Yantra is a Sanskrit word that is derived from the root meaning "to restrain, curb, check". Meanings for the noun derived from this root include "that which restrains or fastens, any prop or support", "a fetter", "any instrument or machine", "an amulet, a mystical or astronomical diagram used as an amulet."

Some Hindu esoteric practitioners employ yantra, mantra and other items in their sadhana, puja and yajna.

Yantra, or other permutations and cognate phenomena such as Mandala, Rangoli, Kolam, Rangavalli and other sacred geometrical traditions, are endemic throughout Indian religions.

Yantra as astronomical map

Yantra is basically a diagram representing the astronomical position of the planets over a given date and time. It is considered auspicious in Hindu mythology. These yantras are made up on various objects such as paper, precious stones, and metal plates. It is believed that if we, as humans, follow the basic principal of constantly concentrating on the representation, it helps you build fortunes, as planets above have their peculiar gravity which governs basic emotions and karma, derived to attain satisfaction. These yantras are made on a particular date and time depending on the prescribed procedures defined under Vedas.

Yantra as portal of communion

Yantra is an aniconic temenos or tabernacle of deva, asura, genius loci or other archetypal entity. Yantra are theurgical devices that engender entelecheia. Yantra are realised by sadhu through darshana and samyama. There are numerous yantra. Shri Yantra is often furnished as an example. Yantra contain geometric items and archetypal shapes and patterns namely squares, triangles, circles and floral patterns; but may also include bija mantra and more complex and detailed symbols. Bindu is central, core and instrumental to yantra. Yantra function as revelatory conduits of cosmic truths. Yantra, as instrument and spiritual technology, may be appropriately envisioned as prototypical and esoteric concept mapping machines or conceptual looms. Certain yantra are held to embody the energetic signatures of, for example, the Universe, consciousness, ishta-devata. Some Hindu esoteric practitioners employ yantra, mantra and other items of the [[sa?dhy?-bh???|]] (Bucknell, et. al.; 1986: p.ix) in their sadhana, puja and yajna. Though often rendered in two dimensions through art, yantra are conceived and conceptualised by practitioners as multi-dimensional sacred architecture and in this quality are identical with their correlate the mandala. Meditation and trance induction that generates the yantra of the subtle body in the complementary modes of the utpatti-krama and [[Completion stage|]] are invested in the various lineages of tantric transmission as exterior and interior sacred architecture that potentiate the accretion and manifestation of siddhi.

Khanna (2003: p.21) in linking Mantra, Yantra, Ishta-devata, and thoughtforms states:

Mantras, the Sanskrit syllables inscribed on yantras, are essentially 'thought forms' representing divinities or cosmic powers, which exert their influence by means of sound-vibrations.


See also

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