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Hastakara Yantra: the Hand

20th Century
9 3/4 x 6 3/8 in. (24.8 x 16.2 cm)

Unknown, Indian
Indian

Object Type: Painting
Medium and Support: Opaque watercolor and ink on thin bluish laid paper, pasted down to cream paper
Credit Line: Gift of Helen H. Reiff in memory of Robert F. Reiff
Accession Number: 1983.38
Location: Currently on view
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A yantra is a ritual, mystical diagram rooted in the beliefs and concepts contained in a number of the Hindu Tantras, or collections of esoteric texts that emphasize the science of the knowledge of interplanetary rhythms and their integral relations with the human organism. Tantric thought is based in the belief that creative energy flow is achieved through the resolution of polar opposites.

The Hastakara Yantra illustrates these concepts through various symbols and signs on the palm of a hand. In this yantra, the dominant symbols are animals, elements of script and swords, which represent prosperity, power and fortune.

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