63 Mandala Tattoo Designs for Men
The mandala is one of the most universal spiritual symbols of any religion. Coincidentally, most symbolize the universe, consciousness, and the self, all reconciled within one image.
Mandalas, as most know them, stem primarily from Hinduism and Buddhism, but religious and spiritual scholars have identified mandala-type symbols in a variety of other religions, primarily Christianity. They are rapidly increasing in popularity as a tattoo idea for the boldness of their designs and are part of the top 50+ best tattoo ideas in 2020.
In general, they comprise intricate patterns and details confined within a circle. Subsequent circles have subsequent meanings, and specific meanings differ between regions, sects, religions, and the media by which they are created.
The mandala was introduced to and popularized in western society by psychologist Carl Jung, a student and colleague of Sigmund Freud. The first mandalas Jung discovered were those he created.
“I sketched every morning in a notebook a small circular drawing,” Jung wrote in his book Memories, Dreams, Reflections, “… which seemed to correspond to my inner situation at the time. … Only gradually did I discover what the mandala really is: … the Self, the wholeness of the personality, which if all goes well is harmonious.” Jung then related them to the similar spiritual images of Hinduism and Buddhism. He was the first to categorize these images as “mandala,” a word he took from an Indian dialect.
While the specifics of each intricate mandala design differ, Jung believed they touch on a universal reality shared by all people. He summed them up by writing, “The mandala serves a conservative purpose, namely, to restore a previously existing order. But it also serves the creative purpose of giving expression and form to something that does not yet exist, something new and unique. … The process is that of the ascending spiral, which grows upward while simultaneously returning again and again to the same point.”
Hindu and Buddhist mandalas differ slightly.
In Hinduism, they are known broadly as yantra and are used in meditative rituals. Every yantra is unique and relates to a specific god. The subsequent rings of yantra help the individual call forth the qualities bestowed by a respective god, using it to summon him or her. In this way, the yantra connects to the heavens but translates into lived practices of individuals and acts as a guide.
Mandalas also have political significance in Hinduism. The ancient author Kautilya, in his political work Arthashastra, used them to describe the makeup of the state. According to Kautilya, the Raja-mandala places the king at the center, and each surrounding ring describes different factions and groups that make up his kingdom.
In Buddhism, mandalas function primarily in a religious context. Like in Hinduism, they act as a guide in meditation, but instead of leading their devotee in their daily life, they lead Buddhist monks in chant. They decorate temples throughout the Buddhist world.
In the Tibetan sect of Vajrayana Buddhism, it is common practice to create an intricate mandala pattern out of colored sand. Jung probably received his conception of mandalas from the teachings of Vajrayana, which, as one scholar writes, portray the pure, enlightened mind through the circular symbols. Mandalas in Vajrayana portray the mind as “a microcosm representing various divine powers at work in the universe.”
The meaning of any mandala design is often felt before it is known. Deeply spiritual people wear a mandala as a tattoo to represent their belief in the connection between all things. The mandala tattoo design represents their consciousness, and their consciousness represents the universe, and therefore the mandala tattoo represents the universe. Though it is a permanent mark, they know that they themselves are as impermanent as the sand paintings of the Vajrayana monks, who, upon completing each mandala, wipe the slate clean and start again.
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This hand is an excellent example of versatility in also works to complement the subject’s previous geometric .. By starting at the center and working outward, the is able to build an artwork of intensity without having to sacrifice any core tenets of the , such as balance and unity. This
Another that slots in effortlessly with an existing ink. The use of red color along with smartly applied white ink highlights add a slightly different element to the traditional balance of black and gray. This is a technically excellent shoulder .
The uses a combination of styles to create a nice chest . Again, the versatility in its depiction helps to combine the piece with previous work. The artist has worked hard to complement thick black lines on the outer image, with varying circles of negative space tied in with time-consuming levels of difficult dotwork.
