Kalachakra Tantra

The Jonang emphasize the view of the Buddha’s 3rd turning sutra discourses as definitive, and the meditation practice of the Kalachakra Tantra. Based upon a zhentong view, the Jonang consider one’s enlightened essence or “buddha-nature” as the foundation upon which all spiritual transformation occurs.

In general, Buddhist tantric practice has two stages of actualizing oneself as a sublime form or deity. These two stages of tantric meditation are: 1) “generation stage”; 2) “completion stage.”

The entire Kalachakra Tantra including its generation and completion stage practices were sustained in India before being transmitted into Tibet. From the 11th century onwards, there are said to be 17 distinct Tibetan lineages of the Kalachakra Tantra. Among these transmissions of the Kalachakra that spread throughout Tibet, two main lineages have survived: the Rwa lineage and the Dro lineage.

Though there are minor branches to these two main transmission lineages, the Dro lineage is upheld primarily by the Jonang tradition while the other traditions of Tibetan Buddhism have generally upheld the Rwa lineage. As the Rwa lineage continues to transmit the empowerments and sustain the generation stage practices of the Kalachakra, the completion stage practices known as the 6-fold vajrayoga (“six yogas,” sbyor drug) of the Kalachakra have only been preserved within the Dro lineage of the Jonang tradition.