A Brief Introduction to Yantras
YANTRA : Origin Sanskrit
Definition :An instrument or tool used for precision work.
As a tool for spiritual practice A Yantra may be described as a precise geometric pattern that serves as a portal for divine energies. Each deity has a specific Yantra ,that is manifested by their respective energetic vibrations.
Rishis and Yogins, practitioners of ancient times were graced with the vision and experience of these divine pulsating vortexes of energy as a fruit of their intense austerities. Since then the potent designs have been handed down traditionally through various tantric lineages.
The Kularnava Tantra says :-
"YANTRAM MANTRAMAYAM PROKTAM
MANTRAM DEVATAIV HI
DEHAT MANOR YATHA BHEDO
YANTRA DEVATAYO STATHA"
"The deity pervades both yantra and mantra. As there is a difference between mind and body, so there is between yantra and mantra.
Mantra is the Mind,Conciousness,Spirit, or Name of a deity and Yantra is the body.
The Yantra is especially dear because it is the material or external Visual expression of devotion that the deity recieves."
-Tools For Tantra by Harish Johari
Yantras may be used in a variety of ways. As amulets they are worn on the body, In Havans they are the portal through which Divine energy is invoked and offerings made. There are Numerological , Astrological, and Archaeological Yantras .
In every form the yantra is used to invoke and welcome beneficial energies and as a conduit for divine grace to flow through.
Yantras have the power to raise positive energy and nullify the negative.
When implemented as an art practice, the drawing and coloring of a Yantra turns into a meditative practice that helps to withdraw conciousness from external, sensual and material stimuli and turns it inwards , leading to an Altered State of Consciousness.One that is more in alignment with the natural order of creation. Yantras are designed in a way that the vision is automatically drawn towards the centre or Apex. Symbolically , this is where the Shakti or energy of the deity presides in its concentrated essence and entirety. The organic growth and expansion of the elegant design thereafter into triangles, circles squares and lotuses etc, are illustrative of the dynamic creative movements of this deity. Focusing on this energetic pattern helps the practitioner to tune into the vibratory field of the deity.
Some Tips To Keep In Mind Before Your Yantra Coloring Practice :
~ Before you start coloring your Yantra, it is a good idea to be bathed and wear fresh clothes, like you would before going to a temple or holy shrine.
~Prepare your workstation prior to the practice by, clearing it of clutter and dust.
~Select and be ready with your preferred coloring medium . You may use Color Pencils, Crayons, Water Colors, Markers, any medium you are drawn to.
~Now seating yourself comfortably at your workstation close your eyes for a few moments. Taking a few deep cleansing breaths empty the mind of all thoughts and center the attention upon the breath. At this stage begin to mentally repeat the Name or Mantra of the Shakti you are working with on the day and seek her blessing and guidance for the practice.
Allow yourself to be washed with a sense of gratitude and love, for being given the opportunity to do this practice.
Keep an open mind and heart, ready to receive any intuitive guidance that flows through.
This could present itself in something as simple, as being drawn to certain colors to work with that day.
~As you begin coloring ,try to hold the respective affirmation or mantra steady in your mind. This will help develop the minds power of single ponted focus. Everytime you catch the mind slipping back into familiar chatter or thought patterns gently but firmly direct it back to the mantra.
A gentle instrumental music or chants playing in the background can help further the concentration and intensify the experience.
It is my prayer that Divine Grace flows through and blesses us as we embark upon this beautiful practice.