Tripurārṇava Tantra

This is considered as an important work of the tantra-group. It is stated to be a condensed version of a much bigger original work. It has 1636 ślokas or verses spread over 21 taraṅgas or chapters and is in the form of a dialogue between the Devī (Pārvatī) and Īśvara or Śiva.

A brief synopsis of the contents of the work may now be attempted here:

Taraṅga 1 (211 ślokas)

This taraṅga deals with the details connected with Tripurādīkṣā such as the qualities of the guru and the disciple, settling the date and time considered as auspicious, worship of the Śrīcakra, homa, imparting the pañcadaśākṣarī mantra (see PAÑCADAŚĀKṢARĪ MANTRA and ŚRĪVIDYĀ.) and pūrṇābhiṣeka (final ritual bath).

Taraṅga 2 (105 ślokas)

This section delineates the topics like ṣaṭcakrabheda (See CAKRAS.), four types of prāṇāyāma, method of ajapājapa (See AJAPĀJAPA.) and some aspects of worship.

Taraṅga 3 (147 ślokas)

This chapter starts with the rites connected with the entering of the pūjāmandira or the main shrine. It is then followed by the descriptions of the details of pūjā or worship.

Nyāsas (ritual purification of limbs) connected with the ṣoḍaśī and the pañcadaśākṣarī mantras (See ŚRĪVIDYĀ.) as also other nyāsas are described next.

Taraṅga 4 (90 ślokas)

Drawing of the Śrīcakra on metal plates of gold, silver and certain other materials is described here. Worship of Śiva-śālagrama and liṅgas got in the Narmadā river is highly beneficial and hence eulogised.

Taraṅga 5 (32 ślokas)

This section is mainly concerned with pīṭhapūjā or the worship of the small table on which the Śrīcakra is kept. Several deities are established ceremonially on it with the appropriate mantras.

Taraṅga 6 (60 ślokas)

This chapter describes the āvāhana or inviting and instilling the goddess in the Śrīcakra. Three types of pūjā—parā, aparā and miśra—are also stated.

Taraṅga 7 (36 ślokas)

Worship of two cakras—Sarvāśā-paripūraṇa and Sarvsaṁkṣobhaṇa—is set out here. They are two of the nine cakras or yantras of the Śrīcakra.

Taraṅga 8 (36 ślokas)

This taraṅga gives the details of the worship of the deities like Gaṇeśa, the Navagrahas, nakṣatras (asterisms), goddesses like the ḍākinīs and yoginīs, as also Kāmeśvarī, Bhagamālinī, Vajreśvarī and Mahātripurasundarī.

Taraṅga 9 (48 ślokas)

The topics discussed here are: establishment of the vessels for arghya—both sāmānya (general) and viśeṣa (special)—, for kalaśa as also the metals to be used in their preparation. Related rites are also described.

Taraṅga 10 (65 ślokas)

This section deals mainly with the pañcamakāras or the five M’s (See under TANTRAS.).

Taraṅga 11 (57 ślokas)

Various kalās (aspects of Mother goddess in a minor form) grouped under Agnikalā, Sūryakalā and Somakalā, are described here.

Taraṅga 12 (32 ślokas)

Pūjā (ritualistic worship) and homa (worship through fire) of various kinds are the subject matter here.

Taraṅga 13 (69 ślokas)

This taraṅga deals with the final stages of pūjā and disposal of things connected with it.

Taraṅga 14 (103 ślokas)

This section contains many details connected with the kaulamārga or kaulācāra—the left handed path of tantras—such as maṇḍalapraveśa (entering the sacred spot), pūjā to elders like one’s guru, four kinds of sādhakas—uttama, madhyama, adhama and adhamādhama—continuous practice of the disciplines taught, condemnation of religious suicide, deep faith in the guru and the śāstras and so on.

Taraṅga 15 (47 ślokas)

Mudrās or poses of fingers and hands are the subject matter here.

Thirteen mudras, to be shown before Lalitā-Tripurasundarī are described in detail. Some of them are: saṅkṣobhiṇī, vidrāviṇī, ākarṣaṇī, vaśaṅkarī, pāśamudrā, aṅkuśamudrā and so on.

Some other mudrās used in pūjā—like dhenumudrā or tārkṣyamudrā—are also given.

Taraṅga 16 (20 ślokas)

Shortened forms of pūjā are prescribed here for the benefit of those who are unable to do the whole pūjā due to various factors including lack of intelligence.

Taraṅga 17 (61 ślokas)

Pūjā is of two kinds: nitya (daily) and naimittika (occasional). Those who cannot do the first, can take recourse to the second. It may be done once a month or once in six months. In extreme cases, it may be got done through the guru or anyone else. This, as also some other special pūjās to be done during Navarātra, are described here.

Taraṅga 18 (76 ślokas)

This taraṅga is mainly devoted to the exposition of the famous Khaḍga-mālāstotra. First, the preliminaries like ṛṣi (sage), chandas (metre), devatā (the deity) and viniyoga (utility) are stated. Though the original hymn is in a long metre, daṇḍaka by name, here the same is stated in the anuṣṭubh or śloka metre.

The Khaḍgamālā hymn has several names of the goddess. The methods of using them in pūjā, homa and tarpaṇa (oblations of water) are also indicated.

Taraṅga 19 (243 ślokas)

This section starts with a detailed description of the Rahoyāga, a yāga to Devī to be done in seclusion. It can be performed only by those who are initiated into the worship of the devī. The benefits that accrue to its performer as also the methods of remedying the defects that might have crept in during the performance are also described.

Taraṅga 20 (80 ślokas)

This section gives the mantras of the Atharvaveda used in the Rahoyāga. This is followed by a description of the pūjā to Śrīcakra with the mantras of the well-known Śrīsūkta.

It ends with mentioning the various fruits or results of using different materials like bilva leaves or flowers or cereals in homa.

Taraṅga 21 (18 ślokas)

This last taraṅga states the different fruits that a person can get by the recitation of the Śrīsūkta, which has also been called Tripurāsūkta here.