Notes on Śrī Vidyā & Tripurā Rahasaya

Tripurā Rahasaya, also known as Haritāyana Samhitā is a primeval text divided into three parts, each part being complete and independent in its own right. It is a lore, a legend, of  Śakti, the Supreme Goddess. In  Lalitā Sahasranāma, thousand names of the Goddess Lalitā, a derivative work of Brahmāṇḍa Purāṇa, She has been eulogized from the aspects of both duality and non-duality, devotion and meditation, of bondage and liberation, light and dark, of yoga and knowledge, inner and outer world, form and formless, real and unreal, energy and matter, and numerous other devotional sentiments and vedic epithets. Like Lalitā SahasranāmaTripurā Rahasaya is an extract from Brahmāṇḍa Purāṇa too; not the whole text but a significant portion of it.

The first part known as jñāna khaṇḍa, clause of wisdom, expounds the non-dual aspect of the Goddess. In that She is the Supreme Consciousness, the Pure Intelligence, the pristine and that She, the Empress of the Universe, the Creatrix of all planes, lives in all. She is the vital life force, the thought, the will and the wisdom. The section presented herein is the first part or the jñāna khaṇḍa.

The second part is known as mahātamya khaṇḍa, clause of importance. Just like Lalitā Sahasranāmamahātamya khaṇḍa is cited literatim in the Brahmāṇḍa Purāṇa. This section is replete with purāṇic legends, and in terms arcane and obscure sheds light on the secret practices of Śrī Vidyā. I have the Sanskrit text with Hindi translation. The esoteric meaning of this khaṇḍa can give a whole new dimension to the Śrī Vidyā upāsaka. The text hints at the secrets of the actual rituals. To those, who have already been initiated, I can share some of the secrets of such  sādhanā on a one-on-one basis in a face-to-face setting.

Śrī Vidyā  sādhanā, fundamentally, is a tantric method of worship. There are five systems of tantric worship, namely, dakṣiṇācāra, vāmācāra, kaulācāra, samayācāra and miśrācāra. This is not the forum to elucidate such systems of worship. To the sincere seeker, I can disclose the practices I have done first-hand across all the five systems. The third part, known as caryā khaṇḍa, the clause of practice, lists in detail the method of worship including tantric rituals. This text is long gone and no one seems to possess the manuscript either. In the inner circles, caryā khaṇḍa  is also referred to as Tripurārṇava Tantra. I managed to get my hands on Tripurārṇava Tantra but concluded after reading that it could not possibly be the original text. It lacked depth and the subtle points that are critical and crucial in the tantric system of worship.

Tripurā Rahasaya is unique because it lists all three aspects, the trinity of duality, non-duality and transcendence. The word Tripura means three cities; tri means three and pura means city. The three states, the aforesaid trinity, the three modes of material nature is Tripura. For complete realization, one ought to understand the dual and non-dual aspects as well as incorporate them into their system of practice. This has been my experience.

A concluding note: you may enjoy reading and gain certain intellectual fulfillment, however, real benefits only come from actually practicing it correctly. Just chanting the sahasranāma or reading exegetical texts does not cut it. Right initiation, right intensity, right intention, right input, right practice, right process, right devotion, right determination, right discipline are the decisive factors when it comes to success in any sādhanā, notably, tantric.

The present online text has minor typos and errors including those of contemporary referencing conventions of transliteration. I have italicized commentator's notes to segregate them from the original translation. The printed version of this book has more notes in appendix from the commentator. I have excluded them herein. This work is in the public domain according to the Indian Copyright Act, 1957. So is the header image, showing Bālā  Tripur Sundarī, a form of Goddess Laltiā, sourced from Wikipedia.

Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy reading this magnificent work. It has stories, parables, anecdotes besides enough food for thought. Read the text with patience and then read it again. Once certain that you have understood the meaning, read it one more time.

An unworthy servant of the Cosmic Mother, an ignorant child of Hers, I seek forgiveness for my lacking and audacity in writing an introduction on a work related to the Divine Mother.

Om Swami