Shar Gaden Monks Dissolving Sand Mandala

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(3:25) Shar Gaden monks dissolving a sand mandala in Füssen, Germany. A mandala is a deeply profound, universal symbol that translates literally to mean the “center and its surroundings” and is a physical representation of the universe and the interdependence within the universe, which means that everything and everyone is interlinked in one way or another.

Mandalas may be found in many forms, but always include a circle, a central point, and symmetry. These sand mandalas take days for monks to create yet are dissolved in minutes and this dissolution epitomizes impermanence.

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  1. Sand Mandalas often take days to make. It is also a sacred piece of art that represents the offering of the whole universe to the Buddhas. This type of Art has to be created through learning. I understand all Rinpoches and high Lamas must also learn this type of Art. When you think you have made something so beautiful and with so much effort, we samsaric beings will not want to destroy but will want to preserve it. But in Tibetan Buddhism it is not so. After any prayer Rituals is done the sand Mandala will have to be destroyed. Something that takes a few days to do are destroyed within a few minutes. This is to show the impermanence of things. That what you may have can be lost or destroyed any time.

  2. Only when we learn to let go, are we truly free.

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