Update   jeudi 20 novembre 2003 17:18



The Mandala

Copyright © S‚dhana


The meaning it sanscrit means at first circle and by diversion territory. It is the diagram with connotation cosmic esoterically intended to allow his(her) author or those that look at it with concentration, to reinstate their appropriate(clean) nature within the universe. The most known are Guhyasamaja, Kal‚chakra (below represented), Bardo, the Wheel of the Life, those of Hevraja, Chakrasamvara,

The majority of the mandalas are dedicated to divinities and are a part of tantrics rites  who are intended for them. One can compare them to Yantras of Hinduism who preceded them and the morphological by-products of which they are a little .

Kala.jpg ( 43341 bytes)

Made according to very precise geometrical rules(rulers), it is of use , afterward , as support of consideration and to the evocation of a deity or the divinity supervised by a llama holder of the concerned tradition. To give concrete expression to the impermanence of things and phenomena, it is destroyed after custom, as it should be could say) and the custom wants that one scatters it in the most close stream.

The mandala consists of multiple circular and square elements; it exists there however who are formed only by a kind of shape, either circular, or square. It is there of very simple  (with an ideogram, a flower of lotus...) as of very complex (with hundreds of bouddhas, divinities, a whole lineage of llamas...) almost monochrome and richly polychromed; one finds quadruples of it the same tangkha or the same fresco and extreme case of the mandalas of mandalas (4 + 1 exchange).

Normally, three concentric circles (that of Kal‚chakra in account 6) contain the square central representation. They symbolize three bodies: Dharmak‚ya - Sambhogak‚ya - Nirm‚nak‚ya, namely those main part, of remuneration and transformation,  or, according to another vision: the spiritual birth, the awakening and the knowledge.

The square representation (circular if need be also) contained in aforesaid circles and sensible to define the " temple of the Man ", has four doors situated in 4 cardinal points (by not forgetting that one returns by the East) and of a circle or a central square where the deity / divinity, to which the mandala is dedicated, appears in its attributes (for that appearing, here, it is about Manjushri, the bodhisattva of the sapientiale Knowledge). These doors symbolize the four liberations, or the means to empty the spirit of any thought by entering in the East to realize the sam‚dhi in the North.

In the Tibetan iconography, one finds usually mandalas dedicated to the five Jin‚s or cosmic principle of Wisdom called so confusedly by mixture with the consideration, Dhyani-bouddha. They are respectively

- Aksobhya in the East,

- Ratnasambhava in the South

- Amit‚bha on the West (direction of the Pure Earth)

- Amogasiddhi in the North

- Vairocana in the Centre (he sometimes is inverted with Vajradhara)

They are supposed to represent the antidotes to five poisons (to see Notions) or the realization of the body, the word, the spirit, the original consciousness and supreme bliss. They are symbolically associated to doors and in the center of the other mandalas, even if they are not really included in the drawing. In fact, they constitute the archetype of the process of progress and realization contained in the mandalas.

Note: all the tangkhas are not mandalas and inversely; indeed,  there are mandalas in three dimensions, the mountain Mťru of which some in metal - some silver mostly - represent. Besides, for those that frequent the Tibetan temples, the most known is that of the rite of pujas, constituted by concentric circular bowls and filled with rice or with beans.


Finally some considerations:

The mandala is the privileged place, the axis of the mental and physical universe where the follower realizes the space. The psychic and physical life of the individual reflects that of the universe. So, following one Socrates and DŰgen: " know yourself and you will know the universe. " RŁdiger Dahlke very well described it in his book: " Mandalas, how to find the divine in itself " or how to be in accordance with itself and with its objective. The One, centres some mandala escapes any intellectual representation. He is alive in each of us, but neither the will nor the intellect can make us it become aware, namely collection of the unique centre.

The universe is a mandala in the same way as the eye, the rose, the snow crystal, the cross under its different forms, the brain, the snail shell and even the patch of roof, finally forget not that our body as the wheel of the zodiac is a perfect mandala. Everything turns around this centre, because the mandala is the wheel of the life, image of the universe arising all the time from the unique centre. It is at the top as below, outside as inside. Zohar, Hebraic book of the lights, says " everything is locked in the man, it is the complement and the completion of everything ".

At first was the Verb, now the Verb proceeds of the Sound. The sound hides in him a mandala, because leaving the unique centre, soundwaves spread in concentric circles just like the mandala. Any shape derives from the point, but the point has itself no shape, the point is without dimension. The center is the essence of any mandala, in him become reconciled the opposite, in him opposite are abolished. The faculty to understand disappears in the center of the mandala; outside the centre, things become understandable.

As long as the man did not understand the Silence, he did not receive Communition with the universal Spirit and did not go down to the sources of sound to be . Stop above all the excitement of mental sound to reach its centre. This fact, meditating him(it) makes then a master of the " internal reflection ", having learnt to control himself. The consideration is a reinstatement of the being in himself. Change at first itself to change the vision of the world. It is for it that tightens the attentive pondering and concentrative of any mandala, natural or artistic.

Please, go to make a walk in the nature or in your district. Please , look and count all the mandalas which surround you ! Maybe your vision of the world will have changed...!

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