Yantra

Main Entry:  yantra
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  a geometric diagram used in meditation and tantric worship; also, any object used in this way
Etymology:  1877; Sanskrit 'device for holding'
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yantra

in Tantric Hinduism and Vajrayana, or Tantric Buddhism, a linear diagram used as a support for ritual. In its more elaborate and pictorial form it is called a mandala. Yantras range from those traced on the ground or on paper and disposed of after the rite, to those etched in stone and metal, such as are found in temples.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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