A KORA of KORAS
In the Indian, Tibetan Buddhist and Bön traditions, a Kora is a circling pilgrimage made by repeatedly walking or prostrating and meditating around a samadhi site of a saint, sacred mountain, or temple. The word itself means ‘circumambulation’ or ‘revolution.’ It is also called a ‘Pradakshina’ or ‘Parikrama’ in the Indian traditions
This ePub book is a small Kora or circling of different holy places, people, ideas, and images of the great religious traditions of the world. Including audio, video, and picture galleries; it is a circling consideration of what we are always going around.
According to Adi Sankaracharya, the real Pradakshina is ‘the meditation that thousands of universes are revolving around the Great Lord, the unmoving center of all forms.’
GOING ROUND IN CIRCLES
I arrived at four in the morning after an overnight bus from Delhi. It was early spring, still cold, dark and quiet. From the Tibetan monasteries and small lanes that surround the lake, monks and lay people streamed out onto the path that circles the water, many of them holding a spinning prayer wheel in their right hand or fingering a mala of beads. Most looked straight ahead, absorbed in practice, atoning for past deeds, accumulating merit for the future, reciting a mantra, a prayered description of Reality revealed over a thousand years ago, attuning themselves to its meaning of the always, already Reality of Liberation, sounding its purifying vibration through their bodies and out into the world; they were engaged in a Kora, a circumnambulation of a sacred place, they were going round in circles.
Tibetans on a Kora of Tso Pema lake in Rewalsar, passing a Mani Stone
Padmasambhava statue at Rewalsar
”In his latest book, " A Kora of Koras", Peter Malakoff, a writer with vast experience on the spiritual journey and an expansive intellect, has sharpened his gaze to deliver a concise and powerful insight into Tibetan Tantric Buddhism which is at once illuminating and practical in its application. This is a rare book by a rare human being.”
- Anthony Bogart