Before continuing, it would be good to deepen a little, some further aspects of the argument “Yantra”, describing and explaining the components of this Sacred Symbol. Indeed, it’s a very large field to be investigated. We have said that the Sri Yantra, such as other yantras, can be understood by different meanings, all according to the individual level of being and to the field that would interest the seeker. But, substantially, it represents an “evolution” from the unmanifested to the manifest, namely, the path that the unmanifest (the cause that lies beyond all the effects) expresses itself as manifested (the visible effect), and all the transitional sub-planes in this path – the idea that becomes action, the possibility that becomes something concrete, the being (essence) that expresses itself in our life (when it happens), the possibilities kept in a seed which could develop into a tree….
Every cause brings an effect, everything we do will have a consequence. This is a Universal Law, and that law is also described in the Sri Yantra.
Another thing should be said: that the Yantras belong to the ancient Tantric Tradition, not the Tantra as it’s known today – a spiritual practice that involves a sexual act and often becomes a justification for an indiscriminate use of sex, but a huge and deeper body of knowing and teaching that has existed for many centuries.
It is said that the Sri Yantra is the most ancient among all the yantras and in the Tantric Tradition has the same value, weight and meaning of the Ray of Creation in the Gurdjieff teaching.
One of the main aims of the Tantrikas (the Tantric practitioners) was (and still is) to reverse the usual way of focusing on what is manifested and touchable – the material life, and turn over to seek and experience of all what is manifested, what lies beyond visible appearances: the generative source of reality, of all that exists. From a macrocosmic point of view we could call it God, the Absolute, the Big Bang; from a subjective, personal, microcosmic point of view- the Essence, the Soul, the “True Self”.
So, we’ll say in advance (but this will be a topic itself for a further post), that the practice of concentration on a Yantra is turned to guide the practitioner’s mind towards the realization of the unmanifested.
The central element of the Sri Yantra is represented as a point called Bindu, and it represents the gateway through which the unmanifested “enters and exits”.
The real nature of the unmanifested is one of the things that can’t be explained in words, but foreseen or eventually realized (at least in part) only when one has achieved higher states of consciousness. It’s the mystery of how the unmanifested, the apparent “non- Being” generated the Being.
But let’s see what we can say about this central element.
So, from the center of the Yantra, all reality is manifested. Indeed, we can say that in the tantric view, the existence of the world and of the whole reality is intended as a perpetual procreation of what in Sanskrit is called Yoni (the vulva) that represents the feminine principle, and in the Sri Yantra is the downward turned triangle in the center of the symbol. As a consequence of the perpetual infusion of the masculine Seed, the Yoni becomes the gateway that creates all that exists in this reality (the universe our world, ourselves… all). So, the Yoni is the Mother Creator.
But, without the Seed of the masculine principle, there would not be Yoni nor the reality; indeed, if the Yoni is what makes possible the Whole to exist, the Seed gives this possibility. It’s the Essence of the whole system, but it’s not the object of perception, namely it’s non- manifested.
We could compare the masculine principle as a thought, a desire that is unmanifested, and the feminine principle as the receptacle that allows this desire to become a manifested action; or, the Yoni is the Big Bang and the Seed the moment before it.
In the Tantric view, the Seed is what generates the Yoni. The Yoni in the symbol is represented by the red triangle turned downward placed in the center of the Sri Yantra and the seed as the point in the center of this triangle that is usually white.
The Seed, this central point, is the Bindu.
This primordial couple, the white point and the reversed red triangle, produces a series of interwoven triangles of which four are related to the masculine (with the apex upward) and four to the feminine principle (with the apex downward). This reciprocal interpenetration further begets a complex series of smaller triangles which represent the primordial creative forces divided into more defined forces.