Rohit Arya_ Creation of the Magician-Vishnu in the Sacred India Tarot

Vishnu, Lord of Maya:   Tarot One -The Magician

Rohit’s Notes: 

 

“Vishnu should be in a standing posture, in the Immovable Position that suggests perfection in the Indian sculptural tradition.  For God’s sake do not have any garlands of flowers on him!  He should be clad in shining golden armour, and I do mean full body armour.  The mace he wields should not be the silly onion bulb on a stick so beloved of Indian calendar art, but a real mace, something like Charles Martel the Hammer of God used in the battle of Tours in the 8th century.  A European knight’s battle club or mace would do very well, and if it has multiple faces, so much the better.  This should be held by his lower right arm/hand, and represents the earth element of the magician.  The lower left arm should hold a lotus, and represents water.  The upper left arm holds the chakra or quoit.  This too is represented in a foolish manner in India.  Please do not have the chakra held up daintily on the forefinger, that representation in art only shows the total ignorance in India about the nature of the weapon.  I want a real throwing discus-blade, something like Zena, warrior princess, uses on TV.  It should ideally be a ring of fire, as the chakra is a portion of the sun’s energy, and thus forms the fire element, in The Magician’s complete mastery over the elements.  He is also the lord of Maya, which further confirms him as the Magician.  A suggestion of the vast cosmos behind him or the ocean of milk upon which he floats, would complete the picture.  A somewhat difficult idea would be to have a small picture of Laxmi engraved on his armour above his left breastplate, to suggest the link between them, and to satisfy the traditionalists.  Vishnu’s complexion should be a brilliant dark blue or black.  The latter may be difficult if we are using a cosmic background.  If he is to be given a crown of any sort, please keep it small.  Let it look like a warrior’s helm, and perhaps a peacock feather in it could suggest his avatar as Krishna too.”

Correspondence: Gautam“Regarding Vishnu, the snake could be like a royal umbrella over his head, with a spread out hood.  No sword and shield.”

Jane’s notes: 

 “Maya also means “Measure” – that which is measurable by our limited or temporal frame of reference, as against the Immeasurable or limitless. Vishnu focuses the creative process which Rudra generates.  Concentration.  Buddha and Krishna avatars –  rebalancing of the Dharma when the worlds are in peril.   The serpent powers which burst out from Rudra are now contained, and crown Vishnu with the five headed cobra of the universe.”

Correspondence: Gautam and Rohit:  “We really fell in love with this illustration.  As you said, he is still and centered. The expression on the face is great.  The top of the mace is a bit off-centre which needs to be rectified.  Arms are thin and should be more muscular.  The snake is great and the disc is also nice.  He should be shown holding the disc with his fingers visible on the outside, rather than the disc resting like a plate on his palm.  In other words he should grip the disc.  The mace should be held more firmly, instead of daintily. The overall visual impact and emotion of the picture is great.  The shell is a creative touch, but should look more like a conch shell.  The crescent is a great idea.  However, there is the issue that Vishnu is primarily a solar deity.  What do you think about this point which could be raised by someone?”

 

Jane “Vishnu’s solar aspect is emphasized in his armour.  Can thicken arms slightly.  Problem with crowding and clarity in small scale paintings such as these.  Disc, mace and hand grips can adjust, no problem.  I think a small bright sun can go in heart region over breastplates.  Absolutely no room for Laxmi here, especially when scaled down to card size. 

Might develop a few sun rays in white lower background (milky ocean). His facial expression took a very long time to get right.  His vehicle the tortoise shows how slowly the aeons pass, which support his lightning Descent.”

Rohit Arya is an Author, Yogi and Polymath. He has written the first book on Vaastu to be published in the West, {translated into five languages} the first book on tarot to be published in India, co-authored a book on fire sacrifice, and is the creator of The Sacred India Tarot {82 card deck and book}. He has also written A Gathering of Gods. He is  a corporate trainer, a mythologist and vibrant speaker as well as an arts critic and cultural commentator. Rohit is also a Lineage Master in the Eight Spiritual Breaths system of Yoga

Rohit Arya_ Creation of Sacred India Tarot Grace card Ganesha

NOTES, EMAIL CORRESPONDENCE

AND PROCESS WORK

ON THE MAJOR ARCANA 2001 – 2002

GAUTAM, ROHIT, JANE

12 June 2001, from Jane’s diary:

“They want an artist to do an Indian Tarot which some sensitive ones have developed, incorporating Vishnu & Co, and the project is Secret, and will be produced in the same class as the new Ramesh book.  They don’t want treacle-colour Indi-Ikons, but …  the other kind of India – VEDIC INDIA.  All these years of Indian mysticism and Kabbalah training, exchanging trade –  now materializes! – we never know what next to be called upon!”

