Yantras are generally geometrical designs imprinted on a copper or silver plate. These days we also see them in multi-coloured inks on paper and 2D and 3D form. Among the sacred symbols manifested by the Vedic Rishis, yantras are predominantly regarded as devices for devotional sadhanas or practices, and as objects to direct our mind and worship. These are used as tools for mental concentration and meditation.
Keeping a specific yantra in a particular direction in the home, worshipping it and concentrating upon it is said to have distinct auspicious effects. A mantra is the generator of specific currents of sublime sound and its perceivable manifestation; a yantra is a monogram – a spectrograph of this sonic energy. In terms of their spiritual effects, yantras are like schematic sketches of the contours or structures of divine energy fields.
Likewise the images of gods in the temples, yantras are revered and worshipped as symbols of divine powers. The Devi Bhagavat (3|26|21) states – Archabhave Tatha Yantram; meaning – a yantra symbolizes a divine power. Similar meanings are indicated Purana, Gautamiya Tantra, Yogini Tantra, and several other Vedic scriptures.
Yantras are also referred as the abodes of the divine powers of God, or of the deity that it represents. This is why most of the Vedic yantras are named after different divinities, such as Ganesa-yantra, Sri-yantra, Gopala-yantra, etc. Each yantra needs to be installed with the use of particular mantras, similar to the temple installation of a deity. Which yantra is placed in which direction and how its worship and devotional sadhana is to be performed – the knowledge of these constitutes science in itself that has linkage with the Vedic cosmology and sciences of mantra, Tantra, and Vastu.
A dot (.) in the cryptography of yantra symbolizes absoluteness, completeness. In terms of the manifestation of Nature in the universe, it is a symbol of the nucleus of cosmic energy and hence represents the power-source of all activities and motion. Its spiritual implication is pure knowledge, enlightenment, and ultimate realization. The expansions of a dot in circular forms, in a yantra, symbolize related expressions in varied forms. Combining the dots results in a triangle. Different lengths of the straight lines joining the dots, different angles between them, and the different triangular and other shapes generated there by together with free dots, circles, straight, curvilinear, convergent, and divergent Unes are the basic features/components of the structure of a yantra.
Everything that exists in the cosmos has some size and structure – perceivable or conceptualized – in subliminal, astronomical or Intermediate dimensions. Even the invisible subtle entities have ‘Shape” which could be “seen” through mental eyes. The sagacious minds of the Vedic Age had a deeper insight to see the invisible or sublime elements of nature and express them in a universal language of symbols.
They had thus invented a coding system of symbols, signs and alphabets (including digits) to represent the syllables of the seed mantras associated with the sublime fields of divine powers (devatas), natural tendencies of consciousness, emotional Impulses in a being. etc; and the five basic elements (pancha-tatvas), their etheric vibrations and energy fields, and the states and motions of the enormous varieties of sub-atomic, atomic, and molecular structures generated thereby. Specific configurations of these codes were then Incorporated in different yantras. Thus, by meditating on the yantras, and using particular mantras to invoke their potencies, would also awake higher powers within the mind and consciousness of the sadhaka, or practitioner. If done properly.
The Benefits of Using the Yantras
By doing any type of meditation or devotional practice we raise our deserving power. When working with yantras over time, we begin to see subtle and major shifts in our lives.
These reflect the energy that the specific yantra is expressing, such as correcting energy of spaces, illuminating qualities and spiritual knowledge of the highest order, deeper connection to the goddess energy or attuning with qualities of the sun or other planets. All leading us to living a more magical, aligned and fulfilled life.
How to Use Yantras in Meditation
Meditation is a great way for folks to start dabbling in Yantras. To get started, try some of these tips below.
Create a sacred space in your home where you can come and sit on a daily basis and drop into stillness.
Do some research on your Yantras. You can use the Sri Yantra, or explore the myriad of other options that might serve you.
Tune into what energy you would like to invoke into your life and choose the yantra that supports that intention.
Place the yantra on a table or shelf at eye level. In front of the yantra place a small candle. Light the flame and focus your eyes on the flame for nine minutes.
Try to blink your eyes as little as possible. Focusing your attention and intention on bringing in the qualities of that yantra into your life. Practice daily for at least a month, if you can.