The word Yantra literally translated means ´´a machine´´. It could also be called an ´´aid´´, “instrument”, or ´´tool´´. Yantras are visual tools that serve as centering devices and traditionally belong to the ancient Hindu spiritual tradition called Tantra, which seeks to help an aspirant channel divine energy so that they may attain peace, prosperity and Moksha, or liberation. They are sacred geometric shapes, the symbolic compositions of the energy patterns of a deity or planet as seen by Tantric seers in their visions. They hold supreme status among Tantric mystics and mystic sciences and disciplines. There are many different yantras for different outcomes such as, yantras for good health, yantras for success, yantras to remove negative effects of a specific planet, yantras for obtaining wealth, etc.
The KULARNAV TANTRA says:
YANTRAM MANTRA MAYAM PROKTAM
MANTRATIM DEVATAIV HI
DEHAT MANOR YATHA BHEDO
This means, “that the deity pervades both the Yantra and Mantra. As there is a difference between mind and body, similarly there is difference between Yantra and Mantra. Yantra is the body or form of the planet or deity(devata), whereas Mantra is the Mind, Consciousness, Spirit , or Name. Just as oil is dear to the lamp , so is the body dear to the spirit and so too the Yantra to the deity, because a Yantra is an external, visual expression through which the deity receives devotion.”
When a specific Yantra is adopted for worship and energy is invoked in it by repeating an appropriate mantra, it becomes the dwelling place of that specific deity by whose name it is known. No idol or picture of a deity is as powerful as a Yantra.
YANTRA = YAM + TRA (In Sanskrit)
“YAM” is a medium, it means to hold , to contain or to keep the essence of an object or a thought .
“TRA” (comes from trana) which means “Liberation from Bondage”
“So a Yantra is that which preserves the essence and liberates!!!”
As a tool, a yantra is used to withdraw consciousness from the senses and the outer world and direct it to the inner world, so as to help the sadhak (aspirant) go beyond the normal framework of the mind and into an altered state of consciousness (known as TURIYA) . As stated although Yantras can be used for manifestation and wish fulfillment, their ultimate purpose is to unite us with our higher selves.
Yantras also make beautiful art pieces, and their powerful geometry can enhance positive universal energies and create a sacred space in the home, office or any room.