Mantra, Yantra and Mandala

Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

The Sat Chandi Mahayajna is the most ancient tantric ceremony. The purpose of tantra is clearly defined - expansion of consciousness and liberation of energy. This is not the definition of a religion, but it is the definition of a science, a subject and philosophy.

The Sat Chandi Mahayajna is an integral part and the highest sadhana of the tantric system, in which the cosmic powers are invoked through the chanting of mantras. These mantras create a yantra, a geometrical figure, which is the map of human consciousness. Just as we have a map of different cities which indicates roads, buildings and structures, in the same manner, yantra is a symbol of consciousness, indicating the intricate levels and dimensions of expression of the subtle and higher mind in the gross dimension.

Yantra of the mind

There are few people who understand the concept of yantra. By reading, listening and writing, the concept can never be clear, because you do not have the experience. You are not a sadhaka who has gone into any depths of experience and realization. How can a person who does a little bit of yoga here and there, who practices meditation for ten, fifteen minutes or one hour in an ashram, understand the complex concept of human consciousness and energy or the concept of yantra and mantra? Not even one percent of the subject of mantra or yantra has been explained because it cannot be explained; it has to be experienced. When you go into the depths of your nature, then you realize it.

You can say mantra is sound vibration or frequency. However, they are more than that. They represent the subtle powers and the movements of energy in the dimension of higher consciousness. Through mantras the yantra is created. When you sit and participate in the chanting and you say Swaha or Aim, Hrim Klim, you are not only chanting something, but through vibration you are creating a change and transformation in your own consciousness. You may not realize it immediately, but in the course of time, the effect, power and energy of the mantra become embedded in your mind, and your mind will take the form of a yantra.

At present your mind has not taken the form of a yantra. Right now, the mind is in the form of desires, thoughts and ambitions. It is in the form of greed, anger, hatred and jealousy. These are the forms of the mind. Through chanting and invocation grace descends and the mind takes the form of a yantra. The gross natures of the mind will be eradicated. There is no more envy, fear or insecurity. It takes time to come to that point. Few people can awaken this power within them, but they then become the enlightened people, the luminaries of our civilization.

Power of yajna

Through continuous participation in an event like the Sat Chandi Mahayajna, try to embed the power of mantra in your mind, so that it can manifest as a yantra. Be the receptacle of the divine forces and energies. When you see money in front of you, there is instantly greed. When you see a child, it is affection. When you see your boyfriend or girlfriend, there is passion in the mind. Something which you see outside evokes a different response within your mind. In the same manner, when you see the image of Devi, an emotion comes forth, which has no name. You may think of peace, happiness, joy or contentment, but they are only words which do not represent the fullness of what you are experiencing or seeing. The realization of what the yantra is will happen after some time, when you have subjected yourself fully to the power of the mantra.

Mandala

The Sat Chandi Mahayajna is an event which allows us to focus on the chanting of the mantra, the vibration created and the emergence of the yantra within the mind. When the yantras of each mind are connected, then we all become a mandala. A mandala represents the circle of expression, the circle of creativity and manifestation. The Sat Chandi Mahayajna is the sankalpa of our guru, Sri Swami Satyananda. We are experiencing his tapasya and sadhana.

We have been given the opportunity to be present in this auspicious event, to connect our heart, mind and soul with the transcendental nature and reality which is all pervasive. This Sat Chandi Mahayajna has been a very special one. It is the first one in which we have not seen the physical presence of our beloved guru, but we have all felt his radiance in our heart and lives. It is his radiance which we take with us as grace and blessings in the form of inspiration, conviction and determination and in the form of our own sankalpa to be part of this transformative process.

—Rikhiapeeth, 10 December 2010