Within the Buddhist religion, there are many interesting aspects to explore. In regards to Buddhist art, as well as their rituals, colors play an important role. Whether it is the color red, which is connected to an individual’s life force or the color green, which reflects balance and harmony, each color has a purpose.
When it comes to colors, in Buddhism, especially within the Tibetan Buddhist communities, there are five colors that are used to represent specific states of mind, as well as different parts of the body; relaxation words; one of the four elements, as well as symbolize a personal Buddha. The main colors include blue, red, green, yellow, black and white. It is also common to see the colors blue and black exchanged with one another.
In the religion, mediation is quite important. It is thought that concentrating on one of these colors will allow an individual to connect with a Buddha, as well as obtain a spiritual experience. In Buddhism, there is a concept referred to as the rainbow body.” This refers to a session of meditation that is in transition, where matter transforms into pure light. If you have ever heard of Nirvana, which is an end to the cycle of rebirth and death; the rainbow body deals with the moment before a person shall experience the end of all suffering for an individual. The rainbow body is looked upon as the highest state that one can attain. This state that an individual enters is said to be the awakening of the inner self. When this state is expressed through the color of art, the kaleidoscope of interpretation is quite stunning.
There are specific colors associated with the four elements of air, fire, water and earth. Air is represented by the color blue and sometimes black because as stated before, these colors can be interchangeable. Fire is represented by the color red. White represents the element of water, where yellow is symbolic of the element of earth. You would think green would represent earth and blue for water, but this is not the case within this religion. The four elements are also expressed as shapes. The semi-circle is used for air, where the triangle symbolizes fire. Circular shapes represent water, where earth is attached to the square. Together, shapes and colors are used to express a wide-range of concepts and emotions throughout the Buddhist culture.
Colors also play an important role within the mandala, which is a highly-regarded symbol within Tibetan Buddhism. The colors used to create this symbol are white, red, yellow, blue and black. White can be found in the inside of the mandala with the remaining colors following suit. The walls of the mandala are expressed with the colors: black, white, yellow, red and green. There are many different ways to present mandalas. Some showcase different colors to represent the various directions of a palace. The mandala also has a “protecting circle,” which is usually found to be the color red. The main purpose of the mandala is to encourage focus during times of meditation.