The Kailasa Yantra is derived from the Tibetan 'Srid Pa Ho phyogs Srung' meaning the symbol which wards off harm from all directions.
Traditionally it is revered as the ‘Wheel of Protection’ associated with stability, predictability and regularity. The symbols of the ‘Srid Pa Ho’ are closely related to time and counteract the negative inﬂuences associated with planets, seasons, cosmic phenomena and natural events supporting stability and balance in nature and in human lives. It was a powerful Tibetan Mandala to have in one’s home oﬀering protection against harm and bringing about good energies. The wearing of ‘Srid Pa Ho’ was said to heighten awareness and protect the body and mind from negative inﬂuences. But, the ‘Srid Pa Ho’ consecrated with ritualistic ceremonies by adepts with authority became virtually non-existent. Hence, there was a need to reformat and reinvent it so as to be able to empower it ritualistically as well as develop a cultural familiarity for it in the Indian context.
Tibetan culture combines inﬂuences from India, China, Persia & Greece.
A popular saying in Tibet is that “cho(religions doctrine) came from India and tsi(astrology) came from China”. Tibetan religious doctrine was highly inﬂuenced by Buddhist Tantricism from as early as the Gupta Empire (3rd-5th century) and by 700 AD it was a dominant force in Tibet. It underwent a major reformation and enrichment by the introduction of Vajrayana by the Great Guru Padmasambhava from Oddiyana, India.
He is also said to have introduced the Baudhha Kapalika tradition in Tibet inﬂuenced by the Shaiva Kapalika tradition in India when both Shaivite and Budhhist yogis and yoginis lived as wandering ascetics, close to charnel grounds wearing bone ornaments and carrying the Kap̄ala(Skullcup).
To this day, both traditions share ritual similarities in terms of its philosophy and presiding deities like the Bhairava.
In fact, the 'Srid Pa Ho' is said to be heavily inﬂuenced by the 'Kalachakra Tantra' from India which demonstrates the correspondence of the Universe to the Individual.
It essentially embodies the energy of the Eight Bhairavas. In all there are 8 x 8 = 64 Bhairavas presided over by the one KalaBhairava denoting the Kalachakra. The ‘Srid Pa Ho’ is said to have been inscribed on the koshtha (frontal body part) of the KalaBhairava in the Kapalika tradition.
The Kailasa Yantra
The Kailasa Yantra is so named after Mount Kailasa which is considered to be the abode of Shiva- the Kapali and also His fierce manifestation- the Bhairava.
Mount Kailasa is also the most sacred place for Vajrayana followers as the home of Heruka Chakrasamvar and a region associated with Vajraguru Padmasambhava in Buddhism. According to the indigenous Tibetan Bon religion, it is the mystical 9 storey Swastika Mountain, the centre of the universe. The first Jain Tirthankar Rishabhdeva too attained liberation on the Kailasa. Hence it is a powerful emblem in many religions.
Ancient Indian scriptures considered Tibet as Heaven because of Mount Kailasa being situated in it. Historically a part of ancient India, it was called ‘Trivishtap’ because three great rivers originated from there – the Brahmaputra, the Sindhu(Indus) and the Ganga(Karnali); ‘Kailasa’ is also used as a synonym for Trivishtap, since for the native Bon it was a ‘region’ where Mount Kailasa – the Swastika Mountain was situated as the Axis Mundi of the World.
The google maps too vouch for its validity.
Mount Kailasa is also believed to be the mythical Mount Meru carried on the back of the great Tortoise(Kachhapa avatara of Vishnu). The Tibetan name for the mountain is ‘Gang Rinpoche’ meaning ‘precious jewel of the snows’. In Sanskrit, a crystal is called ‘kelasa’ thus denoting it as the crystal or the ‘Jewel of the Himalayas’ – which it aptly looks like. Amongst the highest 110 peaks of the Himalayas, Mount Kailasa is matchless in beauty and characteristics.
Similarly, the Kailasa Yantra is a jewel among all yantras and incomparable to any yantra in the world. The name ‘Kailasa’ also denotes the place of its origin being Tibet and resonates with its multicultural and multireligious philosophical tradition.
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