AGHORA, At the Left Hand of God Book by Robert Svoboda

A must-read to understand Tantra, Yantra and Mantra.
In Bhagwat Gita, Lord Krishna says; The purpose behind, creating and worshipping a divine entity is so that, that divine entity reflects that action on our self, thereby raising us to a higher level of living ascribed by that deity.

This is the idea behind the worshipping of Saraswati, the Goddess of knowledge to make us cleverer or worshipping Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth to make us wealthier. These deities which we create are not just mere figments of our imagination, we breathe life into them every time we meditate upon and worship them.

There are many ways of creating such divine entities and energizing them so that they magnify and reflect that energy into us. One of the direct forms of doing this is by reciting the sound Mantra and realizing the form yantra of the corresponding energy.

This book expands on the science behind these yantras and how one can make use of them.

There are many kinds of Yantras. Some in a circular pattern are called as Mandalas, some in Pyramid shape called as Meru’s, and some with numbers in them called Sankhya Yantras .

There are many categorizations based on where they are drawn and how they are used. But the basic principles behind the working of all these Yantras are the same. There are four basic aspects to understand in any Yantra.

The first is the symbols used to create, second, the surface on which it is created, third, the ingredients which are used to make it, and finally the process of energizing and benefiting from it. Let us have a brief look at all these. Step by step.

Yantras are just varying complexities of geometrical arrangements, which have a direct physiological impact on the geometrical shapes within the Human body. They are made up of simple symbols like Dots, Circles, Lines, and polygons. There is an established science on how to create a divine entity using precise geometric arrangements.

This knowledge is spread across hundreds of textbooks of Agama and Tantra shastras. These books include Yantra Chintamani, Bruhat Samhita, Mrgendra Agama and kiranAgama.

The word Agama means “the arrival of something”, in this context, it means making the divine arrive.

  • The Agama shastras denote that a Bindu or a dot represents the source. It is usually located at the center of the Yantra and represents the ruling deity of that Yantra.
  • Circle represents infinite space and expansiveness. It represents the akasha or the space element.
  • A square represents the fixed space and rigidity. It is associated with the Bhumi or the earth element.
  • An upward-pointing triangle represents masculine energy and the fire element. Agni
  • The downward-pointing triangle represents terminal energy and the water element called jala.

This representation is also symbolic of fire always trying to rise upward and water always trying to flow downward. A combination of these triangles forms a 6-pointed star. Represents balance and equilibrium, a perfect state of being.

A clockwise figure represents creation and birth and an anti-clockwise figure that represents dissolution and death.

Two squares superimposed to form an Octagon sometimes represent fire and sometimes represent preservation.

Lotus petals are also used to represent aspects of the yantra which are strictly not a part of the geometric form, but a consequence of the energy unit.

These aspects are seen as the Parivar or the family of the energy manifest at the center.

Some Yantras have numbers inscribed on them. The meanings of these numbers vary based on the context of usage of the Yantra.

Some Sankhya Yantras represent the 9 forms of Shakti, called Nava Durgas, while some represent the 11 forms of Rudra, Called Ekadasha mudras.

All these aspects spread out across the Yantra, are ascribed with names, humanoid forms, vehicles, and weapons which depict the nature of energy which is manifest there.

The second aspect is the surface on which Yantra is drawn, starting from just plain earth or stone to various metals like copper, silver, and gold, and even some alloys, there are many surfaces on which yantras can be drawn. The only criteria is that the surface needs to be flat and conducive to holding the yantra without any disturbance, at least for the period of usage of the Yantra.

Also, surfaces that conduct energy better like copper, silver, and gold are much more vibrant and effective than surfaces that are inert like plastic. Coming to the ingredients used to create the shapes of these Yantras, again there are many conducive materials.

Agama texts also mention the use of different substances based on the colors that need to be used to draw the Yantra.

The most common of all is ground rice, which is used for white components of the Yantra turmeric for yellow, crushed red brick for red color, powdered green gram for green color and so on.

There is also mention of the usage of flowers and gemstones based on the kind of process the yantra is used for. And of course, if the medium is a metal plate or stone, one can engrave or etch the entire pattern onto it.

The next aspect is the mode of worship, the idea behind worship for pooja is to energize the form and internalize it. Various substances are rich in potential like flowers, and milk. Honey, curd, turmeric, and sacred ash are used to energize yantra. Based on what kind of a deity is being invoked into the geometrical form that kind of an energy source is offered to the yantra as well. These entities could again be categorized as Sattvic, Rajasic, or Tamasic, and correspondingly, such kinds of food, substances, and ingredients are offered.

The simplest way of energizing the Yantra is, of course, through thought. Visualizing and internalizing the pattern in our minds means we are pouring our life energies into creating the yantra. This is the least resource-intensive process of benefiting from a yantra, if only once the thought process is steady enough to hold and sustain the visualization.

One can start this process by focusing on the Yantra with eyes open and slowly internalizing the form before closing one size to meditate on the form for longer durations.

In summary, a yantra or form is a representation of a mantra sound. The devata or deity is an embodiment of the mantra. The yantra is to the deity, as the body is to the being, and as oil is to a lamp. Similarly, all deities have their corresponding yantras ascribed to them.

This book sets a context before we start exploring individual yantras and their benefits. Without the proper context, this performance of creating and worshipping deities for our well-being might seem fake and fairy tale-ish.