“He rolls boulders in your path aside – what could be better attributes for a god?

Correspondence, Rohit:  “The dancing Ganesha should not lose his quality of being an Earth energy first, but some sort of cosmic or outer space interpretation would be welcome.  His trunk should be turned to the left as that is the version of Ganapati that interacts with the world and welcomes and blesses people.  The sitting Ganesha can have his trunk turned to the right, as that is the spiritual version and symbolic of the inner quest.   Ganesha is always depicted not with an elephants head as really happened in the myth, but with a human head that looks elephant like.  It is usually a pink or sometimes white head.  I would like to try out an actual elephant head on a human body and see how that looks.  If it turns out to be too weird looking, we can go back to the norm.  If it does not, then we will have a unique and creative perspective, which also has the virtue of being scripturally accurate.  I love the idea of having the pentacles inscribed on the head, so please retain that for this illustration.  I really do not know what else I am to say, as your knowledge of Indian culture makes me hesitant to make anything except the broadest suggestions.  Please also look at the accompanying article on Ganesha, which we have put up on our website – it may give you some ideas for another point of view.   Emotion:  Happy, dancing Ganesha….”

In my drawing, Ganesh doesn’t hold an axe, he holds a mace.

Jane:The rat (his vehicle) I see as a humorous touch, the small one who gnaws through ropes.  Do you want Ganesh’s head as an elephant with or without headdress?  Can easily alter minor details.  You mentioned having “the pentacles” inscribed on his head.  Did you mean this design, or what?

 

 

 

“I have tried to combine stability with ‘pan-cosmic’ states of being, in this design;  also he should seem ever so slightly shocking and terrible as Lord of the Ganas, and guarding his mother, so I visualize the completed design (if it succeeds) with the impression of him a little against the light – the light behind him/Paradox.  Have put his trunk in his left hand, as you said.

 “I have found a friend who says he can scan and compress email images to send – I can ask him to do this once or twice a week until we have your London contact set up.   If it works OK, I can send you Ganesa and Rudra.  These two are now in colour, and complete, bar finishing touches, refinements and minor alterations to headdresses or facial expression.  I have left Rudra’s headdress vague, because it could be a Siva matted locks conch shell hairdo?  Or the proto-Siva headdress – is this the one that all the Nataraja wear?

Ganesha, now coloured in, is more gentle and playful in mood.  He dances in his OM which is in a four gated mandala, with his Rat and a little puja of incense and a few sweets.  The Sri Chakra on his trunk is now smaller.  He touches earth auspiciously.”

            Jane’s notes:

 

Dancing Ganesh remover of obstacles, is at first himself the obstacle:  so we worship him first before any creative process.  He unblocks the poet.  As an EARTH energy, through his dance the Spirit touches ground to manifest.  The square Yantra emphasizes this playful dance within the Tamil OM sign, with reddish and ochre tones.

Around Ganesh’s head is a circular blue aura – heaven or Spirit, entering the Earth:  the idea of squaring the Circle.

The Yantra on his trunk combines one ascending male triangle with two descending female/shakti triangles.  These male and female principles evolve from the primal element to polarize as shiva shakti – the kernel of the great Sri Chakra Yantra.

Rohit Arya is an Author, Yogi and Polymath. He has written the first book on Vaastu to be published in the West, {translated into five languages} the first book on tarot to be published in India, co-authored a book on fire sacrifice, and is the creator of The Sacred India Tarot {82 card deck and book}. He has also written A Gathering of Gods. He is  a corporate trainer, a mythologist and vibrant speaker as well as an arts critic and cultural commentator. Rohit is also a Lineage Master in the Eight Spiritual Breaths system of Yoga

Rohit Arya_ Creation of the Zero card in the Sacred India Tarot

A brief glimpse of the process of creation of the Wild Card in the Sacred India Tarot. In the traditional Tarot this is the Zero card of the Major Arcana also known as the  Fool. Rudra- Shiva was the choice. It is an interesting perspective on cultural viewpoints that neither my publisher nor I ever felt there was any issue with keeping the old name. Our printer however expressed his deep reserve and hurt feelings…”How can you call Lord Shiva a fool?”  Not having the time to explain the context and the culture – the gulf in perspective was too immense – we opted for discretion and called it the Wild Card, which is actually a pretty accurate name! Self-censorship as a preemptive precaution has unfortunately become a necessity in contemporary India; people feel slighted and take offense at whim, and they have a whim of iron.

