From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Tripura, TripurA, Tripuraa

Tripurā literally means ‘one endowed with three bodies or forms’.

Significance of Goddess Tripurā

Tripurā is the most popular form of the Mother-goddess associated with the creation, sustenance and destruction of the world. She is known as Tripurā because she has a threefold form of:

  1. Bindu - primeval ‘drop’
  2. Bīja - primordial ‘seed’
  3. Nāda - original sound-vibration

The triangle is her symbol.

Other Characteristics

  • She is the totality of the three guṇas and their operation:
  1. Sattva
  2. Rajas
  3. Tamas
  • She is sometimes included among the ten goddesses called Daśamahāvidyās and identified with Tripurasundarī.
  • She is the totality of Vāṇī (Sarasvatī), Ramā (Lakṣmī) and Rudrāṇī (Pārvatī) as also of Brahma, Viṣṇu and Maheśvara (Śiva).

Iconographic Representation

Her iconographic description given in the work Tripurārahasya is as follows:

  • She has twelve arms carrying the characteristic weapons of all the three deities.
  • She has ten faces with three eyes each.
  • She is extremely beautiful.


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore