Lesson 1 – Yantra and Samadhi

Yantra, author Marina Sukhanova

Yantra, author Marina Sukhanova

Once, one of the disciples of the Buddha was sitting and meditating near the road.  A lot of royal chariots raced past him, which raised dust and making an incredible noise, but the yogi continued to remain in an unruffled concentration.  The king was very surprised seeing such a reaction.  He ordered to stop his chariot, descended from it and, going up to the yogi, bowed and asked: “How did it happen that we, driving through, made so much noise, and you remained sitting motionless, as if nothing had happened?” The disciple replied: ”  I have been shipped in deep reflection – Samadhi.  And everything else, no matter how it was for me: neither chariots, nor a dust, a roar.  I have been shipped in contemplation of own mind “.

While in Samadhi, the disciple noticed the rushing chariots, but he saw the impermanence, volatility and transience of this phenomenon,  wasn’t involved in it and did not cling to it, and his experience of the nature of mind was constant, unchanging and endowed with all good qualities. Therefore, the noise, the flashing chariots and raised dust could not take his mind from self-contemplation.

External equanimity does not mean indifference, but speaks of the calm acceptance of everything passing.  We need to learn how to see the whole world, like these racing chariots, while remaining unchecked by this current.  As long as our mind clings to external phenomena, it becomes involved in the sufferings of samsara.

Yantra, presented below, illustrates the practitioner’s correct approach to the world:

The whole world is like the wheel of a rattling and dust-raising chariot.  The roar of the chariot can be compared to the deafening mind in the reality of the world of forms.  Dust, rising up behind, is like a sense of “I”, selfishness arising in the consciousness of beings.

By depicting this world in the form of yantra, we embrace the whole world of forms, and faith in its reality, and our own excited sense of self, in a single way (yantra). 

It is like a wheel and therefore it is easy to identify with it all samsara.  However, embracing your mind with samsara in the form of a whole and orderly image, we already find in ourselves a certain degree of freedom from involvement.  We separate our contemplative mind from the image of the samsara imprinted in the yantra. This separation quality helps us to feel the peace not affected by the “noise and dust raised by the passing chariots”.

Just like a fighter leading a battle, defending himself from an enemy attack, goes on the offensive to increase his success, so the contemplator, embracing his vision the Samsara, turns the obstacles themselves into the Way of the cessation of suffering. 

Concentrating on yantra  as on the Path the mind gives its elements nibbanic qualities.  The noise of chariots becomes the Thunder of Awakening from the sleep of ignorance;  dust which  raised in the air – signs of Pure Illusion.

Marina Sukhanova and Vladimir Pyatsky
Translation: Helga Von Krauzinsh