Yantra, Sri
   The Sri YANTRA, or Sri Chakra, is an important cult object for the SRI VIDYA tradition of TANTRISM. It is understood as being the subtle form of the goddess Sri Lalita.
   The yantra’s geometric design combines five downward-pointing triangles representing the Goddess, or SHAKTI, with four upward-pointing triangles representing SHIVA. In the “nine circuits,” all the parts of the design are worshipped in turn: the junctures of the triangles, the central BINDU, certain outlying features such as circles of lotus petals, and the outer border that looks like a set of four entrances to a temple. The process can either begin with the bindu and work out to the edge, or follow the opposite path.
   A new Sri Chakra is always carefully drawn whenever a PUJA to Sri Yantra is performed. The pujas that are done in this tradition are always per-formed privately, except for pujas done to the few large Sri Yantras found in select temples. An exam-ple is the KANCHIPURAM temple to Kamakshi, who is sometimes identified with Sri Lalita. In this temple there is a very large Sri Yantra that is worshipped by a designated priest in a secret way. This ritual is never witnessed by anyone, except the priest.
   Further reading: Madhu Khanna, Yantra, the Tantric Symbol of Cosmic Unity (Rochester, Vt.: Inner Tradi-tions, 2003); S. K. Ramachandra Rao, Sri-Chakra: Its Yantra, Mantra, and Tantra (Bangalore: Kalpatharu Research Academy, 1982); S. Shankaranarayanan, Sri Chakra (Pondicherry: Dipti, 1970).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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