(Last Updated on : 02/11/2010)
Goddess Lalita is considered the embodiment of Para Shakti or the ultimate female power. Legends associated with Goddess Lalita are found in mythological texts. Devi
Bhagavata, Durga Saptashati in Markandeya Purana
by the sage Vyasa and Tripura
Rahasya narrated by the Lord Dattatreya are some such texts. Books related to Tantra also mention the goddess. As per legends Goddess Lalita represents the Panchabhuta: fire, air, water, space and earth. She always appears as though she is 16 years of age. This description is interpreted in another way as well. According to this theory Goddess Lalita appears in the form of 16 nityadevis. While depicting the war between Bhandasura and the goddess, Lalita Sahasranama Stotra mentions the nityadevis. Her consort is Shiva Kama Sundara.
Lalita Sahasranama Stotra, the hymn of 1000 names of Lalita is the best one venerated by the followers of all the traditions. There is not a single ritual, which has any difference of opinion on this hymn, which is found in the Brahmanda Purana
. The spiritual masters of the past have written several commentaries on the Lalita Sahasranama Stotra. They have firmly established that the hymn contains the essence of the Mantra Shastra (the science of holy chants) of the entire world. They have thoroughly analysed and described each name of the hymn from various aspects.
Goddess Lalita Tripura Sundari is referred in Hindu literature time and again. She is described in great detail as extremely beautiful, gorgeous, and erotically inclined. The Lalitha Sahasranama illustrates her charismas from head to foot. She is described as the one who recreates the universe. She was manifested through a Maha Yaga performed by Maha Shambhunatha. Lalita is called Tripura Sundari as Her Body consists of three Shaktis that is Brahma, Vaishnavi and Raudri.
In Adi Shankaracharya
`s book `Tripura Sundari Ashtakam` describes Lalita as a Mother, she portrays as giving shelter. In this book Lalita as the mother nourishes breasts akin to mountain peaks that give birth to rivers. She is represented as wearing a blue dress with red spots, holding a pot of honey, her eyes quivering with intoxication.
Lalita or Tripura Sundari together combines the features of Kali and Durga. She has Kali`s determination and Durga`s charm, grace and complexion. She has a third eye on her forehead. Lalita is said to be four-armed and clad in red dress. She is the heavily ornamented and sits on a lotus seat laid on a golden throne. Lalita carries in her hands various Shaivite attributes.