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As Wikipedia says:

Tripurāsundarī (त्रिपुरा सुंदरी - "Beautiful (Goddess) of the Three Worlds") or Mahā-Tripurasundarī ("Great Beautiful (Goddess) of the Three Worlds"), also called Ṣhoḍaśhi ("Sixteen"), Lalitā and Rājarājeśvarī ("Queen of Queens, Supreme Ruler"), is one of the group of ten goddesses of Hindu belief, collectively called Mahavidyas or Dasha-Mahavidyas. She is the foremost and the most important in Dasha-Mahavidyas.

There was a demon by the name of Bhandasura who got boon from Brahma that he would die only at the hands of a woman who wasn't given birth to by another woman.

The story goes like this:-

Lord Shiva, upon hearing the troubles caused by Bhandasura to the demigods reminded Goddess Parvati about Brahma's boon. Parvati realizes that she was the unborn universal power who alone could kill Bhandasura as she was Adi-Shakti. But as parvati she was still the child of Himavan and Menavati. So, Upon her and Lord Shiva's command, the demigods prayed to the supreme Brahman Sadashiva who manifested before them in two forms: Shambhu and Shakti. The Saptarishis were ordered to perform a fire sacrifice which would help Shakti manifest. During the sacrifice, all the deities entered the fire, and from their bodies, the body of the world's most beautiful being, Tripurasundari was created. She then recreated Vishnu and Parvati (Brother and sister), Brahma and Saraswathi and Rudra and Lakshmi in that order followed by all the other demigods.

Similar version of this story:-

The devas faced an enemy in Tarakasura who had a boon that he could be killed only by a son of Shiva and Parvati. So for the purpose of begetting a son from Shiva and Parvati, the devas deputed Manmatha, the God of love. Manmatha shot his flower arrows to Shiva and Parvati in order to induce severe sexual feelings in them. Shiva in anger for being tricked, opened his third eye which reduced the God of love to ashes. The Devas and Rathi Devi, the wife of Manmatha requested Shiva to give life to Manmatha. Heeding their request Shiva stared at the ashes of Manmatha. From the ashes came Bhandasura, who made all the world impotent and ruled from the city called Shonitha pura, after which he started troubling the devas. The devas then sought the advice of Sage Narada and Trimurti, who advised them to seek the help of Nirguna Brahman, the ultimate god head which is unmanifested i.e. Sat-Chit-Ananada (Truth-Consciousness-Bliss). Nirguna Brahman took the shape of Maha Sambhu and Adi Parasakthi (who were unmanifested and beyond the manifest Brahmanda) and appeared before them. Maha Sambhu and Adi Parasakthi agreed to take the form of Maha Kameswara and Lalita Tripura Sundari for the benefit of the universe. For this a maha yajna is made where the entire creation i.e. manifest universe is offered as the oblation and from the fire rose Maha Sambhu and Adi Parasakthi as Lalitha Tripura Sundari and Kameswara.Lalitha Tripura Sundari and Kameswara re-created the entire universe as it was before. She created Brahma and Lakshmi, Vishnu and Parvati, Shiva and Sarswati.Thus Vishnu came to be known as the brother of Parvati (i.e. incarnation of Lalita or Adi Para Sakthi).

My question is how can someone say to Nirguna Brahman "Hey Nirguna Brahman, become Saguna Brahman". That sounds completely ridiculous to me. Shakti could still kill Bhandasura because Parvati was born, Shakti was not. So the boon by Brahma can't help Bhandasura, and even if Parvati can't kill him then Tripura Sundari can't kill him either.

Tripura Sundari Ashtakam(Adi Shankara):-

I seek refuge in the immaculate and beautiful Mother, Who has a Veena (lute) honored at Her breasts, Who is decorated with curly tress-locks, Who resides in water-lily petals, Who is inimical to cunning minds, Who has eyes which are red as due to wine-consumption, Who entices the destroyer of Manasija or Kamadev (Shiv), Who is the daughter of Sage Matanga (as Matangi), and Who speaks mellifluously.||5||

Now Adi Shankara says Tripura Sundari was daughter of Sage Matanga! This clearly contradicts the above Wikipedia text. And if I have to choose one, I would obviously believe Adi Shankara's words.

