The basic pattern of a mandala is a palace, envisioned not as a solid, but rather as made up of crystallized light, a jewel-like light that radiates through the composition. The palace is generally placed centrally and shaped as a square, a symbol of symmetry. Each of the four walls of the palace has a large ornamental gate decorated with vases, canopies, garlands, and victory banners.
A journey through a mandala symbolically recreates the journey which Buddha undertook before he achieved Buddhahood. The meditator enters by the eastern gate and by encountering the sacred being residing at the heart of the mandala, transforms the five human delusions enumerated in the Buddhist scriptures to positive attributes, leading to enlightenment. Indeed a mandala is identified by the central deity, and it is the power of this entity that the mandala is said to be invested with.
Here at the nucleus of the mandala resides the five-pronged vajra. The vajra is the quintessential symbol of Vajrayana Buddhism, which derives its name from the vajra itself. The Sanskrit term vajra means 'the hard or mighty one', and its Tibetan equivalent dorje means an indestructible hardness and brilliance like the diamond, which cannot be cut or broken. The vajra essentially symbolizes the impenetrable, immovable, immutable, indivisible, and indestructible state of enlightenment or Buddhahood. Each of its five prongs transforms the following human delusions which obscure our true natures, into their respective positive attributes:
1). The delusion of ignorance becomes the wisdom of reality
2). The delusion of pride becomes the wisdom of sameness
3). The delusion of attachment becomes the wisdom of discernment
4). The delusion of jealousy becomes the wisdom of accomplishment
5). The delusion of anger becomes the mirror like wisdom