"A Yantra is like a Divine battery: it receives and holds the Divine energy because it connects with the Universe and draws all the panchabootha — the Universal forces — into itself. Whoever comes into the presence of that yantra and sits in front of it will also receive the Divine’s blessings in the form of that positive energy."
-Sri Sakthi Amma
Sri Sakthi Amma
A Discourse on Yantras
As you know, Amma has already created so many good things for this world, and in addition to all these things, Amma is now creating this special Narayani yantra.
This yantra will be installed in front of the Big Narayani temple in Peedam and once a year, devotees will be allowed to personally perform abhishekam to this yantra. Amma is now performing this special pooja in order to energise this yantra, to give it life — a life from this life (i.e. Amma). In this way, Amma is creating another ‘Baby Amma’ in the form of this Narayani yantra.
This Narayani yantra is a very big blessing for this Universe, and it is also a huge blessing to have the opportunity to witness this special yantra pooja. Even though millions of people will have the opportunity to come and see this yantra in the future, very few are blessed to actually witness it getting energised.
Why is Amma creating this yantra? What is the purpose? The purpose is to bring more of the Divine’s energy into the world. So where is the Divine? Where can we find the Divine? The Divine actually exists everywhere — there is no place without the Divine. Now, if we say that the Divine exists everywhere, then what form is the Divine in? There are many, many forms, but what is the ultimate form? The ultimate form of the Divine is simply energy. So, the Divine exists everywhere and the form of the Divine’s existence is energy.
Then what is meant by this ‘energy’? Can we see it or feel it? Yes, we can feel the energy when it takes the form of vibration. So, when we say that the Divine exists everywhere and that the Divine is in the form of energy, that energy exists in the form of vibration and also in the form of the panchabootha, or the five elements of Nature. So, when we say that the Divine exists everywhere, that also means that the Divine exists within us, within everyone and also within every creation… in the form of soul.
As we know, the state of the Divine is eternal peace, bliss, unconditional love, joy, etcetera — all these good things are the characteristics of the Divine, and the eternal state of the Divine. What we call the ‘soul’ within ourselves, is also from nature and from the same five elements.
So that is why there is a saying in the Tamil language:
Andathil Ullathe; Pindathil Ullathe,
Whatever exists in the Universe, also exists within ourselves.
Although energy is the ultimate form of the Divine, every vibration has a certain potential to create something. From the Divine energy, vibrations form, and then from the different combinations of those many vibrations, everything in the entire Universe is created.
For example: The vibration which creates wisdom in every creation is called Saraswathi; the vibration which creates the strength, energy and power in everyone is called Durga; the vibration which creates the potential in everyone is called Lakshmi. So originally there is one energy, but every different vibration of that energy acts in a different manner.
Take white flour as an example: what is the form of flour? It does not have any particular form, as it is in powder form. The flour is a powder made up of billions of tiny particles. And when you take some flour, add some water and salt to it, mix it all well and then roll it out into flat, thin rounds and put them on the pan to cook, they are called chapatti or roti.
So what is the source for the roti? It comes from the flour. Before, it was in a powdered form as flour, but when you combine all other ingredients with the flour and put it through some process, then it becomes chapatti. So like that, what we see as Lakshmi and Saraswathi, they are making chapatti from the Universe. [all laugh]
When we just have plain flour in front of us, we cannot see the chapatti, or pizza, or donuts at that moment — we cannot see anything else but the plain flour. However, when we start the process of mixing the flour together with other ingredients and in different combinations, then all the other foods will be created.
Similarly, from the energy which exists in the whole Universe, the Divine takes different vibrations and thus takes on different forms. We call that force and the vibration which creates wisdom or gnana in everyone as Saraswathi. For Saraswathi, the source for the wisdom is a certain vibration, but where did that vibration first come from? Again, it comes from the Universe. So if we want to have that energy of Saraswathi, what do we need to do? We chant the mantra which holds the energy of Saraswathi, and that mantra is called ‘Ai Yum’ or ‘Aym’.
When we want to use the energy of Durga for protection, we create the sound that is the source for the energy of Durga which is ‘Kiri Yum’ or ‘Kreem’. And when we need Lakshmi’s energy then we create the vibration of Lakshmi through the sound ‘Sou Vum’ or ‘Shreem’.
Then ‘Aiyum Kiriyum Souvum' is the combined energy of Saraswathi, Durga, and Lakshmi which is again, Narayani. The whole Universe is filled with energy, but that energy is working in the form of many different vibrations — not just one vibration. Every vibration has the potential to create something, and the source of wisdom is from the vibration called ‘Aym’; the source of strength and protection is from the vibration ‘Kreem’ and so on.
