What Are Yantras?

Tipura Sundari yantra or the Shri yantra

HST108/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain


The term ‘Yantra’ is derived from the Sanskrit root word ‘yam’, which means supporting the essence of an object; and ‘tra’ comes from ‘trana’ or liberation from bondage. Therefore, Yantra essentially means liberation from birth and rebirth.

Yantra, Mantra, and Mandala

A Yantra is the yogic equivalent of the Buddhist Mandala. It literally means a 'machine' or a visual instrument that serves in meditation. It’s a microcosm of the universe. Yantra is different from Mantra in that, Yantra is the body or form of the deity, whereas Mantra is the mind.

How Are They Created?

Yantras are created through the amalgamation of various geometric forms and patterns that teach the mind the power of concentration and focus. The drawing of a Yantra needs accuracy, discipline, concentration, neatness, and precision. The visual design of a Yantra activates the right hemisphere, which is visual and non-verbal.

What Do the Various Shapes Indicate?

Every shape of a Yantra emits a very specific, beneficial and harmonious energy pattern that is used in meditation. It is a geometrical pattern made of several concentric figures like squares, circles, lotuses, triangles, and points.

 It is believed that the concentric figures gradually grow away from the center, which signifies the process of macrocosmic evolution. When they gradually grow towards the center, it’s a symbol of microcosmic involution. It’s a gradual movement from unity to multiplicity and again back to unity.

A human body is considered to be the most perfect and powerful of all Yantras and is seen as a tool for inner awareness.

Various Concentric Shapes

  • A Black point, or a Dot, or Bindu, in a Yantra, symbolizes intense concentration. This point is the center of the Yantra and signifies unity
  • The point expands into a Circle or Chakra, which represents perfection and a blissful creative void.
  • The Triangle or Trikona in a Yantra is the symbol of Shakti, the feminine energy or the aspect of Creation. If the triangle points downwards known as Shakti Kona, it represents the feminine sexual organ. If the triangle points upwards known as Shiva Kona, it signifies intense spiritual aspiration.
  • The Six Points Star or Satkona is the superimposition of the two triangles, one pointing upwards and the other downwards. This is also known as David’s Star. This star symbolizes the union of Purusha and Prakriti or Shiva-Shakti, to form Creation.
  • The Square or Bhupura is the exterior limit of the Yantra. It’s a symbolical representation of the element earth. The starting from the Bindu to the outer Square represents the sense of universal evolution.
  • The Lotus or Padma in a Yantra symbolizes both purity and variety. This also represents freedom from multiple interferences with the exterior purity.

Common Yantras and Their Benefits

  • Sri Yantra, also known as Sri Chakra is the mother of all Yantras. It is the most celebrated Yantra in India. It represents Mount Meru, the cosmic mountain at the center of the universe.
  • The Linga Bhairavi, according to Sadhguru, offers two Yantras, the Bhairavi Yantra and the Avighna Yantra. The Bhairavi Yantra is meant to enhance the wellbeing of an individual. Avighna Yantra takes obstacles away from the life of an individual.
  • Shakta Yantras represent any form of the divine mother. These are the sources of supreme knowledge.
  • The Astrological Yantras are used to harness the energies of the nine major planets.
  • The Numerical Yantras are not composed of geometrical forms but of numbers which serve as talismans.
  • The Architectural Yantras are used for the ground planning of lands.

Other Benefits

  • Yantras are aimed to help to get rid of insufficiency, unhealthy competitors, resentment, and bad effects of planets.
  • True meditation through Yantras may attract prosperity, abundance, wellbeing and good luck in all spheres of life.
  • It is believed that these can support the increasing flow of wealth.
  • These Yantras have been proven to effectively repel negative energies and maintain internal harmony among the seekers.

For the Seeker

  • A Yantra works when you gaze at a Yantra daily and chant prayers to it.
  • With true devotion, Yantras transform the patterns of your mind into habits of thought that could fetch the desired outcomes.
  • You focus your intentions, desires, and aspirations in a harmonious way with the relevant Mantras.
  • You offer incense sticks and fresh flowers to it at least once a week on the day of the deity of the Yantra.
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Das, Subhamoy. "What Are Yantras?" Learn Religions, Feb. 16, 2021, learnreligions.com/what-are-yantras-3884425. Das, Subhamoy. (2021, February 16). What Are Yantras? Retrieved from https://www.learnreligions.com/what-are-yantras-3884425 Das, Subhamoy. "What Are Yantras?" Learn Religions. https://www.learnreligions.com/what-are-yantras-3884425 (accessed March 25, 2023).