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Document Details :
Title: On the Origin of the Kālacakra Tantra and the Paramādibuddha
Author(s): NEWMAN, John
Journal: Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies
Volume: 44 Date: 2021
The foundational texts of the Kālacakra tantra provide an origin story in which this system of mysticism was taught by the Buddha Śākyamuni at Śrī Dhānyakaṭaka. The original text of the tantra, the Paramādibuddha (the Kālacakra mūlatantra) is said to have been redacted by Dharmarāja Sucandra – emperor of Sambhala and an emanation of the tenth stage bodhisattva Vajrapāṇi – who wrote the tantra down in a book and carried it to Sambhala. Hundreds of years later, the tradition maintains, the Kālacakra tantra was brought from Sambhala and introduced in India. This essay argues that it is unlikely that the Paramādibuddha existed as a complete written text. Instead, the extant Indic excerpts and quotations of the Paramādibuddha are probably ad hoc creations produced within the context of the original Indian Kālacakra cult’s extraordinary literary activities. In support of this theory we study a purported extract from the Paramādibuddha quoted in *Kālacakrapāda’s *Sekoddeśaṭīkā. This 'quotation' is in fact a modification of the second half of the sixteenth chapter of the Samādhirājasūtra. We also present evidence in support of the hypothesis that the founders of the Kālacakra tradition include the early 11th century CE Kālacakra masters Piṇḍo of Java and Nāropāda.