Mandala is derived from the word “manda” which means “essence” and the suffix “la” was later added to literally mean “to contain”.

Watching: What is a Mandala?

From there the mandala is clearly explained as “containing the essence”. The image of the mandala represents the body and mind of the Buddha.

In esoteric Buddhism, the principle of the mandala is the presence of the Buddha within but not necessarily the presence of deities. The deities can be represented as a wheel, a tree or an ornament or any other symbolic representation.

The making progress :

The original mandala was just a dot, which represents infinity. It means 1 seed, the most important starting point. This center has attracted all the energy of the outer universe, and as a force of attraction, the energy of the believer is opened up and is also drawn into it. Therefore, the mandala is the symbol of all outer and inner cosmic space. The goal is to remove the separation between the subject and the subject.

When creating a mandala, a line will appear from the center then other lines will appear until they intersect to form triangles. The outer circle represents the impulse consciousness of the beginning, the square represents the material world facing the four directions, in addition, it also has the meaning of the four gates. The central area is the abode of the deity. The mandala center is considered the essence, and the circle is considered the maintenance. So a complete mandala painting means maintaining the essence.

Construction :

Before a monk is allowed to undertake the work of making a mandala, he must undergo a long period of training in art skills and memorization, learning how to draw all kinds of different symbols. and research related philosophical ideas. At Namgyal Monastery, for example, this period lasts up to three years. In the first stages, monks must sit on the outside of the basic unpainted mandala, facing the center of the mandala at all times.

For the large mandala, when the monks are half painted, they have to stand on the floor and bend over to sprinkle the color.

Traditionally, a mandala is divided into four equal parts and each monk is responsible for one part. At the place where the monks stood to sprinkle the colors, an assistant would join the four sections together. These assistants work collaboratively to help the four monks add color to the four sections while the four monks sketch out the other details.

Monks will recall all the details of a mandala as part of their monastic training program. It is very important to remember that a mandala is strictly based on the scriptures. At the conclusion of each piece of work, the monks dedicate any spiritual or artistic merit accumulated from this work for the benefit of all sentient beings.

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This practice is carried out in all spiritual works of art. One main reason the monks are so focused on their work is that they are actually imparting the Buddha’s teachings. The mandala contains the teachings of the Buddha for the attainment of great liberation and enlightenment, their pure motives and perfection in their work favor the contemplators to the highest benefit.

Each of the four parts of the mandala is facing the center, so each of them is facing the place where the deity dwells in the mandala. From the perspective of the monks and onlookers standing around the mandala, the details closest to the viewer appear to be inverted, while the details in the furthest part are correct.

In general, each monk is responsible for his or her part while painting the square sections of the palace. When they paint concentric circles, they have to move around the mandala in turn. They wait for the entire phase to complete before moving out together.

This ensures that balance is maintained and that all four parts of the mandala are completed at the same time. Preparing to build a mandala is an artistic endeavor but at the same time an act of reverence. In this reverence, thoughts and forms are established, in which the deepest intuitions will be expressed as spiritual art. The construction of the commonly meditative mandala is a series of spatial experiences whose essence precedes existence, which means that thought precedes form.

In its most common form, a mandala is a series of concentric circles. Each mandala has its own deity residing in a square structure concentrically placed within these circles.

The perfect square of the mandala indicates that the absolute space of wisdom is not inherently obsessive. This square structure has 4 meticulously drawn gates representing the convergence of the Four Immeasurables (Compassion, Compassion, Joy, Equanimity). Each gate is decorated with bells, garlands and other decorative details.

This square defines the architecture of the mandala depicted as a palace or a temple with four faces. A palace because it is the seat of the main deities in the mandala, also a temple because it contains the essence of the Buddha Series of circles surrounding the central palace in a symbolic structure strong image.

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Starting with the outer circles, you’ll notice a ring of fire, often described as a unique scrolling ornament.

The ring of fire represents the transformation process that ordinary beings must go through before entering the sacred Pure Land within. Next is a ring of the Vajra Scepter, indicating indestructibility and the vajra-like splendor of the spiritual realms of the mandala.

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In the next concentric circle, especially the mandalas characteristic of the wrathful deities, you can see eight cemeteries arranged on a wide band. These eight graveyards represent the eight factors of human consciousness that bind them to the phenomenal world and the cycle of birth and death. Finally, at the center of the mandala is the position of the deity, if you look at the center of the deity of the mandala, you will know which mandala belongs to. It is said that the mandala obtained this power by the deity himself in the mandala.


