• A mandala is a geometric design that usually incorporates a circular shape in some form.
  • It can also be created in the shape of a square, a mandala pattern is essentially interconnected.
  • In Sanskrit, Mandala means “circle” or “centre”.


  • It holds a great deal of symbolism in Hindu and Buddhist cultures.
  • It is believed to be rooted in Buddhism, appearing in the first century BC in India.
  • Over the next couple of centuries, Buddhist missionaries travelling along the silk road took it to other regions.
  • By the sixth century, mandalas have been recorded in China, Korea, Japan, Indonesia and Tibet.
  • In Hinduism, the mandala imagery first appeared in Rig Veda (1500 – 500 BCE).

The meaning of the motif

  • It is believed that by entering the mandala and moving towards its centre, one is guided through the cosmic process of transforming the universe from one of suffering to that of joy.
  • In Hinduism, a mandala or yantra is in the shape of a square with a circle at its centre.

Some common symbols used in the mandala are:

  • Wheel with eight spokes: The circle of a wheel works as an artistic representation of a perfect universe. The eight spokes show the Eightfold Path of Buddhism, a summary of practices that lead to liberation and rebirth.
  • Bell: In mandalas, bells represent the openness and emptying of the mind to allow the entrance of wisdom and clarity.
  • Triangle: When facing upward, triangles represent action and energy, and when facing downward, they show creativity and the pursuit of knowledge.
  • Lotus flower: This is a sacred symbol in Buddhism, the symmetry of a lotus depicts balance. When a lotus grows up from underwater into the light, so too does a human reaching for spiritual awakening and enlightenment.
  • Sun: Sun is a popular basis for modern mandala patterns. It tends to represent the universe, often carrying meanings related to life and energy.

Mandala in modern Indian art

  • While it continues to appear in thangka paintings, it has a central place in the practice of mainstream artists associated with the tantric and neo-tantric spiritual movements.
  • In the 1960s Sohan Qadri and Prafulla Mohanty gained widespread recognition for their works that were imbibed with tantric symbolism, such as mandalas that are also used in the rituals of tantric initiation.
  • Geometric compositions also dominated the works of artists such as Biren De, GR Santosh, Shobha Broota, and famously SH Raza, who visualised the Bindu as the centre of his universe and the source of energy and life.

Why in news?

Residents of Liverpool are marvelling over a mandala the size of one and a half football pitches in length created by artist James Brunt with materials such as leaves and rocks.


  1. Wikipedia
  2. World History Encyclopedia

Related Articles


Europe is the second smallest continent on Earth. Only Oceania has less landmass. It is located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It includes 44 countries and the…


Anthropology is the study of human beings and their cultures, from prehistoric times to today. The people who practice anthropology are called anthropologists. Anthropology has two main divisions: physical…

INS Vikrant

INS Vikrant is India’s first indigenously designed and built aircraft carrier. It is also known as Indigenous Aircraft Carrier One (IAC-1). It is being constructed…


Antarctica is the Coldest and the Fifth largest continent on Earth. Its name means “opposite to the Arctic” (the Arctic is the region around the North Pole). Its landmass is almost wholly…


Africa is the second largest and second most populous continent on Earth. It consists of 50 countries and people are called Africans. Geography of Africa It is bounded by the Mediterranean…

Indian Naval Ensign

The Indian Naval Ensign is the flag or standard of the Indian Navy. It is also referred to as the Indian White Ensign or Nishaan.…


Easy & Free

Become A Mentor!

If you want to post content, upload media, create groups, etc., on the platform, you need to become a “mentor”.  Just fill this form and submit it!