Wow. This is a truly remarkable black and gray expression of different styles worked together with masterful technique to create a full arm . The versatile is deployed to create linkage with the more esoteric , such as the maze at the wrist or the black and negative space vortex high on the . This is a rich, interesting work of great quality that could be transferred to an adult’s stress-reducing coloring in a book!
The variety in this is astounding. It’s through these types of tattoos that you gain an understanding of how the is known as the in Sanskrit. If the subject hadn’t run out of available skin, the images could just keep on expanding ever outward, building and thriving based on subtly different expressions of line, pattern, and .
This feature on the chest is a cool piece of . It moves out from the tiny central negative space in layer after layer of tightly detailed, triangular patterns of black and gray . However, the images don’t really fit the of the subject’s shoulders, nor do they link up with clarity; it’s a bit of a mess of blackness.
The success of the center technique is lost in the transitions of a differently shaped canvas. A different pattern of application for the shoulders may have resulted in more successful flanking images.
This small, almost minimalist successfully uses the dotwork style to create the quintessential radiating image. The artist has applied this with sublime technique; you can see how each dot contributes to the ‘s balance and provides negative balance.
Two different sit on the shoulder and extend toward the chest. It’s interesting that under the central idea of harmony, , and balance, these mandalas don’t quite fit. The top across the shoulder encroaches on the bottom ink and is also cut off near the neckline.
This series of morphs into a successful . The image is a little far away for up close detail, but the that stands apart from the rest of the arm’s work. The stands out, with two bands of zero space central work bracketed by gradual changes in color and pattern as the radiates outward. flows nicely along, with the possible exception of the singular
This is a beautiful piece created by mixing amazing layers of imagery with the weird, abstract central bird image. The delivery is masterful, from the gray of the fowl’s feathers through the different-sized mandalas all working in concert to become a brilliantly interlinked full back .
This on the shoulder effectively places the artwork in an awkward space. The artist has done a great job allowing the central image to “flatten” against the shoulder, then choosing to work outward from this point with patterns suitable for the angles created by bone and sinew. Another eye-catching part of this is the expert deployment of small dotwork to the central and uniquely shaded through other points of the .
This is a funky . I bet there are lots of people with stress issues just itching to take to it with a set of colored pencils. With no to speak of, this relies on clever patterns and directional changes to achieve the sense of unity and that mandalas are known for. This piece could either be left as is, shaded in black and gray, or totally filled in with layers of bright colors.
The technical skill needed to form the intricate details of this is almost off the charts. The intensity needed to create this artwork — each level radiating out from the last with a different degree of clear, precise blackwork — is almost as impressive as the results.
The upper part of the arm where the cuts off to meet the previous work, including some J.R.R. Tolkien high elvish runes, by flipping from light to dark across the diagonal, shows an expert level of skill in and technique. This is poster-worthy work by a master!
Below are more you can explore. You can have them done in stunning and negative space, or you make them pop with vibrant colors.
Do mandalas have meaning?
Mandala means circle in Sanskrit. It symbolizes balance, eternity, unity, and perfection. The mandala is a key motif in Hindu and Buddhist religions. It commonly represents the universe and can also be described as “the center of surroundings” or “sacred circle.”
Mandalas are often used to promote a sense of peace, calm, and tranquility, which is often useful in yoga teachings, meditation practice, and various methods used to relieve stress while presenting a wide range of versatile meanings.
Where do mandala tattoos come from?
In western culture, mandalas are used to promote balance and harmony. This idea extends to mandalas becoming a spiritually linked method of tattoo, body art, and peace in general.
Mandala patterns and pictures start at a central point and then radiate outward in a circle, with a variety of other images or patterns making up the whole. They are often very intricate, detailed sets of images when drawn together and make for aesthetically pleasing tattoos that many people respond to on a deeper level.
Do guys get mandala tattoos?
Mandala tattoos are popular with both guys and girls. With men becoming more vocal in their quest for lifestyle balance and the elimination of stress, Mandala tattoo ideas have become an increasingly popular choice, especially for those guys looking for geometric-styled ink with a spiritual meaning.