'Mandalas' are thought to be one of the worlds oldest of all art forms .
The word 'Mandala' is from the Sanskrit and has been defined as "circle", "round" or "wheel". "whole world". Below you will see some Hand Painted Indian Mandalas for sale, (Free worldwide shipping) Just click an image for more details:
History of Mandalas
There are many ways to view Mandalas, they could be seen as a sort of landscape of the mind. They have been described by some people as "expressing a microcosm embodying the various divine powers at work in the universe." Attempting to quantify exactly what a Mandala is, is a very difficult task. However one common feature is that they have been widely used in different forms of meditation. The form of a Mandala on the primary level is purely visual one, the meaning they possess is unique to the creator and the beholder.
In their earliest forms within Hindu and Buddhist art works, they were graphic symbols of the universe . In latter manifestations they arose off the parchment and gave inspiration to western church architecture in the shape of great multicolored "Rose" windows throughout the cathedrals of Europe. Here , the new element of light came into glorious effect, literally illuminating the spiritual and religious representations of the church.
Mandalas in Buddhism
Tibetan monks often make temporary "Sand-Mandala". These Sand Mandalas in tantric Buddhism usually depicts a landscape of the Buddha land or the enlightened vision of a Buddha. Mandalas are also commonly used by tantric Buddhists as an aid to meditation.
The patterns of sand Mandals are painstakingly created on the temple floor by a team of monks who all use small tubes and rub a metal object against the tube's notched surface to create a tiny flow of grains. The various aspects of the traditionally fixed design represent symbolically the objects of worship and contemplation of the Tibetan Buddhist cosmology.
To symbolize impermanence (a central teaching of Buddhism), after days or weeks of creating the intricate pattern, the sand is simply brushed together and is usually placed in a body of running water to spread the blessings of the Mandala.
The visualization and creation of the Mandala concept is one of the most significant contributions of Buddhism to religious psychology. Mandalas are actually seen as sacred places and their presence in the world may remind a viewer of the impermanence ot the material world and also the blessing of sanctity in the universe. In the context of the Buddhist path the purpose of a mandala is to help end human suffering, to attain enlightenment and to attain a correct view of what reality is . It is ultimately a means to discover divinity by the realization that it resides within one's own self.
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Mandala in Western Secular Society
In the West, mandala is also used to refer to the "personal world" in which one lives, the various elements of the mandala or the activities and interests in which one engages, the most important being at the centre of the mandala and the least important at the periphery. Depicting one's personal mandala in pictorial form can give one a good indication of the state of one's spiritual life. Stained glass 'Rose' windows can be seen as stained glass mandalas
Mandalas in Hinduism
In Hindu cosmology, the surface of the earth is often represented as a square. The square, after the triangle is the most fundamental of all Hindu forms. The earth is thus depicted as being four cornered with reference to the horizon's relationship with sunrise and sunset, the north and south direction. In Hinduist traditions, earth is called Caturbhrsti (four-cornered) and is represented in the symbolic form of the Prithvi Mandala.
The astrological charts or horoscopes (Rasi, Navamsa, etc) also represent in a square plan the ecliptic the positions of the sun, moon, planets and zodiacal constellations with reference to the native's place and time of birth. The Vaastu Purusha Mandala is the metaphysical plan of a building, temple or site that incorporates the course of the heavenly bodies and supernatural forces. The Mandala of the hexagram, somewhat resembling the Star of David, is an archetypal symbol for the sacred union of opposite energies. Formed by the intertwining of the "fire" and "water" triangles this symbol represents the masculine and feminine principles in perfect union. In India, the symbol represents the "cosmic dance" of Shiva and Shakti.
The Star symbol has been found on temples in India from almost 10,000 years ago. In addition to the balance between man and woman, the Star symbolizes the Nara Narayana or perfect meditative balancing state achieved between Man and God, and if maintained, results in "Moksha", or "Nirvana", i.e., release from the bounds of the earthly world and its material trappings.
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