Buddha Maitreya and his wife Mandarava Tara in front of the Church of Shambhala Vajradhara Maitreya Sangha Monastery
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All beings arise in time,
Time continually consumes them all,
Time is the Lord who possesses the vajra,
Whose nature is that of day and night.

The initial Kalachakra exponent in our world era is said to be the Buddha himself. The place of the original teaching was Dhanyakataka Stupa, South India and the recipients were 7 accomplished yogins (not ordinary people). The first was the "spiritual chieftain of Shambhala" and it was he that requested the teachings from Buddha to bring back to Shambhala. It was those 7 yoginis that formed the lineage of the Kalachakra. The most important Jonang Lama historically was Taranatha. Taranatha was very interested in the Kalachakra and studied and wrote extensively on it. This monastery is one of the few monasteries left from that lineage. Taranatha's other incarnations were Ananda the Buddha's main disciple and Jamgon Kontrul Rinpoche the 16th Karmapa's main disciple. Tara- natha means, one who adores Tara.

Background

This monastery was founded by Dung Ragna Shri Rinpoche in 1425, and was named Zamthang Samdup Norbu Ling. The Jonang monastery attracted a large monastic population and was very famous until its destruction during the cultural revolution, following this period it was maintained as a shadow of its former self by a handful of Tulkus and Monks. Today, the monastery has been rebuilt and has a population of about 1500 Monks including 50 Tulkus and 100 Kalachakra meditation Monks. The numerous surrounding monasteries of the region are all a branch of Sandup Norbu Ling the Great Zamthang Monastery.

Kalachakra is a term used in tantric Buddhism that means time-wheel or time-cycles. The Kalachakra tradition, which is described in the Kalacakra Tantra, revolves around the concept of time and cycles: from the cycles of the planets, to the cycles of our breath and the practice of controlling the most subtle energies within one's body on the path to enlightenment. The Kalachakra deity represents a Buddha and thus omniscience. Everything is under the influence of time, he is time and therefore knows all. Similarly, the wheel is beginningless and endless.

This pilgrimage was initiated by Tulku Sungnyan of the Zamthang Monastery who invited H. H. Jetsun Gyalwa Jampa Gonpo, Buddha Maitreya for His Enthronement (Trithon) and Long Life Prayers at the The Great Zamthang Monastery in 2004. Tulku Ngawang Tsongnyong was born in 1970 in Amdo, Zamthang Tibet. He traveled to India in 1995 from Dzamthang Monastery and was living and studying at the Kalachakra Tibetan Buddhist University Takten Phuntsok Choeling in Simla India, studying the Kalachakra Six Yoga Practices under Abbot Khenpo Chokyi Ngawang Rinpoche. Today Tulku Sungnyan runs the Buddha Maitreya Meditation Center in Chengdu, China - a satellite dharma center for the Great Dzamthang Monastery.