The word Yantra means an instrument or a geometric design utilized for worship, fulfilling the desired wishes. In most of the rituals the Yantra is also used by which the mind is concentrated on a fixed object or goal. The God or deity is worshipped either in the form of a pratima (idol), mandala or Yantra. Mandala is a geometric drawing generally drawn or made with various prescribed colors. The difference between mandala and Yantra is that the mandala is used or created for the worship of any god or devata, whereas a Yantra is appropriately used for specific god or goddess or a presiding deity for a specific and desired benefit. After attaining certain spiritual status under the guidance of a learned guru only, the sadhaka is allowed to write or worship the Yantra. The word Yantra is so called because it subdues or it makes ‘Niyantrana’ i.e. Control over the desired outcome. Yantra minimizes sufferings caused due to unfavourable circumstances. Yantra is considered as the physical or three dimensional (3D) form of a mantra that is associated with it. Normally Yantra is designed, engraved or drawn on metal or paper or other materials like the skin of a deer, tiger or on a Bhojpatra. The Yantra is worshipped in the same way as one worships an idol. Since ages people of different civilizations believed in the significance of the geometric designs, representing different gods. In India since Vedic period, people realized the power and energy associated within the geometric symbols, since then Yantras are worshipped by the great rishis, seers and sadhakas. Yantras and mantras are interlinked with each other. Just as one finds different idols of gods and goddesses so as different Yantras for different gods and goddesses. Certain rituals are made in the worship of an idol so also, in the preparation and worship of an Yantra. The sadhaka first meditates upon the god and then arouses Him or Her in himself. Then the god is invoked within self, and then infused into the Yantra by the prana pratishta ceremony, the god is thus installed in the Yantra. By following proper method of worship, systematic and proper recitation of the prescribed mantras, the material elements are induced to make the Yantra powerful.
Just as there are different mantras for different problems there are Yantras for each situation and suffering, which when energized systematically will ward off the pain and confer desired results. They are capable of making an inauspicious planetary influence less troublesome or even to negate the effect altogether.
Mantras are the sacred sound vibrations of sacred syllables composed by great seers or rishis, from the primeval or cosmic ether and translated into very definite syllables with rhythm. The word Mantra is derivative of the two words in Sanskrit. The Sanskrit word ‘man’ means mind and ‘tra’ means relieving or freeing. Thus mantra means that which relieves the mind and its thinking about the material sphere. Each mantra will have different aspects associated with it. Rishi or the seer who composed the mantra; chandas – the metre in which the structure of mantra is written; devata – the presiding god or goddess of the mantra; .Bija or seed – the sacred syllables of the mantra and kilaka – the plug or device that conceals the power of the mantra. It is very important that Yantras have to be prepared by a learned and fully qualified person / tantrika, then infused with the specific energy, through the prescribed process (mantra vidhi). Otherwise, it will remain only as an interesting geometric piece of design but not as an Yantra.
The Yantra is generally drawn or etched on a piece of metal – gold or silver, bronze or copper and even minerals. It can also be drawn on a leaf (bhoorja patra). In modem times paper is also used to draw the Yantras. Usually a long lasting material is used to draw the diagram. After a Yantra is made, to sustain its power the sadhaka should worship it regularly without neglecting the same. Mantras and Yantras must be used with utmost care and dedication by regular puja and other rituals prescribed.
It is necessary that the Yantras are not only be prepared but also be worshipped by the learned and sincere sadhakas. Some times one can experience the ineffectiveness of the Yantras in producing desired results, this is because of improper preparation by an improper person without following the prescribed guidelines or proper method of worship. Yantras are bound by time and space. There are many levels of rituals and worship involved in their preparation as well as their usage, hence, their preparation and usage are advised strictly under the guidance of an able guru.
Even for the preparation of different Yantras there are prescribed periods and time as per the Hindu calendar. The usage of Yantra is also guided by certain rules and regulations. Both for the preparation and usage auspicious months, fortnights, days and astral positions are considered. Sravana, Bhadrapada, Kartika, Magha and Phalguna months are considered good for the preparation of Yantras. Coming to the fortnights, Sukla paksha (the fortnight starting from Amavasya – New Moon and ending with Paurnami – Full Moon) is the preferred one compared to the Krishna paksha (fortnight starting with Paurnami and ending with Amavasya).
In the same way there are different days prescribed for different purpose Yantras and also for different sects of people.
The colours of the Yantras are also defined depending on the usage. The Yantra for controlling others i.e. Vashikaran Yantra be done in red, Yantras for elimination (maarana) or driving away (uchchaatana) the enemies are to be done in black colour, Yantra for attracting (Sammohan) others be done in blue colour while the Yantra for health and wealth be done in orange colour.
Not only the colours, even the lines to draw in a Yantra are to be done in a prescribed manner while creating the Yantra. While drawing / creating the Yantra the lines are to be drawn from east to west if the Yantra under preparation is meant for a good and positive purpose. If the Yantra is for a purpose like warding off evil effects or for the defeat of enemy, the lines in the Yantra are to be drawn from west to east. For the promotion of business or developing the profession the lines prescribed are from north to south. Time of creating the Yantra also has its own merits and demerits. For the Yantras aimed for general good purposes, morning time is prescribed, for bad and evil effects midday is mentioned and for peace and harmony midnight is the suitable time for preparation. Of course, at any time, whether day or night, planetary positions are also to be considered. Materials used for creating the Yantras also differ depending on the type, availability and purpose of the Yantra. They include metal, paper, leaves, minerals, astagandha powder, clay etc.
