|[aras-image:7Je.002,,10,,,Figure 16 Tibetan Mandala.]|
The circle with the center is a traditional mandala form and the Tibetan mandalas are among the world's most complex meditative icons with long historical and spiritual traditions to support them. Through a gate turned to one of the four cardinal directions, the initiate enters into the garden surrounding the world, having first crossed through the fires which protect the entire structure from violation by the unenlightened. On into the garden, one proceeds into the square, the sacred area, and from there into the central circle where, at the center, the manifestation of the Buddha or Bodhisattva appears on the petals of the lotus of purity for one's contemplation.