Mandala sun tattoo meaning

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Mandala Tattoo Guide From Meaning To Design

There is an endless variety of tattoo designs out there, and each style carries its own unique meaning and symbolism. One type of meaningful tattoo is the mandala tattoo. Mandala is the Sanskrit word for “circle.” Mandala tattoos are comprised of many different overlapping circles and shapes. This unique design represents balance, eternity, and perfection. These are common designs, though no two mandala tattoos like exactly alike. 

If you’ve traveled around the world, you might have noticed mandala symbolism in art, architecture, and religion. Choosing a tattoo that embodies this design is a very meaningful way to bring balance to your own life.

In this guide, we’ll share everything you need to know about mandala tattoos from meaning to design.

One of the most popular types of mandala tattoos is the lotus mandala. This is a mandala that’s in the shape of alotus flower. The mandala design itself dates back to ancient India as a symbol used for meditation and healing, but they’re not limited to this part of the world. 

What makes the lotus mandala unique? This is a particularly common meditation symbol. In many religions, the petal lotus flower has great significance.

These geometric symbols carry sacred ties across the globe, and they’ve been used as a way to connect with one’s inner self for centuries.

Mandala tattoos history

Lotus Mandala and Buddhism

Within Buddhism, the lotus mandala is more than just a beautiful flower. This flower is native to most of Asia, making it a big part of local cultures. People in both ancient and modern times respect and admire its beauty. 

In Buddhism, the lotus flower is a symbol of rising above the material world. It’s a way to reach a new level of union with the spiritual universe. This is known as reaching enlightenment. Gautama Buddha used this flower as a symbol of how the soul is never soiled by the bad things in life. Like the lotus, it’s untouched by the mud as it grows towards the sky. With a rich history like that, there’s no wonder this is such a popular choice for body art.

Meaning of Lotus Flower Tattoos Around The World

Outside of Buddhism, the lotus flower still carries a lot of meaning.

In Hinduism, for example, the lotus flower is a sign of purity. It’s related to deities that bring wealth and creativity. Lotuses are also a way to symbolize the chakras or human energy.

For those wishing to align their chakras or connect with ancient deities, the lotus is a natural choice for tattoos, especially if combined with other strong symbols such as snakes for the kundalini symbol of life energy.

In western societies, the lotus flower might simply mean a sign of beauty, same as the cherry blossom flower. For most, however, it’s a way to feel connected to spiritual and ancient traditions.

Lotus flower tattoos mean different things to different people, and all of these meanings are significant.

Best Placement of Mandala Tattoos

Because of the geometric symmetry of mandala tattoos, there are a lot of placement options to consider, and they can be combined with feathers, or can be dedicated to your family members such as to your mother. Since they reflect a literal balance, they’re best in flat areas where the symmetry is easy to see.

Some mix up mandala patterns with other flowers, such as sunflowers.

The most common placement for mandala tattoos is the chest and back for men, and shoulder, forearms and thighs for women. However, there are no limits to how you can express yourself with your mandala tattoo. Check out these designs below to see what placement stands out to you.

Meaning of Lotus Flower Tattoo

Mandala Tattoo Ideas

To help you with your research for your next tattoo design, we went on a hunt through Instagram to find the best lotus mandala tattoo ideas.

Take a look below, and swipe right to check them out all:

Finger Mandala Tattoo Ideas

Back Mandala Tattoo Ideas

Are you looking for a custom lotus mandala tattoo design? We got you.


Our expert tattoo artists will provide a quick initial draft to get you going.
Happy inking ❤

Read later: Would you like to save this post for future reading or use one of the ideas? Save THIS PIN to your Tattoo Ideas Board on Pinterest:

Guide On Mandala Tattoos
Milena Petrovic

Milena Petrovic

Co-founder of Tattoo Stylist

Tattoo Stylist

Milena has decided to start an organization that will create a safe environment for everybody to get their first, second or third tattoo and to encourage young people to transform their ideas into tattoos safely, with talent and vision.

