The most intriguing and discussed symbol in Buddhist religion and art is the mandala, it symbolizes the container of one’s essence (“Manda” means essence, and its suffix “la” means container). The concept of a mandala was born long ago before history itself, mandala is a term used in a chapter of the Rig Veda which contained a collection of mantras that were used to be chanted in ceremonies. The universe itself, was believed to be created from these mantras, the sacred sounds which patterns are in all living beings and things in this universe.
The center is the origin of the mandala, which represents the starting point like a seed or a drop of water. it is where the outside energies are drawn. In this central area there is usually a deity, which interprets as the ” very one’s essence” and the outer lines are literally “grasping the essence”. The outlying square is the representation of the physical world we live in and the structure has four gates. These gates, symbolizes the connection between kindness, compassion, sympathy and equanimity. The following outer circle in most mandalas is often a ring of fire, which symbolizes what ordinary humans have to go through before entering to a sacred territory.
As well as geometry, colors are crucial to understand the true meaning of a mandala. The most common colors used are green, blue, yellow, red and white. These colors are a reminder of the delusions humans undergo during their lifetime.
Green: The delusion of jealousy becomes the wisdom of accomplishment.
Blue: The delusion of anger becomes the mirror like wisdom.
Yellow: The delusion of pride becomes the wisdom of sameness.
Red: The delusion of attachment becomes the wisdom of discernment.
White: The delusion of ignorance becomes the wisdom of reality.
Every monk receives a detailed training program before attempting to create a mandala, its creation is an act of worship. Each design is meditated upon, and is a continuum of spatial experiences. This creation is as well a sacred offering, since a mandala represents the entire universe, it symbolizes the most appropriate form of offering.
The mandala itself is one of the most important concepts in Buddhism psychology. It reminds people the potential in themselves and their very presence in the universe. The main purpose is to end suffering and attain enlightenment by having a more certain view of what reality truly is.