Mandala, an art admired by many for its geometric pattern, colors, and its precision, is a form of art that has been with us for centuries. This piece of art combines geometric patterns which symbolizes religion, inner self, and the universe. It is practiced as a symbol, a prayer, a meditation exercise, and a holy blessing all in one.
Mandala is a Sanskrit word for circle. Etymologically, Mandala is derived from the Sanskrit words manda which means “essence” and la meaning “container”. Thus, mandala means “container of the essence” that personify various literal and metaphoric symbols. The circles in the mandalas have a significant meaning in Hindu and Buddhist religious traditions. Time is thought of as circular by the ancient Hindu scriptures, having a period of creation, a period of flourishing existence, and a period of destruction leading to yet another inevitable creation.
Mandala reflects the spiritual and psychological behavior of a person. According to a Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung, “a mandala is the psychological expression of the totality of the self”. The mandala may contain various symbols signifying spiritual growth and healing.
With numerous symbol, the color used in mandala has got its own significance as well. Along with its structure, the color holds equal importance. There are five main colors in the mandala which is associated with one of the five transcendental Buddhas which is further associated with the five delusions of human nature.
- White (Vairocana)- The delusion of ignorance becomes the wisdom of reality.
- Yellow (Ratnasambhava)- The delusion of pride becomes the wisdom of sameness.
- Red (Amitabha)- The delusion of attachment becomes the wisdom of discernment.
- Green (Amoghasiddhi)- The delusion of jealousy becomes the wisdom of accomplishment.
- Blue (Akshobhya)- The delusion of anger becomes the mirror of wisdom
Common forms of Mandala that exist are:
● Lotus Mandala
Lotus is a flower that grows up in a muddy water and blossom in the light of the sun. The lotus mandala represents the people who gain enlightenment.
● Sand Mandala
Sand mandala is created by experienced Buddhists and artists using various colorful sands. Once completed it is then destroyed in order to reflect the creation and destruction of the universe and the impermanence of everything around us.
● Flower Mandala
Flower mandala is created from the naturally existing flowers from our surrounding forming various patterns and colors reflected by their petals radiating outwards.
● Sun Mandala Picture
Sun is the major source of energy in the earth and thus the sun mandala is used to manifest this trait in our life.