Site hosted by Build your free website today!

How to Sketch the Sri Yantra freehand

The Sri Yantra is a traditional symbol in Hinduism. You can read more about it here. To draw it accurately takes some fairly complicated geometry. You can see a few methods here and here.

Here's one I drew using the 14-step method:

But it can be sketched quickly using the following method. The colors are only for explanation's sake, and for ease of drawing. You could go over them in black later. I made the following sketches using Paint. I used the straight line tool, but no other measuring aids. It was all eyeballed.

Draw an equilateral triangle.

Draw another equilateral triangle to form a hexagram (Star of David).

Update Since putting up these instructions I did the more accurate construction with 14 steps, and discovered that the hexagram should not be regular. The two equilateral triangles should cross so that the small arms on the top and bottom are half as tall as the ones on the sides. You can see the results of making this change at the end of the instructions. I'm still learning! Here's a better one that will give better results. I haven't redrawn all the instructions yet:

Draw a triangle. In my diagram I've used blue. Note that it crosses through three of the arms of the red triangle. Its diagonal sides are not quite parallel to the sides of the red triangle. The placement of the bottom point determines how good the rest of the diagram will be.

Draw another blue triangle, the mirror image of the first one, upside down. Notice the points of intersection where it crosses the red triangles and the other blue triangle.

Draw the yellow triangle with the three corners on the sides of the interior of the red hexagram. Note that the lower two corners come above the blue line, about halfway on that little line segment.

Draw the mirror image yellow triangle, upside down.

Draw the green triangle. Note that the top goes through the corner of the red triangle, and the bottom touches the yellow line. The sides should intersect with the red and blue intersections, as well as with two yellow intersections. This is where you'll find out how accurate your sketch is. I've missed a couple of intersections in my sketch.

Draw the upside-down green triangle. Note that, for the first time in the process, this is not a mirror image of the other green triangle. It touches not the yellow line, as the other one does, but the blue line. This was the trickiest part of the drawing process for me to figure out.

Draw the black triangle. The top goes through the intersections of the two green triangles. The bottom touches the blue line.

Color in alternating triangles.

Note that I left some triangles uncolored in the above sketch. That's because they were mistakes that weren't supposed to be there; they were supposed to be intersections where three lines cross. I've colored them magenta in this picture so you can see where they are:

It's very difficult to get all the points of intersection to line up exactly. I'm actually very pleased with how this one came out.

Update By making the changes described above in the first hexagon, I got much better results: (this was also done with no measurements, using only the "line" tool in Paint.)

To show what a doodle might look like, here's one I did freehand with no tools but pencils.

The numbers refer to the order of the triangles I was drawing, since I was in the process of figuring all this out. When sketching by hand, you can cheat a bit and bend the lines slightly to get the intersection points to match up better. You'll see some evidence of that in my sketch.

I've wanted to figure out how to draw the Sri Yantra diagram for years, but wasn't able to until I realized I had to start with the hexagram. My sketches aren't really complete: to finish it, draw two circles around it, one with 8 petals and one with 16, as well as a box with four gates, as in this image: link. Note that there is also a dot in the very center. But compared to the complexity of the triangles, the rest of the design is relatively easy, so I'll leave that to your imagination.

copyright 2005 by Karen Deal Robinson

Click on the mountaintop to see my other pages.

Continental Divide, Colorado

Contact Me