Kayacakra, Kāyacakra, Kaya-cakra: 3 definitions


Kayacakra 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 Kayachakra.

In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: academia.edu: A Critical Study of the Vajraḍākamahātantrarāja (II)

Kāyacakra (कायचक्र) refers to the “circle of body” which is associated with the Ḍākinī named Pātālavāsinī (‘a woman living underground’), 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., kāyacakra) of the tricakra (three circles) contain the twenty-four districts or seats (deśa, kṣetra or sthāna) resided over twenty-four “sacred girls” (ḍākinīs).

The Kāyacakra contains the following districts or seats:

In the Pīṭhādi named Melāpaka:

  1. Pretādhivāsinī,
  2. Gṛhadevatā.

In the Pīṭhādi named Upamelāpaka:

  1. Saurāṣṭra,
  2. Suvarṇadvīpa,

In the Pīṭhādi named Śmaśāna:

  1. Nagara,
  2. Sindhu.

In the Pīṭhādi named Upaśmaśāna:

  1. Maru,
  2. Kulatā.
Source: academia.edu: The Structure and Meanings of the Heruka Maṇḍala

Kāyacakra (कायचक्र) refers to the “body 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 kāyacakra contains 36 pairs of Ḍākinī and Hero, collectively called body Heruka (kāyaheruka):

  1. Cāturmahārājakāyikī & Cāturmahārājakāyikacakravartin,
  2. Trayastriṃśacakravartinī & Trayastriṃśacakravartin,
  3. Yāmī & Yāmacakravartin,
  4. Tuṣitī & Tuṣitacakravartin,
  5. Nirmāṇaratayī & Nirmāṇaratacakravartin,
  6. Paranirmitavaśavartinī & Paranirmitavaśavarticakravartin,
  7. Brahmakāyikī & Brahmakāyikacakravartin,
  8. Brahmapurohitī & Brahmapurohitacakravartin,
  9. Mahābrahmāṇavartinī & Mahābrahmāṇacakravartin,
  10. Parīttābhī & Parīttābhacakravartin,
  11. Apramāṇābhī & Apramāṇābhacakravartin,
  12. Ābhāsvarī & Ābhāsvaracakravartin,
  13. Parīttaśubhī & Parīttaśubhacakravartin,
  14. Apramāṇaśubhī & Apramāṇaśubhacakravartin,
  15. Śubhakṛtsnī & Śubhakṛtsnacakravartin,
  16. Anabhrakī & Anabhrakacakravartin,
  17. Puṇyaprasavī & Puṇyaprasavacakravartin,
  18. Bṛhatphalacakravartinī & Bṛhatphalacakravartin,
  19. Abṛhī & Abṛhacakravartin,
  20. Atapī & Atapacakravartin,
  21. Sudṛśī & Sudṛśacakravartin,
  22. Sudarśanī & Sudarśanacakravartin,
  23. Akaniṣṭhavartinī & Akaniṣṭhacakravartin,
  24. Ākāśānantyāyatanī & Ākāśānantyāyatanacakravartin,
  25. Vijñānānantyāyatanī & Vijñānānantyāyatanacakravartin,
  26. Ākiṃcanyāyatanī & Ākiṃcanyāyatanacakravartin,
  27. Naivasaṃjñānāsaṃjñānī & Naivasaṃjñānāsaṃjñānacakravartin,
  28. Nārakī & Nārakacakravartin,
  29. Pretanī & Pretacakravartin,
  30. Tiryī & Tiryakacakravartin,
  31. Nārī & Nāracakravartin,
  32. Asurī & Asuracakravartin,
  33. Vimānacāriṇī & Vimānacakravartin,
  34. Śaśīravī & Śaśiravicakravartin,
  35. Yamī & Yamacakravartin,
  36. Indrī & Indracakravartin,

They are body-word-mind-color (mixture of white, red, and black); 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

Kāyacakra (कायचक्र) refers to the “body 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, I explain the Body Circle (kāyacakra) colored in body–speech–mind (mixture of white, red, and black). Wheel-turning Yoginīs are in the middles of the thirty-six spokes.—[...] He should make the color [of their bodies] similar to their own circle (mixture of white, red, and 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.

Discover the meaning of kayacakra in the context of Tibetan Buddhism from relevant books on Exotic India

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