Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sri yantra: a geometric wonder and now my 4th tattoo

When Zaheer Chattriwala (Tattoo Artist, Studio Z, Santa Cruz West, Mobile number: 9820967870) did the Sri Yantra tattoo for me he maintained the integrity of the triangles. I can imagine it would have been tough, esp on the skin, and that too below the collar bone. First he drew the outline and filled in the red triangles. There are, btw,  43 triangles in all! And the thing about getting it done below the collarbone is that you feel that even if you breathe, you may shake his steady hand. So you breathe shallow, nervously:)  So that was the most difficult thing there. Otherwise by now, with this being the fourth tattoo, the sense of pain has receded completely. And which just shows that pain can be, in stages, dealt it. And maybe, as I often wonder about it, that it is not pain at all, but just an intense experience for which the brain has no definition, and it tends to club it off as pain. I sometimes feel that way in some poses, but of course not all the time, which just shows that I am blabbering as usual! :)
The wonder of the Sri Yantra is that it has triangles that create triangles. But they sort of proceed into each other creating a sense of another dimension if you stare at it long enough. It is used as a meditative tool for this reason because how else does the mind grasp the sense of Infinity, limited as it is by its finite casing in the human brain? The expansiveness of triangles merging into the inner one -- where actually there is a small dot/ bindu ( placed to define the further inward recession/progression. That creates the sense of expansion (You know of the Big Bang? That sort of thing. Chaos theory? That sort of thing:)
I saw an explanation on Sri Yantra which suggests that this yantra leads the mind towards  grasping the intangible concept from the 11th dimension. But since we all have no actual experience of that dimension, we can either trust that suggestion or believe it to be part of yogic hyperbole. We also choose our experiences ...

                                         (Click on image to reach the site for free download of the yantra above)
There are five downward facing triangles (symbolising Shakti, or the female element); and four upward facing ones (representing Shiva, the male element). Their merger creates this geometric and visual wonder. On a psychic level, that would mean merging of the male-female, the yang-yin aspect. On the biological level, it means bringing together the right-left brain hemispheres (You must listen to the video of neuroscientist Jill Bolte Taylor's video on her stroke and recovery and her grasp of this amazing way the brain functions, each hemisphere in isolation which explains why we mean one thing and do another thing: 

The intriguing part of these triangles that create the rest of the others is that they cannot be completely drawn at one go as you would any other geometric design(Am attaching a link which provides very refined clues that will help you further appreciate the wonder of this:) You must draw part of one main triangle, then draw part of the other one. Thus subsequently leading one into another, and several into the bindu. That is rather fabulous. Also, if one triangle moves out of place, the others will lose their integrity and you will not have the yantra at all or anything close to it.  That too creates the sense of connection we all have, or the entire cosmos hanging together in an invisible web none of us can really see! The sense of that amazing connection,  which many of us who are agnostics grasp theoretically, can be grasped practically or at least grasped by the crude human brain by learning to draw the Sri Yantra with care and precision. In fact, in tantra yoga,   yantras were used in this fashion, to help the initiate grasp extremely difficult esoteric concepts. The master commentator on yantras is Harish Johari. You will find his site on the net giving some amazing yantras. (You will find free yantra wallpapers ect here:)

Sri Yantra is nowadays used by several financial institutions as a symbol of prosperity. It is also advised by Vastu for that reason. But I believe its intrinsic value is beyond the material. It is the sense of Infinity that it displays which  is the most engaging and absorbing of all:)

So now I  wait the experience beyond `Aha's!!


evnathan said...

Your write up on Sri Yantra is beautiful. My father drew the Yantra on paper in colour and also on a steel plate over 50 years back. I now realise what an effort it is to align the triangles.


dr tradib said...

hope ur fine,regarding the sri yantra is it five facing down or is it nine,there is a beautiful explanation on it in the saundrya lehari of bihar school yoga version

Shameem Akthar said...

thanks for correcting dr tradib... it is five down facing. My mistake... will correct it in main col.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I've been trying to get exactly THE Same one, but can't find à shop that Will do it. They all say if I want it to be red, it needs lining or else it'll turn out to be one red spot. Can you tell me how big yours is?! Thanx! It's beautiful!

Shameem Akthar said...

Ingrid, you have to give the outline. Even I gave it because otherwise the form want set well... I did with Zaheer Chattriwala -- u will get him on facebook... put a search:) He is also on my face book list and his email is ... he is mumbai based... I myself downloaded the sri yantra from the net and asked for red. MIne is 2.5 inches in width and height approx... It took us quite a while to fill in the colour... but though sometimes some of my tattoos have lost colour, this one healed fast and beautifully, plus retained the red tint I wanted:)