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Maṇḍala of the Five Jinas

Maṇḍala of the Five Jinas or Tathāgatas. A basic type for Buddhist maṇḍalas, the maṇḍala of the five jinas (Tib., rgyal.ba, ‘eminent ones’) is a representation of the psyche and the world in fivefold symbolism.

The basic form of this maṇḍala consists in the five jinas who have each become assigned a series of qualities as follows:(i) Vairocana, white, in the centre, represents the element ether, the skandha of consciousness, the ignorance of delusion and the wisdom of the dharmadhātu; (ii) Akṣobhya, blue, in the east, represents the element water, the skandha of form, the ignorance of hatred and the mirror-like wisdom; (iii) Ratnasambhava, yellow, in the south, represents the element earth, the skandha of feeling, the ignorance of arrogance and the wisdom of equality; (iv) Amitābha, red, in the west, represents the element fire, the skandha of perception, the ignorance of craving and the wisdom of all-knowing; (v) Amoghasiddhi, green, in the north, represents the element air, the skandha of volition, the ignorance of jealousy and the wisdom of all-accomplishing.

Whether the maṇḍala or other forms of intentional meditation are used, it is never simply a symbolic representation, but a blueprint accompanying Tantric instructions for the effective transmutation of the mundane personality into Buddhahood.

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