Hazra, 1986, p. 21). According to this text, all the female beings in the universe are emanations of the ADI PRAJNA, and all males those of the ADI BUDDHA.
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Hopkins, Jeffrey, Dalai Lama XIV, and Tson-kha-pa, Tantra in Tibet, Ithaca, NY 1987.

Hopkins, Jeffrey, Tantric Practice in Nying-ma, Ithaca 1982.

Hopkins, Jeffrey, The Tantric Distinction, London 1984.

Hopkins, Jeffrey, Sex, Orgasm and the Mind of Clear Light: The 64 Arts of Gay Male Sex, place of publication unknown 1996.

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Meyrink, Gustav, Das Haus zur letzten Laterne, Munich 1973.

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Nobumi, Iyanaga, "Récits de la soumission de Maheshvara par Trailokyavijaya d’après les sources chinoise et japonaise", in: Tantric and Taoist Studies in Honour of R. A. Stein, Brussels 1985.

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Homepage Index:

HPI 001: Funk, Meg — Christ Consciousness —

HPI 002: Namgyal —

HPI 003: Archipelago I —

HPI 004: Archipelago II —

HPI 005: Khamtrul —

HPI 006: Tibetlondon —

HPI 007: Samdup —

HPI 008: Shimatsu I —

HPI 009: Shimatsu II — ... dalai.html

HPI 010: Tibet —

HPI 011: Kashag —

HPI 012: Namgyal —

HPI 013: Aum-Shinrikyo —


The following is a list of the cited newsgroups including details of the forum, author, date and subject. The e-mail addresses of the individuals who posted the cited contributions to discussion are available from the authors on request.

Newsgroup 1: Yahoo dejanews
Forum: alt.religion.buddhism.tibetan, talk.politics.tibet, talk.religion.buddhism, uk.religion.buddhist, alt.religion.buddhism.nkt
Author: James Burns
Date: 21.09.1997 and 15.02.1998
Subject: Latest news from India on Dorje Shugden

Newsgroup 2: Yahoo dejanews
Forum: alt.showbiz.gossip
Author: Don Lattin
Date: 18. 06. 1997
Subject: The tibetan book of Gossip

Newsgroup 3: Yahoo dejanews
Forum: soc.religion.eastern
Author: Arianna
Date: 23. 02. 1997
Subject: Dalai Lama's Quote regarding sex with students

Newsgroup 4: Yahoo dejanews
Forum: alt.religion.buddhism.tibetan, uk.religion.Buddhism
Author: Christopher Fynn
Subject: Sex with monastic Lamas
Date: 23. 12. 1995

Newsgroup 5: Yahoo dejanews
Forum: alt.religion.buddhism.tibetan
Author: Mary Finnigan
Date: 18. 02, 1997
Subject: Lama Sogyal Rinpoche

Newsgroup 6: Yahoo dejanews
Forum: talk.religion. buddhism
Author: Rodney Peterson
Date: 30. 09. 1997
Subject: Sexual misconduct?

Newsgroup 7: Yahoo dejanews
Forum: alt.religion.buddhism.tibetan, uk.religion.buddhist, alt.religion.buddhism.nkt, talk.religion.buddhism
Author: Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
Date: 19. 12. 1997
Subject: Replies to Chris Fynn - part one

Newsgroup 8: Yahoo dejanews
Forum: soc.culture.asian.american, soc.culture.china, soc.culture.taiwan, soc.culture.hongkong, soc.culture.singapure
Author: NoSpamlchow
Date: 22. 05. 1998
Subject: The Dalai Lama supports Bharat's N-Tests

Newsgroup 9: Yahoo dejanews
Forum: mlist. TIBET-L
Author: James Burns
Date: 10. 05. 1998
Subject: Dorje Shugden Reaction and Repression, Part 5

Newsgroup 10: Yahoo dejanews
Forum: talk.politics.tibet, soc.culture.china, soc.culture.taiwan
Author: Brigitte Yves
Date: 08. 04. 1998
Subject: The snow lion, the chrysanthemum and the red dragon

Newsgroup 11: Yahoo dejanews
Forum: talk.religion.buddhism
Author: Richard P. Hayes
Date: 30. 12. 97 and 25.03.98
Subject I (30.12.97): Re: Sanskrit in the Bible
Subject II (25.03.98): Re: The nun who forgot her shadow

Newsgroup 12: Yahoo dejanews
Forum: talk.politics.tibet
Author: Peter Kauffner
Date: 08.02. 1998
Subject: 1913 massacre?

