The Brill Dictionary of Religion

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(441 words)

1. In its general meaning, a mandala is a circle that divides a sacred place from the profane sphere. In Tibetan Buddhism (→ Lamaism), the concept designates a diagram bringing central doctrinal content to graphic expression, and serving as an aid for meditation. Through the aspects of a mandala, viewers may recall their religious tradition, and have practical meditation experiences as well.

The basic form of the mandala consists in a concentric arrangement of circles and squares, together yielding a symmetrical, closed area. It represents a two-dimensiona…

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Schweer, Thomas, “Mandala”, in: The Brill Dictionary of Religion, Edited by Kocku von Stuckrad. Consulted online on 04 March 2021 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004124332, 20051223

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