While I was on my holiday, I met one of my younger friends. She showed me photographs of a function she had held, to raise funds for an orphanage.
I was fascinated by the appropriate Tibetan ambience that she had managed to create for the occasion and for the Esteemed Spiritual Tibetan giants that she had invited. I was enchanted by the photograph of the ‘Mandala’ that was created….Wait a minute, do you know what a ‘Mandala’ is? For a lay person it seems like a pictorial ‘Rangoli’ but much much more elaborate.
The ‘Mandala’ is made of coloured sand or powdered rice or flowers or particles of stones or jewels. The mandala includes the Deity and His palace. The latter may be three-dimensional and could include its many decorative details. On the holy side, the Mandala is the Spiritual manifestation of the Enlightened Mind of the Deity. The aspiring student strives to ‘enter’ into the Mandala, that is, to enter into the State of Being, in which the Deity dwells. The student may ‘read’ it, study it as a text, memorize it for visualization during meditation and/or make an attempt to interpret it. It is said that the environment where the sand ‘Mandala’ is placed will be blessed with positive vibrations. Whoever sees and circumambulate the sand Mandala will be purified of many countless sins accumulated in the past lives.
The dismantling of the sand Mandala may be interpreted as a lesson in nonattachment. The ceremony reflects the Buddha’s teachings on impermanence and the transitory nature of all aspects of life. The blessed sand can be kept and used for various purposes or offered to a water body (e.g. river, lake, ocean) so that the aquatic life are blessed by the positive energy of the sand. When the purified water rises from the ocean to the clouds and fall down from the clouds as rain on the land, it purifies the environment and all its inhabitants.
I have recently read , that the Universe enjoys prayers accompanied by Rituals, and the above one is ‘One par excellence’ don’t you think?