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BlueFaky
27 May 14, 19:12
Good evening dear friends.


I'm attending a Mahayana Buddhist center here (http://www.dhagpo-kundreul.org/index.php/en/the-temple) and they have built a Tibetan temple with a beautiful Mandala on the ceiling.

http://img11.hostingpics.net/pics/810025Kalachakra.jpg (http://www.hostingpics.net/viewer.php?id=810025Kalachakra.jpg)

As far as I undestand Mandalas, I think they represent a deity home. So I was just wondering is that the reason why Mandalas are always on temple ceilings ? Is it an artistic form to illustrate the fact that the human real is below the deity realm, in the middle between deities and animals ? Tibetan Stupas are thought along these lines, to show the three levels of reincarnations : deities - humans - animals.

Could it be the same in Temples ?

If so, is the animal realm depicted somewhere in Tibetan temples floors ? I don't remember anything about that myself.

Thank you so much.:hands:

Aloka
27 May 14, 19:43
Hi Blue Faky,

Mandalas aren't always on ceilings. They can also be on a wall in the form of a hanging thangka painting, or they can be made in coloured sand on the floor.

The measurements used are different to western systems of measurement and all the colours and images have symbolism of one kind or another. To learn about them properly you need specific guidance from a teacher.

More information here:

http://www.namgyal.org/mandalas/background.cfm

and here:

http://www.tibetanart.com/Blog/Post.asp?ID=76



..the three levels of reincarnations : deities - humans - animals.

Tibetans believe that there are six realms of existence. You can see/read about them in this interactive Wheel of Life:

http://www.buddhanet.net/wheel2.htm


Kind regards,

Aloka :hands:

BlueFaky
28 May 14, 18:53
Thanks dear ;D :shake:

Little Steps
06 Sep 14, 06:37
You DO understand that both traditions of Mahayana Buddhism (Zen and Vajrayana/Tibetan) say that you must have a qualified teacher?
In fact the Tibetans say (I have heard this from many sources) that Vajrayana will "drive you crazy" if you practice it on your own.

And you do understand that it is considered very very wrong to teach unless your teacher has assigned you the task. And that assuming the mantle of teacher, unassigned, actually sets you back on your path? Because there's just too much ego in setting ourselves up as a teacher .. that's why the teacher must assign it to us. The teacher knows when we are ready to teach without it harming our progress.

This is something you would be asking your teacher, if you had a teacher.

Basically the mandala is a 2-day representation of a 3-day temple. We offer the temple to the Buddhas to come live. In act, the temple represents ourselves ... our body, our ego. We hand over ourselves to our own inner Buddha nature, creating a symbolic place in which to develop the compassion and wisdom that bring enlightenment.

My primary teacher, my local teacher, for the past 14 years, is a senior monk/geshe from the Dalai Lama's monastery. We set up our temple in rough form, then contacted Namgyal in Dharamsala and asked them to send us a teacher.

(we support the teacher, providing living accommodations and the money to meet his needs).

Aloka
06 Sep 14, 07:15
You DO understand that both traditions of Mahayana Buddhism (Zen and Vajrayana/Tibetan) say that you must have a qualified teacher?
In fact the Tibetans say (I have heard this from many sources) that Vajrayana will "drive you crazy" if you practice it on your own.

And you do understand that it is considered very very wrong to teach unless your teacher has assigned you the task. And that assuming the mantle of teacher, unassigned, actually sets you back on your path? Because there's just too much ego in setting ourselves up as a teacher .. that's why the teacher must assign it to us. The teacher knows when we are ready to teach without it harming our progress.

This is something you would be asking your teacher, if you had a teacher.



Hi Little Steps,

I'd already responded over 3 months ago to Blue Fakey with:
To learn about them properly you need specific guidance from a teacher.

I also don't feel that your additional off-topic remarks about "assuming the mantle of teacher" have any relevance to an innocent enquiry about a mandala at a temple in France.


Kind regards,

Aloka ;D