THE ESSENCE OF BEAUTY IS GOD
The third Great Cosmic Wisdom is known as Tripura Sundari or Shrividya Tripura. Generally speaking, this Goddess manifests three fundamental aspects of the Divinity, which may be extended to the level of the whole creation.
Furthermore, in the Tantric tradition there are many other forms that reunite these three aspects in one, such as Trishakti (referring to the three fundamental energies of God in manifestation: iccha shakti – the energy of will, jnana shakti – the energy of knowledge, and kriya shakti – the energy of action) and Trilingam (referring to the three aspects of the universal lingam, which are: svayambhu lingam, bana lingam and itara lingam).
From an etimological point of view, ” tri “ means Three, and “pura” means city, or citadel. Thus Tripura may be translated as “the one comprising all three citadels”, referring to the three worlds or gigantic spheres of God’s creation: the physical world, the astral world and the causal world.
Due to the perfect likeness between the structure of the human micro cosmos and the macro cosmos, these three citadels are usually associated to the three “bodies” of the human being: the physical body, the astral body and the causal body.
From a different perspective, the significance is placed on the sovereignty of the goddess, on matter, energy, and thought at the level of the whole creation.
Furthermore, this grandiose manifestation of the Great Cosmic Wisdom Tripura Sundari also refers to the three fundamental states of the human being: the state of awakening, the state of sleep with dreams and the state of deep sleep without dreams, symbolized in Tantra as the light of the fire, of the Moon and of the Sun.
Consequently, Tripura Sundari is the bright, gigantic sphere of divine consciousness that pervades all experiences of the three worlds of the Creation, but at the same time transcends them completely. The first “city-citadel” of the goddess is the state of awakening, in which the human being experiences various states of spirit mainly through the five senses.
In this case, the Tantric tradition asserts that the location of the individual consciousness is at the level of the right eye, or in the area of the forehead, in between the eyebrows.
The third “city-citadel” of the goddess’ is the state of deep sleep, associated with anahata chakra, in which the individual consciousness becomes united with its divine nature.
As the sovereign goddess of these three principal states of consciousness, Tripura Sundari also represents the fourth state of consciousness (turiya), which transcends all other three and which is associated with the state of ecstasy (samadhi) and spiritual freedom.
TRANSFIGURATION IS THE MAGICAL KEY
According to Tantric beliefs, from the perspective of the universal principles, it is known that the feminine principle represents Gods manifestation in the aspect of names and forms while the the masculine principle signifies the transcendent aspect of God.
Therefore, feminine nature is always associated to beauty. We may ask ourselves: where can one find supreme beauty? Tantric teachings urge us to seek this beauty inside ourselves, because exterior beauty can only reflect the ineffable inner beauty, which transcends all forms.
Literally, Sundari means “beauty” and this Great Cosmic Wisdoms worship represents in fact following the path of beauty and ecstatic bliss through manifestation until one reaches the Divine Absolute.
Normally, we imagine beauty as the perfection and harmony of our exterior surroundings and what is found in them, like a beautiful woman or a pretty flower.
However, regardless of their beauty, if we analyze them closer, we will discover certain less appealing aspects. Furthermore, as a direct consequence of our experiences in this life, we know that all external beauty will eventually fade and even disappear. This thing happens because form may only embody amazing beauty for a while, but fortunately, beauty is and means more than any form.
On the supreme level, genuine beauty is eternal, and it is reflected only to a certain degree in the changing forms of things and beings in the universe. From this point of view, Tripura Sundari represents more than the formal beauty (which is mainly the attribute of Kamalatmika, the tenth Great Cosmic Wisdom), Tripura Sundari is the very indescribable beauty that allows you to perceive the divine perfection.
This is the reason why beauty should never be considered as inherent to objects, as it appears from the unwrapping of the divine consciousness light that irradiates from every single thing and being.