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(tib.: ka dam) A sutra and tantra school of Tibetan Buddhism founded in the 11th century by the great Indian scholar and yogi Lama Atisha (c. 982-1052) and his Tibetan disciple Dromtonpa (1005 - 1054). The school and its masters became known for applying strict ethics and Bodhisattva ideals in practice, remaining humble and often behaving in front of the others as simple monks, while miraculous signs at the time of their death revealed their true achievements. Atisha combined two lineages: from Manjushri via Nagarjuna (emphasizing emptiness) and from Maitreya via Asangha (emphasizing compassion). Atishas Lamp for the path to Enlightenment formed the basis of the later Gelug presentation of Lamrim. The main practice connected with the Kadampa school (at that time kept secret) is Lojong or mind training. Although the Kadampa school does not exist any more, its teachings are respected in all other traditions, in particular by the Gelugpa, which is also sometimes known as the new Kadam school (tib.: sar ma ka dam). (Note: This is not to be mixed by a controversial New Kadampa order, which is officially not recognized school of Tibetan Buddhism.


(tib.: ka gyu) Name means stream of oral teaching. The Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism stems from the teachings of Marpa Chokyi Lodoe (1012-1099) and Khyungpo Nyaljor (978-1079). This school is also known as the Black hats. This is the second oldest of the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism (nyingma, kagyu, sakya, gelug).


(skt.: kaliyuga; tib.: tso den du) Sometimes also called the Dark Age. It is the time we live in now, when violence and conflict are norms of human society rather than exceptions to the general rule. Also, it is viewed as the end of a cycle of Buddhas Teachings. Traditionally, this is thought to mean that the purity of the Teachings, as well as peoples ability to put them into practice, is at risk of declining. Time of degeneration is marked by five degenerations of time, sentient beings, lifespan, actions or views and afflictions.

(skt.: kalpa/yuga; tib.: kal pa) In ancient Indian cosmology, an extremely long period of time. There are various views on the length of kalpa.
In general, a small kalpa is represented as 16,800,000 years, a kalpa as 336,000,000 years and a mahakalpa is 1,334,000,000 years. There is also another kalpa, even longer than mahakalpa, which is called Countless eon. This is the time it takes after you decide to begin collecting virtue to become a Buddha to actually become a Buddha. Master Vasubandhu says in his Abhidharmakosha that Countless eon is a period of three countless (countless actually means a number: about ten to the sixtieth power) mahakalpas.
Kalpa of continuance

(tib.: re pe kal pa) Lifespans drop from 80,000 years down to ten years (this is called kalpa of decrease) because people are doing the ten nonvirtues more and more, which creates disturbances in the world. People create more and more powerful weapons. Most people are living in cities. Some people are out in the country when the weapons of destruction are unleashed, and only they survive. The few who survive are overcome with remorse, and decide to give up the ten non-virtues. Lifespans increase from ten years back up to 80,000 years (this is called kalpa of increase). This cycle repeats.

Kalpa of destruction

(tib.: jik pe kal pa) In the first nineteen small kalpas of the kalpa of decline, sentient beings in the six lower worlds from hell through the world of heavenly beings gradually disappearAt the beginning of the 20th eon, the rain stops and all vegetation dies, the sun supernovas, and splits into two. Later a third sun forms, and all rivers and streams evaporate. A fourth sun forms, and large lakes dry up. A fifth sun forms, and oceans dry up. A sixth sun forms, and continents go up in smoke. A seventh sun forms, and the planet burns up, which also causes the first level of the form realm to burn up. There are other kalpas of destruction by wind or water. There are also minor destruction eons where inhabitants destroy the planet with weapons, etc.

Kalpa of formation

(tib.: chak pe kal pa) According to Abhidharmakosha, the power of the karma of living beings first causes a small wind to arise in space. This wind grows and forms the windy circle thought to lie at the base of a world. Upon this windy circle, a watery circle and then a gold circle take shape, and upon them forms the land, with a Mount Sumeru, seas, and mountains. Then living beings begin to appear, first in the heavens, then in the human world, and successively in the lower of the six worlds, until finally beings appear in the hells. Human lives are immeasurable (a specific number with > 30 zeros) at this point. The formation eon ends when the first being is born in Avichi hell. Lifespans have dropped to 80,000 years at that point.

Kanakamuni Buddha
Kanakamuni Buddha (sometimes called also Konagamana Buddha) was born at Sobhavatii in India to a brahmin family. His father was Yannadatta and mother Uttara. For first three thousand years he lived a family life and his wife was Ruchigatta and they had a son Satthavaha. Then he renounced the family life and practised austerities for six months before attaining enlightenment. He passed at the age of thirty thousand years at place called Pabbatarama.
He was the second Buddha of this fortunate eon.

(tib.: ka gyur) Literally translated as Translated Words. It is the Tibetan version of the Tripitaka and includes also the four orders of tantra. Altogether it contains more than one hundred large volumes, each with more than six hundred pages. It is one of the two (or three, if one includes Sungbum) parts of the Tibetan buddhist canon.


(skt.: karma; tib.: le) Literally action. It is the universal law of cause and effect. By doing virtuous actions we produce good karmic seeds and by doing non-virtuous actions we produce bad karmic seeds. These seeds produce certain results according to the karmic laws. Karma is very complex mechanism and only an Enlightened being can understand completely the relations between karmic actions and results. Karma as presented in Buddhist philosophy should not be understood in a fatalistic sense.


(skt.: karuna; tib.: nying je) Je Tsongkhapa described compassion in his Lam Rim Chen Mo as: compassion is the wish to remove suffering.

Kasyapa Buddha
One of the Jataka tales says that he was born at Benares in India to the brahmin parents Brahmadatta and Dhanavati, belonging to the clan of Kasyapa. At first he lived the life of a householder and had a wife Sunanda with whom he begot a son Vijitasena. But after two thousand years of living a household life, he left the palace and renounced the worldly life. He soon reached enlightenment under a banyan tree at Bodhgaya in India. Kasyapa Buddha died at Setavya in Kasi after having lived for twenty thousand years.
He was the third Buddha of this fortunate eon.

(tib: kha ta) No Tibetan custom is as well known as the offering of a khata or white scarf in greeting. The khata is an auspicious symbol. It lends a positive note to the start of any enterprise or relationship and indicates the good intentions of the person offering it. Khatas are offered to religious images, such as statues of the Buddha, and to Lamas and government officials prior to requesting their help in the form of prayers or other services. The offering of the khata indicates that the request is not marred by corrupt thoughts or ulterior motives.


(skt.: klesha; tib.: nyon mong) Sometimes translated also as disturbing emotion. Mental afflictions are obscurations covering the essentially pure nature of the mind, being thereby responsible for suffering and dissatisfaction. There are six root mental afflictions (attachment, anger, pride, ignorance, doubt and wrong views), which act as the roots of the auxiliary disturbing emotions and attitudes.

Krakucchanda Buddha
Krakucchanda Buddha (sometimes called Kakusandha Buddha) was born in Khema Park in India. His father was Aggidata, a brahmin priest, and his mother was Visakha. He led a family life for four thosand years and had a wife Virochamana and son Uttara. Finally he renounced family life and practised to reach enlightenment and after eight months attained it under Sirisa tree. He passed at the age of forty thousand years.
He was the first Buddha of this fortunate eon.


Words of Wisdom

"Like me, the countless living beings have been wandering in cyclic existence. Many times they have been a parent to me and shone radiant kindness upon me. How unworthy not to respond to their sorrow. For the sake of all living beings we must strive in the practices bringing Enlightenment."
- 1st Dalai Lama

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