Sri Yantra – Symbolism and Meaning

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The Sri Yantra, also known as the Sri Chakra, is a mystical diagram used in the Sri Vidya school of Hinduism. Out of hundreds of yantras related to principles, deities and planets, the Sri Yantra is said to be one of the most auspicious and powerful of all. It’s called the ‘queen of yantras’ because all other yantras were derived from it. It’s also widely used in Hindu ceremonies and meditation practices.

The Sri Yantra is viewed as a sacred object in Hinduism, usually drawn on paper, fabric or wood. It can be found engraved in metals or other materials and is even designed in 3D form in metal, mud or sand.  

So why is the Sri Yantra so important among Hindu symbols, and what does it stand for? In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at the story behind this sacred symbol and what it signifies.

History of Sri Yantra

Although it’s been in use for thousands of years, the origin of this symbol is clouded in mystery. The earliest known portrait of the Sri Yantra is seen in the religious institution Spigari Majha which was established by the famous philosopher Sankara in the 8th century.

Some scholars claim that the Sri Yantra dates back to the time of the Upanishads, late Vedic Sanskrit texts containing religious teachings and ideas that are still revered in Hinduism.

Symbolism of Sri Yantra

Sri yantra symbol

The Sri Yantra symbol consists of nine interlocking triangles which is why it’s also known as the Navayoni Chakra.

The triangles surround a central point called the ‘bindu’ and are representative of the totality of the cosmos and the human body.

When represented in three dimensions, it’s called a Mahameru which is where the Mount Meru got its name from.

Sri Yantra and Spirituality

sri yantra symbol

The Sri Yantra is said to be the symbolic form of all the Gods and Goddesses in Hinduism. According to Hindu beliefs Brahma (the Lord of the Earth) possessed it and Vishnu (the Creator of the Universe) praised it. The symbol has several elements, so let’s first examine what they represent.

The Inner Figure of Interlocking Triangles

This figure is symmetric in a vertical central axis and contains upward and downward pointing triangles. The triangles which point upward symbolize the male element and the downward-pointing triangles symbolize the female aspect of divinity. Four of the triangles are male and 5 are female. The interlocking of the triangles is symbolic of the opposite principles complementing each other and the general balance and symmetry of the entire figure represents the unity of god.

The Two Concentric Rings with the Lotus Design

The outer pattern bears 16 lotus petals whereas the inner pattern has 8. These petals represent the sanctity of the diagram inside, used as a tool for yoga meditation. Each of the 8 petals governs an activity such as speech, motion, grasping, revulsion, enjoyment, attraction, equanimity and excretion.

The 16 petals represent the complete fulfilment of all one’s hopes and desires. They represent the ten organs of perception and the five elements: earth, fire, water, space and air. The sixteenth petal represents one’s mind which collects and interprets information from the perceptions of the interacting elements.

The Frame

The frame of the symbol has a pattern which looks similar to that of a key and represents a ground-plan of a temple. The plan has 4 square-shaped openings, one on each of the 4 sides and this sanctuary is said to be the seat of the chosen deity and represents one’s Higher Self.

How to Use the Sri Yantra

The Sri Yantra is not just a beautiful symbol, but also a tool to aid in meditation. There are many ways in which this can be done. Here’s one method of meditating with the Sri Yantra:

  1. Begin by focusing on the central dot
  2. Allow yourself to notice the triangle surrounding the central dot
  3. Notice the many triangles within the circle and what they represent
  4. Start taking in the circles within which the triangles are set
  5. Focus your attention on the lotus petals and how they’re positioned
  6. Bring your awareness to the square that frames the image and notice how they point
  7. Finally, gaze at the entire yantra and notice the different shapes and patterns within it
  8. You can then go in reverse back to the central dot
  9. Close your eyes and meditate on the image of the yantra unfolding in your mind’s eye

This video gives you another take on meditating with Sri Yantra.

Sri Yantra and Vaastu – The Art of Architecture

There is a deep connection between the Sri Yantra and the Ancient Art of Vaastu, a traditional Indian system of architecture. It’s also specifically mentioned in the traditional texts known as the Vaastu Shastra. Even now, if any building construction is based on Vaastu, it must essentially have Sri Yantra in it.

Sri Yantra – A Source of Supreme Energy

The Sri Yantra is very powerful since it was built with the principles of sacred geometry. It’s a highly sensitive source of supreme energy with outstanding magnetic powers. It’s said to be an energy store which picks up cosmic ray waves sent out by all objects in the universe, transforming them into positive vibrations. The vibrations are then transmitted out to the surroundings wherever the Sri Yantra is placed and they destroy all the destructive forces within the area.

In this way, the Sri Yantra is said to bring good fortune, wealth and prosperity into one’s life. Regular practice of the meditation calms the mind, bringing mental stability and if you focus on each element of the symbol, it’s believed to give deeper enlightenment on a specific deity.

Sri Yantra in Fashion and Jewelry

The Sri Yantra is a highly popular and sacred symbol used in fashion and jewelry. Most popular jewelry items include charms, pendants and earrings but it’s also seen on bracelets and rings. There are also many types of unique clothing items featuring this symbol that are designed and sold around the world for men, women and children. Below is a list of the editor’s top picks featuring the Sri Yantra symbol.

Editor's Top Picks
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Last update was on: October 17, 2021 3:30 pm

In Brief

The Sri Yantra continues to be highly sacred and revered by Hindus from all corners of the globe and is often considered to hold the answer to all problems and negativity in life. It’s believed that any person who uses the Sri Yantra can achieve greater peace, affluence, success and harmony.