Yantras are geometric forms of deities, planets, and principles of spiritual evolution, deriving from the ancient Tantric traditions of India. The earliest Yantras discovered date back at least 11,000 years.
Western dictionary definition for a Yantra is “an auspicious diagram used in meditation to help focus the mind“. The word Yantra roughly translated means ‘a vehicle‘ or ‘an instrument‘.
Yantras were originally created as vehicles for spiritual evolution, and liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth.
While mantras are verbal remedies used for healing and transformation, Yantras can be seen as their visual counterparts. For example, chanting a Lakshmi mantra may be used to attract prosperity into one’s life. A Lakshmi (Sri) Yantra may do the same thing. Yantras only use beneficial symbols that bring healing and help raise spiritual awareness. The shapes within Yantras are symbols that correspond to states of evolved human consciousness.
Tuning in with a Yantra opens the doorway to working with the deity and spiritual principle the Yantra represents. The Yantra then becomes an energetic portal that connects you with the creative forces of the Universe.
How to use Yantras
Yantras are most powerful when meditated upon consistently for at least 7 days. This imprints the energy pattern of the Yantra into the conscious and subconscious mind. Start by focusing on the central point within the Yantra and allow your eyes to naturally adjust to the shape without removing your gaze from the Yantra. It is recommended to do this meditation for 15-30 minutes daily. You may also wish to chant a mantra corresponding to the Yantra you are working with.
Focusing on a Yantra helps calm the mind which makes it easier to focus your energy toward manifesting your desired outcome, be it healing, prosperity, a new relationship, or deepening your spiritual practice. In advanced stages of meditation with a Yantra it is possible to feel a merging in with the shape, or “becoming the Yantra itself”. The physical image of the Yantra is then no longer necessary, as one can evoke the energy of the Yantra and its powers within.
Yantras may also be used to balance the energy of a space, and to bring forth a host of beneficial effects. Vedic astrologers will often prescribe planetary Yantras as remedies for healing difficult planetary aspects in one’s birth chart, and inviting in more balanced and positive energy.
In the Hindu culture, Yantras are worshiped in puja ceremonies, with elaborate offerings of food, incense, mantra, and ritual protocol.
How to choose a Yantra
While Vedic Astrologers will often prescribe Yantras as remedies for appeasing challenging planetary aspects in one’s natal chart, the simplest way for westerners is to choose a Yantra based on intuition. If you feel drawn to a certain Yantra, then work with it. Most likely it is something you need. Secondly, you can choose a Yantra based on what you’re looking to create or bring into your life.