The Sun Mandala Artwork
A mandala is a spiritual and/or ritual geometric configuration of symbols or a map (in Shintoism) in the Indian religions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism or Japanese lifestyle of Shintoism representing deities, or in the case of Shintoism, paradises, kami or actual shrines. In modern, typically American use, “mandala” has become a generic term for any diagram, chart or geometric pattern that represents the cosmos metaphysically or symbolically; a time-microcosm of the universe, though it originally meant to represent wholeness and a model for the organizational structure of life itself–a cosmic diagram that shows us our relation to the infinite, the world that extends beyond and within our minds and bodies.
The basic form of most mandalas is a square with four gates containing a circle with a center point. Each gate is in the general shape of a T. Mandalas often have radial balance.
The term appears in the Rigveda as the name of the sections of the work, and Vedic rituals use mandalas such as the Navagraha mandala to this day. Mandalas are also used in Buddhism.
In various spiritual traditions, mandalas may be employed for focusing the attention of practitioners and adepts, as a spiritual guidance tool, for establishing a sacred space and as an aid to meditation and trance induction.