As circles come back to their beginnings, mandalas represent the universe in Hinduism and Buddhism. In Sanskrit, literally, mandala means circle. In this lifetime, we build up karma, both good and bad, based on our actions. Hindus believe that our soul will pass through cycles of lives and our next incarnation is ALWAYS dependent on how our previous life was lived. The karma we build up in this lifetime will affect our future lives and existences. If we don't take responsibility for our actions now, we will be forced to deal with them in our next lifetime. It is such a powerful thought. This idea of mandala, circles, coming back to beginnings.