What is the Meaning of Mandala

Mandala Meaning

Mandala as a Holy Circle

an Excerpt from Spiritual Symbols with Their Meanings Book (AoL Book #8) by Nataša Nuit Pantović

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Mandala is a circle that represents Wholeness, that represents Divine, our relation to the Infinite, the world within our body and mind and the world outside.

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The mandala is used in many spiritual traditions all around the world.

Da Vinci Vitruvian Man Golden Ratio Symbolism

Da Vinci Vitruvian Man Golden Ratio Symbolism within a Mandala

Mandala Meaning with Native American Indians

Native American Indians have medicine wheels and sand mandalas. 

The Medicine Wheel or the Sacred Hoop, is a Healing Wheel. It can be an artwork or a construction on the land. The Medicine Wheel respects the four directions: East, South, West, and North represented by a colour (black, red, yellow, and white), elements: fire or sun (spiritual), air (mental), water (emotional), and earth (physical); animals: Eagle, Bear, Wolf, Buffalo, and plants: tobacco, sweet grass, sage, cedar. The ritual used within the Native American ceremonies is a dance in a clockwise direction. 

Mandala Meaning and Aztecs

Circular Aztec calendar is in a form of a Mandala 

The sacred calendar of the Aztecs of Mexico consisted of a 365-day calendar cycle and a 260-day ritual cycle. 

The Aztec sacred calendar called 'xiuhpohualli' divides the days and rituals between the Gods.

The Aztec calendar can be imagined as two wheels connected to each other. One wheel has the numbers ‘one’ to ‘thirteen’ written on it. The second wheel has twenty symbols on it. In the merging point, the number one combines with the first symbol. When the wheels start moving number two combines with the second symbol. After fourteen days, the wheel with the numbers shows number one again. The other wheel now shows the fourteenth symbol. After 260 days, the two wheels return to their initial position.

Each day-sign respects a God or an Elemental Force, the provider of the Life Energy for that day. This complex Sacred Calendar gives a reading of the significance of each day. 

Mandala Meaning in Tibet

In Tibetmandalas have complex geometrical shapes and are often used for .  Mandalas are sometimes made of sand to emphasize the impermanence of life.  When finished, the monks destroy the mandala sweeping it into a river, blessing the water. This action also symbolizes the cycle of life.

symbols and signs: meaning of mandala sand mandala in tibet

Mandalas in Tibet, within the tradition of Tantric Buddhism, are sacred geometric figures that represent the Universe  The word 'mandala' comes from a Sanskrit word that means 'circle'

Monks construct a mandala in a ritual while chanting mantras.  In Tibetan Buddhism, contemplation and meditation on a sacred image is central to their spiritual practices and rituals, and a mandala is one of the most sacred of all images.

Taoist Yin and Yang as Mandala

In Asia, the Taoist ‘yin and yang’ symbol is a mandala (circle representing Universe)

meaning of mandalas yin and yang symbol

The yin and yang symbol consists of a circle divided into two halves - one white and the other black. Within each half is contained a smaller circle of the opposite color.  The symbol represents Tao (DivineUniverseGod) and the primordial female (Yin) and male (Yangenergy that gives birth to all the manifested world.

Yin & Yang are co-existing together dancing their Cosmic Dance continuously transforming one into the other.  

One can not exist without the other, as night can not exist without day, and life can not exist without death, each contains the essence of the other.

Astrology Zodiac Circle as an Example of Mandala

symbols and signs: meaning of mandala astrology symbol by hermes

The astrology zodiac circle is a circle of Life that maps all the Universal energies in their interplay of forces.  A horoscope is a map of heavens: Sun, Moon, and the planets are in a dynamic relation to each other at a specific time, viewed from a specific place on Earth.  There are 12 astrological signs with their planets and each sign and constellation of planets has its own particular energy pattern that influences people on Earth.  

The astrology zodiac circle is an attempt to understand Universal Laws as manifested on Earth, to comprehand God and its manifestation.

The astrology zodiac circle shows the Earth at the center with the planets around it.

Mandala Meaning and Yoga

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In the yoga practices mandala is used to support meditation

Different types of mandalas are used to represent and worship different Gods.

Mandala usually has an image that inspires the Spiritual Growth and .  

One of the example is: Sri Yantra or Chakra ('holy wheel') that is a drawing of nine interlocked triangles in a circle, radiating out from the central point.  It represents the creation of the Universe and the union of Masculine and Feminine Divine.

Jung about Meaning of Mandalas

Jung mandala meaning'The "squaring of the circle" is one of the many archetypal motifs which form the basic patterns of our dreams and fantasies… Indeed, it could even be called the archetype of wholeness’…  The mandala really is: ‘Formation, Transformation, Eternal Mind’s eternal recreation’.

