The power of the mandala has been known for centuries in Eastern cultures. It was considered a highly complex map of the cosmos. A mandala is a symbolic mental image that, when meditated upon, can result in deep inner transformation.
The origin of the mandala is the center, which is a point. It is a symbol that is apparently dimensionless. A gathering point that draws in external energies and lets its own energies unfold, thus representing external and internal spaces.
The point is the result of the lines used in the creation of the mandala, which create different geometric shapes. The circle represents dynamic knowledge, the outer square represents the physical world. The middle area is the abode of the deities.
There is a long way to go before someone gets permission to work on a mandala. In doing so, you must memorize the symbols, their combinations and possible locations and acquire the technical knowledge that is essential to create mandalas. You should also learn the philosophical and spiritual content of each symbol and how it can be applied in the creation of a mandala. It is important to note that the mandala is specifically based on scriptural texts. The art of creating a mandala is very complex, learning the related knowledge takes years. The reason for this is not only the acquisition of technical knowledge, but also the learning of appropriate attention and concentration, since the painter conveys the Buddha's teachings through the mandala. Since the mandala contains the instructions given by the Buddha to achieve enlightenment, the creator must strive for purity of motivation and perfection in his work.
Painting a mandala is not only an artistic activity, but also a form of worship. During its creation, the deepest intuitions of Buddhism are crystallized and reflected as spiritual art on the created work. The design of the mandala ensures the continuity of spatial experiences, and also shows that the concept precedes the form.
Not only the form is crucial when painting a mandala, but also the colors used. The five basic colors used in mandala painting are white, yellow, red, green and dark blue. Each color represents one of the five transcendental Buddhas, associated with the five delusions of human nature. These delusions obscure our true nature, but through meditation they can become the wisdom of the five Buddhas:
• White - Vairocana: The delusion of ignorance becomes the wisdom of reality.
• Yellow - Ratnasambhava: The disappointment of pride becomes the wisdom of equanimity.
• Red - Amitabha: The disappointment of attachment becomes the wisdom of discrimination.
• Green - Amoghasiddhi: The deception of jealousy becomes the wisdom of realization.
• Blue - Akshobhya: The deception of anger becomes the mirror of wisdom.
However, mandalas do not only use these five basic colors, there is a much wider range of colors that can be used, each of which has its own meaning.
- White: relief, perfection, compassion, calm.
- Black: secret, intuition, insight, rebirth.
- Grey: spiritual healing, gentleness, love, loyalty.
- Yellow: friendliness, receptiveness, nature, intelligence.
- Blue: satisfaction, relaxation, harmony, peace, good health
- Fire red: fearlessness, power, change, love.
- Crimson: love of humanity, idealism, wisdom.
- Pink: sensitivity, "inner" healing, universal healing.
- Orange: self-control, vitality, ambition, intuition.
- Green: growth, trust, connection, healing, calm.
- Brown: closeness to the earth, stability, conscious attachment to the environment.
- Silver: supernatural abilities, overflowing emotions, well-being.
Visualizing the mandala concept is one of the most significant factors in Buddhism. Mandalas are considered sacred places that, through their presence in the world, remind us of the sacredness of the universe. In the Buddhist way, the purpose of the mandala is to end human suffering and to know reality correctly. The mandala is also a means for the meditator to discover that the divinity resides within one's own self.
Different types of mandalas have different meanings, each speaking to the meditator in a different way.
The word Kalachakra means the wheel of time, the cycles of time. This mandala is a symbolic representation of many aspects of the Kalachakra Tantra. The Kalachakra Tantra belongs to the highest class of Tantras, the Anuttarayoga Tantras, and is a profound system of Buddhist teaching and practice. It includes three aspects: the outer Kalachakra, which symbolizes the environment of the world, the sun, the moon and the cycles of the planets, the inner Kalachakra, which symbolizes the sentient beings living in the universe, the cycles of death and birth, while the alternative Kalachakra, the individual the practice of purification performed by
The symbolic representation and graphic structure of the Kalachakra Mandala is different from other mandalas. This is the last philosophy of the Dalai Lama, which suggests that time flies quickly, has no beginning and no end. The mandala depicts the stupa from above, where the circles surrounding the stupa form the cosmos, expressing wisdom, space, air, water, fire and earth.
