A new craze has been spreading the past few years that combines art and religion in a way that has become popular to many people. Though it started out with a religious purpose in the Hindu and Buddhist faiths, Mandalas have spread to people of all religions.
A Mandala is a geometric figure representing the universe in both Hindu and Buddhist symbolism. Due to its intricate and beautiful design along with its deeper meaning of unity and oneness, people who are not even religious create or have a mandala at their place of work or their homes.
Mandalas are like snowflakes in the way that each one is different. The designs vary depending on the person creating it. It’s not only the designs that are different, but also the intention of the artist. Some mandalas are created as a form of meditation. The circular maze is a way to find your place in the universe. Other mandalas are made simply for the beautiful design (which is more popular nowadays).
There is no one way to create a mandala. Mandalas can be made using sand, yarn, fabric, any artistic utensil (pen, chalk, paint, etc.), nature (leaves, twigs, berries, nuts, etc.), and many more materials. The options are endless.
This past earth day, on the Marywood University Religious Studies Department Facebook page, one of the religious studies faculty posted a picture of a mandala completely made of nature with leaves, pine cones and nuts she found around campus. This just goes to show you that mandalas are restricted to no medium.
Featured image by: Marywood University Religious Studies Department
These geometric figures are seen on tapestries in dorm rooms, incorporated with animals such as elephants, as small drawings, and commonly as parts of henna tattoos. Though they were originally a sacred part of religion, they are now secularized because of its artistic value.
The mandala project, and the BBC website as well as various other websites are good for finding out other things about what mandalas really are besides its artistic function. These websites also provide the background and deeper meaning behind these unique works of art.
Mandalas are unique not only in the history and religion behind it, but also as amazing geometric and aesthetically pleasing figures that can be shared by anyone and everyone.
Featured Images by: Pixabay