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Kalacakra in Yabyum with Vishwamati


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Kalacakra (pronounced "kalachakra") (tib. Dukor)  is one of the most important deities that make up the Yidam, a collection of gods whose purpose is to protect practitioners or specific purposes.  Kalacakra is the most complex of these tantric deities, and often times called the wheel of time.   He, and his mandala that is often seen depicted represents among other ideals, the complete history of the world.  Both he and his consort Vishwamati are worshipped by Tibetan and Newari Buddhists alike, and as a wrathful deity, is looked up to for protection and inspiration.

An extremely complicated wrathful tantric deity, Kalacakra is most often times depicted in yabyum with his consort Vishwamati.   Kalacakra, blue in color, has twenty-four arms, four faces, twelve eyes, and two legs.  Embracing Vishwamati, he dances in pratayalidha asana position, leaning to his left with his right leg straight and his left bent.  His waist is wrapped in a tiger skin, while the rest of his body is decorated with many ornaments such as vadjras (dorjes), earrings, necklaces, etc.  In each of his twenty-four hands he holds a symbolic tantric item such as: a vadjra (dorje), a sword, a trishlua (trident), a kartari (knife), fire, an arrow, an ankusha (gourd), a discus, an axe, a bell, a skull cup, a bow, a mirror, severed heads, etc.  As he dances in embrace with vishwamati, he stands upon two Hindu deities, Ananga and Rudra who lie on their backs.

Vishwamati, golden in color, has eight arms, four faces, and two legs.  In her principle hands she holds a vadjra (dorje) and a bell.   They dance together on four discs that symbolize the astrological planets: Sun, Moon, Rahu, and Kalagni.  Together in yabyum, Kalacakra and Vishwamati symbolize the unity that starts time and eventually sees to the eventual end of suffering for all sentient beings.


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