She is the erotic goddess of desire who rules all three realms of awareness. Tripura Sundarī is the goddess of desire, the power of beauty that rules and animates the three “worlds” of gross, subtle, and sublime consciousness. She is also known as Lalitā, ‘she who plays.’
She is portrayed carrying a sugarcane bow, five flower-arrows (representing the five senses) and sitting on a throne held up by Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma, and Indra! Sundarī is both supreme ruler and a sixteen-year-old girl on the cusp of womanhood. She is associated with Bliss, Soma (divine nectar), and the Moon.
Not to be mistaken for physical beauty, she is the beauty of pure perception when awareness finds delight in everything and joy in perception itself. She carries the sugarcane bow (concentration) with flower arrows (five senses), as well as the noose (attraction) and goad (aversion).
This illustration is based on the work of my teacher, Dinesh Shrestha Charan, and first appeared in Sally Kempton’s book, Awakening Shakti.