The Nine Mandalas of the Shri Yantra

The two bindus, white and red, are Shiva and Shakti, who in their secret mutual enjoyment are now expanding and now contracting...the Sun is Kama, which is so called because of its desirableness; and Kala is the two bindus which are Moon and Fire.- Kamakalavilasa


This mandala represents the enclosing walls or fence of the zonule of a practitioner. The three lines of the earthsquare of Shri Yantra each has a set of subsidiary aspects or sub-limbs of the goddess.
On the outer line are the eight World Protectors (lokapalas), the guardian spirits of the directions and intermediate points. On the middle line are eight Siddhi Shaktis identified with the senses. On the inner line are eight Shaktis ruling desire, anger, envy, delusion, greed, jealousy, virtue and vice. They are the eight matrikas or little mothers. These Shaktis are collectively known as the Obvious Ones (Prakata Yoginis).


The Shaktis in this circle are known as the Hidden Ones. The whole mandala of 16 petals is called 'Fulfiller of Desire'. The presiding form of the red devi is Tripureshi. Her vidya is Aim Klim Sauh. She is described as ornamented with all gems, carrying a book and a rosary. The 16 yoginis in this mandala are associated with the attainment of desires by the cultivation or strengthening of power over mind, ego, sound, touch, sight, taste, smell, intellect, steadiness, memory, name, growth, etheric body, revivification, and physical body. They are described as the Nityakalas. Each holds noose, goad, pot full of nectar, and makes the sign of giving. They are very red.


The Shaktis in this mandala are called the Very Secret Yoginis. The whole circle of eight petals is called the 'All Exciting Cakra'. Presiding here is Tripura Sundari. She is described as swaying because of Her love intoxicated state, with Her eyes full of bliss. She smiles with passion. She shows the mudras dispelling fears and granting boons. The eight Shaktis in each of the eight petals of the mandala are described as Shaktis of Speech, Holding, Walking, Excreting, Pleasure, Abandoning, Concentration and Detachment. They are described as sapphire blue, holding noose, goad, dispelling fear, and holding blue lotus. Their names (Ananga Madana etc) all convey terms of loving sexuality.


This mandala is called 'The Cakra Bestowing All Good Fortune'. The Yoginis are called 'Concealed by Tradition'. The presiding form of the devi is Tripura Vasini. She is very red and very beautiful. Fourteen Shaktis of the triangles are associated with the chief nadis or currents of bioenergy. They are described as being proud, wanton, young, colour of cochineal, ornamented with gems, holding noose, goad, mirror, winecup full of nectar. They are the Arkashanis or Attractors. Here we move from the petals of the flower into the 43 triangles of Shri Yantra, formed from the four fires and the five shaktis.


This mandala is called 'The Cakra Bestowing All Objects to the Sadhaka'. The Shaktis are called the Kula Kaulas. The presiding aspect is Tripura Shri. She is as effulgent as 1000 rising suns, adorned with celestial ornaments, with large rising breasts, holding book and rosary, dispelling fears and granting boons. The 10 Shaktis in the triangles are described as having thrilled faces, holding noose and goad and adorned with various crystal and heavenly gems. These are the Yoginis of the 10 vital breaths. The gem is pearl. The dhatu is semen. The time is lunar day (tithi). The mudra is called the All Intoxicating with Love. The nature is sun of sun.


The mandala is called 'The Cakra Protecting All'. The Yoginis are called Without Origin. The presiding aspect of Lalita is Tripura Malini. She holds noose and goad, dispels fear, and holds a skull. She is of vermilion brightness. Her Shaktis are the colour of 1000 rising suns, adorned with pearls and gems, holding noose, chisel, and showing the gestures of knowledge, and giving boons. They are the Shaktis of the 10 Vital fires. The gem is emerald. The dhatu is Marrow. The time is Lunar Fortnight. The Mudra is the Great Goad. The nature is moon of sun. Here Tripura is garlanded in her red flowers, also equated with the blood of menstruation. See Yoni Tantra.


The eight triangle mandala is called 'The Cakra Destroying all Disease'. The yoginis are known as the Secret or Rahasya yoginis. The presiding aspect of the Red Goddess is Tripura Siddha, She is described as the Destroyer of Poison. Her yoginis are the colour of pomegranate flowers, wearing red clothes, smeared with red scent, each carrying five arrows and a how. These Shaktis are the rulers of Cold, Heat, Happiness, Sorrow, Desire, and the three Gunas Sattvas, Rajas, Tamas. They are also called the eight Vasinis. The gem is diamond (Vajra). The time is month. The Mudra is Khecari Mudra. The nature is fire of moon.


The central triangle mandala is called 'The Cakra Giving All Success'. The Yoginis are called Very Secret. Lalita dwells here as Tripura Amba. She is also known as Sampatprada Bhairavi, coppery effulgent, like 1000 suns, with three eyes, a face like the moon, adorned with white gems, with a beautiful figure, rising swelling breasts, intoxicated, wanton, young, proud, holding book, dispelling fear, holding a rosary and granting boons. Her three Shaktis are called Lady of Lust (Kameshvari), Adamantine Lady (Vajreshi), and Flowery Vagina (Bhagamalini). KamesvarI is called the Rudra Shakti. She is white in colour, besmeared with ash, adorned with pearls and crystal, and various other gems, holding book, rosary, bestowing boons and dispelling fear. Vajresi is the Visnu Shakti. She is bright as red powder (Kumkuma), adorned with flowers and gems, like the dawn sun. Her eyelids are smeared with sapphire dust, She holds sugarcane how, flowery arrows, bestows boons, dispels fear. Bhagamalini is the Brahma Shakti. She is effulgent as molten gold, adorned with priceless gems, holds noose, goad, and shows the gestures of knowledge and bestowing boons.


This is the bindu and the mandala is called 'Purely Blissful'. The Yogini in this mandala is the Queen of Queens, the Very Red One, Her Transcendent Majesty Lalita Maheshvari. Her vidya is Ka e i la hrim ha sa ka ha la hrim sa ka la hrim, plus a secret 16th syllable. Her description is given in Vamakeshvara Tantra. Surrounding Her are the fifteen Eternities of the waxing moon. The gem is ruby. The dhatu is hair. The time is year. The mudra is Yoni Mudra. The nature of the mandala is moon of moon Here too is Kamakala, the combined red, white and mixed bindus and the ultimate secret of Shri Shri Mahatripurasundari Devi. Here she sits in sexual union with Mahakameshvara, a form of Shri Mahadeva.

Artwork is © Jan Bailey, 1995. Translations and text are © Mike Magee 1995. Questions or comments to [email protected]

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