Terms

Kalachakra

Kala Chakra literally means the wheel of time.

Kalachakra (Wheel of Time, tenfold powerful one, ten fold seed syllable)

The Kala Chakra mantra consists of seven syllables:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Ham Ksha Ma La Va Ra Ya
combined with the
8 9 10
crescent and full moons and the nada (wisp).

This deity has 24 arms, each of the arms has a hand and each of the hands has 5 fingers. Each finger has 3 joints. If you multiply that out and add it up it comes to 360 in all different colours and that as well correlates with 360 days, the 360 bones and 360 deities and now 360 parts of his fingers. In this way you get a whole system in which you are making parallels on many many different levels to start to work with the cyclic energy that we have both externally and internally. You also get all the constellations in the heavens turned into deities, the signs of the zodiac, the planets and all these different things are laid all around you in this rather fantastic world system....
Kalachakra has 24 arms. Now, 24 arms go around like a fan, they are all level, not vertical, but horizontal. If you've ever seen those time-exposure pictures where the first picture is taken with your hands in front of you, the next is taken with the hands slightly to the side and then slightly to the side etc. so that in fact at the end of the exposure you have all these arms going around. Imagine that you are like that. You can imagine that it's not so difficult. You can see that the white arms are in the back, the red ones in the middle and the blue ones in front. The partner who is embracing has 8 yellow arms, which are also horizontal, above Kalachakra's arms. If you want to be aware of what the 24 arms stand for in the course of the year: you have 12 months; each month has 2 parts: waxing moon, the moon grows full and waning moon, the moon gets smaller and smaller. In fact there are 24 periods of the moon, during the course of a year, in which various things happen that we need to deal with. So likewise we have 24 arms. So it's just to keep you aware of being able to handle the complexity of the year.


Cologne sanskrit Dictionary
kAlacakra n. the wheel of time (time represented as a wheel which always turns round) MBh. Hariv. &c.
a given revolution of time , cycle [according to the Jainas , the wheel of time has twelve Aras or spokes and turns round once in 2000 , 000 , 000 , 000 , 000 Sagaras of years
cf. {ava-sarpiNI} and {ut-s-} ; the wheel of fortune (sometimes regarded as a weapon)
N. of a Tantra Buddh.
m. N. of the sun
{-jAtaka} n. {-prakAza} m. N. of wks.

Kalachakra is also a deity with a retinue of 722 deities.

Kalachakra deity represents omniscience, as everything is under the influence of time, and he is time and therefore knows all. A four-faced deity with 24 arms who subdues violence
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