The word Yantra comes from the root word Yam, meaning to sustain. A Yantra is like a place holder, a fixed image which roots the divine into matter. The word Yantra also refers to an instrument or a device, something that can be used to perform an action more efficiently, like scissors or a knife. In the Bhagavad Gita Yantras were used on the battlefield and described as machines drawn by oxen or horses with doors facing all directions.
A Yantra is more commonly recognised as a sacred diagram, which like the spider’s web grows away from the centre in stages until its expansion or contraction is complete. The Yantra has around it several concentric shapes, like triangles, circles, petals and squares which continue to expand or contract as precisely as the spiders web. A Yantra is likened to a map to help you find your way. As you create the Yantra you inscribe your thoughts, emotions and feelings into the Yantra. The finished product becomes a potent tool for meditation.
Creating Yantras in a traditional lineage requires a strict adherence to the rules. In some orthodox traditions an elaborate ritual called the Prana Pratishta is enacted to infuse the deity into the Yantra. Mantras, flowers, pranayama practices, incense and herbs are all brought to the yantra and offered as if the yantra were a living being. Once the ritual is complete the yantra is placed on an altar and used for healing, wealth or a device to enhance meditation.
It is important for the yantras to be energized it has to be brought ‘to life’ and its energisation is one of the most crucial steps- from inscribing a yantra to infusing it with prana (energy), it involves various stages. The Yantra are energized or activated by an appropriate Mantra.
When we perform the puja (ritual) on the yantra, we are attracting the attention of the deity and inviting their subtle bodies to inhabit the yantra. Preparing a yantra, infusing the mantra and energising it, is performed in a single uninterrupted sequence.
The science of vibrations and frequencies and how they effect people is something that has been around for thousands of years. We can still find evidence of this in the ancient Vedic texts of India. Mantras are simple chants or phrases, such as “om,” “ham,” “yam” or “ram,” that are designed to create soundwave energy that promotes healing, creativity and spiritual growth.
Mantras are used during meditation to help clear your mind and focus your energy on the present moment. There are many mantras to choose from, each with its own intention and purpose. Chanting these sounds can benefit the mind and the spirit in various ways, while also assisting the body in healing itself.
Every mantra produces a unique sound and vibration that, when recited, is able to stimulate various areas of the brain, bringing about positive results that include relaxation, clarity, and natural healing. A mantra can be chanted while focusing upon a specific part of the body that needs to be healed, such as an organ or a limb. And chanting mantras that are associated with each of the seven chakras in the body can stimulate these energy centers to get the life force flowing again and promote healing within these areas as well.
Spiritually, mantras help you to reaffirm positive attitudes about yourself and release the ego. They also remind you that you’re connected to the universe. This can help you feel more grounded, while enhancing what you learn and feel through yoga poses, in order to find a calm center of wellbeing.