You can find her writing about tattoos on Quora or updating our Pinterest profile with awesome tattoo ideas!

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Mandala Tattoo Designs & Their Meaning

If you’re thinking about getting a mandala tattoo, learn more about the symbolism and designs. With a few ideas, you can create a unique piece that best illustrates your message.

Mandala is a Sanskrit word meaning “circle.” Circles are powerful spiritual symbols across many cultures. Think of prayer wheels, halos, even the infinity symbol. Despite their religious origins, mandalas are common tattoos among people of all ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds.

Mandala Meaning in Tattoos

Mandalas are spiritual symbols in Buddhism and Hinduism. Their circular nature implies life in the universe is never-ending. It also expresses the idea that everything’s connected.

A few ideas these tattoos represent are:

  • Peacefulness and meditation
  • Unity
  • Higher awareness
  • Balance

Peacefulness and Meditation

Artwork is often used as meditation aids. Coloring designs is supposed to relax you and mitigate your anxiety. It does this by letting your creative juices run amok, helping you center your mind and body.

Most people focus on the coloring aspect of the design when using them in meditation. But how else could you meditate using them?


Drawing your tattoo is not only relaxing, but it may also help you feel connected to the design. If the design process helps relieve stress, the final illustration could serve as a reminder that you’re well capable of handling your tension.

When creating a mandala, it’s easy to think that you’re doodling mindlessly. What if when doodling without any guiding sense of direction, your subconscious takes over and does the drawing for you? This allows you to switch off and let you be in the moment—it’s no wonder that people use artforms to eliminate stress and improve health.


Choosing colors for your mandala can be a liberating and touching experience. You get to highlight your favorite colors, then etch them onto your skin forever. Use colors that best reflect your personality: bright colors for the outgoing and darker shades if you’re more reserved.

Coloring the design before getting it tattooed is a great way to meditate. Like the drawing, once it’s tattooed, it’s a constant reminder of your potential to overcome.


The circle is seen as a symbol of unity in many cultures. A circular mandala tat may represent a bond of love, blood, or ideas. 

For lovers, matching tattoos combined with the heart symbol should pass your message across. To show a union of ideas, how about getting matching mandala designs sitting on a text that best expresses the ideology?

Higher Awareness

Some people find the patterns hypnotic—they’re designed this way, bringing you to higher consciousness.

These patterns are so vivid and detailed that it takes great concentration to take it all in. This, theoretically, may make you hyper-aware of your surroundings, and thus, take you into a state of higher awareness.


Mandalas are symmetrical. This visual can be representative of your spiritual self, illustrating balance within. 

Symbolism in Mandalas

These patterns often look random, but they’re usually well thought out with specific symbols representing certain feelings and elements. Here are a few notable ones:

Lotus Mandala

On Women

The lotus flower is symbolic of purity and femininity. It makes for great illustration when you want your ink to celebrate womanhood. 

On Men

On men, the lotus symbolizes someone who’s had a life-changing experience. Typically, he has gone through a dark space and come out victorious.

Other Meanings 

If a lotus is depicted blooming, it can represent new or continuous life. Flowers hibernate and bloom again annually, showing life always perseveres. A blooming lotus mandala tat works well if you’re looking for motivational ink—a constant reminder that, just like the flower, you, too, will bloom.

They’re also popular among those who have battled cancer and won.

Labyrinth Mandala

A labyrinth design depicts life as a journey of beginnings and endings. This design is usually depicted in a circle, representing wholeness. It may also represent the wearer’s spiritual journey—a popular illustration among those who’ve had a spiritual awakening.

Yantra Mandala

The Yantra Mandala is one of the more religious meanings among these patterns. It commonly represents a deity, and the meaning comes from whatever god that is. Those who pick this design often choose it to bring themselves to a deeper, more meaningful plane of consciousness.

