There are many types of mandalas, however these 3 are considered the main ones.
Mandalas have their origin in India and their translation from Sanskrit would be circle. Their original figures were inspired in man by nature, a spider’s web or a simple drop of rain. They are magical symbols, ancient objects used for meditation and concentration. With them we deepen our nature and creativity. Through mandala drawing – both easy and more complicated, mandala art becomes an element that helps us on our way to balance, self-knowledge, calm and serenity.
Through mandala forms, colors and representations are reflected different spiritual and subtle aspects of the one who makes it. Building them allows us to balance the chakras and puts parts of our brain to work in a different way than usual.
Main Types of mandalas
We can find mandalas materialized in so many forms! Drawn or painted with sand, on wood, paper or canvas. But we can also find them more and more present in the decoration of our home. Bedding, stones, cushions, dream catchers, etc. Their magical shapes and bright colors make them a beautiful element to give a mystical touch to our home.
Since their birth in India they spread to other parts of the world, giving rise to different types of mandalas.
First Mandala Type is Hindu Mandalas
The best known type of mandalas is the Hindu.
The term mandala already appears in the Rigveda, mandalas were used to focus attention, as a tool for spiritual teaching, to establish sacred space, and as an aid to meditation.
Hinduism uses as mandalas yantras, formed by linear and geometrical figures. Both mandalas and yantras are conceived from a totally spiritual approach and are usually used during the meditation process, in search of achieving a state of calm, creating a direct connection between man and the divine. In this way they can be an aid to achieving spiritual balance and purification of the soul. In Hindu culture it is interpreted as a path that leads to enlightenment, as it provides order and harmony within a compulsive and chaotic world.
Second Type Of Mandala is Buddhist Mandala
The construction of mandalas in Tibet is part of a ritual, from its beginning to its end. The monks create incredible figures with colored grains of sand, detailed, delicate, colorful and above all very symbolic figures. After their completion they are sanctified and destroyed. According to them destroying them helps them in their practice of detachment and not to pursue a result with their actions.
We can find different types of Buddhist mandalas, the creation of these beautiful figures represents for them, among other things, the inevitable passage of time. It can take days to make them, even weeks of work, which once completed and sanctified, is poured and mixed into an urn. Then half of this sand is distributed among the public, so that its healing power spreads throughout the place. The rest is poured into the nearest river, so that the rest of the world receives its healing power.
Third Type Of Mandala is Christian Mandala
Although it is a subject unknown by some and rejected by others, the presence of mandalas in Christianity goes back to the origins. You do not need to be an art expert to observe the many mandalic elements that still surround architecture, painting and liturgical elements today. Churches and cathedrals, especially the Gothic ones, are decorated with enormous and showy roses, made of stone or wood in their vaults and colorful glass in their facades.
The Mandorla of the medieval Christian art, is another clear example of mandala, a Christian representation of the first times, south has an immense similarity to the Buddhist mandala. A central figure surrounded by a circle or oval and around it several secondary figures.
The equidistance from a center, but also the freedom within the circle that is formed is closely related to the idea of eternal return, where time, nature and space are cyclical.
The fish is one of the most present symbols in Christian mandalas. It represents life, food and it lives in water, the source of life for our planet. In fact, a few years ago, the remains of what seems to be the oldest known church in Israel were discovered. Its floor is decorated with a huge mandala, a mosaic crowned in its center by two symbolic fish.
And one of the most interesting types of mandalas is the Celtic mandala.
Fourth Type Of Mandala is Celtic Mandala
Perhaps the Celts were the ones who best picked up the Hindu witness and more types of mandalas were made. The Celtic people have left us an infinite universe full of myths and legends, surrounded by spirituality and the magic of the earth, of nature. They lived in a reality populated by gods, goblins and fairies and their knowledge and wisdom was kept in absolute secrecy. They hid it in the strength of their drawings carved on stone.
The Celtic mandalas reveal to us how important it was to them. Through their symbolism the circle, the serpent, the Celtic cross and, above all, the spiral, the intimate connection of man with the Beyond is also revealed to us.
Within this rich culture the Celtic knots, known to all. These have a great symbolism, as well as great beauty, and they are mandalas on their own that contain different meanings.
Mandalas are a fascinating subject and we have a lot of resources dedicated to mandala meanings and Complete Mandala Creation Toolkit that allows you to create personal unique mandalas like a PRO. Learn more about it here.