These 3 sanskrit words have the very same sufix, -tra. Which means: to elevate, to raise.
- So the word mantra means, to raise or elevate the mind, as the first part of this word ‘man’ means ‘mind’.
- The word ‘tan’ refers to an act, or a rite, so the same way an action that elevates us, is called tantra in sanskrit.
- And finally, the word yan refers to something, ‘man made, or human made’. So the word yantra refers to a device that was made or manifactured, and the purpose of that made object is to elevate the maker or the user.
And basically that is the main difference between mandalas and yantras. Mandalas are geometric configurations that can be simply used for decorations. Or they could be simply occurring in nature. Whereas yantras are always made!
There is a very simple defenition of yantras in Vedic scripture. If you add a mantra to a mandala, the mandala becomes a yantra.
So mandala + mantra = yantra.
Usually the act, by which the mantra is placed into a mandala, is a tantric act, and act of ritual and of spiritual nature. So the full equation goes as follows:
Mandala + mantra, by an act of tantra = yantra!
And to boggle your mind even further, the picture you see in this post is the Sri Yantra. The only yantra in Vedic culture, that does not need a mantra.
Sri Yantra brings both spiritual and material abundance into our lives and immense creativity. One should keep this yantra in the North-Eastern part of the house, or above the main door, on the inside of our homes or work places.
This way we receive the blessings of the yantra every time we pass under it.
Om Tat Sat
Adam Baktai aka Fat Yogi