Sunday, 27 March 2011

The inner circle

By T SELVA



There are designs that can guide us towards happiness.

MANDALAS are powerful signs that represent both the inner and outer worlds of our mind, body and spirit.

The sacred art tells a story that we can follow into the peaceful inner centre of ourselves and leads us to a deeper understanding of our relationship with the space we occupy.

Amazed by the messages the masterful designs carry and the influence they have, I made a visit to the award-winning Tibetan Mandala Thanka Painting School in Kathmandu during my recent visit to Nepal.

Mandalas are one of the oldest holy art forms known to humanity; the basic design, the circle and centre, represents completeness.

An artist at the Mandala Thanka Painting School in Kathmandu working on a peace mandala.
 
The designs can help guide any person seeking happiness and fulfilment because they assist the seeker to wholeness and contentment.

Mandalas are also available as part of Vasthu Sastra, and one of the most powerful is the Vasthu Purusha Mandala comprising the mathematical and diagrammatic basis for generating designs.

Purusha refers to energy, power, soul or cosmic man and mandala is the generic name for any plan or chart which symbolically represents the cosmos.

There was complete stillness when I stepped into the Mandala Thanka Painting School in Thamel; dozen artists were working on patterns, forms, colours and shapes on silk fabrics.

Experts say mandalas are linked to psychology and they are seen to represent a journey from one state of awareness to another. Each drawing is a significant symbol of that journey.

The outer border reflects the psychological boundary that separates oneself from the outer world and all the contents of the mandala lead the viewer onwards and inwards to the centre.

The message from the drawing is that we all have the natural urge within ourselves to search out the centre of our own being.

In meditative mode, the artists display their creative process which is itself a unique method of self-expression. The artists may experience a feeling of relief and a sense of peace as the pattern comes together and “works” within the circle.

The secret in creating a masterpiece or meditating on each one is allowing fragmented parts of our psyche to be healed. I had a profound experience at the school. For hours, I watched the artists’ subconscious minds creating prosperity, longevity and protection mandalas.

The mandala can take any form. There are two paths that you can follow in creating your own mandala.

The first is the more traditional way which follows specific rules and procedures. This is how mandalas are created throughout the Buddhist world. According to the system, if you sit and follow the elaborate steps accurately, you will create an image of the perfect balance you are seeking and this can bring you closer to your inner self.

The second method is more spontaneous and less structured. It involves picking up a pen and simply drawing. This method is useful for giving you a window into your inner self through what you create so that you can begin to see how you need to heal.

The very act of drawing a mandala may be enough to bring you to a place of peace and harmony.
Each shape of the mandala carries a meaning.

  • ·A circle is the symbol of wholeness and eternity.
  • ·A line that is straight and hard represents repression and indecision.
  • ·A cross symbolises two forces within you and the centre displays balance in a harmonious world.
  • ·A spiral is a symbol of change and rebirth.
  • ·A crescent is associated with the moon and speaks of unconscious and instinctive powers.
  • ·A triangle represents the three aspects of yourself: mind, body and spirit.
  • ·A square represents stability, security and solid foundation.
  • ·A star indicates the brilliant signs of hope and encourages you not to give up.
I returned home with a variety of mandalas. They are not only beautiful with their intricate designs but they also give me a strong sense of inspiration, healing and self-discovery.

* Chief News Editor T. Selva has spent years researching and writing about the ancient Indian science of construction, better known as ‘Indian feng shui’. He is the first disciple of 7th generation Vasthu Sastra Master Yuvaraj Sowma from Chennai, India.

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