The Puzzle Box, the Satanic Yantra, the Seven Fold Yantra, all of these I commonly use to refer to a mandala-like web of grids and geometry that informs the very foundation of my religious beliefs and practices. It came to me spontaneously (but after a foundation of other work) and I instantly recognized it for what it was; the key to all of reality.
In this series I’m going to share some of the less esoteric aspects of it, starting with the elemental system.
NOTE: Illustrations to come (later)
Sanskrit Dance of the Naṭarāja
The outer most parts of this Yantra is a square annulus (latin for “ring”, roughly) most often colored shade of silver which represents the total, nondual sum and source of everything. From this everything else flows “downwards” towards the center of the patterns, splitting off into rivers नद and eventually forming a 7×7 grid. The grid represents the subjective, comparable to the SadāŚiva सदाशिव tattva तत्त्व, (more well known as SadāKhya).
However, to be perfectly clear, I actually identify this 7×7 grid as being a composite of the Aṇu अणु (individuated “atom”, as in self) and the Aham अहम् the former of which is precisely parallel the metaphorical “heart” in the west. In short, this grid is the “microcosm” of experience and reality. The importance of the comparison to SadāŚiva will become clear later.
Before these “rivers” get to this grid, they manifest as seven elements, the first being the aforementioned encompassing silver annulus. This represents the element of Ashes. From it what are known in Tantra as “doorways” allow this element to further manifest the elements of Darkness and Light, which are represented by green and orange respectively. The elements of Ashes, Darkness and Light make up the “cosmic” elements.
Darkness and Light split off to create the four main elements of Lightning (purple), Blood, (red), Ice (cyan) and Fire (yellow). Lightning represents the divine spark and all of abstract and incorporeal existence, while blood, situated opposite of it, represents all of physical life and anything with locality.
Fire and Ice represent the changes in states to Blood and Lighting. Fire is creation, order and life. Ice is destruction, entropy and death. Shiva becomes the corpse of fire and lightning upon which Kālī stands and acts upon. Shiva is the foundation, the actual stuff, but Kālī is the expression through her domains of time and change.
The Four Corners of the Universe
The four elements below Darkness and Light create in it’s emanation the Macrocosm, of which is situated inside the annulus but outside of the 7×7 grid. Representing the all-encompassing nature of… Nature which surrounds the individual. This isn’t to say that any specific individual is the center of reality, as it is in the Yantra, but rather it’s a representation of the fact that one’s qualia is necessarily through their own perspective.
Situated inside the Macrocosm, the Microcosm is smaller, less powerful and yet more varied and complex. As the elements divide as they flow along their rivers, they create more diversity and increasing levels of emergent duality.
This isn’t to be confused with absolute duality, which is believed by dualists to be the fundamental nature of reality. No, the duality of my religion and of Trika is emergent, a temporal expression that’s subject to change. Of note, if I recall correctly, the Krama school of Trika expounds on the role of dualism in this aspect but I’m not immediately familiar with it.
This Macrocosm isn’t simply these 4 elements however. As the sets of rivers grow a second set of elements form, of which I suspect are 2 per each, and then a trinary set of which I suspect are 4 of each. This makes a total of four primary, eight secondary and sixteen trinary elements. This creates a total of twenty-eight Macrocosmic elements.
Trinities, Guṇas and Satan
The digit root, a common use in my numerology, returns this to three, representing it’s inherent nature to the three elements above of Darkness, Light and Ash and a further reinforcement of the trinity symbolism throughout the Trika system that I have expanded upon.
The cosmic elements (Ashes, Darkness and Light) I generally associate with the Guṇas present in many forms of Hinduism. Sattva सत्त्व matches Light, Tamas तमस् matches Darkness, and Rajas रजस् matches Ashes. Rajas is also known as Rajoguna.
Rajoguna is known as passion, change. It’s said to be below Sattva but above Tamas, traditionally speaking. In my system I equate Rajas with Satan. Satan In Hebrew שָׂטָן means, in the most basic form, “opposition”. I believe that the nondual essence of all of reality is conflict itself. And what would such a nondual opposition do, but oppose it’s monist state and create duality?
From this, the entire system is born due to it’s inherent nature. The result is something neither dualist nor monist but simply nondual. Ashes, Satan, Shiva becomes simultaneously an array of individuated parts as well as a whole through means of emanationism. It’s nature being comparable to Rajas, is also synonymous with Kālī, the fierce form of Shakti, who’s domains is time and change. Rajas is motion, energy and passion. It’s (even traditionally) considered individualizing and so makes the most sense as the center point.
Interestingly, since we can equate Kālī with Rajas and Satan, we can realize that Darkness is dominant over Light, since Darkness is also her domain along with love and death.
Closing Words and Glimpses of Part Two
This is the most basic levels of the Puzzle Box. There are untold relations and revelations ready to be explained and explored. I have intentionally not got caught up in explaining every Hindu concept and word beyond the bare bones explanation needed Those familiar with the subject(s) might start to see and intricate theological symmetry and connections that are too involved to of detailed here. I’m aware of them, I simply just can’t stop to explain everything least I loose my sanity in writing the process.
Hopefully you’ll enjoy part two. Feel free to ask anything in the comments below if a part was unclear or confusing.