The Sri Chakra or Shri Yantra is a yantra formed by nine interlocking triangles that surround and radiate out from the central (bindu) point, the junction point between the physical universe and its unmanifest source. It represents the goddess in her form of Shri Lalitha Or Tripura Sundari, “the beauty of the three worlds”. Four of the triangles point upwards, representing Shiva or the Masculine. Five of these triangles point downwards, representing Shakti or the Feminine. Thus the Sri Yantra also represents the union of Masculine and Feminine Divine. Because it is composed of nine triangles, it is known as the Navayoni Chakra.
Together the nine triangles are interlaced in such a way as to form 43 smaller triangles in a web symbolic of the entire cosmos or a womb symbolic of creation. Together they express Advaita or non-duality. This is surrounded by a lotus of eight petals, a lotus of sixteen petals, and an earth square resembling a temple with four doors.
The Shri Chakra is also known as the nava chakra because it can also be seen as having nine levels. “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. These levels starting from the outside or bottom layer are:
- Trailokya Mohana or Bhupara, a square of three lines with four portals
- Sarva Aasa Paripuraka, a sixteen-petal lotus
- Sarva Sankshobahana, an eight-petal lotus
- Sarva Saubhagyadayaka, composed of fourteen small triangles
- Sarva Arthasadhaka, composed of ten small triangles
- Sarva Rakshakara, composed of ten small triangles
- Sarva Rogahara, composed of eight small triangles
- Sarva Siddhi prada, composed of 1 small triangle
- Sarva Anandamaya, composed of a point or bindu
The Sri Chakra (called the Shri Yantra) is the symbol of Hindu tantra, which is based on the Hindu philosophy of Kashmir Shaivism. The Sri Yantra is the object of devotion in Sri Vidya.
Shri Chakra as popularly mistook to be a symbol of Lakshmi is actually a representation of Lalitha Mahatripurasundari, an aspect of Parvati Devi.
Shri does not mean Wealth in this context. In fact it is used to enhance the honour to be given to this highly revered Yantram.