Jonathan – tome 17 – La Piste de Yéshé – Planche originale 27
  See it in the Museum
India and Nepal
Orientation 1
Wall object 6

ABE 007

 Code: ABE 007

  Country: Switzerland


  Date: 2021

  Dimensions in cm WxHxD: Unknown

  Materials: Encre de Chine sur papier

As mentioned earlier, the daily life of a nomadic camp perfectly and naturally stands alongside the spiritual life of monasteries.
Here is the first representation of a mandala. Tibetan Buddhist culture uses mandalas as a support for meditation. Mandala is a Sanskrit word literally meaning “circle or center”. They can be of different shapes, square, round… but are always organized around a central point. Mandalas are representations of the universe under its pure form and represent the heavenly abode of meditational deities.

During visualization, the mandala does not appear flat but in three dimensions as a tiered architectural structure. The two dimensions representation is used as an aide-memoire for the practitioner. When looking at such a representation, one must understand it as a mixed perspective between a geographic map, an architectural plan, and a frontal view.

The outer wall consists of a circle of flames, a vajra fence and lotus petals. The eight great charnel grounds can be located outside the flame circle or on the inside. The palace of the deity rests upon a crossed vajra, symbol of absolute stability. It is generally of square shape, sometimes triangular, like a six-pointed star, etc. It usually has four gates located in the four cardinal directions and is divided in four quarters of the color of that direction. The walls are made of gold, lapis-lazuli, coral, and crystal; it possesses courtyards, curtain walls, balustrades, and multiple ornaments such as parasol, banners, garlands… At the center is the main deity surrounded by its entourage. During the empowerment ceremonies, the initiate visualizes himself entering the mandala through the eastern gate, then progressing in stages to the central deity.

On your right is the imposing and magnificent Yogambara mandala (ABP 002). The central palace has a square shape with the crossed-vajra ends appearing at the gate, with the colors matching the directions. Inside the successive surrounding walls stand the numerous deities and, at the center, sits Yogambara united to his consort. The eight great charnel grounds, beautifully represented, the circle of flames, the vajra fence, and the lotus circles are visible on the outskirts. On the outside, the mandala is surrounded by many lineage masters, deities, and offerings.