Got a tricky question? Receive an answer from students like you! Try us!

The Mandala in Tibetan Buddhism. - Research Paper Example

Only on StudentShare
Research Paper
Religion and Theology
Pages 20 (5020 words)


“The Sanskrit term ‘mandala’ literally means circle, both in the sense of a circular diagram and a surrounding retinue. In Buddhist vocabulary, the term encompasses both contexts because it refers to circular diagrams that often incorporate illustrations of deities and their environs…

Extract of sample
The Mandala in Tibetan Buddhism.

“The Sanskrit term ‘mandala’ (dkhyl khor in Tibetan language) literally means circle, both in the sense of a circular diagram and a surrounding retinue” (Powers, 2007, p. 262). In Buddhist vocabulary, the term encompasses both contexts because it refers to circular diagrams that often incorporate illustrations of deities and their environs. Mandalas are a type of tantrik symbol, conveying a domain of sacredness, frequently portraying the celestial palace of a Buddha. They represent underlying philosophies with profound significance in Tibetan Buddhism. The symbols and images in a mandala describe features of the awakened psychophysical personality of the Buddha, and Buddhist themes and concepts (Powers, 2007, p.262). Generally, there are four types of mandalas: two outer mandalas made from powdered colors and created on a flat surface or painted on textiles, those formed in meditation, and the inner mandala depicting the body of the guru/ teacher or that of the self (Brauen, 1992).
Mandala is a Sanskrit word in which ‘manda’ means essence and ‘la’ means container; thus the term translates into a container of essence (Fleming, 2006). The Tibetan term for mandala is ‘dkhyl ‘khor’, with ‘khor’ defined as ‘that which encircles’ and ‘dkhyl’ meaning ‘around a center’; they can be two or three dimensional and constructed of various materials. The sand mandala is believed to have been transmitted to Tibet from India in the eleventh century (Fleming, 2006). Some who have studied the historical nature of the mandala have conjectured that the mandala diagram arose in Tibet or China in ‘pre-lamist’ times (Brauen, 1992).
Download paper
Not exactly what you need?

Related Essays

People were attracted by his teachings and hence there developed a community of monks and nuns. All those who believed in him and in his teachings began to be called as the Buddhists. This paper tends to explore the major principles and teachings of Buddhism and its influence on other religions. Teachings of Buddhism One of the major aims of Buddhism was to give people insights on the true nature of reality regarding death and sufferings. For the spiritual development as foreseen by Buddha, a complete change, both mental and physical, was essential. Since life involves a process of constant…
7 pages (1757 words)
The religious philosophy propagates that the widely popular belief in eternal soul, is a case of 'mistaken identity' where one or more of the skandhas are mistaken to be representative of an eternal soul. These five skandhas include: Form (rupa); feelings (vedana); perception (sajna); volitional factors (samskaras); and consciousness (vij-nana) (Keown, 2003). Form or 'rupa' refers to the external features or characteristics of a human body such as form or color. Feelings or 'vedana' refers to sensations; Perception or 'sajna' refers to perceptions or mental images; volitional factors or…
3 pages (753 words)
Buddha then offered to heal her child only if she is able to bring a mustard seed given by a family who has not experienced death. Kisogatami searched and was able to find families willing to provide her with the mustard seed but to her dismay each one had experienced death at one point. In the end, Kisogatami understood that death comes to all and she finally accepted the fact of her baby’s death (Matthews, p.115). The idea of death in Buddhism, much like in every other religion, is an acceptable and inevitable part of human life. But where death is usually the end of a life’s cycle in…
3 pages (753 words)
Harvey (1990) pointed out that “If there were a creator of the world, he would be regarded as responsible for the suffering” (Harvey, 1990, p.36). In other words, sufferings in human life are given by the God himself. Humans cannot do anything to avoid it. In other words sufferings are inherited in human life. Buddhists also believe that activities in the previous birth or past karma are the major cause of sufferings in human life. Buddhists argue that the origin of suffering is attachment. In their opinion, desire is the cause of misery. It should be noted that humans have many desires in…
3 pages (753 words)
Since its inception, Buddhism has influenced a wide array of cultures, beliefs, attitudes and practices. This influence is evidence across the entire globe, even in some of the other predominant religious of the world, which share distinct parallels with Buddhism. Buddhist philosophy has also influenced the philosophy of different religions globally. The purpose of this paper is to provide evidence of Buddhist influence, describing the influence of Buddhism specifically on creative arts, particularly in China. Buddha created a religion that has since changed many societies. By the year 300BC…
5 pages (1255 words)
This is achieved as a profound peace after a long process of liberation. In other words, Nirvana is the ultimate union with the Supreme Being (Hughes 38). Therefore, there will be tremendous ultimate joy in this experience, allowing an individual to be free from suffering and other related negative consequences of life. Unlike any other religions that have special time or day for their worship, Buddhism only considers its followers to go to the temples when they only have time or technically when they can (Brannen 30). However, in most of the time, Buddhists go to the temple on a full moon day…
4 pages (1004 words)
Although its spread was initially slow, it was aided by Ashoka, who was the emperor of Maurya and the religion’s ardent supporter. He, together with his descendants, promoted the construction of religious memorials of Buddhism known as stupas, and their efforts spread the religion beyond the inflated Maurya Empire into adjacent territories. They brought Buddhism into Central Asia and Afghanistan’s regions that spoke Iranian, as well as Sri Lanka. This paper will research on the history of Buddhism and its reflection on the culture of Southern India including Arts, Epics and architecture…
6 pages (1506 words)