So how did we get all this knowledge? How did the world receive such knowledge?
As Amma has said before, we receive all of the mantras from the Universe. It is not something just being discovered now, or even from a hundred years back. No matter how many sages and rishis (enlightened souls) have existed, over thousands and thousands of years, they have all used the one same word for Saraswathi… which is Aym.
How did the rishis know this? How did they all get the same answer?
Take the example of a tree: the source of this tree is a seed. Since the seed is the source of the tree, then once again from that tree, we get the source… which is the seed. So, for the whole Universe the ‘seed’ is vibration. Since vibration is really the source of the Universe, from that same Universe, we also get the seeds of the Universe. Then what are the seeds of the Universe? The vibrations in the form of mantras… are the seeds.
So the great rishis at one time heard and received the vibrations and sounds from nature, and they combined them all together… to create mantras. When we chant such mantras again and again, this then creates the Universal life force in the particular place we focus upon.
Normally, it is very hard for different people to only accept one thing as an answer. As you know, five people cannot agree on the same thing, and if one person says, ‘Oh, that is nice,’ since one person said that it is nice, another person will now say, ‘No, actually it is not that nice.’ [all laugh] So this is the way of the world. However, if for thousands of years, just one answer is there all of the time, then it means that it is the Truth.
If someone says, ‘I am not having peace’ and a Master says, ‘Ok, then you need to chant this mantra’ and then if they chant this mantra and find peace, they will forward that mantra to another person. If it is something imaginary, or untrue, can it exist for thousands and thousands of years… even until today? No, it is not possible. If this is all just imagination, then the same mantra would never have survived so many thousands of years.
For example: you are all especially very familiar with idli (a steamed South Indian rice and lentil breakfast item) at the guesthouse. So how long has idli been around? No one knows, because it has been here for hundreds and hundreds of years. Since idli is good for us, tomorrow morning you may also be getting idli in the guesthouse. [all laugh] If idli is not good for us, people would have stopped eating it two hundred years ago. So, as with anything, whether it is to do with food or mantra, only something which is the truth will be followed over a long period of time.
Now, this sound Aym; how did we get this sound? There are many stories, and one story has it that when Saraswathi started to play the veena (a stringed musical instrument), it created this particular sound and from that sound came many other vibrations. Then, from those vibrations came all of the mantras.
When the sages were in the state of Oneness with the Divine (which means they themselves had become Divine — that is the meaning of Oneness), they had this question: ‘What is the source for wisdom? What vibration creates wisdom? And what is the sound behind this energy of wisdom?’
They had these questions in their minds and in their hearts, and because they were in the state of Oneness, then the moment they had formed the questions, the very next moment, they found the answers. From where did they find the answers? Because they were One with the Universe, they found the answers from within themselves.
So one rishi discovered that Aym is the sound which has the vibration for wisdom, and another rishi, had the same experience, and they both experienced the same word. Like this, thousands of rishis and sages have found that the source for the vibration of wisdom is coming from the word Aym. Then they came to the conclusion that for the whole Universe and for every creation, the source for this vibration of the wisdom in everyone comes from the sound, Aym.
Therefore, the realisation about these sounds has not come from only one person — it has come from many enlightened souls when they were connected with the Divine. They raised this question within themselves: What is the source for this vibration? Many enlightened souls heard the same sounds. So, this is how all the mantras were discovered: Aym, Shreem, Kleem, Hreem, etcetera. Many sounds have been discovered, and these have come from the great sages who were highly enlightened, and have earned the respect of all.
It is not just imagination — when the sages who are in the state of the Divine give one word, how much truth will that have? So, what we are chanting today, it is not from a book, it is from the Divine.
As Amma has said before, who will know about ourselves better than anyone? Who will know about us the best? Only we will know. Others may know some things from observing from the outside, but they do not know what is actually inside us. Only we know that. So similarly, what we have for mantras, it has not come to us from anywhere else — it has been given by the same Divine, who is the source of the whole Universe.
So firstly, we have the name of the Divine. Take for example, the one whom we call Lakshmi. Lakshmi is not just a name for the Divine, it is actually one of the characteristics of the Divine. Lakshmi means ‘the person who has all the lakshanas’. Lakshana means ‘perfection’. Who has full perfection in the Universe? Only the Divine has full perfection, so the Divine Mother is called Lakshmi because She has all the lakshanas.
