Mandala From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia For other uses, see Mandala (disambiguation).

Thangka painting of Vajradhatu Mandala Maṇḍala (मणडल) is a Sanskrit word that means "circle". In the Hindu and Buddhist religious traditions their sacred art often takes a mandala form. The basic form of most Hindu and Buddhist mandalas is a square with four gates containing a circle with a center point. Each gate is in the shape of a T.[1][2] These mandalas, concentric diagrams, have spiritual and ritual significance in both Buddhism and Hinduism.[3][4] The term is of Hindu origin and appears in the Rig Veda as the name of the sections of the work, but is also used in other Indian religions, particularly Buddhism. In the Tibetan branch of Vajrayana Buddhism, mandalas have been developed into sandpainting. They are also a key part of anuttarayoga tantra meditation practices. In various spiritual traditions, mandalas may be employed for focusing attention of aspirants and adepts, as a spiritual teaching tool, for establishing a sacred space, and as an aid to meditation and trance induction. According to the psychologist David Fontana, its symbolic nature can help one "to access progressively deeper levels of the unconscious, ultimately assisting the meditator to experience a mystical sense of oneness with the ultimate unity from which the cosmos in all its manifold forms arises."[5] The psychoanalyst Carl Jung saw the mandala as "a representation of the unconscious self,"[citation needed] and believed his paintings of mandalas enabled him to identify emotional disorders and work towards wholeness in personality.[6] In common use, mandala has become a generic term for any plan, chart or geometric pattern that represents the cosmos metaphysically or symbolically, a microcosm of the Universe from the human perspective.[citation needed]Contents [hide] 1 Hinduism 1.1 Yantras 2 Buddhism 2.1 Early and Theravada Buddhism 2.2 Tibetan Vajrayana 2.2.1 Offerings 2.3 Shingon Buddhism 2.4 Nichiren Buddhism 2.5 Pure Land Buddhism 3 Christianity 4 Bora ring 5 Gallery 6 See also 7 Notes 8 References 9 External links [edit] Hinduism

[edit] Tibetan Vajrayana Chenrezig Sand Mandala created at the House of Commons of the United Kingdom on the occasion of the Dalai Lama's visit in May 2008 A kyil khor (Tibetan: དདདདདདདདདད. and is associated with the subtle body and aspects of human consciousness."[4] Such mandalas consist of an outer circular mandala and an inner square (or sometimes circular) mandala with an ornately decorated mandala "palace"[11] placed at the center. but are lived. or meditative rituals. It is thought to be the abode of the deity. which "symbolise different stages in the process of the realisation of the truth. Each yantra is unique and calls the deity into the presence of the practitioner through the elaborate symbolic geometric designs. or "a microcosm representing various divine powers at work in the universe."[13] . Tibetan for mandala in Vajrayana Buddhism usually depicts a landscape of the "Buddha-land".[8] Note: maṇḍala is also the term used to describe any of the ten books of Rig Veda.A Hindu Maṇḍala [edit] Yantras The term yantra normally refers to Hindu contexts and practices. experiential. in the center is Rakta Yamari (the Red Enemy of Death) embracing his consort Vajra Vetali. and maṇḍala is sometimes used as a cross-over term in Hindu contexts.[12] as well as by images of its associated deities.or three-dimensional geometric composition used in sadhanas. part of the Pali Canon. in the corners are the Red. Rubin Museum of Art [edit] Early and Theravada Buddhism The mandala can be found in the form of the Stupa[9] and in the Atanatiya Sutta[10] in the Digha Nikaya. Wylie: dkyil 'khor). which inevitably represents the nature of experience and the intricacies of both the enlightened and confused mind. According to one scholar. every symbol in a yantra is ambivalently resonant in inner-outer synthesis. while maṇḍala normally refers to Buddhist contexts and practices. [edit] Buddhism Painted 17th century Tibetan 'Five Deity Mandala'.Yantras are not representations. a sacred Vedic and Hindu scripture (sruti). “Yantras function as revelatory symbols of cosmic truths and as instructional charts of the spiritual aspect of human experience"[7] Many situate yantras as central focus points for Hindu tantric practice. Any part of the inner mandala can be occupied by Buddhist glyphs and symbols. nondual realities. or the enlightened vision of a Buddha. This text is frequently chanted. Because of the relationship that exists in the Tantras between the outer world (the macrocosm) and man’s [sic] inner world (the microcosm). Green White and Yellow Yamaris.[citation needed] Yet the terms are also used interchangeably. As Khanna describes: Despite its cosmic meanings a yantra is a reality lived. A yantra is a two.

