World of Mandala
Publisher: Better Listen
Date: November 2013
Duration: 1 hours 52 minutes
"Mandala" is an ancient Sanskrit word meaning "sacred circle that protects the soul." It also refers to the sacred cosmograms that serve as core symbols of all cultures. Westerners have been fascinated for centuries about the mandalas of the Hindu-Buddhist cultures of Asia, most often painted geometric diagrams of great beauty and sophistication, that draw the viewer into a realm of balance, harmony, and calm. But such diagrams are actually architectural blueprints of the purified realm of bliss that we can only realize through enlightenment. They represent three-dimensional spaces of personal and communal exaltation, palaces for the regal confidence of love, compassion, and universal satisfaction of self and other. Understanding their role in anchoring the world-picture of a culture or a person provides a new insight into the "mandalas" of our own culture – the national space anchored by the Washington monument and its environs, or the personal cosmological space anchored by the models of the solar system, the DNA double-helix molecule, and the atom.
Robert A.F. Thurman is the Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in the Department of Religion at Columbia University, President of the Tibet House U.S., a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Tibetan civilization, and President of the American Institute of Buddhist Studies. Thurman is known as a talented popularizer of the Buddha's teachings. He is a riveting speaker and an author of many books on Tibet, Buddhism, art, politics and culture