What are the different types of Mandalas?

Different types of Mandalas

What are the different types of Mandalas?

There are a wide variety of mandalas in practice. The use and value of each of them depend on the and representations used in the .

Some Types of Mandala found in Mandalas Life

There are many different types of . Among them some types of the that you can buy online from our shop are listed below:

Mandalas Symbol and Representations

Mandalas are framed in of a symbol and a representation. Some of the mandalas are symbols while some are representations.

A symbol in a mandala expresses an obvious meaning. We need not explain instances present in the like , moons. It’s quite obvious what it stands for.

Whereas a representation is not clear to a non-artistic person. That’s a representation,  so you have to be explained what the representation is.

There are different types of mandalas depending on how they are used. Here are brief explanations of what different types of mandalas are used in .

Outer Mandalas

Let’s start with a very basic one. It is called Outer Mandala. The outer mandala represents the or world-system. These type of mandalas are basically used for the . We offer a mandala to a spiritual asking him or , . outer mandala is a standard practice in Buddhism for thanking people.


There is another type called Teaching Mandala. The teaching mandalas are symbolic. Each shape, line, and color in teaching mandala represents different aspects of Buddhism. A learns to create mandalas while taking his monastic education. The teaching mandala can be understood as a colorful, mental map that describes the .


A Healing Mandala is more intuitive than a teaching mandala. Healing mandala are made for the purpose of , deliver certain . The healing mandala can be used for focusing and concentrating.

Sand Mandala

have a way of creating . For creating a sand mandala, the mandala is created of fine multi-colored sand, and then the sand grains are placed in the concentric circles. Working from outward towards the center along with the pattern that has been laid out. Metal funnels are generally used so that uniform amount goes at a .

Kalachakra Mandalas

The word means “Cycle of Time”. Kalachakra mandala is for the meditative purpose.

Through the meditation on the Kalachakra mandala, monks invoke the qualities of the deity, striving in a ritualized way enter the mandala and become the deity themselves.

The Kalachakra Mandala is to help transform ordinary into ones and to assist with healing.

The Kalachakra is a profound Buddhist system of teaching and practice which encompasses three aspects:

  1. Outer Kalachakra
  2. Inner Kalachakra
  3. Alternative Kalachakra

His Holiness writes,

“The Kalachakra initiations empower the disciple to practice the of the Kalachakra Tantra, and, ultimately, to achieve the state of Shri Kalachakra.”


Architectural Mandala

Architectural Mandala is a physical replica in three dimensions that depict a deity mandala. These mandalas are represented in 3D.

Kalachakra In 3 Dimension

Kalachakra In 3 Dimension


Mantra Mandalas

are those kinds of mandalas which have some or Buddhism symbol in the center and surrounded by the Mantras mandalas are words or phrases that are chanted out loud or internally as objects of meditation.

Use of mantras and mandalas is most frequently associated with and Buddhism.

Many and some mandalas are held to have originated as a supernatural revelation from the or spirits with which they are associated.

Mantras and mandalas function as a means of “focusing” on the mind, i.e in meditation and visualization, and thus to assist the seeker along a given spiritual path.

Buddha mandalas

mandala shows the teachings of the Buddha and the endless circle of . There are eight rays of which represents The showed by the Buddha and the representation of wisdom. There is the rim that symbolizes the importance of practice and meditation.

Offering Mandala

Offering Mandalas are a symbolic offering made by Buddhist practitioners of the entire universe and presented to the religious teachers, Buddhas, and deities, of the past and present.

A specific object called a mandala plate is used for this ritual although anything flat and clean is also acceptable. Mandala plates filled with rice and multi-tiered are also commonly kept on a permanent shrine.

Shrine mandalas are constructed from a flat metal mandala plate and then three or four rings of metal, often engraved, embossed or spouse worked and topped with a small replica of a heavenly palace or a .

Meditation mandalas

Mediation Mandalas are those which are used to do meditation to accessing higher , establishing a .

Hindu Mandalas

Mandalas are mandalas that are evolved with the Hindu . To a Buddhist or Hindu, a mandala represents a cosmos within the universe. It is considered a form with spiritual significance.

Types of Hindu Mandala

Shiva God Mandalas


Shiva is one of the principal deities of Hinduism. In Shiva mandala Lord Shiva is in the center of Mandala.

Sri yantra mandalas

A Sri  is a type of mandala with geometric patterns. A mandala is a plan, chart or geometric pattern which represents the metaphysical cosmos of the universe.

Bodhi Mandala

Buddha with the One Hundred Jataka Thangka

Buddha with the One Hundred Jataka

Bodhi mandala is a term referring to the geographic location where a attains complete and becomes a Buddha.

Bodhgaya in Bihar, , is regarded as the Bodhi Mandala of .

The term is sometimes used in a less technical way to describe special locations associated with specific such as for  and his relationship with Wutaishan Mountain.

