Sri Chakra

Late last night just before winding down to sleep, I thought I’d take on the challenge in drawing a Sri Chakra (and god knows why, as I’m totally artistically challenged, not even in doodling!), but ended up doing just that. Constructed the outline using Inkscape, then color-filled, and texturized using Gimp. Color combination is not as good as I wanted it to be, but hey it’s my first version and came out better than I expected, just thought I’d put it out here to share.

The most part of the effort is in getting the Sri Chakra pattern itself right – in getting all those triangle to intersect correctly with minimal skew. Many complex techniques have been published to try to recreate a perfect Sri Chakra (links at end of this post). Amazing how the ancients in the past had possessed the technique to make perfect Sri Chakras. It seems some of the South Indian temples are designed with some of the elements of the Sri Chakra pattern as the base.

Here’s the template I first created before color filling and texturizing. Another image.

The Sri Yantra

The Sri Chakra is also known as the Sri Yantra, as it is considered the “Mother of all Yantras”. It represents the holographic nature of the Universe. That is, the microcosm/quantum nature of the universe reflecting the macrocosm/cosmological of the universe. Yantras like this are popularly used as a meditational aid.

The Sri Chakra consists of 4 upright triangles (Shiva or the masculine principle) and 5 inverted triangles (Shakti or the feminine principle). The intersections of which make up the Sri Chakra, and represent the Cosmic Dance (the shiva tandavam), the interplay of energies that makes up the visible universe as it is.

The innermost point (the bindu) in the inner most triangle, represents the Source (Pure Awareness), from which all things arose and will eventually collapse/dissolve into. The cosmic vibration (pranava, in the form of the seed syllable ‘Om’) arose from the bindu. This vibration differentiated into more vibrations (bija – seed syllables), which interacted to give rise to various forms of energy (the intersecting lines forming the triangles), and finally the various levels of differentiation of matter – shapes and forms (the petals), and the four gates (the four sides) representing the outer or material world.

So beneath or underlying the “visible” outer world, is the dance of forces that make matter and energy. And beneath that, is Pure Awareness. While the Bindu represents the Source (Shiva, or Pure Awareness), the Sri Chakra as a whole represents the Matrix (Maya, or illusion; the quantum veil of the visible universe pulled over our eyes, that obscures the Source). One can approach the Sri Chakra from outside to inside or the reverse. That is, from grosser/material manifestation of the outer world, to the subtler manifestation of the inner world, and eventually into the bindu (the unmanifest state), the Source…. or the reverse.

The Mantra

The Sri Chakra is associated with the Sri Lalita Sahasranama (a thousand-line mantra dedicated to Shakti in the form of the goddess Lalita and all her many other divine manifestations). An excellent book is Sri Lalita Sahasranama from Mata Amritanandamayi Center (commentary by T. V. Narayana Menon, translated into English by Dr. M. N. Namboodiri).

Another powerful mantra used with the Sri Chakra is the Sri Shodashaksari mantra, but it is said to be a very inaccessible (or highly guarded) mantra — revealed to only a very few (either by a guru or by God). It is a short sixteen syllable mantra, but is said to be very powerful and not to be toyed with, as it is not as forgiving as the Sri Lalita Sahasranama.

It is important not to get obsessed by any particular mantra, yantra, etc. as being “superior” to all others. Just like it would be lame to debate which name/form of God, faith, or yoga is more superior (else your no more different than fundamentalist religions who claim their way as the “true/superior” way).

For those more inclined, and who want to dedicate themselves to the approach towards God (or Self-Realization) through the Sri Chakra, there is specific tantra path known as the Sri Vidya. Google it for more info.

Desert Yantra

When I was first into the Sri Chakra, while browsing the web I came across this picture of a huge Sri Chakra image drawn out in the desert floor. I excitedly called up a friend of mine (who had just joined a new company), and surprisingly he said his new boss, Bill Witherspoon was the man behind it. Coincidence?

