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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sri Yantra and Tantra school of philosophy

Many great saints of India – including Adi  Shankaracharya, Dnyaneshwar, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu – were believers of the Tantra school of philosophy. 

Most of the Tantric philosophical texts were written by  Abhinav Gupta in Kashmir around the 10th  century CE. 

The fundamental premise of these works was the essential  interconnectedness of the universe and the individual. It promoted the arousing  of the dormant psychic energy in every human being to conjoin with the cosmic  energy. Sri Yantra is one of the sacred shapes designed to symbolize  this union and is a powerful energy centre.

In fact, Tantra philosophy is based on  accurate scientific data. Science believes that there are energy centres in the  universe and after much thought and research, great seers have designed  configurations of shapes – comprising circles, squares and triangles – to  denote these centres. 

Sri Yantra is one such configuration of triangles,  which denotes the four-fold abstract energy, which is called Purusha, and the  five-fold matter energy, which projects itself as creation. 

“The Tantrik configuration of  shapes is not only common to Indiacentric religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism  and Jainism but also to Christianity and Judaism. 

The recent best-seller book –  Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code – chronicles that the Blade and the Holy  Grail (Purush and Prakriti) were two triangles, one facing upward and one  facing downwards. These were considered sacred symbols of Christianity and  symbolized the energy of creation – combining the male and female aspects of  Nature or divinity.  The Star of David –  a holy symbol for the Jews – too included two such triangles. 

Recently, Rashmi delivered a  lecture in on the evolution of the Sri Yantra at the Museum Society of  Bombay. 

“This Yantra is part of the expression of the epiphanic  experience of Tantrik art. The Sri Yantra is a figure which has four  upward facing triangles and five downward facing triangles,” she says, 

“The  four upward triangles represent consciousness – and symbolize Chitta, Mana,  Buddhi and Ahankar (Antahkaran) which describe the Purush or the doer-witness  concept of nature. The downward pointing triangles symbolize the five Tanmatras  i.e. Sparsh or vayu, Roop or fire, Rasa or water, Gandha or prithvi and Akash  or shabda. These are the five elements through which the universal consciousness  or Purush creates matter. 

The concept describes cosmic energy, which through  its vibrations creates matter and movement. It is also seen as a combination of  the male and female aspects of power or the confluence of Karmendriyas and  Gyanendriyas.”


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