Regarding the difference between the ordinary Mahayana, and the
Vajrayana path, Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso teaching on Chandrakirti's
"Entrance to the Middle Way" (Shenpen Osel #13) explained
"In order to progress along the entire mahayana path from
the beginning through all of the ten grounds to the level of enlightenment, it
is explained variously that it takes either 3 times 10 to the 59th [power]
eons, 7 times 10 to the 59th eons, or 37 times 10 to the 59th eons. So
it takes quite along time.
Questioner: How long is an eon?
Rinpoche: An eon is the period of time it takes for a universe to come
into being and then disintegrate again. But the point is that at the same time
one is progressing on this path, one has great loving kindness and compassion
for others and is doing wonderful things to benefit others.
It is explained that it takes a very long time to progress along the mahayana
path but the fact is time does not really exist; it is not real. There
is no such thing as time. In the explanation of the sixteen emptinesses, this
is called the emptiness of that which is imperceivable -- the emptiness of the
three times. It was to assuage people’s discouragement at thinking
that it would take such a long time as 3 times 10 to the 59th eons to attain
enlightenment that the emptiness of time was taught.
When people realize that there is really no such thing as time anyway, they do
not get discouraged. In fact, a short period of time and a long period of time
are fundamentally the same. They are just like time in a dream. In a dream it
does not matter if you think it is a long time or a short time; there is
really no difference at all between them. None of these conceptual notions
have any reality. The Buddha said that an eon and an instant are of the nature
of equality. ... ."
Radio's Quirks & Quarks for Sat., Sept 8, 2001,
"It's About Time -- Inside the 4th Dimension" -- Does Time really exist?
Visit the note on "watches
of the night" in chapter 14 of Acts of the Buddha for
an explanation of the way daily time was kept in pre-industrial India.
People of like mind try and keep together in the
flow of time that is generally perceived. The various ancient traditions
follow the moon's phases in conjunction with the earth's yearly journey, and so
we say they use a solar-lunar calendar. Yet, since the lunar cycle does not fit
perfectly into the year's cycle, a number of so-called Lunar Calendars are in
use around the world.
One solar-lunar calendar currently in use by those who do not
follow the Western one for their religious or ritual purposes is the Tibetan
one. It has missing days and sometimes, doubled months.
Also, there is more than one Tibetan tradition for calculating the
When there is an anniversary, it is usually celebrated in
the second of any doubled month. For example, Losar
(Tibetan New Year) can fall on a different day for the
various denominations since it might occur in a doubled month, or for another
|Day of the Week
|| Planetary Ruler
||Tibetan day -- named after ruling
Snow Lion Publications has graciously made available its
Tibetan Buddhist calendar with special practice
days, anniversaries and Buddhist holidays. Click
See also, Eclipse
for more concerning astrological phenomena.
Notes: "Great Time" rendered into Sanskrit is Mahakala.
Kalachakra (Cycle of Time) is a highest level of tantra, and the name of the
deity featured in it.
In the traditional Indian (ie., Hindu) cosmological system from which
Buddhism developed, there are kalpa (eons) composed of yuga
(ages.) The length of a kalpa -- the life of a universe -- is often given
as 4, 320, 000 years. See also, Numbers.
*Ruler or Ruling
are expressions that, when used in astrology, have the simple meaning of
"the measurer" as in a "measuring stick," and by extension,
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