Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2020 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming


  • Lee W. BaileyEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24348-7_400
The Sanskrit word mandala means “circle” – circular images drawn, built, painted, danced, or lived, expressing many qualities of nature and culture. Many mandalas are unnoticed images of peace, power, oneness, and transcendence. Circular fountains in cities, for example, simultaneously send out a circle of energy and bring to the “center” the community around it. Mandalas are a sacred visual art about the silent center within, the endless circumference without, an art with psychological, biological, and spiritual significance. Some are evident in nature and others products of art and religion. Cultures embroider the form with many unique variations. The focus is often on the center of the circle, which is commonly a geometric symbol of the eternal source. Mandalas with symmetry imply a tension or balance and harmony of spiritual forces. The mandala is an orienting map of the soul, the world, and the cosmos, a microcosm and macrocosm (Fig. 1).
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and ReligionIthaca CollegeIthacaUSA