Every intricate detail of these mandalas is fixed in the tradition and has specific symbolic meanings. The unfolding of the tantric ritual depends on the mandala. this aspect of separation and protection from the outer samsaric world is depicted by "the four outer circles: the purifying fire of wisdom. which is traditionally depicted with Mount Meru as the axis mundi in the center.. As a meditation on impermanence (a central teaching of Buddhism). is from our own minds.[21] A "mandala offering"[22] in Tibetan Buddhism is a symbolic offering of the entire universe. as much as from external sources of confusion. With every mandala comes what Tucci calls "its associated liturgy. the mandala is regarded as a place separated and protected from the ever-changing and impure outer world of samsara. 164) in his extended discussion of sahaja. and the impermanence with which samsara is suffused: "such locations were utilized in order to confront and to realize the transient nature of life. The ring of 8 charnel grounds[23] represents the Buddhist exhortation to always be mindful of death. the lotus circle." [NB: gendered language repaired in square parenthesis."[24] Described elsewhere: "within a flaming rainbow nimbus and encircled by a black ring of dorjes. The mandala can be shown to represent in visual form the core essence of the Vajrayana teachings.. the vajra circle. the sand is brushed together and placed in a body of running water to spread the blessings of the mandala. discusses the relationship of sadhana interiority and exteriority in relation to mandala thus: "." a "Pure Buddha Realm. such that the image of the mandala becomes fully internalised in even the minutest detail and can then be summoned and contemplated at will as a clear and vivid visualised image. the adept proceeds to construct one mentally in the course of his meditation. the second example "his"][14] Mandalas are commonly used by tantric Buddhists as an aid to meditation. and this unity finds its most pregnant expression in the form of the mandala."[20] instructing practitioners on how the mandala should be drawn.."[18] something to be repeatedly contemplated to the point of saturation. and as the abode of enlightenment.Kværne (1975: p. the major outer ring depicts the eight ." one learns to understand experience itself as pure. built and visualised. first example employed "him".external ritual and internal sadhana form an indistinguishable whole.contained in texts known as tantras. More specifically.. A mandala can also represent the entire universe. The protection that we need. the outer circle of fire usually symbolises wisdom. By visualizing "pure lands. surrounded by the continents."[15] and also as an abode of fully realised beings or deities. the view of Vajrayana Buddhism sees the greatest protection from samsara being the power to see samsaric confusion as the "shadow" of purity (which then points towards it). in this view. and indicating the mantras to be recited during its ritual use. In many tantric mandalas. the sacred enclosure consisting of concentric squares and circles drawn on the ground and representing that adamantine plane of being on which the aspirant to Buddhahood wishes to establish himself.[19] The mandala is also "a support for the meditating person. and where a material mandala is not employed. In the mandala. often on more than one level."[18] The ring of vajras forms a connected fence-like arrangement running around the perimeter of the outer mandala circle.[13] While on the one hand.[16] and is thus seen as a "Buddhafield"[17] or a place of Nirvana and peace. the circle with the eight tombs. after days or weeks of creating the intricate pattern of a sand mandala. a Buddhist mandala is envisaged as a "sacred space.

Kukai. specifically a place populated by deities and Buddhas. though the actual mandalas differ. he brought back two mandalas that became central to Shingon ritual: the Mandala of the Womb Realm and the Mandala of the Diamond Realm.great charnel grounds. this forms the Mandala of the Two Realms. Amitabha and Amoghasiddhi.Shingon Buddhism—makes frequent use of mandalas in its rituals as well. Ratnasambhava. oceans and mountains. during which one symbolically offers the universe to the Buddhas or to one's teacher. 100. in Japan is the mandala of the "Five Buddhas"."[25] Inside these rings lie the walls of the mandala palace itself. These two mandalas are engaged in the abhiseka initiation rituals for new Shingon students.k. this mandala represents the universe. etc. Aksobhya. returned from his training in China. the Buddhas Vairocana. A common mandala of this type is that of the Five Wisdom Buddhas (a. A common feature of this ritual is to . archetypal Buddha forms embodying various aspects of enlightenment. and even the specific purpose of the mandala.000 of these mandala offerings (to create merit) can be part of the preliminary practices before a student even begins actual tantric practices. This type of mandala is used for the mandala-offerings. to emphasize the dangerous nature of human life. Such Buddhas are depicted depending on the school of Buddhism. One well-known type of mandala. [edit] Offerings Whereas the above mandala represents the pure surroundings of a Buddha. more commonly known as the Kechien Kanjō (結縁灌頂).a.[26] This mandala is generally structured according to the model of the universe as taught in a Buddhist classic text the Abhidharma-kośa. with Mount Meru at the centre. surrounded by the continents. [edit] Shingon BuddhismJapanese Buddhism Schools Hosso • Kegon • Ritsu • Tendai • Shingon • Pure Land • Zen • Nichiren Founders Saichō • Kūkai • Hōnen • Shinran • Dōgen • Eisai • Ingen • Nichiren Sacred Texts Avataṃsaka Sūtra Lotus Sūtra Prajñāpāramitā Heart Sūtra Infinite Life Sūtra Mahāvairocana Sūtra Vajraśekhara Sūtra Glossary of Japanese Buddhism v·d·e The Japanese branch of Vajrayana Buddhism -. Within Vajrayana practice. When Shingon's founder. Five Jinas). When paired with another mandala depicting the Five Wisdom Kings.

