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What are Yantras

Yantras are geometrical figures intended to represent the basic energies. Just as every elementary geometrical figure, a straight line, a square, a cross or a triangle etc., has a symbolic value corresponding to the basic notions, similarly, the Yantras symbolize one or the other power or energy. In other words Vedic Yantras are the graphic representations of Mantras. Yantras can be drawn, engraved or painted on a variety of substances.

The classical eight-tantrik surfaces are gold, silver, copper, crystal, birch, bone, hide (which can include any type of paper), and Vishnu stone (shalagrama).

Yantras should always be used on the level. If drawn on paper the colors preferable are red, orange, yellow or a combination of these. They can be drawn to whatever size is required. The two main types of Yantras are Bhu and Meru. The former is flat, two dimensional; the latter is of pyramidal form. In worship they should be placed level on a pedestal or pitha. Before any yantra is made a suitable object for puja, it must be given life (pranapratishta).

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Meaning of word 'Yantra in Sanskrit is "yam" with a suffix "tra," where "tra" means instruments or tools and "yam" means "to gain control over the energy inherent in some element or being".

Yantras carry spiritual significance, and point the user to higher levels of consciousness. Yantra is an instrument designed to curb the psychic forces by concentrating them on a specific pattern, and in such a way that this pattern becomes reproduced by the worshiper's visualizing power.

According to Sri Swami Satchidananda, a yantra is "a physical expression of a mantra - a mantra being a Divine aspect in the form of sound vibration - yantra in the form of a geometrical figure." So "when mantras or divine ideas are meditated upon, certain images are brought out" and these images "are used in meditation or worship to symbolize or express certain divine ideas and quality (Satchidananda).

The Vedic Yantras are designed to remove the afflictions to obtain a particular result e.g. to have a child, to have a positive balance in the bank, or to have the awareness to control one's temper in order to enhance one's performance at work etc. The Yantras are inscribed with the mystical inscriptions of the afflicted beneficial planets at a particularly auspicious time to suit the individual wearer. The diagrams such as circles, triangles, squares and even a 'dot' are used as Yantras. All these represent cosmic energies. A dot known as bindu in Sanskrit symbolizes all-pervading space-the origin of all that exists.

The Yantras shall be seen daily in the morning and one shall lit incense or lamp before the yantra every morning. It is auspicious and blesses the individual with success and wealth.

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