Mandalas are sacred forms, timeless masterpieces, rich with tradition and symbolism.
Mandala in Sanskrit मण्डल Maṇḍala means ‘’circle’’ and it is actually a spiritual and a ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism that represents the universe.
In different spiritual traditions it is used as a tool for focusing attention of aspirants and adepts and for the spiritual learning through which is possible to achieve state of sacred space, to support the state of meditation and to induce the state of trance. In the Tibetan tradition of Vajravana Buddhism, mandalas were created by painting with coloured sand. This way of creating mandalas is called dul-tson-kyil-khor (mandalas of colour powders) in Tibetan language. The sand is carefully placed on the flat surface. The process of creating mandalas takes several days, and mandala is destroyed soon after it was finished. This destroying procedure of mandalas actually serves to teach us about impermanence of all phenomena and created forms. The opening ceremony of creating mandalas, lamas and Tibetan priests begin with sanctification of the space and invocation of the good forces. They sing, make intentions, mudras, asanas and pranayamas, visualizations and they play and sing mantras.
Every mandala is unique and has a different meaning which depends upon the one who created it. Mandalas are generally considered as sacred objects of the important teaching of the deity to whom it is dedicated. They are found in different cultures and religions, not just in Buddhism and Hinduism but in Indian, Celtic and other traditions in which mandala became the main symbol through history until now.
Mandala became a word for any plan or geometrical pattern that represents the universe in a metaphysical or symbolic sense and a microcosm of the universe from the enlightened perception of the specific deity.
The basic shape of the most number of mandalas is a square with four doors that contains circle and central point. Every door is made in ‘’T’’shape. Mandalas represent radiance of balance and harmony.
Carl Jung had a big influence on the general understanding of the mandalas today. His visionary ideas came out of different influences, but without his theories, the awareness about importance of the mandalas would be much less. Jung believed that mandalas are actually pictures from the subconscious mind that help to identify emotional problems and help the integration of the personality. This discovery came out of Jung’s realization that all his steps in his work led him back to mandalas. He also realized that mandalas were the center and all the things come back in the shape of mandala.
Even in nature it is easy to find mandalas. The simple shape of snail, trees, flowers and even Earth itself. Mandalas in nature can be the most simple ones but the most sophisticated forms that inspire belief in existence of the ‘’divine creator’’. From the atom to the solar system each is mandala and is a part of even bigger mandala. The connection between us and everything else are everywhere around us and if we really stop for a moment and look around, these connections bring us together but we always stay unique just like every mandala is.
Since I was a child I was fascinated by those funny plastic kaleidoscope. I would play with it and use to look inside magical but familiar colorful shapes and forms that melt one into another. They reminded me of my visions I used to have when I closed my eyes. Colors and shapes would melt into each other in endless circular dance, never the same, always new and endless. Later I’ve learned that my visions were connected with opening of the sixth chakra.
Chakras are in their basic shape also mandalas. Each in specific color, and yet it vibrates in spiral and circular motion creating forms. Pictures of the chakras can be found in ancient notes of Buddhism and Hinduism. (Picture 1.) I was inspired recently to create one mandala that holds the vibration of the harmony and balance between all seven chakras. (picture 2.) Lots of people have their own experience with mandalas.
One of my friends says: ‘’ mandala is a visual creation of the inner sound – we come back again on the same point – it tells us a story about creation! It is possible to see this when we play the frequencies of the sounds to the water and then we can notice the change in the crystal formation of the water which create mandala shapes. I have experienced seeing of the mandalas inside in myself, I was even drawing mandalas.’’
Recently the other friend showed me how can be mandalas created in Tibetan bowls. He put the water inside the bowl and played on them, on the surface water created shapes. There is also a well known research about crystal shapes in the water by Masaru Emoto who showed his discovery in his book ‘’the hidden messages in water’’ (picture 3.)
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN MANDALA
Mandalas are possible to make out of different materials, but you can draw them or paint them by yourself with any intention you wish. It can be love, wealth, joy or whatever you feel. It is very simple to make one. It is the best to put yourself in meditation state first and ask to be guided by higher intelligence. Feel what you really want to show in mandala. Connect with that energy and ask for guidance and help in creating your mandala. Take a piece of paper and draw a cross using the ruler. The middle of the cross will be the center of your mandala. Put the divider in the middle and make a small circle around your center, then create bigger and bigger ones around. You can make even distances between circles or you can make different sizes, as you wish. The space of the concentric circles you created you can fill with all sorts of forms and shapes and in colors that feel good. Stay focused on your intention during the whole process.