 THE WILD HUNTER

Rohit’s Notes:

 

“He should be of immense muscular development, an athlete-warrior-hunter.  His complexion should be white skinned with tawny or long flowing copper coloured hair.  Rudra is the Archetypal outsider god, and his expression should be a combination of humour and danger.  His clothes should either be of deerskin or tiger skin, with the usual combination of snakes as ornaments.  His head should have the horn headdress made famous by the Indus Valley Seals – the famous Proto-Shiva.  A crescent moon within the headdress would not be a bad idea.  The whole figure should communicate the same wild untamed irresistible energy that your Nataraja figure had.  He should have four arms and be in a cosmic dancing posture.  In his hands he should be holding a trident, an arrow, a bow, and perhaps the creative-destructive fire of Rudra in his left upper hand.  The bow should be the composite bow of India, a wooden hilt or grip with double curved sections of horn to make up the rest of the bow.  If that is difficult, the off centre samurai bow of Japan will do just as well.

 Bhairava dancing:  Rudra

Rudra should be accompanied in his dance across the forested Himalayan landscape by four dogs that should be red, white, black and yellow in colour.  They represent the four Vedas.  Ideally all of them should be of different breeds.  The other animals seen in the first illustration you sent, also communicate his role as the Lord of the animals, Pashupatinatha.”

Jane had drawn Rudra before in this version shown below

Correspondence: Jane:  “Rudra/Bhairava is based on a sculpture of Bhairava dancing, in the Malikarjuna Temple.  the posture slightly echoes the Western tarot Fool – the legs…  His body and limbs are pure white, he has long red-copper-gold hair streaming out to each side, he is like lightning.  His four hands carry arrow, trident, fire and bow, and he wears a tiger skin and snakes.

I hope to begin Vishnu tomorrow.  He, the Sustainer, and as The Magician, will be very still and centred.”

Jane’s Notes: 

“His cosmic dance on the Himalayas accompanied by 4 dogs – the Vedas – emerges as the creative potential when not yet focused or directed.  The energy could release anywhere.  The Wild Hunter Rudra is before space and time.  His upper body has the hunter’s awareness.  From a stormy sky he descends like lightning.  His facial expression combines humour and danger.  He is terrible yet innocent.

The snakes refer to the universal Serpent Power – Kundalini – before she is tamed by yoga.  The wavy motion of the serpent symbolism is in all the mythologies.  They flow like water, storm and grains of sand;  they are the ley-lines of the earth, the meridians of the body, the currents of creation.”

EARLY VERSION OF THE CARD

Correspondence:  Rohit: (This painting was then redone, as it was not considered wild enough -)  “… The tawny hair is a beautiful touch.  The face seems out of proportion …

  The lower right hand should hold a long trishul, not the short stabbing one depicted.  The upper right hand should have the damaru or small drum.  The figure you had given us earlier of the cosmic nataraja had a great wild cosmic-shaking energy to it with wild spirals and lines, which would be nice to have here – as the Fool is an ambivalent card expressing the creative as well as the shadow side of the soul.  Perhaps the face expression should not be humorous as much as awesome … The madness and exuberant freedom of Shiva is missing …  As you say, he should be the wild hunter Rudra before space and time.”

Rudra – Creative spirit or potential from the ancient ones, not yet focused – any which way – dances in all directions

Final version as it appears in the Sacred India Tarot

Rohit Arya is an Author, Yogi and Polymath. He has written the first book on Vaastu to be published in the West, {translated into five languages} the first book on tarot to be published in India, co-authored a book on fire sacrifice, and is the creator of The Sacred India Tarot {82 card deck and book}. He has also written A Gathering of Gods. He is  a corporate trainer, a mythologist and vibrant speaker as well as an arts critic and cultural commentator. Rohit is also a Lineage Master in the Eight Spiritual Breaths system of Yoga

Rohit Arya_ Symbolism of the Sri Yantra

The Sri Chakra Yantra, to give it the correct name, is regarded as the Supreme Yantra. Any other Yantra is but a part or fraction of the Sri Yantra; it both includes and transcends all Yantras ever made, and no existing Yantra can not be found in the Sri Yantra. The benefits of all Yantras are, therefore, to be found individually and collectively in the Sri Yantra. It is also considered to be the greatest achievement in the abstract, symbolic representation of the Divine. The Sri Yantra is traditionally held to have been divinely revealed rather than invented, a concept that is easily understood when one realizes the immense complexity of the Yantra. Sri Chakra literally means the ‘Wheel of the Mother Goddess’ but, actually, it represents the symbolic Energy Form of the Goddess.

It is a mandala, a geometric abstract that symbolizes the cosmos which, in this case, is also the body of the goddess. The goddess is supposed to reside in her physical, visible form in the dot or bindu at the center of the Yantra while simultaneously permeating the entire universe. This ‘double presence’ concept is vital in grasping the Sri Yantra. Her seat has four ‘pillars’: Brahma – the creator, in the Northeast; Vishnu – the preserver, in the Southeast; Rudra – the dissolver, in the Southwest; and Sadasiva – the eternal Shiva, in the Northwest.