The names of the Divine came from the particular characters and the energy came from the mantras. So for the character, the source is energy. Without energy where is the character? Without the flour, where is the chapatti? So without character, where is the source? Without energy, where is the character? We first need energy in order to have the character – and that is why we first chant the mantras to create a particular energy. That energy has a certain character and that character influences us to become like the Divine.
So, one pooja which Amma is performing now at Peedam is called yantra pooja. What is a yantra? The yantra is a metal square made out of a copper, silver or gold sheet, which has sacred geometrical lines drawn and etched onto its flat surface. The sacred lines on the yantra receive the vibrations from chants and also hold that energy. A yantra will be activated and fully charged after many rounds of yantra pooja.
What lines get drawn onto a yantra will depend upon the deity and the purpose of the individual yantra. When it is used in conjunction with an idol in the sanctum sanctorum, the yantra design of the corresponding deity is etched onto the metal plate. A yantra can stand alone, or work in tandem with an idol.
What is the meaning of the word, yantra? In Tamil and Sanskrit, the word yantra means ‘machine’. So what does a machine do when it is activated? It produces energy, or it produces something that we want to create. Similarly, what we now call here as the yantra — is a type of machine. A regular, physical machine will produce just one energy or product, but this special machine called a yantra produces Divine energy.
So how does this work? Firstly, we have to activate the yantra by chanting certain mantras, because it is only after this, that the yantra will be able to produce Divine energy on its own. When we decide to create a yantra, on the first day it is just a smooth metal plate, we then inscribe the sacred geometrical lines onto it, and then it has the potential and the ability to receive and hold energy within it.
Now, it may seem that a yantra is just a copper plate with some lines inscribed onto it, but it is so much more than just that! On each yantra, all the sacred lines are connected to each other in a certain way: one line is connected to another line, and that line is connected to yet another line, etcetera. So, what is the significance of these sacred lines? The particular way in which these lines and shapes are connected in the design, act as a ‘fence’ or a ‘compound’ within which to store the energy.
Generally, in most of the yantras or chakras or mandalas (mandala = a sacred geometrical shape or design), we see that the design is created using triangles and also squares, which also have angles within their form. What is the beauty of the triangle? The point. Where does the point form? The point forms everywhere the lines meet each other at an angle. So, all of the triangles in the yantra design contain points, and depending upon the Divine form chosen, they draw the corresponding sacred geometrical lines onto the yantra. This enables it to receive the energy of the mantra being chanted.
For example, if we decide to grow fruit and vegetables on a piece of land without any fencing, then what will happen? Everyone and every creature will come and eat up our crops. However, if we have a nice high fence around it, then it is protected and kept safe.
Similarly, an ordinary metal plate cannot hold much energy — it is like an area without a fence — so this is why we draw sacred geometrical lines onto the surface. When we do this, we now give it the ability to receive and also to store a lot of energy, depending upon the particular form of the Divine.
Another important thing about yantras is that they are usually made of copper. Most yantras will be made from copper, and as we all know, copper is one of the best conductors of energy; it receives the energy very easily. So on the copper plate, wherever there are sacred lines drawn, those lines will act as a ‘fence’ within which to hold the energy. So then, when we chant the mantras, all the positive energy that is created from the mantras will be received and held by the yantra. And due to the particular way the sacred lines are placed on that yantra, its design will not allow that energy to then go beyond them.
So when we chant the mantras in front of the yantra, all the mantras create positive vibrations, and all these vibrations will be received and stored by the yantra. Earlier, it was just a copper plate, but now we are giving life to that copper plate in the form of mantra. When we chant mantras, we create certain vibrations with our life-force, and the amount of energy within the yantra actually depends upon the strength of the life-force of the particular person who is chanting the mantras in front of it. What is the source of this life-force? The source of this life is the whole Universe!
From the great Universe, we receive the life-force, and from that life-force we are in turn giving life to the yantra through our chanting. So, when we are energising and giving positive vibrations to that yantra, it receives these vibrations easily because of how it is designed, and then once the vibration of the yantra reaches a certain level, it starts to activate. This means that the yantra which was designed to connect with the Universe, has received enough Universal energy to now start radiating it outwards. From that point onwards, that yantra will receive the Universal energy directly… from wherever it is.
So you see, it is like a cycle: from the Universe, we receive life, and from this life, we are then giving life to the yantra. So when that yantra gets life, it connects back to its origin — which is the whole Universe. Then when it is again connected to the Universe, it receives that Universal energy and it will give back positive energy to all the souls.
