The text is classified as a Shakta Upanishad and attached to the Rigveda. The Tripura Upanishad places the goddess Tripura Sundari as the ultimate Shakti (energy, power) of the universe. She is described as the supreme consciousness, above Bramha, Vishnu and Shiva. The text is one of the important texts of the Shakta tradition and notable for its theory of Tripura (literally "three cities") symbolizing the three roads of work, worship and wisdom.
The title Tripura means "three cities". It refers to the Tantric idea that everything including the transcendental reality is of triadic form and function, manifesting from one unity. The triads occur, for example, as "creator, creation, and the process of creativity", "will, action and knowledge", "knower, object of knowledge, and the process of knowing", three Devas, three Shaktis (energies), three svaras (musical notes), and others. These all devolve into and are symbolized as Tripura. She is epistemologically envisioned, states Brooks, as "the measurer, the measuring and the thing measured"; she has the nature of Shiva, Shakti and Atman (soul, self); she is all creation in latent and manifested forms; and she establishes the non-dualistic identity of the Absolute Brahman with the individual soul (Atman).