An aerial view of LOTUS reveals its unique yantra-like design. Just like a mantra is the sound one would hear in deep meditation, a yantra is a physical symbol one would have the vision of in deep meditation. The measurements of LOTUS form a mystical geometry, centering around a number that is sacred in numerology: 108. The number one represents the individual; the zero represents God; and eight represents infinity. The exterior of the Shrine is 108 feet wide. The inside of the Shrine is 54 feet (half of 108) wide and measures 27 feet (one-quarter of 108) from floor to ceiling.
The Shrine also is built in the shape of a lotus flower. This sacred flower contains all the five elements: it grows out of the mire (earth) into the water and air. The pink petals represent the fire element. The element ether—the space the other elements fill—is always present. The geographic location of LOTUS is also very special. The five elements are strong at this location: earth, (the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains), water (the James River and LOTUS Lake), fire (the hot summer temperatures and the homas or fire ceremonies conducted at the Shrine), air (the fresh air of this rural region), and ether. When these five elements are in balance, a strong healing energy is created.
All Faiths Yantra
Sometimes external images are used in meditation or worship to symbolize or express certain aspects of the Divine. That is why we see so many holy pictures and images in temples and churches.
The Yantra is such an image, and like the teachings of Integral Yoga, it is universal. Because it is universal, the Yantra is the main symbol used on the altar at Satchidananda Ashram—Yogaville. It was revealed to Sri Swami Satchidananda in meditation, and he gave it to all of us.
Introduction to the LOTUS
Building of LOTUS
LOTUS Dedication 1986
Fireworks over LOTUS
Life and Interfaith Vision of Swami Satchidananda
“All Paths Lead to the Same Truth”
Yoga and Interfaith
The Swami and the Rabbi
Many Paths, One Truth — Film