The bindu is the core of the Yantra and represents, at various times, the principles or activities known as the Pancha Kriya of:

  • Emanation of the cosmos from its primal source;
  • Projection of creation into the primal void;
  • Preservation of the created universe;
  • Withdrawal of the creative and preservative energies in cosmic dissolutions; and lastly,
  • Retention of the withdrawn energy-universe for the next cycle of re-creation.

These five activities are regarded as the five modes of expression of the Universal Mother.

The Significance Of Its Unique Design
The diagram of the Sri Chakra is primarily a Matrix (i.e. womb) of nine interlocking triangles. Four of these are upright and represent Shiva – the male principle, and the five inverted triangles represent Shakti – the dynamic female principle of the Universe. In another interpretation, the nine triangles stand for the Mula Prakritis or nine fundamental elements or Universal Root Stuff. This aspect of the macro-cosmos, the larger universe without, is faithfully reproduced in man, the micro-cosmos. The nine substances in the human body are skin (trak), blood (asrk), flesh (mamsa), fat (medher) and bone (asthi) which are given by Shakti; and the other four are from Shiva being semen (sukla), marrow (majja), vital breath (prana) and the individual soul (jivatman). As you can see, even at the very basic level, the symbolism of the Yantra is formidable. The nine interlocking triangles form a further set of 44 triangles, which include the central primary one.

Enclosing the 44 triangles are two concentric circles, each containing the symbol of the lotus. The outer lotus has 16 petals, while the inner lotus has eight petals. These two circles are then girdled or ‘netted’ (valaya) by three other concentric circles. Again, the matrix formation is obvious. The outer circles are enclosed in a square field called the courtyard. This outer enclosure is usually formed of triple lines and, on each side, there is a gateway or Dvara open to all four directions. These are liminal spots (they are thresholds of potential, of awareness, or transformations).

Every angle, or kona, produced by intersecting triangles in the Yantra, represents the union of male and female energies of Shiva and Shakti. The primary central triangle is called the Kama-kala – the seat of the Mother, and is the most creative spot in the universe.


The spots where the lines intersect (sangam) are also of great importance. If two lines intersect, they are called sandhi and their vagina-like shape symbolically indicates sandhana, the act of union. Where three lines intersect they are called marmas, and they are vital spots in the body where the life-energy resides as well as accumulates. The marma has thus been called the Seat of Life or Jiva-sthana. Indian and Chinese martial artists have known of these spots which when struck can cause disability, paralysis or even death. There is a dense accumulation of Prana or Ki at those spots that renders them vulnerable to those in the know. Healers can, paradoxically, use precisely these spots to channel healing energy into the body with far greater efficacy than is normal, which is why every good martial artist is also a healer. In the Sri Yantra, all the important marmas found in the human body are represented and, by meditating upon them, a martial artist or healer can access the location of every vital spot in the human body.

The Sri Yantra Symbolically Represents Man And The Cosmos
Thus, we see that the Sri Yantra is a highly intricate lattice or matrix of geometric forms that simultaneously represent man and the universe. To sum up, the Yantra begins with the dot or bindu surrounded by the primary triangle; then an eight-cornered figure with the eight-petalled lotus; the ten-angled figure with a net or girdle of the 16-petalled lotus; then comes a 14-petalled lotus figure with the enclosing square.

Let us now move to a deeper level of understanding the Yantra. The nine enclosures or chakras represent the Emanation, Preservation and Withdrawal of the universe. Three chakras constituting:

  • The square, the 16-petalled lotus and eight-petalled lotus on the periphery form the center of Emanation
  • The 14-cornered figure and the two 10-angled figures in the middle, form the center for Preservation
  • The eight-angled figure, the primary central triangle and the central point or bindu make the center of Re-absorption and Retention

The first three circles or chakras are presided over by the Moon (Chandra), which is the head of the Mother, while the second three circles are presided over by the Sun (Surya), and the third group of three circles are presided over by Fire (Agni), the friend of gods and men. These three fields are fundamentally inseparable even though they are classified as separate – which only means that they cannot function independently of one another. If one is active, then the other two are also energized. The Primary Triangle also stands for three aspects of the Mother: Bala – the Young One; Tripura-Sundari – the Thrice Beautiful; and Tripura-Bhairavi – the Thrice Terrible. Terrible here refers to ‘terribilatia’ – the sense of awe manifest before the power of God. This classification is analogous to the western mystical Triad of Maiden, Mother and Crone and indeed, at an archetypal level, there is no difference.

Now, we come to the significance of the Nine Enclosures or chakras of the ‘Fortress’. We shall assume that the Sri Yantra is a fort, and it does indeed look like the plan of one when viewed carefully. Traveling from the outer periphery wall to the inner bindu is an ascent through various levels of consciousness and mystical significance, overcoming myriad obstacles of conditioning and fears along the way.


