Kalachakra is a black skinned, four-faced god with twelve arms and twenty-four hands. He is the personification of time, and his name carries that meaning. The Sanskrit word “kala” means time and “chakra” means cycle. The name makes reference to the cyclical nature of time in Buddhist and Hindu cosmologies. In these traditions, time is nonlinear and without end, having an almost three-dimensional quality.
The floors of the palace depicted in the Kalachakra Mandala, from the ground up, represent:
- Enlightened body
- Enlightened speech
- Enlightened mind
- Enlightened wisdom
- Enlightened great bliss
Arrayed around the palace are four elemental rings and two outer rings. From the inside out they are: