Download Mandalas and Yantras in the Hindu Traditions by Gudrun Buhnemann PDF

By Gudrun Buhnemann

Lately maṇḍalas have attracted a lot curiosity between a much wider public. the focus of such curiosity has been directed towards Tibetan maṇḍalas, specimens of which were incorporated in different guides. yet maṇḍalas are discovered throughout a large spectrum of South Asian spiritual traditions, together with these of the Hindus and Jains. Hindu maṇḍalas and yantras have not often been researched. This booklet makes an attempt to fill this hole through clarifying very important points of maṇḍalas and yantras in particular Hindu traditions via investigations via popular experts within the box

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8 H o w ­ ever, it often remains unclear w hat the connection betw een a m a n ­ dala and a city or tem ple really means, as B afna 2000: 26 notes. P roblem s arise w hen one attem pts to correlate m andala structures and actual building plans. Gutschow 1982: 179, 185 argues that con­ temporary drawings o f mandalas o f cities, such as the m andala o f the city o f B haktapur in Nepal, usually do not reflect ancient guidelines for tow n-planning b u t rather represent a specific interpretation o f existing urban conditions.

These include door segments termed kantha (the upper part o f a door) and npakantha ((lie lower part o f a door). The upakantha is also called kapola in some texts. Different interpretations are given to the constituent parts o f these mandalas. The Srimandala reconstructed by Torzsok (see her A p p en ­ dix 1 and C olour Plates 16-17) is surrounded by a square with five nested lines coloured transparent, yellow, black, red and white from the inside to the outside. These five lines are identified with the five kala,s which constitute the Saiva universe.

2); h o w e v e r, B r u n n e r ’s ‘seatm andalas, ’ w hich are m ade o f cow -dung and similar materials, are without any clearly recognizable structure. 2 Type 2: Yantras Employed in Regular Worship Yantras o f this type usually feature com m on geom etric shapes, but generally do not have mantras inscribed, at least according to the later Tantric texts that I have studied. H ow ever, the deity and her/his em anations are invoked into the yantra with mantras. A few yantras have the names o f these em anations or surrounding deities inscribed fo llo w in g the expression ‘salutation t o ’ ( nam ah).

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