and is used as a teaching aid. Rennyo. The Taima Mandala is based upon the Contemplation Sutra. dated to approximately 763 CE. it is not used as an object of meditation or for esoteric ritual. the aureole. [edit] . The dromenon represents a journey from the outer world to the inner sacred centre where the Divine is found. whose appearance may otherwise vary depending on the particular school and other factors. Unlike mandalas used in Vajrayana Buddhism.[27] Similarly. the rosary. Shinran designed a mandala using a hanging scroll. Christian Alchemy. The most famous mandala in Japan is the Taima Mandala. the Crown of Thorns. but other similar mandalas have been made subsequently. and Rosicrucianism. which consider it to be the supreme object of worship as the embodiment of the supreme Dharma and Nichiren's inner enlightenment. and certain Buddhist concepts. as found in Tibetan Buddhism. it was originally inscribed by Nichiren. Where the flower lands assists in the determination of which tutelary deity the initiate should follow. the halo. considered to be the name of the supreme Dharma. The seven characters Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. [edit] Pure Land Buddhism Mandalas have sometimes been used in Pure Land Buddhism to graphically represent Pure Lands. as well as the invocation that believers chant.blindfold the new initiate and to have them throw a flower upon either mandala. based on descriptions found in the Larger Sutra and the Contemplation Sutra. The Gohonzon is the primary object of veneration in some Nichiren schools and the only one in others. rose windows.[citation needed] Also in Jodo Shinshu Buddhism. during the late 13th Century. are not practiced in Shingon Buddhism. and the words of the nembutsu (南無阿彌陀佛) written vertically. or butsudan. Shinran and his descendant. This style of mandala is still used by some Jodo Shinshu Buddhists in home altars. Sand Mandalas. are written down the center of all Nichiren-sect Gohonzons. the Rosy Cross. many of the Illuminations of Hildegard von Bingen can be used as mandalas. sought a way to create easily accessible objects of reverence for the lower-classes of Japanese society. it provides a visual pictorial of the Pure Land texts. and the dromenon on the floor of Chartres Cathedral. the founder of this branch of Japanese Buddhism. [edit] Christianity The round window at the site of the Marsh Chapel Experiment supervised by Timothy Leary Forms which are evocative of mandalas are prevalent in Christianity: the celtic cross. Called the Gohonzon. oculi. [edit] Nichiren Buddhism The mandala in Nichiren Buddhism is called a moji-mandala (文字曼陀羅) and is a paper hanging scroll or wooden tablet whose inscription consists of Chinese characters and medievalSanskrit script representing elements of the Buddha's enlightenment. as well as many of the images of esoteric Christianity. Instead. as in Christian Hermeticism. protective Buddhist deities.

The term "bora" is held to be etymologically derived from that of the belt or girdle that encircles initiated men. rock engravings. They were generally constructed in pairs (although some sites have three). Bora rings. The appearance of a Bora Ring varies from one culture to another. are circles of foot-hardened earth surrounded by raised embankments. found in South-East Australia. At such a site. In South East Australia. or other art works. The word Bora was originally from South-East Australia. Women are generally prohibited from entering a bora. and to the site Bora Ring on which the initiation is performed. . The rings are joined by a sacred walkway. but is now often used throughout Australia to describe an initiation site or ceremony. Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. and explains the use of the two circles. (November 2009) A Bora is the name given both to an initiation ceremony of Indigenous Australians. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Bora ring This section needs additional citations for verification. Matthews (1897)[28] gives an eye-witness account of a Bora ceremony. but it is often associated with stone arrangements. with a bigger circle about 22 metres in diameter and a smaller one of about 14 metres. young boys are transformed into men via rites of passage. the Bora is often associated with the creator-spirit Baiame.

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