What are Yantras?
Yantras can help us manifest our inherent capabilities whilst destroying the mental obstacles which hinder our happiness and wellbeing.
The word Yantra is formed by two Sanskrit roots: yan, which refers to an instrument, and tra which means freedom or liberation. A Yantra is therefore a tool designed to stimulate the dormant centres in the brain and expand our consciousness.
Yantras are a means to help us achieve our full potential. The human body is considered to be the most refined yantra. Their use can help us manifest our inherent capabilities whilst destroying the mental obstacles which hinder our happiness and wellbeing.
Since ancient times, holy sites, temples and churches have been constructed with specific geometrical patterns. These are in fact yantric plans, with the aim of creating energy fields capable of alleviating our troubles of heart and mind. The location of entrances and altars, the orientation of buildings, etc., have been well thought out and designed purposefully. The Indian science of Vastu or the Chinese equivalent – Feng Shui – function in a similar way. Yantras are also used in astrology in order to determine forces which may affect us in positive or negative ways.
Yantra designs can be found on bark, paper, copper plates, and many more. They can be created from rice, ash or flower petals. They are used in ceremonies and rituals to bring prosperity and a good flow of energies. Used in everyday life, at home and at work, Yantras are an exquisitely complex spiritual tool. They have the power of auto-suggestion which can bestow immense positive benefits on the wellbeing of the mind, body and spirit of each one of us.
The combined use of yantras and mantras, is a great method of progressing along the spiritual path. However, only certain masters will be able to prescribe the adequate yantra and mantra for an aspirant. If mantras or yantras are chosen randomly and recklessly, their effect can be adverse.
How are Yantras Created?
Yantras are formed by varied geometric shapes, patterns and forms. They are created to activate the right hemisphere of the brain which is mainly concerned with rational and numerical aspects of life. The accurate drawing of Yantras requires great discipline and precision. In essence, the geometrical pattern consists of concentric figures which can include triangles, squares, circles, stars, lotuses or a black dot. These concentric figures can either start at the center and emanate outward, referencing the evolution process on a macrocosmic level, or start at the edges and gradually grow inwards, symbolising the rotation of the microcosm. On the whole, they symbolise the progressive movement from unity to multiplicity and back again.
What do the Shapes in a Yantra Mean?
The triangle is known as the Trikona. An upward pointing triangle, represents consciousness – the male principle. A downward pointing triangle represents energy – the female principle.
The Square represents the earth element. When Bhupura, or the Square, starts from the center dot and works its way outward, it becomes an embodiment of universal evolution.
The inner Black Dot usually expands into a Circle, or Chakra, which is a portrayal of perfection, or even further, a blissful creative void.
Stars have 6 points, and are usually known as Satkona, which is the equivalent of the Star of David. The star contains two overlapping triangles; one pointing upward and one pointing downward, symbolising harmony in the male and female principles. Together they symbolise the equilibrium, balance and unity of Creation.
The Lotus (and its petals)
The Lotus, or Padma, has become a well-known figure representing virtue, diversity and freedom.
The Black Dot
The black dot is known as Bindu. It represents intense concentration as well as wholeness. It also represents the void, from which all creation was born. A concept related to Nirvana.
Yantras and Colours
Yantras are powerful and their energy can be perceived with or without colour. However, colour can amplify their effect.
Words in Yantras
Words are very potent. They have the power to boost our energy, or make us feel tired and depressed. Certain yantras contain words and writings – usually in Sanskrit – which are known as mantras. The combined use of yantras and mantras, is a great method of progressing along the spiritual path. However, only certain masters will be able to prescribe the adequate yantra and mantra for an aspirant. If mantras or yantras are chosen randomly and recklessly, their effect can be adverse.
Benefits of Yantras
A few common benefits of Yantra meditation:
Get rid of resentment, negative energy, insufficiency, unhealthy emotions
Attract wellbeing, prosperity, abundance
Boost and supports flow of wealth
Maintain internal harmony and a sense of calmness
Attain sense of belonging and oneness with the universe
First, hang the Yantra on a wall or have it stand on a desk facing the North or East. Make sure the center of the Yantra is at eye-level.
Sit straight, preferably in Siddhasana (or Siddha Yoni Asana) or Vajrasana. Straighten the spine.
Breathe gently, in through the nose, out through the mouth. Do not force your breathing, just let it flow.
Gaze directly at the center of the Yantra; the Bindu.
Start expanding your vision to take in the whole Yantra, shape by shape. First, the triangles which signify feminine and masculine energy. Then, after a couple of minutes, move your attention to the circles surrounding the triangles which represent time that has no beginning or end. After that, take in the lotus encompassing the circles which manifests understanding and knowledge. The final shape to concentrate on is the square which surrounds the whole design. Squares symbolise the earth element and represent the material world.
Finally, take your gaze slowly back to the center, close your eyes and slowly expand, relishing in the powerful yet simple fact that you’re one with the universe.
The Sri Yantra
The Sri Yantra is the most powerful of yantras. It represents the process of manifestation of energy from the dormant state, the unconscious. Like a plant sprouts from a seed, the whole cosmos is a manifestation flowering from unmanifested reality. The entire process of Universal evolution is symbolised by the Sri Yantra.