Alchemical Traditions, 6




Tibetan Alchemy in the Kala-cakra Tantra

Kim Lai


p. 239 channels-&-winds

"Inner alchemy involves the ... system of rtsa rlung, literally 'channels and winds', using yogic/breathing techniques to cause health-producing and lifespan-enhancing effects ... ." {The purpose of breathing-exercises would be to produce mindfulness during dreaming (where the significance of breathing is so tenuous as to shock the practitioner into the recognition of dreaming), which could potentially result in intentional communication with praeternatural/supernatural entities residing in dream-worlds; they might thereupon extend their protections and health-advisories into the waking-world, which could potentially result in health-producing and lifespan-enhancing effects for one's material body.}

{Wind-denizens ("sylph", in European terminology) are attributed in the Kun.d.alini system to Anahata cakra and therein manifested as the black antelope, beast of the night (according to the brahman.a-s), thus indicating, aequivalent the "unseen" god worshipped in Texcoco ("FPO&NWC", p. 33), Chichimec god Yoalli-ehecatl ('night-wind') is understood to be "invisible, impalpable" (L-AM, p. 87). The signification of this divine name must surely be a source for the phonemic aequivalence of S^emitic \LIYL-\ 'night' (goddess Liyliyt) with Sumerian \LIL\ 'wind' (goddess Nin-lil 'Lady Wind'). Backwardsly-curled-headed black (praesumably thus-indicated as energiless, i.e., at absolute zero temperature) "wind-gods" (CBM, p. 29, reproduced in "TIIC") would surely control "whirlwinds" (vortices) praevalent is the initial stage (highest level -- perhaps that of quarks, which according to the Theosophical Society are helically rotatory toroidal vortices) of the divine universe.}

"FPO&NWC" = Zelia Nuttall : "The Fundamental Principles of Old and New World Civilizations". ARCHAEOLOGICAL & ETHNOLOGICAL PAPERS OF THE PEABODY MUSEUM, 2. Cambridge (MA), 1901.

L-AM = Hartley Burr Alexander : Latin-American Mythology. Marshall Jones Company, 1920.

"TIIC" = "Time in Intercultural Context".

pp. 244, 246, 266-7 vajra ('lightning') yoga

p. 267

"by entering into the vajra way, ... are seen : ... [as 8th of the 10 signs] lightning bolts".

{"Levin/lighning" could referr to the electric current

p. 266

"The Vimala[-]prabha commentary ... explains that ... it becomes like a ... jumping frog".

jumping athwart the gap of a "spark plug".

p. 244

"relying on the advanced stages of the Six-branched vajra-yoga {'levin-yoking'} (rdo rje rnal <byor yan lag drug ... requires a cognitive involvement with a 'phenomenal form of emptiness (stong pa nyid kyi gzugs brnyam) and the practice of the 'Three Seals' (phyags pa gsum)."

The spark plug's points are constructed of molybdenum-alloy : therefore there may be covert reference to the paraboloidal mirrors of a certain type of reflector-telescope, which are constructed of molybdenum. These molybdenum mirrors are specifically designed for infrared-sensitivity, and are moreover coated, on their reflecting surface, with gold (because of gold's special aptitude for reflecting infrared light). (Thus it is in the James Webb Telescope.) }

p. 246

"Chapter two is a treatise on the sciences of the vajra {'levin'} body, which forms a basis for the Completion Stage practices ... ."

p. 245

For the element akas`a (storehouse of the Akas`ik Record of past lives), there are the metals "White Lead, Black Lead".

The word \molybdenum\ (neo-Hellenic \molubdainon\) is derived from the Hellenic word \molubdos\ 'lead' and \molubdaios\ 'galena' (lead compound).

p. 269

[quoted from KTChS, p. 154] "It is an engagement of the divine visual faculty, ... uncontrived like a virgin's perception of an image in a prognostic mirror."

Therefore, the "lead" Classically attributed to titan Kronos may truly be the element molybdenum; whereas the "Golden Age" ascribed to his dominion may referr to the metallic gold plating on an infrared-reflecting telescope surface.

p. 271

"'like passing a thread through the eye of a needle'. ... In fact, ... first equalised and then stopped. {The camel attempting, on foot, the Needle's Eye is stopped.}

The blackness ascribed to Kronos may referr to the natural invisibility of infrared light, and the paraboloid's shape is depicted as a foot of Aztec black-bodied god

This ... 'ignites' and fans the can.d.ali-fire".

