What is a Yantra?
Literally "Loom" or later, meaning "Instrument" or even "Machine".
In actual practice a Yantra is a symbolic representation of aspects of divinity,
usually the Mother Goddess. It is an interlocking matrix of geometric figures, typically
circles, triangles and floral patterns that form fractal patterns of great elegance
and beauty. Though drawn in two dimensions, a Yantra is supposed to represent a
three dimensional object. Three-dimensional Yantras are now becoming increasingly
common. The Yantra is primarily a meditation tool both for serious spiritual seekers
as well as sculptors in the classical tradition. Before creating their artifact
in wood, stone or metal, they draw up a Yantra that represents the attributes of
the god they wish to sculpt. Intense meditation upon it causes the fully formed
image to leap into the mind's eye with an intensity that is remarkable for its imprinting
ability, for then they do not need to use a sketch till the completion of the image.
Yantras are also used for more mundane purposes, to enhance the quality of life,
to attract prosperity and abundance, even love, to heal and relieve health problems,
to protect oneself from negative forces and so on.
The Yantra is mistakenly thought to be a symbol purely of the manifold aspects of
the Mother Goddess. This is an understandable error as most Yantras are indeed connected
to the Goddess the most famous one being the Sri Yantra, an abstract representation
of the Mother (and Father too!) as Cosmos. This Sri Yantra is commonly misunderstood
to represent Laxmi, goddess of fortune, but it is more true to say it includes and
transcends every notion of divinity ever conceived by the Indian spiritual imagination.
However there are Yantras for Ganesha and Kubera too, male deities, though they
share a common Yaksha origin with Laxmi. The Yaksha were the original chthonic deities
of India and the Yantra system seems to have been incorporated into the Vedic worldview
at a later stage.
Within the body of the more complex Yantras are inscribed the monosyllabic mantras,
the bija or seed mantras, that are supposed to constitute the spiritual body of
the goddess or god. The design always focuses the attention onto the center of the
Yantra, usually a dot or bindu, which is the Locus Mundi, the center of all things
and represents the Unmanifested Potential of all creation. The other figures usually
symbolize the various stages within the unfolding of creation. Thus, every Yantra
is a symbolic representation of both the deity as well as the universe, as the mother
goddess not only permeates the substance of the universe, she is, literally, the
Universe itself. Abstract geometric representations of the universe, which do not
represent a diety, are called mandalas, however. Thus every Yantra is a mandala,
though not all mandalas are Yantras.
In ancient texts, Lord Shiva is supposed to have explained the mystical meaning
of the Yantra to his consort, the Goddess Parvati thus, "The Yantra is as essential
to a god as oil is to the oil lamp or as a body is to a living human being". Yantras
are constructed on the immutable laws of sacred geometry, being symbolic representations
of the energy patterns of a deity and are the most powerful 'centering' devices
for harnessing the divine energies. The Yantra is actually more powerful than an
image of god which, to be energized, needs a Yantra to be affixed at its base or
back anyway! A Yantra always has a mantra associated with it. Just as the mind is
a part of yet different from the body, so is the mantra from the Yantra. The mantra
is the mind consciousness while the Yantra is the form of the deity.
There are four basic types of Yantras:
Yantras of deities, of which the most prominent are the Shakta Yantras (these are
usually forms of the Great Mother or the Mahavidyas- 'Sources of supreme knowledge');
Astrological Yantras (used to harness the energies of the nine major planets);
Architectural Yantras (used for the ground plans of temples); and, the Numerical
Yantras (comprising select combinations of numbers which serve as talismans).
Yantras, besides fulfilling their basic purpose, can help you prosper in your business
or career and also help bestow good health, wealth, happiness and success upon you.
indiayogi offers you energized Yantras from its Yogi Shop. These Yantras, be it
copper/panch-dhatu/crystal, can be placed in your temple, put above a door or kept
at your work place where, if worshipped with sincere devotion, they will bring their