Butterfly Mandala

Butterflies symbolize rebirth. A design with a butterfly may take the abstract shape of the creature, or not. It could depict the insect bursting forth from the illustration—symbolizing renewal. Alternatively, the tattoo could capture a butterfly with mandala designs in the wings.

Sun Mandala

The sun is energy. It’s wisdom. It’s eternal love. It’s common in these tattoos where it’s circular shape complements the overall design. The sun’s easy to incorporate or to build a foundation around.

Water Symbol

Water-related symbols may represent the wearer’s subconscious. The preconscious is hidden beneath the surface of the mind—like how most of the secrets that water holds are beneath the surface.

Thunderbolt and Bell Symbols

In mandala tattoos, bells represent female energy, and thunderbolts represent male energy. These are symbols you may get if you’re representing people in your tattoo—for example, a son or daughter.

Wheel Symbol

The wheel is a Buddhist symbol. It represents the Eightfold path. This is an excellent symbol to incorporate if you hold Buddhist beliefs—or just want to pay tribute to the faith.

Diamond Symbol

Diamonds symbolize a clear mind. In mandala form, they could represent mental peace or the hope for it—an excellent illustration for motivating yourself through life’s ups and downs.

Personality of the Wearer and Colors

Mandalas are open to abuse when it comes to color, so consider going with your favorite, no matter the design. To avoid ambiguity from those looking in, you could stick to traditional colors in-line with the theme.

The design of this tat borrows heavily from personal experience and preferences, but if you want one and are unsure of what to get, consider one of these:

For Sensitive People

Since water symbols can represent emotion, consider an oceanic themed tattoo— waves, seaweed, tentacles, and pebbles in calming blues and greens. Whether these colors are light or dark could represent an emotional state— sad or happy.

For Energetic People

The sun represents power, perfect for energetic people. A sun in your favorite colors or incorporating a floral design you enjoy, may work. You get to show off your energy in a colorful way, but consider shades of yellow, orange, and even red here.

For People With an Idol

The deity in a Yantra mandala doesn’t have to be religious. It could be the image of your beloved mother, father, sister, significant other. This constant reminder of the person you adore on your skin could be beautiful.

For coloring, consider your idol’s natural coloring, or just go with a traditional black and grey combination.

Common Mandala Tattoo Placements

Arms and legs are common tattoo locations, but some areas hold more meaning than others when it comes to mandalas.


A mandala on the hands represents an offer to the world from the wearer. They’re sharing their journey, their wisdom, their experience, part of their soul—mandalas on the hands are always visible, so it’s like bearing your heart to the world. 


Earthing or grounding is popular with spiritual people. This is where you go barefoot to strengthen your connection to the planet and life. Since mandalas are so spiritual, one on the foot is telling. It’s taken to be consolidating your spiritual connection with your earthly one and strengthening the bond.


A mandala on your back symbolizes protection: the tattoo always has your back. This design could also be combined with eye patterns to enhance the theme.

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Mandala Tattoo Meaning

Mandala tattoos hold deep meaning, as the mandala originates from Hindu and Buddhist symbolism, but is also found in Native American culture. Much more than a richly adorned geometric pattern, a mandala tattoo should be as personalized and unique as the wearer.

Basic Description of a Mandala Tattoo

Derived from Sanskrit, the word mandala translates into the word circle. While a mandala tattoo is often composed of many multiple shapes, the circle is always present and holds the deepest meaning. Typically, mandala tattoos are intricate and in-depth. Modern mandala tattoos often include Celtic aspects, flowers such as the lotus, an aspect of nature or qualities associated with celestial bodies. Traditionally, a mandala is created while chanting. The creator of the mandala begins in the center, moving outwards, while speaking to a deity.

Meaning of the Mandala Symbol

Each layer of the mandala is associated with a different meaning or quality such as purity, wisdom or devotion. While there is not one particular meaning behind a mandala tattoo, the core meaning is one of:

  • Wholeness or oneness
  • Higher thought or awareness
  • Balance and unity
  • Cosmic and psychic harmony

Meaning of Various Mandala Symbols

The variations of the mandala all hold differing symbolic meaning, some designs being more popular for men, while others are more common for women. Where the tattoo is placed can hold as much significance as the tattoo itself.

