Maṇdala

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Mandala, MaNdala, Mandala


Maṇdala literally means 'a circular figure that embellishes’.

File:Maṇdala.jpg
Maṇḍala

The word ‘maṇḍala’ has been used in various senses in the scriptures and allied works depending upon the particular field of knowledge.

Different Denotations of Maṇḍala

  • In the Ṛgveda it is the name of the ten books or sections into which it is divided based on the subject content.
  • In the ritualistic field, it is a circular diagram containing squares and triangles, generally prepared with colored powders. When consecrated, it acts like a fence or border protecting the ritual from evil influences and forces.
  • A temple when viewed from above, represents a maṇḍala.
  • In the works on political science[1], maṇḍala is a part of a king’s territory. A maṇḍala is made up of four deśas, each deśa containing 100 villages. In some works, this definition has been reversed, making the maṇḍala a subdivision of deśa.

Synonyms for Maṇḍala

The names of the maṇḍalas include:

  • Sarvatobhadra
  • Caturliñgabhadra
  • Prāsādavāstumaṇḍala
  • Hariharamaṇḍala

References

  1. Political Science is also called as arthaśāstra or rājyaśāstra.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore