Yantra are sacred symbols traditionally used in Eastern mysticism as instruments for focusing and balancing the mind on a spiritual concept.
Yantra is a Sanskrit word that literally means "Instrument" or "Machine". It is derived from the root 'yam', meaning to sustain or hold, hence it is visualized as a receptacle of the highest spiritual essence.
This powerful device allows a person to focus cosmic energy and achieve their desired results through worship. There are many different types of Yantra based on the kind of results one needs to achieve, as it is itself a diagrammatical representation of various mantras.
Visually, it is a geometric pattern made of several concentric figures as follows:
- A dot or “Bindu”: It represents the starting point of creation or the infinite. A Yantra gradually grows away from its center in stages until its expansion is complete. The center of the Yantra is the power point from which the entire diagram expands, the radiating source of energy that generates all forms. Bindu is the first drop that expands into the tangible realm of the universe. On a metaphysical level, Bindu represents the unity of the static and the kinetic cosmic principles which expand to create the infinite universe of matter and spirit.
- Squares: They are visualized as the perfect symbols for denoting the terrestrial world. This mundane, physical world is the one which must be transcended by spiritual practice.
- Triangles: They are known as the root of all manifested nature. The rhythm of creation is crystallized in this primal form.
- Circles: They are derived principally from the motion of the revolution of planets. They symbolize wholeness or totality and represent the principle which has no beginning and no end.
All primal shapes of a Yantra are psychological symbols corresponding to inner states of human consciousness. This innate simplicity of composition is identified with spiritual presence.
They also include more complex and detailed symbols as follows:
- Swastika: It represents good luck, welfare, prosperity or individual victory.
- Lotus flowers: They typically represent chakras, and each petal represent a psychic propensity associated with that chakra.
- Shaktona: (commonly known as the Star of David) It is composed of a balance between an upwards triangle, meaning action, extroversion or “Shakti”, and a downwards triangle meaning introversion, meditative state, or “Shiva”.
Yantra also 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 Yantra are made up of various objects like paper, precious stones, metal, and other things.
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 Yantra are often made on a particular date and time according to procedures defined in the Vedas.
The act of wearing, drawing or concentrating on a Yantra is said to have spiritual or astrological or magical benefits.