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Does Traditional Hindu Geometric form “Yantra” help one to Focus and achieve their Goals? Find out!

The Sanskrit word for a machine and a mystical diagram from the Tantric traditions of Hinduism

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Sacred geometry via Wikipedia.org
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YANTRA in general means “support” and “instrument” or a machine. The suffix ‘tra’ is Sanskrit for Instrument. In Hinduism, Yantras are regarded as the geometrical design for divinity in the Tantrik tradition. Murtis and mantras are other methods of representations. Yantras can be constructed, engraved or drawn on a variety of material. In the Tantrik tradition, the major 8 surfaces are gold, copper, crystal, silver, birch, hide, bone, and Vishnu stone.

A mantra is the generator of specific currents of sublime sound and its perceivable manifestation; a yantra is a monogram – a spectrograph of this sonic energy. In terms of their spiritual effects, yantras are like schematic sketches of the contours or structures of divine energy fields

                                                                               – Stephen knapp

According to hinduism.about.com, Yantra or machine efficiently aids in cogitation and concentration. A yantra in Hinduism is either simple or complex that aims towards a specific purpose such as concentration and meditation. Keeping one particular yantra in a particular direction at home and worshiping it, is often said to have noticeable auspicious effects.

Yantras can be simply explained as geometric designs with symbols. These geometrical designs are very precise and accurate. Among all the sacred symbols revealed by the Rishis, yantras are primarily considered as devices for devotional practices and as objects to channelize our thought process and worship, mentions Hinduism Expert, Subhamoy Das in hinduism.about.com.

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Yantra. Image source: mathomathis.blogspot.com
Yantra. Image source: mathomathis.blogspot.com

Types of Yantras and their Benefits-

  • Sri Yantra: Also known as Sri Chakra is regarded as the mother of all Yantras. It is the most favored Yantra in India. In Hinduism, it is believed that this yantra acts as the shield from destructive influences like accidents, sickness, crises and other life-threatening tragedies.The best type of Sri Yantra which is used to meditate are those which simply are drawn with black and white lines, drawn in a shape of a triangle, representing the cosmic mountain from the center of the universe.
  • Baglamukhi Yantra: This Yantra is believed to overpower enemies or hindrance and win verdicts in legal case scenarios.
  • Bisa Yantra: It is believed that those who have the Bisa Yantra, also has the hand of God on them. All difficult tasks become easy. By praying to it every morning obstacles can be easily overpowered and one can attain success and honor.
  • Kuber Yantra: Kuber Yantra is for the worship of the lord of wealth, Lord Kuber. It is believed that having this yantra with you or in your home makes the Lord happy and in return, He blesses one with material comforts as well as wealth.
  • Shri Kanakdhara Yantra: The Literal meaning of Kanakdhara is ‘flow of gold’. Establishing it at home is considered auspicious in Hinduism and it is believed that it can open the doors to fortune for the whole family. It helps in accomplishing wealth and eliminating poverty, mentions  hinduism.about.com.
  • Shri Mahalakshmi Yantra: Praying to this yantra, assures of perpetual prosperity. In Hinduism, it is believed that one who possesses this yantra and worships it with a pure soul, Goddess Lakshmi blesses them and opens an avenue of wealth, fame, as well as success.
  • Surya Yantra:  It is believed that this yantra will increase the auspiciousness of the Sun and will remove the bad effects associated with it. It ensures good health and well-being and promotes intellect as well.
  • Panchadasi Yantra: In Hinduism, it is believed that this yantra has the blessings of Lord Shiva himself and ensures morality, family happiness, wealth, and salvation.

The complex nature of yantra syntax rectifies the opinion of a lot of scholars who wrongly tagged all yantras as ‘magic’ designs.

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The Linga Bhairavi, according to the author Jaggi Vasudev Sadhguru, offers two Yantras namely, the Bhairavi Yantra and the Avighna Yantra.

The Bhairavi Yantra is meant to enhance the well-being of an individual while the 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.

– by Yajush Gupta of NewsGram, Twitter: @yajush_gupta

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Maa Durga and Cosmic Divinity

Maa Durga is considered an epitome of Shakti (ENERGY) that is GOOD which can triumph over EVIL.

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Maa Durga
Maa Durga encompasses all three incarnations. Pixabay

By Salil Gewali

October is here, and we are all set to welcome Maa Durga for a few days. For many of us, Durga Puja is more of an excuse to eat, drink and be merry. We buy ourselves new clothes, move from pandal to pandal, and forget our exercise and diets for a few heavenly days. But is that all Durga Puja stands for? Are we aware of the philosophies behind this annual celebration? There is not one single philosophy, actually.

