By Rajendra Diwe :
‘TRIPURA Sundari’ is the third among ‘Dasha Mahavidyas,’ the ten great Goddesses of wisdom. In Vamakeshwara Tantra, it is mentioned, “Tripura is the ultimate, primordial Shakti, the light of manifestation. She, the pile of letters of the alphabet, gave birth to the three worlds.
At dissolution, She is the abode of all tattvas, still remaining Herself.” Bhagwan Shri Ramana Maharshi, the great sage from South India was the ardent devotee of Lalota Tripura Sundari. His disciples also believe, Ramana Maharshi as an incarnation of Tripura Sundari. Ramana Maharshi had explained the details about Tripura Sundari in his book ‘Tripura Rahasya or the Mystery Beyond the Trinity.’ Ramana Maharshi says, “Lalita Tripura Sundari is the sovereign of the three realms in all areas that is of three Guna Rajas, Tamas and Sattava; of the three lights Sun, Moon and Fire; the three Shakti (energies) Ichcha Shakti (will power), Dnyan Shakti (Knowledge Shakti) and Kriya Shakti (Action); of the three Awastha (states), Jagruti (Waking) Swapna (Dreaming) and Sushupti (Deep Sleep) etc. She is also the ruler of Zodiac, the planets and of time itself. It is hard to say what She is not.” Adi Shankaracharya had mentioned, “Tripura Sundari as the ultimate beauty of pure perception which arises when we see the entire universe in ourselves, when we see all nature as a reflection of the reality of consciousness.
Sundari is thus the beauty of nature but as seen through the spiritual eye of unity the vision that the entire universe is Brahman that there is nothing but God above, below, within, without, to the north, south, east or west, past, present or future.” Ramana Maharshi states, “Tripura Sundari is the Goddess of Vedantic knowledge, which is the knowledge of the Supreme Self or Divine. She teaches us that all is the self and that the world is Brahman or the Absolute. From her perspective Samsara is Nirvana; the world of illusion is merged into the Absolute. Hence she is the form of the Goddess most beloved among Vedantic Swamis and teachers. She represents the knowledge of the Supreme Self. Sundari is called Lalita or ‘She who plays.’ The entire universe exists for the delight of awareness, which is the play of the Divine Mother. Creation arises in joy, and returns to joy.
We are but transient figures in her eternal play, who have yet to understand the source of the energy that moves us. Our sorrow and suffering is a delusion, a misconception born of ignorance and the ego. Because we attempt to control or possess joy from the standpoint of the separate self, we divide ourselves from true joy which is universal. The Goddess, as the image of joy, shows us the way out of our error, which is not to deny ourselves happiness but to discover the true happiness that we seek, which is in being one with all. Lalita awakens the receptive soul to the bliss that underlies all things.” Sundari is also called Rajarajeshvari or ‘the supreme ruler of the universe.’ From her arise all the commands which govern the universe, including the command which allows us to unfold spiritually or to give spiritual teachings in the world. We must seek her command in order to do anything significant in life. Yet her command is not based on authority but love.
To gain her approval we merely need be open to her love. What she allows us to do is to love her and to love everything. To discover her commands, however, we must be willing to surrender our own egoistic desires and attempt to control things. Tripura Sundari is often represented as a young girl of sixteen years age. As such she is called ‘sixteen’ (shodasi) or ‘the young girl’ (bala). At this stage of a woman’s life the delight aspect of her existence is most pronounced. Her nature is to play, to seek new experiences, and to charm others to her. Her innocence attracts to her all that is true and good.