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Mandala: What Is Mandalas ?

 

Mandala: Buddhist Tantric Diagram.

Mandala is Sanskrit for circle, polygon, community, connection.

The Mandala is a symbol of man or woman in the world, a support for the meditating person.

The mandala is constructed in a series of geometrical circles & squares.

Mandala is an imaginary palace that is contemplated during meditation. Each object in the palace has significance, representing some aspect of wisdom or reminding the meditator of some guiding principle. Tradition dictates the shapes, sizes and colors of these objects.

The mandala is often illustrated as a palace with four gates, facing the four corners of the Earth.

In the next place are the walls of the palace with gates towards the four corners of the earth.
The gates are guarded by four angry doorkeepers.

Before the meditating person arrives at the gates, she must, however, pass the four outer circles: the purifying fire of wisdom, the vajra circle, the circle with the eight tombs, the lotus circle.

There are many different forms of mandalas like painted mandala, sand mandala, three dimensional mandala with distinct concepts and different purposes each with different lessons to teach. Most mandalas contain a host of deities as well as inanimate objects Mandalas are usually displayed in two dimension, and are commonly made from paper, textiles, and colored sand.

The individual representations range from the so-called Cosmic Mandalas, which transmit the ancient knowledge of the development of the universe and the world-systems which represents a high point among Mandalas dedicated to meditation; to the Mandalas of the Medicine Buddha which demonstrates how the Buddha-power radiates in all directions, portraying the healing power of the Buddha.

The symbolism of meditation Mandalas has a rich tradition. The outer form of these so-called holy circles is a geometrical diagram, a Yantra , and each detail of its construction has symbolic meaning. The essence or purpose of the Mandala is concerned with the process of invocation, the calling in and realization of the spiritual force within the contemplator himself. All these different picture-tools have essentially the same inner meaning and purpose, but there are mandalas to suit all levels of consciousness: for the spiritually highly developed, for average people and for people not yet developed.

The Cosmic Mandala is encompassed by a flaming circle. At the Centre is a three-footed spiral symbolizing a first movement, surrounded by rotating wind which condenses into so-called basic elements, representing the states of aggregation: Wind or Air stands for the gaseous state; Fire is usually depicted as a red triangle and stands for transformation; Water for liquid, represented by a half-circle or circle; Earth for solid matter, symbolized by a yellow square or cube. The emerging forms of the elements are painted in the blue ring surrounding the Centre, in the lower sphere intimating the world-continents to be. The blue Ether represents the all pervading condition, the source of all elements filling the space of the Mandala. On it circles are drawn; looking like ellipses in their dynamic intersection, they portray the orbits of celestial bodies, painted in all the colours of the rainbow plus black and white and indicating the

directions. These twelve astrological circles of the upper sphere demonstrate the movements of sun, moon and stars in the seasons.
Tibetan monks constructing a festival mandala with sand and the dust of precious stones. In a sand painting the sand is dyed and then carefully placed on a large, flat table. The construction process takes several days, and the mandala is destroyed shortly after its completion. , thus expressing the insubstantiality of visible forms.

Circles Of Mandala

There are the four circles, symbolising the enlightenment, which the meditating person must gain, before she can enter the illuminated palace:

fire of wisdom : the outermost circle consists of the purifying fire
vajra circle : the diamond circle expresses strength and fearlessness
tombs : there are eight tombs, which symbolises the eight states of consciousness*, which the person must go beyond
lotus circle : expresses the open state of devotion, that is necessary to enter the palace

*consciousness of seeing, consciousness of hearing, consciousness of tasting, consciousness of smelling, consciousness of the body, consciousness of thinking, consciousness of the I, basic consciousness

 
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