Images/video of Oregon Sri Yantra are here: images and video. Note: I don’t share the views in those links. The Oregon Sri Yantra was drawn by Bill Witherspoon and his colleagues. They didn’t appear there supernaturally nor by aliens. The closest thing to anything “supernatural” about the Sri Yantra, would be the meditative insight by yogis, and the inherent energy-vibrational properties of it.

Also, it seems in an experiment consisting of a room with paintings — where some of the paintings had a Sri Chakra image hidden behind it, people gravitated towards the ones with the Sri Chakra though they were totally unaware of it. It is interesting, but I don’t take it too seriously unless it is conducted with more rigor. A good test would be to use identical paintings next to each other, but with one of them having a Sri Chakra image hidden behind it, and see if people gravitate towards that. And if they do, switch the images a few times and again ask them to make the choice again. Even better experiment would be to put a huge Sri Chakra on a wall (the remaining three walls should plain) and see if blind-folded people gravitate towards the wall with the Sri Chakra. See also Sri Yantra Research.

How to Draw

A number of people have asked me how to draw the Sri Chakra, including step-by-step procedure. The thing is I don’t have any. I just drew it on the fly, trying to align the triangles and intersections. So there is no particular method that I can reproduce, but all is not lost :) — as I did find two articles on how to draw it: srishti-krama, sambara-krama. Hope that helps. Also, for those who’ve asked about the tools used, they are: InkScape and Gimp. Thanks for your interest, and happy drawing.

See Also

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17 thoughts on “Sri Chakra

  1. Beautiful drawing. I would like to draw Sri Chakra also. Where may the programs you mentioned be found (Ink Scape and Gimp)Thanks,Ananda

  2. What a magnificent job you did of drawing Sri Chakra. This is an endeavor I would like to accomplish also. If possible, would you share the sources of the programs you mentioned,(Ink Scape and Gimp.?Thanks so much,Anand

  3. Excellent drawing of Sri chakra. I request you Please send the procedure step by step to my mail id :
    Thank you


  4. please send me procedure to draw srichakra.


  5. Nice article,
    Can you please share the procedure for drawing the sri chakra.

    Thanks and Regards,

  6. great work.please send me step by step drawing to draw shri chakra

  7. Awesome….! God bless…

  8. please send me procedure to draw shri chakra.
    Yours in Lord,
    Leo J David

  9. can u tell me how to draw 8 and 16 petals …..and what r the other diagrams to draw for AMMA

  10. Pari anna, We like to know more about Sri Chakra. Could you please explain more about it? As far as I know Rajinikanth in Baba movie wears Sir Chakra but he never explained anything about it. Waiting eagerly to read more.

  11. Anna could you explain and compare Pyramid and Gopuram? Both of them for receiving Cosmic Energy? How Sri Chakra is related with the temples in Tamil Nadu? What’s the use of wearing Sri Chakra dollar around neck?

  12. May i join this satsang????


  13. i am s.kumar from Tiruvarur district, Tamilnadu,, a village called vennavasal from there i hailed,, VENNAVASAL placed on the banks of river vennar (subriver of Kaveri) there is one SRICHAKRA MAHAMERU PEETAM,, there MAA Bhagavthi taught me more subtle thing about SRICHAKRAM/ BRAMMA VIDYA/ SODASI etc…..


  14. @Ananda
    DEVIPURAM (peetam near vizahg) released a fine srichakram drawing,, i may send it ur mail id

    with love

  15. உலகின் அரும்பெரும் இரகசியங்களை ஸ்ரீ சக்கரம் தன்னகத்தே உள்ளடக்கி வைத்துள்ளது. அதன் பஞ்சதசி/சோடசி மந்த்ரங்கள் மிகப்பெரிய பிரம்ம இரகசியம்.. இதுவே மிகபெரிய யோகரகசியம், பிரம்ம வித்தை. இதற்கு மேலான உயரிய தேவரகசியம் வேறு ஏதுமில்லை என்கிறேன் நான்….. எந்த மகாவாக்கியத்தை கடந்து போனாலும்,, மனசு சோடசியிலேதான் நிற்கிறது. அண்ணா இதுபற்றி கொஞ்சம் தெளிவு படுத்துங்கள்….