The mandala depicts a total of 536 deities, but we can also see 12 animals within the outer walls, which symbolize the 12 months. Each animal carries a 28-petalled lotus flower, on which a deity is placed, and in the center is a pair of deities representing the new moon and the full moon.
The perfect square shape of the central motif symbolizes the absolute place of wisdom. This rectangular structure has four elaborate gates. These four doors symbolize the union of the four boundless thoughts, namely loving-kindness, compassion, sympathy and equality.
Buddha eye mandala
In Buddhism, there are two types of eyes: the first is the inner eye or the eye of wisdom, which sees the world of Dharma, which is also called the third eye of the Buddha, while the other is called the outer eye, with which we see the outer world. The inner eye, characteristic of tantric deities, is a direct vision of the unity of ultimate reality, which exists simultaneously in the symbol of the eye of the Buddha with the two outer eyes, which see the dualistic, relative world of human beings. The winding line between the eyes is the Sanskrit number 1, which symbolizes the unity of all things.
Om mani padme hum mandala
Tibetan Buddhists believe that the repetition of the mantra Om mani padme hum or Om mani peme hung invokes the benevolent attention and blessings of the deities and helps to embody compassion. The written form of the mantra has the same effect as the oral form. One of the clearest forms of written form is the mandala, which helps even the uninitiated to reach a higher quality. The mantra can be recited freely by anyone, it does not require the prior initiation of a Buddhist master.
This mantra is very simple to repeat, but nevertheless has a deep meaning. Each of the six syllables has its own meaning:
Om cleanses you of the neurotic attachment to happiness and pride that afflicts those who exist in the world of the gods;
the blessing of the syllable Ma helps to achieve perfection in the practice of generosity, promotes the practice of pure ethics;
Ni promotes the practice of patience (waiting) and patience (tolerating others);
Pe, the fourth syllable, helps to perfect endurance;
Me helps with concentration;
the last sixth syllable, Hung, helps in practicing wisdom.
According to the 14th Dalai Lama Tendzin Gyaco, the syllable Om symbolizes the impure body, speech and thinking of the worshiper, but also the pure body, speech and thinking of the Buddha. The following four syllables show the true way. Mani means jewel and symbolizes the method: the ancient intention of enlightenment, compassion and love. Peme means lotus and symbolizes wisdom. Simplicity can be achieved through the undivided unity of regularity and wisdom. Indivisibility is symbolized by the last syllable, Hung. So the six syllables of Om Mani Peme Hung mean that by practicing the path of undivided regularity and wisdom, we can transform our own impure body, speech and thought into the pure body, speech and thought of the Buddha.
How to meditate with the mandala?
When you use a mandala for meditation, choose one that has caught your attention very deeply. Meditation is very much about concentration, so find a quiet place away from noise and other distractions before using your chosen mandala. Try to dissolve in the calm atmosphere around you, quiet your mind and take slow, deep breaths.
1. Position yourself facing the selected mandala. Sit comfortably on a chair with your feet on the floor or with your legs crossed on a cushion.
2. Inhale slowly and deeply from your diaphragm as you quiet and empty your mind.
3. Gently look at the mandala while relaxing your eyes so that the image slowly fades.
4. Sitting quietly, focus on the image and let its shapes, patterns, and colors begin to work in the unconscious mind. If disturbing thoughts arise, let them drift away and gently bring your attention back to the mandala.
5. When you have finished meditating, slowly bring your attention back to your surroundings.
The duration of the first meditations should be at least 5 minutes, try to gradually increase this to 15 minutes.
Om mani peme hung