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Equivalence of the Lambda Tetractys and the Sri Yantra

The Sri Yantra (Fig. 20) is revered by Hindus as the most powerful and sacred of the yantras, or images used for meditation. Five downward-pointing triangles symbolizing the feminine creative energy, or Shakti, intersect four upward-pointing triangles symbolizing the masculine creative energy, or Shiva. This generates 42 triangles arranged in four layers of eight, 10, 10 and 14 triangles. They surround a downward pointing triangle whose corners denote the triple Godhead of Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu. At its centre is a point, or bindu,

 Figure 20. The Sri Yantra.

representing the Absolute. The Sri Yantra is formed by the intersection of nine triangles (Fig. 21) made up of five downward-pointing blue triangles and four upward-pointing red triangles. Let us regard each triangle as a tetractys. The nine tetractyses have 90 yods, of which 36 are corners or centres and 54 are hexagonal yods surrounding their centres. The 36:54 division of yods corresponds to the two sums of numbers at the corners of the Lambda Tetractys and at the centre and corners of the hexagon. According to Figure 21, the nine primary triangles whose intersection generates the Sri Yantra have 27 corners (black yods) and nine centres (eight pink yods at centres of the four pairs of inverted triangles and one pink yod at the centre of the remaining (smallest) downward-pointing triangle. Turned into tetractyses, the triangles also have 54 green hexagonal yods on their sides.

Figure 21. The correspondence between the Lambda Tetractys and the 9 triangles that generate the Sri Yantra.

Compare this with the Lambda Tetractys. The sum of the integers at its corners is 36 and the sum of the seven integers located at the corners and centre of a hexagon is 54. Its largest integer 27 denotes the number of corners of the nine triangles, the number 1 at one corner denotes the centre of the smallest triangle, which is unpaired with any other triangle, and the number 8 denote the eight centres of the four pairs of triangles. The number 6 at the centre of the Lambda Tetractys denotes the six hexagonal yods in the smallest triangle (a downward-pointing, Shakti triangle that has no Shiva counterpart) and the sum (48) of the six integers at the corners of a hexagon is the number of hexagonal yods on edges of the four pairs of Shakti & Shiva triangles. The sum (24) of the integers 2, 4 & 18 is the number of hexagonal yods in one set of four triangles and the sum (24) of the integers 3, 9 & 12 is the number of hexagonal yods in the other set of four triangles. We find that the holistic parameter 48 (remember that it is the number of corners of the seven polygons making up half of the Inner Tree of Life) splits up both geometrically and arithmetically into two 24's. This division is characteristic of holistic systems (see The holistic pattern).

The sum of the nine integers surrounding the central one in the Lambda Tetractys is 84. This is the number of vertices of the 42 triangles formed by the intersection of the nine triangles. Moreover, the first and second layers have 36 vertices and the third and fourth layers have 48 vertices. The former is the sum of the numbers at the corners of the Lambda Tetractys and the latter is the sum of the numbers arranged in a hexagon. The first two layers, therefore, are the counterpart of the corners of the Lambda Tetractys. The last two layers are the counter-part of the hexagonal array of six integers. 42 of the 84 vertices are tips of the 42 triangles; the other 42 vertices are points where triangles join. The 42:42 division of vertices has its counterpart in the Lambda Tetractys as the sums of, respectively, the first & fourth and second & third, right-leaning, diagonal rows of numbers surrounding its central integer (see Fig. 12):

1 + 2 + 4 + 8 + 27 = 42,

and

3 + 12 + 9 + 18 = 42.

These correspondences demonstrate once again that the Lambda Tetractys is arithmetically equivalent to the Sri Yantra. The reason for this is that the former is an archetypal array of numbers that generate by combination the very properties of the Tree of Life, of which the Sri Yantra is a representation.

A tetractys defines the Sri Yantra in another way. The number 84 is the sum of the squares of the first four odd integers:

84 = 12 + 32 + 52 + 72.

As

12 = 1,

32 = 1 + 3 + 5,

52 = 1 + 3 + 5 + 7 + 9,

72 = 1 + 3 + 5 + 7 + 9 + 11 + 13,

84 = 4(1) + 3(3+5) + 2(7+9) + 1(11+13) = 4×1 + 3×8 + 2×16 + 1×24

We see that 84 is naturally expressed as a tetractys array of 10 integers. Moreover, the central integer 8 denotes the innermost eight vertices of the first layer of triangles and the nine surrounding integers add up to 76, which is the number of vertices in the three other layers. 76 is the number value of YAHWEH ELOHIM, the Godname of Tiphareth, which is the centre of the Tree of Life. The number value 26 of YAHWEH is the sum of the integers at the corners of the array and the number value 50 of ELOHIM is the sum of the six integers arranged in a hexagon. This is a remarkable conjunction of sacred geometry, number and Godname numbers. The sum of either the left or the right side of this tetractys is 49, which is the number value of EL CHAI, the Godname of Yesod.

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