Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Mandala Principle 曼陀罗的要诀

[Thangka] Star Mandala with GM

AA: Revised with Mo syllable and several others, making the mandala into golden yellow to look more elegant and shining.
Cheers :)

BB: Nice as always


read this:

The mandala principle
The Buddhist universe (Chakravala) takes the form of a mandala. 
This Sanskrit word originally meant ‘circle’ and is translated into Tibetan as kyl-khor, which means, roughly ‘center and periphery’. 
At the midpoint of the Chakravala we find Mount Meru; 
the periphery is formed by the gigantic iron wheel we have already mentioned.

There are round mandalas, square mandalas, two- and three-dimensional mandalas, yet in all cases the principle of midpoint and periphery is maintained. 

The four sides of a square diagram are often equated with the four points of the compass. 
A five-way concept is also characteristic for the tantric mandala form — with a center and the four points of the compass. 
The whole construction is seen as an energy field, from which, as from a platonic Form, tremendous forces can flow out.

A mandala is considered to be the archetype of order. 
They stand opposed to disorder, anarchy and chaos as contrary principles. 
Climatic turbulence, bodily sicknesses, desolate and wild stretches of land, barbaric peoples and realms of unbelief all belong to the world of chaos. 

In order to seize possession of such regions of disorder and ethnic groupings or to put an end to chaotic disturbances (in the body of a sick person for instance), 
Tibetan lamas perform various rites, which ultimately all lead to the construction of a mandala. 

This is imposed upon a “chaotic” territory through symbolic actions so as to occupy it; 
it is mentally projected into the infirm body of a patient so as to dispel his or her illness and the risk of death; it is “pulled over” a zone of protection as a solid fortification against storm and hail.

Like a stencil, a mandala pattern impresses itself upon all levels of being and consciousness. 

A body, a temple, a palace, a town, or a continent can thus as much have the form of a mandala as a thought, an imagining, a political structure. 

In this view, the entire geography of a country with its mountains, seas, rivers, towns and shrines possesses an extraterrestrial archetype, a mandala-like prototype, whose earthly likeness it embodies. This transcendent geometry is not visible to an ordinary eye and conceals itself on a higher cosmic level.

Hidden behind the geographical form we perceive, the country of Tibet also has, the lamas believe, a mandala structure, with the capital Lhasa as its center and the surrounding mountain ranges as its periphery. 
Likewise, the street plan of Lhasa is seen as the impression of a mandala, with the holiest temple in Tibet, the Jokhang, as its midpoint. 
The architectural design of the latter was similarly based on a mandala with the main altar as its center.

The political structure of former Tibet also bore a mandala character. 
In it the Dalai Lama formed the central sun (the mandala center) about which the other abbots of Tibet orbit as planets. 
Up until 1959 the Tibetan government was conceived of as a diagram with a center and four sections (sides). 
“The government is founded upon four divisions”, wrote the Seventh Dalai Lama in a state political directive, 
“These are (1) the court of law, (2) the tax office, (3) the treasury, and (4) the cabinet. 
They are all aligned to the four points of the compass along the sides of a square which encloses the central figure of the Buddha” (Redwood French, 1985, p. 87).

The prototype of the highest Buddha and the emanations surrounding him was thus transferred to the state leadership and the various offices which were subordinate to it. 
Of course, the central figure of this political mandala is intended to be the Dalai Lama, since he concentrates the entire worldly and spiritual power in his person. 
Every single monastery reiterates this political geometry with the respective abbot in the middle.

But the mandala does not just structure the world of appearances; in Buddhist culture it likewise determines the human psyche, the spirit and all the transcendental spheres. 

It serves as an aid to meditation and as an imaginary palace of the gods in the tantric exercises. 

On a microcosmic level the energy body of the yogi is seen as the construction of a three-dimensional mandala with the middle channel (avadhuti) as the central axis. 

The whole cosmic-psychic anatomy of the ADI BUDDHA (tantra master) is thus a universal mandala. 
For this reason we can comprehend Buddhist culture in general (not just the Tibetan variant) as a complicated network of countless mandalas. 
Further, since these exist at different levels of being, they are encapsulated within one another, include one another, and overlap each other.

Quite rightly one aspect of the Buddhist/tantric mandalas has been compared in cross-cultural studies with the magic circles used by the medieval sorcerers of Europe to summon up spirits, angels, and demons. 
Then a mandala ("magic circle”) can also be used to conjure up Buddhas, gods and asuras (demons).

AA: very informative, especially the projection for protection and transcendental spheres.thank you hor.

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