Kalachakra as the Teaching of Tibetan-Buddhist Tradition (Historiographical Essay)
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Kalachakra, tantra, Vajrayana, Buddhism, ་Buddhist science, Tibet, Tibetology, historiography

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Kalantarova, O. (2019). Kalachakra as the Teaching of Tibetan-Buddhist Tradition (Historiographical Essay). Multiversum. Philosophical Almanac, (1-2), 96-124. https://doi.org/10.35423/2078-8142.2019.1-2.05


Kalachakra-tantra of the Tibetan-Buddhist tradition, which is the basis of not only certain religious practices, but also of Buddhist natural sciences (astronomical astrology and alchemical medicine), is the doctrine of Time. The article is devoted to the sequential review of the main researches of the Kalachakra doctrine that were undertaken by representatives of the tradition (since the X century, when Kalachakra appeared in the Buddhist space of India as a tantric doctrine), and by Western scholars (since the XVII century, when the Information about the cult of Kalachakra and about Buddhist sciences began fragmentarily to leak into the intellectual space of Europe). These researches could be divided into two directions: apologetic one and critical one, accordingly. In the apologetic studies, it was reflected the certain periods of the evolution of the Kalachakra-tantra practice and its affiliation to the group of the highest tantras of Vajrayana. To define the cultural and philosophical scale of the doctrine, in critical studies it were distinguished several main directions of the study of Kalachakra teaching: cosmological, astronomical-astrological, alchemical-medical, eschatological, religious-ritual and tibetological spheres. This approach to research of the Kalachakra-tantra historiography gives us the opportunity to see how the both research directions have met reaching certain limits to open the new level of study of the Kalachakra that could refresh the dialogue between Buddhism and science, where Kalachakra-tantra, which hesitates from physics to metaphysics, would play the leading role. In general, the article reviews basic studies of the Tibetan Kalachakra-Tantra teachings and attempts by Western scholars to understand the features of Buddhist natural sciences almost to this day. It has been found out how a meaningful foundation was gradually being created for further meaningful formation of the Kalachakra-Tantra terminological base in the West. This enabled the author of the article to state the approximation of the apologetic and critical directions of the study of teaching to a certain boundary that exists between scientific and religious thinking.

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