  • Hands &#; An offering from the wearer to the world
  • Foot &#; A strong connection with the earth
  • Back &#; Symbolizes protection in many forms

While the traditional mandala is a circle, variations and ideas to incorporate for those considering a tattoo include:

  • The lotus mandala &#; The lotus flower is very symbolic. It represents feminine energy and purity, but it can also be used in men&#;s designs as it symbolizes the awakening of the soul.
  • The labyrinth mandala &#; This mandala is associated with the journey of life, beginnings and endings.
  • The yantra mandala &#; This mandala represents a particular deity. The meaning is associated with the deity chosen, which brings the wear to a deeper level of consciousness.
  • Mandala with a butterfly &#; The butterfly is symbolic of rebirth, often symbolizing the rebirth of ones soul or new beginnings.
  • Mandala with a sun design &#; The sun represents energy, wisdom and eternal love, making it a common theme among mandala tattoos.
  • Water &#; Ripples or water are indicative of change, the flow of life and often associated with emotion.
  • Thunderbolt or bell&#; The thunderbolt is indicative of a male, while the bell represents the female
  • The wheel &#; The wheel is a symbol of the Eightfold path in Buddhism
  • The diamond &#; This symbolizes a clear mind

Mandala Tattoo

Usage of the Mandala

The mandala is traditionally used as a tool to focus the mind as the self undertakes a spiritual journey, which is why the mandala is so commonly used in meditation or spiritual ceremonies regarding Hinduism and Buddhism. In Native American culture, the use of the mandala was symbolic of life and death, rebirth, the seasons and the heavens. Mandala variations are found on totem poles, in temples and in famous artwork.

The Message the Mandala Symbol Conveys is&#;

The mandala ultimately conveys a message of spirituality, enlightenment, growth and wisdom.

Personality Traits 

A person who wears a mandala tattoo is likely to be intuitive and intelligent, understanding or seeking understanding of the interconnectedness of all things. As each mandala is so very personal, it is likely that the wearer has encountered a spiritual journey of great significance, emerging changed or wiser. It is also very likely that a person with a mandala tattoo is very complex, possibly appearing slightly introverted and prone to self reflection, yet open and warm to others.

Personal Meanings

We like the mandala tattoo because it is a creative expression of the personal journey and growth each person experiences in life. No two mandala designs are representative of exactly the same thing, making this tattoo one that requires in-depth planning and symbolic representation. Seeking enlightenment, truth and wisdom is definitely a worthy pursuit.

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23 Mandala Tattoos That Are Beautiful and Balanced

A mandala is a geometric compilation of symbols, typically aligned in a circle. The meaning of a mandala isn’t set in stone, though it’s typically considered a symbol of balance, eternity, and perfection. Many cultures have used the mandala symbol within their teachings as a way to further that understanding of balance. In Hinduism, for example, it is often embedded in prayer and meditation rooms, as it’s connected to focus. In Buddhism, mandalas symbolize the balance of body and mind. Even in Christianity, mandalas are often incorporated into the artwork within churches.

As a tattoo, mandalas can be representative of so many things: your internal balance, your soul and eternity, or something unique. The blooming look of mandalas mimics that of a flower, so it could even be as simple as a translation of nature into geometry. No two mandalas are the same, so you can really play around with the design and be sure it is true to you.

If you like the look and symbolism of mandala tattoos, here are 23 ideas to inspire your next ink.

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Half Mandala Tattoo

Because of the symmetry of mandalas, they look great cut into segments to fit different places. Try playing with different detailing to fill the space in an interesting way.

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Minimal Mandala Tattoo

While mandalas are known for their intricacy, it doesn’t mean they always have to be super detailed. If you prefer the minimal look, mandalas can easily be pared down to basics.

