Author Archives: Lisa.Greenleaf

Mangala Yantra

mangalaXThe Mangala Yantra, a vessel which accumulates and radiates positive energy, is employed for good fortune and success. Here the central triangle is a powerful blue, focusing the yantra on creative and expressive energy.

Kamala Yantra


Kamala, “she of the lotus,” is a name of Laksmi, one of the most popular deities of India. The last of the ten Mahavidyas, and in striking contrast to her powerful presence in popular religious belief, Kamala is considered of least importance yet crucial within this group. She is a source of worldly blessings, abundance, fertility, and growth. In Hindu myth she appears, as does the Greek Aphrodite, from the ocean. As a member of this tantric group, Kamala is described as free from all other male consorts and as having fierce as well as benign attributes and, in her way as both light and shadow, brings abundance to spiritual aspirations.

This watercolor combines the sacred geometry of the yantra of Kamala with a scene derived from a Punjab Hills painting c. 1775.

Durga Yantra II

durga-2XDuring several hours of watching tiger videos I sketched frames to try to capture how these great cats move. I also stalked our wonderful large gray house cat, Toby, as she ambled around her world.

“That which removes your ignorance is called Durga. That Sakti, that energy inside, through which you know Buddha, Krishna, or Durga, IS Durga.” —Sri H.W.L. Poonja

“You must have seen in the temples and shrines that Durga rides a tiger and has a whip of a snake in her hands. This energy or power is called Durga. Without Durga you cannot understand anything, and so first you have to please your own energy. Then you will understand what you are doing. If you don’t please your energy you will go a wrong way. Most people do not even know which way they have to tread upon, and you will only know if your energy and your aspirations are pure without fault. So first pray to the Goddess Durga within you so that she leads you on a good path. The tiger she rides on symbolizes mind. When you think “I am not Durga,” then the tiger rides on you. If you know “mind is my tiger,” then you are Durga. Most of the people become something that the tiger will ride, but YOU ride the tiger! This is called Durga.” words of Sri H.W.L. Poonja, The Truth Is

Dhumavati Yantra

“Oh children come to me, your most ardent desire.
Enter into my soft black certainty
And become Nothing.”

Ash-colored Dhumavati is the divine energy of ultimate destruction. She reduces the world to ashes and everything in the universe then lies inert, unused and “dead.” As a powerful force contra to ego-centered consciousness, her outward manifestations in the world are frightening: despair, dread, poverty, hunger, and misfortune. To the aware, these are all boons. And to her devotees and for those who find themselves alone she is kind and compassionate. Her home is the cremation ground and her mount, the crow.

Chinnamasta Yantra

“Enter into my Chapel,
Accept my calm effulgent light:
The Void of transparency.”


Chinnamasta is said to represent spiritual accomplishment and the control of the up-rush of kundalini power. She probably originated from Tantric Buddhism where she was known as Chinnamunda or as a form of Vajra-Yogini. Her iconography is very powerful. She is shown having decapitated herself while standing with her head in one hand as streams of her life’s blood is nourishing two attendants standing on either side of her. While this seems a violent image, to remove the head is a symbol of the control of the ego-mind with its endless stories and chatter. Thus it can be seen as a powerful aid to spiritual advancement.

Bagala Mukhi Yantra

“To enter into the mind of God
You may step into my slicing blades and become speachless.
The chatter gone, there is the Silence that always was.”


Here is the yantra of the crane-headed goddess, Bagala Mukhi, the stiffler of speech and action. She is said to represent those unconscious tendencies that lead toward the psychic paralysis of illusion. (The divine is to be found even here.) Her iconography often has her dressed all in yellow, seated on a throne in the middle of a sea of nectar, flanked by cranes. She is grasping a demon by the tongue with one hand. This demon has the power to wreak great destruction in the universe by the power of its words. Thus she is called the great immobilizer, and by her force, winds cease, fire turns cold, and anger is appeased. Paradoxically, at the same time she is associated with eloquence. For those yearning to still the chatter of the mind, her quieting force can be brought to bear. In such situations she is a great mentor.