The World of Mandala and Colors

mandala with leaves and stones

Certainly for all of us, there have been moments of stress and worry in life, stress and crippling worries! One of the treatment methods in psychology and self-knowledge is drawing different shapes of mandala and coloring them. 

In fact, colors with different emotions can have different effects on the viewer. So, knowing the right color choice for a mandala is necessary to show its deeper meaning.

But before that, let’s take a closer look at the world of mandalas:

What is a mandala?

The mandala is a religious and spiritual symbol in various religions. In Sanskrit, the ancient language of the Indian people, it means circle. In fact, mandalas are designs that start from a circular center and eventually turn into different shapes of circles, squares and polygons.

The final geometric shape of the mandala, in various religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism and even modern psychology to represent the universe, is the world within man. And contributes to personal and spiritual growth and development. Because it pays attention to both the inner world of man and the outer world.

colorful mandala

History of Mandala

Indeed, the first mandala design originated in Indian Buddhist art around the first century BC. Gradually, this design took various forms, and each mandala design with different colors has taken on a special meaning.

black Budda

Why mandala? What is the goal?

The design of mandalas is drawn in a rotating shape.  Because each design has a central point, a symmetrical pattern emerges that instills a kind of inner integrity and order in the audience. Moreover, each mandala with a specific color represents a symbol.

Why is a mandala valuable?

Because by drawing and painting the mandala, it pays less attention to external stresses and helps us to relax and return energy. Yogis also use symbols with different mandala designs for their meditation. In addition, in art therapy, patients are asked to control their minds by drawing and coloring mandalas so that they can relax.

a woman drew a mandala

Types of mandalas and their meanings

There are many different types of mandalas, both artistically and spiritually. Also, every culture has a variety of mandalas. However, mandalas have a main type that includes:

1. Teaching Mandala

Firstly, each shape, line and color in teaching mandalas are selected according to principles. That is why this type of mandala is symbolic.

teaching mandala

2. Healing Mandala

Secondly, these mandalas are more visual. Healing mandalas are created to calm and maintain concentration, which is why they are used in meditation.

healing mandala

3. Sand Mandala

Thirdly, Buddhist monks, as well as in Navajo culture, have long used sand mandalas.  Also, these mandalas have intricate designs that are full of various symbols. So, all of this is made of sand to remind them that life and all its belongings are not permanent.

sand mandala

Let’s see the magic of colors in mandalas:

The meaning of colors in mandalas

Colors have a different symbolic function in the religion, culture and art of each country and region. Thus, Knowing this and choosing the right color for mandalas, you can show the true meaning of each symbol in the form of a mandala.

a painted mandala

The meaning of mandala color in psychology

Mandala colors in psychology in general:

Black Mandala meaning

The color black in the mandala symbolizes mystery, individuality and deep thinking.

black mandala

White Mandala meaning

White is the focus of spirituality and purity.

white mandala

Red Mandala meaning

Red symbolizes passion, high energy and strength.

red mandala

Orange Mandala meaning

Orange is a symbol of intuition and self-awareness, transformation and creativity.

orange mandala

Yellow Mandala meaning

Yellow symbolizes laughter, joy and happiness, wisdom and learning.

yellow mandala

Green Mandala meaning

Green symbolizes the love of nature and care, greenery and freshness, improving mental ability and improving physical condition.

green mandala

Blue Mandala meaning

Blue is suitable for inner peace and meditation and is a symbol of emotional healing.

blue mandala

Purple Mandala meaning

The special color purple symbolizes that everything is spiritual.  That is, spirituality can be found in everything.

purple mandala

Pink Mandala meaning

Pink is a symbol of intuition and love.

pink mandala

In fact, for the first time in the twentieth century, psychologist Carl Jung used the mandala to treat diseases under the influence of Buddhist culture.
Thus, the mandala colors in the method used by Jung are as follows:
Red is a symbol of anger to lust. Purple is a symbol of creativity and narcissism. And finally, yellow is a symbol of intelligence and ingenuity.

woman drawing mandala

Buddhist mandala color meaning

Color is very important in Buddhism. So, the use of colors in mandalas, which originally originated in Buddhism, is undeniable. Indeed, in every ritual, there are colors that are more specific than other colors and are used more in symbols. This feature is also present in Buddhism.

mandala in a bowl

The meaning of mandala colors in Tantric Buddhism

There are six colors in this ritual. Which include:
I. White color: It is a symbol of peace, reflection and comfort.
II. Green color: It is a symbol of exorcism.
III. Blue color: It is a symbol of life, wisdom and healing.
IV. Yellow color: It is a symbol of self-control and food.
V. Red color: It is a symbol of surrender.

In fact, these 5 colors represent the five characters of the Buddha. The color is used to represent any image of the Buddha. And finally, black color is a symbol of death and anger.

Tantric mandala

The meaning of mandala colors in Tibetan Buddhism

In Tibetan Buddhism, mandalas are usually drawn from the center to the outside, using five colors in the same way:
White color: It is symbol of openness.
Red color: It is symbol of vitality and strength.
Yellow color: It is a symbol of humility.
Blue color: It is a symbol of life, purity and infinity.
Black color: It is a symbol of darkness.

Of course, there are other colors in these mandalas:

Green color: It is a symbol of the earth, the balance between man and nature.
Golden color: It is a symbol of sun and fire.

The colors used in Tibetan sand mandalas are:

White is a symbol of faith.
Yellow is a symbol of effort.
Green is a symbol of meditation.
Red is a symbol of memory.
Blue is a symbol of wisdom.

Tibetan mandala

The meaning of mandala color in the modern world

However, many symbolic meanings of colors remain the same. But some colors have taken on a different meaning over time. For example:

Blue is also a symbol of sadness.

Green is also a symbol of jealousy.