Newsgroup 13: Yahoo dejanews
Forum: alt.religion.buddhism.tibetan
Author: O. Neuibert
Date: 10. 01. 1998
Subject: Dalai Lama/Dorje Shugden/Swiss TV Reports

Newsgroup 14: Yahoo dejanews
Forum: de.soc.weltanschauung.buddhismus
Author: Ron
Date: 20. 01. 1998
Subject: Schweizer Fernsehen SF1/ Dalai Lama/ Dorje Shugden

Newsgroup 15: Deja News
Forum: alt.religion.buddhism.tibetan, alt.religion.buddhism.nkt
Author: Tseten Samdup

Newsgroup 16: Yahoo dejanews
Forum: alt.religion.buddhism.tibetan, uk.religion.buddhist, alt.religion.buddhism.nkt, talk.religion.buddhism
Author: Sam
Date: 27. 05. 1997
Subject: religious supression of the Dalai Lama

Newsgroup 17: Yahoo dejanews
Forum: alt.religion.buddhism.tibetan, alt.religion.buddhism.nkt
Author: Lattin
Date: 10. 11. 1994

Newsgroup 18: Yahoo dejanews
Forum: alt.religion.buddhism.tibetan, uk.religion.buddhist, alt.religion.buddhism.nkt, talk.religion.Buddhism
Author: Sky Warrior
Date: 10. 12. 1997
Site Admin
Posts: 29965
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am


Postby admin » Fri Jun 19, 2015 3:05 am


In Sanskrit, Kalachakra means "The Wheel of Time ", but it is also the name of the supreme Tibetan "Time God". The Kalachakra Tantra is held to be the last and the most recent (10th century) of all the tantra texts that have been revealed, and is considered by the lamas to be "the pinnacle of all Buddhist systems".

Over more than 25 years, many hundreds of thousands have been “initiated” through the Kalachakra Tantra by the XIV Dalai Lama. Of these, large numbers are illiterate people from India. But even the "educated" participants from the West barely know anything about what this ritual actually entails, since alongside its public aspect it also has a strongly guarded secret side. In public, the XIV Dalai Lama performs only the seven lowest initiations; the subsequent eight of the total of 15 initiations continue to remain top secret.

There is no talk of these eight secret rites in the pamphlets, advertisements or brochures, and especially not in the numerous affirmations of the XIV Dalai Lama. Here, the Kalachakra Tantra appears as a dignified and uplifting contribution to world peace, which fosters compassion with all living beings, interreligious dialog, interracial and intersubjective tolerance, ecological awareness, sexual equality, inner peace, spiritual development and bliss for the third millennium ("Kalachakra for World Peace"). The motto for the whole show is quoted from the XIV Dalai Lama: "Because we all share this small planet earth, we have to learn to live in harmony and peace with each other and with nature." The highly focused, extremely tantric initiation of Tibetan Lamaism thus garners the kudos of a "transcultural and interreligious meeting for world peace".

But are the Kalachakra Tantra and the Shambhala myth truly pacifist? Do they really encourage harmony and cooperation among people? Do they make any real contribution to freedom and justice, equality of the sexes, religious tolerance or ethnic reconciliation? Are they a comprehensive, politically humanist, democratic and nonviolent contribution to world peace?

Over the past few years, increasing criticism has been leveled at Tibetan Buddhism, the history of Lamaism, conditions among the Tibetans in exile and the XIV Dalai Lama himself, criticism which is not from the Chinese quarter. Historians from the USA have begun questioning the widespread glorifying whitewash of Tibetan history (Melvin C. Goldstein, A. Tom Grundfeld). Critical Tibetologists have raised accusations of deliberate manipulation by official Tibetology (Donald S. Lopez Jr.). Tibet researchers have investigated the "dreams of power" that are activated and exacerbated by the "Tibet myth" nurtured by Lamaists (Peter Bishop). Prominent politicians have had to admit the evidence of their own eyes that the Chinese are not committing "genocide" in Tibet, as the Tibetans in exile continue to claim (Antje Vollmar, Mary Robinson). Former female Buddhists have condemned, on the basis of personal experience and with great expertise, the systematic and sophisticated oppression and abuse of women in Tibetan Buddhism (June Campbell). Psychologists and psychoanalysts have investigated the aggressive and morbid character of Lamaist culture (Robert A. Paul, Fokke Sierksma, Colin Goldner). From within the Dalai Lama’s own ranks, overwhelming evidence of his intolerant, superstitious and autocratic nature has been amassed since 1997 (Shugden Affair). Lamaism’s rituals have also been subjected to strong criticism. The humanistic, peace-loving, tolerant and ecumenical intentions of the Kalachakra Tantra and the Shambhala myth it contains have been interrogated in a comprehensive study (Victor and Victoria Trimondi). Biting criticism of the XIV Dalai Lama and his system founded on magic has also been broadcast in German, Swiss and Austrian television (Panorama, 10 nach 10, Treffpunkt Kultur). In Munich, on the occasion of a visit by the Tibetan religious potentate (in May 2000), there was even a split in the SPD, whose "pro-Dalai Lama" wing had invited the Tibetan "God-King" to a gala event. The media as a whole has been equally divided: the Dalai Lama has been accused of, among other things, having an undemocratic and autocratic leadership style, suppressing any political opposition, acting to repress religious minorities; letting policy be determined by possessed oracles rather than through dialog and debate, deliberate falsification of the history of Tibet, maintaining uncritical relationships with former members of the SS and neo-nazis, defaming critics and conducting misogynist rituals. Felix Austria – this criticism seems to have floated by the beautiful mountains of Austria like a slim cloud that hardly turns a head.

