Mandalas are drawn to strict rules to create perfect balance and harmony. There are many paths to enlightenment and each has its own mandala and its own Buddha to act as a guide. This mandala has the Buddha displaying the Dharmachakra mudra as its central deity. The Dharmachakra mudra symbolizes an important moments in the life of the Buddha, namely the occasion when he preached his first sermon after gaining enlightenment, in the Deer park at Sarnath. It thus denotes the setting into motion of the Wheel of the teaching of the Dharma.
Buddha sits housed inside a square structure with eight gates, opening into the eight directions. Surrounding it are rows of circular bands. The first such band is made up of lotus petals. These are but universal symbols of auspiciousness.
The next row has inscribed in it the eight auspicious symbols of Buddhism, in a repeated pattern. These symbols are:
1. The lotus
2. The endless knot
3. The golden fishes
4. The parasol
5. The victory banner
6. The golden treasure vase
7. The conch shell
8. The wheel
These eight symbols of good fortune represent the offerings made by the gods to Shakyamuni Buddha immediately after he attained enlightenment.
Next is ring of fire, represented by a stylized scrollwork. This is the fire that will burn all desires which inhibit our attainment of enlightenment.
All round the mandala are various narrative scenes from the life of Buddha.
All our thangkas come framed in traditional silk brocade, and complete with hanging rods and silken veil.
Of Related Interest:
Tibetan Thangka Painting: Black Mandala of Manjushri
Sterling Silver Jewelry: Mandala Double Box Pendant with Filigree