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Three Rock Crystal Sri Yantras
circa 18th century
diameters: 3.5cm x 3.5cm, 4.2cm x 4.2cm & 2.9cm
Each of these small sri yantras has been cut from a single piece of rock crystal. Each has a domed form and is engraved or incised with a star-like yantra motif.
Small rock crystal sri yantras traditionally have been used in Hindu India and Nepal as part of the puja (prayer) ritual, and also as talismanic or protective
devices. The use of crystal is significant. Much symbolism is attached to its translucent nature.
The form too is steeped with meaning. The Sri Yantra traditionally is formed by nine interlocking triangles that surround and radiate out from a central point
(bindu). The stacking of the triangles gives allusions to the lingam-yoni and also to Mount Meru, the mythical abode of the gods. Nine is a magical, talismanic
number in Hinduism and Buddhism and so the Sri Yantra also is known as the Navayoni Chakra ('nav' comes from the Sanskrit for 'nine').
The examples here have excellent patinas. Their contours have been rounded and softened by handling, consistent with a circa 18th century dating.
Tantra, Haywood Gallery, Arts Council of Great Britain, 1971
Provenance: private collection, London.
Inventory no.: 4193 RESERVED
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