Lalitha Sapthami is the festival ascribed to Sri Lalitha Devi, one of the eight Gopikas who were the close friends of Sri Radha and Sri Krishna.
Lalitha Sapthami marks the day of the emergence of Sri Lalitha Devi as the close friend of Sri Radha Rani. The festival occurs on the Shukla Paksha Sapthami of Bhadra Padha month. For the Year 2021, it occurs on Monday, 13th September 2021. The exact duration of the Sapthami Tithi has to be ascertained from the respective regional calendars. The Shukla Paksha Ashtami of the Bhadra Padha month is celebrated as Sri Radha Ashtami.
Sri Lalitha Devi was born in Karhela Village. Her parents brought her to Uccgoan. She used to be the closest friend of Sri Radha Rani and Sri Krishna. She used to prepare food for them. She was most devout and loving towards them.
Sri Lalitha Devi is one of the eight Gopikas who were the ardent devotees of Sri Krishna and Sri Radha. The other seven Gopikas are Vishaka, Thunga Vidya, Chitra Lekha, Indu Lekha, Champaka Latha, Sudevi and Ranga Devi. Together, the eight Varishta Gopikas are called as Ashta Sakhi.
As an honor to Sri Lalitha Devi, there is a water body named Lalitha Kund at Vridhavan. It is believed that taking the holy dip in the Kund alleviates the sins.
On Lalitha Sapthami day, married couple devoutly worship Sri Lalitha Devi along with Sri Radha and Sri Krishna. They observe fasting on this day in her honor. It is believed that the Vrat was suggested by Sri Krishna Himself.
The devotees raise early in the morning and after the bath, they prepare for the Vrat. The Puja place at the house is cleaned and decked up with rangoli and flowers. After praying to Lord Ganesh, prayers are done to other Deities. Slokams in praise of Sri Krishna and Sri Radha are recited.
Special prayers are offered at all Sri Krishna temples.
Fasting is observed from sunrise to sunset. The fruits offered as Neivedyam are partaken. A red thread is kept in puja. The women devotees tie the thread around their right wrist.
It is believed that observation of fasting on Lalitha Sapthami day results in the healthy and long-life of their children.