In addition to being a symbol of love, red is also a symbol of anger. But black and white still have the same meanings as before. In fact, black symbolizes death and white symbolizes purity.

mandala in the modern world

Do mandalas have healing power?

Meditation is not just about doing yoga, breathing exercises and lighting a joss stick. Another form of meditation is mandala coloring. For this reason, several studies have been conducted on the human mind, which show that mandala coloring is an excellent technique for thinking, meditating and achieving peace.

In fact, mandala coloring is considered a relaxing exercise for both children and adults. Therefore, the most effective way to benefit from the healing power of the mandala is to use mandala coloring books, which fortunately are available in large numbers.

Do mandalas reduce anxiety?

According to one of the doctors of Harvard University, Dr. Herbert Benson, activities in which the delicate movements of the hands are involved reduce stress and anxiety.

Because the subtle repetitive movements that exist in coloring mandalas or similar activities, enable a person to stay focused on the activity he is doing. Indeed, this phenomenon is called “mindfulness” or “being in the present moment”.

In fact, mandala coloring, due to its symmetrical forms, unlike freehand paintings, makes the mind drawn to meditation. Therefore, the mind is freed from empty thoughts, anxiety and worries and inner chaos calms down. Finally, you can organize your negative thoughts.

a picture of a person that paint a mandala

What are the benefits of mandala coloring?

Mandala coloring…

  • it is fun.
  • Strengthens your mood.
  • Awakens your inner child.
  • It causes the thoughts of troublemakers to be discarded.
  • Maintain concentration.
  • Provides relaxation.
  • Reduces anxiety.
  • Gives you a better sleep.
  • Reduces blood pressure, heart rate and pulse.
  • Reduces oxygen consumption.
  • Reduces the production of cortisol, which is a stress hormone.
  • Increases the release of feel-good hormones.

How to color a mandala?

A. First choose your template. If you are a beginner, choose simple and less complicated patterns.

B. Choose a coloring medium that is comfortable for you to use. Like colored pencils or crayons.

C. Paint in layers, that is, first paint the pattern with bright colors. Then deepen them.

D. You can combine colors and create a new shade or color.

E. Use a colorless blender to create a smoother look. Because when you use it on colored parts, it removes the uneven color and gives you a smoother appearance.

F. By using a white pencil, you can fill the gaps in the drawing and give a beautiful and uniform effect to your drawing.

a picture of a mandala painted

Which colors do you choose for the mandala?

The thought of choosing colors for coloring a mandala may scare or confuse you. But the truth is that there is no right or wrong color. It all depends on you!

Therefore, you can choose any color you want in mandala coloring. You just have to unleash your creativity and let your imagination run wild. If you are more picky about color, the color wheel will help you a lot because it will reveal the relationships between colors for you. For example, red and green are good complementary colors for each other.

Dopely’s color wheel helps you find different color schemes to paint. You can use it if you want. Touch here!

a girl painted and colored a mandala

How to draw your own mandala?

Do you want to draw your own mandala? This is not a difficult task. First, draw your general idea of ​​what you want to have. For this purpose, choose a black, white or colored circle or rectangle.

If you’re not sure what designs to add to your initial idea, don’t worry. Start with the smallest and innermost layer and draw a shape and grow or change it. You must make sure that your mandala is symmetrical and its shapes are equal to each other.

Because making a grid is mandatory for mandala, you can draw a circle in the central part regardless of whether the general shape of your mandala is circle or rectangle. Draw a shape inside this circle. Then go to the next layer and make sure that the next layer must be different from the previous layer.

Don’t be too hard on your choice of shapes, draw patterns you like, ones that resonate with you and make you feel positive. A simple way is to collect patterns you like from other mandalas. Whenever you feel that your creativity and imagination have left you alone, you can draw inspiration from your collected patterns.

a graphic pictureof a painted mandala

Do you want a mandala color wheel?

You can create a mandala color wheel and use it to choose colors for coloring. For this purpose, first prepare a basic design of the mandala that I explained earlier.

Divide the initial mandala circle into four equal parts. Then divide each part into three equal parts. This way, you will have a 12-part mandala.

After your desired design is finished on the mandala, you should start coloring. In this way, you need to color each of the 12 sections in red, red-orange, orange, yellow-orange, yellow, yellow-green, green, blue-green, blue, blue-purple, purple and red-purple.

Of course, you should be careful that each of the 12 sections must be divided into three areas for coloring. So, the first area is for pure color ie Hue. The second area is for combining pure color with white, i.e. tint, and the third area is for combining pure color with black, i.e. shade.

Finally, you have a mandala color wheel. From now on, you can use this color wheel to help you choose the color you want in mandala coloring. In addition, you can read the basic principles of the color wheel from this article that I have written before so that you don’t have any problems to draw the mandala color wheel.

a mandala color wheel

Want some mandala inspired color palettes?

Let’s look at attractive palettes made of mandalas, get ideas and use them in our designs. Let’s go:

color palette inspiration of mandala colors 1
color palette inspiration of mandala colors 2
color palette inspiration of mandala colors 3
color palette inspiration of mandala colors 4
color palette inspiration of mandala colors 5

Conclusion

Today, mandalas can be found in all coloring books.  And anyone can start painting different mandala designs to get rid of external stress and increase their concentration.  And thus access the healing resource of this ancient art project.

You can have your own mandala, just pay attention to your emotions, to choose colors easier for you. The product of mandala can also be sand, beads and yarn, and the meanings of the color in these materials are the same as when we use it in painting.

Do you have your own mandala?

Posted by
Nazanin

It's Nazanin. For me who loves the rainbow after the rain. What could be more beautiful than writing about colors ?! Well, I'm here now, in Dopely, to share my writings about colors with you and take you with me to the world of colors!

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