Sri Yantra

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The Sri Chakra, frequently called the Sri Yantra.
Stone Carved Sri Chakra at Parashakthi Temple in Pontiac, Michigan, USA
The Sri Yantra in diagrammatic form, showing how its nine interlocking triangles form a total of 43 smaller triangles.

In the Shri Vidya school of Hindu tantra, the Sri Yantra ("sacred instrument", also Sri Chakra) is a diagram formed by nine interlocking triangles that surround and radiate out from the central (bindu) point. It represents the goddess in her form of Shri Lalita Or Tripura Sundari, "the beauty of the three worlds (Heaven, Earth, Hell)".[according to whom?] The worship of the Sri Chakra is central to the Shri Vidya system of Hindu worship. Four isosceles triangles with the apices upwards, representing Shiva or the Masculine. Five isosceles triangles with the apices downward, symbolizing female embodiment Shakti. Thus the Sri Yantra also represents the union of Masculine and Feminine Divine. Because it is composed of nine triangles, it is known as the Navayoni Chakra.[1] "These nine triangles are of various sizes and intersect with one another. In the middle is the power point (bindu), visualizing the highest, the invisible, elusive centre from which the entire figure and the cosmos expand. The triangles are enclosed by two rows of (8 and 16) petals, representing the lotus of creation and reproductive vital force. The broken lines of the outer frame denote the figure to be a sanctuary with four openings to the regions of the universe".[2]

In a recent issue of Brahmavidya, the journal of the Adyar Library, Subhash Kak argues that the description of Sri Yantra is identical to the yantra described in the Śvetāśvatara Upanisad.[3]

Together the nine triangles are interlaced in such a way as to form 43 smaller triangles in a web symbolic of the entire cosmos or a womb symbolic of creation. Together they express Advaita or non-duality. This is surrounded by a lotus of eight petals, a lotus of sixteen petals, and an earth square resembling a temple with four doors.[1] The various deities residing in the nine layers of the Sri Yantra are described in the Devi Khadgamala Mantra.[4]

The Shri Chakra is also known as the nav chakra because it can also be seen as having nine levels. "Nine" comes from "Nau or Nava" of Sanskrit. Each level corresponds to a mudra, a yogini, and a specific form of the deity Tripura Sundari along with her mantra. These levels starting from the outside or bottom layer are:[1]

  1. Trailokya Mohan or Bhupar, a square of three lines with four portals
  2. Sarva Aasa Paripurak, a sixteen-petal lotus
  3. Sarva Sankshobahan, an eight-petal lotus
  4. Sarva Saubhagyadayak, composed of fourteen small triangles
  5. Sara Arthasadhak, composed of ten small triangles
  6. Sarva Rakshakar, composed of ten small triangles
  7. Sarva Rogahar, composed of eight small triangles
  8. Sarva Siddhiprada, composed of 1 small triangle
  9. Sarva Anandamay, composed of a point or bindu

The Sri Chakra (called the Shri Yantra) is the symbol of Hindu tantra, which is based on the Hindu philosophy of Kashmir Shaivism. The Sri Yantra is the object of devotion in Sri Vidya.

The two dimensional Sri Chakra, when it is projected into three dimensions is called a Maha Meru (Mount Meru).

In temples[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Shankaranarayanan, S. (1979). Sri Chakr (3rd ed.). Dipti Publications. 
  2. ^ Kuiper, K (2011). Understanding India: The Culture of India. Britannica Educational Publishing. ISBN 9781615302031. 
  3. ^ http://ikashmir.net/subhashkak/docs/SriChakra.pdf Subhash Kak, The Great Goddess Lalitā and the Śrī Cakra. Brahmavidyā: The Adyar Library Bulletin, vol. 72-73, pp. 155-172, 2008-2009
  4. ^ http://sripoornamahameru.org/downloads/[unreliable source?]
  5. ^ Sri Chakra, Parashakthi Temple. "Sri Chakra at Parashakthi Temple".