Mandala Monday – Mandala: The Origin of the Word by Epouna

If you have ever wondered why every mandala that you see is round in shape, it is because the English word circle is translated from the Sanskrit word mandala. Although you may have been recently introduced to the term, it is certainly nothing new. In fact, the idea behind mandala was used in many religions, thousands of years ago, long before it began its rise in popularity in the Sanskrit world.

Painted 19th century Tibetan mandala of the Naropa tradition

The powerful circular form of the mandala is prevalent in Buddhist and Hindu religions. You will notice four gates in the shape of a T that extend from the center point in these pieces, showing the circle of unity. Vajrayana is a Tibetan branch of Buddhism that offer total enlightenment by creating their mandalas as sandpaintings. Of course, this is certainly not the only example of mandala used in religion.

Tibetan monks making a temporary “Sand-Mandala”
in the City-Hall of Kitzbuehel in Austria.

The moji-mandala is a common form you will find in Nichiren Buddhism. It’s created as a wooden tablet or a hanging paper scroll. These not only hold inscriptions of Chinese characters but medieval Sanskrit as well to cover Buddha’s concepts, enlightenment and protective elements as well as other gods of Buddha. Nichiren religions worship this form of mandala, also referred to as Gohonzon.

Two and three-dimensional mandalas with geometric angles are used in meditation in Hindu rituals. Referred to as Yantras in this case, it is believed that the gods live within them. Therefore, each Yantras is unique to one god. Individuals who use Yantras for worship are able to seek the presence of these gods to ask for guidance.

A diagramic drawing of the Sri Yantra, showing the outside square,
with four T shaped gates, and the central circle.

Those who practice the Christian religion may be familiar with mandala in the form of rosary, halos, Crown of Thorns, rosy cross, rose windows and Celtic crosses. These are all used by worshipers to feel closer to God.

Interior of the rose at Strasbourg Cathedral.

For many centuries, the Bora Ring site has been used for initiation rituals by Australian natives. The girdle or circular belt worn by the acolytes is referred to as the Bora. Intricate stone arrangements such as Stonehenge offer a close relation to the mandala and Bora Ring. Creator-spirit Baiame is represented in ancient art and rock carvings as a mandalan figure.

You will find a collection of both inner and outer circles when viewing a mandala. These offer a different representation depending on which religious group is viewing the piece. Native-Americans have also used the mandala form in their culture. The inner mandala supports offerings pertaining to the body while the outer supports human senses.

You may or may not be familiar with labyrinths which are closely related to the mandala as they both take you on a circular journey toward the heart of the piece. Minotaur of ancient mythology was the inspiration behind the first labyrinth being built so that it could be held safely. The labyrinth’s center is viewed as being divine just as the mandala’s center offers enlightenment.


The greatest of mandalas is the spiral or circle of life. Trusting in your beliefs will give you the truest meaning. These are the strong beliefs that send you on an inner journey as you observe and are surrounded by the outer world, just as the mandala began its journey in the Sanskrit world.

Article by Epouna

Images from Wikimedia Commons


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Mandala Monday – Mandala Coloring Pages by Dell Dom

Author: dell dom

Mandala coloring pages are getting to be more and more popular on the web. For a much better understanding of this art form, this post offers a history of the sacred art. From the Indian Sanskrit, Mandala signifies “circle” and is one of the world’s most historical forms of artwork. All mandala patterns and designs use the circle. The spherical shape represents eternity and nature, particularly the sun, the moon, the earth, and all points depicting life. In each elements of religion and psychology, the distinct kinds of mandalas can be found.

For religious purposes, mandala designs symbolized the world as sacred, and so does everything that exists in the world. Spiritual practices such as Hinduism and Buddhism used the mandala for inner peace and healing. Buddhists created mandala sand paintings to symbolize healing, and as soon as the objective is served, these paintings are then destroyed.

Mandala coloring pages are being used all over the world as a form of remedy. Mandala pictures and patterns are utilized to signify the wholeness of a patient as an individual. This technique of healing has been traced back over a thousand years of analysis and observation with babies having a preference of circles over other styles. This pertains to the ideology that people have an innate fascination with and want to look at circular designs. The generating of mandala designs and patterns as a part of a remedy allows people to collect on their own and recognize their part in the culture and in the world.

Mandala coloring pages come from any inspirations. One of these is the kaleidoscope. If you look carefully into it, you will recognize that all the patterns are symmetrical in all angles and equivalent with all the intricate patterns. Other kinds of mandala artwork take form in recycled vinyl data and compact discs as the foundation, and even dinner plates and fabric garments. Other people make use of fractal designs and geometry in creating mandala designs and designs. There are hundreds of internet sites these days that supply a wide selection of mandala patterns and picture galleries  from which anyone can get inspiration.

If you carefully analyze a mandala pattern, it is noticeable that there is an image or a dot at the very middle. This is really the basis of the entire piece. This little dot or circle represents a seed, a drop, or a egg, which are both spherical or circular in shape. Its symbolism is that this is where the energies from exterior are drawn into. Apart from the designs and line patterns in a mandala, the colors also symbolize something. The most dominant colors in a mandala are blue, yellow, red, green, and white. Based on what you use for mandala coloring pages, each piece will be unique. Blue represents the delusion of anger which becomes the mirror of knowledge. Red represents the delusion of attachment which becomes the wisdom of discernment. White is the delusion of ignorance which turns into the wisdom of reality. Green is the delusion of jealousy which turns into the knowledge of accomplishment. And last but not least, yellow is the delusion of pride which becomes the wisdom of sameness.

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For sources of mandalas to color see my post 10 Links to Free Mandala Coloring Pages


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