The First Enclosure
This is technically named Bhupur and is called ‘Deluder of the Realms’ or Trailokya Mohana Chakra. It has petals in four directions, which contain esoteric knowledge to be transmitted. There are actually six gateways to this enclosure if we take a three-dimensional view of it, the four obvious dvaras and those ‘above’ and ‘below’. The Eastern gate is the way of the mantras. The Southern gate is the way of devotion or bhakti. The Western gate is for the performance of rites and rituals, or karma-kanda. The Northern gate is the way of wisdom, or Jnana. The gate ‘below’ is the ‘path of words’ while the gate ‘above’ is the way or ‘road of liberation’. These are located at the Southern and Northern gate, respectively, i.e. ‘above’ is north, ‘below’ is south. Each of these gates also stands for one of the six primary chakras in the body. ‘Below’ is the root or Muladhara Chakra; the Eastern gate to the sacral or Svadhishthana Chakra; the Southern to the navel or Manipura Chakra; the Western corresponds to heart or Anahata Chakra; the Northern to the throat or Visuddha Chakra, and the ‘above’ to the brow or Ajna Chakra. The devotee or seeker is still operating at the level of desire here.


The Second Enclosure
This is technically named Shodashal and is called the ‘Fulfiller of all Hopes’ or Sarva Ashapurak Chakra. Since frustrated desire is the strongest obstacle to spiritual progress, the next stage is wisely concerned with satisfying them. Only he who has experienced can renounce. The values of virtue, wealth and pleasure are granted at this stage. The petals are representations of 16 sacred vowels, each one starting from the east in an anti-clockwise direction. Each of the 16 vowels corresponds to the divine Feminine Energy or Shakti. The Shaktis manifest their powers in the Five Elements, the 10 senses of perception or Indriyas (being further divided into five organs of action and five sense organs) and the Mind. This stage, too, corresponds to the Muladhara Chakra and is the second part of Emanation. Progress towards long-term objectives is achieved here.


The Third Enclosure
This is technically named Ashtadal and is called ‘Agitator of All’ or Sarva Sankshobhan Chakra. The eight large petals here represent a state of psychophysical dynamic equilibrium. Each petal has a consonant inscribed within it that begins with ‘Ka‘ – the name of the Unknown God. Symbolically the petals exemplify dynamic quality. In the East, the petal stands for speech and expression; in the South, apprehension and reception; in the West, locomotion; in the North, bodily urges and excretion; in the Southeast, pleasure; in the Southwest, rejections and reactions; in the Northwest, conscious attention; and in the Northeast, detachment and dispassion.

Alternative perspectives see the eight petals as the seats of eight goddesses who are responsible for: Speech (Vachana), Transaction (Adana), Departure (Gamana), Transcendence (Visarg), Bliss (Ananda), Absence/Detachment (Hana), Giving (Upadana) and, last of all, Neglect (Upeksha).

In yet another interpretation, the eight petals symbolize: Form (Rupa), Taste (Rasa), Smell (Gandha), Touch (Sparsha), Sound (Shabdha), Primordial Sound (Nada), Primordial Nature (Prakriti), and The Self (Purusha).

The third enclosure corresponds to the Manipura Chakra and is a transition stage between Emanation-Preservation symbolically representing both of them. This stage sees the aspirant succeed even further towards reaching the ultimate goal.


The Fourth Enclosure
This is technically named Chaturdashar and is called the ‘Provider of Prosperity’ or Sarva Saubhagya Dayak Chakra. It is a 14-cornered figure. It represents the first 14 letters of the Sanskrit alphabet, regarded as a sacred revelation of words of power. As always, they are also supposed to be the seat of Shaktis who represent: the Mind (Manas), the Intellect (Buddhi), Being (Chitta), the Conscious Ego (Ahamkara) and the 10 Indriyas. The chakra associated with it is the Anahata and it is the first stage of Preservation-Emanation. Hope of spiritual success is firmly established at this stage in the aspirant.

The Fifth Enclosure
This is technically named the Bahiradashar and is called ‘Achiever of all Objects’ or Sarva Artha Sadhak Chakra. It is a 10-cornered figure. It corresponds to the Visuddha chakra and is the stage called Preservation-Preservation, meaning a very strong Vishnu energy. The 10-cornered figure represents the 10 types of Vital Breaths (Prana or Ki). This is inevitable as Vishnu (He Who Pervades) is the Support of the Universe, i.e. Vishnu is the visibilization of the Prana which is the support of all life. The possibility, not the actual experience, of inner spiritual realization is firmly established here.

