Heart Sutra Mandala

In the Heart Sutra mandala, all things are interconnected, all things point to center. It’s about light and awakening.

The chakras are represented by rainbows of color, with light moving through and illuminating them. Lotus flowers are a symbol for awakening to the spiritual reality of life. The six pointed star is the central image in the heart chakra. The heart chakra is the middle chakra in a system of seven. It symbolizes the two polarities of body and spirit as interpenetrating in perfect balance. The triangle pointing upward symbolizes matter rising into spirit. The downward triangle represents spirit descending into manifestation. The chain in this symbolizes the illusion that the way to the center, to enlightenment is barred and difficult to attain.

This mandala seemed to have named itself. Even while I was making it, I just found that I was calling it by this name. At that time I hadn’t read the Heart Sutra. Perhaps it doesn’t illustrate the sutra literally, nevertheless no other name seems right. Though I’m not a Buddhist I have a longstanding interest in, and appreciation for, the teachings.

All my mandalas, whether they’re drawings or from photographs of flowers, are created intuitively.  The elements in the images aren’t consciously chosen for their symbolism. The meaning is revealed when the mandalas are completed. I hope you find the mandala a beautiful meditation.

The following is the mantra, in Sanskrit, for the Heart Sutra and one translation for it by George Boeree, Ph.D. It’s said to be the mantra that removes all suffering.

Gaté, gaté, paragaté, parasamgaté. Bodhi! Svaha!  Which means… Gone, gone, gone over, gone fully over. Awakened! So be it!

For anyone who might be interested, I’d like to share a video of the heart sutra and mantra being sung by Imee Ooi, with wording added to help you understand what you’re listening to. Stay peaceful. 💙

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