While editing some photographs the other day, I came across a remarkable discovery. The Bell of Peace at Hiroshima has an atom at the center of the bell where the gong is to strike it. Head on in the photograph and in person, the atom looks like any other atom, but when I bumped the photo up with HDR, a Sri Yantra, a yogic symbol of manifestation used for meditation, materialized before my eyes.
Male and female, positive and negative – just like protons and electrons in an atom that are the same size and attract each other.
As far as we know, even the tiniest point has some microscopic length and height, and in actual life, also depth—even an atom or a sub-atomic particle.
It’s the world made manifest from above mixing with below, as the symbol is also speech made manifest through the syllable of OM. Quantum physics even has something to say about the Sri Yantra.
The Sri Yantra, or Great Yantra, the creative force of the universe. It represent union of the goddess in the downward pointing triangle, the yoni and Shakti, and the god in the upward pointing triangle, the lingam, or Shiva.
The Sri Yantra is called “form in expansion” the mystical representation of the creative process. Shiva is activated by Shakti, and it’s union is the sacred marriage, or hieros gamos. Without this process, there is no creation.
In Adi Shankara’s renowned Shakta hymn, Saundaryalahari (c. 800 CE): “If Shiva is united with Shakti, he is able to create. If he is not, he is incapable even of stirring.” This is the fundamental tenet of Shaktism, as emphasized in the widely known image of the goddess Kali striding atop the seemingly lifeless body of Shiva.
Shakti is considered to be the cosmos itself – she is the embodiment of energy and dynamism, and the motivating force behind all action and existence in the material universe. Shiva is her transcendent masculine aspect, providing the divine ground of all being. “There is no Shiva without Shakti, or Shakti without Shiva. The two […] in themselves are One”
Without the extended triangles and lotus petals, this Sri Yantra in my photo appears in its simplest form with two triangles like the Star of David, which came to Judaism via a Tantric, cabalist route. symbolizing the reunion between God and his spouse, Shekina. (Shakti!)
In the Gnostics, Jesus teaches the equality of male and female, and that knowing God is only possible when the male and female are integrated. Even sound creates the Sri Yantra. In Genesis, God said the word, Let there be light.
Considering the Sri Yantra is Tantric, it’s about spiritual and physical love as well as creation. Love, as Philosopher Marsilio Ficino said, was the link between he divine and the terrestrial, in a continuous chain reaction, the ciruitus spiritualis, or spiritual circuit, which led from and back to God, as the agent through which God poured his essence into the world, it was also the force which drove man to seek reunion with him. And it was beauty which generated love, calling the soul to God.
In addition to creation, the symbol of the Bell of Peace is to create peace. The description at Hiroshima says:
This temple bell/temple hall is standing at the dearest wish of Hiroshima aiming at the creation of a world of a true peaceful coexistence without any nuclear weapons or wars, and was built as a symbol for this spiritual and cultural movement. We wish that the sound of the bell resound in each corner of the world and reach the hearts of each and every human being (on the erection on September 20, 1964, A-bomb Survivor Hiroshima Hope Fruition Society).