Categories of Mandala
The word mandala has two parts. The root word is Manda and -la is a suffix to the root word. Manda meaning essence and -la meaning the container. So the combination implies “the container of essence”.
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The bhavacakra is a symbolic meaning for Samsara (Universe). It represents the existence of the universe in a circular fashion. Bhavacakra mandala is also known as the Wheel of Life. Bhava means being, birth and the chakra means wheel.
- Wheel of Life
The Wheel of Life is a presentation of Buddhist teaching on the suffering and is cyclic in form. Essentially it is a metaphysical diagram made up of four concentric circles, held with a firm grip by Yama, the Lord of Death. Above the wheel, the sky with clouds or stars is a symbol of freedom from cyclic existence or Samsara, and the Buddha pointing at it indicates the liberation is possible.
Buddha is a category of mandala where different kind of Buddha’s is paintings are portrayed in different ways. Each of the pictorial form in Mandalas describes different types of Buddhas. These mandalas portray the life of Buddha in different phases of life. The way he suffers before the materialistic life and enlightenment process is shown pictorially.
- Shakyamuni Buddha
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 Lotus position or in a meditative position. The central Buddha is seen surrounded by Arhats.
- 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 wisdom 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 Siddhartha Gautama both before and after his enlightenment.
- There is also a type of Buddha called Black Buddha.
3. God of Death
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.
Jambhala, also known as the god of wealth and is a relevant member of the Jewel Family. In Hinduism term, Jambhala is also known as Kubera. Similarly, In Bodhisattva, Jambhala is said to be an incarnation of Avalokitesvara. There are five varieties of wealth Jambhala; each having its own practice and mantra to help defeat poverty and create a financial stability.
There are basically five types of Jambhala or God of Wealth
- Green Jambhala is the head of the five Jambhala and is the manifestation of Buddha Akshobhya.
- The compassionate manifestation of Bodhisattva Chenrezig is White Jambhala. White Jambhala. It has the ability to remove misery, sickness karmic obstacles from human life.
- The most powerful and popular God of Wealth is the Yellow Jambhala. He is the incarnation of Buddha Ratnasambhava. He has the power to remove poverty within six realms, increasing wisdom within you.
- Red Jambhala is the manifestation of Vajrasattva. 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 Black Jambhala is also called as the God of Wealth in Hinduism. Begun in ancient India. Manifesting from the waters of the river, he gave the transmission of generating wealth to a king whose kingdom was facing extreme financial misery.
As mentioned in Swayambhu Purana, the Kathmandu valley was once a lake. Manjushree came from a pilgrimage from his earthly abode. In the center of the lake, he saw a lotus flower that emitted luminous radiance. Then he cut the gorge at Chovar with his flaming sword to let the lake drain. The place where the lotus flower was present became the great Swyambhunath Stupa.
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 temple. There are other forms of gods surrounding Manjushree.
Tara Mandalas are the Savior Mandals. Tara in Tibetan Buddhism is a female Bodhisattva. She is also known as the “mother of liberation”, and represents the virtues of success in work and achievements. Tara may more properly be understood as different aspects of the same quality, as bodhisattvas are often considered metaphors for Buddhist virtues.
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 Lineage Tree and Karmapa Buddha is seen getting knowledge and power from a supreme force, which is Tsongkhapa.
Lineage Tree and Karmapa, and Guru are the mandalas under this category.
- Lineage Tree
Tree mandalas make beautiful, meaningful art. This mandala varies widely. Some are called tree of life, while others are called lineage tree. Tree mandala includes four basic elements, earth, fire, water, and air.
karmapa is the king of Victor and formally he is known as the head of Karma.