Mandala Art


    In News 

    • Mandala patterns have been adapted by artists the world over, each of whom have added their own interpretation and painted it as their own.

    About Mandala 

    • Literally meaning “circle” or “centre” in Sanskrit.
    • It is defined by a geometric configuration that usually incorporates the circular shape in some form. 
    • It can also be created in the shape of a square, a mandala pattern is essentially interconnected. 
    • Origin 
      • It is believed to be rooted in Buddhism, appearing in the first century BC in India. 
      • Over the next couple 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).
    • It is believed that by entering the mandala and moving towards its center, one is guided through the cosmic process of transforming the universe from one of suffering to that of joy
    • Elements 
      • There are various elements incorporated within the mandala, each of which has its own meaning. 
      • For instance, the eight spokes of the wheel (the dharmachakra) represent the eightfold path of Buddhism (practices that lead to liberation from rebirth), the lotus flower depicts balance, and the sun represents the universe. 
      • Facing up, triangles represent action and energy, and facing down, they represent creativity and knowledge.

    Mandala in modern Indian art

    • Deep-rooted in ancient philosophy, the mandala has attained varied forms in the hands of modern and contemporary Indian artists. 
    • 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.