Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various ritualistic geometric designs symbolic of the universe, used in Hinduism and Buddhism as an aid to meditation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A graphic depiction of the spiritual universe and its myriad realms and deities.
  • n. Any ritualistic geometric design, symbolic of the Universe, used as an aid to meditation.
  • n. A division or book of the Rigveda (of which there are 10).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. any of various geometric designs (usually circular) symbolizing the universe; used chiefly in Hinduism and Buddhism as an aid to meditation

Etymologies

Sanskrit maṇḍalam, circle.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Sanskrit मण्डल (máṇḍala). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • According to Wikipedia, a pasta shape:
    "Designed by Philippe Starck in 1987 for French pasta maker Panzani. Design based on compensating for overcooking."

    Not to be confused with mancala, an interesting game for two using small stones or figurines.

    April 18, 2009

  • See integral sphere.

    July 1, 2008

  • THE GREAT MANDALA (The Wheel of Life)
    Peter Yarrow- Pepamar Music Corp.- ASCAP

    So I told him that he'd better shut his mouth
    And do his job like a man.
    And he answered "Listen, Father,
    I will never kill another."
    He thinks he's better
    than his brother that died
    What the hell does he think he's doing
    To his father who brought him up right?

    Chorus:
    Take your place on The Great Mandala
    As it moves through your brief moment of time.
    Win or lose now you must choose now
    And if you lose you're only losing your life.

    Tell the jailer not to bother
    With his meal of bread and water today.
    He is fasting 'til the killing's over
    He's a martyr, he thinks he's a prophet.
    But he's a coward, he's just playing a game
    He can't do it, he can't change it
    It's been going on for ten thousand years

    (Chorus)

    Tell the people they are safe now
    Hunger stopped him, he lies still in his cell.
    Death has gagged his accusations

    We are free now, we can kill now,
    We can hate now, now we can end the world
    We're not guilty, he was crazy
    And it's been going on for ten thousand years!

    Take your place on The Great Mandala
    As it moves through your brief moment of time.
    Win or lose now you must choose now
    And if you lose you've only wasted your life.

    March 2, 2008