The Meaning of Tibetan Mandalas

Mandala

Here are two videos about maṇḍalas in Tibetan Buddhism. The first, made by Dan Cozort, is one of the best explanations of the role and meaning of maṇḍalas I know of, following the monks of the Namgyal order as they construct the sand maṇḍala of the fearful Buddha Vajrabhairava.

The Namgyal monks spend three years out of their twelve years of study, understanding the maṇḍala, its construction and it’s deep meaning, and they are the true experts in the tradition on this subject.

The film interviews two of their monks, Ven Tsering Namgyal and Ven. Tenzin Yignyen, as they prepare the maṇḍala in Dickinson College, Pennsylvania, and we also see extracts from a computer animated model of the maṇḍala which was made by Ven Pema Losang Chogyen.

The second film, only seven minutes in length, looks at a similar modelling of the Kalachakra maṇḍala which was made by Elizabeth Popolo in Cornell University in 2007, under the supervision of the Namgyal monastics.

The video has a running written commentary, and is probably best seen through a couple of times, one following the commentary, and then, when familiar, watching the animation.

It would definitely have been better of it had been done with a voice-over explaining the significance, rather than a textual explanation.

 

Mandala of Tantric Buddhism

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Kalacharkra Mandala in 3D view

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