Dharmapala Thangka CentreSchool of Thangka Painting

5.32 Kalachakra Mandala [2]

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The Kalachakra Mandala is extensively described in the Nishpannayogavali. However, this painting in the MusCe Guimet presents certain variations from the Sanskrit text. In the center of the Mandala, in the first enclosure, is a multicolored Kalachakra. He has four faces, but only twenty-two arms instead of the twenty-four that he usually has. He dances in intimate union with his female consort, the eight-armed female deity Vishvamata. Around the couple, on each of the eight petals of a lotus flower, can be seen a female deity, each with four faces and eight arms. Their implements, however, are not shown.

The second enclosure contains eight couples seated in embrace. The males have three faces and six arms; their consorts are similar In the Sanskrit text, four Transcendent Buddhas and their consorts are placed in the four cardinal direccions in the center of each side. In the corners, at the intermediate compass points, are the consorts, in union with the four Buddhas. The consorts are dominant in the corners as the Buddhas are dominant in the previously described pairs. The eight deity couples alternate with eight vases, against a dark blue background. The deities are placed in their proper canonical locations, and then a sec-ond time in the immediately following intermediate direction. For instance, a black Amogha-siddhi, rendered here in dark blue, in union with a yellow Lochana, orange-rose here, is rep-resented in the east [in the lower section, and they appear again in the southeast [in the lower left corner].

The third enclosure is more complicated. It has four triumphal gates, each protected by a fierce deity in union with a female deity. Oh each side of the gates and in the angles are Bodhisattvas, twelve in all, embracing consorts; they represent the different senses. As in the second enclosure, there is a second couple of each Bodhisattva-consort pair, with the female dominant. The Nishpannayogavali describes the gates as having two columns. Their bases SUPPOrt the "female deities of the religion" at each cardinal point. Here, the triumphal gates have three stories, each with its own roof, and a fourth story, known as the wheel of the Dharma story, but there are no deities up to here all included in the mind mandala-palace.

The fourth enclosure is called the speech Mandala-Palace [Vanmandala]. A male and a fe-male deity in close embrace, with the female dominant, are placed in the center of each of eight lotus flowers in full bloom-red with a red background at the cardinal points, and red with a white background at the intermediate points.

The four lotuses placed in the cardinal directions would have been hidden by the multistoried gate of the third enclosure, but the artist has preferred to place them in a visible way, in front of the fourstoried gates as if the gates were transparent. Each of the divinities within these lotus flowers has one head and four arms; their attributes are not portrayed.

In the tantric text, eight four-armed speech goddesses around each central couple, standing on each of the open lotus petals making a total of sixty-four speech goddesses. There are sixty-four terrific male deities in the warrior posture in union with the speech goddesses. The gates of this enclosure have three stories, inhabited by small deities of undetermined sex. Each gate is guarded by a fierce deity couple mounted on top of a cart pulled by an animal.

The fifth and largest enclosure, or the third building, is the body Mandala-Palace [Kayaman-dala]. It has twelve lotuses, representing the twelve months. Each lotus has a round center occupied by a deity couple with the as the dominant partner. Around center are twenty-eight petals, each a goddess of a day. The triumphal gates of this fifth enclosure are the largest and grandest of all the gates. The three stories are all occupied by deities; two of the roofs are crowned with vases, and the other two each with a fierce deity couple on a cart. The ring around the architectural aspects represents the four elements. It is the sixth enclosure, called the burning ground enclosure.

Source G. Béguin

The original painting belongs to the collection of the Musée Guimet, Paris, France and was created in the central regions of Tibet a the end of th 16th century. It is published in "Wisdom and Compassion - the Sacred Art of Tibet", page 376, [no. 156].

Measurements: 49.2 x 70.1" | 125 x 178 cm
Price: on request
Shipment: Parcel Service from Germany or Nepal
Color: Red Background
Material: Natural Stone Colors