Tezcatli-poca ('mirror, smoking'), which can ignite punk/tinder.

p. 268

"Next, within the blue drop, ... an extremely miniature Kala[-]cakra and Vis`va[-]mata[r] in union appears" and is observed in minute detail, including (fn. 93) "a black form, like a hair".

Kronos "mated with Philyra" (DCM, s.v. "Philyra"); but they were "surprised ... in the act; ... leaving Philyra to bear her child, half man, half horse" (GM 151.g) : cf. also "horse-hair Grani" (mentioned in the Edda).

KTChS = Vesna Wallace : The Kalacakra Tantra : the Chapter on Sadhana, Together with the Vimalaprabha Commentary. NY : Amer Institute of Buddhist Studies, 2010.

{The Aztec lightning-and-mushroom god is Tlaloc (< *\LARok\), whose name is cognate with that of Hellenic lightning-god Zeus's wife ELARa (\elar\ 'butt of a spear-shaft' -- perhaps originally 'butt of a joke', such as when Hera became in Eu-boia, she "began to laugh" at her own praedicment : DCM, s.v. "Cithaeron", p. 105a) -- Elara who in Eu-boia is hidden "underground" (DCM, s.v. "Hera", p. 193a) to give birth to Tituos (perhaps god of the underground truffle).}


p. 248 how to "deceive death"

"an elaborate symptomology of channel and wind activities ... signify the metaphysiological signs of approaching death many months in advance of physical symptoms. In general, these are described as various changes in the flow of the winds in the channels and provide the ways to correct them in order to, in colloquial Tibetan terms, 'deceive death'. A core practice is the yogic withdrawal of the winds through breathing practices (srog srol), i.e. cycling them through the channels of the body and the cakras, and recombining them in the central channel. ... There are also advanced practices in which six specific channels are imbued with the life sustaining wind (srog rlung) in such a manner as to entirely defeat the death of the body for even longer periods ... ."

p. 250 difference in the Kala-cakra system from the system of Kun.d.alini Yoga

"The Kalacakra cakra system is ... very different to {read "from"} the more well-known Hindu systems. The number of cakras, the number of channels and their processes ..., along with their correspondences and associations,

are so significantly different that it is not not possible to compare this system with the Hindu system ... .

{The term \kala-cakra\ is itself primarily Jaina; in that system it is, however, instead aequivalent to the Pauran.ic time-cycle \maha-yuga\. As a system involving yoga, this Bodish system is most likely to have originated from a translation, from the language of Z`an-z`un, of the corresponding term in the Bon system (originating in rTa-gzigs, i.e., Tajikistan), where it may have been known for quite some centuries or millennia before being transferred to sTod-Bod.}

In addition to this, both need to be freed from Theosophical ... interpretations before parallels can be fruitfully made."

{The Theo-sophical Society's litterature's most usual modification of the traditional of Kun.d.alini Yoga is to assign colors to the waterlily-petals (of the various cakra-s) in the sequence of the colors in the upper rainbow (opposite sequence from that in the lower rainbow) of a double-rainbow pair. This sort of arbitrary modification (which sequential assignation is actually true only within the Sahasra-ara cakra itself) of the traditional cakra-system must be peremptorily rejected (unless actually experienced by one's self, which could hardly occurr except in a dream).}

p. 263 "archetypes" in dreamworld?

"it is most definitely not a model of ... archetypes working in a collective unconscious psyche or dreamworld. {More actually, all deities basically reside in immaterial worlds which can most readily be approached by mortals through their dreamings.}... In fact, it is the direct opposite : it is the ... representation of the ultimade pervasive unity of the human being and the cosmos, in which the sense of being a sepaate or isolated person distinct from the cosmos is dissolved."

