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The meaning of the word mandala in Sanskrit is 'circle'.  Mandala is a spiritual and ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism, representing the universe.  The circular design symbolises the idea that life is never ending and everything is connected.

In Hindu cosmology the surface of the earth is represented by a square.  The Mandala, the geometrical form of a circle within a square, constituted the basis upon which Hindu temples arid cities were built.

Architectural treatises such as the Vaastu Shastra codified the rules applied to town planning and religious architecture.  Square mandalas divided into smaller equal squares (their number varying from 4 to 1024, or 22, 32, 42... up to 322) were used to draw sanctuary floor plans.

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