By Swami Harshananda
Sometimes transliterated as: Matrkayantra, MAtRkAyantra, Maatrrikaayantra
A mantra is a mystic formula which is generally used for upāsanā and japa. There are several ways of making a mantra efficacious before using it. The first of it is called ‘janana’ or extrication of the letters of the mantra from a specially drawn ‘yantra’ or mystical figure. This is the Mātṛkāyantra’.
It may be drawn either by the filaments of certain flowers or candana or bhasma. The base is a plate of either gold or silver or copper. The yantra consists of eight petals surrounded by a square with gates.
In the center there is a small circle and radial passages spread from it to the petals. All the letters of the Sanskrit alphabet are incorporated in it in a particular order. The actual method of deriving the required mantra from this yantra should be personally learnt from the guru.
- Upāsanā means worship and meditation.
- Japa means repetition.
- It means sandal.
- It is a holy ash used in the worship of Śiva.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore