Sri Chakra: The Cosmic Map

By Rani Iyer – Author

Of all the models and maps of the universe, the Sri Chakra, a symbol sacred to the Hindus, is perhaps the oldest and most well documented in several texts. One such holy text is Yogini Hrudaya, which records a conversation between Bhairava (Shiva) and Bhairavi (Parvathi) regarding the formation of the cosmos. In this blog post for Ma Udaysree’s excellent art on Sri Chakra (aka Sri Yantra), I explore a few aspects of Sri Chakra.

Sri Chakra Explained

Sri Chakra has nine interlocking triangles, called shatkona yantra [shat-konah-yantra]. The fifth triangle is positioned at the top center, and four more are surrounding it to form six triangles. There are many interpretations concerning these triangles. Some believe that this layout represents the Pancha Bhootas, the five elements (Prithvi- earth, Aapa- water, Tejas- fire, Vayu- air, and Akasa- space) plus the sixth element being Kaala or time. Time is the representation of all the other forces in nature.

Of the nine interlocking triangles, five triangles face downwards, and four triangles face upwards. The downward-facing triangles are considered Yoni, the female aspect, and four upward-facing triangles are male aspects of creation. The five downward-facing triangles nurture creative energies, while the four upward-facing triangles represent fire, fiery energies capable of destruction.

The Center Bindu – Seat of Consciousness

The Bindu, the center, is the seat of Consciousness or Prakāśa. The Bindu is the origin, the birth of the cosmos. From here, Parashakti appears as the Divine Power Parāśakti, the source of the cosmos and distinguishes itself from nothing or void that is considered as Śiva. Bindu is thus considered a representation of Devi Parāśakti.

The Sri Yantra – Essential Spiritual Journey

Sri Yantra is called the cosmic map because it bridges our understanding of our world determined by our associations with name and form. This association is called nāmarūpa. Studying and understanding the Sri Yantra is essentially a spiritual journey that challenges our fundamental personal beliefs and social constructs. It takes us to the deepest core being from where it springs the desires and seeking. Even in our understanding, our name and form have different meanings and perceptions over time. The Sri Chakra is a sacred geometric representation because understanding even a bit of the quality, properties and possibilities enables us to transcend the limitations of language, culture, experience and connects us with consciousness.

Simple Sri Chakra Meditation

Here is a simple mediation you can practice. Sit in a relaxed cross-legged position with your head, neck, and spine erect. Gaze at Sri Chakra for a minimum of 21 minutes. Whatever thoughts arise, please do not follow them. Whenever you have a brainwave and want to record it, just let it go and focus on Sri Chakra. Over time, this practice will give you tremendous mindfulness, maturity, peace, and joy.

II Om Sri Chakra Vasinyai Namaha

Om Sri Lalithambikayai Namaha II

About the Author

Rani Iyer is a prolific writer and author of many books on the feminine in Hinduism. Her other passion is education on living a sattvic lifestyle with emphasis on spices with healing properties.


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