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Tripura bhairavi : The Goddess of effulgent charm

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Tripura bhairavi : The Goddess of effulgent charm
Tripurabhairavi represents Divine anger and wrath. Yet her wrath is directed towards impurities within us, as well as to negative forces that may try to interfere with our spiritual growth. Though a difficult force to bear, her activity is necessary both to guide and to protect us. Tripurabhairavi is proverbial wrath of a woman and more specifically the wrath of a mother towards whatever may threaten her children.

Tripurabhairavi represents the supreme power of speech, which has the nature of fire (Tejas). She is the Word in its unarticulated and primal form as raw energy, the flaming word which appears like a pillar or a sword to remove all resistance. She is the supreme light and heat power, the flame of consciousness itself (Cidagni)- the ultimate knowledge of truth. Tripurabhairavi as Tejas (radiance) rules over the Tanmatras, the subtle sensory potentials behind the five elements and five sense organs which allow for their inter-connection. Through the Tanmatras Tripurabhairavi gives power over the senses and the elements. She is the basic will-power of life, mastering control of all of its manifestations.

Tripurabhairavi is known as Durga, the Goddess who saves us from all evils and odds. Durga rides a lion, a symbol of fire or solar energy, from which she wields her weapons of light to destroy all demons or negative forces. She helps take us away off disease, sorrow, darkness and death.

The fierce form of Divine energy exists within us as the power of transforming heat (Tapas). Tapas is sometimes translated as asceticism. More properly it is a heightened aspiration that consumes all secondary interests and attachments. When we really focus on one object, we naturally lose our attraction to other things. Tapas is this real focus and profound absorption in the spiritual life that causes us to no longer desire anything else. Tapas is the heat of spiritual inquiry and aspiration which causes us to discard all that is non-essential in life.

Tripurabhairavi as Tapas is especially worshipped by those seeking knowledge or by those seeking control of their sexual energy (Brahmacharya). She gives control of the senses, the emotions and wandering thoughts. She helps us during fasting, vows of silence, meditation retreats, Pilgrimages, during the practice of celibacy, or any other concentrated spiritual discipline (Tapas) that we may be attempting. Whatever obstructions arise to our practice of Tapas we can call on Tripurabhairavi to help eliminate it.

Tripurabhairavi is the fierce form of the Goddess and related to Chandi, the fiercest form of the Goddess, who is the main deity of the famous Devi Mahatmya, a great poem of seven hundred verses (also called Durga Saptasati or Chandi) which celebrates the destruction of the demons by her. Tripurabhairavi is the mightiest warrior, who with her power of Divine speech and spiritual fire eliminates all obstacles to the unfoldment of true awareness. As Chandi or the destroyer of evils and odds, she can be invoked for removing obstacles and to allow us to attain any of the four goals of life – enjoyment, wealth, recognition or liberation (kama, artha, dharma and moksha).

Another important form of Durga is the ten-armed Mahishasura Mardini, the destroyer of Mahishasura, the demon who represents the vital passions (particularly sexual desires), which tie us to the outer world. She is also a form of Thripurabhairavi.

Tripurabhairavi possesses the effulgence of a thousand rising suns. She has three eyes and wears a jeweled crown with the crest of the moon. Her lotus face is always full of smiles. She wears a red garment (generally made of silk), her breasts are smeared with blood, and she is adorned with a garland of severed human heads. She has four hands and carries a rosary and a book. She makes the gestures of knowledge and that for giving boons with other two hands.


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