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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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Buddhist Monk Losang Samten Uses Colors to Spread Message of Peace

Samten was born in Tibet. When he was a young boy, his family escaped to Nepal fleeing Chinese Communist control of his homeland. They lived in a refugee camp for years.

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Former Buddhist monk and Tibetan scholar Losang Samten uses colored sand to build mandalas, circular images filled with complex iconography, which have great meaning in Hinduism and Buddhism. VOA

According to one estimate, there are a 5 quintillion, 5 hundred quadrillion grains of sand on earth, a number so large it must be approaching infinity. This makes sand an appropriate medium for the construction of spiritual images of the universe.

Former Buddhist monk and Tibetan scholar Losang Samten does just that, using colored sand to build mandalas, circular images filled with complex iconography, which have great meaning in Hinduism and Buddhism.

Tibetan monks have created mandalas over the centuries from a variety of materials. Before sand, they used crushed colored stone. Now Samten travels around the world to find sand in various colors. He also dyes sand in watercolors.

Now Samten travels around the world to find sand in various colors. He also dyes sand in watercolors.
Tibetan monks have created mandalas over the centuries from a variety of materials. Before sand, they used crushed colored stone. VOA

Decades of mandalas

Samten, in his mid-60s, learned the craft at the feet of the Dalai Lama.

“When I was a teenager, age of 17,” he told VOA, “I had a privilege to enter His Holiness Dalai Lama’s monastery … in India. I have been studying sand mandalas ever since then. So it’s a long time.”

VOA found Samten painstakingly layering grains of colored sand at the gallery of the Philadelphia Folklore Project. The particular mandala he was working on was the mandala of compassion, or unconditional love.

Far from random designs, mandalas have been perfected over centuries.

“These are uniquely designed many, many, many, many, many years passing to an artist to another artist to another artist to another artist,” Samten said. “The color has a meaning, the shape has different meanings. Not my design; it didn’t come out of my own idea.”

When Samten created a sand mandala at the American Museum of History in New York in 1988 at the request of the Dalai Lama, it was the first time the 2,600-years-old ancient ritual art was seen outside of monasteries. Since then, Samten has made sand mandalas in museums, galleries and universities across the U.S. and many parts of the world.

“They are used to enhance the spiritual practice through image and meditation, to overcome suffering. Mandalas represent enlightened qualities and methods which explain this path, making them very important for the spiritual journey,” Samten wrote on his web site.

Nothing is permanent

Samten was born in Tibet. When he was a young boy, his family escaped to Nepal fleeing Chinese Communist control of his homeland. They lived in a refugee camp for years.

Now Samten travels around the world to find sand in various colors. He also dyes sand in watercolors.
Samten, in his mid-60s, learned the craft at the feet of the Dalai Lama. VOA

“In the winter of 1959, [we] crossed Mount Everest, it took us two months to cross,” he told VOA. “You cannot travel during the day and so scared and not enough food not enough clothes. I was age of 5. I saw, I mean unbelievable dead bodies, people dying without food. I became a monk at age 11 when I was in school, refugee school.”

Samten left monastic life in 1995 and became the spiritual director at the Tibetan Buddhist Center of Philadelphia. He says the patience of the creative process, can lead observers to find calm determination within themselves.

“When I am doing this mandala at universities and schools, many kids came to me, (saying) ‘when I saw you doing the sand mandala, that help me so much to finish my education, patience …’ I have a lot of stories,” he said.

Monk Samten
Samten was born in Tibet. When he was a young boy, his family escaped to Nepal fleeing Chinese Communist control of his homeland. VOA

Beauty comes and goes

After a sand mandala is completed, it is dismantled ceremoniously.

“Dismantle has many different reasons,” Samten said. “… One thing is, dismantle is a beauty, whatever we see as a beauty on the earth, never be everlasting as a beauty and impermanent, impermanent, comes and goes. It’s like a season.”

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Or like sand, ever changing in the wind.

Samten often invites children to participate in the ceremony.

To gallery visitor Traci Chiodress that was part of the charm of the event.

“I think it’s powerful to see something so beautiful created, and then taken apart, and to be done in a community with a group of people of different ages,” she said. “I just think it’s an important type of practice.” (VOA)