Here are some of the points raised by the critics of the Kalachakra Tantra and the Shambhala myth it contains that the Critical Forum Kalachakra is putting forward for discussion:

The secret rites of the Kalachakra Tantra may not, under pain of medieval punishment for body and soul, be discussed with the uninitiated. The “head and heart” of whoever reveals its occult secrets "will burst asunder" and they will burn in the deepest hell. There are good reasons for this, then in the eight highest initiations there is talk of things that stand in complete contradiction to a humanist system of values (Michael Henss – Kalachakra – ein tibetisches Einweihungsritual – Zurich 1985, 46).

The Kalachakra-Tantra is anything but pacifist, rather, it prophesies and promotes a bloody religious war for world domination between Buddhists and non-Buddhists (Shambhala myth).

The text explicitly names the "leaders" of the three monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) as opponents of Buddhism: "Adam, Enoch, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, the White-Clad one [Mani], Muhammad and Mathani [the Mahdi]". The Kalachakra Tantra describes them as "the family of the demonic snakes" (Shri Kalachakra I. 154).

Thus, the Kalachakra Tantra is opposed to all religions of Semitic origin, and for this reason has been pressed into service by right-wing radical and anti-Semitic circles for their racist propaganda.

The Kalchakra Tantra invokes a global war between the Islamic and the non-Islamic world in which the followers of Mohammed are presented as the principal enemies of the Buddhists. The original text refers to Mecca, where the "mighty, merciless idol of the barbarians" lives as a "demonic incarnation" (Shri Kalachakra I. 154).

Murderous super-weapons possessed by the Buddhist Shambhala Army and employed against "enemies of the Dharma" are described at length and in enthusiastic detail in the Kalachakra Tantra (Shri Kalachakra I. 128 – 142). Modern Lamaist interpretations of these military arsenal fantasies indulge in spectacular comparisons to the weaponry of the 20th and 21st centuries.

The Buddhist art of war in the Shambhala battles is obviously at odds with basic human rights, and is instead described in the original text as "merciless" and "cruel". "The supremely ferocious [Buddhist] warriors will cast down the barbarian horde" and "eliminating" them "together with their followers". (Shri Kalachakra I. 163/165).

All the participants in a Kalachakra initiation (i.e., also those in Graz) have the questionable privilege of being reborn as "Shambhala Warriors" in order to be able to participate in the prophesied apocalyptic battle as either infantry or officers, dependant on rank. High lamas of particular lineages have already been assigned to commanding positions (E. Bernbaum – Der Weg nach Shambhala – Auf der Suche nach dem sagenhaften Königreich im Himalaya – Hamburg 1982, 252, 35).

According to a vision of the Tibetan Lama Kamtrul Rinpoche, it is the reincarnated Dalai Lama himself, who as wrathful field marshal will lead the Buddhist army into the Shambhala battle (Rudra Chakrin) to conquer all evil in the universe. Propagandists for the Kalachakra Tantra peddle a primitive martyr cult that resembles that of the Moslem jihad warriors: he who falls in the Shambhala war is rewarded with guaranteed entry to the Shambhala paradise (E. Bernbaum – Der Weg nach Shambhala – Auf der Suche nach dem sagenhaften Königreich im Himalaya – Hamburg 1982, 253).

At all levels, the Kalachakra Tantra fosters the postulation of (and negotiation with) a conceived “enemy” and – completely at odds with the original teachings of the historical Buddha or the ethical demands of Mahayana Buddhism – advocates war between "good" and "evil", between the "faithful" and the "unbelievers".

The Kalachakra-Tantra contains a Buddhocratic doctrine of state which is even more "theocratic" than the fundamentalist Islam concept of theocracy, then the Buddhist "Chakravartin" (world ruler) is seen as a direct "incarnation" or "emanation" of the Supreme Buddha (Adi Buddha), as a walking "God-Man" on earth, whilst the "Caliph" is only God’s (Allah’s) "representative" on earth, who does not even have the rank of a "prophet".

At the pinnacle of the authoritative Buddhocratic Kalachakra state, on the "Lion Throne" resides an absolute "Priest-King" (Chakravartin), who unites in his person religious, political, juridical and military might. There is absolutely no civil "separation of powers" here. Those familiar with the constitutional position of the Dalai Lama in traditional Tibet (up until 1959) know that the office of the Tibetan "God-King" corresponded to that of a Chakravartin in miniature. The highly questionable and half-hearted democratization reforms that the XIV Dalai Lama has introduced among the Tibetans in exile would be obliterated afresh through the Buddhocratic, state political consequences of the Kalachakra Tantra teachings.

The right to a Buddhocratic world supremacy is an explicit demand of the Kalachakra Tantra. Here too we find a fundamentalist correspondence to Islamist ambitions to global domination. If both systems are set to confront another as deadly enemies in a bloody apocalyptic battle, then this is a consequence of the logic of their theocratic-cum-Buddhocratic absolutism.

