Mandala 12 The exact symbolism differs depending on the culture in which the image is used. Thus, the triangle in Tibet has a meaning, while it has a different in the eastern cultural circles. By and large, however, the original meaning is religious or esoteric. The motifs are also combined with simple decorative ones to create a complete picture. In China and Japan, characters are often used instead of pictures. Depending on religion, the mandalas were either for meditation purposes or were originally used for healing in ceremonies. The mandala images are often geometrically designed and represent in their origin the universe, the earth and the underworld.