A mandala is a spiritual and ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism representing the universe. In common use mandala has become a generic term for any diagram chart or geometric pattern that represents the cosmos metaphysically or symbolically a microcosm of the universe.
The basic form of most mandalas is a square with four gates containing a circle with a center point. Each gate is in the general shape of a T.Mandalas often exhibit radial balance.
The term appears in the Rigveda as the name of the sections of the work and vedic rituals use Mandalas such as nava graha mandala to this day. Mandala is also used in Buddhism.
In various spiritual traditions mandalas may be employed for focusing attention of practitioners and adepts as a spiritual guidance tool for establishing a sacred space and as an aid to meditation and trance induction.
A yantra is a two- or three-dimensional geometric composition used in sadhanas puja or meditative rituals. It is considered to represent the abode of the deity. Each yantra is unique and calls the deity into the presence of the practitioner through the elaborate symbolic geometric designs. According to one scholar Yantras function as revelatory symbols of cosmic truths and as instructional charts of the spiritual aspect of human experience.
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