Image 3: Kālacakra

Shambhala and the Prague Thangka: The Myth’s Visual Representation

Image 3: Kālacakra

The deity of the Wheel of Time (Tib. dus ‘khor), Kālacakra in Sanskrit, is considered the main Shambhala deity by Tibetan Buddhists. The practical aspect of rituals in the Kālacakra temples consisted of prayers for rebirth in the kingdom of Shambhala, the advent of the teacher of Buddhist doctrine, and liberation in the fight against enemies of Buddhism, which will occur during the reign of the twenty-fifth king Rigden Dragpo (Tib. Rigs ldan grags po), that is, Raudracakrin. A special type of sacred building—a temple for the Wheel of Time (Tib. dus ‘khor grwa tshang)—was erected in Tibetan monasteries. The rituals taking place within these structures concentrated primarily on astrology and the Shambhala myth. Kālacakra is depicted here embracing his tantric partner Shakti.