As of 2015, free printable mandala illustrations are available on craft and coloring websites, such as Education.com, ColoringCastle.com, AZColoring.com and Quality-Kids-Crafts.com. These websites offer traditionally inspired geometric designs, abstract designs and themed adaptations for kids.
Printable mandalas are available as downloadable PDF documents. Mandalas, also known as sacred circles, are symbolic representations of the universe and divine power in balance. Mandalas typically have elaborate imagery organized in a radially symmetrical pattern with a central focus. The most basic designs contain repeating patterns of simple shapes, such as overlapping circles or diamonds. Similar to kaleidoscope images, abstract mandalas may include intricate overlapping layers, complex shapes and tiny, repeating details within larger sections.
Mandala illustrations often incorporate familiar objects that already exhibit radial symmetry, such as flowers, eight-pointed stars and Celtic knot patterns. Modernized versions frequently feature popular imagery, such as hearts, suns, moons and eyes, while illustrations designed for children may include whimsical themes, including seasons, animals, hobbies, food or butterflies.
Since mandalas represent the convergence of all deities and cosmic matter, people often use them as sources of spiritual energy during meditation, helping the meditator achieve oneness with the cosmos. Although these symbols originated in ancient Buddhist cultures, they have gained worldwide significance as spiritual emblems for people of diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds.