In Sanskrit, the word “yantra” has more meanings. It comes from the root “yam” meaning “to support”, or “to hold”, “to contain”, “to hold the essence of an object, of a thought or of a concept”.
The syllable “tra” comes from “trana” meaning “released from chains”. Thus, yantra “holds the essence and liberates”.
Generally, this word means tool, instrument. If we consider the symbolic meaning of the word “yam” (Yama is the God of Death) then yantra is the one that liberates from death, the cycle of the successive rebirths, and leads to the final liberation, moksha.
The first definition of Yantra makes it a symbol. Symbols are precise and crystallized means of expression, essentially corresponding to the inner essence. Thus, a yantra is a reflection of the Divine.
As a tool, yantra is used to withdraw the consciousness from the exterior world and to direct it towards the inner one.
Thus, it helps the aspirant overcome the limits of the common, argumentative way of thinking and facilitates the access to the estate of the super mental consciousness, Samadhi.
THE ARCHETYPAL SHAPES OF ALL PHENOMENA
The tantric clairvoyants can perceive yantras, and they have confirmed them to be symbolic structures of the energetic pattern of a god.
Traditional texts consider that just as oil is loved by the lamp, the body is loved by the spirit and the yantra is the exterior visual expression through which it can be worshiped.
When a yantra is chosen and the energies of the corresponding deity are invoked in it, the yantra becomes a symbolic representation of that deity and from that moment the aspirant’s worship is full of transfiguration it becomes the deity itself.
A yantra is stronger than any symbolic representation, idols or paintings, because an idol is a personal aspect while a yantra is universal being made up of archetypal forms that are common to all existent phenomena.
THE PARTS OF THE YANTRA
Generally, a yantra consists of an exterior square having a t-shaped extension on each side, circles, lotus flowers and triangular shapes inside the lotus. Sometimes they have two overlapped pyramid shapes. The center of all these shapes is usually marked with a point.
BINDU – A SYMBOL OF THE UN-MANIFESTED
In tantra the point at the center of the yantra is called bindu. It is placed in a very significant area of the yantra, thus the whole drawing becomes its extension. The point symbolizes unity, origin, the principle of manifestation, of emanation and of re-absorption.
Some yantras dont have the point marked but others do. This point is the first step in the process of becoming aware of the abstract of what is beyond shape.
It is the origin and the source of all symbolic representations and also the fundamental symbol of the energized Consciousness.