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Categories of Mandala

, a word that means a and represents the wholeness. are recognized generally by concentric circles and probably many other geometric figures.

Mandalas are the most admired and discussed symbol in . These are the geometric designs intended to symbolize the , and the link is made to their use in and practices.

The word mandala has two parts. The root word is Manda and -la is a suffix to the root word. Manda meaning and -la meaning the container. So the combination implies “the container of essence”.

An image of a mandala may symbolize both the and of the .


The bhavacakra is a symbolic meaning for (Universe). It represents the existence of the universe in a circular fashion. Bhavacakra mandala is also known as . means being, birth and the means wheel.

like , Seto-Chara and Kalo-Chakra come under the Bhavacakra mandala.

  • Wheel of Life

of Life is a presentation of on the and is cyclic in form.   Essentially it is a metaphysical diagram made up of four concentric circles, held with a firm grip by , the Lord of Death. Above the wheel, the sky with clouds or stars is a symbol of from cyclic existence or Samsara, and the Buddha pointing at it indicates the liberation is possible.

2. Buddha

Buddha is a category of mandala where different kind of Buddha’s is are portrayed in different ways. Each of the pictorial form in Mandalas describes different types of Buddhas. These mandalas portray the in different phases of life. The way he suffers before the materialistic life and process is shown pictorially.

, , and many others come under this category.

This is a type of Buddha Mandala called Shakyamuni Buddha mandala. In Shakyamuni Buddha Mandala we can see a picture of Buddha sitting in a meditative position. Depending on paintings, the Buddha might sit in or in a meditative position. The central Buddha is seen surrounded by .

  • Travelling Buddha

The Travelling Buddha is another type of a category under Buddha. In this main theme Buddha travels from one place to another to spread the seeds of to the people.

  • Life of Buddha

The Life of Buddha is again another type of Buddha Mandala. In the Life of Buddha paintings, we can see the historic phases of the both before and after his enlightenment.

  • There is also a type of Buddha called Black Buddha.


of Death also known as in . Yamantaka is a fierce aspect of the . He is surrounded by its manifestations.

In the paintings of God of Death Yamakata is seen in the central part of the frame. Yamantaka has seven heads and is surrounded by its manifestation.


, also known as the god of and is a relevant member of the Jewel Family. In term, Jambhala is also known as . Similarly, In , Jambhala is said to be an incarnation of Avalokitesvara. There are five varieties of wealth Jambhala; each having its own practice and to help defeat poverty and create a financial stability.

There are basically five types of Jambhala or God of Wealth

  • is the head of the five Jambhala and is the manifestation of Buddha .
  • The compassionate manifestation of Bodhisattva is . White Jambhala. It has the ability to remove misery, sickness from human life.
  • The most powerful and popular God of Wealth is the . He is the incarnation of Buddha . He has the power to remove poverty within , increasing wisdom within you.
  • is the manifestation of . Consisting of two faces and four arms, Red Jambhala holds a treasury mongoose on his left hand. There is a method called Red Jambhala magnetizing method that has the ability to bless practitioner with the material bliss and harmony in the family.
  • The is also called as the God of Wealth in Hinduism. Begun in . Manifesting from the of the river, he gave the transmission of generating wealth to a whose kingdom was facing extreme financial misery.


As mentioned in Purana, the valley was once a lake. Manjushree came from a pilgrimage from his earthly . In the center of the lake, he saw a flower that emitted luminous radiance. Then he cut the gorge at Chovar with his flaming sword to let the lake drain. The place where flower was present became the great .

At the center of the Manjushree mandala, Manjushree is sitting in a meditative position, with a lotus flower in the hand. Buddha is seen at the top of the painting. Here Manjushree resembles the great Swyambhunath and Buddha resembles the statue of Buddha that can be seen in Swyambhunath . There are other of surrounding Manjushree.


Mandalas are the Savior Mandals. Tara in is a female Bodhisattva. She is also known as the “mother of liberation”, and represents the virtues of in and achievements. Tara may more properly be understood as different aspects of the same , as are often considered metaphors for Buddhist virtues.

Today, and are probably the most popular representations of Tara. Green Tara (Khadiravani) is usually associated with protection from and the following eight obscurations.

White Tara counteracts illness and thereby helps to bring about a long life. She embodies the that is and is said to be as white and radiant as the moon.


The name Tsongkhapa is derived from a great meditator of Bodhisattva. The mandalas under Tsongkhapa generally includes the tree-like structure. In the painting like and Buddha is seen getting and power from a supreme force, which is Tsongkhapa.

Lineage Tree and Karmapa, and are the mandalas under this category.

  • Lineage Tree

Tree mandalas make beautiful, meaningful . This mandala varies widely. Some are called tree of life, while others are called lineage tree. Tree mandala includes four basic , , , water, and .

  • Karmapa

karmapa is the king of Victor and formally he is known as the head of .

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