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2014 02 05

Kalachakra Tantra Rite of Initiation for the Stage of Generation
A commentary on the text of Kay-drup Ge-leg-bel-sang-bo
by Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, and the text itself
Edited, translated and introduced by Jeffrey Hopkins
Enlarged revised edition with index 1999 (first published 1985)




"The First Noble Truth" (1989)
by Rob Schouten






'A journey of a thousand leagues begins with one step.'
To begin, that is not as simple.


                A solitary hearer inside the body, where instruments of thought and prayer shuttle by a thread of intelligence on the loom of ancient wisdom. This sentient being of organized matter in the animated universe uses the vital principle of life to seek the living universal spirit of the soul: the cosmic illusion of a vitality that only exists in the shining active light obscured by delusions of willful desire and passion; the universal illusion in the reflected spirit of eternity. It is in the mind ~ in the animal soul, that the solitary listener dwells, to reach for the higher heart and the spiritual soul or intelligence of the uncreated spirit. From life to life, the solitary hearer follows a universal force in accord with the law of justice.
                And speaks and acts with manifest knowledge.

                No wrong ideas of harmful intent or the covetousness in senseless chatter.
                No harsh speech, divisive talk, lying.
                Sexual misconduct.

                No regret, lethargy, sleep, excitement, doubt, is allowed to arise from the afflictions of desire or hatred, obscuration or pride.

                A mind to uplift others, nestled within life's gross vitality, treacherous passion of the ego mind, the soul ~ the pure spirit to flow as the body performs the highest duties to the liberations of emptiness, signlessness, wishlessness, non­activity.

                The journey's paths are many as are human dispositions to give, to truth, to patience and effort, concentration in method and wishes and power for that exalted wisdom of unsurpassed enlightenment.

                Thus the journey begins.

                O'Shauchragh knows this, but doesn't have it. He doesn't get it.

                The Palace of Births is the House of Kings and looms dazzlingly high. Built on a foundation or platform the top of which is something less than a man's height, it is an enormous four-sided building the walls of which are made of a translucent colored glass. Closed double doors are centered in each wall. O'Shauchragh mounts the stairs before the eastern door. He carries everything of value he brought as an offering. A white-robed monk takes it and the King is well pleased: accepts it as indication of the value placed on the teachings to be received ~ a doctrine far more helpful than any material object.
                O'Shauchragh assures the monk he does not intend to practice for superficial purposes such as merely for better health, or for a self-centered reason as liberation for himself. Rather, his motivation is the welfare of others and the recognition of the importance of love and compassion.
                The monk suggests that the mind must be trained continually to not revert to ingrained selfishness. He says to be ready to take birth as his child. That is to say, as the King's own child.
                A being in the intermediate state between the last life and the new life sees its father and mother lying together. It enters the father by the top of his head and through the penis into the mother by her vagina. As an intermediate being O'Shauchragh passes through the father's body in the midst of desire and anger to die and thereupon enter the womb, to be reborn in the sense that conception takes place. A being that dissolves in the mother's womb into the emptiness of existence and the body of flesh in which it is absent.
                Presence of the consciousness of an intermediate state being; presence of semen; presence of egg; connection between father, mother, and intermediate state being. These are the factors necessary for rebirth.
                He reappears in the King's royal form, realizing emptiness and impelled by compassion, drawing light into a seed syllable of the half-moon to melt as the womb's ambrosia and anoint the ideal being of the body. So he must be reborn many times. He bows in supplication requesting refuge, and to take the vows and pledges of the path.
                Implicitly accepting him as the King's own, the monk touches O'Shauchragh's heart, throat, and top of the head. He gives him a mattress and pillow of sweet grass, a protective thread, and three handfuls of water to drink. Then O'Shauchragh sleeps and dreams of love, while the monk drops a stick onto a square board to discover on which quadrant it might come to rest and thus the feat O'Shauchragh is to achieve.
                When he awakes in front of the still closed eastern portal, he asks admission and again to be given refuge. In answer he is given a small crown to wear. It helps him imagine he is a kingly personage. Then he is blindfolded and led into the Palace of Births. He is asked who he is and what he wants. 'It is the King's own son,' he answers. 'I will liberate those who are not; I will release those not released, and relieve those unrelieved; and help all beings to peace.' Intention lies as a white, flat moon disc at his heart, though he knows the true nature of being not to be in this life. Attitudes of selfishness, jealousy, enmity, desire, and so forth, are the stuff of appearance in his body; this process he strives to control by generating compassion in reflecting on the nature of phenomena.
                O'Shauchragh imagines he carries a moon as he is led unseeing three times around the inside of the outer walls, then out through the eastern door. This is repeated at the other doors, and each time he imagines carrying the moon in obeisance and supplication to the King himself. O'Shauchragh swears to the secret of words whispered to him, and the light of the King and of his Cohorts and Companions fills all of space and dissolves within him. This imagining draws an ordinarily fractured consciousness together; this active and creative imagining is the path that draws the light of the idealized beings in compassion and wisdom. He must face being a king ~ and living up to it: in a dynamic expression of knowledge, compassion, and power.
                An exciting intensity engulfs him. The monk calms it by putting flowers on his head and chants a soothe that protects him. O'Shauchragh lifts the blindfold. The monk asks: 'what color do you see?' Ringing a bell that is in his hand, he speaks a saw of truth about the House of Kings, and O'Shauchragh drops a flower on the monk's board and sings.
                These preparations continue many days, until he is ready to ask for the seven initiations. This earnest request must be repeated numerous times. Then the monk perfonns an ablution, cleansing his ears, nose, mouth, and body and makes an offering to him, after which he cleanses the area with incense. First at the east door where the mind dwells all in black; and the north door in the body of white; through the south door in speech that's red; again at the black east door of the mind for conduct and name; and at the west before a door of yellow meaning bliss. At each door an appropriate offering and the request for initiation is made.
                And each time O'Shauchragh is drawn into the mouth of the monk to pass through his body into the womb of the Mother, and melts into a drop that dissolves into emptiness. A seed syllable appears and transforms into a symbol of the King embraced by his Consort. The King himself is drawn into O'Shauchragh's body who becomes the King. A rain of flowers falls on him. He sees in each symbol one of the kings or consorts or cohorts, who each touch him at the crown of the head, shoulders, upper arms, thighs and hips.
                "Through imagination, body, speech and mind are acculturated to a process of purification that centers around generation of a blissful, and thus. powerfully withdrawn, consciousness that is used to realize the nature of phenomena."

