21 July 2007

Sri Meru Yantra

In a recent posting I mentioned visiting one of my favourite Temples at Arunachala; the Temple of the Divine Mother, Rajarajeshwari. Although a small Temple set off the girivalam pathway, its quite perfect and I will be posting more information on it in future but for the time being would mention the beautiful Sri Meru Yantra located at the feet of Rajarajeshwari inside Her shrine room.

There are three kinds of Sri Yantra, Bhuprastha, Kurma Prastha and Meru Prastha. A plain Sri Yantra is called Bhuprishtha (back of the Earth), one which is raised on a tortoise back is called Kachchhap Prishtha and that which is raised fully like the Sumeru Mountain is called Meru Prishthha (like a Mountain).

The 3-Dimensional Meru Sri Yantra is a multi-Pyramid Cosmic Grid signifying unlimited abundance and positive powers. In the cosmos there are three states; Creation, Establishment and Destruction and these are represented by the three circles in the Sri Yantra which in itself is the symbol of the Universe or Cosmos.

Sri Yantra is the worshipping place of the form of the Mahatripura Sundari (Rajarajeshwari). It is Her divine abode. All Gods and Goddesses are worshipped in it and all other religious adorations are done there as it includes all conducts, learning and elements.

Koorm Pristhiya (Meru) Sri Yantra is one of the oldest, rarest and most precious Yantras and believed to have been created by Adi Guru Dattatreya for the welfare of the world. The name, Sri Yantra, which means mounted at the back of tortoise upwards is also significant because in Hindu mythology, it is believed that the tortoise lifted the weight of the earth on its back. The tortoise is particularly relevant as it is a very powerful, protected being that can live in either water or land. It is also non-violent and Nature has provided it with a strong cover or jacket to protect it from danger.

Sri Yantra designed over the back of the tortoise has eight petals as in the case of the original Sri Yantra where the Lotus flower (Kamala) has eight groups with sixty four Lotus dal. The reason the lotus flower was chosen for the base of the Yantra is that the lotus is the only holy flower believed to have originated from the navel (Nabhi) of Lord Vishnu.

The Sri Yantra designed on the mount over the back of a tortoise looks similar to the dome of a temple which is slightly mounted. It also depicts one of the fundamental of Vastu Kala which says that any residential house, palace or temple must be mounted at the centre to the top, so that the person residing in it should get more energy radiation and solar reflections from the Universe in order to ensure a life of abundance.

This particular meru inside the shrine of the Rajarajeshwari Temple on the Arunachala girivalam pathway has an interesting recent history. In 2000 Swami Nithyananada performed a homam (puja) at the Temple (on their behalf) for the purpose of expediting the successful completion of ongoing Temple construction work. In lieu of the puja, the Temple presented the then exisiting meru to Swami Nithyananda and replaced it with a new Sri Meru Yantra for the Rajarajeshwari shrine room. Thus the current Sri Meru Yantra at the Temple only dates from the year 2000.

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