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Shoulder Mandala Tattoo

Mandalas make for a great sleeve cap or just a shoulder tattoo in general, as the shape mimics that of the shoulder. For even more intrigue, have the center of your shoulder be the focal point of your mandala.

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Fade-Out Mandala Tattoo

Don’t box your mandala in with an outline! Instead, have the outer layer fizzle out with dot detailing for a unique touch.

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Dotwork Mandala Tattoo

For some delicate touches, have your detailing done in dotwork rather than lines.

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Background Mandala Tattoo

While mandalas are always attention-grabbing, try using one for the backdrop of a design instead of the focal point. The geometric pattern draws the eye forward.

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Face Mandala Tattoo

For those looking for a more daring tattoo, mandalas look great on the face and neck because they can be positioned in so many different ways. Skip the lines and go for all dotwork for a more unique design.

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Tiny Mandala Tattoo

Shrink down your mandala into an almost impossible size for a tattoo that feels like it’s for your eyes only. Placing it along the wrist makes it feel like a beautiful, permanent bracelet.

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Thick Outline Mandala Tattoo

For a fun switch, outline the entire mandala in a thick outline, but fill in all details using only dotwork. This will make the design feel light despite the thick lines.

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Upper Arm Mandala Tattoo

If you don’t want to cap off a sleeve with a mandala, a half mandala on the upper arm still mimics that movement without being so round. Incorporate natural elements, like a sunflower, to emphasize the mandala’s connection to nature.

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Chest Mandala Tattoos

Since mandalas are already symmetrical, placing two of them in a symmetrical area just emphasizes the unique design. Go for consistent linework and slight shading to add depth to the tats as well.

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Spaced Out Mandala Tattoo

Some mandalas want to draw your eye over the entire piece. If you’d prefer to place more emphasis on one specific part of the design, try placing some space between the foreground and background.

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Simplified Mandala Tattoo

A great trait of a mandala is that you can break it down into different elements and still get across what it is. Here, the petals of the mandala are shrunk down to fit the ear in an elegant but still noticeable way.

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Intricate Mandala Tattoo

Use dotwork to create intricate patterns for a whimsical touch. Use different compactions and thicknesses to mimic the designs of a mandala without the extra lines.

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Rose & Mandala Tattoo

To really highlight the mandala’s connection to nature, try juxtaposing it next to something natural, like a rose. Keep the designs more realistic, to keep the tat from feeling cartoonish.

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Sun & Moon Mandala Tattoo

Play around with different images that can feature a mandala, like a moon and a sun.

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Armband Mandala Tattoo

Mandalas make for great centerpieces for armbands, as they provide a focal point to draw your eye to. Their shape also makes for a great starting point for adding detailing and extra design.

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Personalized Mandala Tattoo

Rather than getting a cut-and-dry mandala, try adding more whimsical elements like flowers or other personal symbols to customize your tattoo. Use traditional mandalas as inspiration, but really make it your own!

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Simple Mandala Tattoo

While it can feel like all mandalas are jam-packed with detail, it’s also totally possible to simplify it for a more minimal look. Keep the extra detailing minimal to really focus on the mandala.

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Sleeve Mandala Tattoo

Mandalas make great additions to tattoo sleeves already in progress. Because they look good in both the foreground and background, you can position mandala tattoos in whatever way looks best with the tats you already have.

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Negative Space Armband Mandala Tattoo

Mandalas make beautiful armband designs because you can cut them in half and still get the same intricate, ornate design. Mimic the look on the other side of the armband to give the illusion of negative space.

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Flowers & Mandala Tattoo

Mandalas are already tied to nature, but incorporating them into larger designs with natural elements—like flowers—deepens the symbolism. It also looks natural among the flowers, so it won’t interrupt the flow of your design.

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Sleeve Addition Mandala Tattoo

Mandala tattoos seamlessly fit into any style of sleeve, as they can get into any space and be crafted in so many different ways. This one is blended so seamlessly into the sleeve that it looks like one large tattoo.


Sun meaning mandala tattoo

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