Detailed Outline of the Kalachakra Empowerment – 1

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Detailed Outline of the Kalachakra Empowerment

This is a study document, initially drawn from by Alexander Berzin – Outline of the Kalachakra Empowerment prepared for the Mongolian translator of the Kalachakra empowerment conferred by His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama in Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia, August 1995 – then modified significantly with content from Kalachakra Tantra – Rite of Initiation by Tenzin Gyatso, the Dalai Lama; translated by Jeffrey Hopkins. May this provide clarity to those who wish to receive the Kalachakra initiation and may they instantly achieve full enlightenment. James Postell and Rudy Harderwijk, Saka Dawa 2004; may all our errors be forgiven. Note: Text in bold represents recitation, and normal text is for actions. Flush text represents actions and words from the Master, indented text is for actions and words from the students. Font, .

1 Preparation Ceremony

Setting the Motivation and Conferring the Inner Empowerment


The disciples rinse their mouths, prostrate three times, and offer a mandala.

To the lama, personal deity, and the Three Jewels, I offer in visualization

The body, speech, mind, and resources of myself and others,

Our collections of virtue in the past, present, and future,

And the wonderful precious mandala with the masses of Samantabhadra’s offerings.

Accepting them through your compassion, please bless me into magnificence.


[I offer this jewelled mandala to the guru.]

Setting the Motivation

The students place their knees on the ground and bring their palms, with flowers, together at the heart.

With them sitting in front [of the lama, the lama] says:

“Some people seeking to achieve Secret Mantra

For this [life] enter the mandala.

Those wishing for merit and other than them.

Others seek the welfare of others in the world.

The intelligent should enter the mandala

With many acts of faith,

Seeking the aim of what transcends the world.

They should not wish for effects in this life.

Those wanting this life

Do not accrue the aim of what transcends the world.

Those generating a seeking from what transcends the world

[Gain] expansive fruits [even] in this world.”

Conferring the Inner Empowerment

The Guru-deity conferrs the Internal Initiation:

“It is meditated that rays of light from my hearty, clarified as Kalachakra – Father and Mother – draw in the students individually; they enter my mouth and dissolve in the Mother’s lotus.”

1) The disciples are drawn into the mouth of the Guru-deity, melt into Bodhichitta-drops and, through his vajra-organ, enter the lotus-womb of the mother-consort, dissolving into voidness.

2) From a state of voidness, from a blue HUM, then a blue vajra, the disciples arise as a simple Kalachakra with one face, two arms, a blue body, right leg red and outstreched, left leg white and bent, and without a consort-partner.

3) The Guru-deity draws forth with light-rays from the seed-syllable at his heart all the male and female Buddhas. They enter his mouth, melt in his heart with the fire of affection and, in the form of Bodhichitta-drops, enter through his vajra-organ and give empowerment to the disciples in the lotus-womb of the mother.

The disciples generate emptiness and bliss, which is the entity of the internal initiation.

4) The disciples are then emitted from the lotus-womb and take their places outside the mandala palace, just outside the eastern porch.

Making Requests and Causing the Disciples to Take Firm Hold of Tantra

Requesting the Vows

The disciples request the Bodhisattva vows, pledges (Tib. dam-tshig, Skt. Samaya) and refuge, by repeating three times:

“The sole liberator from the ocean of cyclic existence,

Which is frightful with the sea monsters of birth, aging and death,

Is you, O great joyous teacher of mine.

O great protector, I am seeking the firm way of great enlightenment.

Bestow on me the pledges;

Bestow on me also the mind of enlightenment.

Also, bestow on me the three refuges –

Buddha, Doctrine, and Spiritual Community.

O protector, please let me enter

Into the supreme city of the great liberation.”

The student conceives that the guru as Kalachakra, has accepted him, though not in words.

Arousing Firm Conviction in Tantra Causing the Student to Take Up the Doctrine.

The Guru-deity explains about tantra in order to arouse firm conviction in it:

“Child, come here.

I shall thoroughly teach you

The rites of the mode of practice of Great Vehicle Secret Mantra.

You are a vessel of the great way.

Through the power of Vajra Mantra,

The Buddhas of the three times –

Those who have vajras of exalted body, speech, and mind,

Thoroughly gain the peerless exalted wisdom.

With peerless secret mantra yoga,

The supreme ones, such as the Lion of the Shakyas,

And so forth, overcame the very awful

And very powerful hosts of demons.

Realizing that the world would follow,

He turned the wheel of Dharma and then passed away.

Therefore, to attain omniscience,

O child, do this [with all] your intelligence.”

Taking Vows, Protecting, and Being Transformed and Elevated

Taking the Bodhisattva and Tantric Vows

1) The disciples take the Bodhisattva vows by repeating three times:

“I go for refuge in the Three Jewels,

Individually disclose all ill-deeds,

Admire the virtues of beings,

And mentally take up the enlightenment of a Buddha.”