Depending on the usage and purpose, Yantras are classified into different types like Bhu Prisht Yantras, Meru Prisht Yantras, Patel Yantras, Meru Prastara Yantras and Ruram Prisht Yantras.
Bhu Prisht Yantras are the ones made from the material available from the earth (Bhu). These are again divided into Meru Prisht and Patel Yantras depending on their shape.
Meru Prisht Yantras are the raised ones with a wide base and peaked into a pointed shape at tip like a mountain while the Patel Yantras are the ones which are in the reverse form of Meru Prisht Yantras. These are shaped in the form of a inverted hill.
Meru PrastarYantras are the ones which are in the shape of Meru mountain. RuramPrisht Yantras are the ones which are in the form of a tortoise shell over a rectangular base. Although these are the basic types, depending on the usage of Yantra they are again classified into Sarir Yantras, Dharan Yantras, Asana Yantras, Mandala Yantras and Puja Yantras.
Sarir Yantras are the ones which are worn on the body of a person. Dharan Yantras are also the Yantras to wear (dharan) over the body of a person. Asana Yantras are the ones which are placed in the foundations of the temples, under the seat of a puja in the homes, under the icons of worship, worship places and as well as temples. Mandal Yantras are the ones which are formed temporarily by the sadhakas. Nine sadhakas sit on all the four sides, four diagonal positions and one in the centre forming into the shape of a Yantra / mandala. The sadhaka in the centre forms the lead one chanting the mantra while the others repeat the same. Puja Yantras are the ones which are quite popular and in general use by householders and sadhakas like the Sri Chakra Yantra which is considered as the Chakra Raja -the king of all Yantras. They are also used in temples for worship. ChatarYantras are similar to the Dharan and Sarir Yantras and are placed either in the pocket of a person or under the turban on the head. Darshan Yantras are the Yantras found in temples placed for the view (darshan) and worship by the devotees. They are to be seen / worshipped in the mornings.
All the Yantras are associated with mantras. Mantras consisting of different bccjas (seed letters) are to be associated with Yantras depending on the purpose and usage of the same. Yantra creation is a highly scientific work to be undertaken by an experienced guru or sadhaka keeping in view all the points prescribed in the texts.
However, Mantramahodadhi elaborately deals with the Yantras and gives a detailed and different version about the Yantras in a chapter named Yantroddhara. It says that Lord Siva taught about this vidya to his consort Parvati.
To know the result of the proposed Yantra the sadhaka is about to write, he has to follow the following procedure. On an auspicious day he should start with a prayer to his family deity and perform japa of the deity’s mantra. He should observe celibacy and spend three days in dhyana. During these three days he should eat only the havishya bhojana (the remains of the homa offering – prasada to the deity ) and sleep on the floor. On the third day night he would see in a dream about the result of the Yantra he is going to write / prepare. It will be informed in his dream as one of the following i.e. siddha, sadhya, susiddha and ari. Siddha, sadhya and susiddha are the favourable indications to the sadhaka to go ahead with the desired preparation of the Yantra. If he gets the ari indication he should not go ahead with the writing of the Yantra as ari means enemy and it should never be prepared if there is an indication in the dream. The writing / preparation procedure of Yantra is also given in Mantramahodadhi. Mantramahodadhi also says that those sadhakas who intend to write Yantras
should worship Bhuta lipi consisting of 40 letters – am, im, um, rum………………sham, sam. It also
says that not only the Yantra writer but also the person who wears or worships the Yantra should know Bhuta lipi and mantra for quick and good results. Mantramahodadhi says that the sadhaka who intends to prepare the Yantra should perform japa of the Bhuta lipi mantra for one lakh times and perform homa with 1/10th of japa i.e. ten thousand times, then the sadhaka gets siddhi for writing the Yantra. While writing the Yantra he should also meditate upon Swarnakarshana Bhairava to get the total results. The Yantra written / prepared by a sadhaka who obtained siddhi in the above mentioned way surely gets the desired results otherwise the Yantra prepared will remain only as an ornamental piece.
Apart from different Yantras for different deities, Mantramahodadhi also informs different other Yantras for various purposes. They include Vasikarana Yantra (to attract and control others), Divya- Stambhana Yantra (to make fire and water ineffective over sadhaka’s body), Raj-Mohana Yantra (to attract and control the king / superior officer), Swamvara Yantra – Yantra for overcoming delay in marriage (For attracting desired life partner), Vivada vijayaprada Yantra (to come out of disputes successfully), BhrutyavasyakaraYantra (to get the servant under control), Raja Vashikaran Yantra (to get the superior officer under control), Vidveshana Yantra (to make a rift between two persons) Jvarahara Yantra (to control the fever), Saakini nivartaka Yantra (to prevent the bad spirits like bhuta, preta, pisacha powers), Sarpa bhayahara Yantra (to remove fear of serpents), Mrutyumjaya Yantra (to drive away the fear of death), etc.
Thus, like mantra, the Yantras also should be worshipped only after knowing the proper way of worship through a siddha guru or sadhaka (the guru or sadhaka who obtained siddhi) who is experienced and well informed. Mantramahodadhi also warns that experimenting with Yantras by the inexperienced persons with bookish knowledge, particularly in trying to create them, will lead to adverse results. Hence, Yantras should be worshipped or utilized under the guidance of a proper guru or sadhaka for better results and moksha – the ultimate bliss.