A yantra is a mystical diagram which utilizes awareness of the mystical effects of colors and shapes to altar consciousness. The Soma Maṭha Yantra is the mystical symbol of the Maṭha, revealed to Swamiji in his meditation. As a symbol for the Maṭha, the yantram has great mystical significance. Meditating on its form or worship of the yantra bestows unique spiritual benefits of healing, nourishment, peace, and spiritual realization.
The Colors, Shapes, and Spiritual Energy of the Yantram
The Bindu (the Center Point)
Every yantra is created outward from the bindu (point) in the center. This bindu symbolizes the Lord, from whose formless being all creation is issued forth. From a central point all yantras are created to extend in the four directions. A yantra energetically mimics the process of creation in the universe and for this reason it has the power to generate the specific spiritual energy emobdodied by it mantra and deity. The energy of the whole yantra is said to be contained in the bindu, just as the energy of the deity is contained within the seeds syllable. The seed mantra of this yantra is "shreem," which carries the energies of nourishment, surrender, faith, devotion, refuge, and support.
The Deity to the Yantra
The deity of this yantra is Soma. Soma is a name of the Moon and Soma is also the mystical herbal nectar prepared for offering in Vedic sacrifices and taken as prasadam (a sacrament) after worship. The mystical Soma beverage is said to possess healing powers and the ability to induce transcendental states of consciousness.
The Golden Bilva Leaf
At the center of the Soma Maṭha Yantra is a golden bilva (Aegle marmelos) leave with three leaflets. The Bilva leaf is sacred to Lord Shiva, the patron deity. Lord Shiva in his healing aspect of Bala-Vaidyanatha is the patron deity of the Maṭha. Bilva is the most sacred plant for offering to Lord Shiva, and its three leaflets symbolize the trimurti and triloka over which Mahashwara (Shiva) is the sovereign Lord. The Bilva Ashtakam says that offering one bilva leaf to the Ligam image of Lord Shiva with devotion generates merit equal to hundreds of Vedic sacrifices. The bilva tree also has many important medicinal uses in Ayurveda. The golden color has a mystical energy of Jnaanam or spiritual Knowing from which all healing generates. Disease has its origins in prajna parada (acting against wisdom), and healing is caused by wisdom.
The Shadkonam (Six-pointed Star)
Around the bilva leaf are two white triangles, together forming a six pointed star. The upward pointing triangle relates to the fire, energy, and Shiva. The downward pointing triangle relates to water, realization, and Shakti. Together these two triangles create a stabilizing effect on the anatomy, balancing the energies of the ida and pingala nadis and calming the mind for meditation. The white color here is the color of spiritual purity and it is a color which relates to Soma. Soma is the moon, and in Vedic thought Soma is also the healing essence of plants which nourishes all life on Earth which is said to originate from the Moon. Outside the star is a light lavender color which relates to spiritual wisdom and mystical awareness.
The Padma (Lotus)
Around the central portion of the Yantra, there is a 16 petaled lotus. The sixteen petals relate to the Moon and the Divine feminine. The Moon is related to the feminine and the Sun to the Masculine. The moon has sixteen phases and as the Moon passes through these phases it has various effects on the mind. At full Moon time, people are very extroverted and active, and perhaps even agitated. At No-Moon phase people are introverted, reserved and even depressed. This is why 16 is said to be a number which relates to the Moon and the mind and people's emotional state in particular. There are also 16 Sanskrit vowel sounds which are said to relate to the Moon and the mind. These Sanskrit vowels are the seed mantras for the petals of this Yantra: aṁ āṁ iṁ īṁ uṁ ūṁ ṛṁ ṝṁ lṛṁ lṝṁ eṁ aiṁ oṁ auṁ aṁ aḥ
The lotus is a symbol of the blossoming of spiritual consciousness and spiritual purity. Though the roots of the lotus send stems from the mud on the bottom of ponds, the pure clean lotus flower blooms beautifully without being muddied. The bija Mantra of the yantra itself is "shreem." The lotus petals are light blue which relates to a love of the Divine. Outside the lotus is a light pink color which relates to pure, selfless, spiritual Love (Prema), and which also stimulates physical vitality.