So are there any scriptures which say Tripura Sundari came out of the Maha Yajna or was the daughter of Sage Matanga as Adi Shankara says?

  • The Wikipedia story is right as well as Adi Shankara. Why wasn't Parvati invoked? SImply because she was herself involved in Tapasya to marry Shiva. They didn't want to disturb her tapasya, and so they invoked Devi lalitambika, who arose from the Yajna. This is recorded in Lalitasahasranama as the fourth name of the Goddess - Chid-Agnikunda-Sambhuta - She who arose from the great Yajna. – Surya Mar 15 '16 at 11:55
  • And in another incarnation, Devi incarnated as the daughter of Rishi Matanga and is called Maatangi Devi. – Surya Mar 15 '16 at 11:55
  • @Surya The story says the whole creation was offered as oblation so that inludes Parvati. – Chinmay Sarupria Mar 15 '16 at 13:34
  • The story of Lalitambika appears in the Brahmanda Purana, so obviously it is not fake. Regarding offering Parvati as an oblation, where does it contradict anything? Even so I shall read the actual story once more. – Surya Mar 15 '16 at 13:42
  • @Surya Parvati was involved in Tapasya at that time but if she was offered as an oblation then her Tapasya is aborted. And if it is not required to complete Tapasya then Parvati could kill Bhandasura, there was no need for Tripura Sundari in that case. – Chinmay Sarupria Mar 15 '16 at 14:39
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The scriptural evidence that you are searching for is found in the Brahmanda Purana.It describes why and how Lalita Parameswari manifested out of the Yagna fire.Quoting from here:

In the heaven, all the Devatas including Brahma, could not comprehend what was going on and what had caused the situation. Not knowing the remedy for their hardship, they approached Lord Sri Hari. When they finally reached the abode of Lord Sri Hari, they saw that even He was sitting still with his eyes closed. It appeared as though He was merged in the bliss of Sushupti.

After the angels praised His glory for a long time, Lord Sri Hari slowly opened His eyes. “What is this? Why are you all looking drained of your energies?” asked Lord Sri Hari. He called everyone by their names and said:

A. Your present condition is due to the invisible foul play of Bhandasura.

B. Even I have lost the affinity for Goddess Lakshmi. What to say about other lesser beings?

C. Myself, Brahma and Rudra are Karana Purushas (causal beings for the manifest creation). Even then, because we are also inhabiting this creation, even we can not escape the torture of Bhandasura. D. There is however one Almighty God who is beyond this manifest Brahmanda. He is called Maha Shambhu. Parashakti is constantly in His Company.

So,this was the reason why Parasakti (Lalita MahaTripura Sundari) who is beyond manifest creation,was needed to intervene.

....So saying, Sri Hari led all the angels to the brim of the Brahmanda (Universe). There was a huge wall like fence there. The angels summoned the celestial elephants to break the wall. After toiling continuously for one year, a breach was formed in the wall. After passing through the breach, they saw Chinmaya Akasha, which was Niralamba (independent), Nirajnana (untainted) and which was devoid of the five elements. They all stood in that Chinmaya Akasha and sang the glory of Maha Shambhu, who was of the form of Chidakasha. Then Maha Shambhu appeared before them. He was dark like clouds. He had two hands. He was holding a Shoola (spear) in one hand and a Kapala (skull) in the other. He had three eyes. Parashakti also appeared before them. She was holding Aksha Mala (rosary of beads) and Pustaka (book) in Her hands. She was bright and cool like the moon.

The great Maha Shambhu smiled and said

A. I am aware why you have all come here.

B. Pralaya (destruction) is of three types. (i) Avaantara Pralaya (ii) Maha Pralaya and (iii) Kama Pralaya.

C. I am the one who is responsible to rescue the world from Maha Pralaya. Vishnu is the one who rescues from Aavantara Pralaya. It is Lalita Parameshwari who rescues from Kama Pralaya.

So,this particular Pralaya is an example of Kama Pralaya.

.....E. Only Lalita Devi can rescue from this situation. Parashakti alone can create another Lalita Devi. Therefore, take shelter in her. Beg her to help you.

Hearing this, the Devatas did not know what to do. They again prayed to Maha Shambhu to teach them the method of appeasing Parashakti.