Modern Buddhocratic visions for our planet which are welcomed by the XIV Dalai Lama are built upon the foundations of the Kalachakra Tantra. See in this regard Robert A. Thurman’s book – Revolution von Innen – Die Lehren des Buddhismus oder das vollkommene Glück (1999), where the author develops the authoritative political theory of a "Buddhaverse". As early as 1979, Thurman, described by Time magazine as the "spokesman of the Dalai Lama" in the USA, saw the Tibetan religious leader in a dream enthroned as a "Time God" over the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York, while the great swarm of notables – mayors, senators, company directors and kings, sheiks and sultans, celebrities and stars buzzed around him; caught up in the maelstrom of the 722 dancing deities of the Kalachakra Tantra swarmed around him just like bees in pinstripes around a huge hive.

In the secret higher stages of initiation the Kalachakra Tantra demands the unconditional and unlimited surrender to the absolute will of the administering guru (in this case the Dalai Lamas as Kalachakra master). The "ego consciousness" and the personality of the initiand are extinguished step by step, so as to transform him into a human vessel for the in part warlike and aggressive tantric deities and Buddhist figures. Hence, the Kalachakra Tantra brings no "ennoblement", "transfiguration" or "integration" of the individual, but rather its systematic "elimination" in the interests of a codified religious pattern.

In the eight secret higher initiations of the Kalachakra Tantra, extreme mental and physical exercises are used to push the initiand into a state beyond good and evil. The original text thus requires the following misdeeds and crimes of him: killing, lying, stealing, infidelity, the consumption of alcohol, sexual intercourse with lower-class girls. As in all the other tantras, here too these requirements can be understood both symbolically and literally. Even the XIV Dalai Lama finds it legitimate for a Kalachakra adept to kill a person under special circumstances, "who are harmfull to the [Buddhist] teaching". He insists, however, that this be "motivated by compassion" (Dalai Lama – The Kalachakra Tantra – Rite of Initiation – London, 1985, S. 348 ff.) .

In the highest magical initiations, what are known as "unclean substances" are employed. The Kalachakra Tantra recommends the consumption of the meat of various taboo animals. Human meat (maha mamsa) is also employed as a ritual substance. It is usually taken from the dead and, writes the tantric grand master and Shambhala King, Pundarika, in his traditional Kalachakra commentary, is the "meat of those who died dueto their own karma, who were killed in battle due to evil karma or and due to their own fault, or that of robbers and so forth who were executed". He continues with the advice that it is sensible to consume these substances in the form of pills. The flesh of innocent people, who have been killed as sacrifices to the gods, out of fear, as part of an ancestor cult, out of desire (greed) or for money, is laden with "unspeakable sin" and may not be used in the rituals. "But which falls in the bowl unasked-for is without unspeakable sin" – and may therefore be put to use. (In: John Ronald Newman - The outer wheel of time: Vajrayana Buddhist cosmology in the Kalacakra Tantra - Madison 1987, 266 f.).

Numerous ritual objects employed in the ceremonies are made from corpses (bowls made from human skulls, trumpets made of leg bones, bone necklaces). A glance at the great Kalachakra thangka (wall tapestry) which will be hanging above the throne of the XIV Dalai Lama during the whole of the ceremony in Graz is enough to convince one of the wrathful character of this ritual. The Time God "Kalachakra" depicted there together with his consort, the Time Goddess "Vishvamata" in sexual union while standing, hold in their total of 32 hands 24 objects of an aggressive, morbid or warlike nature (hooks, sword, machete, drums and vessels made of skull bowls, a scepter whose peak is adorned with three severed human heads, etc.)

In the secret higher initiations of the Kalachakra Tantra sexual magical rites take place, the aim of which is to transform "sexuality" into worldly and spiritual power. The real or imaginary women (both are possible) used in these represent particular forms of energy, whereby age plays an important role. One begins with ten-year-old girls. Up to the age of 20, the female sexual partners represent positive characteristics. If they are older they are regarded as the bearers of the negative energies of scorn, rage, hate etc. and as "demonesses". In the 8th to 11th levels of initiation into the Kalachakra Tantra sexual magic experiments are made with just " one" woman; in the 12th to 15th levels, the so-called Ganachakra, a total of 10 women take part in the ritual along with the master and the initiand. It is the pupil’s duty to offer his Lama the women as a "gift". "Laity" who are to be initiated into the ritual are supposed to offer up their female relatives (mother, sister, wife, daughter, aunt, etc.). One can read in the Kalachakra Mûlatantra that "If the pupil does not hand these wisdom consorts over to his master, in order to protect his family, then [the master] may not perform this ritual." Consecrated monks and novices, however, may make use of unrelated women from various castes. In the secret ritual itself the participants experiment with the masculine and feminine seed (sperm and menstrual blood). In the Kalachakra Tantra women are regarded as mere "energy donors" for the male practitioners and once the ritual is over they have no further role to play (see in this regard Nâropâ – Iniziazione Kâlacakra – Roma 1994).

