Q. What are yantras? What is their function? For what are they used? How effective are they?
A. Yantra is an etching, a diagram, etched on a foil, (such as silver gold or copper) which symobilises different forms of divinity meant for different purposes. It can also be described as a mystical or astronomical diagram used as an amulet or charm. Adi Sankaracharya's Saundarya Lahiri is one such authoritative work on yantras. Literally speaking, Yantra means: "to control, curb, bind or influence".The etching is followed by a series of Pujas and Japams done by devout and learned Vedic priest to impart life energy of the concerned deity to the yantra. Each Yantra has a different kind of PUJA to be done. The number of Japams of certain powerful mantrams also depend on various other factors. These energized yantras when kept at home, office, hospitals, etc., emit powerful positive vibrations that minimize the negatives in these places and help people who use them have more positive vibes and achieve their goals. Various yantras are available with us. ALL YANTRAS must be kept on the EAST or NORTH walls on a wooden platform. Each Yantra is accompanied by "PRASAD" (such as betel nut, clove, cardamom and a thread). These may be tied in a white cotton cloth and kept next to the Yantra or hung on the wall next to the Yantra. The thread however has to be kept underneath one's pillow at night and carried in the wallet at daytime. If possible, offering of a flower to the Yantra, waving an agarbathi (incense) in front of it or burning a DHIYA (lamp with cotton wick and oil) increases the efficacy of the yantra. No PUJA to be offered to this for 5 days during menstrual cycles of women at home.