In the most general way, the central Ban Ton can be one of the following three types:

Ton Hien Hoa village:

A gentle deity represents his own special spiritual approach and existence. For example, a bodhisattva image or (Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva) represents the loving-kindness that is central to spiritual experience; Manjushri Bodhisattva focuses on wisdom and Vajrapani emphasizes courage and wisdom to seek divine wisdom.

Ban Ton was outraged:

The wrathful deities symbolize the strong struggle to overcome the alienation and hate within each person. The deity is the embodiment of all the inner defilements that darken our thoughts, words, and actions and prevent us from reaching the Buddhist goal of enlightenment.

Traditionally, wrathful deities are understood as aspects of the principle of compassion, only to be feared by those who see them as outside forces. When they realize aspects of themselves and are tamed with spiritual practice, they find the outer dharma signs of these deities to be very pure and compassionate.

The Tongue of Love:

The erotic image shows the integration process that lies at the heart of the mandala. The male and female element is nothing, but the symbolism of countless pairs of opposites (e.g. love and hate, good and bad, etc.) is one of the experiences of mundane existence. The beginning of finding ways to prevent alienation of oneself or the other, by accepting and enjoying all things as a seamless, interconnected field of experience. The image of eroticism can also be understood as a metaphor for enlightenment, satisfaction, happiness, unity, completeness.

Color :

If form is the essence of the mandala, so is color. The four sections of the mandala are typically divided according to isosceles triangles of color, consisting of four parts of the five colors:

– White,

– Yellow,

– Red,

– Green,

– Dark green.

Each of these colors is related to one of the five transcendent Buddhas, furthermore they are also related to the five illusions of human nature. These illusions obscure our true nature, but through spiritual practice they can be transformed into the five wisdoms corresponding to the five transcendent Buddhas, namely:

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* White color – Vairocana (Virginius Buddha): Illusion of ignorance becomes the Dharma Realm of intellectual property.

* Yellow color – Ratnasambhava (Buddha Birth Treasure): Illusion of conceit turns into Equality of wisdom.

* Red – Amitabha: The delusion of grasping becomes the wonderful observation of wisdom

* Green color – (Real not accomplishing Buddha): Ignorance, envy, and becoming a city of intellectual property.

* Dark blue color – (Asuc Buddha): The delusion of anger becomes the Great Venerable Mandala

is a sacred offering

Divine Sacrifice:

In addition to decorating and making temples, and places of residence sacred, the daily life of Tibetans, according to the mandala tradition, is offered to the masters upon requesting the masters to transmit the Dharma. or empowerment – ​​they use the mandala to represent the entire universe, expressing their highest gratitude for the noble Dharma.

Once in the wild landscape of India, the Mahasiddha Tilopa asked Naropa to offer a mandala. At that time there was no material available to build a mandala, so Naropa urinated in the sand and formed a mandala of wet sand as an offering to his master. On another occasion, Naropa used his blood, head and limbs to create an offering mandala. His Master was delighted.


Concluding the visualization and concretization of the mandala concept is one of the most significant contributions of Buddhism for the psychology of religion. Mandala is considered a sacred place, by its presence in this world reminds the beholder of the inner sanctity of the universe and its potential within each person.

In Buddhism the purpose of the mandala is to end human suffering, to achieve enlightenment, to gain the right view of Reality. The mandala is a means to discover the transcendental quality through mandala realization in one’s own mind.

If you have a chance to witness the scene of Tibetan monks performing the mandala (English: mandala, Sanskrit: maṇḍala, Tibetan: dkyil “khor, Hoa: 曼荼羅) then you will probably never Forget the very special impression left in the memory. Mandala is not only the visualization of a skillful means of cultivation but also a unique art. This art requires the meticulous work together of a group of people who really focus their minds over a period of many days using typical rudimentary tools.

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According to the opinion from Namyal Monastery, which is the personal autobiography of the Dalai Lama, Buddhists believe that simply contemplating the mandala is enough to transform an individual’s mindstream through powerful impressions. about the sublime beauty of the Buddha’s mind expressed in the mandala. As a result, the devotee may experience greater awakening compassion, and a better sense of the perfect state.