Mandala (Sanskrit mandala “essence” +”having ” or “containing” it is also translated as “circle- circumference” or “completion”, both derived from Tibetan term dkyil khor). Mandala is of Hindu origin, the term being used for the books of the Rig Veda but is also used in other Indian religions such as 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.
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.” The psychoanalyst Carl Jung saw the mandala as “a representation of the unconscious self,” and believed his paintings of mandalas enabled him to identify emotional disorders and work towards wholeness in personality.
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.
Sri yantra is called the mother of all yantras because all other yantras derive from it. The Sri Yantra is a configuration of nine interlacing triangles centred around the bindu (the central point of the yantra), drawn by the super imposition of five downward pointing triangles, representing Shakti ; the female principle and four upright triangles, representing Shiva ; the male principle. Man’s spiritual journey from the stage of material existence to ultimate enlightenment is mapped on the Sri Yantra. The spiritual journey is taken as a pilgrimage in which every step is an ascent to the center, a movement beyond one’s limited existence, and every level is nearer to the goal.
Each of the circuits of the Sri Yantra, from the outer plane to the bindu (the center), corresponds with one of the stages of the spiritual journey.
The goal of contemplating the Sri Yantra is that the adept can rediscover his primordial sources. The circuits symbolically indicate the sucessive phases in the process of becoming.
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Image from Wikimedia Commons
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