Bala Tripurasundari is the child form (about 7 to 9 years old) of Lalita Tripurasundari.
Her mantra generally provides a shishya's entry to Srividya. She is also said to be the strength of the Goddess.
According to Her dhyana, Bala (Baa-laa) is the color of the rising sun, smiling lightly; She has four hands. She holds a rosary and abook in Her two upper hands; the lower hands show the abhaya andvarada mudras. She is seated on a blue lily (*not* lotus).I do not know of any precise ontological relationship to Saraswati,other than to say they are both aspects of the one Devi.
Is Bala Devi the same as Bala Tripurasundari as in Lalitopakhyana. I found this excerpt. Lalitopakhyana (The story of the Goddess Lalita) Agni prakara (compound wall made of fire)
"Both of them went to Lalita devi, expressed sorry for what had happened and made arrangements for protection. At the instance of Lalita devi, Jwalamalini devi made a compound wall of fire around the devi's army The fire wall is 100 yojana wide and 30 yojana tall. (1 yojana is approximately 8 miles).
At the southern end of fire wall is a 1 yojana long entry, toenable devi's army go out and fight because Shunyapuram is facingthis end.(L.S.Nójwalamalini kashipta vahniprakaramadhyaga. Stambhini devi a member of Dandanatha devi family along with 20 akshohini senas was protecting this entry point. She is also called Vighna devi. By then it was dawn
Knowing all this news Bhandasura was in despair and started thinking what to do.
This time he sent all his 30 sons for the war.
After listening to this news Lalita devi's daughter Bala devi wanted to fight these demons herself.
Bala devi is the only daughter of Lalita devi .She resembles Lalita devi very much but is always only 9 years old. She stays permanently with her mother only.
Bala devi approached her mother and requested for permission to fight in the battlefield.
At the outset Lalita devi denied but looking at the courage and will power exhibited by Bala devi she ultimately gave permission.
Seeing Bala devi coming for the war Mantrini and Dandanayaka were astonished , they stood as her body guards.
Now Baladevi started ferocious fighting with Bhanda's sons.Every one was surprised at her valour.
Whole of the second day Baladevi fought. That evening she shot 30 arrows at a time and killed 30 sons of Bhanda.
Lalita devi was very happy and she embraced her daughter (L.S.N---Bhandaputravadhodyukta bala vikrama nandita)
Bhanda was grief stricken. Desperately he himself started offf or the war.
Vishukra and Vishanga pacified Bandasura"|
Extract from English version of Lalitopakhyana by Ganapati Sachchidananda. The full text of Lalitopakhyana is in our file section of the group.
If I recall correctly, Mantrini is an alternate name for Matangi Devi, and Dandanayaka an alternate for Bagalamukhi Devi. Nice to find some of the MahaVidyas in Tripurasundari's court!
Manthrini is Mathangi and Dandanayika is Vaaraahi.
Yes this incident is referred to in Lalitaasahasranama as
"smiling at the effort of Baalaa in killing the sons of Bhandasura."
Thus each nama in sahasranama refers to some story in Lalitopakhyana and and in reciting LS you must meditate and visualise on that. If LS is recited so, it is indeed the most powerful mantra possible.
Hey Nora ...
You asked: "Is Bala Devi the same as Bala Tripurasundari as in Lalitopakhyana?"
She is. Lalita is both mother and daughter; in the sense that Lalita is the Mother of everyone and everything, divine and mortal, animate and inanimate. As Bala, Lalita is ever 9 years old; just as Lalita's Shodashi form is ever 16, and Panchadasi is Lalita ever pushing 30.
Lalitopankhya states that Bala "resembles Lalita devi very much but is always only 9 years old. She stays permanently with her mother only." The resemblance is because they are One. They are permanantly together because they are One.
But the dughter dynamic can be a brain-twister at times. For example, we see that "Baladevi approached her mother and requested permission to fight in the battlefield," a request which Lalita initially denied but later granted.
This is strange, in that we have Lalita essentially denying Herself permission to fight. On the other hand it is quite touching -- wouldn't it be nice if you, as your adult self, knowing what was to come, could have been there to selflessly coach, advise and guide your younger self through those precarious growing-up years? Isn't that what we try to do with our own children, and for other young people who seek guidance and advice?
One nice lesson of Shaktism is the fact that we are all Her; we are all in and of Her. And by extension, we are all Bala -- struggling to find our own way and prove ourselves; brave and strong, impatient with those who (with whatever good intentions) try to hold us back. And we are all Lalita, too; constantly trying to judge when it is right to hold on -- and when it is time to let go.
Namaste DB, Nora et al
I also find Bala Tripura paradoxical in the sense that She is described as a child, but many of Her praise names are twinged with the sort of sexual imagery and metaphor more befitting of an adult woman. What is the meaning of these praise names within this context
I am undoubtedly showing my ignorance here, but I'm not aware of the descriptions you refer to -- addressing Devi's child form, Bala, with "sexual imagery and metaphor more befitting of an adult woman."
If you wish to cite specific references, I suppose we could take a guess ... But overall, I would simply observe that Bala's role in this regard is similar to that of the Kumaris or of those Devi temples outside of which it is customary to give alms to girl children. The child form denotes the Divine Feminine in a particularly pure distillation, devoid of more complex overtones (sexual or otherwise) of adulthood.
For the psychologically healthy adult, children are symbolic of innocence and purity; they arouse in us instincts of selflessness (not selfishness). In general, they cannot offer us anything in the way of material wealth or power or sex or influence, as many adults can. And yet most of us love and care for our children with complete and unqualified devotion.
Bala teaches us to devote ourselves to Devi in the same spirit. Perhaps descriptions that focus on the creative potentialities of Her more mature forms are meant simply remind us that the same pure and selfless qualities of devotion that She inspires should characterize our Shakti sadhana in general
In the Bala Panchanga, Bala Tripurasundari is conceived not as a child, but as a young (late adolescent) woman, sexually mature but not yet having borne children.