Tibetan astronomy

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The Tantra of Kalachakra is the basis of Tibetan astronomy. It explains some phenomena in a similar manner as modern astronomy science. Hence, Sun eclipse is described as the Moon passing between the Sun and the Earth. [1]

The Kālachakra is a term used in Vajrayana Buddhism that means "wheel(s) of time".

In 1318, the 3rd Karmapa received vision of Kalachakra which he used to introduce a revised system of astronomy and astrology named the "Tsurphu Tradition of Astrology" (Tibetan: Tsur-tsi) which is still used in the Karma Kagyu school for the calculation of the Tibetan calendar. [2] [3]

Karma Kagyu one of the main schools of tibetan buddhism

Karma Kagyu, or Kamtsang Kagyu, is a widely practiced and probably the second-largest lineage within the Kagyu school, one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. The lineage has long-standing monasteries in Tibet, China, Russia, Mongolia, India, Nepal and Bhutan, with current centres in over 60 countries. The spiritual head of the Karma Kagyu is the Gyalwa Karmapa; the 2nd through 10th Karmapas were principal spiritual advisors to successive emperors of China. The Karma Kagyu are sometimes called the "Black Hat" lamas, in reference to the Black Crown worn by the Karmapa.

The Tibetan calendar is a lunisolar calendar, that is, the Tibetan year is composed of either 12 or 13 lunar months, each beginning and ending with a new moon. A thirteenth month is added every two or three years, so that an average Tibetan year is equal to the solar year.

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Palpung Monastery building in Dêgê County, China

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The Trungram Gyaltrul is a lineage of tulkus of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism.

References

  1. An Introduction To Tibetan Astro. Science Archived February 3, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  2. The Third Gyalwa Karmapa, Rangjung Dorje, site of Karma Lekshey Ling Institute [ dead link ]
  3. Staff. "Kagyu Lineage: The Third Karmapa Rangjung Dorje (1284 - 1339)". Kagyu Office of His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa. Retrieved 2010-02-04.

Further reading

Alexander Berzin (scholar) American scholar

Alexander Berzin is a scholar, translator, and teacher of Tibetan Buddhism.