The Theory and Practice of the Mandala
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The Theory and Practice of the Mandala

Giuseppe Tucci

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eBook - ePub

The Theory and Practice of the Mandala

Giuseppe Tucci

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Examines theory and practice of the mandala and how it's used to express the infinite possibilities of the human subconscious. Individual chapters consider the doctrinal basis of the mandala, the mandala as a means of reintegration, the symbolism of the mandala and its various parts, the liturgy of the mandala, and more.

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THE history of Indian religion may be defined as one of a toilsome attempt to attain autoconsciousness. Naturally, also, what can be said of religion applies to philosophy as might be expected in a country where religion and philosophy were blended together in the unity of a vision (dar
) that helps an experience (s
). In India the intellect has never prevailed to the extent of obtaining mastery over the faculties of the soul, of separating itself therefrom and thus of provoking that dangerous scission between the intellect and the psyche which is the cause of the distress from which the Western world suffers. The West, indeed, as though to designate its present inclinations, has coined a new word, unwonted in the history of human thought, the word ‘intellectual’—as though it were possible to have a type of man reduced to pure intellect.
Pure intellect, indeed, detached from soul, is the death of Man. Intellect, self-confident and isolated in arrogant complacency, does not ennoble Man. It humiliates him, deprives him of his personality. It kills that loving participation in the life of things and creatures of which the soul, with its emotions and intuitions, is capable. Intellect, by itself alone, is dead and also deadly—a principle of disintegration. But in India intellect was never dissociated from soul. The world of the subconscious was never denied and rejected but, on the contrary, accepted and transfigured in a harmonious process intended to re-establish autoconsciousness, the consciousness of an Ego which is not, of course, the individual ego but the Ego, that cosmic Consciousness from which everything derives and to which everything returns. Pure consciousness, not darkened by a concrete thought, but, all the same, the premise of those concrete thoughts which make up the psychic reality of the living individual. Without that consciousness the individual psyche could not exist. But, on the other hand, the development of the psyche must be arrested if one wishes to reacquire, after the experience of life, the possession of that consciousness.
The Ved
nta, the system of speculation which is derived from the Upanishads, calls this consciousness ‘Brahman’ and recognizes in us its mysterious presence as the
the ‘secret self’, pure intelligence, First Principle, Sole Reality in the midst of the ocean of that which is in process of becoming.
aiva Schools call it
or Par
‘Supreme Cognition’ which is poured out and spread out in all that exists. Thus, in contradistinction to the monistic Ved
nta, these Schools maintain that this world is not unreal but is the self-manifestation of God, that it is his garment. Error consists in attributing real, objective, autonomous existence to what appears as ego or a thing. Both ego and things are waves which, provoked by divine necessity and maintained by our error, arise and alternate on the originally motionless surface of that Consciousness.
Primitive Buddhism postulated the existence of two planes between which there is no communication, two worlds absolutely different the one from the other. On the one side, the world of sa
, our own, in which karma operates and which is forever dying and being born again, and, on the other side, the plane of nirv
reached by a qualitative ‘leap’ when karma and the force which causes it or derives from it are stopped or suppressed.
On this plane of sa
the psycho-physical complex of Man is carried along in incessant moveme...

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Citation styles for The Theory and Practice of the Mandala
APA 6 Citation
Tucci, G. (2012). The Theory and Practice of the Mandala ([edition unavailable]). Dover Publications. Retrieved from (Original work published 2012)
Chicago Citation
Tucci, Giuseppe. (2012) 2012. The Theory and Practice of the Mandala. [Edition unavailable]. Dover Publications.
Harvard Citation
Tucci, G. (2012) The Theory and Practice of the Mandala. [edition unavailable]. Dover Publications. Available at: (Accessed: 14 October 2022).
MLA 7 Citation
Tucci, Giuseppe. The Theory and Practice of the Mandala. [edition unavailable]. Dover Publications, 2012. Web. 14 Oct. 2022.