The Sixth Enclosure
This is technically named the Antardashar and is called ‘Protector of All’ or Sarva Rakshakar Chakra. It is also a 10-cornered figure. There is some ambivalence about it as it corresponds to the Manipura Chakra, but is apparently experienced by mystics who have internalized the Sri Yantra as being between the eyebrows, which is where you would expect the Ajna Chakra to be. Its nature is that of fire (Agni), the 10 specific ‘fires within the body’ being the fire of purgation (Rechak), digestion (Pachak), absorption (Shoshak), burning (Dahak), the secretion of enzymes (Plavak), acidification (Ksharak), to take out or excrete (Uddharak), the fires of pessimism and frustration (Kshobhak), the fire of assimilation (Jrambhak) and creating luster (Mohak).

This enclosure symbolizes the third stage of Preservation called Preservation-Absorption. The advent of inner realization begins here.


The Seventh Enclosure
This is technically named Ashtar, an eight-cornered figure, and is called ‘Remover of all Diseases’ or Sarva Roga Hara Chakra. It is represented by five letters of the ‘pa‘ group as also the letters ‘sa‘, ‘sha‘ and ‘sa‘ again. The eight letters are also supposed to represent the eight weapons held by the Kameshwara – Kameshwari (Shiva-Durga) dyad which destroy disease. Shiva as Rudra was specifically a healer, thus this enclosure merely adds the feminine healing energy to the mix.

Paradoxically, it corresponds to two chakras of the human body, both the forehead Ajna as well as the Svadhisthana Chakras. It may have something to do with the sort of energy required to bring about healing. Energy workers are aware that it sometimes begins to flow from the womb or genitals, where the Svadhisthana is located. This enclosure symbolizes the first stage of Absorption, namely Absorption-Emanation. At this level the aspirant is free of all earthly bondage and is, literally, on the threshold of the inner circle of realization.

The Eighth Enclosure
This is the Primary Triangle technically named the Kama-kala and more typically is called ‘The Bestower of all Attainments’ or Sarva Siddhiprada Chakra. The Kama-kala is the first outcome or effect of the central bindu’s energy outflow. Since it is an inverted triangle, it is also described as ‘the wandering between horns’, the two lines meeting at a point below being the horns.

The three lines of the triangle are also held to represent the three qualities or Gunas: Purity and Calm (Sattva), Activity (Rajas), and Inertia (Tamas). Alternatively, the three lines are held to symbolize three goddesses – Kameshwari, Brijeshwari and Agamalini. They also represent the three stages of consciousness: Conscious Awareness (Jagriti), Dreaming (Swapna), and Deep Slumber (Sushupti). The fourth stage of Consciousness is literally Turiya – the Fourth! This is a transcendent state found only in the ultimate realization of the final enclosure.

The Kama-kala represents the head (and womb!) of the Mother and symbolizes also the three fundamental tendencies of existence – desire, knowledge, activity – which also have to be transcended for the final liberation. This is the penultimate stage before complete realization of the Self. The primary triangle represents the second stage of Absorption, namely Absorption-Preservation, and it is white in color denoting purity or sattva.


The Ninth Enclosure
This is the central point or Bindu and is aptly called ‘Filled with all Bliss’ or Sarva Anandamayai Chakra. Since it is too minute to be clearly seen, the Primary Triangle exists as a manifestation of this bindu. This point is the actual spot where the Mother resides though, to make matters interesting, this point is supposed to pervade all creation too! This, in a temple, would be the sanctum sanctorum, with all the other circles or enclosures representing various parts of the temple as you move inwards. Every classic temple has this nine-enclosure design to enable the mind to be successively purified and focused, by the time it gets the actual vision of the deity. By this point, the seeker should be in mystical union with the God-field. The point is also called the ‘Field of Deliberation’, the spot wherein takes place the indissoluble union of the individual soul with the divine.

Some Sri Yantras have a further division within the bindu space, three dots arranged in a triangle and standing for the three creative fires: the Fire of the Moon, i.e. the dot representing it is red in color and it also stands for the ida channel for the prana on the left (lunar) side of the body; the Fire of the Sun is a white dot, and represents the pingala channel for the prana on the right side of the body; the Fire of Agni, sacred flame, is of mixed colors and stands for the central channel, the sushumna. In such cases, of course, the actual bindu will be infinitely small and enclosed within the triangular space formed by these three dots.

The Ninth Enclosure is the ultimate gathering up of Emanation and represents Absorption-Absorption, ‘filled with all bliss’ as bliss – Ananda – is defined as ‘Resting in Oneself’. This point corresponds to the Sahasrara Chakra, the aperture on the crown of the head.

It is the culmination of the inner journey, a return to Godhead. The reverse process is the unfolding of the Universe. These two processes alternate eternally in the process known as Vyapta-Vyapta, Manifest-Unmanifest, creation by emanation, dissolution, absorption and then emanation again.

