Mandalas are exceptional works of art in relation to the main facet of the religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity. All of them coincide at one point and denote life is a journey of a cycle that nature also has a cyclic pattern, for instance, the approaches of different seasons, the end of these seasons, and the rebirth of these seasons. But with the passage of time, mandalas have become a social institution like marriage and penetrated into the world of fashion in the form of tattoos. Religiously and socially, mandalas hold the highest position, and so do spiritually because they have features, which will give you peace of mind, as well as they, are tempting that draw the attention of people to do something extraordinary.
Along with this, the essence of the mandala will never change, and it will carry the same significance in the days to come.
What is a Mandala?
Mandala is a word derived from Sanskrit, which is the oldest language in the world, or you can say which is as old as time. It is relative because it is a part of the Hindu culture when we trace its origin of history. However, this can be a controversial statement to the Buddhist mandala makers. One thing that is acceptable to both religions is that it symbolizes birth and death; further, it symbolizes the days of our lives: childhood, adulthood, and ripe old age. And the same meaning is held by Christianity.
History of Mandalas
Although historians could not date back the origin of Mandalas, yet they guess around 560 B.C. Some turned back the clock and associated it with the first-century B.C.E.
The founder of Buddhism, Siddhartha Gautam, also known as “Gautam Buddha”, started teaching the principles of Buddhism to his followers who wanted to enrich their life spiritually. This led to the establishment of the first community/the first sangha of Buddhist monks. Then the Buddhist monks traveled the trade route connecting the East and the West, which is known as the Silk Road, as well as the other parts of Asia, like Tibet, China, Nepal, India, Japan, and other countries.
Purpose and Symbolism
Mandalas are the representations of perfectly symmetrical geometric shapes, signifying different meanings, including the obvious one mentioned above. They are the pictures wherein you see various aspects of the universe, the principles of life, and they comprise the five elements: earth, water, air, fire, and space. They have created a platform to view life from different angles and represented that our world exists within us and beyond our body and mind. They are also the expressions of the teachings of Buddha-like meditation, medicine, stress reliever, and ceremonial, and they are boundless from the rigid traits of cultures and religions, which are around the world because we see an amalgamation because we see democratization.
Types of Mandalas
There are different types of mandalas, and some of the most important ones are Kalachakra Mandala, Architectural Mandala, Shiva God Mandala, Sri yantra mandala, Buddha Mandala, and Mantra Mandala but Teaching Mandala, Healing Mandala, and Sand Mandala are the most common types of Mandalas that are part and partial of peoples’ life.
Teaching Mandalas are mainly symbolic, consisting of shape, line, and color, and represent various aspects of Buddhism, including religious and philosophical aspects. They can be of different principles of design and construction, in other words, for example, the symbolization of the learning by the students. Generally, they also serve as colorful mental maps, especially for the mandala creators.
Generally, Healing mandalas are true to their names. Such mandalas are meditation mandalas and have powerful healing energies. Monks generally make these mandalas to meditate and to make the mind stable, and the latter constitutes of a belief in delivering wisdom, helping you focus, improving your concentration, and making you calm.
Sand Mandala is traditional and used for religious purposes. This type of mandala is made from fine multi-colored sand placed in concentric circles. To make the sand mandalas, metal funnels are used to make sure a uniform amount of sand is used for the aesthetics purpose of mandalas. And the thing about sand mandalas is they have been swept away after every ceremony and viewed to symbolize the transitory nature of material life.
Mandala art: How to draw mandalas?
Drawing Mandalas can get complicated, especially when you see the Monks or other professionals do it, especially with a lot of meaning with various versions of perspectives. But if you want to draw a Mandala sitting in the comfort of your home, it might not be as hard as you think. You don’t necessarily have to make mandalas with a sacred meaning. Sometimes, you might even draw them to let your creativity flow.
- Create a center point on blank paper.
- Draw a big circle on it with the help of a compass.
- Now, you can add more circles inside your central bigger circle.
- Then you can add straight lines through the center point to make different triangles pointing to other triangles.
- Now, add different designs inside different geometrical shapes formed in your ‘Mandala.’
- You can add different shapes like circles, domes, triangles, squares, or even different shapes of your own. Play around and let your creativity flow by making up secret symbols, or do anything that your creativity suggests.
- Now, you might have a mandala with shapes and different designs.
- You can also add in different colors to make it more vibrant and viola- it’s your first-ever Mandala.
But, now, Mandalas are not just limited to paper or cloth; you can even try creating mandalas in different Mandala making apps just like you create on paper. With mobile apps to create mandalas, you can pour in more creativity and make better mandalas making them more symmetrical and aesthetically pleasing.