Tripura

(the three cities’)

Tripurā

(‘one endowed with three bodies or forms’)

Tripurā is the most popular form of the Mother-goddess, associated with the creation, sustenance and destruction of the world. She is known as Tripurā because she has a threefold form of bindu (primeval ‘drop’), bīja (primordial ‘seed’) and nāda (original sound-vibration). The triangle is her symbol.

She is the totality of the three guṇas—sattva, rajas and tamas—and their operation.

She is sometimes included among the ten goddesses called Daśamahāvidyās and identified with Tripurasundarī.

She is the totality of Vāṇī (Sarasvatī), Ramā (Lakṣmī) and Rudrāṇī (Pārvatī) as also of Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśvara (Śiva).

Her iconographic description given in the work Tripurārahasya is as follows: She has twelve arms carrying the characteristic weapons of all the three deities. She has ten faces, with three eyes each. She is extremely beautiful.