Tibetan Sand Mandala
Please Note: The Tibetan Sand Mandala has been moved into storage temporarily as we paint the space in which it's located.
A “mandala” is an artistic representation of the sacred mansion of a Tibetan Buddhist deity. This mandala represents the home of the deity Chenrezig, the Tibetan Buddha of Compassion, and shows its walls, gates, gardens, offerings, and occupants. The mandala (kilkhor in Tibetan) was created by laying down hundreds of layers of fine, colored sand to form the complete design. The technique of Tibetan sand painting is said to have been first taught by Shakyamuni, the historical Buddha, in the 6th century BC. The ritual creation of sand mandalas is an art still handed down from master to disciple in Tibetan Buddhist monasteries.
Learning how to create the mandala teaches patience and meditation, while learning to understand the meaning of the mandala helps to initiate the monk into the spiritual complexities of Buddhist religion. It took four weeks for four monks from the Dalai Lama’s personal monastery at Dharamsala, India to complete this sand mandala during a visit to the Buffalo Museum of Science in 1991. This is one of the only examples this type of ritual artwork on permanent exhibit in North America.