What is mandala?

What is mandala?

The term mandala describes a basic pattern of geometric shapes contained within a circle that has immense spiritual potency as a representation of the metaphysical cosmos. This sounds very complex, and it is, so many different kinds of mandalas deal with different sets of symbolism. Here are a few of the basic symbolic elements that define many mandalas.

        First, we need to look at the mandala as a cosmic map. The entire shape represents the cosmos- all of it. That which is seen, that which is not, everything is within the mandala. This illustrates the first symbolic use of the mandala as a representation of wholeness and unity. The mandala is foremost an indicator that all things are connected, elements of patterns within the same cosmic reality. That's an important concept in many Indian religions that see things like time as immaterial and seek to explain cycles of existence.

        Secondly, the mandala represents a spiritual journey within the individual viewer. Understanding the unity of the cosmos is the first step, but each person must find their own place within it. This journey is represented through the layers of the mandala, with each layer indicating a quality that must be mastered, like humility or devotion. In many Hindu traditions, the center of the mandala is seen as the home of a deity who can help the individual and is accessible through rituals and meditation following the levels of the mandala.

How to draw mandalas?

     Draw a circle on a piece of paper using a compass or drawing around a round object such as a small plate or a mug. Find the centre of the mandala and draw a horizontal and vertical line through the center. You can keep slicing the circle into pies depending on how many points you want to add to the mandala.


        Once you have divided the circle into 8 parts in this case (but you can slice the circle into more parts for more detailed designs) you draw a smaller center circle and more circles outside of it which does not necessarily need to be circular. They can be straight lines joining together with equal distance from the centre. You can add as many inner circles as you like depending on the design you choose to draw. Within each different layer or circle you can also add other shapes such as petals, squares, hearts or whatever shape comes into your mind.

         Continue drawing motifs in bigger and bigger circles as you work towards the outside circle of the mandala. You can use different shapes such as flowers, geometric shapes, spirals, smaller circles, triangles, birds and so on. The shapes should be repeated though to keep it consistent as you introduces new shapes and lines to each part of the mandala. Introducing more lines and shapes within the mandala becomes more important at the outer circles of the mandala as there is more space to fill. Below to the left is a completed mandala where you can see it was divided into 8 equal parts initially with an inner smaller circle. The design that grew from the center on the left mandala was based on petals and line patterns going through certain parts of the mandala. Notice on the right hand mandala smaller circles have been used as main shapes for the design. The circles and lines that you started off with can later be erased if you choose to add different shapes - but they are useful as a guide when you start drawing the mandala.

            The colouring of the mandalas is used as a healing tool and is associated with reducing stress and anxiety as well as combating depression whilst improving the immune system among other things. It also allows you express your creative side which often we are not able to do in our daily lives and stresses. 

             Integrate the Mandela pattern with the hooded sweater, and get a very fashionable and sufficient relaxation for your body and mind.