Dalai Lama Announces 34th Kalachakra to Be Held in January 2017
His Holiness the Dalai Lama has announced that he will give his 34th Kalachakra initiation in Bodh Gaya, India, in January 2017. The much-anticipated ceremony, originally scheduled for this month, was postponed as the Dalai Lama’s schedule of extensive travel, numerous public appearances related to his 80th birthday celebrations, as well as his religious obligations in 2015 and treatment for a medical condition, left insufficient time for His Holiness to prepare for the intricate ritual.
Speaking at the end of 2015, during the second day of the Sixteen Drops of Kadam empowerment ceremony that he gave at Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Karnataka, India, His Holiness said, “We were supposed to conduct the 34th Kalachakra initiation in January 2016. However, due to my medical reasons and treatment, I had to postpone it. Anyway, what I have postponed last year, I will do it next year in the 11th month of the traditional Tibetan calendar which falls in January 2017.” (Central Tibetan Administration)
“In the meantime, the way to ensure a good rebirth is make your life meaningful now,” he said, adding, “Be happy and tashi delek,” a traditional Tibetan greeting and blessing. (Central Tibetan Administration)
Kalachakra is a Sanskrit term used in Vajrayana Buddhism that means “wheel of time” and refers to both a Tantric deity and the philosophies and meditation practices contained within the Kalachakra Tantra and its extensive commentaries. The empowerment and practice of Kalachakra are believed by many Buddhists to be instrumental in bringing peace to the world. There are two main Kalachakra traditions—the Ra lineage and the Dro. According to both, the Kalachakra and its related commentaries were returned to India from the apocryphal kingdom of Shambhala in 966 by an Indian scholar. In the Ra tradition this figure is identified as Chilupa, and in the Dro tradition as Kalachakrapada the Greater. Some scholars suggest they are the same person.
The Kalachakra initiation empowers the student to practice the Kalachakra Tantra in the service of attaining Buddhahood. According to the Dalai Lama, the Kalachakra ceremony “. . . is a way of planting a seed, and the seed will have karmic effect. One doesn’t need to be present . . . in order to receive its benefit.” (Project Gutenberg self-Publishing Press)
A full Kalachakra initiation generally takes place over 12 days, beginning with eight days of preparatory rituals, during which monks prepare a sand mandala. The ceremony concludes with a final ritual in which the monks release the positive energy stored within the mandala into the world.
The Dalai Lama has given 33 Kalachakra initiations since 1954, including four at Bodh Gaya in 1974, 1985, 2003, and 2012. The Kalachakra teachings in 2012 drew some 200,000 devotees from across the world, including more than 8,000 from Tibet. The 33rd Kalachakra initiation by His Holiness was held in July 2014 in Ladakh, in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. About 150,000 Buddhists traveled to the Himalayan region to attend the ceremony, which also marked the 60th year since His Holiness had first offered the empowerment in Lhasa at the Norbulingka, the traditional summer residence of successive Dalai Lamas since the 1780s until the 14th Dalai Lama’s self-imposed exile from Tibet in 1959.
34th Kalachakra to be held in January 2017: His Holiness the Dalai Lama (Central Tibetan Administration)
Kalachakra Initiation Postponed for One Year (Central Tibetan Administration)
34th Kalachakra postponed to 2017 (Phayul.com)
KALACHAKRA TANTRA (Project Gutenberg self-Publishing Press)
Kalachakra for World Peace 2017