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If you've ever been to a Buddhist temple or admired religious art from Asia, there's a good chance you've seen mandala art. Pixabay

BY- JAYA CHOUDHARY

Mandalas have been a common art form and social media theme lately. Circular patterns have been increasingly popular in recent years, appearing in everything from dream catchers and adult coloring books to tapestries and flash tattoos. However, there is more to this art form than mere aesthetics.


The Sanskrit word mandala means “circle.” The circle patterns reflect the notion that in life everything is interconnected. Mandalas come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They’re usually made out of paper or fabric, drawn with threads on a board, fashioned out of bronze, or carved out of stone.

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Many religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity, consider the mandala to be a divine icon. If you’ve ever been to a Buddhist temple or admired religious art from Asia, there’s a good chance you’ve seen mandala art.


The Sanskrit word mandala literally means “circle.” Pixabay

History of Mandala

In 563 B.C.E., Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, was born in Nepal. After becoming mindful of human pain, Gautama fled his kingdom and found enlightenment through meditation and reflective action, according to popular beliefs. He started preaching his teachings throughout India, gaining devout followers, and finally founding the first sangha, or Buddhist monastic society. These Buddhist monks introduced Buddhism to other countries when they traveled the Silk Road, an ancient network of trading routes connecting East and West. They took mandalas with them and spread the tradition of painting these sacred works of art across Asia.


The circle patterns reflect the notion that in life everything is interconnected. Pixabay

Buddhism appeared in China by the first century C.E., according to archaeological testimonies. Whereas the religion arrived in Korea in the fourth century C.E. from China, and it spread to Japan in the middle of the sixth century C.E. from Korea. Buddhism had spread across Southeast Asia by the first century C.E., and became increasingly important in Indonesia during the seventh and eighth centuries C.E. In the seventh century C.E., The art form has now made it all over the world, including New York City.

Significance

Mandalas are significant in cultures all over the world, and they serve as a sign of wholeness, which we sometimes miss in our hectic lives. Mandalas are a form of meditation used by Tibetan Buddhists to heal and enlighten their minds. Buddhist monks perform a ceremony in which they make mandalas out of colored sand, starting in the middle and going outwards, using metal tools called ‘Chak-pur’ to carefully position each grain of sand in the correct location.


Mandalas are a form of meditation used by Tibetan Buddhists to heal and enlighten their minds. Pixabay

But, while the meticulous method is impressive in and of itself, it’s the conclusion that’s the most intriguing. The monks use a paintbrush to destroy the sand patterns after hours of making them. They pull the brush from the circle’s circumference to the middle. What is the reason for this? Well, to embody a fundamental idea that life is fleeting and we can enjoy the perfection that is right in front of us without missing it when it’s no longer there.

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Spiritual benefits mandala art

Mandalas are most often used as a method of meditation for gaining wisdom from the inside. Mandalas are abstract symbols that can offer profound inner change when meditated on. So the first move is to find a mandala that you really like. Then you concentrate on the purpose you want to put into your life, and then you softly gaze at the mandala’s beautiful designs. If your mind wanders to everyday worries, simply return your attention to the art’s beauty.


Mandalas are most often used as a method of meditation for gaining wisdom from the inside. Pixabay

Through being drawn into the patterns and colors of the mandala, you should be able to focus all of your attention on it. Gradually, you may become calmer, and you may have a sense of lightness and intuitive feelings. Allow yourself to drift with it, and if your mind goes places, simply relax and return your eyes to the mandala. When you first begin meditating on a mandala, start with 5 minutes and eventually increase to 15 minutes as you gain experience.


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