What is mandala? A mandala is a representation made through concentric type designs, used to refer to different symbols, whether spiritual, economic, informative, natural, etc. These are generally used in Hinduism and also in Buddhism, although they have managed to reach different cultures in multiple countries.
Thanks to this, we can find a variety of mandalas, differentiated, specifically in terms of their representations. We are going to know how mandalas can be classified, discovering their functions and what are their most distinctive features. To start, let’s get to know its main function
What is it for?
What is a mandala? .In the first place, it should be noted that mandalas are a form of expression, that is, a way of representing different phenomena or concepts. Therefore, these can offer different functions, depending on the context and the representation that is assigned respectively.
We find different answers for the same question, and in this sense, we can say that a mandala serves to:
- Create a channel to the energy of the universe: In some religions such as Hinduism, the mandates are used to create a connection with the universal energy, which is represented with the circle and all the concentric elements that make it up. When a person elaborates a mandala, it can harmonize his energies with everything that surrounds him, enlivening his spiritual stability, and with it, some faculties such as concentration.
- Meditation and relaxation: On the other hand, some cultures suggest that the design of a mandala allows a person to reach the cessation of thought, giving way to processes such as meditation and relaxation. Thanks to this function, the drawing and coloring of mandalas is considered an activity that strengthens psychological well-being.
- Spiritual growth tool: In religions such as Buddhism, the representations of a mandala are designed as a form of spiritual exercise, which is considered to provide benefits such as detachment, wisdom, creativity and development of new skills. Buddhist mandalas are, in fact, one of the most complex in terms of their design.
- Therapeutic treatment: Carl Jung, considered the prince of psychoanalysis, dedicated a part of his studies to understand the effects that mandalas offer. This determined that the representations of the mandalas constituted a way of externalizing the collective unconscious, considered by it, part of the totality of the human. Through this phenomenon, Jung argued that painting mandalas was a very helpful activity in the face of different ailments such as anxiety, memory problems, anguish, stress, insomnia and concentration. The explanation for this lies in the use, and therefore exercise, of both cerebral hemispheres during coloring.
- Representation of the divine: Last but not least, we find that one of the most traditional uses of mandalas is the representation of the divine, in a quest to illustrate what cannot be described in words. Mandas are a way of explaining those phenomena that transcend human understanding, making use of these symbolizations to characterize deities, the universe, and creation.
These are the main uses of mandalas. However, it is possible to come up with other assessments as to the functions they can perform. For example, some people may speak of mandalas as a means of artistic expression, a function that, while not the most typical, can be fully accepted.
An informative mandala is one made with different signs that refer to a specific topic, in order to bring certain information to its viewers. As its name implies, it is made to inform through geometric figures, reference drawings or colors associated with certain ideas.
Informational mandalas are used to develop certain topics of interest in a more interactive way, facilitating the development of information written by images that offer a more comfortable understanding of the content. However, this does not mean that they cannot contain written information.
Typically, these contain images that allow the ideas of each section to be synthesized, which, in turn, are accompanied by some sentences to specify the points of interest. For example, we can find an informative mandala that classifies animals according to their diet.
On the one hand, we will observe that one of the sections will be made up of images of carnivorous animals, together with a short written explanation. In the same way, the other sections will be appreciated according to their respective images and brief writings. This is what is known as an informational mandala.
An educational mandala is a design elaborated to favor multiple capacities during the child’s school development. They are used as exercises that reinforce attention and concentration, but also promote other benefits such as stress treatment and, therefore, a way to provide relaxation to infants.
In most cases, these mandalas are used as sketches for coloring tasks, or even for children to try to draw their design as accurately as possible. As can be seen, they stand out as a part of education, with regard to the formation of motor skills and fostering a better learning process.
Although they are used in the school area, it is possible to find their use in more complex environments, as part of dynamics aimed precisely at promoting healthy habits in a person, facilitating not only learning, but also the way to face situations of daily life and improve performance in multiple activities.
A mandala of values is a schematized representation of a series of values that, according to the criteria of the person who designs it, are related to each other. In other words, this mandala is used to explain how some values, in combination, give rise to others.
The use of these mandalas is very common in school spaces, to explain the way in which values such as sincerity and humility can shape loyalty, just to speak of an example. Thus, the values that are at the extremes are usually considered as the basic ones, and those that are close to the center are recognized as the result of combining two of the basic ones.
In this way, value mandalas are a way of schematizing values, explaining how they are composed. To give an image to the schematization, the extreme points are used as a reference, whose intersection will represent the value resulting from the composition of the previous two.
A very common characteristic of value mandalas is the use of colors to represent relationships and such combinations. They are used to color the background of the figures in which the names of the values are written, and in turn, the color of the value obtained in the combination will be the one obtained by merging the color of the previous ones.
The money mandala, better known as the pyramid scheme or flower of abundance, is a method used to generate large amounts of money through the participation of a specific number of people who invest.
It is a scalable system, in which investors progressively advance to, at the time of reaching a position on the scale, being the ones who will receive the money. In this model, a mandala is used to represent the location of all the people, expressing precisely the level at which they are according to the scale. Let’s understand a little more about these levels:
- At level 1, there is the first member, who will be located in the center of the mandala, and in this way, will invite two more people to be part of the mandala.
- At level 2, there are those who have been recruited by the person from level 1 respectively. These, in turn, must recruit four people (two each).
- In level 3, they are the four previously recruited by the people of level 2, who, later, must recruit 8 people (two each).
- At level 4, there are the people who would be recruited by the four from level 3. These must be those who will invest their money to rise to level 3, money, which will be directed to the person from level 1.
When people at level 4 make the investment, the person at level 1 receives the money and starts to withdraw from the mandala, making those at level 2 rise to level 1, thus subdividing the mandala in two.
Meanwhile, those who were at level 3, become part of level two, that is, two for the pair that now passes separately to a different level 1. Finally, those from level 4 go to 3, so now they must each recruit 2 people to carry out the same cycle.
With the use of the money mandala, it is intended to create money movements that can progressively benefit all the members of the mandala, to the extent that it can rotate.
- (2021). Meaning of Mandala. Meanings. Recovered from:https://www.significados.com/mandala/
- (2018). What is a mandala and what is it for? Sight. Recovered from:https://www.revistamira.com.mx/2016/07/20/que-es-un-mandala-y-para-que-sirve/