Friday, 8 August 2008

Что такое мандала и с чем ее едят

...Или, инструкция по вышиванию мандалы... Я хочу представить здесь перевод инструкции, созданной Кристиной-Fairy при помощи Улы.

In Buddhist practice any ritual (as well as building mandala) starts with reference to Three Sacrets of Buddhism: Buddha, Dharma (his teachings) and Sangha (practicing community).
Translation: When you decide to stitch any design first of all you will have to talk to stitcher's three gods - ABC, 123 and Sewandso.

The detailed description of the ritual you can find in a manual called Sadhana.
I am sure this must be the chart key.

Cleaning the space before creating mandala. In large tantra ceremonies that are carried out at monastery cleaning space ritual takes about two hours and has a lot of different stages.
Print out the chart. Recently bought threads have to be wounded onto bobbins. Beads have to be sortered into the tubes/boxes/pots. Two hours are not enough. A week would be just about right…

Satkna. At this stage monks check the place where the mandala is about to be built. You have to check your piece of fabric very carefuly.
Check if there are any uneaven threads and whether the count of fabric suites the design as well as the size of the fabric. Well, you know, there were some cases...

Salongva. Next they ask the masters of the premisses permission to create mandala: first the visible masters (the gallery or a hall owners), and then the invisible masters (spirits and gods). As a token of peace the invisible gods are given torma (the ritual objects of tsampa and oil).
Next you have to visit forum where you can ask for support of those who stitched mandalas before in case you might have any questions.

Sajangva. Now monks have to clean the room from any dirt or imperfection. This can be done using three methods: using different materials (mustard seeds or white cinder); using mantra and meditation.
After you've been grantered support and you've prepared all materials it is highly advisible to finish all your current WIPs so you are not destructed.

Marking mandala. At the next stage monks bless their instruments and coloured sand which is used to create mandala and start marking the platform. Tradition dictates the central and diagonal lines are marked with clear white thread which was made by virgins and bought without trying to get a bargain.
You cann't start with no markings. But there is no need to write such a poetic stuff about a simple marking pen.

Placing the sand. The sand is placed beginning from the centre outwards.
You can find it in any instruction: start your stitching from the nentre.

According to the tradition the mandala is created by four monks, each of them is responcible for one "the part if the world". Sometimes when a very big mandala is created for some public ceremony, like dedication of Kalachakhra,the main four monks can be joined by helpers so they finish mandala sooner.
This looks like a Round Robin to me

The mandala should be created evenly: it is not permited to create one section of mandala faster than the others. Because of this monks coordinate their work meticulously. In the morning they talk about their day plan and if someone managed to complete it before others he does not go on but helps the monks to complete their part accouding to their plan.
I was right - it is Round Robin. What is it to do with Mandala? Can you find anyone who agrees on such a game!!! I will do it on my own, thank you.

Building a large sand mandala can take up to ten days. All this time the hall where the monks work is a place of enlightenned creatures. It is filled with a wonderfull atmosphere: people who know nothing about Buddhism freeze looking at the amazing creation of Tibet monks. Mandala opens up like a beautiful flower and gives peace and hope to everyone who looks at it with the faith it their hearts.
Ten days - impossible. It is ten times ten. The place where the stitcher works for some reason is a place where live hungry creatures that wear durty and unironed clothes. But mandala opens up like a beautiful flower and gives hope on soon completion which means food and order in the house.

Working on mandala monks have to be in constant meditative concentration.
Do not approach me when I stitch! Do not ask "what are we having for dinner" or "where is my socks"!

When they create the sand mandala the same time they create very precise picture of the god's palace in their minds in 3D.
I can imagine how it will look when finished… and how can I picture this in 3D for everyone to see and understand… I have to buy the best camera I can get!!!

It is very difficult spiritual practice for them when they can control their minds. When they create sand palaces in museums and galleries of the western world monks demonstrate the highest level of concentration and devotion.
Have you every seen a stitcher who is bothered about the world around her durring the stitching process?

But here they have another task - to teach those who comes to them and very oftem mandala becomes a background for explaining the Buddihsm fundamental principles.
DO NOT STITCH AT WORK! Or on the bus.

When monks finished working on mandala they dedicate their achievements, i.e. the positive emotions, that was accumulated durring the process to all living creatures.
Our mother is back! Hip-hip-hurray!!! She is happy, smiley and very kind. She gives her little masterpiece a gentle stroke and happy with herself looks around. Rushing she starts to clean her temple and gives everyone in the household the potential. Mandala is placed into a chest of drawers until framing. We cannot destroy it!

(comments by Fairy, translation by Victoria Orloff)

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