The Shakti (Energy) of the Yantra
The light blue, lavender, and white colors have a cooling effect (like the Moon). This cool energy is tempered slightly by the gentle warmth of the gold and pink colors, but like the Moon, its energy is cool. It has an energy like the many cooling tonic herbs used by Ayurveda to build ojas (immunity and strength) in the body like shatavari, musali, bala, medha, comfrey, marshmallow, slippery elm, solomon's seal, black cohosh and many others. These herbs are cooling, calming, moistening nutritive tonics which are said to possess similar qualities to the energy of the moon. They reduce vata and pitta dosha but tend to increase kapha (as does this yantra and mantra).
Meditation on the Yantra
Meditation on this yantra brings mental peace, and encourages deep healing from all types of dis-ease; it builds happy, positive emotions, strength, ojas, resistance to dis-ease and immunity; it helps reduce anger, anxiety, depression, heat and pitta. It has a calming and grounding energy which gives a person stability. It is also is useful for healers to develop healing abilities and for connecting with herbs, plants, trees, and nature in general. Meditation on this yantra helps unlock the ability to communicate with plants and the intuitive knowledge of the healing powers of plants. Animals in the wild, instinctively eat the right healing herbs when they are sick. Humans have this innate knowledge of herbs also, but they have lost touch with nature. This yantra bring a person in unison with nature. It helps a person to surrender the instincts of the ego for spiritual transformation. Worship of the yantra or dedicated practice meditating on its inner energy like the Soma of Vedic rituals will lead to bliss, immortality, and spiritual awareness.
Yo rudro agnau yo apsuya oshadhishu yo rudro vishvaa bhuvanaa vivesha tasmai rudraaya namo astu .
The Name: Śhuklabhadra Soma Pīṭham
Under the Mantra the Official Name of the Monastery is written in Sanskrit; "Śhuklabhadra Soma Pīṭham." Śhuklabhadra is the name of the spiritual lineage of which the Soma Maṭha is one of four branches. Soma is the name of this specific branch of the Śhuklabhadra lineage. The name śhuklabhadra means “pure, auspicious light” and refers to the light of spiritual illumination which dispels all darkness and trouble. One traditional name for a spiritual center is a maṭha (said like something like mutah). The Sanskrit word “maṭha” can refer to a hut (perhaps where a teacher lives), a Temple, a cloister for monastics, or any ashram or center for spiritual teaching. This word can be used broadly to describe almost any type of spiritual organization (though there is usually a connotation of some sort of Guru giving spiritual teachings). In this case the word “pīṭham” is used in place of the word “maṭha.” The Sanskrit word “pīṭha” means “a seat or a chair,” and when used to describe a spiritual institution, it implied that a living teacher is carrying the spiritual energy of that lineage and occupying a symbolic and often literal “seat” of spiritual authority of the lineage. In this concept the spiritual energy of the lineage is built by the efforts of successive teachers who each in turn, by their qualities of selflessness and compassion for people strive humbly to bring spiritual energies from the inner realms to the physical realm for the benefit of the public. Each time one Guru trains and ordains a successor, the energy of all the previous Gurus in that lineage is transferred to the successor upon ordination. Spiritual knowledge is beyond logical comprehension and can not be attained by reading books. To unlock the mystical secretes of nature, a teacher is necessary. These teachings are traditional given in the East in specific time-tested ways through spiritual maṭhas and pīṭhas. The title “pīṭhādhipati” therefor refers to the person occupying the seat of authority in a spiritual institution. The Soma pīṭha is currently occupied by Śrī Gaṇanāthāmṛtānanda Svāmījī. Similarly the word “maṭhādhipati” is used to describe the spiritual head of a Maṭha. These titles indicate not only a person’s qualification as a spiritual teacher, but more importantly their role as the head of a spiritual organization.