About Mandalas, from 'Mandalas', C. G. Jung.

'Very ancient magical effects are hidden in this symbol for it derives originally from the 'enclosing circle', the 'charmed circle', the magic of which has been preserved in countless folk customs. The image has the obvious purpose of drawing a sulcus primigenius, a magical furrow around the center, the templum, or temenos (sacred precinct), of the innermost personality, in order to prevent 'flowing out', or to guard by apotropaeic means against deflections through external influences. The magical practices are nothing but the projections of psychic events, which are here applied in reverse to the psyche, like a kind of spell on one's own personality. That is to say, by means of these concrete performances, the attention, or better said, the interest, is brought back to an inner, sacred domain, which is the source and goal of the soul and which contains the unity of life and consciousness. The unity once possessed has been lost, and must now be found again.'

Jung Quote about Mandala, Intro to the Secret of the Golden Flower

'If the fantasies are expressed in drawings, symbols appear which are chiefly of the so-called mandala type. 'Mandala' means a circle, more especially a magic circle, and this symbol is not only to be found all through the East but also among us. Mandalas are amply represented in the Middle Ages. The early Middle Ages are especially rich in Christian mandalas, and for the most part show Christ in the center, with the four evangelists, or their symbols, at the cardinal points. This conception must be a very ancient one, for the Egyptians represented Horus with his four sons in the same way.'

'Later there is to be found an unmistakable and very interesting mandala in Jacob Boehme's book on the soul. This latter mandala, it is clear, deals with a psycho-cosmic system strongly colored by Christian ideas. Boehme calls it the 'philosophical eye', or the 'mirror of wisdom', which obviously means a summa of secret knowledge.'

Jung about Christian Mandalas, Intro to Secret of the Golden Flower

According to Jungmandala is a magic circle, the symbol of the Self, formed by archetypal forces of the unconscious that the artist is not aware of during the creation of the work. The symbols and images come from the collective unconscious, these are primordial images, which reside in each one of us.

Symbolism of Flower of Life

meaning of mandala flower of life

A symbolism of Flower of Life has deep spiritual meaning. Its form is a mandala that consists of multiple evenly-spaced, overlapping circles. The Flower of Life pattern is found in ancient spiritual drawings, as the symbol that depicts the evolution of life within the aspects of space and time. Everything has a mathematical pattern. The Flower of Life carries the pattern of the Universal Life Force. The symbol is found carved in stone within the Temple of Osiris at Abydos, Egypt, possibly representing the Eye of Ra, and later in Phoenician, Asian, Middle Eastern, and Christian art. Today famous are Leonardo da Vinci’s mystical and occult drawings of the Flower of Life. Understanding The Flower of Life help us understand how the Universe works. This symbol could be used during meditations, or as a protection symbol and some use it to improve the quality of their drinking water.

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According to Jung, mandala is a magic circle, the symbol of the Self, formed by archetypal forces of the unconscious

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Draw Your Mandala, Alchemy of Love Mindfulness Training

This exercises is a part of our Alchemy of Love Mindfulness Training. It is designed to help you experience the benefits of this ancient tool: drawing a mandala.

Get an A3 paper.

You can use any type of colours but do prepare or mix a variety of shades.

Draw a proper circle. Start your Mandala with this circle.

Meditate in front of your circle.

Let the shapes and colours come from the depths of your Soul. Do not hurry. Allow the creation to happen.

Express yourself. Play with colours, play with shapes. 

Start drawing from the centre. Let the mandala express itself using this inward movement from the centre of the circle towards its outer parts.

Do not limit your imagination. Do not compete. Just draw. This is your circle. This is your mandala. Let it represent you.

Draw the Mandala and Remember to Enjoy the process, Remember to Play, and Love Your Work of Art!

Finish the Mandala when you feel ready. Allow some time for the drawing to happen. Stay in front of it meditating. Take the proper impression of your new creation.

What does it say? What does it represent? What is the interplay of colours telling you? Is the grey you used very dark? Is there any red within your painting? How about the blue? Write down the thoughts that come to you. Allow the mandala to speak to you about your life.

Share this process with your friends, share your thoughts and feelings.

alchemy of love mindfulness training

For more inspiration see the 100s of mindfulness tools and exercises within our Alchemy of Love Mindfulness Training.

Mindfulness works with the continuous awareness of body, breath; feelings, thoughts, intentions, images. We created the Alchemy of Love Mindfulness Training to help you within your Spiritual Journey.

Learn more about Alchemy of Love Mindfulness Training Methodology or View the Detailed Program with 100s of mindfulness transformation tools designed to inspire your journey.

You can start your journey with us simply downloading the course materials and working with spiritual exercises that we have created for you.

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