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Meditation, inner peace, creation of beauty and much more. YES, that is the feeling when working on Mandala art. It was during Covid lockdown that I started to pursue Mandala art for the first time. Prior to this, I was not even aware of what this art form was all about. I was fond of art and craft so had seen a few Mandala designs on Instagram.
I started my research on it – read about it, practised the techniques of creating Mandala art and browsed through some amazing creations. That is it! I was hooked to it! And now all I wanted to do was to try Mandala art out myself.
So, I picked up a pen and a sketchbook and started with my first Mandala creation. We believe that all good tasks should start with Lord Ganesh’s blessings – and I decided to make my first art dedicated to the Vighnaharta (the one who removes all obstacles).
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What is Mandala art?
A Mandala means a ‘circle’ a geometric configuration of symbols. It holds great symbolism in the Hindu and Buddhist traditions. It is a belief in Hinduism and Buddhism that you enter the centre of the circle and it transforms one from pain and suffering to joy and happiness. It is also used as a practice in meditation in many Asian traditions.
The centre of a Mandala also represents the beginning of a person’s journey towards knowledge and enlightenment. The Buddhist monks carried Mandalas with them to other parts of Asia and eventually, they also appeared in other regions such as Tibet, China and Japan.
There are three extremely popular types of Mandalas: – Teaching Mandala, Healing Mandala and Sand Mandala.
Teaching Mandalas are figurative, where each shape, geometry, line and colour represent an aspect of a religious system.
Healing Mandala’s, as the name represents, are very therapeutic for spiritual development and meditation.
Sand Mandala is a complex mode of meditation that monks study in-depth for a period of many years. It is a Tibetan Buddhist tradition where Mandalas are created and destroyed using coloured sand.
Benefits of Mandala Art
Mandala art is a perfect way to de-stress from your regular work schedule. You can just go with the flow and pen down anything that comes to your mind– any geometrical shape, any colour, any design – with some basic knowledge you can create beautiful Mandala patterns.
Mandala does feel like meditation in its own way. You enter a different world, a scenic peaceful environment that mesmerizes you completely. It grasps your attention and lets your creativity flow on the paper.
The end result is a beautiful art that you fall in love with. It is believed to be a great healing therapy for both adults and children. Scientifically, Mandalas have proved to improve the immune system, reduce stress and depression. The meditating circle helps to promote attention giving a sense of belonging.
History of Mandala
In Hinduism, Mandalas are a schematic representation of the universe as depicted in the Hindu temple architecture. Like the construct of the temple, symmetrical concentric circles are divided into four squares that form complex patterns encapsulating the energies around them.
It is a symbolic form of peace and gestures to create and protect against evil
In Buddhism, Mandalas were seen as a mound structure in the form of Stupas. Used for meditation, they helped achieve enlightenment.
The artist, Carl Jung believed that Mandalas represented the unconscious self. Used both as a spiritual symbol and a meditative tool, it brings about inner peace. This pattern can be seen in various other designs like tattoos, paintings and so on.
Easy Mandala Colouring Designs
There are numerous different ways of working with Mandalas. You can take one step at a time. To start with, you can try colouring Mandala patterns. There are a variety of Mandala colouring books available online that consists of a range of designs, starting with simple ones to highly complex designs. Colouring Mandala patterns is very easy and feels extremely soothing.
They too give you the same benefits that sketching or drawing a Mandala pattern would give, the only advantage is that you don’t have to create it from scratch.
How to Draw a Mandala
You need not procure any expensive materials to draw a Mandala design. All you need is a pen and paper. A small scale and a protractor will help to kick it off. Mark out the centre point of the paper and draw a circle of any appropriate radius. The radius measurement will depend on how large your Mandala design is going to be and also on the size of the paper you are using. Then draw small concentric circles around.
Mark out the angles from 0 degrees to 90 degrees on both sides and then join the lines. This way you will get the basic shape to fill in your patterns. The only thing then left is to let your creativity flow. Fill in the concentric circles with all different patterns that you can think of – geometrical shapes, floral designs and so on.
To begin with, you can also refer to some of the patterns available on the internet and practice them on a separate sheet of paper before entering them in your final design.
While drawing a Mandala, sit in a comfortable quiet place. Have your own space, listen to your own music. Have your own good time. Do not get bogged down with the mistakes that happen, just let your mind flow.
Let yourself be creative, play with colours, play with patterns. Like DilgoKhyentse Rinpoche rightly quoted, “Each person’s life is like a mandala art – a vast, limitless circle. Our life is like a Mandala circle. We are the dot at the centre of this circle. Everything we see, hear and think forms varied patterns within the circle, thus creating the Mandala of our lives.”
Make these forms, thoughts, and moments a part of your Mandala design and see your Mandala art come to life. I hope this article motivated you to Try this – one of the oldest form of design