THE SRI YANTRA
AKA - The most powerful symbol in the cosmos.
AKA - Map from material existence to enlightenment
AKA - The first symbol I used for the first Ekaminhale top
"Symbols like the yantra are transformers of our psychic energy - such symbols alone allow us to discover a ‘missing part of the whole man’ that makes life joyful, radiant and infinitely meaningful. " - Madhu Khann
As I mentioned earlier in this email series when I started Ekaminhale I had this conflict going on inside me about selling shirts.
I really had a hard time telling people that they should buy one because I didn’t believe it was necessary. If people wanted one great but I didn't believe you needed it.
Still my life was telling me something different because people kept asking me to buy them. This is where I missed the point entirely and not until I started to learn more about the Sri Yantra did I figure it out.
I wasn’t selling shirts.
I was bringing the power of symbols into people’s lives. Even my own.
The Sri Yantra & Yoga - More Than Can Be Seen
The exact same mistake happens with both Yoga & Symbols.
People think that what they see is all there is. Yoga gets labelled as exercise and symbols get labelled as pictures.
For anyone who has practiced Yoga they know different. It's the same when you see one of these symbols. You might not know what it is with the mind but you can feel it.
“Man is in need of a symbolic life…..but we have no symbolic life…..have you got a corner somewhere in your houses that you perform the rites as you see in India?” - Carl Jung
I clued into this when the people didn't practice yoga started buying my shirts.
Why did they like them? The same reason that I was drawn to the Sri Yantra in the first place.
Symbols are not something that is created by men to serve the ego. Symbols are "discovered" by men when they explore the unconscious. They point to the mysteries there, the unknown, something hidden.
We can use Yoga and Symbols as tools to explore and most importantly listen to that part of us that we share as humans.
I have absolutely no qualms about recommending that you get into both of them. In fact it is a necessity in a world where we are heading into the opposite direction.
When I clued into the power of the Sri Yantra I pretty much haven’t stopped wearing the shirts since. After about 2 years I had maybe 10 or 20 of these tank tops lying around the house and was so bored of them.
After I understood the power of this symbol I started wearing one everyday.
I literally have these tops on all the time even if it’s just under my t-shirt. I think it’s why you will still see some of the teachers I gave them to like David Robson and Mark Darby 3 years ago now still wearing them. Either that or they just don’t like shopping.
“Sri Yantra is the symbol of Mahamaya. It has been experienced by many and also stated in the scriptures that when we wear a yantra, when we wear the symbol of any cosmic force, it acts like a magnet to attract that cosmic energy. So when we concentrate or practise meditation on Sri Yantra or any other yantra, we are using that as a tool to focus the cosmic energy within us.” - Yogamag, Bihar School of Yoga.
“A Yantra thus maps the road of eternal return, and the way to inner wholeness. Escaping from the web of Maya, the adept gradually discovers their eternal being through the yantra’s symbols. When they have eternalized all the symbols of the cosmos and their body “becomes” the yantra, the adept is no longer alienated from the truth that the symbol illustrates, but is transformed into the truth that they seek.”
Im not going to get into the whole way the Sri Yantra works in this post, just like I can’t teach Yoga in 500 words. The truth is it that it's not even necessary.
Although the Sri Yantra does have many deep and intricate layers of symbolism that can take a lifetime to learn I’m going to tell you what it symbolizes to me and possibly to you if you are practicing yoga with this intention.
The Sri Yantra symbolizes a part of my being that I share with nature and with the world. A part that is eternal and doesn’t die when my body does. I know this part of me exists because yoga has been one of the ways I am able to experience it. It’s this experience, the experience that is “not-knowing” that keeps me coming back each day.
When I put the Sri Yantra on the shirt my intention was to create something that represented that reason for practicing and even though I didn’t know that was exactly what the Sri Yantra meant somehow that was what happened.
Intention matters. It matters more than techniques and methods. When your intention is worked out the process will reveal itself.
The Inward Journey
“Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” - CG Jung
Symbols remind us of where to look and act as guideposts for humanity to navigate existence.
Still there is one thing they just can't achieve for us.
For the path to enlightenment I found a better map
In your body is Mount MeruEncircled by the seven continentsThe rivers are there tooThe seas, the mountains, the plains,And the Gods of the fieldsProphets are to be see in it, monksPlaces of pilgrimageAnd the deities presiding over themThe stars are there, and the planetsThe sun together with the moonThere too are the two cosmic forces:That which destroysThat which createsAnd all the elements: etherAir and fire, water and earthYes in your body are all thingsThat exist in the three worldsAll performing their prescribed function around Mt. Meru;He alone who knows thisIs held to be a true yogiSiva Samhita - Translation Jean Varenne, Yoga and the Hindu tradition
After 14 years of practicing now the most exciting 'terrain' to explore is inward. It's literally my own body and what it teaches me the more I explore it through practice.
"I often hear people say things like what use is it to do all those asana's it's so body orientated so physical etc"
What I've always felt in practice is that my body is teaching me.
The map of my internal environment becomes more detailed the more it reveals to me.
I always make the joke that when I started Yoga my "hips" were somewhere between my knees and my belly button.
Over time I've been able to explore and see this area of my own body with greater and greater clarity.
Does that make me think differently? You bet it does.
Now neuroscience is discovering just how much.
Im currently writing my next email story, Season 3, which shares everything I've learned through this process.
If you are on the email list you will get it as soon as I'm done. I have no doubt this going to be the best one yet.