The Sri Yantra ("sacred instrument") or Sri Chakra ("sacred wheel") or Mahameru [3D] is a yantra formed by nine interlocking triangles that surround and radiate out from the central (bindu) point, the junction point between the physical universe and its unmanifest source. It represents the goddess in her form of Shri Lalita Or Tripura Sundari, "the beauty of the three worlds (Heaven, Earth, Hell)". 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. "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".
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. The various deities residing in the nine layers of the Sri Yantra are described in the Devi Khadgamala Mantra.
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:
- Trailokya Mohan or Bhupar, a square of three lines with four portals
- Sarva Aasa Paripurak, a sixteen-petal lotus
- Sarva Sankshobahan, an eight-petal lotus
- Sarva Saubhagyadayak, composed of fourteen small triangles
- Sara Arthasadhak, composed of ten small triangles
- Sarva Rakshakar, composed of ten small triangles
- Sarva Rogahar, composed of eight small triangles
- Sarva Siddhiprada, composed of 1 small triangle
- Sarva Anandamay, composed of a point or bindu
Sri Chakra, popularly mistaken to be a symbol of Lakshmi, is actually a representation of Lalita Mahatripurasundari, an aspect of Parvati Devi. Shri does not mean Wealth in this context. The term 'Shri' is used to denote the reverence to be given to this holy Yantra. The prefix 'Shri' denotes that the Yantra is auspicious, beneficent, salutary, benign and conducive to prosperity.The Shri Chakra is often referred as the Chakra Raja which means King of all Chakra which makes it a supreme instrument in the path of spiritual advancement.
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The two dimensional Sri Chakra, when it is projected into three dimensions is called a Maha Meru (or Great Mountain of Pyramids viewed from top)
Sri Chakra installed in temples
- Parashakthi Temple Rajagopuram in Pontiac, Michigan, USA.
- Kamakshi temple, Jonnawada, Nellore installed by Adi Shankaracharya
- Kamakshi temple, Kanchipuram#
- Kalikambal temple, Chennai
- Kamakshi temple, Mangadu, Chennai
- Shree Kali Temple, Out side Sanganeri Gate, MotiDunri Road, Jaipur
- Nimishamba temple, SriRangapatana, Mysore District.
- Prasanna Meenakshi Temple, Shivanasamudra, Malavalli Tk, Mandya Dist,Karnataka.
- Kollur Mookambike Temple, Udupi dist, Karnataka installed by Adi Shankaracharya
- Pashupatinath Temple, Nepal, At the roof of Ganga Mai temple (This temple is carved in shape of meru shri yantra)
- Matrubhuteshwar Temple, Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai installed by Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi
- At Kamakhya Temple, Guwhati, Assam (This mandir itself in the shape of shree yantra)
- Puthenkavil Devi Temple, Cherumukha, Nooranad, Alapphuzha, Kerala
- Sri Thyagarajaswamy udanurai Vadivudai amman temple Thyagaraja Temple, Tiruvottiyur, - Installed by Adi shankara
- Shankaranarayanan, S. (1979). Sri Chakr (3rd ed.). Dipti Publications.
- Kuiper, K (2011). Understanding India: The Culture of India. Britannica Educational Publishing. ISBN 9781615302031.
- 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
-  Lalita Tripurasundari, the Red Goddess & Shri Yantra
- Sri Chakra, Parashakthi Temple. "Sri Chakra at Parashakthi Temple".