In Hindu Tantra the Sri Yantra is a model of the geometry of the universe. The central portion is constructed of nine triangles, four upward for Shiva, the idea of creation, and five downward for Shakti, the power of creation. As such then it is a tool for the practice of the unification, that is, the yoga, with Shiva, Supreme Consciousness, and with Brahman, the Absolute, through the bindu, the singularity in the center. The power of the yantra is based on resonance associated with the forms that make up the diagram.
The practice, sadhana, is a process of mantras, seed sounds based on the syllables of the Sanskrit alphabet. combined with visualizations or symbols, and special breath, pranayam, as one follows a path tracing a spiral through the diagram. The path begins at one of four the entrances to the temple, with the perfection of the physical body, emotions and mind, giving access to three creation circuits of Brahma, two cycles of lotus petals of Vishnu into 4 cycles of sub-triangles of Shiva to the singularity, portal to the unmanifest, for a total of 12 dimensions.
HINDU TANTRA and the SRI YANTRA
The yantra is a geometrical pattern made of several concentric figures (squares, circles, lotuses, triangles, point). The point (bindu) at the center of the yantra signifies unity, the origin, the principle of manifestation and emanation. A yantra is the yogic equivalent of the Buddhist mandala
The expansion of these concentric figures away from the center (bindu), symbolizes the process of macrocosmic evolution. Conversely as they contract towards the center, this is for human beings a symbol of the process of microcosmic involution.
According to Tantra, the creation of the world begins with an act of division of the opposites that are united in the deity. From their splitting arises, in an explosion of energy, the multiplicity of the world. Starting from pure unity (Shiva), the world is a continuous unfolding (energized by the power of Shakti), until a state is reached, when the process must reverse and involute back to the very beginning. Multiplicity must once again become unity. Yantras are symbolic representations of this process of evolution and involution
The human being is a miniature universe. All that is found in the cosmos can be found within each individual, and the same principles that apply to the universe apply in the case of the individual being. For human beings the body is considered the most perfect and powerful of all yantras and is seen as a tool for inner awareness.
A yantra makes the process of evolution conscious to the adept of Tantrism. It enables the adept to retrace his steps from the outward-directed world of multiplicity to the inward focus of unity.
All primal shapes of a yantra are psychological symbols corresponding to inner states of human consciousness. Yantras are sacred symbols of the process of involution and evolution. Man‘s spiritual journey from the stage of material existence to ultimate enlightenment is mapped on the Sri Yantra. The spiritual journey is taken as a pilgrimage in which every step is an ascent to the center, a movement beyond one’s limited existence, and every level is nearer to the goal.
Advaita Vedanta brought the Vedas and its pantheon of dieties to an end supplanting them with Brahman, the absolute source of all things. Advaita vedanta = non-duality 3 main scriptures: Upanishads, Brahma sutras and the Bhagavad Gita. ISHVARA the manifest creator of the universe, mediates between Brahman and atman. Ishvara has 3 main aspects: Shiva (transformer), Vishnu (maintainer) and Brahma (creator). although all three may be worshipped as the supreme creator.
According to the philosophy of Tantra, the entire universe is a manifestation of pure consciousness. In manifesting the universe, this pure consciousness seems to become divided into two poles or aspects, Shiva and Shakti, neither of which can exist without the other. Each requires the other in order to manifest its total nature. Shiva, is masculine, retains a static quality and remains identified with unmanifested consciousness. Shiva has the power to be but not the power to become or change. Shakti, is feminine, dynamic, energetic and creative. Shakti is the Great Mother of the universe, for it is from her that all form is born.
According to Tantra, the human being is a miniature universe. All that is found in the cosmos can be found within each individual, and the same principles that apply to the universe apply in the case of the individual being. In human beings, Shakti, the feminine aspect is called Kundalini. This potential energy is said to rest at the base of the spinal cord. The object of the Tantric practice of Kundalini-yoga is to awaken this cosmic energy and make it ascend through the psychic centers, the chakras, as consciousness potentials, that lie along the axis of the spine . She will then unite above the crown of the head with Shiva the pure consciousness. This union is the aim of Kundalini-yoga: a resolution of duality into unity again, a fusion with the Absolute. By this union the adept attains liberation while living which is considered in Indian life to be the highest experience: an union of the individual with the universe. Once Kundalini Shakti has ascended to above the crown of the head and merged with Shiva, it is made to reverse its course and return to rest at the base of the spine.
In Tantrism the state of ultimate bliss is a transcendence of dualities male-female, energy-consciousness, Shiva-Shakti.
In addition to the seven chakras of the subtle body, the Tantras have described a network of subtle channels known as nadis through which the life force (prana) circulate. Nadi means “stream”. According to the tantric treatise Shiva Samhita, there are fourteen principal nadis. Of these, Ida, Pingala and Sushumna are considered the most important.
Ida is the left channel. Ida is white, feminine, cold, represents the moon and is associated with the river Ganga (Ganges). Originating in Muladhara, Ida ends up in the left nostril.
Pingala is the right channel. Pingala is red, masculine, hot, represents the sun and is associated with the river Yamuna. Originating in Muladhara, Pingala ends up in the right nostril.
Sushumna is the central channel and is associated with the river Saraswati. Within the Sushumna nadi there are three more subtle channels: Vajra, Chitrini and Brahma nadi through which Kundalini moves upwards running up the body from just below Muladhara chakra to Sahasrara chakra at the crown of the head.
The kanda in Muladhara chakra is the meeting place of the three main nadis and is known as Yukta Triveni (Yukta: “combined”, tri: “three”, veni: “streams”). In Muladhara, Shakti, the static unmanifested Kundalini, is symbolized by a serpent coiled into three and a half circles around the central axis Svayambhu-linga at the base of the spine. The serpent lies blocking the entrance to Sushumna, the central channel with his mouth. Sushumna remains closed at its lower end as long as Kundalini is not awakened.
The technique of Kundalini Yoga consists in using Prana (the vital air), guiding its circulatory movement through Ida and Pingala down to the base of the spine into the space where Kundalini lies coiled. The vital energies of the opposite forces circulating in Ida and Pingala will be unified and Shakti Kundalini will then awaken and rise up Sushumna, energizing the seven chakras.
From Muladhara chakra, Ida and Pingala alternate from the right to left sides at each chakra until they reach Ajna chakra where they meet again with Sushumna.
In Ajna chakra the meeting of the three main nadis is called Mukta Triveni (Mukta: “liberated”). Continuing beyond Ajna chakra, Ida and Pingala end in the left and right nostrils respectively.
Once the Kundalini Shakti has ascended through Sushumna to Sahasrara, the highest psychic center at the crown of the head, it is made to reverse its course and return to rest in the base center again