Goddess Lalita is considered as the Hindu Goddess of beauty and enjoyment. She comes in the third position among the Dasha Mahavidyas and also known by the names Tripurasundari and Shodashi. Goddess Lalita Tripurasundari is also one of the nine forms of goddess worship on Navaratri. Goddess Lalitha is assumed to be the divine energy of Sri Chakra. In the pictures, she is depicted as a sixteen year old extremely beautiful goddess who blesses mankind with sixteen advices. Moreover this is the age of perfection and maturity.
Three Forms of Goddess Lalitha
Goddess Lalita is known in three divine forms. They are Tripura Bala, Tripura Sundari and Tripura Bhairavi who are the representations of body, mind and consciousness respectively. The first form is represented as a young virgin goddess whereas the second as marvelous eternal beauty of the three worlds. The third form Tripura Bhairavi is the ferocity and power of the Goddess Lalita. The devotional methods for Tripura Bhairavi is very much inclined to Mahavidyas while the same regarding the other two forms are according to Sri Vidya tradition based on the worship of Srichakra. Goddess Sri Vidya is prayed for her kind heartedness and glory. Since the Goddess has attained three levels of existence, she is worshipped as Rajarajeshwari, Kameshwari, and Maha Tripura Sundari. These forms are to represent the qualities of her sacred functions.
Appearance of Goddess Lalita
Goddess Lalita is depicted with four arms and her skin is in golden color. In one of the two fore arms she has carried a rope and in the other a pike. They highlight attachment and repulsion seen in life. In the latter two arms she has carried a sugarcane bow and five flower arrows to represent mind and five sensory organs respectively. Her body is well garlanded by numerous ornaments. Lalita is also the representation of creation, preservation and destruction and considered as the image of sixteen modifications of desires. Usually she is found sitting on a lotus placed on a throne. All these display a royal atmosphere throughout in her environments.
Goddess Lalita is considered as the companion of Lord Shiva and believed that she is the energy of the radiant light emerging from his third eye in the fore head. The detailed information regarding the goddess can be understood from the Shodashi Tantra. She is the Tantric deity among the Mahavidyas. Even though she belongs to the Kali family, she is considered as the most important Mahavidya. Goddess Lalita is the combination of eternal grace, knowledge and determination. Thus she spreads the light of pleasure, sympathy and awareness to her devotees.
Mantras of Goddess Lalita
Lalitha Sahasranama Stotra is one of the most popular stotrams associated with Goddess Lalita Devi. Another popular mantra of the goddess is the Tripura Sundari Ashtakam composed by Adi Shankaracharya. Lalita Trishati Stotra from Brahmanda Purana is another highly revered Sanskrit Stotra addressed to the goddess.
Tripura Sundari Temples in India
Below are some of the popular Tripurasundari Temples in India.
1) Tripura Sundari Temple in Banswara, Rajasthan
2) Tripura Sundari Temple in Udaipur, Tripura
3) Tripurasundari Temple in Manali, Himachal Pradesh
4) Bala Tripura Sundari Ammanavara Temple in Mysore, Karnataka