Saturday, September 5, 2009

Reading & Interpreting the Symbols & Iconography of the Yama Dharmaraja Mandala

Representations of Deity Mandalas are created for many different reasons and probably least of all as 'an artistic aid for meditation' as is commonly believed by many Western scholars. The primary reason for the physical creation of a mandala is to have a visual presence when preparing and conducting a ritual initiation for Tantric Buddhist devotees into a deity yoga meditation practice. Initiations, sometimes called ceremonies or empowerments, require a physical depiction, as stipulated in the Tantric texts, either two dimensional or three dimensional in form, of the deity, the celestial palace and the surrounding lotus petals, vajras and five coloured flames. Sand mandalas and painted wooden mandala plates are good examples of objects used for this ritual function.

Yama Dharmaraja Mandala
Yama Dharmaraja Mandala Elements
Yama Dharmaraja Schematic - Quick Study
Yama Dharmaraja Outline Page
Yama Dharmaraja Main Page

(See an essay on Mandalas: An Introduction, Painting & Sculpture based on the Rubin Museum of Art exhibition Mandala, The Perfect Circle).

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