INDIA: ‘Mandala’, meaning a ‘circle’ has defined spiritual learning from within since ancient times. Pronounced ‘man-dah-lah’, it renders the phrase – ‘life is a never-ending cycle’. Mandala’s circular and compact design represents the universe. The pattern has been in use as a spiritual and ritual symbol in Buddhism and Hinduism since the beginning of time. Furthermore, it delves into deeper aspects of both religions.
To define Mandala in today’s world, the term refers to any diagram that shows radical balance.
The term first appeared in Rigveda, an ancient Hindi text that also included the image of the Mandala. The pattern can as well be a square enclosing a circle and may represent aught to a being with spirit.
Change: the only constant
As a ritual in Tibetan Buddhism, mandalas made from colored sand are prepared for days only to be destroyed in the end. The essence of Buddhism is meditation and the essence of meditation is awareness. That clear, pure consciousness, which is just aware of the phenomenon occurring – without labeling, without criticizing, without rationalizing.
This ritual signifies that nothing is forever and that it’s unhelpful to attach to anything even if it’s beautiful. The phrase – “You must learn to let go that which you fear to lose” succours it.
The destruction of the mandala shows that the immaterial is just as important as the material. Life makes way for death, death makes way for life. Impermanence is the cosmos, aka the only constant is – change. The beautiful picture is still there, just piled up then scattered to the winds.
The aesthetically pleasing and decorative imagery is used profoundly used as a tool in meditation and Yoga. It removes irritation and allows a creative mind to run free.
Precisely, the design is gazed at till one gets the knowledge from within, somethings that words won’t suffice to make one understand that feeling. The learnings from the mandala are spiritual and hence result in self-transformation. It helps recognize unhealthy thoughts and reduce stress. The time spent with the mandala while meditating increases every time.