For the uninitiated, a mandala is a symbol of spirituality in Hinduism and Buddhism. They represent the cosmos and the universe, metaphysically, mathematically and symbolically. The basic form of most mandalas is a square with four gates containing a circle with a centre point. Each gate is in the general shape of a T. Mandalas often exhibit radial balance. “They are famously known in Tibet as Thangka paintings which are sand drawings. The Buddhists work on it for hours, days and weeks. They just meditate on the art of creating it. Mandalas are also found a lot in Bhutan, China and Nepal. Currently, a lot of artists have taken a huge liking to mandalas as a hobby internationally. I also believe that kolams and rangolis are a form of mandalas too. Any design consisting a pattern present in a circular form is considered a mandala,” explains Tamaarah (21), who is a first year student at the National Institute of Fashion Technology.
Tamaarah’s tryst with mandalas began with doodling. “And I have a thing for symmetry and geometrical patterns. I love detailing. I was so fascinated by how simple strokes could amount to something so intricate. I was always attracted to mandala-like figures and drawings. It inspired me more. I basically couldn’t stop drawing. I always had a pattern in my mind waiting to be expressed. I kept practising and experimenting. I googled patterns and followed amazing artists on instagram on the hunt for inspiration. The more I drew, the more I became confident,” she adds.
Mandalas are also known to be therapeutic and help channel positivity. “It’s a known fact that creating mandalas helps stabilise, increase focus and creativity. The whole process is soothing and relaxing. While doodling the repetitive patterns, we let our subconscious mind meditate. It also inculcates patience over time,” explains Tamaarah adding that one does not have to be an artist to practice it. “That’s the best thing about it. You require no previous drawing experience whatsoever. People look at mandalas and are intimidated instantly, not knowing they have the power and creativity within themselves to create it too. It’s self-satisfactory and lets everyone express their own individualistic flair,” she finishes.