All about Mandalas

Kei Quinal

Reading — Intermediate Level
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A mandala is a spiritual symbol in Buddhism and Hinduism. It’s a symbolic representation of the universe with an inner and outer world. The word mandala comes from Sanskrit, an ancient Indian language. Literally mandala means “circle.” The circle is seen as a magical form, without beginning and end, just as the universe is believed to have no end.

The Sanskrit word mandala indicates everything that is round or circular. In tantric traditions, it often refers to a sacred space, which can be round or square or any other form. Deities are invited to enter this space by uttering powerful words (mantras).

The prototype of the mandala is a square with four gates containing a circle with a central point. Often the mandala is also in an outer circle. This basic form can be found in many ancient mandalas, but there are many more variants. The mandala can also be filled with all kinds of patterns: geometric figures, Buddhist saints, flowers, you name it.

The mandala is used as an object to focus your attention on while meditating. Because of the symmetrical shape, your attention is directed to the center. People in the Western world often used a freer form of the mandala, which is more reflective of the inner self and the unconscious self. Regardless of what mandala you use, coloring it can be very meditative and relaxing.
  1. Why do Mandalas mostly come in the shape of a circle?

  2. Mandalas become effective mediums to invite deities when   .

  3. Mandalas always have to be circular.

  4. Why are Mandalas effective for self-meditation?

  5. Which among the following statements BEST summarizes the article?


Practice your writing skills by discussing the questions below

  1. Have you tried making a mandala before?

  2. What meditative method works best for you?

  3. Why does that method work?

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