Her beauty is dazzling and her face and body are very young. Most of the time she is represented as sitting on a bed (which signifies the great God Sadashiva bent over His four forms: Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra and Maheshvara, symbolized by the four feet of the bed.
The bright red color in which is represented the Great Cosmic Wisdom Tripura Sundari signifies her state of ecstatic bliss, her knowledge that is illuminating and complete, as well as her compassion for all beings in the universe.
The symbolic significance of the objects she holds in her hands is the following: the bowl of sugar cane represents the mind, the arrows made from flowers represent the senses, which through her grace become like “gates” that manifest an overwhelming happiness.
Metaphorically speaking, Tripura Sundari “pierces” us with the arrows of delight and happiness, revealing to us all the forms of Creation as aspects of our inner divine nature.
The noose she holds in her third hand signifies her ability to attract sincere and devoted worshipers through her dazzling beauty. The hook held in her fourth hand represents the means through which she cuts off any attachment for the illusions of the outside world.
SHE CONTROLS AND FULLY MANIFESTS ALL THE FIVE ELEMENTS
Shiva‘s five forms on which Tripura Sundari is sitting are named “the five bodies”, because they are absolutely inert in the absence of the energy infused by Tripura Sundari.
From this subtle point of view, these five forms symbolize the five elements (mahabhuta) of the manifested world, and the five types of Shiva’s main activities: create, preserve, destroy, conceal and grant grace.
Thus, Brahma signifies the earth element (prithivi mahabhuta) and the activity of creation. Vishnu is the water element (apas mahabhuta) and the activity of preservation.
Rudra is the fire element (agni mahabhuta) and the activity of destruction and transformation. Maheshvara represents the air element (vayu mahabhuta) and the activity of concealment, in other words Shiva’s action of hiding His essential nature.
Sadashiva is the fifth and most subtle of all the elements, the ether element, (akasha mahabhuta) and symbolizes Shiva’s grace, which frees us from the bonds of illusion and offers us the capacity of transcending it entirely.
THE REVELATION OF OUR SUPREME SELF ATTRACTS HER GRACE UPON US
The most elevated way of worshiping Tripura Sundari is to find our inner peace in the Supreme Self (Atman), or in other words to reveal our divine essence as the supreme, eternal reality of the whole creation.
The most direct method for attaining this goal is that of deep introspection on our real identity, representing atma-vichara, whose method is mainly and synthetically presented in the question “Who am I?” or the very relevant and abstract methods of jnana yoga.
The fundamental experience resulting from here is the one that makes us understand that the things around us are not separated from ourselves, because they have the same source and the same essential nature.
In this respect, the teachings of the vedantic tradition state that it is below our dignity as human beings to let ourselves be taken over by feelings of guilt, fear, worry, or anger or for that matter, any feeling incompatible with the spiritual perfection and harmony that we embody.
It is also beneath our dignity to identify ourselves with this tiny body, of bones and flesh, or with an ephemeral mental structure. It is like an insult to the Supreme Self to be identified with a limited body or a hesitating personality.
The deep understanding of these truths attracts the overwhelming grace of the Great Cosmic Wisdom Tripura Sundari, who will prepare our body, heart and mind for experiencing the eternal and infinite bliss of the Divine Absolute.