Body Mandala

Mandala is the external world is idealized by the practitioner and re-created to be the pure of a deity, so to the internal body with its senses, organs, veins, and are likewise idealized into an internal body mandala.

Painted depictions of body mandala systems are found in the Hindu, Buddhist and religions although less common than the outer mandala of a deity and palace.

Yantra Mandala

Those mandalas are diagram or device that refers to the very active and dynamic yogic postures and routines in .

Ceiling Mandala

Ceiling Mandala


Ceiling Mandalas are those which are placed on ceilings of , , for the purpose of blessing, protection, and decoration.

Cosmological & Geographical Mandala have painted representations of the four continents and Mount Sumeru, the universe, various types of cosmology, along with sacred and such as Tushita, , Pureland, etc.

Cosmological & Geographical Mandala

Deity Mandala

Deity mandalas are originated in the Indian Tantric literature with the function of serving as a meditational system within the Tantric theory of .

Under the topic of Deity mandala are Figure Mandalas, Symbol Mandalas, and Geometric Mandalas.

Element Mandala

Element mandalas represent with a white circle, the with a yellow square, with a red half-circle, and with a blue triangle. These general also correspond to the four activities.

In the old Indian Ayurvedic , the basis was formed by the of Water, Fire, Earth, Air, and . Later on, this system was incorporated in .

These five elements and their energies also live within ourselves. They are connected to our and also correlated to emotions, colors, body types, illnesses, thinking styles, and character for example.

Thes mandala was used to explain the relationship between the diseases and their treatments.

Figure Mandala

Figure Mandala is a deity mandala that correctly places images of the actual iconographic figures in the proper locations around the mandala center and periphery.

Geometric Shaped Mandala

Geometric shapes Mandalas are those that represent the four principal activities and the four elements of earth, firewater, and air.

The Medicine Buddha and Vaishravana Riding a Lion both typically have square-shaped mandalas.

Imagined Mandala

Imagine mandalas are mentioned in the ritual texts. These, however, are considered only applicable for use by the best teachers and the best students.

Initiation Card Mandala

Initial Card Mandalas are small , generally the size of a floor tile, created in sets and used in Buddhist and Bon and initiations.

The mandala cards are used as the central shrine object for initiations and rituals.

They are often made for those occasions when large numbers of initiations are given at one time such as the and Mitra Gyatsa collections of initiations.

Image from a Set of (Tsakali)

Mandala cards are typically more than twice as large as initiation cards (tsakali).

Initiation Mandala

Initiation Mandala is a painted depiction of a mandala, larger than an initiation card, placed flat on a table with rituals objects and offerings arranged at the four sides.

This type of mandala serves as the central focus for a tantric initiation ritual.

A Mandala Plate with Deities is the identical same type of object except the Mandala Plate is a cloth painting glued to a flat square wooden board and then heavily varnished in anticipation of regular and repeated use.

Inverted-figure Mandala

Inverted Figure Mandala is a mandala painting where all of the secondary figures are standing inverted, half-inverted or upright in relation to the central figure of the and to the individual views of the composition.

Any figures in the composition of a scroll painting that are outside of the mandala circle proper, such as in registers or floating in the corners, are not inverted as they are not actually part of the mandala.

Letter Mandala

Letter Mandalas are those mandalas that are created in a simplified manner with letters used to substitute for the actual deities.

Lotus Mandala

is a symbol of rising out of the material world and into spiritual union with the entire universe, also known as enlightenment. is a three-dimensional metal sculpture of a lotus blossom and stem. Hinged petals can appear closed or open revealing a central figure and retinue circle of deities.

Self Blessing Mandala

are those which helps to learn to open the as wide as the world and move all beyond our limits and heal through self-blessing.

In Dalai ’s words,

“When we have , we can be at with those around us.”

Square Mandala

are those which are represented in square format. Some mandalas have square walls in the center but the square mandala has the square’s edge.

some mandala in the square format:

  • Medicine Buddha
  • Buddha & the Sixteen Elders
  • Vaishravana Riding a Lion etc.

Symbol Mandala

Symbol mandalas are a simplified mandala where the hand attributes of the deities are used in place of actually drawing and painting the deities themselves.

Sometimes only the symbolic attributes of the central deity are used and the retinue figures are filled in with small colored circles. In other cases, there is nothing to indicate the presence of the retinue figures.

Textile Mandala

Mandalas are the same as the painted mandalas textiles function in the same manner. In some cases, textiles are used horizontally for permanent mandala shrines, with a canopy above and offerings around the perimeter. They are also called applique Mandala.

Thread-cross Mandala

Thread-cross Mandala (: namka) are made from thin pieces of as a frame wrapped with variously colored threads into geometric patterns, circular, square and triangular.

They are generally flat objects, displayed vertically. For elaborate rituals, they are constructed into large three-dimensional palaces placed at the center of a mandala.


References : https://studybuddhism.com/en/advanced-studies//tantra-theory/explanation-of-mandalas-their-meaning-and-use


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