How does the Yantra design work?
Stella Kramrisch defined a yantra as “a geometrical contrivance by which any aspect of the Supreme Principle may be bound to any spot for the purpose of worship. It is an artifice in which the ground is converted into the extent of the manifest universe.”
That’s a fancy way of saying that if you can see a spiritual concept, you can meditate on it. This idea is similar to sitting in front of a cross to pray. Yantras seek to illustrate the flow of energies upward and downward between the spiritual and physical planes.
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To use a yantra or a mandala for meditation simply gaze at the center of the device as you meditate. If you have a printed or painted mandala, yantra or tratakum (photo of a guru, deity or saint) that you wish to meditate on it is advisable to light a candle in front of it and gaze at the flame, sitting at a distance of about 30 inches. This is to help attract the influence of the energy you are focusing upon, whether it is a Hundu deity, an ancestor, your Guidance, or a painting of Jesus, the flame can help with focus.
Most yantras are so ancient that their origins are a mystery. Some form of yantra can be found in almost every religion.
How does Mantra work?
A freight train is a great metaphor for mantra. Each word or thought represents one train car and most of the time our thoughts are parked every which way in the rail yard. By choosing and practicing the right mantra we are getting our train on the track to achievement. It may start slowly, but it is powerful, focused, and it has incredible capacity to turn intentions into realities. This type of meditation (and gong or singing bowl meditation) is also easier for people who find it difficult to quiet the mind during silent meditations.
Mantras are typically done with the help of a mala or a rosary, which makes it possible to count off each repetition, naturally defining the time period for the meditation or prayer, without the distraction of watching a clock.
There are also English mantras such as “I am, I am,” which are effective. Repetitive prayers such as those done on a Catholic rosary are also good. No matter what mantra you are using you are decreasing extraneous chatter from the Ego, and increasing the peaceful space between you as the witness and the seemingly solid realities you seems to be faced with. This grants an important element of freedom to choose in life. It can also help to consciously “set” pathways in your brain which can then be called on instantly to evoke a desirable frame of mind in difficult situations.
Planetary Bija (Seed) Mantras:
Address the planetary energies in the same way you’d address an intelligent friend whose advice you valued and anticipated. Do not bother to ask or petition for things, since you are most likely to gain useful knowledge and aide by simply being receptive to guidance.
The Sun (Surya) mantra is best used on Sundays, particularly during the day time and at dawn or sunset.
The Moon (Chandra or Soma) mantra works best on Mondays.
Mars (Mangala) mantra works best on Tuesdays. Only use this mantra if your Mars is beneficial for your Vedic Ascendant.
Mercury (Budha, not associated with the Buddha) mantra is best on Wednesdays.
Jupiter (Brihaspati or Guru) mantra is best on Thursdays.
However, Jupiter is very beneficial for most people so it gets used quite often, not only on Thursdays.
Do not fear if this mantra sounds too complex for you. There are simpler equivalent mantras:
“Om Guravay Namaha” or “Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha” are also associated with Jupiter.
Venus (Shukra) mantra is for Friday.
Saturn (Shani) mantras work best on Saturdays.
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