In the current age, which according to the teachings of Lamaism is hastening towards an apocalyptic end (Kali yuga), the Kalachakra Tantra has a particularly destructive and aggressive character. It includes special rites which are supposed to accelerate the general decline through symbolic acts. "What is Kalachakrayana [the Kalachakra Way]?" – asks one of the leading experts in the field of Tantrism, the Indian Shashi Bhusan Dasgupta, and tellingly answers, "The word kala means time, death and destruction. Kala-Chakra is the Wheel of Destruction."

These are just some of the problematic aspects that critics object to in the Kalachakra Tantra and the Shambhala Myth it contains. They ought to provide sufficient grounds to question whether this ritual can still be seen as having a humanistic, peaceful, tolerant, freedom-loving and ecumenical character. In addition, the Shambhala myth integrated into the Kalachakra Tantra has – insofar as it has been accorded historical and ideological relevance – led to extremely aggressive behavior patterns, megalomaniac visions, conspiracy theories and terrorist activity. But above all it exercises a special fascination for neo-fascist circles and provides a source of ideological inspiration for them.

In the wars between Byelorussians, Bolsheviks and Mongolians, the Shambhala myth was associated with ideas of the return of Genghis Khan at the beginning of the twenties. The Mongolians saw themselves in this conflict as "Shambhala warriors". Their military actions were extremely bloodthirsty.

The Italian fascist and right-wing extremist philosopher of culture, Julius Evola, saw in the mythic realm of Shambhala the esoteric center of a sacred warrior caste and suspected that the palace of the world king, whose escutcheon was the swastika, could be found there. He held lectures on these views for the the SS “Ahnenerbe”.

In the occult literature (the "Nazi mysteries”), "masters" from Shambhala are depicted as the hidden string pullers who are supposed to have participated in the "magical" creation of the Nazi regime (Trevor Ravenscroft, Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier u. a.).

In the ideological SS underground of the post-War period and in the "SS mysticism" of the nineties, the mythical kingdom of Shambhala is seen as a sanctuary for an aggressive and morbid "Nazi religion" (Wilhelm Landig, Jan van Helsing u. a.).

The Shambhala myth is one of the ideological pillars of "esoteric Hitlerism". This is the worldwide, racist, occult doctrine of the Chilean diplomat, Miguel Serrano, and the Indian by adoption, Savitri Devi ("Hitler’s Priestess")

With his concept of the Shambhala warrior, the now deceased Tibetan Lama, Chögyam Trungpa (1940-1987), laid the first foundations for a potential "Combative Buddhism", already found in large parts of East Asia, in the West. Instead of monasteries, Trungpa’s Shambhala warriors live in military camps, meditation is accompanied by military parades, in place of the begging bowl his pupils carry weapons and rather than monastic robes they wear military uniforms. The master himself no longer moved around in Buddhist style, with yellow and red monastic robe and walking staff and sandals, but rather rode forth on a white horse (in accordance with the apocalyptic prophecy of the Kalachakra Tantra) in peaked cap, tunic and high boots. The Shambhala coat of arms can be seen on the saddle of a horse in a photo of the martial Trungpa.

The Shambhala Myth provides the ideological basis for the terrorism of the Japanese apocalyptic guru, Shoko Asahara. He derives his apocalyptic visions from the teachings of the Kalachakra Tantra. His intention is to accelerate the onset of the Shambhala war and this is his justification for his poison-gas attacks on the Tokyo Underground. Asahara was the first leader of a sect to make the "uninvolved " from outside of his own organization the target of his deadly attacks and thus opened the floodgates for the religiously motivated international terrorism that has become the number one topic in the world community.

Even if these fascist and terrorist interpretations of the Shambhala myth are erroneous, it is therefore all the more pressing that the XIV Dalai Lama and his followers lay bare the Kalachakra ritual in all its detail, correct possible distortions, projections and misuses, and distance themselves publicly from its more problematic contents, that or edit them out of the traditional texts. Instead, however, there have in the past been numerous friendly meetings between the Tibetan religious leader and former SS figures (Heinrich Harrer, Bruno Beger), the founder of "esoteric Hitlerism", Miguel Serrano, and the terrorist, Shoko Asahara, whom even after the Tokyo attacks he described as his "friend, albeit an imperfect one”. Only later did he distance himself from him. It is the duty of the city of Graz, the provincial government of Styria, the various political factions, the media, the intellectuals and not least the Christian institutions, to begin a broad public discussion of this ritual, so as not be drawn into something which is diametrically opposed to their original intentions.

