The Mandala

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Buddhist Mandala

ROBERT THURMAN, Buddhist Scholar: "A Mandala is a--it means a sacred circle that holds a spiritual essence. And basically the two-dimensional diagrams that you see, although they are called Mandalas, they really are blueprints of a three-dimensional building and a space."

The mandala is painted with colored sand in painstaking detail by a group of monks, then as a demonstration of impermanence, the mandala is destroyed and the sand put in water.