The Kālachakra Mandala

image description
Look inside

“A scholar of Tibetan Buddhism and computer journalist with expertise in information technologies, the late Edward Henning gifted us his last labor of love, a book that brings the specialized knowledge of the Kālachakra’s spiritual mysteries to life. With great care, this book describes the symbolism, architectural design, and the multi-dimensional experience of the mandala. Such exquisite detail will be appreciated by scholars for its historical importance, artists for its representation of the mandala in both 2D drawings and 3D constructs, and perhaps most essentially, by Kālachakra practitioners for its instruction on how the vivid resplendence of the mandala is performatively visualized in their mind’s eye.”—Michael R. Sheehy, director of scholarship at the Contemplative Sciences Center, research assistant professor in Tibetan Buddhist studies in the Department of Religious Studies, and affiliated faculty at the Tibet Center at the University of Virginia

“Henning’s detailed presentation and illustrations of the structure and symbolism of the kālacakramaṇdala as expounded by the Jonang Kālacakra master Banda Gelek is the first such presentation. It brings to light the Jonang tradition’s unique interpretation of the kālacakramaṇdala that combines its innovative elements with those presented in the original Indian sources. It indirectly points to the malleability of the application of the kālacakramaṇdala to different contemplative traditions. This work will be of interest not only to scholars and practitioners of the Kālacakratantra but also to art historians interested in the comparative study of the kālacakramaṇdala paintings.”—Vesna Wallace, professor of South and Central Asian religions at the University of California at Santa Barbara

“Perhaps no other tantra has more deeply influenced Tibetan Buddhism and its reception in the West than Kālacakra, whose maṇḍala has been so often produced during numerous empowerments, museum exhibitions, and activities devoted to protecting and strengthening global peace. And no modern scholar mastered the Kālacakra material with its complex technical details more thoroughly than Edward Henning, who shared his broad and profound knowledge in the present publication. It profited not only from extensive textual studies across different Tibetan traditions but also from his long years as a translator for Kagyu and Jonang masters. Kālachakra Mandala: The Jonang Tradition covers a wide range of topics, from the symbolism of the mandala and its role in empowerment to more technical issues such as measurements and terms unique to this tantric system. It is a must-read for everybody interested in tantric Buddhism.”—Klaus-Dieter Mathes, head of the Department of South Asian, Tibetan, and Buddhist Studies at the University of Vienna


The Jonang Tradition

Edward Henning

A detailed, beautifully illustrated presentation of the construction and symbolism of the famed Kālachakra mandala, the crown jewel of the Indo-Tibetan tantric traditions.

This volume contains an extensive analysis of the construction and symbolism of the mandala of the Kālachakra tantric system, the most intricate and explicit of the Indian Buddhist unexcelled yoga tantras, the most advanced teachings within the Indo-Tibetan tradition. Indo-Tibetan tantric traditions, particularly the unexcelled category, depend on imagery and visualization for the processes of purifying cyclic existence, and Kālachakra is the most detailed. The late scholar-practitioner Edward Henning, one of the earliest Western specialists on this material, offers this labor of love as a testament to the genius of the Tibetan tradition in preserving and transmitting these teachings over a thousand years. Well known internationally now due to the Dalai Lama’s many public initiations, the Kālachakra mandala serves as a primary focal point for meditators both new and seasoned. Henning draws primarily from the Jonang tradition of Kālachakra practice, particularly the modern master Banda Gelek, to elucidate and clarify inconsistencies across traditions and literature, including the authoritative Indian commentary Stainless Light (Vimalaprabhā), regarding the construction and visualization of the three-tiered mandala with its hundreds of deities. In addition to providing detailed information on the images to be visualized, Henning provides in the final chapter a clear and extensive explanation of the symbolism of the habitat and inhabitants that are to be animated during the meditation session. An excellent companion to the translations of the Kālachakra Tantra and Stainless Light chapters co-published by the American Institute of Buddhist Studies and Wisdom Publications, this beautifully illustrated volume is a must-have for scholars and practitioners alike.

book information
  • Hardcover
  • 272 pages, 9 x 12 inches
  • $108
  • ISBN 9781949163261
  • ebook
  • 272 pages
  • $73.99
  • ISBN 9781949163339
about the author
The Kālachakra Mandala

Edward Henning was a mathematician with a long career in computer journalism and programming. An experienced translator, he specialized in Kālacakra literature for over three decades.

Other books by Edward Henning:
Kālacakra and the Tibetan Calendar

There are no products in your cart.