Devotion and ritual practice underlie the intensity of this mandala, which envisions the all-encompassing nature of Dainichi Nyorai, the cosmic Buddha Vairocana, from whom everything in the universe emanates. At the center of a golden wheel that symbolizes Buddhist teaching is the Sanskrit character for the mystic sound that embodies this primal truth, which Shingon Esoteric Buddhists hold to be the most efficacious in all the alphabet. The Ichijikinrin Mandala was used in rituals for the prevention of disaster, for the expansion of wealth, and for success in love, as well as for assuring safe delivery of children, career success, and propitious weather. Backed by a mandala of fire, borne on a lotus throne carried on the backs of eight lion-dogs with ritual implements (sankosho) in their mouths, and surrounded by a host of Buddhist deities and attributes of deities, this aural symbol radiates the many aspects of a powerful name: the Ichijikinrin, or "one-character wheel of gold." Esoteric Buddhism used the magic of words and their manifold associations as a cornerstone of a rich mystical system of practice and belief. The hard-edged, kaleidoscopic symmetry of the composition and the gorgeous coloring result in an image that conveys the powerful emanation of a primal sound into an immutable universe paralleling the mutable cycles of nature. Use of costly materials and meticulous craftsmanship, especially in the simulated brocade of the mounting and the intricate cut-gold-leaf-on-azurite of the mountain, reflect a belief in the meritorious nature of image making and the ornamentation of ritual space.