Mala, Buddhist rosary. 108 cinnabar beads, obsidian celeste eye, 18k gold plated silver, partitioned, Kalachakra tantra reliquary.
Kalachakra is a complex meditation practice that belongs to the highest class of tantra, anuttara yoga. The Kalachakra literature, in addition to providing a profound method to overcome the negative effects of compulsive karma and attain enlightenment for the benefit of all, includes an encyclopedia of ancient Indian sciences of universal utility, regardless of our beliefs.
Kalachakra means "cycles of time", time being a measure of change both on the external plane of the world and the universe and on the internal plane of the body. As such, it can be measured in many ways. Externally there are the cycles of the orbits of the planets, the months and seasons of the year, the phases of the moon, the hours of the day and so on, not to mention the historical cycles and periods of wars and peace. Internally there are the cycles of the periods of life (early childhood, childhood, adulthood, and old age), menstrual cycles, sleep cycles and circadian rhythms, the number of breaths per day and so on. These external and internal cycles are in close parallel. Just as stars, galaxies, and universes go through cycles of formation, endurance, dissipation, and extinction, human beings undergo the cycles of birth, life, old age, and death, as well as a bardo, or intermediate period. In addition, both internal and external cycles are repeated without beginning through the perpetual rebirth of universes and lives.
Our experience of these external and internal cycles of time is shaped by our karma. Karma is the mental factor that compulsively drives us to do, say, or think something, and is based on unawareness and confusion about the effects of our conduct and how we, others, and all things exist. According to some explanations, karma also includes the compulsive energy with which we act and speak, as well as the compulsive form of our actions and the compulsive sound of our speech. From our karmic behaviors, it results in us experiencing recurrent and uncontrollable rebirths, subject to the ravages of external and internal cycles of time. It also results in us experiencing these cycles with the sufferings of new cycles of all kinds of evils, and with a type of happiness that is never sustainable or satisfying. The Kalachakra adds to this description the cycles of the winds of karma, which are responsible for the appearances (mental holograms) generated by our mental activity during our cycles of wakefulness, dreaming, deep sleep, and during the occasional experience of the paroxysm of orgasmic ecstasy.
There is a third cycle of time, known as the "Alternative Kalachakra", which includes a cycle of tantric initiation (transmission), two stages of practice and the attainment of Buddhahood. This cycle is not only an alternative to external and internal kalachakras, but also an antidote to their harmful influence. After all, if our energy, clarity of mind, and moods are influenced by meteorology, the amount of sun per day, hormonal changes, age degeneration, etc., this not only hinders our ability to achieve our own goals, it also prevents us from being effective in helping others.
The kalachakra is unique in many ways. Indeed, in its presentation of the external cycles of time, the kalachakra literature offers complex mathematical formulas for calculating the positions of the sun, moon and planets, the duration of summer solstice days, the time of eclipses, the lunar calendar and astrological horoscopes. It even includes engineering instructions for the construction of mechanical machines useful in times of war and peace. The discussion of internal cycles offers detailed descriptions of the body's subtle energy system with its chakras, channels and drops, added to many aspects integrated into the Tibetan medical tradition, as well as an analysis of Sanskrit phonetics.
The initiation of kalachakra and the two stages of practice are also unique, with many characteristic features that differ from other tantras of anuttara yoga. Initiation, respecting the parallelism between the internal and external kalachakras, is conferred according to stages that correspond to the stages of life and is modeled on them. The palace of the mandala and the body of the main Buddha figure have the same proportions as the model of the universe and the human body. Because of the complexity of the external and internal worlds and the need for full purification of both, the mandala contains more figures than almost any other tantra system. The various sets of figures among the 722 in and around the palace correspond to sets like the number of days and months in a lunar year, as well as the senses, elements, and factors of the aggregates of the body and mind. In addition, the final stages of the practice with the subtle energy system open up a unique mode of access to the light-clear mind (the most subtle level of mental activity) and a unique type of subtle body (an empty form) that serves as a prototype for the bodies of buddha's forms.
Cinnabar (family of sulphides of formula Hgs), from the Greek Kinnaburi, cinnabar was already known since the Neolithic for its use as a pigment in wall frescoes and religious ceremonies.
The Greek philosopher Theoprastus (-371/ -288) mentions cinnabar mines in Spain, e, Colchis and a meadow of Ephesus (the book of stones) where cinnabar is extracted from a sandy mineral.
The oldest archeological testimonies are found in Turkey (- 8000), Spain (- 5300), then in China (Yangshao culture - 4000 and early Bronze Age in the Erlitou culture)
Its ancient use has also been attested in China, the Shang dynasty (-1570 / -1045) used it during divination (scapulomancy) to make appear and interpret cracks on turtle shells.
The Chinese used cinnabar 3500 years ago as a pigment for pottery or as ink. They would have been the first to have made vermilion, at the beginning of our era. Used in Chinese medicine either to clarify the heart and calm the mind, or locally to eliminate toxicity.
Chinese Taoists used it as a drug of immortality, hence mercury poisonings. The most famous is that of Emperor Qin Shihuang in - 210.
In the Egypt of the Ptolemies, the practice of cremation appears. On some fragments of burnt bones there is a red color, the dye is intentionally deposited cinnabar.
In the first century, Dioscorides, devotes a notice of his pharmacopoeia "materia medica" to cinnabar from Libya.
In antiquity, cinnabar was used as a pigment that was generally reserved for the elite. Rome made it a state monopoly and set the selling price. Pliny mentions it under the name of minium.
Vitruvius in the 1st century BCE describes the use in painting.
In the third century AD, Zosimus of Panapolis, a Greek scholar and alchemist, born in Egypt mentions that cinnabar is composed of sulfur and mercury.
In 721, the Iranian and alchemist Geber explains that mercury and sulfur can combine with heat, cinnabar.
In the Middle Ages, in the East, the most important documents were signed with ink based on cinnabar (reserved, in Byzantium to the emperor)
Some illuminations are made with ink based on cinnabar and sanguine.
In 1527: Paracelsus prescribes mercury as a treatment for syphilis
In 1797: Constantin Kirchnoff discovered a process for the production of cinnabar by wet means.
Many counterfeit resins circulate on the market.
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