Yantra is a mystical instrument, which acts as a great cosmic conductor of energy, having symbolic diagrammatic representation of a Deity. It is used for harmony, prosperity, success, good health, wealth, yoga and meditation. Yantras are also referred as the abodes of the divine powers of God.
Yantra literally means "instrument". A Yantra is a geometric design acting as a highly efficient tool for contemplation, concentration and meditation. Yantras carry spiritual significance, and point the user to higher levels of consciousness.
The Yantra provides a focal point that is a window into the absolute. When the mind is concentrated on a single, simple object (in this case a Yantra), the mental chatter ceases. Eventually, the object is dropped when the mind can remain empty and silent without help. In the most advanced phases, it is possible to attain union with God by the geometric visualization of a Yantra.
The Yantra is like a microcosmic picture of the macrocosm. It is a focusing point and an outer and inner doorway. The Yantras are often focused on a specific deity and so by tuning into the different Yantras you can tap into certain deities or creative force centers in the universe. Yantras are as powerful as chanting the mantras. Yantras are continous recitation of mantras on your part.
Yantras are usually designed so that the eye is carried into the center, and very often they are symmetrical. They can be drawn on paper, wood, metal, or earth, or they can be three-dimensional. Yantras are very complex engines of energy containing geometric figures, permutations of mystical archetypal designs and embedded with energetic signatures. When activated or energized, the pre-programmed Yantra becomes "alive" so that the intentions or purpose contained within the Yantra are manifested in the physical.
Yantra may be used to represent the astronomical position of the planets over a given date and time. It is considered auspicious in Hindu mythology. These yantras are made up on various objects i.e. Paper, Precious stones, Metal Plates and alloys. It is believed that constantly concentrating on the representation helps to build fortunes, as planets have their peculiar gravity which governs basic emotions and karma. These yantras are often made on a particular date and time according to procedures defined in the vedas.
Concept of Yantra:
The Sanskrit word 'Yantra' derives from the root 'yam' meaning to sustain, hold or support the energy inherent in a particular element, object or concept. It is usually composed of an outer geometrical form enclosing interior geometrical designs. Each particular design is used for a specific purpose or intent. In its first meaning, 'Yantra' may refer to any kind of mechanical contrivance, which is harnessed to aid an enterprise. A Yantra in this sense, therefore, is any sort of machine or instrument such as is used in architecture, astronomy, alchemy, chemistry, warfare or recreation.
A Sanskrit text of the eleventh century AD, Samarangana Sutradhara on the science of architecture, gives vivid descriptions of the making and operating of such mechanical Yantra as a wooden flying bird, wooden aero planes meant to fly with hot mercury as fuel, male and female robot figures, etc. The meaning of the term Yantra has been expanded to refer to religious enterprises, and has acquired a special theological significance. Mystic Yantra are aids to and the chief instruments of meditative discipline. Basically a Yantra used in this context and for this purpose is an abstract geometrical design intended as a 'tool' for meditation and increased awareness.
Principles of Yantra:
Mystic Yantra are an amalgam of three principles:
The form principle (Akriti-rupa).
The function-principle (Kriya-rupa).
The power-principle (Shakti-rupa).
They are, first of all, believed to reveal the inner basis of the forms and shapes abounding in the universe. Just as, whatever the outer structure, all matter is made of an intrinsic basic unity, the atom, so each aspect of the world can be seen in its structural form as a Yantra. As the scientist sees the final picture of the world in the orderly, simple, atomic structures in which certain primal shapes appear as a harmonized 'whole', so the Indian shilpi-Yogins (makers of ritual art) seek to identify the innermost structure of the universe by concentrating the variegated picture of world-appearances through intense yogic vision into simple form-equations. A Yantra, then, can be considered an ultimate form-equation of a specific energy manifesting in the world. These simple form-equations are held to epitomize the real nature of the cosmos as abstracted from the concrete.
In its widest application, Akriti-rupa refers to the inner or hidden form of structures, so that any structure, from an atom to a star, has its Akriti-rupa Yantra. Thus a flower or a leaf has an outer structure which is immediately perceptible, but it also has an inner form, which generally consists of a skeletal framework in which all its linear forms intersect with a central axis or nucleus: all forms have a gross structure and a 'subtle' inner structure, with a basic causal pattern (the inner form) for the external form.
Yantra function as revelatory symbols of cosmic truths and as instructional charts of the spiritual aspect of human experience. All the primal shapes of a Yantra are psychological symbols corresponding to inner states of human consciousness, through which control and expansion of psychic forces are possible. It is for this reason that a Yantra is said to embody a 'function-principle' (Kriya-rupa).
By constant reinforcement in ritual worship the apparently inert Yantra-forms shake off their dormancy and act together as emblems of psychic power. In this case, the Yantra is said to move beyond 'form' and 'function' and emerges as a 'power diagram' (Sakti-rupa) endowed with a self-generating propensity to transform a mundane experience into a psychic one. It is at this point that the Yantra is said to be 'revealed'. Although its outward meaning may be relatively easy to understand, the inner meaning that gives it its efficacy is difficult to grasp because its archetypal forms are basically concerned with the inner facts of psychic experience, gained through intuitive vision.
How do Yantras work ?
At the basis of Yantra operation is something called "shape energy" or "form energy". The idea is that every shape emits a very specific frequency and energy pattern. Examples of old believes in shape energy are the Yantras and mandalas of eastern philosophies, the star of David, the five pointed star (pentagon), the pyramids and so on. Certain 'powers' are ascribed to the various shapes. Some have 'evil' or negative energies and some 'good' or positive energies, but in Yantra Yoga only the benefic and harmonious energies are used.
When one focuses on a Yantra, his mind is atomatically "tuned in" by resonance into the specific form energy of that Yantra. The process of resonance is then maintained and amplified. The Yantra acts only as a "tune in" mechanism or a doorway. The subtle energy does not come from the Yantra itself, but from the macrocosm.
Basically Yantras are secret keys for establishing resonance with the benefic energies of the macrocosm. Very often the Yantras can put us in contact with extremely elevated energies and entities, being of invaluable help on the spiritual path.
A Sri Yantra is a type of mandala with geometric patterns. Sri Yantra literally means loom, instrument or machine. In actual practice, a yantra is a symbolic representation of aspects of divinity, the creative forces of the universe. It is an interlocking matrix of geometric figures, circles, triangles and floral patterns that form fractal patterns of elegance and beauty. These visual patterns can have a powerful effect on the mind. Just as primordial sounds, or mantras, can be useful in balancing our mind and body through hearing, primordial shapes can generate increased coherence in our brains, creating a balancing and calming influence. In cultures around the world, beautiful visual patterns are used to quiet a restless mind.
Importance of Yantras:
The Yantras are used for various purposes such as to diminish the ill effects of the nine planets, to attain good health and prosperity, to enhance the quality of one's life, attract prosperity, abundance, love, harmony, peace, enhance learning, promote healing, relieve health problems, for career advancement, achieve desired goals in projects, improve business, remove obstacles and protection from negative forces.
In ancient texts, Lord Shiva is supposed to have explained the mystical meaning of the Yantra to his consort, Goddess Parvati: "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 also used for innumerable mundane purposes such as to enhance the quality of one's life, attract prosperity, abundance, love, harmony, peace, enhance learning, promote healing, relieve health problems, for career advancement, achieve desired goals in projects, improve business and protection from negative forces.