Maha Shambhu explained:

A. This is called as Maha Yaga. (great fire sacrifice)

B. I am (assuming the form of Vayu) the Hota (the priest who makes the offerings in a Homa) in this Yaga (fire sacrifice).

C. My Chidagni itself is the fire in this Yaga.

D. The last of the seven seas, i.e., Jala Samudra (Water Sea) has now dried up. The huge pit so formed itself is the Homa Kunda (fire pit where Homa is performed)

E. The remaining six great oceans constitute the six drops of ghee which is used as offering.

F. Srishti (creation) is of five types (i) Manasa Srishti (ii) Jarayavee Srishti (creation-taking place through the womb.

G. Human beings), (iii) Anda Srishti (creation taking place through eggs) (iv) Swedaja Srishti (creation taking place through sweat) and (v) Udbhijja Srishti (creation taking place by sprouting). These five Srishtis (creations) are the sacrifice animals in this Maya Yaga.G. Bhoomi (land), Parvata (mountains), Jala (water), Vayu (air) and Akasha (space) these five are the substances used in this fire sacrifice. Agni element (one of the five elements) being a part of my Chidagni can not be a substance to be offered.

H. At the end of this great fire sacrifice, all of you (the performers of the Yaga) should jump in to the Homa Kunda (fire pit). While doing so, you must possess absolute devotion.

I. Then, Lalita Parameshwari will manifest.

And finally Lalita Devi did manifest out of the Homa Agni.Quoting now from here:

....At the end of the Homa, Lalita Devi came out of the Chidagni Homa Kunda, seated on a special chariot called “Chakra Raja Ratha”. Therefore, we find the descriptions such as “Chidagnikunda sambhoota” “Deva kaarya samudyataa” and “Chakra Raja Rathaa Roodha Sarvaayudha Parishkritaa” in Lalita Sahasranama.

All the above quotes in my answer has been taken from the translated version of Brahamanda Purana as found on this & this pages.With first 3 quotes being taken from the first link and the fourth one from the 2nd link.

  • Parvati is Shakti, she could kill Bhandasura so what was the need for another manifestation of Shakti? – Chinmay Sarupria Mar 16 '16 at 3:23
  • @ChinmaySarupria The answer to your question is mentioned in my answer itself.--"B. Even I have lost the affinity for Goddess Lakshmi. What to say about other lesser beings? C. Myself, Brahma and Rudra are Karana Purushas (causal beings for the manifest creation). Even then, because we are also inhabiting this creation, even we can not escape the torture of Bhandasura". So,needless to say,Parvati was also affected by Bhandasura's foul play,as was Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu himself. – Rickross Mar 16 '16 at 6:05
  • *Only Adi Para Shakti and MahaShambu(who were beyond manifest creation) were un affected.So the involvement of Sri Lalita(Adi Para Shakti) was needed. – Rickross Mar 16 '16 at 6:06
  • Parvati is Shakti, Shakti's another name is Adi Para Shakti. Parvati = Shakti = Adi Para Shakti = Tripura Sundari. – Chinmay Sarupria Mar 16 '16 at 13:00
  • @ChinmaySarupria Do you know the meaning of PARA?Para means "beyond" ,so Parashakti is even beyond Shakti.This is one and two, why Shakti or any other Gods (including even the Trinities and their consorts) were not able to resolve the situation created by Bhandasura is beautifully explained by Lord Vishnu himself and is contained in the 1st qoute in my answer.I have nothing much to add to that.Devi Parvati is Shakti's incarnation that is within the "manifested Creation" so even she was affected by the situation and was helpless. Only Mahshambhu and his consort (Parashakti) could have helped. – Rickross Mar 16 '16 at 18:20
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When Bhandasur( asur made from ashes if Kamadev) ran away with Parvati's child Kartikeya to kill him Parvati took the avatar of Tripura Sundari. As bhandasur was made from ashes he couldn't be destroyed. For his death he would need a body. So Tripura Sundari gave him a body( water from her tears,fire from her third eye,air from her nose and sky from her eyes. Bhandasur himself was earth's part). And after the formation of his body she killed him.

  • As per site rules, you should cite sources. Unsourced answers will be deleted. – The Destroyer Sep 19 '17 at 3:39

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