So we energise and activate the yantra through chanting the mantras, and every yantra will have a particular mantra to activate it and help it to hold that Divine energy within it. For example, if we want to connect with someone on the phone, we cannot just dial any number — we must know the right number of that person in order to connect with them. If we dial the wrong number, we cannot get the person we want.
Just like every phone has a different and unique number, every yantra will have a particular mantra that belongs to it, depending upon the Divine force inscribed in that yantra. So the priests will start chanting these mantras in order to energise and activate the yantra.
Now, if we have a yantra five-feet away from us and we are chanting all the mantras, then how does this work in energising that yantra?
Devotee: Through our intention and the sound vibrations?
AMMA: Yes, it’s through our intention. Our consciousness is a part of the Universe, so when we have the correct intention and focus, then all the vibrations from the mantras we chant enter into the yantra and it becomes energised. Now, we need to keep on chanting that mantra a lot, because every yantra needs the particular mantra to be chanted a certain amount of times before it will reach a certain level of vibration. Only when it becomes energised to that level will the yantra be able to work correctly.
For example, most of Amma’s children may have the experience of making pancakes. So how do we make pancakes? What do we do first?
Devotee: We take some flour and put it into a bowl…
Devotee: We add some milk and mix it well.
AMMA: Then finally what will we do? How do we turn this batter into a pancake which we can eat? What do we need to do next?
Devotee: We need to cook it.
AMMA: So, we also need a pan in order to cook this pancake. Do we start pouring this batter into the frying pan immediately? No — we have to wait until…?
Devotee: — until the pan gets hot!
AMMA: Yes, so just like that frying pan, the yantra also needs a certain amount of energy given to it first, in order for it to activate. It is just the same as the frying pan which needs to heat up before we can use it to cook something. We first have to wait for one or two minutes, because if we just pour the batter into the pan when it is still cold, then it won’t cook properly. So, this is why we have to wait until the pan is ready and has the correct amount of heat, before we can use it to cook the pancake.
Similarly, every yantra needs a certain amount of energy within it — a high enough vibration — for it to activate, and be able to radiate energy outwards. This is why the priests are always chanting the mantras 10,000 times or 100,000 times in front of the yantra before they can install it. There are even some mantras which need the chants to be repeated ten million times! But these mantras are called eka akshara, which consist of just a single word like ‘sreem’. Now this is just one example of an eka akshara mantra. This type of mantra needs to be chanted a million times or ten million times.
When they prepare the yantra for activation, priests will sit in front of that yantra and chant the mantras many thousands of times. All these vibrations from the chanting will be received by the yantra and then when it is ready, they will place the activated yantra in the specially-created niche, over which will be installed the main statue of the deity inside the temple. By chanting the mantras, we are assembling that energy into a particular form – and when we keep on chanting that mantra in front of the yantra, then the yantra itself becomes a form of that particular Divine force.
Before installation, the Divine energy exists everywhere, but in an un-formed manner. After installing the activated yantra, the density of the Divine energy will be more concentrated in the yantra and in the temple than in other places. So after you have mastery of that yantra, if you just sit in front of it, this is enough for you to connect with that Divine energy. You do not even have to do anything — that energy will pull you… because it is the dominant energy.
So, this is the story of yantra and mantra, and the science behind them. The beauty of performing the yantra pooja is that we are creating the yantra to become a source of Divine energy for the world, because a yantra is like a battery.
Nowadays, we are using rechargeable batteries whenever we need energy to power up something. Once you finish the charge in the battery, then again, we can re-charge it from the main source of current. The battery draws enough energy from the mains current to fill it to its capacity, and then we can use it again.
Similarly, a yantra is like a Divine battery: it receives and holds the Divine energy because it can connect with the Universe and draw all the panchabootha — the Universal forces — into itself. So, whoever comes in the presence of that yantra and sits in front of it will then receive the Divine’s blessings in the form of that positive energy.
As Amma has said before, when you sit in front of the Divine, you get the characteristics of the Divine, because that is the dominant energy.
For example: When we touch an electric wire, it is always we who receive the shock of electricity — we cannot ever give a shock to the electric wire! Why is this the case? Because the wire is carrying far more energy than we are. Can anyone say, ‘Oh when I touched an electric wire, I gave it a shock?’ No, this will never happen!
So similarly, when you sit in front of the energised yantra that is kept inside the sanctum sanctorum of a temple, you will connect to it, and also to the Divine, because the energy contained there is so great. All that Divine energy, and therefore all the characteristics of the Divine… then pass into you.
Amma blesses you all.