(Maṇḍala): “Circle.” A circular diagram similar to a yantra that serves as a tool for concentration and meditation. A mandala can be seen as an integrated structure organized around a central unifying principle. Mandalas generally feature a bindu (dot), representing the point of potentiality of both the Cosmos and the mind. The bindu is surrounded by a circle or series of circles and enclosed by four square gates. Frequently used in Tibetan Buddhist practices, mandalas can often be very complex pictorial representations. They represent the sacred environment and dwelling place of a Buddha, bodhisattva, or deity. A mandala is used to worship a deity and become one with it through visualization practices.
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