The Sanskrit word 'yantra' derives from the root 'yam' meaning to sustain, or hold. Hence in metaphysical terms a yantra is visualized as receptacle of the highest spiritual essence.
A Yantra is a pure geometric configuration, composed of basic primal shapes. These shapes are psychological symbols corresponding to inner states of human consciousness. This innate simplicity of composition is identified with spiritual presence. The use of such elementary shapes is not simplistic but represents the highest conception in visual terms, because the projection of the symbol is then direct and bold, so that even a small miniature can create a sense of expansiveness.
The dynamism of tantric imagery is generated by a quest for geometric order. A yantra represents a particular configuration whose power increases in proportion to the abstraction and precision of the diagram. A yantra gradually grows away from its center, in stages, until its expansion is complete. Around the center are several concentric figures which take part in this expansion. This concentric architecture defines the volume of the yantra and creates a rhythmic unity.
The predominant elementary forms of which yantras are constituted are the point, line, circle, triangle, square and the lotus symbol. All of these forms are juxtaposed, combined, intersected and repeated in various ways to produce the desired objective.
Each yantra satisfies a different purpose, which is indicated in its title, signifying either the primary deity associated with it, or the particular problem which meditation on the Yantra will help resolve.
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