  16. This is a way of drawing the Sri Chakra based on Kaivalyashrama c.1700.
    It’s not as complicated as it looks once you start drawing it.

    The overall design with the outer square is just slightly less than twice the diameter of the inner circle. A design with an inner circle of 96mm diameter will fit on an A4 sheet; a 144mm inner circle makes the overall design fit on an A3; 192 mm inner circle gives an overall design fitting on A2.
    Draw a circle whose diameter can be conveniently divided into forty eight units (eg. 192 mm diameter gives 1 unit = 4mm. This makes the inner part of the design fit on an A4 sheet.)
    Lightly pencil in a vertical diameter and mark off horizontal lines on this diameter at 6, 6, 5, 3 and 2½ units down from the top; and 6, 6, 6, and 3 units up from the bottom. Number these lines from the top 1-9; they will be the bases of the nine triangles (four pointing up and five pointing down) which will be called triangles 1-9 according to number of the line that forms its base.
    Draw lines 3 and 7 (third lines from the top and bottom) full width, so that they meet the circle. These points where they meet the circle are then connected to the bottom and top mid-points of the circle respectively. These are the only six points which touch the circle. This makes the two largest triangles (triangles 3 and 7), whose sides intersect each other’s bases.
    Now the midpoint of line 1 is connected through the intersections of triangle 3 and line 7 and extended until they meets line 8. Similarly the midpoint of line 9 is connected through the intersections on line 3 up to line 2. This creates two new pairs of intersections on lines 3 and 7.
    Connect the midpoint of line 3 through the new intersections on line 7 as far as line 9; and the midpoint of line 6 (not 7!) through the intersections on line 3 as far as line 1. This creates two intersections where triangles 1 and 7 cross each other, and two more where triangles 3 and 9 cross.
    Horizontal lines 2 and 8 should pass through these new intersections but may need adjusting slightly to fit exactly.
    Draw in line 6 only as far as it meets triangle 2, and connect this base to the midpoint of line 2.
    Draw in line 4 through the intersections of triangles 1 and 6, (this may not be exactly where it is pencilled in, but should always be horizontal) up to the points where it meets triangle 8, and connect the end points to the midpoint of line 8. The question is: Do these two lines pass through the intersections of triangle 9 with line 6? These are the last two marmans, and the only ones which have to actually fall right. If they do not meet, you need to fudge it all around a bit.
    Draw in line 5, through the intersections of triangles 1 and 9 only up to the new triangle (triangle 6). This may not be exactly where it is pencilled in but should be 1½ to 2 units above the centre of the circle.
    Connect the end points of this line (line 5) to the midpoint of line 7.
    Draw in the Bindu – a circle of about 2 units diameter around the centre point.
    When it is right, go over it in ink and rub out the pencil lines.

    8-and 16- petalled lotus.
    Circles are drawn a further 4 and 6 units outside the central design to accommodate the 8 and 16-petalled lotuses. The radii of these circles are therefore 28 and 34 units. These can be created geometrically by drawing arcs which touch as in the drawing given here.

    Three girdles
    The three girdles are created by a further three circles drawn outside the 16-petalled lotus. These are spaced about one unit apart. The radii will be 35, 36 and 37 units.

    Bhū-pura (square box)
    The box is made up of three lines about one unit apart. The inner box just fits outside the three rings. The openings in the box vary but are usually about a third of the length of the side. The ‘crenellations’ (bits sticking out of the side of the box) are drawn as required and do not have any defined dimensions. The box adds about 10 units on each side making the overall design about 94 units wide which is slightly less than double the inner circle diameter of 48 units.

  17. I tried all the methods but when i expant I can still see the points not allighned correctly, though they look good in the smaller version.

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