The Mystery Beyond the Trinity

February 01, 2015

Tripura Rahasya


The Mystery Beyond the Trinity

Translated by Swami Sri Ramanananda Saraswati




Tripura Rahasya was considered by Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi as one of the greatest works that expounded Advaita philosophy.

Sri Tripura Rahasya is an ancient work in Sanskrit which has been printed all over India. …

As for its philosophy, there is no real reason to distinguish it from Vedanta. Scholars however call this system the Tantri or the Sakta, and point out some apparent differences between this and Advaita Vedanta. This system teaches that the Supreme Reality is no other than Abstract Intelligence. ‘Intelligence’ signifies Self-luminosity and ‘Abstraction’ denotes its unlimited nature. No other agent can be admitted to exist apart from It in order to reveal It. The apparent variety is only due to Vimarsa, the gross aspect of Its absolute freedom known as Svatantra, which at times unfolds the Pure Self as the Cosmos and at other times withdraws Itself and remains unmanifest.

Abstraction and manifestation are inherent in the Pure Self; these two aspects are given the names Siva and Sakti, respectively. There cannot be manifestation beyond the Supreme Intelligence; therefore Cosmos and the Self are only the same, but different modes of Reality. Realisation of the Truth is thus quite simple, requiring only constant remembrance on these lines, that Reality is not incompatible with the world and its phenomena, and that the apparent ignorance of this Truth is itself the outcome of Reality, so that there is nothing but Reality.

Creation and Dissolution are cycles of Self-expression and Abstraction due to Svatantra. There are no sankalpa-vikalpas (modifications) in the state of dissolution and the Self remains as Chit in absolute purity and unchanging. The Self is uniform and undivided. The dispositions of the individuals of the previous kalpa (creation) remain uncognised but potential, awaiting to become manifest in the alternating mode. The tendency in the direction of manifestation is Maya which later displays as Avidya (ignorance) when the predispositions are in their full swing. Chit, Maya and Avidya are thus the same Reality. Cosmos is an expression in the medium of consciousness and thus not unreal as some would have it.


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