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What is Yantra

Yantra literally means "Instrument or Machine", which is constructed with observing immutable laws of sacred geometry, being symbolic representations of energy patterns of a deity and rank amongst the most powerful 'centering' devices for harnessing divine energies. The Yantra is actually more powerful than a picture of a God which, to be energized, requires a Yantra to be affixed at its base or back.

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.

Yantras are often mistakenly thought to be symbols 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 being the Sri Yantra, an abstract representation of the Mother (and Father too!) as Cosmos.

The Sri Yantra is also commonly misunderstood to represent Lakshmi, the Goddess of Fortune but it is more true to say the Sri Yantra includes and transcends every notion of divinity ever conceived of the pantheons of deities relating to the Sanatana Dharma.

However, there are Yantras for male deities such as Lord Ganesha and Lord Kubera but they share a common Yaksha origin with Goddess Lakshmi. The Yakshas were original chthonic deities of India and Yantra systems seem to have been incorporated into the Vedic worldview at a later stage.

Within the body of more complex Yantras, monosyllabic mantras, the Beeja or "Seed" mantras are inscribed to constitute the subtle forms of respective Gods and Goddesses. Most designs often focus attentive detail upon the center of Yantras usually a dot or Bindu which is the Locus Mundi, the center of all things and represents the Unmanifested Potential of all creation. Other figures usually symbolize various stages within the unfolding of creation. Thus, every Yantra is a symbolic representation of both the deity as well as the universe. The Mother Goddess not only permeates the substance of the universe, but is literally the Universe itself.

Abstract geometric representations of the universe that do not represent a deity, are called Mandalas. Every Yantra is a also a Mandala, though not all Mandalas are Yantras.

A Yantra always contains 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.

In Indian culture from Ancient times to achieve happiness, prosperity, long life and good health; there has been quite an important role of Yantra, Tantra and Mantra. These Mystical Diagrams called Yantra are written on Tantra in the form of Gold, Silver, copper, Asthdhatu and Bhoj Patra symbolise different Powers. These Yantra are energized or Pran Pratishthit by using different Mantras of respective Deities. These deities in Yantra then help in achieving Particular task or desire. Yantra are energized by Seed and Tantrik Mantra which give immediate results and help in achieving desired results.

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:

  1. The form principle (Akriti-rupa).
  2. The function-principle (Kriya-rupa).
  3. 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.

Energizing Of Yantra (Pran-Pratishthit):
After purification of Yantra with Panchgavya, Panchamrit and Gangajal; the Yantra is energized / Pran-Pratishthit with respective Mantra. Without Energisation Yantra is not useful. It has not been kept at home/work place without energisation. It gives otherwise negative rays which results in loss in place of any benefit.

Guidelines for Puja: Certain Yantra once energized does not require regular Puja; they remain hidden for whole life. Yantra, which are made on Metal like Gold, silver, copper etc., require regular offerings and Puja. They require regular bathing and offering of scent, rice, flower, jaggery etc. Yantra should be placed Flat on silken yellow cloth on the Alter.