Then, according to statements in numerous international media reports, Tibetan Buddhism is the "trend religion" of our time. Through the XIV Dalai Lama, through both his charismatic appearances and his ostensibly humanist speeches and writings, a gigantic, unreflective cultural import of Eastern concepts into the West is taking place, one which displays fundamentalist characteristics and serves as an ideological foundation for various fundamentalist camps and can continue to so serve in the future. The Buddhist leader appeals to people’s deep need for harmony and peace, but the history of Lamaism itself, the contents of the Tibetan tantras and their complex of rituals, even the conditions which prevail among the Tibetans in exile, are anything but peaceful and harmonic. There are passages in the Kalachakra Tantra which brazenly call for a "war of the religions", which are intolerant and aggressive. In Tibetan Buddhism we have an archaic, magic-based religious system, which has remained to a large extent untouched by the fundamentals of the Western Enlightenment. This is also the reason it is so attractive for right-wing extremists. For centuries it has led to social injustices that any freedom-loving citizen of today would be forced to reject. The equality of the sexes, democratic decision making and ecumenical movements are in themselves foreign to the nature of Tantric Buddhism, although the XIV Dalai Lama publicly proclaims the opposite.

In a reaction to 11 September 2001, Der Spiegel drew attention to aggressive elements and fundamentalist currents in the three monotheistic religions in an article entitled "Religious Mania – The Return of the Middle Ages". As is so often the case in such cultural critiques, Buddhism was spared. This is untrue! All of the topics criticized in this article (battles against unbelievers and dissidents, religious wars, armament fantasies, theocratic visions of power, apocalyptic predictions, misogyny, etc.) are to be found in a particularly concentrated degree in the Kalachkra Tantra.

The Critical Forum Kalachakra (CFK) demands that a wide-ranging cultural debate over the Kalachakra Tantra and the Shambhala myth. The CFK collects information, distributes and translates documents.
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Postby admin » Fri Jun 19, 2015 3:05 am


The Sanskrit terms are written without diacritical marks.

Literal translations appear in quotation marks.

abhisheka – „annointing“ – a form of consecration, often involving sprinkling, that transforms an heir apparent into a royal sovereign, or a novice into a monk or member of a religious order. In Tantra, abhisheka qualifies a person to initiate or consecrate others.

acarya – “teacher, preceptor” – a guru or instructor of sacred or secret teachings.

advaita – “nondualism” – the philosophical position that all is One

ahimsa – “noninjury” – doctrine of noninjury or non-violence

ajna – name of the sixth of the seven charkas of the yogic body. It is at the level of the ajna that the three principle subtle channels come together in a plait between the eyebrows. See also chakra and nadi

Amitabha - Amitabha is the most commonly used name for the Buddha of Infinite Light and Infinite Life. A transhistorical Buddha venerated by all Mahayana schools and, particularly, Pure Land. Presides over the Western Pure Land (Land of Ultimate Bliss), where anyone can be reborn through utterly sincere recitation of His name, particularly at the time of death.

Anuttarayoga Tantra – “Tantra of Supreme Yoga” – one of the four classes of Buddhist Tantric texts, sects, and teachings

arhat - a Buddhist saint who has attained liberation from the cycle of Birth and Death, generally through living

a monastic life in accordance with the Buddhas' teachings.

arya - any individual ennobled by his/her own continuing effort on the path to enlightenment.

asana – “seated position” – yogic posture in which a practitioner holds himself immobile while practicing breath control and various types of meditation.

asura - titanic demons, enemies of the gods.

Avalokitesvara - The name is a compound of Ishwara, meaning Lord, and avalokita, looked upon or seen, and is usually translated as the Lord Who Observes (the cries of the world); the Buddhist embodiment of compassion as formulated in the Mahayana Dharma.

atman – the individual self or soul

avadhuti – in Tantric Buddhist mapping of the yogic body, the female energy that rises up from the lower abdomen to the heart or cranial vault, where it melts or is merged with the subtle male principle. See also candali.

bardo (Tibetan) – “liminal passage, intermediate state” – the state of consciousness in the course of migration between death and rebirth. A stage varying from seven to forty-nine days, after which the Karmic body from previous lives will certainly be reborn.

bija – “seed” – the seminal essence of a sacred utterance or formula, usually monosyllabic, which constitutes the energy of the deity it acoustically embodies. See also mantra.

bhiksu - Religious mendicant; Buddhist fully ordained monk. Bhiksuni is the equivalent term designating a woman.

bodhi – “enlightenment” – perfect knowledge or wisdom by which a person becomes a Buddha.

bodhicitta – “thought of enlightenment” – the mental state in which an individual takes the decision to become an enlightened being. In Buddhist Tantra the inner energy of fluid that flows through the practitioner’s charkas following the internal union of female Wisdom (prajna) and male Skill in Means (upaya).

bodhisattva – “One who possesses the essence of enlightenment” – a deified saviour figure, a fully enlightened being who remains in the world in order to release other creatures from suffering existence.

buddha – “enlightened being”

candali – “female outcast” – the Tantric consort; also the subtle body, the “red element”, female energy that rises up from the lower abdomen to melt the male “white element” in the cranial vault. See also avadhuti.

