Mandala: circular symbolic representations of both universal and personal forces; they do not always represent a deity.Instead, they are symbolic compositions of energy patterns that are more powerful than pictures.
Mandalas are tools that draw energy from outer world and direct it to the inner. According to Carl Jung,they represent the unconscious self.
Tibetan Buddhist monks create mandala sand paintings in times of stress, danger and conflict. The positive energy of the creation, coupled with the meditations of the monk-artists and the participating public, produce a very special environment that is conducive to healing and protection.
Yantra: uses geometric shapes to represent cosmic and personal connections. Every yantra is a mandala, though not all mandalas are yantras.
The literal meaning of the word ‘yantra’ is ‘instrument’ or ‘machine’. In actual practice a yantra is a symbolic representation of aspects of divine energy. It is an interlocking matrix of geometric figures that form patterns of great elegance and beauty. Although usually drawn in two dimensions, a yantra represents a multi-dimensional object or being.
A yantra is a meditation tool for serious spiritual seekers. Intense meditation on it causes the fully formed image to manifest in your mind's eye with an intensity that is remarkable for its imprinting ability.
Most yantras are connected to the Goddess, the most famous one being the Sri Chakra, an abstract representation of the Divine Mother as the Cosmos. There are also yantras for Ganesha and other male deities. And, there are yantras that are used for more mundane purposes: to enhance your quality of life, to attract prosperity, to attact love; to heal and relieve health problems, to protect you from negative forces.
Yantras are seen as essential to a god or goddess as a body is to a living human being. Constructed using sacred geometry, yatras are a most powerful centring devices for harnessing the divine energies. The design always focuses your attention onto the centre of the yantra where the bindu (dot) is supposed to constitute the spiritual body of the goddess or god
Yantras focus your desires and aspirations. They help you to transform your negative mental patterns into more positive mental habits. Yantras may be used to bring about healing and maintain a state of positive health and abundance. Because they are active energy systems, yantras are powerful in deflecting negative energies and maintaining internal harmony. All yantras are best understood as enhancing potential that already exists. They cannot force something to happen that is against natural karma, but they can aid and assist in bringing about desirable outcomes. For example, you cannot force somebody to love you, you cannot
force good luck and prosperity, but yantras can be used to speed up theprocess if the potential exists. They also help you to remove obstacles that may exist.
It is important to handle a yantra with the utmost respect and consideration. Careless treatment reduces its power.