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.
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.
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.
The Karmapa is the head of the Karma Kagyu, the largest sub-school of the Kagyu, itself one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism.
The Shamarpa, also known as Shamar Rinpoche, or more formally Künzig Shamar Rinpoche, is a lineage holder of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism and is regarded to be the mind manifestation of Amitābha. He is traditionally associated with Yangpachen Monastery near Lhasa.
Ole Nydahl, also known as Lama Ole, is a lama in the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. Since the early 1970s, Nydahl has toured the world giving lectures and meditation courses. With his wife, Hannah Nydahl (1946-2007), he founded Diamond Way Buddhism, a worldwide Karma Kagyu Buddhist organization of lay practitioners.
Rumtek Monastery, also called the Dharmachakra Centre, is a gompa located in the Indian state of Sikkim near the capital Gangtok. It is a focal point for the sectarian tensions within the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism that characterize the Karmapa controversy.
The recognition of the Seventeenth Karmapa, the head of the Karma Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism, has been the subject of controversy. Since the death of the sixteenth Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, in 1981, two candidates have been put forward: Ogyen Trinley Dorje and Trinley Thaye Dorje. Both have already been enthroned as 17th Karmapa, and both independently have been performing ceremonial duties in the role of a Karmapa. Geoffrey Samuel, an academic expert in the field testified in court, while the recognition of Ogyen Trinley "appears to have been accepted by a majority of Karma Kagyu monasteries and lamas, there remains a substantial minority of monasteries and lamas who have not accepted Ogyen Trinley as Karmapa. In particular, these include the Shamar Rinpoche, who historically has been the person most directly involved in the process of recognition." It is difficult to produce an objective description of the events because the most important developments are known only from conflicting accounts by those involved.
Thrangu Rinpoche was born in 1933 in Kham, Tibet. He is deemed to be a prominent tulku in the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism, the ninth reincarnation in his particular line. His full name and title is the Very Venerable Ninth Khenchen Thrangu Tulku, Karma Lodrö Lungrik Maway Senge. "Khenchen" denotes great scholarly accomplishment, and the term "Rinpoche" is an honorific title commonly afforded to Tibetan lamas.
Ogyen Trinley Dorje, also written Urgyen Trinley Dorje (Wylie: U-rgyan 'Phrin-las Rdo-rje ; is a claimant to the title of 17th Karmapa Lama.
The sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje was spiritual leader of the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. He was born in Denkhok in the Dergé district of Kham, near the Dri Chu or Yangtze River.
The 7th Dzogchen Ponlop is an abbot of Dzogchen Monastery, founder and spiritual director of Nalandabodhi, founder of Nītārtha Institute for Higher Buddhist Studies, a leading Tibetan Buddhist scholar, and a meditation master. He is one of the highest tülkus in the Nyingma lineage and an accomplished Karma Kagyu lineage holder.
Diamond Way Buddhism is a lay organization within the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. The first Diamond Way Buddhist centre was founded in 1972 by Hannah and Ole Nydahl. It is led by Ole Nydahl under the spiritual guidance of Trinley Thaye Dorje, one of two claimants to the title of the 17th Karmapa. There are approximately 650 Diamond Way Buddhist centres worldwide.
Mipham Chokyi Lodro, also known as Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche, was the 14th Shamarpa of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. The Shamarpa is the second most important teacher of the Karma Kagyu school after the Karmapa. The Karmapas are sometimes referred to as the Black Hat Lamas, referring to their Black Crown.
Rangjung Dorje (1284–1339) was the third Karmapa and an important figure in the history of Tibetan Buddhism, who helped to spread Buddha-nature teachings in Tibetan Buddhism.
Tsurphu Monastery (Tibetan: མཚུར་ཕུ་དགོན་པ or Tölung Tsurphu is a gompa which serves as the traditional seat of the Karmapa, the head of the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. It is located in Gurum in Doilungdêqên District, Tibet Autonomous Region, China, 70 kilometres from Lhasa.
The Black Crown is an important symbol of the Karmapa, the Lama who heads the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. The crown signifies his power to benefit all sentient beings. Similar crowns in red are worn by the Shamarpa and the Tai Situpa, while Goshir Gyaltsab wears an orange crown. These crowns were bestowed by the Karmapa.
Nenang Pawo is one of the highest lamas of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. The Pawos form a lineage of tulkus, of which the first was born in 1440. They were traditionally the heads of Nenang Monastery in Ü-Tsang.
Palpung Monastery is the name of the congregation of monasteries and centers of the Tai Situpa lineage of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism as well as the name of the Tai Situ's monastic seat in Derge, Kham. Palpung means "glorious union of study and practice". It originated in the 12th century and wielded considerable religious and political influence over the centuries.
Chödrak Gyatso (1454–1506), also Chödrag Gyamtso, was the seventh Karmapa, head of the Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism.
Dakpo Tashi Namgyal was a lineage holder of the Dagpo Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. He was also trained in the Sakya lineage, and "was renowned as both a scholar and yogi."
The Trungram Gyaltrul is a lineage of tulkus of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism.
Alexander Berzin is a scholar, translator, and teacher of Tibetan Buddhism.
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