Kali Yantra: mandala

Guhyakali (Secret Kali) Yantra ,Madhubani Painting By Dhirendera Jha and Vidya Devi- 2008, Image from Exotic Indian Art with permission.

The yantra above is the Secret Kālī Yantra. Kālī is a Hindu goddess. Kali is the force of time. She holds the power of creation and destruction.  In the Mahanirvana-tantra, Kāli in the form of sakti is praised by Shiva. The tantra says:

“At the dissolution of things, it is Kāla [Time] Who will devour all, and by reason of this He is called Mahākāla [an epithet of Lord Shiva], and since Thou devourest Mahākāla Himself, it is Thou who art the Supreme Primordial Kālika. Because Thou devourest Kāla, Thou art Kāli, the original form of all things, and because Thou art the Origin of and devourest all things Thou art called the Adya [the Primordial One]. Re-assuming after Dissolution Thine own form, dark and formless, Thou alone remainest as One ineffable and inconceivable. Though having a form, yet art Thou formless; though Thyself without beginning, multiform by the power of Maya, Thou art the Beginning of all, Creatrix, Protectress, and Destructress that Thou art.”

In this passage, Shiva says that Kali as the Creatrix and Destructress of all is also the Protectress. These insights into Kali, along with the Yantra image above, confirm Carl Jung’s insight that the mandala (here a Yantra) can be an image of protection. Jung says:

“Because of the protection it implies, the magic circle or mandala can be a form of mother archetype.” (Carl Jung, 9i, para. 157)


  1. Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious , Collected Works volume 9i by C. G. Jung
  2. Mahanirvana Tantra translated by Sir John Woodroffe