Carya Tantra – “Tantra of Observance” – one of the four classes of Buddhist Tantric texts, sects and teachings.

chakra – “circle, wheel” – one of the usually seven energy centres aligned along the spinal column of the yogic body.

chakravala - the nine chakravala or concentric mountain ranges or continents, separated by eight seas, of a universe.

chakravartin – “wheel-turner” – an universal emperor and protector of Buddhism

cintamani - a talismanic pearl, a symbol of bestowing fortune and capable of fulfilling every wish.

citta - mind or heart. the two terms being synonymous in Asian religious philosophy.

dakini – one of a group of powerful female beings, possessed by the power of flight, who mediate between the worlds of the buddhas, the demonic, and the human in Tantric ritual and meditative practice. A woman embodying enlightened wisdom.

chöd yul – “The object that is to be cut off” – system of dramatic shamanic practices that effect the severing or cutting off of demons as a means to annihilating the ego that otherwise keeps one trapped in suffering existence.

damaru – hourglass-shaped two-headed “schaman’s drum” carried and played by Tantric deities and practitioners.

deva – “shining one” – a celestial deity who is nevertheless “un-liberated”.

dharini - extended mantra used in esoteric branch of Buddhism to focus and expand the mind. Its words, or sounds, should not communicate any recognizable meaning.

dharma – the teachings of the Buddha; the law, doctrine, or ethical precepts of Buddhism; an underlying cosmic principle taught by the Buddha; constituent element of reality; a phenomenon. The complex of religious and social obligations that a devout s required to fulfil; right action, duty, morality, virtue

dharmadhatu – the absolute reality experienced in enlightenment

dharmakaya – “body of teaching” – in Mahayana and later forms of Buddhism, the third and most exalted of the three bodies of the Buddha, composed of Buddha’s teachings. Tantric Buddhism knows of a fourth, called the diamond body (see also vajrakaya).

dhatu – the space or sphere of absolute reality itself

dhyana – ritual visualisation, inner vision, yogic meditation; instructions for visualizing a Tantric deity.

dorje – see: vajra

guru – a religious percept or teacher, often the person from whom one receives initiation or consecration.

hatha yoga – body of yogic practice that combines posture, breath control, seals, and locks as a means to bodily immortality and supernatural power.

ida – mapping of the yogic body, the major subtle channel identified with the moon that runs the length of the spinal column, to the left of the medial channel. See also nadi.

inana – “gnosis” – supreme knowledge; the highest form of knowledge, which affords liberation from suffering existence.

kalpa – sacred precept, law, ritual, or ordinance; an eon, a fantastically long period of time.

kama – desire and sexuality used as a means to liberation or transcendence of the human condition

karma - volition, volitional or intentional activity. Karma is always followed by its fruit, Vipaka. Karma and Vipaka are oftentimes referred to as the law of causality, a cardinal concern in the Teaching of the Buddha.

Kriya Tantra –“Action Tantra” – one of the four classes of Buddhist Tantric texts, sects and teachings.

kshatriya - the second of the four Hindu Castes at the time of Shakyamuni, they were the royal caste, the noble landlord, the warriors and the ruling castes.

maharaja - a great or superior king.

kundalini – “She who is coiled”; the female energy that lies coiled at the base of the yogic body. Through combined techniques, the Kundalini is “awakened” and made to rise through the charkas to the cranial vault. See also: shakti.

lama – a Tantric teacher or Guru in Tibetan Buddhism

linga – the male sexual organ. See also yoni.

mahamudra – “great seal” – gnosis realizing the mind’s own emptiness in a non-dual, androgynous fashion. The “inner woman” as part of the yogic body. The ultimate nature of mind; an instantaneous practice for purifying the mind.

mahasiddha – “great perfect being” – “great sorcerer” – a highly perfected and accomplished mystic; one of a legendary class of demigods or superhuman Tantric practitioners who propagated Tantra throughout South Asia and Tibet.

mani - a jewel, gem, precious stone; especially a pearl bead or other globular ornament.

maithuna – “Pairing, coupling” – sexual intercourse as a means of liberation, gnosis and transcendence of the human condition; the fifth and ultimate Tantric “sacrament”; an iconic representation of a pair engaging in sexual intercourse. See also yab-yum.

mandala – “circle” – an idealized circular model of the cosmos, with the source of cosmic or temporal power located at the centre, and deities or beings representing lesser powers or energies radiating outward toward the periphery, the limits of the system. In Tantric practice, Mandalas are often employed as visual meditation support.

mantra – “mental device, instrument oft thought” – an acoustic formula whose sound shape embodies the energy-level of a deity; a spell, incantation or charm employed in Tantric ritual or sorcery. Chants, magical formulae.

maya – “That which is measured out; cosmic illusion”

Meru - the central mountain of every universe.

mudra – “seal” – a symbolic gesture of the body with ritual meanings. In Buddhist Tantra mudra is on of the terms used for a male practitioner’s female consort.

nadi – one of an elaborate network of 72.000 subtle ducts of the yogic body through which breath and energy are channelled.