The word Durga is derived from the root word ‘Durg’ which means Fort. Just as a fort stands tall and mighty around low lying land and water and jungles, and protects the inmates from all kinds of dangers, we look upon Maa Durga as our “divine protector” from all evil. We feel safe and secure in her divine embrace and feel her all-pervasive energy around us and within us. Divinity has always been looked upon as something far removed from science, mundane logic, and facts. But modern science is only just beginning to realize that the energy of Maa Durga which we refer to as Shakti does have strong underpinings in every aspect of our life, and is actually the governing philosophy behind many of the relational dynamics – visible and invisible.

Maa Durga
Maa Durga and cosmic divinity

Of course, the philosophy behind our worship of Maa Durga is not just an amalgamation of sundry religious rites. A rational scientist would find many similarities in facets of her story and our real life. For example, let us look at her weapons.  Trident or trishul: The three-headed sharp weapon is said to symbolize the three gunashuman being is made of, i.e – tamas, rajas and sattva – this itself a very complex and vast subject to understand. Discus or Sudarshan Chakra is Lord Vishnu’s gift symbolizes the centre of creation. Thunderbolt or vajra: Indra’s gift meaning steadiness of character, determination, and supreme power. Conch is the symbol of the primordial sound of “creation” – AUM. Spear represents auspiciousness which is a gift of fire also symbolizes purity of power. Sword symbolizing intellect and wisdom with the complete sense of responsibility and the understanding to discriminate right from wrong. Bow and arrows are the combination of potential and kinetic powers symbolizes all segments of ENERGY. Axe symbolizes the power of Vishwakarma, and have the power to create as well as destroy. Lotus represents wisdom, “LIBERATION though KNOWLEDGE”. Snake symbolizes consciousness and the masculine energy of Shiva.

When you juxtapose this life-giving form of Maa Durga against the Trishul and sword-wielding warrior form of the Mother Goddess, she comes across as the Destroyer. The target of her weapons of destruction are the evil forces which she wishes to protect her children against. So the philosophy of Maa Durga encompasses all three incarnations in one form – The Destroyer, The Life Giver, and The Creator.

Maa Durga
She embodies the perfect amalgamation of power and mercy which we see in Mothers everywhere.

Yes, it is easy to look upon the fable of Maa Durga as a story we have created for our own consumption. But like the examples we have illustrated above, there are several ways in which the legend of Maa Durga finds reflection in our daily life and helps to underline some of the philosophies she represents. Let us examine a few of these.

According to mythological accounts, Ramba was an asura who pleased the fire God Agni with his devotion and got a boon that a son would be born to him who could not be killed by any God or man or animal. This son was named Mahishasura and he grew up to be a strong and powerful warrior. When he heard of the boon, it made him incredibly haughty and merciless, and he went around defeating all kind of men and demi-Gods and expanding his own kingdom. This cold-blood massacre and destruction soon left Gods worried, and they went into a huddle to plan an effective counter to Mahishasura without tampering with the boon he had been granted.

The solution came from the Gods themselves, who took advantage of the syntax of the boon. The boon had mentioned God, man, and animal, but had no mention of the “woman”. So the Gods put together their powers and created Maa Durga, she who would fight for the forces of good and vanquish the evil. Armed with all the boons and weapons that the Gods could provide, Maa Durga took on the EVIL represented by Mahishasura. After a long and ferocious battle, she finally put an end to the cursed life of Mahishasura. This story is a fable, but the philosophy it underlines is profoundly cerebral. Every force of evil in this world would be balanced by an equivalent force of good. Whenever the evil goes beyond a certain level, the forces of good come together to destroy the evil and restore the balance of this world.

Maa Durga
Look at her weapons. Pixabay

Outside of the physical manifestations of our prayers and devotion for Maa Durga, she also embodies the spirit and the characteristics of a mother. Maa Durga is the divine force we look up to who can protect us from worldly ills in every kind of situation because she is “omnipresent” and all powerful. SHE embodies the perfect amalgamation of power and mercy which we see in Mothers everywhere.

As we see from these few examples, Maa Durga is considered an epitome of Shakti (ENERGY) that is GOOD which can triumph over EVIL. Yes, our scriptures pour out a rich vein of philosophical underpinnings on which to lead our lives well and gradually make an earnest effort for the self-realization and merge with the DIVINE GOOD.  Ultimately, it is the Mother’s DIVINITY that encompasses the WHOLE COSMOS.

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’.  Twitter: @SGewali.