four types of mandalas ［四種曼荼羅］ ( shishu-mandara): Four kinds of mandalas of the Japanese True Word (Shingon) school described by its founder Kōbō (774–835) in his Doctrine of Attaining Buddhahood in One’s Present Form. They are the great mandala, the samaya mandala, the Dharma mandala, and the karma mandala. (1) The great mandala is one on which the figures of Buddhas and bodhisattvas are painted. (2) The samaya mandala depicts samayas, objects held by Buddhas and bodhisattvas that represent their vows to lead all people to enlightenment, or their mudras (gestures by hands). Samayas include a sword, a lotus, and a diamond-pounder. (3) The Dharma mandala depicts those Sanskrit letters that represent Buddhas and bodhisattvas and that are believed to possess supernatural powers. (4) The karma mandala depicts the actions of Buddhas and bodhisattvas who lead living beings to enlightenment. Karma means action.