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Sri Yantra

Sri Yantra

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Published by: Jyotindra on Aug 29, 2009
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04/20/2011

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Sri Yantra - The Significance and Symbolism of its design
The Cosmos in Abstract Form
The
Sri Chakra Yantra
, to give it the correct name, is regardedas the Supreme Yantra. Any other Yantra is but a part or fractionof the Sri Yantra; it both includes and transcends all Yantrasever made, and no existing Yantra can
not
be found in the SriYantra. The benefits of all Yantras are, therefore, to be foundindividually and collectively in the Sri Yantra. It is alsoconsidered to be the greatest achievement in the abstract,symbolic representation of the Divine. The Sri Yantra istraditionally held to have been divinely revealed rather than invented, a concept that iseasily understood when one realizes the immense complexity of the Yantra. Sri Chakraliterally means the 'Wheel of the Mother Goddess' but, actually, it represents the symbolicEnergy Form of the Goddess.It is a
mandala
, a geometric abstract that symbolizes the cosmos which, in this case, isalso the body of the goddess. The goddess is supposed to reside in her physical, visibleform in the dot or
bindu
at the center of the Yantra while simultaneously permeating theentire universe. This 'double presence' concept is vital in grasping the Sri Yantra. Her seathas four 'pillars': Brahma - the creator, in the Northeast; Vishnu - the preserver, in theSoutheast; Rudra - the dissolver, in the Southwest; and Sadasiva - the eternal Shiva, inthe Northwest.The
bindu
is the core of the Yantra and represents, at various times, the principles oractivities known as the
Pancha Kriya
of:
 
Emanation
of the cosmos from its primal source;
 
Projection
of creation into the primal void;
 
Preservation
of the created universe;
 
Withdrawal
of the creative and preservative energies in cosmic dissolutions; andlastly,
 
Retention
of the withdrawn energy-universe for the next cycle of re-creation.These five activities are regarded as the five modes of expression of the UniversalMother.
 
 
The Significance Of Its Unique Design
The diagram of the Sri Chakra is primarily a Matrix (i.e. womb) of nine interlockingtriangles. Four of these are upright and represent Shiva - the male principle, and the fiveinverted triangles represent Shakti - the dynamic female principle of the Universe. Inanother interpretation, the nine triangles stand for the
Mula Prakritis
or ninefundamental elements or Universal Root Stuff. This aspect of the macro-cosmos, thelarger universe without, is faithfully reproduced in man, the micro-cosmos. The ninesubstances in the human body are skin (
trak
), blood (
asrk
), flesh (
mamsa
), fat (
medher
)and bone (
asthi
) which are given by Shakti; and the other four are from Shiva beingsemen (
sukla
), marrow (
majja
), vital breath (
prana
) and the individual soul (
 jivatman
).As you can see, even at the very basic level, the symbolism of the Yantra is formidable.The nine interlocking triangles form a further set of 44 triangles, which include thecentral primary one.Enclosing the 44 triangles are two concentric circles, each containing the symbol of thelotus. The outer lotus has 16 petals, while the inner lotus has eight petals. These twocircles are then girdled or 'netted' (
valaya
) by three other concentric circles. Again, thematrix formation is obvious. The outer circles are enclosed in a square field called thecourtyard. This outer enclosure is usually formed of triple lines and, on each side, there isa gateway or
Dvara
open to all four directions. These are luminal spots (they arethresholds of potential, of awareness, or transformations).Every angle, or
kona
, produced by intersecting triangles in the Yantra,represents the union of male and female energies of Shiva and Shakti.The primary central triangle is called the
Kama-kala
- the seat of theMother, and is the most creative spot in the universe.The spots where the lines intersect (
sangam
) are also of greatimportance. If two lines intersect, they are called
sandhi
and theirvagina-like shape symbolically indicates
sandhana
, the act of union.Where three lines intersect they are called
marmas
, and they are vital spots in the bodywhere the life-energy resides as well as accumulates. The
marma
has thus been calledthe Seat of Life or
Jiva-sthana
. Indian and Chinese martial artists have known of thesespots which when struck can cause disability, paralysis or even death. There is a denseaccumulation of 
Prana
or
Ki
at those spots that renders them vulnerable to those in theknow. Healers can, paradoxically, use precisely these spots to channel healing energyinto the body with far greater efficacy than is normal, which is why every good martialartist is also a healer. In the Sri Yantra, all the important marmas found in the humanbody are represented and, by meditating upon them, a martial artist or healer can accessthe location of every vital spot in the human body.
 
 
The Sri Yantra Symbolically Represents Man and the Cosmos
Thus, we see that the Sri Yantra is a highly intricate lattice or matrix of geometric formsthat simultaneously represent man and the universe. To sum up, the Yantra begins withthe dot or
bindu
surrounded by the primary triangle; then an eight-cornered figure withthe eight-petalled lotus; the ten-angled figure with a net or girdle of the 16-petalled lotus;then comes a 14-petalled lotus figure with the enclosing square.Let us now move to a deeper level of understanding the Yantra. The nine enclosures or
chakras
represent the Emanation, Preservation and Withdrawal of the universe. Three
chakras
constituting:
 
The square, the 16-petalled lotus and eight-petalled lotus on the periphery formthe center of Emanation
 
The 14-cornered figure and the two 10-angled figures in the middle, form thecenter for Preservation
 
The eight-angled figure, the primary central triangle and the central point or
bindu
make the center of Re-absorption and RetentionThe first three circles or
chakras
are presided over by theMoon (
Chandra
), which is the head of the Mother, whilethe second three circles are presided over by the Sun(
Surya
), and the third group of three circles are presidedover by Fire (
Agni
), the friend of gods and men. These threefields are fundamentally inseparable even though they areclassified as separate - which only means that they cannotfunction independently of one another. If one is active, thenthe other two are also energized. The Primary Triangle alsostands for three aspects of the Mother:
Bala
- the YoungOne;
Tripura-Sundari
- the Thrice Beautiful; and
Tripura-Bhairavi
- the ThriceTerrible. Terrible here refers to 'terribilatia' - the sense of awe manifest before the powerof God. This classification is analogous to the western mystical Triad of Maiden, Motherand Crone and indeed, at an archetypal level, there is no difference.Now, we come to the significance of the Nine Enclosures or
chakras
of the 'Fortress'. Weshall assume that the Sri Yantra is a fort, and it does indeed look like the plan of onewhen viewed carefully. Traveling from the outer periphery wall to the inner
bindu
is anascent through various levels of consciousness and mystical significance, overcomingmyriad obstacles of conditioning and fears along the way.
The First Enclosure
This is technically named
Bhupur
and is called 'Deluder of 

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