Illustration by Naomi Alessandra

A yantra is a meditative ritual device used in South Asian Tantric traditions. It is a blueprint of energy of a specific field of consciousness. Although yantras are sometimes described as representing a deity, each yantra is more than a symbol.  A yantra is a literal matrix of divine consciousness. Yantras are an expression of consciousness in an abstract form that follows precise mathematical equations and ritual procedures in its design and construction.  

Eastern philosophical traditions have ascribed countless names to express absolute consciousness (Brahman, Kali, Paramaśiva, Tripurāsundarī), yet this formless undifferentiated state ultimately cannot be defined outside of our direct experience. Yantras serve as a bridge between relative and absolute planes of reality.  A yantra gives access to the deity on the relative plane.  It is a kind of mesocosm between the microcosmic and macrocosmic planes.  A yantra can represent and express stages of involution, evolution, and preservation on subtle and gross planes. It also displays cycles of creation, maintenance, and destruction. Through visualization, meditation, mantra recitation, and pūjā (ritual), one can access and harness the energies in a yantra.  

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Illustration by Naomi Alessandra