Benefits Of Worshipping The Sri Yantra
In the worship of Sri Yantra, one proceeds from the outer square to the innermost bindu. This process almost invariably involves the awakening of the Kundalini power within. However, the Sri Yantra need not be used that way. It can be simply worshipped and allowed to radiate its energy outwards to create prosperity and harmony for the worshipper. The immense complexity of the Sri Yantra makes it a veritable unified Pantheon of the Gods. Worshipping the Sri Yantra ensures you have worshipped all forms of divinity. It is an immense intellectual discipline, as well as a towering achievement of Indian spiritual thought

Rohit Arya is an Author, Yogi and Polymath. He has written the first book on Vaastu to be published in the West, {translated into five languages} the first book on tarot to be published in India, co-authored a book on fire sacrifice, and is the creator of The Sacred India Tarot {82 card deck and book}. He has also written A Gathering of Gods. He is  a corporate trainer, a mythologist and vibrant speaker as well as an arts critic and cultural commentator. Rohit is also a Lineage Master in the Eight Spiritual Breaths system of Yoga

Rohit Arya_ the Shiva lingam in the Centre of India

The Dighori temple in Madhya  Pradesh  has a Spatika  {white moonstone} Shiva lingam reputedly the largest such lingam in the world. It is situated at what seems to be the exact geographical centre of India, but its power is that of a yogi who created a sthala peetham, a ‘spiritual process in potential’ which can be accessed by those who share the karma and the lineage.

I stumbled upon this temple entirely by chance. I was in Pench Tiger reserve , facilitating a corporate workshop for people taking initiative in rural development and sustainability. Wishing to visit the actual sites where this quite remarkable work was going on I was told we would be taken to a village which is near this ‘famous’ Dighori temple. I had never heard of it.  Then I was told it was also famous for being the birthplace of one of the Shankaracharyas, heads of spiritual orders and about the only strained equivalent chaotic Hinduism has to a pontiff. There was still no flicker of response from me, a situation that seemed to pique and slightly offend my helpful fount of information. Then I was told  it is the largest Spatika lingam in the world and I perked up. Spatika is white moonstone crystal and an entire Shiva lingam made of that signified that some very advanced yogi had been at work. It is difficult to energize properly such a substance; it holds enormous spiritual reserves if done correctly, but the inherent fragility of the materiel makes it very brittle and prone to crack when the energizing process  is  powerful.  Spatika uses and enhances the Ida or lunar energies of the Kundalini Shakti predominantly to calm and strengthen the energies of the organism or indeed of the surrounding environment. A full scale Shiva lingam, temple size,instead of personal puja space, that would be something to see and experience. So we went.

The temple is situated between Seoni town, mentioned in the Jungle Book as home to Mowgli’s pack, and the city of Nagpur. There is a high scale of agriculture but the jungle is also present everywhere, in the backdrop at the limits of vision. Several times the road takes you through actual deciduous forests. They are not very good roads, a fact casually acknowledged by a cheerful sign – “If the bridge is under water, please do not use it!’  You have to turn left from the highway on the way to Nagpur when you leave Seoni to access Dighori temple. Electricity has reached here, and so has the occasional stretch of tar and concrete, but browsing unremarked amongst cattle and goats were nilghai, twisty horned antelopes! Only the ignoramuses from the city seemed to find that notable, but it only underscored the omnipresence of the forest, at the edges of consciousness, a molten subtext of the wild to the apparent myth of pastoral we found ourselves in. It was beautiful, and there were people, even at ten in the morning, displaying evidence they had no loos at home. The jarring it proceeds on urban sensibilities, and the completely oblivious acceptance showed by all was a mini-education about the problems facing this impossible country. In the manner popular now all over India there was a concrete archway at the beginning of the actual road leading to Dighori temple. Madhya Pradesh favours large serpents and tridents to signify we are in Shaivite country.

As we approached I began to feel, not a pull, not an attraction, but a distinct Force, a pulsing power. I have been a yogi for a while now and such places vibrate strongly with me. It was not unpleasant, but it was not comfortable either. The previous night, as I was about to do my final meditation routine and retire for the night I began to shiver uncontrollably till my teeth chattered. This was strange but I put it down to an unaccustomed hi-impact AC! Under the blanket my Manipura, the navel chakra basically exploded. No other words will suffice, just an eruption of heat and power. It spread all over my body but I felt more power was flowing to the chest and arms than the legs. These sort of weird experiences have become quite regular now and I do not pay much heed to them or get overly excited. As soon as the cold stopped I sat down to meditate and fell asleep! That was noteworthy, for I was still conscious and aware but I could also hear myself snoring. I was locked into position and  there was nothing much I could do except to let it play out. After almost 100 minutes I  really fell asleep and woke up quite stiff and cramped still in my sitting posture. Now as I approached the Dighori temple it was clear some sort of clearing had been done first.

