The Cosmic Body

Vesna A. Wallace

in The Inner Kalacakratantra

Published in print September 2001 | ISBN: 9780195122114
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834808 | DOI:
The Cosmic Body

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The Kālacakratantra's cosmology is structured on several theoretical models. In its interpretation of the conventional nature of the cosmos, the Kālacakratantra combines to some degree the Vaibhāṣika atomic theory, the Sāṃkhya model of the twenty‐five principles of the puruṣa, and prakṛti, and Jaina and Purāṇic cosmographies, with its own measurements of the cosmos (loka‐dhātu) and its own theories of the nature of the cosmos and its relation to the individual. The Kālacakra tradition intentionally uses this form of syncretism in order to provide a useful theoretical model of the Buddhist tantric view of the cosmos that will accord with its interpretation of the individual and with its model of practice. The different sections of the chapter look at different aspects of the cosmos in relation to the individual; these include the origination and dissolution of the cosmos, the configuration and measurements of the cosmos, the three realms of cyclic existence, the wheel of time, and time in the cosmos.

Keywords: Buddhist tantric cosmology; cosmology; cosmos; cosmos and the individual; Jaina cosmography; Kālacakra tradition; Kālacakratantra; prakṛti; Purāṇic cosmography; puruṣa; syncretism; Vaibhāṣika atomic theory

Chapter.  24103 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Buddhism

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