Cittacakra, Citta-cakra: 3 definitions


Cittacakra means something in Buddhism, Pali. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

Alternative spellings of this word include Chittachakra.

In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: A Critical Study of the Vajraḍākamahātantrarāja (II)

Cittacakra (चित्तचक्र) refers to the “circle of mind” which is associated with the Ḍākinī named Khecarī (‘a woman going in the sky’), according to the 9th-centruy Vajraḍākatantra.—Twenty-four districts or seats form three circles (tricakra) i.e.:—1) ‘the cicle of mind’ (cittacakra), 2) ‘the circle of word’ (vākcakra), 3) ‘the circle of body’ (kāyacakra). And the sacred girls (Ḍākinīs) residing on each of tricakra are called respectively:—1) ‘a woman going in the sky’ (khecarī), 2) ‘a woman going on the ground’ (bhūcarī), 3) ‘a woman living underground’ (pātālavāsinī). These three Cakras (viz., cittacakra) of the tricakra (three circles) contain the twenty-four districts or seats (deśa, kṣetra or sthāna) resided over twenty-four “sacred girls” (ḍākinīs).

The Cittacakra contains the following districts or seats:

In the Pīṭhādi named Pīṭha:

  1. Pullīramalaya,
  2. Jālandhara,
  3. Oḍyāna,
  4. Arbuda.

In the Pīṭhādi named Upapīṭha:

  1. Godāvarī,
  2. Rāmeśvara,
  3. Devīkoṭa,
  4. Mālava.
Source: The Structure and Meanings of the Heruka Maṇḍala

Cittacakra (चित्तचक्र) refers to the “mind circle” positioned in the nirmāṇa-puṭa or ‘emanation layer’ of the Herukamaṇḍala: a large-scale and elaborate maṇḍala of Heruka, consisting of 986 deities, as found in the Ḍākārṇava chapter 15.—The Herukamaṇḍala consists of four layers (puṭa) consisting of concentric circles (cakra, totally one lotus at the center and 12 concentric circles, that is, 13 circles in total).

The cittacakra contains 36 pairs of Ḍākinī and Hero, collectively called mind Heruka (cittaheruka):

  1. Nāginī & Nāga,
  2. Yakṣiṇī & Yakṣa,
  3. Bhūtī & Bhūta,
  4. Pretī & Preta,
  5. Nārakī & Nāraka,
  6. Avīcī & Avīci,
  7. Pātakī & Pātaka,
  8. Anantarī & Anantara,
  9. Kumbhī & Kumbha,
  10. Yamastrī & Yamapuruṣa,
  11. Kālasūtrī & Kālasūtra,
  12. Kukūlī & Kukuli,
  13. Tapanī & Tapana,
  14. Pratāpanī & Pratāpana (=Pratapanī & Pratapana),
  15. Rauravī & Raurava,
  16. Mahārauravī & Mahāraurava,
  17. Tailapacī & Tailapaca,
  18. Dviparvatī & Dviparvata,
  19. Dveṣī & Dveṣa,
  20. Mohī & Moha,
  21. Īrṣyī & Īrṣya,
  22. Rāgī & Rāga,
  23. Madanamātsaryasī & Madanamātsaryasa,
  24. Sūtrikā & Sūtra,
  25. Śītakī & Śītaka
  26. Asivānī & Asivānaka,
  27. Krandanī & Krandana,
  28. Durbhikṣakā & Durbhikṣaka,
  29. Rogakāntārī & Rogakāntāra,
  30. Śastrakāntārī & Śastrakāntāraka,
  31. Pānīyakāntārikā (Pānīyakāntārī) & Pānīyakāntāra,
  32. Asinakhī & Asinakha,
  33. Vaitaraṇī & Vaitaraṇa,
  34. Kṣuradhārī & Kṣuradhāra,
  35. Cakrikā & Cakraka,
  36. Kumbhāṇḍī & Kumbhāṇḍa,

They are black in color; they each have one face and four arms; they hold a skull bowl, a skull staff, a small drum, and a knife.

Source: MDPI Books: The Ocean of Heroes

Cittacakra (चित्तचक्र) refers to the “mind circle”, according to the 10th-century Ḍākārṇava-tantra: one of the last Tibetan Tantric scriptures belonging to the Buddhist Saṃvara tradition consisting of 51 chapters.—Accordingly: “Now, outside that, I shall explain this, the Mind Circle (cittacakra), clearly, [which is] black in color, [is provided with] thirty-six spokes, emerges from the intrinsic nature of all (i.e., the mind), and is excellent. [...] The color [of their bodies] is the same as [the color] of the circle (black). The weaponry in hand are as before. [...]”.

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
context information

Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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