{Any activity which is "collective" (i.e., constructed by sustained effort amongst a well-organized group of knowledgeable persons) is, by its very nature, intensively thought-out and planned-out, and therefore is the very opposite of "unconscious". On the other hand, any activity which is "individual" (i.e., feebly constructed by a single person not relying on knowledge and experience of other persons) is naturally desultory, defective and lacking in thoughtfulness, so haphazardly done as to be, to all intents and purposes, merely "unconsciously" attempted. Carl Jung's fanciful ruminations are the very opposite from reality. But he had reason to write thus : he was constantly fearful that if he were to promote the benefits of communal efforts, he would be branded a "communist", be declared "certified insane" by the ploutokratic government, and be confined involuntarily in a madhouse.}

p. 276 aspects of one's divine consort, and of one's divine progeny

The Kala-cakra Tantra "describes the various consorts in terms of 'vibrating' and 'non-vibrating' ... ."

{During an episode of hypnopompic sleep-paralysis, the mortal experiencer's astral body can be extracted out from that mortal's body by dream-world-residing divinities who have followed the mortal into the hypnopompic state : this divinity (who, if of opposite gendre, may well be one's dream-world-residing divine spouse, espoused in the dream) may more easily perform the extraction if the divinity, by voluntarily vibrating that divinity's own body, will transmit the vibration to the mortal's hypnopompically paralyzed body; but some such divinities will perform the extraction readily even without resorting to vibration.}

"the [Kala-cakra] text continues to discuss the twelve types of children that are born of the consorts of various ages, including the 'child born of the child' ... ."

{The expression "child of the child" is also to be found in certain antient Gnostic texts; it is a situation which which may be commonplace enough in certain strange dreamings.}

p. 280 Can.d.ali

"The knowledge seal is ... a mental consort, who is also referred to ... as Can.d.ali (gtum mo) or the internal fire itself."

{\Can.d.a\ 'fierce'\ + \ali\ 'scorpion', whose "fire" is that of the burning sensation of a scorpion's sting. In Aztec iconography the "Fire-God" (Xiuh-tecuhtli) is depicted as a scorpion.}

pp. 282-4 Vis`va-matr.

p. 282

"In the centre of the emanation cakra, Vis`vamata ..., ... in the form of the 'fire of time' ({Kalagni = \kala 'time' + agni 'fire'}, dus me) destroys the winds of time."

{Philura is a spirit governing the lime-tree. Because the lime-tree's fruit is commonly eaten aboard ship by mariners who in the course their voyages may witness aboriginal cultures in all which stages of development, it can therefore be (figuratively) said to destroy or "burn" (eliminate) the limitation usually imposed on landlubbers by their failing to witness such immense cultural (as if temporal) variations amongst extant humanity.}

p. 283, fn. 137

"Vis`vamata is the actual cessation of the twelve branches of dependent arising {origination}, because that

p. 284, fn. 137

cycle of zodiacal {12 Confucianist/Taoist calendar-animals as day-signs and/or as year-signs} taintedness ceases when the winds (microcosmic planets) are brought back in the central channel. See KHEDRUP GYATSO, Ornament of Stainless Light, 364.}

pp. 285-6 blo-rig

p. 285

"The Kalacakra astronomiae ... is as intimate a companion to alchemy as Wisdom is to Method. Consequently, ... aspects of the alchemy, the

p. 286

'science of Method', may appear ... due to ... the astronomiae, the 'science of Wisdom'."

[p. 286, fn. 140 "LATI RIMBOCHAY, Mind in Tibetan Buddhism (trans. E. Nappe, London : Rider, 1980) is a ... introduction to the blo rig system of valid cognition being referred to."]

p. 287 "Golden Age" {Kr.ta Yuga}

"Considered by Tibetans as the actual practice of ...

the lineage of the Kalki Kings of Shambhalla {S`ambhala or even Sambhala} ...,

{Litterature derived from Bon sources, with names craftily altered so as to conceal its provenience.}

the Kalacakra is undestood in within some lineages

{Probably plagiarized wholesle from the Ajivika scriptures.}

as the very doctrine of the Golden Age ... ."

{These metallic world-ages are lifted straight out of Dharma-t.hakkura litterature (described in Obscure Religious Cults).}

{The Kala-cakra is an artificial and discordant conglomeration amalgamated from conflicting sources, such sources differing because their experiential bases relate to distinct and different existential planes-and-subplanes; with no attempt at understanding these essential distinctions.}


Aaron Cheak (ed.) : Alchemical Traditions from Antiquity to the Avant-Garde. Numen Bks, Melbourne (Victoria), 2013.