Andhra Pradesh gears up for Kalachakra (Wheel of Time) ceremony

New Kerala, Dec 16, 2005

Amravati, Andhra Pradesh (India) -- Buddhists residing in the Andhra Pradesh town of Amravati have begun preparations for the ten-day-long Kalachakra (Wheel of Time) ceremony, which will be attended by the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, in January next year.

Thousands of Buddhist students from across India are presently camping in Amaravati (which means ?Deathless Realm? in in the Buddhist scriptural language) for the ceremony that commences from January 3, 2006.

Around 1,00,000 monks, spiritual leaders and tourists from across the world are likely to visit the state during the ceremony for which around 450 tents are being put up.

Jamyang Nyma, a worker, said the dias is being made at a cost of Rs. 800,000.

?About 150 people from our institute are engaged in making this main tent which is the podium for which we have been working for the past four months,? said Nyma.

The Kalchakra initiation is conferred by the Dalai Lama to promote peace and tolerance. The initiation is considered a blessing for all participants. The first four days of the Kalchakra ceremony are devoted to preliminary teachings. The initiation ceremony starts on the fifth day.

The Kalchakra ceremony is a profound system of teachings and practice of the Buddhist faith.

The ritual was first performed by Lord Buddha over 2,500 years ago in India at the request of King Shambhala, who ruled a kingdom located beyond the Himalayas.

The ceremony has three aspects, the Outer Kalchakra pertaining to the external environment, the Inner Kalchakra pertaining to sentient beings living in the universe and the cycles of time, life and death.

And the Alternative Kalchakra, which is the third stage, consists of the practice of purification undertaken by an individual. Its importance also lies in the fact that the faithful believe that the initiation helps in promoting world peace, harmony and brotherhood.