The long mandala offering includes the seven precious objects of a Chakravartin King. In the Mahayanasutralamkara, Maitreya relates each of the seven branches of enlightenment to a corresponding possession of a King.
Keeping these analogies in mind while doing the long mandala offering makes the practice more meaningful. Lama Zopa Rinpooche gave a detailed explanation of the long mandala as part of a commentary on the Lama Tsongkhapa guru yoga practice (Gaden Lha Gyama). He explains the meaning of the mandala as a whole as well as each offering.
|Branch of Enlightenment||Analogy|
|Correct mindfulness||Precious wheel (འཁོར་ལོ་རིན་པོ་ཆེ་) that enables one to be victorious. The branch of correct mindfulness strengthens mindfulness over time.|
|Fine discrimination of phenomena directly realizing selflessness||Precious elephant (གླང་་རིན་པོ་ཆེ) that can destroy the enemy in battle. This wisdom destroys all objects of abandonment.|
|Joyous effort||Precious horse་(རྟ་མཆོག་རིན་པོ་ཆེ) that can carry the rider swiftly to his destination. Joyous effort swiftly leads to enlightenment.|
|Joy||Wish-fulfilling jewel (ནོར་བུ་རིན་པོ་ཆེ) that brings great joy. The branch of joy results in happiness.|
|Pliancy||Precious queen (བཙུན་མོ་རིན་པོ་ཆེ)that brings bliss. The branch of pliancy that results in physical and mental bliss.|
|Meditative stabilization||Precious general (དམག་དཔོན)་ who has all the necessary resources. Meditative stabilization enables one to achieve purposes, goals and qualities such as clairvoyance.|
|Equanimity||Precious minister (བློན་པོ་རིན་པོ་ཆེ)་who carries out the king’s orders without question. Equanimity enables one to focus one’s mind for as long as desired.|
(source: FPMT Masters Program. Geshe Jampa Gelek, Commentary on the Ornament of Clear Realizations. Review Notes. September 2016)