Just hitting the ground in spots with this….
Yantra is a form of a mandala. Mandala in its essence means ”magic circle”.It is a focus of cosmic consciousness..the centre of the Universe while it exists. Everything that exists is thus a mandala, including us and our every action (they are all magical acts), but to narrow the definition a yantra is a specifically consecrated area. Shree Yantra could be translated as a Blessed Mystical Diagram.
A yantra uses geometric shapes to form a mandala. Yantra means an instrument, machine or device, a tool that is used for tuning consciousness.
The Shree Yantra is considered one of the most powerful mystic designs.
‘All you have to do is concentrate on the yantra and plunge through the middle.”
”Mantra, yantra and mandala are all a product of the profound inner vision of the yogis, rishis and seers who have enquired deeply into the nature of the cosmos. They are a product of high states of spiritual enlightenment, ecstasy and experience. In that state of mind the consciousness transcends all barriers and therefore the experience is called ‘universal”’
”In the tantric system, the mandala represents the visual iconographic form of a higher force, the yantra represents the abstract form of that force, and the mantra represents the subtle form. Thus each mandala has a corresponding yantra and mantra and one can be substituted for the other, according to the level of the aspirant, as they evoke the same results.”
” Yantras and mandalas must never be misunderstood as being religious, occult, mystic or mysterious symbols, but as highly charged forces of energy which can invoke the same frequency within us to expand our consciousness.”
Yan is an instrument and Tra is to liberate or make free, therefore Yantra means instrument for liberation
Labyrinths, medicine wheels, stone circles and ancient temples were all constructed using the idea of geometric precision to harness cosmic energy. For example with doors facing east and so on.
Shree Yantra is said to represent Mount Meru (Kailash) which is said to be the axis mundi, the centre of the Universe. It is sometimes referred to as the navel of the Divine Mother. It is said to represent all aspects of the human organism.
”The Sri Yantra is a configuration of nine interlocking triangles, surrounded by two circles of lotus petals with the whole encased within a gated frame, called the “earth citadel”. The nine interlocking triangles centered around the bindu (the central point of the yantra) are drawn by the superimposition of five downward pointing triangles, representing Shakti ; the female principle and four upright triangles, representing Shiva ; the male principle. The nine interlocking triangles form forty three small triangles each housing a presiding deity associated with particular aspects of existence.”
Adi Shankaracharya’s teacher introduced him to the Shree Yantra and he wrote a book about it called Saundariya Lahiri
An extract from Saundariya Lahari
~Let the mutterings that I do,
With the sacrifice in my soul.
Become chanting of your name,
Let all my movements become thine Mudhras,
Let my travel become perambulations around thee,
Let the act of eating and drinking become fire sacrifice to thee,
Let my act of sleeping becomes salutations to you ,
And let all actions of pleasure of mine,
Become parts of thine worship.
Shree Yantra is the geometrical symbol of Tripurasundari (the Beautiful Goddess of the Three Realms, past, present and future), the primordial shakti. She is also known as Lalita which means ”she who plays”. She is visualised in her tripartite form as maiden, mother and crone. She is a form of Parvati.
The Divine mother is to be meditated upon
as shining in a vermilion-red body, with a
triple eyes, sporting a crown of rubies
studded with the crescent moon, a face all
smiles, a splendid bust, one hand holding
a jewel-cup brimming with mead, and the
other twirling a red lotus.
I meditate on the great Empress. She
is red in color, and her eyes are full
of compassion, and holds the noose, the
goad, the bow and the ﬂowery arrow in
She is the Self within me.
”She is the deity said to live in the celestial palace of Nagara on top of the centre of the world at Mount Meru. This is simply a depiction of the sahasra, the thousand-petalled lotus chakra loosely situated at the top of our skulls in the subtle body and the enthronement of the Devi that spiritual practice brings to our subtle body. She it is we worship when we recite the Valli of the Sri Lalita Sahasranam. Meru is in turn another way of looking at the Sri Chakra and other Yantras, which are schematic and arcane maps of the Devi’s influence in creation, leading to the bindu, the central point of all manifestation”
At the very heart of the bindu or centre of the Shri Yantra is that which caused it to emanate. This is Kamakala, consisting of the three bindus or potentials. One is red, one is white, and one is mixed. The red bindu is ova, the white bindu semen, and the mixed bindu the union of Shiva-Shakti, the individual as potential Shri Cakra
There are said to be three great Lights within a human being. These are Sun, Moon and Fire, Sun is situated in the heart, Moon in the brain, and Fire in the genitals. These three are the Three Beautiful Cities, which collectively form the triple being of Lalita, When these three Lights fully shine, then Pure Shiva, who is the Fourth, is fully manifested. By a daily act of Will, the Universe’s Creation, Maintenance and Dissolution takes place.
Fundamental to this ancient tradition is the assumption that all that is the universe is also contained within the human body. Stars, planets, rivers, seas, Suns, Moons, even the smallest mote of dust, all these things which appear ‘outside’ are also found ‘inside’. The real act of oblation is the offering of the entire cosmos both active and subjective into the Fire of Pure Consciousness,
If you are interested a full description of the borders, the circles of petals and the meanings of each geometrical patter is given on this website.
Harish Johari says that different lineages use the yantra facing upwards or downwards. The most common way is with the 5 shakti triangles facing downwards so that the inner most triangle around bindu also faces down.
(Harish Johari says these are the correct traditional colours.)
Description of the full ancient rite of Shri Yantra puja is given at http://www.shivashakti.com/subha.htm
But a far less complicated meditation is simply to relax the body, sitting upright, eyes closed and then when ready, gaze steadily at the bindu at the centre of the geometric form until the eyes become fatigued. Keep the eye muscles relaxed, not widely opened.Then when fatigued close the eyes. And rest. The bija or seed mantra of Shree Yantra is OM. The process of focusiing on Shree Yantra is called Shree Vidya..Vidya means knowledge, Shree means blessed.
For a quick slideshow.. http://www.slideshare.net/srividyasadhana/sri-yantra-15232923