The word Mandala originates from the traditional Indian language of "Sanskrit" and it roughly translates to "Circle". It can be defined externally as a pictorial representation of the universe and internally as a guide to several psycho-physical practices hailing from Asian traditions. In the old days, Mandalas were used as symbols for concentration and healing. Mandalas contain both geometric and organic forms. They also contain images that are meaningful to the person creating it. They can be painted on paper, stone, cloth or even a wall.
The methods used in creating mandalas are very complex and require focus and determination. These methods include incorporation of various techniques including the chanting of sacred formulas. Mandalas may be based on various shapes and are formed using patterns that have evolved from different symbols.
purpose of Mandalas is to guide individuals to the path of enlightenment. Monks
meditate upon the mandala, imagining it as a three-dimensional space. The
deities in the palace represent philosophical ideas and concepts. Its true
purpose is to transform ordinary minds into enlightened ones.
Symbolic Significance of Mandalas
Mandalas are associated with a symbolic palace. This palace is the central
point and is surrounded by four gates representing the four quarters of the
world. These gates are situated within nested circles that are said to be a
protective barrier. These circles have multiple layers and each layer represents
a quality that a person must attain to reach the center and open the path to
Uses of Mandala
many traditions where Mandalas are used, the Practitioner tries to communicate
with the deity at the center of the Mandala by moving progressively from the
outside towards the center. When the Practitioner succeeds, he or she becomes
one with the deity and is able to perceive everything as a whole, moving one
step towards guided and mindful understanding.