SYMBOL FOR YOGA MEDITATION
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The 1990 Mystery
In the August of 1990, a pilot discovered something incredible as he was flying over a dried-up lakebed in a remote area of the Alvord desert. He was awestruck. Far below his plane was an enormous, beautiful design etched into the earth. The pilot reported the strange design immediately, and soon the symbol was identified to be a Sri Yantra; an ancient Hindu symbol used during meditation. The symbol has been used for centuries.
One of the things most extraordinary about this discovery was the absolute perfection of the geometry and symmetry of the complex design. Investigators couldn’t find any tire tracks, nor even a footprint at the site. So how was it made? And why the Sri Yantra? The questions remain unanswered.
A plan, chart or geometric pattern which represents the cosmos metaphysically or symbolically, a microcosm of the universe from the human perspective.
A type of mandala with geometric patterns. Sri Yantra literally means instrument or machine. Yantras are tools to enhance our life in different dimensions.
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.
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. Sri is a title of respect used before the name of a man, a god, or a sacred book.
Yantras are visual tools that serve in meditation either as centering devices or as symbolic compositions of the energy pattern of a divine form. When a yantra is adopted for worship and the energy is invoked in it, it becomes a divine symbol and the energy circulates in higher centers. No idol or picture of a god is as powerful as a yantra in meditation. Yantra also means liberation from the cycle of birth and rebirth (moksha). As a tool, yantra meditation is used to withdraw consciousness from the outer world.
Sri Yantra Fast Facts
- The Sri Yantra is a sacred geometry that originated in India
- It is composed of 9 interlocked triangles
- It is very difficult to draw without errors at the intersections
- There a many variations of the Sri Yantra
- There are many different methods to draw it
- Nobody seems to know what the original configuration is
- There are three main forms of the Sri Yantra: Plane, Pyramidal, Spherical
Mystic yantras are an amalgam of three principles:
1.) Form (Akriti-rupa)
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.
2.) Function (Kriya-rupa)
Yantras 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 30 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).
3.) Power (Sakti-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.
- Yantras that represent any form of the divine mother are called Shakta Yantras.
- Architectural yantras are used for the ground plan of temples.
- Astrological yantras are used in working with the energy of the nine planets.
- Numerical yantras are not composed of basic geometrical forms but of numbers.
- Some of these yantras are used as talismans.
＊When working with a yantra, a mantra is needed to invoke the vital life force (prana).
The Forms of Sri Yantra
The very process of making a yantra is an archetypal activity that works with the encoding of the genes. During the process one moves from concrete reality to abstract truth.The act of drawing and painting yantras teaches the mind how to concentrate, how to be one-pointed. Yantra drawing requires accuracy, exactness, discipline, concentration, neatness and patience.
9 Triangles in a Circle
The triangles are interconnected. If you move one, you need to move all the others.
Surprisingly the drawing methods found in the Indian literature are far from satisfactory. They often lead to very imprecise and crude figures. They only provide a rough idea of what the figure should look like. Contemporary methods can lead to more precise figures but they are all slightly or greatly different.
Interactive Sri Yantra Geometry
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