                From within the Palace come the Ones Gone Thus, the five Mothers. As if washing their just-born child, so they purify the body: earth, water, fire, wind, and space; and each has a seed syllable becoming symbol that is cohort, consort or king.
                From within the Palace come the Ones Gone Thus, the five Wise Men. As if tying the hair on the head of their own child and placing on it a crown, so they purify forms, feelings, discriminations, compositional factors, and consciousnesses; and each has a seed syllable becoming symbol that is cohort, consort or king.
                From within the Palace come the Ladies, the ten Servants who are nearest the King. Among them is One Gone Thus, another the royal Consort. As if piercing the ears of the child and adorning it with garlands and silk ribbons, so they purify the winds of the inner currents: giving, ethics, patience, effort, concentration, wisdom, method, prayer-wishes, power, and exalted wisdom; and each has a seed syllable becoming symbol that is cohort, consort or king.
                From within the Palace come the King and Queen. As parents encouraging their own child's laughter and talk by giving a little bell and moon, so they purify speech carried by the wind that blows through the channels of the body; and each has a seed syllable becoming symbol.
                From within the Palace come the Human Angels ~ twelve each of female and male. As if teaching the child to enjoy the pleasures of forms, sounds, odors, tastes, and tangible objects, so they purify the sense powers of eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mental senses; and half have a seed syllable becoming symbol.
                From within the Palace come the Wrathful Cohorts ~ twelve each of female and male. They teach the child the proper words for the activities of speaking, taking, going, to defecate, urinate, ejaculate. As if to name the child, so they purify the faculties of the mouth, arms, legs, anus, urinary, and regenerative; and half have a seed syllable becoming symbol.
                From within the Palace come the Cohorts, one who lives upon the brow of the King and one who is fused with the Queen. As like parents reading to their child, so they purify the consciousnesses of two blissful and non-conceptual states; and both have a seed syllable becoming symbol that is cohort, consort or king.
                And as a parent naming a child, the monk calls O'Shauchragh, Calhoon.

                Now that O'Shauchragh has received the internal initiation, a process of meditating on himself as a deity can begin.
                He is told there are three levels of doors within the Palace, corresponding with exalted body, speech, and mind. Though he is still outside the outermost set of doors, he can do something meaningful because he has already attained the human existence. The nature of his physical body is suffering, aging, and death; but the symbols he will see, the secret invocations he shall hear, the rules to be given, can be woven on the loom of his own imagination to give him kindness (without which human society cannot exist) and the ability to gain wisdom to understand that things are not as they appear ~ that everything is in perpetual change.
                He is assured that there is a basis for transformation within himself, for the nature of the human mind is clear light in which desire, hatred, ignorance, do not subsist. To attain a life of high status as a human being comes only from having created good causes; to have achieved this is rare in the cycles of existence. To encounter and turn to a spiritual system is more rare, and those who turn onto the Great Way of Secret Invocation are fewer still; and those who faithfully practice it hardly exist. Yet enlightenment can be achieved in this very lifetime.
                The Secret Invocation teaches that the imagination is the path to enlightenment and the way to purify the obstructions to liberation and knowledge by seeking refuge in the Teacher, Doctrine, and the Spiritual Community, for the sake of all sentient beings.
                O'Shauchragh has become the vessel of the Great Way for the sake of others. Within his coarse body, speech and mind, dwell the perfect body, speech, and mind, but without the path of the secret invocation these cannot manifest.

                Thus blessed, the ordinary and impure transforms into a pure entity.

                O'Shauchragh sits on a soft and comfortable cushion in a clean space where are laid out an image, a book, and a small altar. He is surrounded by a great host of people, the main of whom are his parents who have undergone the sufferings of birth, aging, sickness, and death, as well as the sufferings in the realms of transmigration during the cycles of existence.
                He contemplates how these beings ~ his old mothers ~ are undergoing this inconceivable suffering and that, from beginningless time, they have acted as his mothers and sustained him with their kindness which is love.

                Cal O'Shauchragh wishes for their happiness.
                And, within just his own short lifespan, to set them free.