Tripurasundari - Divine Love, the Perfect Union

Is love that simple? Love is probably the highest level of emotional intensity that we can reach and strangely it is also the most misunderstood. We cannot forget that the animal instinct within us is what converts that high intensity emotion into an uncontrollable physical need. But lets leave aside the physical need for a while and concentrate on the aspect and the depth of intense love. What is its nature? When do we know that we really feel it?

The Brahma Vidya actually reveals strange aspects of the world around us which is completely getting missed out in our race towards "apparent development". I mean, did you know that love manifests in animals, birds, plants and even a stone at various intensities? Do we even understand this poetry? The very emotion of love is that of no clinging, no possessiveness, no desire, it is pure union. The ancient sages define love as a divine delight, that we mortals are capable of and when Bhakti kicks in, it flows unadulterated and  unstoppable. It nudges the emotions of compassion, kindness, good will, affection in our hearts towards others, be it plant, animal or just stone. 

It makes sense because it triggers this emotion towards a higher form of Bhakti when we move towards image worship which is the basest form of divine love. Yes we are certainly capable of more, but image worship and the trigger to love without being possessive starts here. Its probably an introduction to a different kind of love, one that we are totally capable of and also one that we have least knowledge of. 

They say love is blind, yes it is because that high intensity emotion gets felt by just that one person when they experience it and no one else is subjected to that experience. Its unique to that individual. When they feel it, they experience beauty and grace, they experience Tripurasundari. 

The great Tantrik seers gave this experience a name, they gave it a form so that we could relate to this abstraction better. She is Kameshwari, the essence of love, she is Lalita, the graceful one, and she is Sundari, the gorgeous one. She is beauty par excellence. Remember, at any point, She is not a mere beautiful woman, She is the experience of love, metaphorically described as the most beautiful woman. When we experience that state of love even for a moment, we are in the state of bliss, Sat, chit, ananda - Truth, consciousness, bliss and we are affected completely in the physical, vital[breath] and mental world within our being. And given this experience is a combination of 3 experiences that elevate us into the three worlds or planes that exist beyond our earthly presence, she is described as the inverted triangle, the connection of these 3 potent desires given a mathematical form. Yes, very strange but Love and Math as far more intertwined than you and I can ever understand. 

The three fold state can be described as the three states of waking/dream/deep sleep, as iccha shakti/gyana shakti/kriya shakti*, her three personalities of Bala Tripurasundari [daughter], Tripurasundari [beautiful one], Tripurabhairavi [terrific one]*. Here is whats even more interesting about her iconography. She defines love as we see it, and she also defines love as it should be seen. The iconography of Tripurasundari depicts her carrying in her four hands, the noose, the goad, the sugarcane and 5 flower arrows. 

Lets dwell in the symbolism; the noose signifies Pasam, the desire leading to being bound to the people and things around one self. Once we are liberated from all those around us, we are truly free*. The goad describes the negative aspect of love, one that we are familiar with like wrath and possessiveness which forces us to act - karma. The sugarcane bow is the mind of man and the 5 flower arrows are the senses/tanmantras of sound, touch, form, relish, and flavor. The secret of this whole depiction is that all these aspects of ours need to surrender to her will. Hence she holds them in her hands and controls them while she is seated on the lap of Kameshwara. 

Just as the sun is depicted in all its brilliance as the light and symbolizes gyana, fire is depicted as energizing activity that is kriya. The moon is the symbol of desire, the sap of life, the basic bliss. The sahasrara chakra represents the seat of the mystic moon, the place of the illumined mind. It is the place where the mystic moon illumines the mind, where Kameshwari and Kameshwara are seated, in union, where the potency of pure love can be experienced. 

* Lalita sahasranam - iccha shakti gyana shakti kriyana shakti swarupini 

* Here Tripura Bhairavi is an interesting way of looking at it. If I feel divine love for you, I don't just love all the good things about you, I adour even the terrible side of you, all your inadequacies, all your imperfections, all your anger, I feel divine love for you in entirety.  Am not picking the good things and discarding the not so good things about you. I take your embodiment as a whole. 

* Like the Hanuman Chalisa quotes, "chootahi bandhi maha sukha hoye"