The Golden Age Tradition of Kalachakra
The Kalachakra Tantra came to Tibet through a variety of lineages. Today however, the Jonang Tradition is the only tradition to specialise in the Kalachakra teachings, upholding both the textual commentaries and the profound pith instructions for the Kalachakra Completion Stage.
The Tantric Lineage of Kalachakra Vajra Yoga
It is has been said that the Buddha first taught these secret tantric teachings in Drepung in South India (Amaravati). The main recipient was King Suchandra of Shambhala, who put all the teachings he had received into writing, as well as composing related commentaries. The lineage was then upheld by seven Dharma Kings and eleven Kalki Kings before reaching the land of India.
Prior to the 10th century, the Kalachakra teachings were not practised in India. The great Indian Mahasiddha Manjuvajra however, is said to have attained miraculous powers and travelled to Shambhala. Upon his return, he transmitted the lineage to his disciple Shribhadra.
Shribhadra’s student, the great Pandita Dawa Gonpo, spent most of his life in Tibet working with Dro Lotsawa to translate the entire Kalachakra teachings. The lineage was then preserved through many Tibetan masters such as Lama Lhaje Gompa, Lama Droton Namsek and the great Yumo Mikyo Dorje, who shared the teachings widely.
In the 13th century, Kunpang Thukje Tsondru received over 17 different Kalachakra lineages from numerous masters and spent many years in retreat practising the Six Vajra Yogas in a place known as Jomonang. This would later become the site of the main Jonang monastery, also known as the Second Shambhala. Thukje Tsondru went on to combine these lineages into a single extraordinary practice lineage which remains the core of the Jonang curriculum to this day.