Mandala Window

mandala.jpg Mandala means SACRED CIRCLE, and represents one of the oldest religious/spiritual symbols of humanity. The Mandala image is not only a symbol of wholeness and healing, but can be actively used as a means towards that end. The Mandala is used in Sanskrit, Buddhist, Christian and Shamanic symbolism. As Carl Jung states, the Mandala is “a reflection of the individual’s wholeness, i.e. of the self”. For Jung, the self is the totality of psychic function ( both conscious and unconscious ); it is dynamic and active and continuously transforms; and it’s natural course of development is to bring it’s diverse elements ( e.g. shadow and persona ) into a unified whole. This unified whole represents a harmony or balance brought about through the interplay of opposing but complementary forces.

The mandala symbol offers an outward and tangible expression of an archetypal God-image which is present universally and represents the basic human need to integrate and give sense to the disparate aspects humans experience, where the spiritual and psychological can be brought together as an image of wholeness.

There are three separate spheres of life contained in our Sangha Mandala:

  1. Outer ring, which contains the shadow self, the instincts, and unconscious life. There lie the seeds of desire, fire, and torment.
  2. A type of temple or monastery courtyard which signifies sacred seclusion or concentration, entered through 4 gates, symbolizing the various psychic functions – thinking, feeling, sensation, and intuition – which make up our conscious life.
  3. At the centre, a representation of timeless spiritual perfection. The centre often contains a Buddha, or Shiva and Shakti, or equivalent symbol such as a lotus. The centre is the essence.
The mandala can assist in transformation by prompting the individual to recognize him/herself as God-like again, and hence returning from the illusion of individual existence into the universal totality of the divine state. In the process of doing so, all opposites are united (yin and yang, heaven and earth ). In psychological terms this means the same as individuation, or the full realization of the self; and in spiritual terms it represents the path of enlightenment in which the individual passes through various phases of development in order to achieve nirvana or meeting God.

The Sangha Mandala is a Sri Yantra Mandala, and is a combination of Buddhist and Yogic mandalas. Man’s spiritual journey from the stage of material existence to ultimate enlightenment is mapped on the Sri Yantra. The spiritual journey is taken as a pilgrimage in which each step is an ascent to the centre, a movement beyond ones limited existence, and every level is nearer to the goal of enlightenment.