Colored-sand Mandala

Yutang Lin

Mandala drawn with colored-sand to welcome wisdom beings,
Thus extends Dharma lineage beyond limits of space and time.
As soon as planting and irrigating of Bodhi seed accomplished,
Precious dusts completely wiped off and poured into river flow.


In tantric initiation rituals sometimes the mandala is drawn with colored-sand to welcome the arrival of wisdom beings. Thereby blessing and transmission of teachings are bestowed transcending both the limitation of space and time and the distinction of sacred and mundane. During the concluding part of the ceremony the colored-sand mandala is completely wiped off through a systematic and significant procedure, and the precious dusts thus gathered are brought to a river and poured into the flow to bless sentient beings in the water realm.

The whole procedure illustrates that, Buddha's activities start with having nothing, and yet are capable of establishing a mandala complete with all kinds of grandeur, and using it to perform conversion and bestow blessing, then, eventually, all will return to the original state of nothing attainable. Thus it is in complete compliance with the ever-continuous evolution of birth, abiding, changing, and extinction in universe, without grasping and lingering, and yet still capable of limitless extension of the Dharma lineage that propagates the right enlightenment so as to spread the great salvation activities for all sentient beings without a pause.

If the inherent deep significance of this ritual procedure as explained above is well-understood, then one should realize that one's life should be made good use of in a similar fashion beyond the worries and limitations of life or death, and gain or loss.

Written in Chinese on June 1, 2002
Translated on June 2, 2002
El Cerrito, California

[Home][Back to list][Back to Chinese versions]