Tantra is a practice, a Sadhana that consists of religious treatise containing mystical formulae to attain supernatural powers. Tantra is a conjugation of two words tan and tra implying the power to mould nature and energies according to one’s desires.
People often think of Tantra as a “mother-worshipping” cult. This is not strictly accurate, although Tantra might be called a Shakti-worshipping cult. Shakti is the universal principle of energy, power, or creativity. This energy is personified as feminine, as Shakti, the universal mother. She is inseparable from the one who beholds her – The Shaktiman (“power-holder”), the masculine principle or universal father. Shaktiman is called Brahman by the writers of the Upanishads. In the Tantric tradition he is called Shiva.
But a quintessential part of Tantra is Mantra. Mantras energize purpose specific Tantras by producing definite vibrations within a psychic field.
Mantra is composed of psychically potent sound syllables that are capable of influencing the human
AumAingHringKleengChamundayeVichchey – Aum
This is the most popular mantra of the divine Mother Durga, given in Chandi and Durga-Saptshati.
Aum Dung DurgayeNama – Aum.
This is also a mantra for Mother Durga. Dung is her Bhij-akshar.
Yantra are visual tools that serve either as centering devices or as symbolic compositions of the energy pattern of a deity as seen by Tantric seers in their visions. The Yantra is the body or form of the deity.
The DurgaYantra is saffron in color with the three golden rings representing the three phases of time – past, present and future. There is a nine-pointed star in the center, which is created by four triangles superimposed over one another, representing the nine shaktis (NavDurga). The three of the triangles are upward pointing and represent the three primal forces: creation (Brahma), preservation (Vishnu), destruction (Shiva).
The center of the Yantra and the central triangle is the bindu, which represents the Divine Mother herself.