The worship of the Sri Yantra is central to the Sri Vidya system of Hindu worship. It represents the Goddess in the form of Devi Tripura Sundari, the natural beauty of the three worlds: Bhu Loka (Physical Plane, Consciousness of the Physical Plane), Bhuvar Loka (Antariksha or Intermediate Space, Sub-Consciousness of the Prana) and Swar Loka (Swarga or Heaven or Super-Consciousness of the Divine Mind). The Sri Yantra is the symbol of Hinduism, which is based on the Hindu Philosopy of the vedas. The Sri Yantra is the object of devotion in Sri Vidya.
The Shri Yantra represents the evolution of the multiverse as a result of the natural Divine Will of the Godhead Aadi Paara Shakti. The four upward-pointing isosceles triangles represent the Goddess’s masculine embodiment Brahman, while the five downward-pointing triangles symbolize the female embodiment Jagat jannani. The 12 and 15 sides of the four upward and five downward triangles also correspondingly symbolise, on the physical plane, the 12 sidereal zodiac signs of the Sun and 15 ‘nityas’ phase-signs of the Moon.
The Shri Yantra is also known as the nav chakra because it can be seen to consist of nine concentric layers that radiate outward from the bindu. (“Nau” or “nava” means “nine” in Sanskrit.) Each level corresponds to a mudra, a yogini and a specific form of the deity Tripura Sundari along with her mantra. The various deities residing in the nine levels of the Shri Yantra are described in the Devi Khadagamala Mantra. These levels, listed from outermost to innermost, are:
- Trailokya Mohana, the outermost square, traced in three lines and interrupted by four recessed portals;
- Sarvasaa Paripuraka, the outer lotus, consisting of 16 petals;
- Sarva Samkshobahana, the inner lotus, consisting of 8 petals;
- Sarva Saubhagyadayaka, the outermost ring of small triangles (14 in total);
- Sarvarthasadhaka, the next ring of triangles (10 in total);
- Sarva Rakshakara, a smaller ring of 10 triangles;
- Sarva Rogahara, a ring of 8 small triangles;
- Sarva Siddhiprada, one small triangle containing the bindu at its center;
- Sarva Anandamaya, the bindu.