I want to know whether Trika which is technical term for Kashmiri Shaivism is mentioned in Shakta scriptures? If yes, what they say about it?

1 Answer 1


Yes mentioned. In ShAkta Tantras Trika refers to the Triad - JyAna (knowledge) Shakti, IcchA (will) Shakti and KriyA (action) Shakti.

But at the same time, it also refers to other Triads like the Tri Tatvas- Shiva, VidyA and Atma and etc.

Here is a reference to Trika in the KulArnava Tantram:

Trika pujAntu yah kuryAd icchAjyAnakriyAtmikAm |
Agamoktena vidhinA purvattadvidhAnavit ||

One who does the PujA of the triad - the Trika- which is IchhA JyAna and KriyA-atmikA, as per the methods of Agama and as delineated earlier...

KulArnava Tantram 10.105

And, in the commentary on this verse the translator quotes the following passage:

In the doctrines of Kula (Kaulism), among the six Shaktis- Anuttara (or chit or consciousness), Ananda (bliss), IcchA (will), EshanA, Unmesha and UnatA- the three viz- Chit, IcchA and Unmesha, are considered together as the Trika, which is the essence of all the aforementioned six. The Triad Trika is considered as the full expansive and organized form of Parameswara's free will (SwAtantrya Shakti of God). And it is present as VAchya and VAchaka forms in every manifestations of this universe.

ShAstramulak BhAratiya Shakti SAdhana, 1st Edition pp 302-303

So, in this way the triad Trika is used and present in Shaktism to primarily refer to the Tri Shaktis.

In Shaktism, the Supreme Goddess pervades everything in her three forms- VAma, JyeshtA and Raudri.

  • In the VAma (who literally vomits the entire creation to manifestation; etymologically derived from "Vamana" meaning "to vomit") form the IcchA (the will to create) Shakti dominates the other two forces. Here the Chidrupa Goddess performs the task of creation.

  • In JyeshtA form, the KriyA (actions needed to preserve) Shakti is predominant and in this form she does the task of Stithi or preservation.

  • And, in the Raudri form, she performs the task of destruction or dissolution. Here, JyAna (with JyAna illusion is dissolved; thus dissolution is related to the JyAna Shakti) Shakti is predominant.

VAmA, JyesthA and Raudri are the threefold forms of Paradevi Tripura who gets transformed into the respective male forms of the Trinities- BrahmA, Vishnu and Mahesha.

EshA sA paramA shaktirekaiva parameswari ||
TripurA trividhA devi brahmavishnuisharupini |
JyAnashaktih kriyAshaktirichhAshaktyAtmikA priye |
Tarilokyam samsrijatyeshA tripurA parikirtyate ||

O Beloved, she [Tripura] is that Supreme Goddess who is one. But she again is of the three forms- Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesha; She in the form of the Triad Shaktis - JyAna, KriyA and IcchA, creates the three world.

NityoshodashikA Tantram 4.10-12

So, in Sri VidyA, specially, the triad Trika, which represents here, the three Shaktis, play an important role.

It represents various other triads though that are related to Goddess LalitA Tripura Sundari like:

  • Tri Shakti Rupas- VAma (IcchA), JyeshtA ( KriyA) Raudri (JyAna)

  • Tri Tatvas- Shiva, Vidya, Atma OR Shiva, Shakti and Nara according to some

  • Tri Chakras of Sri LalitA's abode the Sri Yantra- Srishti Chakra, Stithi Chakra and SamhAra Chakra.

  • Tri DhAmas (or planes) of the Sri Chakra- Surya, Chandra and Agni DhAmas.

  • Tri Kootas- The three Beejas or Kootas of LalitA's Mantra viz- Shakti, KAmrAja and VAgabhava Kootas

So, all these Triads are represented by the word Trika in Shaktism, specially in the Sri VidyA tradition.

Goddess Tripura's symbolism and esoteric are very much linked to Tri or three including the etymology of the word itself. So, Trika finds an important place in Sri VidyA tradtion of Shaktism.

NOTE: I am unable to translate few Sanskrit/Bengali words in the 2nd block quote. Will try to do it later. If some of you can do it, then that also will do.

  • Is there nothing like TrikAcharya like VAmacharya? Commented Mar 3, 2018 at 12:14
  • acharya meaning Guru? nothing encountered like that so far @Rohith.
    – Rickross
    Commented Mar 3, 2018 at 12:16
  • I guess I read in your one of the old answer. Commented Mar 3, 2018 at 12:17
  • You may be talking about Achara then? like the seven Acharas of Tantras starting from Vedachara and ending at Kulachara? @Rohith.
    – Rickross
    Commented Mar 3, 2018 at 12:18
  • @Rohith. If u can translate the words like unmesha, unata etc in the 2nd block quote, then please do it..
    – Rickross
    Commented Mar 3, 2018 at 12:20

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