Antahkarana – Symbolism and Meaning

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A powerful healing symbol used in yoga and meditation, the antahkarana has a hexagonal form with three sevens, set within a circle. Like other geometric shapes that have been part of religious symbolism throughout history, the antahkarana is also said to have profound meaning. Here’s a closer look at the origin and significance of the antahkarana symbol.

History of the Antahkarana Symbol

The antahkarana is derived from the Sanskrit terms antar, which means inner or more intimate and the word karana, meaning cause or sense organ. When translated, the term literally means internal organ, as well as the inner cause. In Hindu philosophy, the term antahkarana refers to the mind, which includes the memory, sense of self, intellect, thinking and judgment.

In Marathi, an Indo-European language, it refers to the conscience, the heart, and even the spiritual part of humans. Therefore, it’s also regarded as the connection between the body and the spirit, as well as the emotional state of a person.

There is no written record of its origin, but many believe the symbol was given by Ascended Masters or spiritually enlightened beings at the beginning of the lost civilization of Lemuria over hundred years ago.

According to Reiki and the Healing Buddha, the symbol probably originated from China, since its cube-like form enclosed in a circle is symbolic to Chinese culture. The square represents the earth while the circle represents the heaven in Chinese symbology. The square can also represent Yin and the circle Yang in Feng Shui.

  • In Tibetan Meditation Ritual

Many believe that the symbol has been used for thousands of years in Tibet, the mainly-Buddhist territory and autonomous region in China, as a sacred healing and meditation tool. The Tibetan meditation ritual is sometimes referred to as the yantra meditation, where the meditator gazes on visual images or sacred symbolisms to focus the mind.

It has a healing and cleansing effect on the body—in mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects. In meditation practice, candlelit rooms with large clay bowls filled with water and a silver stool with the antahkarana symbol inlaid on it is common. The meditation space is described as having one wall with a copper mirror and an opposite wall decorated with healing symbols, called Reiki symbols.

The meditator, usually the Tibetan Lama or spiritual leader, would sit on the silver stool inlaid with antahkarana symbol and gaze at the Reiki symbols reflected in the copper mirror. The antahkarana symbol is believed to release an energy that will affect the human aura, and reach the chakras or the energy points in the body.

  • Types of Antahkarana Symbols
antahkarana symbol

While it’s generally depicted as a two-dimensional hexagon or three-dimensional cube with three sevens inside the circle, the symbol can be classified as male and female, and can be represented in square or a cross to amplify its energy.

The Male Symbol: Also referred to as the yang antahkarana, this features shorter and thicker arms. Its sturdy looking design represents its intense energy, which is commonly used for fast healing, boosting vitality and amplifying the chakras.

The Female Symbol: Also called the yin antahkarana, it’s depicted with longer and thinner arms. Its gentle energy is used for relaxation and healing, as well as relieving emotional traumas.

The Square Antahkarana Symbol: A group of 16 small antahkarana symbols enclosed in a square is used to ward off negativity and increase the healing energies.

The Cosmic Cross: Consisting of 13 small symbols with seven antahkaranas crossing each other, this variation is commonly used to purify the heart, and open it to a positive energy.

  • The Science of Radionics

Also referred to as the electromagnetic therapy or EMT, Radionics is a metaphysical science that claims an illness can be cured with electromagnetic radiation. It supports the idea of using visual images in yantra meditation to influence the human consciousness and emotions on a psychic level. For this reason, many believe that the antahkarana symbol itself affects the chakra in a positive way.

Meaning and Symbolism of the Antahkarana

antahkarana symbol

Even though its exact origins are unclear, the antahkarana symbol represents various philosophical concepts of Buddhism and Hinduism. Here are some of them:

  • A Symbol of HealingAccording to the beliefs of many Eastern religions, the antahkarana has its own conscience, and its presence creates a positive effect in chakras and amplifies healing energies. Apart from Reiki healing, it’s used in hypnotherapy, chiropractic treatment, Jin Shin Jyutsu, Qigong breathing exercises, and other wellness practices to restore the energetic balance of the whole body.
  • A Path of Spiritual Enlightenment – According to The Theosophical Glossary, the definition differs in every sect and philosophy, as for some the antahkarana refers to a bridge between the spiritual perspective and ordinary mind, which in Hinduism is called the Higher and Lower Manas.

No wonder it’s also regarded as a spiritual tool for meditation and prayer. The symbol also incorporates the number 7 three times, which is believed to be meaningful—the 7 chakras, 7 spheres of the spiritual realms and so on.

  • Protection against Dark Entities and Negativity – Many believe that the symbol has positive attributes and no harm can come from using it. Also, it neutralizes negative energies and promotes harmony.

Antahkarana Symbol in Modern Times

Today, the antahkarana symbol is used for meditation, healing, and spiritual cleansing. Since it’s believed to neutralize negative energies and heal, the antahkarana symbol is commonly placed on walls, furniture, massage tables, chairs, mattresses, and under pillows.

Some choose to wear the symbol in jewelry designs, to keep it close. It’s commonly designed into necklace pendants, bracelets and rings. Some designs are made of gold, silver, stainless steel, hand carved wood, and even glass, and often decorated with colorful resin or gemstones.

In Brief

The antahkarana as the symbol of healing is based on the Buddhist and the Hindu philosophies of the chakras. It remains a powerful symbol used in meditation and alternative medicine to ward off illness and negative energies.