A yantra is the visual pattern that embodies the energy of a deity, the visual reverberation of its cosmic power. The mantra and yantra of a deity are the same essence embodied in different forms. Below is the Surya Sun Yantra.
Explore with us the ancient magical meditative revelations of the Yantra! This class will be led by Sharene Shamana Ma.
Yantras are diagrams that are composed of geometrical patterns that are used to visualize mantras, and are claimed to be encapsulations of a deity or power in tantric ritual. Practitioners of yantra believe the diagrams create a religious energy field in which the sacred powers can be invoked. They are typically drawn on paper, metal, or rock surfaces.
Three-dimensional yantras also exist; they can be as small as an object that fits in your hand or may be as large as a building. Because of the complexity of composition, any rearrangement of the shapes or mantras used in the yantra creates a completely new yantra.
The word yantra stems from the word ‘yam,’ meaning to hold or control the energy of an object or element, which is often used in the building of something. The term has been extended into religious tradition as tools of ritual and meditation. Mantras and yantras are used together as tools in tantric ritual to achieve liberation.
Tantra followers believe the symbols composing a yantra diagram hold little meaning by themselves, as the yantra must be understood in its entirety. Through ritual and meditation the cosmos, deity, and mantra are all inseparably joined to one in yantra. Fusion of three principles: form, function, and power, is thought to compose a yantra. The shapes that often compose a yantra (triangle, square, circle, etc.) are the most basic forms that the universe is deduced to.
In the Tantra tradition, ritual is an outer form of spiritual discipline that gives away to inner form of contemplation needed to meditate. Yantra meditation is often combined with classical techniques of classical Yoga meditation by gaining perfect control of one’s mind to control all thought processes. A yantra provides a powerful tool to focus one’s consciousness. It is only after complete control over conscious thought that the yantra meditations lead on to symbolic revelation.
Below: The ten Mahavidyas, or Wisdom Goddesses, represent distinct aspects of divinity intent on guiding the spiritual seeker toward liberation: Kali, Tara, Lalita Tripura Sundari, Bhuvaneshwari, Bhairavi, Chinnamasta, Dhumavati, Baghlamukhi, Matangi, Kamala. We added: Durga.