Lalita is the mother Goddess and the supreme feminine power. She is the combination of the three fundamental acts of existence, creation, sustenance, and destruction. Also called as Lalita Tripura Sundari, she is one among the Dasha Mahavidhyas, the ten mighty aspects of Adi Parashakthi. She is an aspect of the universal mother Parvati and is also known by names like Shodashi. She is unique, as she remains as the rare combination of remarkable beauty, great wisdom and immense power.
The Sanskrit word ‘Lalita’ literally means, ‘the lady, who plays.’ Believed to be a symbol of prosperity and protection, she is generally portrayed as a stunningly beautiful young woman, with long and flowing hair, decorated with various sweet-smelling flowers, and adorned in a bright silk sari and ornaments. She is seen seated on a lotus, holding a pot of honey in one hand and blessing the devotees with the other. She is also shown elsewhere as many-armed and carrying in them mighty weapons like the bow, arrow, trident, sword, mace, ax, etc.
Lalita Trishati, the Hymn of 300 Divine Names
Lalita Trishati is a very sacred hymn in praise of Goddess Lalita. It appears in the form of a dialog between Lord Hayagriva, the man-horse incarnation of Lord Vishnu and sage Agastya and is found as part of the scripture Brahmandapurana. Legends claim that this is a confidential stotra, which Goddess Lalita herself advised Hayagriva to teach the sage and thus pass on to the world.
Trishati means three hundred and Lalita Trishati refers to the 300 names of the Goddess which speak about her divine attributes, incomparable beauty, and breathtaking valor. This hymn is believed to be highly efficacious and has been termed by the Goddess as ‘Sarvapurtikari,’ the one which can help dissolve the karmic baggage and fulfill all desires.
A prayer hymn from Lalita Trishati describes the form of the Goddess and invokes her majesty. It hails her as crimson-colored, holding in hand a sweet sugarcane bow and arrow that represents the unending bliss of good fortune, extraordinarily compassionate and as shining in all her divine beauty in all the Chakras, from Muladhara at the base to Sahasrara at the crown.
Worship of the Goddess
Navaratri is a period of 9 nights that is typically dedicated to the worship of the Goddess. There are a few such Navaratris, and one of them is Ashada Navaratri, which is celebrated in the month of Ashada (in or around July). This period of 9 days is said to be dedicated principally to Varahi, the commander of Lalita. It is believed that worshipping Goddess Lalita during this auspicious Navaratri can bestow people with many benefits like curing of diseases, granting of wealth, wish fulfillment, and a long, healthy and happy life.
Lalita is a Goddess who possesses in her, both power and compassion, and her worship is believed to get her total blessings for the people and bring them all round benefits.
It can destroy their sins, stop negative thoughts, and prevent unexpected dangers and clear evil energies. It can also bestow them with auspiciousness, wealth, prosperity and pleasures; fulfill true desires; provide contentment, peace of mind and joy, and grant even liberation.