2) Although in the text, the disciples now request and take the tantric vows, this is usually omitted here since it is done the next day. However, here is the supplication repeating three times) for the common mantric vows:

Bestowing on me the excellent

Irreversible initiation of the [mandala] circle,

O Protector, please explain

The principles of the mandala, the dieties,

The activities of a master,

the pledges of all Buddhas,

And the supremely secret vows.

In order to achieve the welfare of all sentient beings

I will forever act as a master.”

The supplication for the uncommon mantric vows, repeating three times:

O, all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, please take heed of me.

I (your name) from this time henceforth

Until arrivig in the essence of enlightenment

Will generate the excellent unsurpassed

Intention to become enlightened

In just the way that the protectors of the three times

Become definite toward enlightenment.

I will firmly keep individually

The three forms of ethics- the ethical precepts,

The composite of virtuous practices,

And bringing about the welfare of sentient beings.

For the five-pointed vajra [lineage of Akshobhya],

I will sustain with the crown of my head vajra, bell, seal, and lama.

For the jewel [Ratnasambhava], I will give gifts.

for the wheel [lineage of Vairochana],

I will keep the pledges of the supreme Conquerors.

For the sword [lineage of Amoghasiddhi],

I will make offerings.

for the bright lotus [lineage of Amitabha], I will maintain restraint.

So that sentient beings may be liberated, I will,

for the [Vajrasattva] lineage of the projenitor of Conquerors, generate


I will liberate those not liberated [from the obstructions to enlightenment].

I will release those not released [from cyclic existence].

I will relieve those unrelieved [in bad transmigrations] and set sentient beings in nirvana.”

Protecting the Disciples with Inseparable Method and Wisdom by Transforming Their Six Elements into the Nature of the Six Female Buddhas also known as Blessing [the Students] Into Magnificence

The disciples, within visualizing themselves as Kalachakra, visualize:

· at their foreheads that the water element becomes a white syllable U on a white moon disc the nature of Mamaki),

· at their hearts, the wind element becomes a black I on a green Rahu disc the nature of Tara),

· at the crown of their heads, the space element becomes a blue A on a blue creative energy thigle-drop the nature of Vajradhatvishvari),

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· at their navels, the earth element becomes a yellow LI on a yellow kalagni disc the nature of Lochana),

· at their throats, the fire element becomes a red RI on a red sun disc the natue of Pandara),

· at their pubic regions, the consciousness element becomes a green AH, on a green deep awareness disc the nature of Prajnaparamita).

Then the Guru-deity contemplates:

Setting an “U” on a moon at the forehead of the student,

an “I” on a green rahu disc at the heart,

an “A” on a drop at the crown protrusion,

an “LI” on a yellow kalagni disc at the navel,

an “RI” on a sun disc at the neck,

and an “AH” in the wheel of exalted wisdom at the secret region, they are protected by these, which are the entities of the goddesses of the six lineages, the exalted body, speech, and mind of Method and Wisdom.

Transforming and Elevating the Disciples’ Body, Speech, and Mind

The disciples, within visualizing themselves as Kalachakra, visualize the following as the entities of exalted body speech and mind:

· at their hearts, on a green Rahu disc, a black HUM,

· at their throats, on a red sun disc, a red AH,

· at their foreheads, on a white moon disc, a white OM.

The Guru-deity then touches these three spots on the disciples with the vajra in his hand, sprinkling drops of perfumed water from his hand taken from from the conch. The lama contemplates:

A black HUM on a green rahu disc at the students heart,

a red AH on a sun at the neck,

and a white OM on a moon at the forehead.

The disciples imagine light emanating from the three syllables, thinking that all the Budhas’ and Bodhisattvas’ magnificent blessings of exalted mind, speech, and body dissolve into those places, thereby purifying ill-deeds and obstructions of mind, speech, and body together with their predispositions accumulated from beginningless time.

The lama blesses the disciples into magnificance by touching the heart, throat and top of the head of the students with perfumed water, while reciting:


and makes offering to the disciples with the five enjoyments (flowers, incense, lamp, perfumed water, and food) who make exertion as they receive the blessings and offerings. At the same time, the disciples cognize that these blessings and offerings, while appearing to possess inherent nature, possess no inherent nature, thus bringing all objects into the scope of the practice of understanding dependent-arising and emptiness. The disciples also endeavor, when encountering objects, to bring them within the scope of factors that assist in igniting bliss.

Tossing the Stick of the Neem Tree and Taking the Sips of Water, and So On

Tossing the Neem Stick

The disciples recite a mantra:




[May the seed syllables of the six lineages – OM AH HUM HOH HAM KSHAH – and the vajra tooth-stick habving the nature of the purity of the four doors of liberation purify the defilements of the teeth and so forth of the faces of the exalted body, speech, mind, and pristine consciousness svaha]

The stick is given to a disciple facing East.

