51. What is a Mandala?
Buddhism in Five Minutes - Elizabeth J. Harris
Christian Luczanits [+]
Christian Luczanits is David L. Snellgrove Senior Lecturer in Tibetan and Buddhist Art at the Department of the History of Art and Archaeology, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
The mandala is first and foremost a ritual tool. In its simplest form, it consists of a square space marked by protective features and a circle of deities within it. The ground marks a purified space to which deities can be invited during the ritual.