nirmanakaya – “form body” – the first of the three bodies of the Buddha, the physical form in which the historical Buddha appeared to the world.

nirvana – “extinction” – the soteriological goal of Buddhism; the final cessation of rebirth into suffering existence.

pingala – mapping of the yogic body, the major subtle channel identified with the un that runs the length of the spinal column, to the right of the medial channel. See also nadi.

pitha – “bench, footstool” – a pilgrimage site and power place identified with a goddess and her male consort.

prajna – “wisdom” – insight into the true nature in reality; a Tantric practitioner‘s female consort . The prajna becomes deified as a Buddhist goddess with a bipolar relationship to the male upaya (“skill”) represented by a god, a buddha or a bodhisattva.

prajna-paramita – “perfection of wisdom” – the female embodiment of wisdom. Prajna-paramita becomes deified as a Buddhist goddess, also considered to be the “mother of all buddhas”.

prana – “breath” – the breath of life; one of the multiple breaths or energies that, flowing through the nadis, vitalizes and is the active element in the transformation of the yogic body.

pratyekabuddha – a Buddha who loves a solitary existence and realizes nirvana for himself alone.

puja –“honouring, veneration”; the body of practices that comprise the worship of a deity.

rainbow body (Tibet. ja’lus) – supernatural body attained through Tantric techniques by means of which the practitioner is able to disappear into another dimension.

rasa – “juice, flavor’ – an essential fluid of yogic, alchemical or Tantric practice. The semen feminile.

sadhaka – a Tantric practitioner

sadhana – Tantric practice

shakti – “energy” – the energy of a deity personified as his female consort

samadhi – total yogic integration; ecstatic consciousness

samatha – “tranquil abiding, quiescence” – a Buddhist form of meditation.

samaya – “coming together” – conventional rule or practice; sacrament.

sambhogakaya – “body of shared enjoyment” – the second of the Buddha’s three bodies, in which he preaches to the assembled bodhisattvas.

samsara – “flowing together” – the cycle of transmigration; suffering existence, phenomenal reality.

sangha – “assembly” – Buddhist society, comprised of monks, nuns, laymen and laywomen

siddha – “perfected being”- a Tantric practitioner who has realized embodied liberation. The siddhas also form a class of demigods who inhabit the atmospheric regions.

siddhi – “perfection” – one of the many supernatural powers possessed by siddhas as a result of their practice, their sadhana. Included among the siddhis are the power of flight, invisibility, the power of attraction and the power to realize one’s every desire.

shravaka – “auditor” – a person who attains emancipation by listening a buddha.

stupa – a funerary monument in the shape of a dome or pyramid, containing a relic of a Buddha or some other objects of veneration; a meditation support symbolizing the formless body of the Buddha and the essential structure of the cosmos.

shunyata – “emptiness” – the principle that all objects of the senses, mental concepts, and categories are void of self-existence.

susumna – mapping of the yogic body; the major subtle channel identified with fire, which runs down through the centre of the spinal column. See also nadi.

tathatgata - “one who comes thus” – an epithet of the Buddha or of one the five celestial buddhas

terma – “treasure” – indigenous Tibetan Budhist collections of works, mainly containing instructions for special forms of Tantric practice. They are brought to light by treasure-discoverer specialists, either in the form of hidden manuscripts or of visionary revelations with no physical substrate.

torma – conical flour and butter cones used as ritual offerings to a person’s enlightened beings and protectors.

tulku – “the form body of a Buddha” – the recognized reincarnation of a past Buddha master.

upaya – “skill in means” – array of expedient devices employed by bodhisattvas to enlighten beings trapped in suffering existence. Upaya becomes deified as the male member of a bipolar relationship – with the female prajna (“wisdom”).

vajra – (Tibetan dorje) – “Thunderbolt, diamond, penis” – adamantine symbol of strength, immovability, and transcendent nature of the state aimed at by Tantric practitioners; name of an implement used in Tantric ritual.

vajrakaya – “diamond body”

vajrayoga – “adamantine union” – the fusion of wisdom realizing emptiness and compassion, which spontaneously manifests appearances in order to guide living beings to freedom from samsara.

vidya – “esoteric knowledge, wisdom” – wisdom personified as a goddess. Vidya is one of the terms used for a male practitioner’s female consort.

yab-yum (Tibetan) – “father-mother” – term used to describe deities in sexual union.

yantra – “instrument of restraint; machine” – one of a group of instruments, including diagrams, amulets, and alchemical apparatus, used by a Tantric practitioners to control or subdue his own mind, demonic beings, or elements of the phenomenal world.

yidam – “vow, oath, covenant” – a tutelary deity.

Yoga Tantra – “Tantra of Yoga” – one of the four classes of Buddhist Tantric texts, sects and teachings.

yogin – a male practitioner of yoga.

yogini – one of a class of powerful, fierce and often sexually alluring female demigods and human sorceresses who imitate or are identified with them; a female Tantric practitioner.

yoni – the female sexual organ, womb.
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