This disciple utter the following mantra seven times:


and drops the neem stick in the center of the mandala. The direction of the head of the stick lands tells the student the manifold activities he will achieve.

Taking the Sips of Water

The disciples recite a mantra:



[OM HRIH purify all ill-deeds of the aggregation by way of the thorough purity of phenomena, remove all conceptuality HUM]

The disciples are given three handfuls of water along with the five ambrosials as a means of purifying the three doors of body, speech, and mind.

They first rinse their mouths with a little of it, spit that out, and then drink the rest in three sips. Think that this purifies the stains of their body, speech, and mind.

Receiving Kusha Grass and a Protection String

Before giving the disciples the long blade of kusha grass, the lama says:

Generated from HUM.”

The disciples respond:


Before giving the disciples the short blade of kusha grass, the lama says:

Arisen from DHIH.”

The disciples respond:


The lama places the long and short blades between the pressed palms of the students.


[OM vajra sharpness BAM.]

The disciples are given two pieces of kusha grass, one long and one short.

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They need to place the long one under their mattresses tonight, parallel to their bodies, with the head of the grass under their heads. They need to place the short one under their pillows, perpendicular to the long piece of grass, and with the head of the grass on the left side. These are given for the sake of having unmistaken clear dreams.

2) The disciples are given a red protection string to tie around their upper forearms, on either the left or right arm. This string, wound three times, is to be worn until either Maitreya Buddha comes, or the disciples develop pure love.

Arisen from HUM.”

The disciples respond, repeating seven times:


The lama ties three knots in the string, uttering:


[OM protect, protect against all the unfavorable) with buddha-love SVAHA]

and ties it on the student’s arm.

Arranging the Six Buddha-Families and Invoking Vajrasattva

Arranging the Six Buddha-Families

1) The disciples, visualizing themselves with the body of Kalachakra, imagine being marked by the lama, with the seed-syllables of the six Buddhas on their six places:

· at their foreheads, a white OM,

· at their throats, a red A,

· at their hearts, a black HUM,

· at their navels, a yellow HO,

· at the crown of their heads, a green HAM,

· at their pubic regions, a blue KSHAH.

2) The six Buddhas from the mandala emanate replicas of themselves, which enter and dissolve into the six syllables.

Invoking Vajrasattva

The disciples repeat after the lama:




[OM A A AM AH Vajrasattva, Vajra Kalachakra of great bliss, approach the student, thoroughly please (the student), bestow the supreme, bless into magnificence exalted body, speech, and mind SVAHA.]

Thus invoking Vajrasattva, through which the students’ exalted body, speech, and mind are blessed into magnificence. Thereupon think that the supreme [Buddhahood] has been bestowed.

Enhancing the Disciples’ Happiness by Explaining the Dharma and Instructing Them to Examine Their Dreams

Enhancing the Disciples’ Happiness

The lama enhances the happiness of the disciples by explaining how rare the opportunity is to meet with the tantra teachings. He recites:

“In the womb there is the suffering of dwelling in the womb;

at birth and while a child there is also suffering.

Youth and adulthood are filled with the great suffering of losing one’s mate, wealth, and fortune, as well as the great suffering of the afflictive emotions.

The old have the sufferings of death and again the fright of the six transmigrations such as the Crying and so forth.

All the transmigrating beings, deluded by illusion, grasp suffering from suffering.

Though some become humans in cyclic existence, few have a spiritual attitude.

Fewer, through the force of the virtue of being attracted to Buddha, enter into the prime vehicle.

Still fewer engage their entire intelligence in cultivating the glorious Vajra Vehicle.

Even more, those wishing Buddhahood, who enter into the state of suprene bliss are, alas, extremely rare.”


“The Omniscient Ones arise in the world rarely,

Only sometimes, like an udumvara flower, and then do not appear.

The arising of the mode of Secret Mantra practice

Is even rarer than that.

Through it, the unequaled welfare of sentient beings

Can be accomplished without passing away.

Even evil deeds done earlier over tens millions of eons

Are entirely removed immediately upon seeing such a mandala.

Thus, what need is there to mention about dwelling

in the mode of Mantra practice endlessly renownwed!

If one repeats protective secret mantra,

One will achieve the unsurpassed state.

Whoever’s mind is very non-fluctuating about this supreme of practices

Will eliminate the bad transmigrations which give rise to all suffering.

You great beings have today found the unparalleled finding,

For all of you will be upheld in this teaching by the Conquer and his Children.

And you great beings are dwelling in being born into it.

Through that, tomorrow you will be born thoroughly into the Great Vehicle.

Through proceeding on that glorious supreme path

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Greatly giving rise to the Great Vehicle

You will become Ones Gone Thus [Buddhas], knowing all the world,

Self-arisen beings of great fortune.”

Students generate enthousiasm through the explantion of the meaning.

Giving Instructions for Examining Dreams

The six-syllable mantra, OM AH HUM HO HAM KSHAH, is given.

The disciples need to recite this mantra before going to sleep.