The temple has well maintained lawns and even a water tower. It is the middle of interior India so this is quite a disconcerting sight, a faux 15th century South Indian stone temple replicated in concrete and whitewashed, with these Trishulas all over. An aarti was going on, worship with chants and lamps, in which the armed policeman was enthusiastically participating. It was surely a violation of rules but his devotion was sincere. The din of the aarti – specifically designed so that inauspicious and negative comments though articulated will not be audible to the deity –  made all conversation moot. Also we had no time there, this was a bonus, an attempt at understanding the important markers of the cultural milieu. This is what I garnered from my brief time there.  These are a result of my Samyama, my mediation upon the subject. I offer no evidence per se I merely state this is what I feel is the significance of the temple. Photos of the lingam are not allowed.

The temple has been situated by a great yogi at the spot where he did his sadhana and attained his realization as did his gurus before him. From the clue in the name and the forest environment I understood they were Aghora yogis. Before he passed on he accumulated his knowledge, his experiences and his particular spiritual system into an energy package and deposited it inside the Spatika lingam. The lingam has seven copper bands around it which also means it has been created as a Master in pure energy form, each band representing one of the principal chakras and providing some material substance to embody otherwise uncontrollable energy. That is an ancient feature of all correctly created Shiva lingams, it functions at the energy level of a real guru and his chakras with none of the problems of dealing with his individual karma and human personality! Inside this Spatika lingam however he has created a sthala peetham,   a knowledge bank, a repository of his parampara or lineage and all their techniques. It can be accessed by somebody who is in the lineage and who has the require adhikara, the karmic deservedness or right. The ellipsoid form of the lingam the white crystal used – both hugely resistant to entropy at a spiritual level – ensured that the energy and the knowledge it carries will be stable for essentially millennia. I could not access it, it is not my path. But being in the Kundalini system I could recognize it and feel its incredible power.

Spataika works predominantly with the Ida or lunar channel of the Kundalini. The previous night I had a full blown episode of the Pingala or solar channel even though my Ida normally works even better than the Pingala. Some sort of balancing out was obviously in play, too much lunar input could have damaged my system so the Pingala activated in that quite unexpected manner and made me feel I was inside a volcano. The more I do Yoga the more astonished I am at how incredible the wisdom of the body is, specifically the energy sheath known as the pranmaya kosha. It remembers everything we have ever done, in every form of sadhana we have ever done, and insight and intuition are, as I have learnt, not mental process but purely body consciousness of the pranamaya kosha.  Whatever energy input I received from the spatika lingam is not at a conscious or verbal level; I just sensed it flow into me. The lingam  is so powerful they have a separate brass plated lingam to do abhishekam with and give charanamrita to drink from. That should tell you something. People who drink the water or milk used on the spatika are likely to have extraordinary reactions and it has wisely been avoided.

The clues are everywhere. The Nandi or bull vahana of Shiva has an extraordinary kundalini sarpam or snake emerging from his hump  – Anahata  – and reaching the Sahasrara between the horns. I will not say more here, I do not feel I have the right to reveal it as yet,  but those who can comprehend what is being communicated will grasp its full import. I have never seen this displayed in this public manner, that Nandi is unique in all India which abounds in peculiar Nandis, all displaying some aspect of yogic technique which can be achieved at the sacred spot they are in. The relative inaccessibility and obscurity of the temple also means that whatever process has been initiated by the founding yogi is working itself out in its own time. The temple is as close to the geographic centre as makes little difference but he has placed this white moonstone lingam over the solar plexus of the energy body of the land! Yogis never think small but this is indeed magnificent. In doing so he decided to consciously intervene in the evolution of the spiritual process of the land, which had become somewhat awry owing to the turbulent history it had endured. One day the person with the adhikara to access the parampara will land up there and then this temple will no longer remain obscure. Till then it is a peaceful little diversion. I am going back whenever I can. I may not be the one who can reach in but the Lingam has so many gifts; to access them takes time and I was barely there for ten minutes. Next time I am going to try and contact the Founding yogi and ask for his inputs and instructions. In the meantime I do my part in making this awesome place known to all serious yogis.

Rohit Arya is an Author, Yogi and Polymath. He has written the first book on Vaastu to be published in the West, {translated into five languages} the first book on tarot to be published in India, co-authored a book on fire sacrifice, and is the creator of The Sacred India Tarot {82 card deck and book}. He has also written A Gathering of Gods. He is  a corporate trainer, a mythologist and vibrant speaker as well as an arts critic and cultural commentator. Rohit is also a Lineage Master in the Eight Spiritual Breaths system of Yoga