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Antara and the meaning of the Mandalas
29 Nov 2016 | Anisha Motwani
An Ashrama in Indian philosophy is one of the four age based life stages discussed in our ancient scriptures. The four ashramas are Brahmacharya (student), Grihastha (householder), Vanaprastha (retired), and Sanyasa. (renunciation). It is a component of the ethical theories in Indian Philosophy where it is combined with 4 proper goals of human life.
The goal of creating Antara Senior Living was to provide people with the best environment and facilities for pursuing their ashrama of Vanaprastha. Because under Vanaprastha, or the retired stage of one’s life a where a person handed over their responsibilities to the next generation, and took on an advisory role, the greater emphasis on this life stage was on Moksha (liberation).

It was natural for us therefore to look at the Mandala as a symbol of what embodies everything that Antara Senior Living stands for. The Mandala is geometric spiritual art that represents the universe in the broadest sense. In common parlance, ‘mandala’ has become a generic term for any diagram, chart or geometric pattern that represents the cosmos metaphysically or symbolically.

In his writings on mandala symbolism, Carl Jung the famous psychoanalyst refers to the mandala as "the psychological expression of the totality of the self." Within everyone’s psyche, to one degree or another, can be found a seed-center of the self-surrounded by a chaotic maelstrom of issues, fears, passions and countless other psychological elements. It is the very disordered state of these elements that creates the discord and emotional imbalances from which many of us suffer on a regular basis.

At a physical level Antara hopes to bring the same peace to one’s psyche and well being at a physical level. Its serene, peaceful environment, its well thought out design of spaces interweaving seamlessly with each other are meant to protect you from the discord and disturbances in the physical world.

In a sense therefore, a mandala is a kind of template for the mind, a state of peace and order, a resolution of the chaos within. In Jung’s words, "The severe pattern imposed by a circular image of this kind compensates the disorder and confusion of the psychic state—namely, through the construction of a central point to which everything is related." In Jungian therapy, which includes the living experience of the collective unconscious, the spontaneous drawing of mandalas is used. There are a lot of illustrations that testify this technique practiced by Jung himself.

Examples of the mandala can be found in all ancient cultures. For example we find it in Christianity under the form of frescos with animal images representing apostles (and the zodiac). The astrologic zodiac and its versions are examples of mandala. Circular patterns in Christian tradition can be also found in rosette windows, in the circular labyrinths on cathedral floors, and on the domes decorating various churches and chapels across Europe. Also, in the Indian spiritual practices we find fascinating examples of mandala, with symbols of the local pantheon. In yogic practices, mandala can be a support for meditation or an image that must be internalized through mental absorption. This image organizes the inner energies and forces of the practitioner and puts them in relationship with his ego.

Like the mandalas Antara Senior Living represents a perfect balance and harmony in senior assisted living. It’s the journey towards enlightenment, the journey to the core of the mandala.

About Anisha Motwani
Anisha has recently conceptualized & edited a book titled 'Storm the Norm', a first-of-its-kind collection of contemporary stories of truly inspiring businesses and brands from India that either wrote or rewrote the norms of their respective industries and brought in unprecedented change and vibrancy.
Anisha Motwani draws from her rich experience of over 28 years in diverse industries - advertising, auto-manufacturing, financial and health services. Possessing a keen insight into consumer behavior, she has been the architect of several well-known consumer brands. She is known for her exceptional ability to turn deep insight into theory; and theories into action. And she has been doing it repeatedly. Often turning somber categories into vibrant ones. Her reputation as a thought leader is reinforced by her appointment as a prominent member of several professional associations and industry credits. She is a regular speaker at national & global business platforms & publishes her point of view on gender diversity, business, consumer and digital trends in – a portal of insights she founded, in addition to several leading publications.
In recognition of her achievements, she was voted as one of the ’50 Most Powerful Women in Indian Business’ by Business Today for three consecutive years since 2009. She has also recognized amongst the ‘Top 50 Women in Media, Marketing and Advertising’ by Impact & Colors for 4 consecutive years since 2011. She has been conferred ‘Women at Work Leadership Award 2011’ by Asian Confederation of Business and ‘UdyogRatan’ by the Institute of Economic Studies amongst many others.
An MBA, Anisha studied in Sophiya College and lives in Delhi with her husband Mahinder and children - Prerna & Prithviraj.
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FEATURED ARTICLE Sharmila Tagore I first visited Antara in September 2015. That we were going to a beautiful place, was clear to me. I had heard a lot about Antara. Read more ...

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