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The Mandala Definition

definition of a mandala

The word “Mandala” is a Sanskrit term that when translated means “circle”, “center’ or “discord object”. A mandala can be described as a circle or geometric design, that is controlled, or enclosed within a square.

brief history

By the fourth century, the Buddhist monks would carry mandalas with them, spreading the mandala practice of painting some of these spiritual concepts, to other regions in Asia, like Tibet, Japan, and China.


Ever since their creation, mandalas were used as symbols for meditation, concentration, protection, a personal maturity process, and healing. Different religions, philosophies, and cultures, all use different techniques of mediation when using mandalas.

mandala in buddhism

In Buddhism, the mandala represents the universe and emphasizes the potential of enlightenment. 

mandala in hinduism

The Hindu mandala is in the form of a square that has four T-Shaped gates. Each gate opens toward the center, this configuration is referred to as “Yantra” and is smaller than the traditional mandala and only consists of two colors.

mandala in native america

In the Native American Culture, mandalas are a powerful symbol and are regarded with extreme respect. The various tribes use them during ceremonial blessings, prayer, traditional rituals, and vision quests.

mandala in psychology

Carl Jung, a Swiss psychologist, believed that mandalas are representations of our minds, as they enable us to concentrate and transform unconscious things in our minds.


There are intricate patterns involved in all mandalas, most of the common patterns are represented by a wheel, flower, tree, or jewel.