Yantra is the Sanskrit word for "instrument" or "machine". Much like the word "instrument" itself, it can stand for symbols, processes, automata, machinery or anything that has structure and organization, depending on context.
One usage popular in the west is as symbols or geometric figures. Traditionally such symbols are used in to balance the mind or focus it on spiritual concepts. The act of wearing, depicting, enacting and/or concentrating on a yantra is held to have spiritual.
Yantra is a word that is derived from the root yam meaning to control or "to restrain, curb, check. Meanings for the noun derived from this root include: "any instrument or machine" (i.e. that which is controlled or controls. For instance the body is said to be a yantra
"any instrument for holding, restraining, or fastening" (for instance a symbol which 'holds' the essence of a concept, or helps the mind to 'fasten' on a particular idea)
"a mystical or astronomical diagram" (usually a symbol, often inscribed on an amulet) sometimes said to possess mystical or magical powers.
Yantra is an indoeuropean suffix meaning ' instrument', found in Latin ' aratrum' and in and . A yantra depicts both macrocosmic and microcosmic forces acting together - the movement towards and away from the centre - "control" and "liberation" within the one device. Mantra plus yantra creates tantra. In some disciplines of Tantra it is said that a focused, controlled gaze upon a particular yantra may lead to liberation.
Symbols Employed in yantras
Shapes and patterns commonly employed in yantra include squares, triangles, circles and floral patterns but may also include more complex and detailed symbols, for instance:
The lotus flower typically represent , with each petal representing a psychic propensity) associated with that chakra
A dot, or , represents the starting point of creation or the infinite, unexpressed cosmos.
The satkona (Sanskrit name for a symbol identical to the composed of a balance between.
An upwards triangle denoting action (or service), extroversion, masculinity
A downwards triangle denoting introversion, meditativeness, goddess energy or represents good luck, welfare, prosperity or spiritual victory
(usually represented as characters of that correspond to the acoustic roots of a particular chakra or vritti)
Geometric element meanings:
Circle = Energy of the element water
Square = Energy of the element earth
Triangle = Energy of the element fire
Diagonal lines = Energy of the element air
Horizontal line = Energy of the element water
Vertical line = Energy of the element fire
Point = Energy of the element ether
As an astrological device
Yantra may be used to represent the astronomical position of the planets over a given date and time. It is considered auspicious in Hindu mythology. These yantras are made up on various objects i.e. Paper, Precious stones, Metal Plates and alloys. It is believed that constantly concentrating on the representation helps to build fortunes, as planets have their peculiar gravity which governs basic emotions and . These yantras are often made on a particular date and time according to procedures.
Yantra function as revelatory conduits of cosmic truths. Yantra, as instrument and spiritual technology, may be appropriately envisioned as prototypical and esoteric machines or conceptual looms. Certain yantra are held to embody the energetic signatures of, for example,the. Though often rendered in two dimensions through art, yantra are conceived and conceptualised by practitioners as multi-dimensional and in this quality are identical with their correlate the and induction that generates the yantra of the in the complementary modes of the andare invested in the various lineages of tantric transmission as exterior and interior sacred architecture that potentiate the accretion and manifestation of Khanna (2003: p. 21) in linking Mantras, the Sanskrit syllables inscribed on yantras, are essentially "thought forms" representing divinities or cosmic powers, which exert their influence by means of sound-vibrations