Building of Guhyasamadji Sand mandala

Till recently one could see mandalas, the palaces of the enlightened beings built from variegated sand grains, only in the Tibetan monasteries. They were the compulsory attributes of the closed Buddhist ceremonies. Today though, wishing to preserve this unique tradition of Tibetan sand painting, Dalai Lama have chosen the mandalas, which can be build by the itinerant monks for the secular public in different countries of the world.

And it is not the matter of popularization of the esoteric teachings: the aim of the monks is in the context of the principles of so called Bodhisattva Vehicle give the benefit to as many sentient beings as possible. It is known, that one glance to mandala is enough to be purified from diseases and negative inclinations, and also to accumulate merit a positive potential contributing to further spiritual growth.

Lamas from Gyudmed monastery are known for their inimitable art of mandala building. They devote many years to study the rituals, provided for mandala making. Lamas memorize the appearance of dozens of mandalas in the finest details the pattern from the grind marble should be done in a full accordance with the ancient texts. They work very attentively and carefully: the purer is their motivation, the more perfect is their art, and the more benefit each person who will see mandala gets. No matter how you treat mandala: as a breathtaking masterpiece or as a sacred object to be worshiped, - it gives you as much blessing as many sand grains the mandala is made from

On the first day the monks carry out a beautiful ceremony of purifying the space and mark on the contours of mandala, and then, day by day, grain by grain, thoroughly create a handmade fragile miracle, astonishing with its beauty and perfection of forms

Each day starts and finishes with rituals with the throat chanting and Tibetan instruments, which invariably attract many spectators. Contemplation of mandala building is a meditative process. Some people come for a couple of minutes, the others for a couple of hours to watch how is the mandala flower opening in ones sight, to experience peace and infinite wisdom of Buddhas. The monks eagerly answer the questions concerning the meaning and symbolism of mandala, monastic arts, study and life in the monastery.

After completion of building, mandala is destroyed. Destruction of mandala is a special ritual; its aim is to emphasize one of the main Buddhist postulates the idea of impermanence of everything that exists.

No matter how much effort we put in creating of this palace, - say the lamas, - no matter, that the result is a sand picture of an incredible beauty, we shouldnt let ourselves to be attached to the outer form. Everything in this world is subject to destruction, and mandala is not an exception. Mandala destruction ritual is a rare opportunity to think about the transience of the objective reality. Having experienced it on a deep level, we wont be distracted by the beautiful pictures, but aspire to a true knowledge.

The sand blessed by many days of rituals, in a beautiful procession with the sounds of Tibetan long trumpets and brazen plates, is brought to the river, lake or the ocean and is offered as a gift to the water spirits with the request to spread the blessing around the world.

Festival Tibet-2004, all events

 

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