Sri Lalitha Jayanthi

Sri Lalitha Jayanthi
Sri Lalitha Devi

Sri Lalitha Jayanthi is celebrated as a festival in northern parts of India. It occurs on the Purnima day (Full moon day) of the Magha month. In the year 2021, it falls on 27th February 2021.

Sri Lalitha Jayanthi marks the manifestation of Goddess Sri Parvathi as Sri Lalitha Devi.

Sri Lalitha Devi – Dasha Maha Vidya

Sri Parvathi Devi has ten main manifestations. They are collectively called as Dasha Maha Vidya.

The ten names are

-Sri Kali;
-Sri Bagalamukhi;
-Sri Chinnamasta;
-Sri Bhuvaneswari;
-Sri Matangi;
-Sri Shodashi;
-Sri Dhumavathi;
-Sri Tripura Sundari;
-Sri Tara; and
-Sri Bhairavi.

Sri Lalitha Devi represents Sri Tripura Sundari and Sri Shodashi.

Attributes of Sri Lalitha Devi

Sri Lalitha Devi has four hands. Her lower hands keep the sugarcane bow and flower arrows. The upper hands hold the pasha (noose) and the prodding weapon (goad).

Her right foot is on the Yantra which is also called as Chakra.

Sri Lalitha Jayanthi
Sri Lalitha Devi – as Sri Kanchi Kamakshi

Sri Lalitha Devi is considered as the Goddess representing the five elements (Pancha Bhutas) of nature such as

-Sky or space (Akash);
-Earth (Prithivi);
-Air (Vayu);
-Fire (Agni); and
-Water (Varuna).

Sri Lalitha Jayanthi
Sri Lalitha Devi as Sri Madurai Meenakshi

Sri Lalitha Devi is also considered as the Goddess representing the five occupations of God (Pancha Kriya) such as

-Generation (Shrushti);
-Protection (Sthithi);
-Destruction (Samhaaram);
-Concealment (Tirobhav); and
-Blessing (Anugraham).

Sri Lalitha Jayanthi – associated legends

There are a few stories associated with Sri Lalitha Jayanthi.

Devi Puran

It is believed that as per Devi Puran, Sri Parvathi Devi was born as Sati, the daughter of Daksha. She was married to Lord Shiva. Daksha never respected his Son-in-Law.

Daksha’s Yagna

Daksha did a Havan (homam / yagna) to appease Gods. His daughter and son-in-law were also present. But he had insulted Lord Shiva. Sati Devi was furious. She was agonized at the treatment meted out to Her husband.

Sati’s swiftness

Anguished, Sati Devi plunged into the Yagna fire and lost Her life. Everyone was astonished. Lord Shiva was forlorn. He took the lifeless form of His wife and was roaming around the world.

Sri Vishnu’s action

On seeing the misery of Lord Shiva, Sri Vishnu had sent His Sudarshan Chakra to severe the corpse of Sati to 108 pieces. The pieces fell into 108 places. Each of the place is considered as Shakti-Peet.

Emergence of Sri Lalitha Devi

From the dissected body, Sri Lalitha Devi emerged.  The term “Lalitha” means “an elegant girl”.

She is also known as “Sri Lalitha Tripura Sundari” which means that She is the most graceful and beautiful in the three worlds. It also means that She is beyond manas, buddhi and chintha which mean mind, wisdom and thought.

Sri Bramha’s chakra

As per another legend, Sri Bramha had once sent His chakra to destroy the pataal lok. The entire world was getting submerged into water.

The Sages who were doing tapas were scared. They had ardently worshipped Sri Parvathi Devi to protect the world.

She took the form of Sri Lalitha Devi and stopped the Chakra of Sri Bramha. She also had revived the earth.

Bhandasura

As per another legend, it is believed that the demon Bhandasura emerged from the ashes of Manmadha, the deity of love who was burned down by Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva did so because Manmadha had disrupted His tapas.

His misdemeanors

Bhandasura was roaming around the worlds.  He took special interest in torturing Devas. The Devas were devastated. They went into hiding.

Devas’ desperation

In desperation, Devas started praying to Sri Parvathi Devi to protect them. They also were performing the Yagna invoking Sri Parvathi Devi’s blessings. This was being done in their hiding place.

Bhandasura’s might

But Bhandasura traced them. He went to the place of Yagna and started tormenting them. Bereft of any support, the Devas jumped into the Homam fire to end their lives.

Emergence of Sri Lalitha Devi

Bhandasura waited till the last Deva immolated himself into the fire. Sated, he left the place feeling triumphant.

However, from the ashes of the Yagna, Sri Lalitha Devi emerged. She killed Bhandasura. She also had revived Devas.

Sri Lalitha Devi as Shodashi

Sri Lalitha Devi is also called as “Shodashi” which means that She had emerged as a sixteen-year-old girl. It is believed that as Shodashi, She was born from the east face of Sri Bramha.

Sri Lalitha Jayanthi
Sri Lalitha Devi as Sri Raja Rajeswari

Sri Lalitha Jayanthi puja – rituals (commonly followed)

-In the puja room or the puja place at home, the picture or statue of Sri Parvathi Devi in any manifestation has to be kept.
-Chandan and Kumkum are to be applied on the picture / vigraha.
-Lamps and incense sticks are to be lit.
-The puja place has to be decorated with flowers.
-Stotrams and Slokas on Sri Lalitha Devi are to be recited with devotion. Recitation of Sri Lalitha Sahasra Namam (thousand names) is considered to be auspicious and beneficial.
-The dedicated mantras on Sri Lalitha Devi can be chanted after learning the same.
-Sweet preparations can be offered as Neivedyam and partaken after distributing to others.
-At some places, Yagnas / Homams / Havans are performed invoking the blessings of Sri Lalitha Devi.

Sri Lalitha Jayanthi
Sri Lalitha Devi as Sri Akilandeswari

Significance of Sri Lalitha Sahasra Namam

This stotram is composed as the conversation between Sri Hayagreeva (the horse faced manifestation of Sri Maha Vishnu) and Sage Agasthya.

Immediately after the preliminary Dhyanam, the stotram commences with describing Sri Lalitha Devi as
-the eminent mother (Sri Maata);
-the greatest empress (Sri Maharajnee); and
-the ruler sitting on the lion (Srimad Simhasaneshwari)

The entire stotram gives out thousand names to Sri Lalitha Devi. Each of them describes an attribute of Her.

The reading of the entire Lalitha Sahasranamam is sure to enhance the spiritual wellbeing.

Sri Lalitha Jayanthi – Name of the associated Mantras

The following mantras are to be learnt and recited.

-Shodashi Mantra
-Panchakshara Shodashi Mantra
-Shadakshara Shodashi Mantra
-Ashta Dashakshara Shodashi Mantra
-Vinshatyakshara Shodashi Mantra
-Tripura Gayathri Mantra
-Maha Shodashi Mantra

Possible benefits of Sri Lalitha Jayanthi Puja

-Enrichment of knowledge and wisdom
-Contended and harmonious life
-Peace of mind
-Divinity and spiritual enhancement

Om Sri Maha Lalitha Devyai Namo Namaha!!!

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