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Mandalas

 

In the current days, various maNDalas are being drawn for various purposes without a correct understanding of their significance, the method of drawing and the coloring scheme. These mandalas represent various deities, forces of nature and the ShaT chakras. svecChAchara is niShiddha during the construction of a maNDala. The fingers to be used, the way rekhas are to be drawn, the way koNas are to be constructed are all essential technicalities without which drawing maNDalas can only bring harm:

saMsakte kalahaM vidyAt vicChinne maraNaM dhruvam |
atisthAne bhavet vyAdhiH nityaM pIDA vimishrite || etc.

We shall re-visit some of the popular Buddhist mandalas and understand their significance shortly.

There are twelve categories of maNDalas popularly used:

1. vimala
2. vijayA
3. bhadra
4. vimAna
5. shubhada
6. shiva
7. vardhamAna
8. daiva
9. latAkSha
10. kAmadAyaka
11. ruchaka
12. svastika

These maNDalas are to be drawn based on the purpose. For example, for mala nivR^itti, vimala maNDala is prescribed, vijayA for jaya prApti, vimAna for mAnavaishiShTya siddhi and so on. While it is beyond the scope of the current post to point the differences between a yantra and a maNDala, for now, the following well-known verse should certify that the two are not the same:

li~NgasthAM pUjayeddevIM pustakasthAM tathaiva cha |
maNDalasthAM mahAmAyAM yantrasthAM pratimAsu cha ||

The rules for drawing a mandala are many. For example, only five varNas (pIta, shukla, rakta, dhUmra and shyAma) are used to fill a maNDala and these represent the five mahAbhUtas. And these colors are to be prepared using specific chUrNas (eg. kR^iShNaM dagdhayavaiH kAryam). There are also rules specific to deities or maNDalas. For example,

shaivavrataM vinA sarvavratodyApanakarmasu |
kAryaM sushAstradR^ishTyA cha sarvatobhadramaNDalam ||

Of course, this applies to traditional maNDalas such as sarvatobhadra, lingatobhadra, rAmalingatobhadra etc and not to new age mandalas, personal mandalas, manifestation mandalas and other such wasteful indulgences. A mlecCha friend purchased a dozen new age personal maNDalas from a certain German psychic in 2004 and lost his job the next day. He had a major fight with his wife, was slapped a fine and incurred huge losses at the stock market. It was figured out that these mandalas were severely interfering with his energies when malicious beings from another domain were seen hovering around him. It took much more than trashing those mandalas to free him of his affliction.

The following is the description of the well-known dvAdashali~Ngatobhdra maNDala frequently used in our mandali:

arkali~NgAtmakaM bhadraM shR^iNu shiShya yathochyate |
prAgudIchyAM kR^itA rekhAH ShaTtriMshadbhiH prakalpayet ||
padAni dvAdashashataM pa~nchaviMshatireva cha |
khaNDendustripadaH koNe shR^i~NkhalA shaTpadaiH smR^itA ||
trayodashapadA vallI bhadraM tu navabhiH padaiH |
trayodashapadA vApI li~NgamaShTAdashaiH smR^itam ||
li~Ngatrayasya pa~Ntau tu shobhAkoShThAshchaturdasha |
teShAmupari pa~Nktau tu koShThAH saptadashaiva tu ||
pUjAp~Nktistu vij~neyA paritaH parikIrtitA |
pUjApa~NktyantarA pa~Nktau koShThA hyashIti saMkhayA ||
paridhiH sa cha vij~neyA maNDalAbhyantarA dvayoH |
paridhyanatara koShTheShu sarvatobhadramAlikhet ||
visheShashchAtra vij~neyaH shR^i~NkhalA ShaTpadA bhavet |
trayodashapadA vallI bhadraM tu navabhiH padaiH ||
pa~nchaviMshatpadA vApI paridhiH ShoDashAtmakaH |
madhye navapadaM padmaM karNikA kesarAnvitam ||
sattvaM rajastamo varNAH parito maNalasya tu |
trayaH paridhayaH kAryA tatra dvarANi pUrayet ||
sitenduH shR^i~NkhalA kR^iShNA vallI nIlA prakIrtitA |
bhadraM chaivAruNaM j~neyaM vApI syAt shvetavarNikA ||
li~NgAni kR^iShNavarNAni pArshvato dvAdashaiva tu |
paridhiH pItavarNaH syAt kamalaM pa~nchavarNakam ||