Yantra & Mantra
Traditional Tantric Practices
Tantra is a spiritual path that embraces life in order to awaken consciousness. Within Tantra Yoga various techniques are used such as mantra, yantra, ritual and meditation to purify and energize our being thus bringing a deeper awareness of our spiritual existence. Tantra cultivates a devotional approach to practice, emphasizing the worship of the Goddess, Shakti and her consort Shiva. As we go deeper into the practice we ultimately experience the divine union of these masculine and feminine attributes.
A mantra is the sound form a particular energy; specific sounds, words or phrases are repeated. By practising the repetition of mantra either by verblising the sound internally or externally we commune with and invoke the beneficial energies specific to the mantra. Mantra is an important tool used in many spiritual practices and can even be combined with the practice of yoga asana. The word ‘mantra’ is derived from two words – ‘manas’ meaning the cognitive mind, and ‘trai’ meaning to protect or free from. Hence mantra is a tool that can be used to become free from the mind.
The yantra is a geometrical, usually symmetrical, design which can be focused upon as a tool for meditation. The different geometric patterns symbolically represent different aspects of the creative forces of the universe. For instance the central point represents the absolute or the infinite, the four gates around the edge represent the four directions. . Yantras can also be empowered by invoking a mantra over the yantra, so that it becomes a living form of its particular energy, which is often a particular aspect of the Goddess, such as Tara or Saraswati. By combining the use of the mantra with the yantra we can experience true Tantra, Union.