Mandalas are among the most profound and sacred symbols used in spiritual practice. They predate religion and perhaps even recorded history; however, they have been prevalent in Hindu and Buddhist traditions.
Mandalas are usually circular and symmetrical in design and can vary in subject matter, color and complexity. They are said to symbolize and embody the patterns and structure of Universe. When we gaze upon them, they resonate within us at a cellular and even a genetic level. Their significance extends to the sacred sounds, vibrations and quantum processes that are foundational to our very existence.
A Reminder of Our True Divine Nature
Mandalas are holographic in that they represent the wholeness of the psyche of the spiritual practitioner, unity in the world, and the Oneness of the Universe/Multiverse. Everything is connected, despite the illusion of separation. Life can be full of distractions that lead us astray from the fundamental reality of Oneness; however, gazing upon a mandala allows us to realign with this truth and amplify it within ourselves and out in the world. We begin to understand and embody our connection with the Infinite realm outside of space and time.
In this way, mandalas remind us that we are far more than our limited human senses and ego would have us believe. We are infinite, immortal spiritual beings having a temporary human experience. It could be said that we are a hybrid of mortal and immortal forces. Mandalas awaken us to the truth that who we are extends far beyond space and time, while simultaneously embodying it.
As Above, So Below
The famous Buddhist saying, “Form is emptiness, and emptiness is form” expresses much the same thing. Everything in the material world arises from and returns to the formless Oneness. Our human “avatars” came from this Oneness of All That Is, and will one day return to it. However, we can choose to align with this timeless force now, even while still in human form. When enough of us do this, evolution will reach a tipping point. The world as we know it will be transformed through a quantum leap in consciousness, and anything will be possible.
As we surrender to The Highest Good, we are aligned with an infinitely loving, infinitely wise power that can elevate us in ways we perhaps never thought possible. Gazing upon the sacred mandala helps us to experience this at a cellular level, without a word, without a thought. It changes our DNA in profound, positive and undeniable ways.
Sacred Symbol, Sacred Sound
The shape and form of many mandalas also resonate with sacred sounds used in Buddhist chants and those of other spiritual traditions. It is said that the foundational, sacred sound of “OM” actually creates one of the most profound and time-honored mandalas of all time: the Sri Yantra. The vibrations produced while chanting “OM” near a malleable substance like water or sand cause the formation of this sacred, profound and Enlightening symbol.
The Sri Yantra is comprised of nine interlocking triangles organized around a central bindu point. This central point represents the invisible, elusive center outside of ALL dimensions and from which the entire Multiverse emanates. The Sri Yantra also includes two rows of lotus petals (8 and 16) representing the vital creative and reproductive forces of the Universe.
Infinite Love is the Only Reality; All Else is Temporary Illusion
It is said that All That Exists or Could Exist is represented by the Sri Yantra mandala. Much more than just a two-dimensional image, it is multidimensional and multisensory, while also embodying the realm beyond all forms. It functions as a timeless, inexhaustible, infinitely loving organizing force perpetuating the Highest Good in all matters for all eternity.
Here on earth, mandalas can be created in any medium, including paint, chalk, flower petals, and even sand. More recently, mandalas have been created in perfect symmetry using computer programs, highlighting and underscoring their holographic nature.
Monks who create large, intricate mandalas using sand are perhaps expressing the fundamental truth of this life: that everything here, while it can be very beautiful, is also impermanent. Monks who create sand mandalas receive a very powerful lesson on impermanence and non-attachment. However, they also know the essence of the mandala itself is timeless and can be recreated again and again.