Lalita Sasti

yam kam api vraja-kule vrsabhanu-jayah
preksya sva-paksa-padavim anurudhyamanam
sadyas tad-ista-ghatanena krtarthayantim
devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami

(Sri Lalitastakam, verse 7)

“I offer pranama unto the supremely charming Sri Lalita-devi, the treasure house of all good qualities. Upon seeing any young maiden anywhere in Vraja and discerning that she is inclined towards her priya-sakhi Srimati Radhika, Lalita immediately tells Radha that She must accept this person in Her own party (svapaksa). Radha obeys Lalita, who thus fulfills that maiden’s desires.”

The auspicious shukla paksha shashti tithi in the month of Bhadrapada, which falls two days before Radhashtami, is the most glorious appearance day of the foremost of all the dearmost sakhis of Shrimati Radhika, namely Shrimati Lalita Devi. Shrimati Lalita devi, whose complexion is more splendid then the brilliant gorochana(the bright golden pigment that comes when rain-water during the svati-naksatra constellation hits the head of a qualified cow), and who wears a saree as beautiful as the colorful tail feathers of a dancing peacock, is an embodiment of unlimited transcendental qualities and is the Shiksha guru of all the sakhis in Shrimati Radhika’s group. Shrimati Lalita, although herself a Nayika(heroin) and Yutheshvari(group leader), is always eager to serve Shrimati Gandharva Radha in various ways. Lalita devi, also famous as Anuradha, the one who always follows Radha, is expert in dressing Srimati Radhika and in arranging her rendezvous with Vanamali Vamsidhari Krishna and she also serves the divine couple by wiping the droplets of perspiration from their lotus feet when they engage in amorous pastimes in the gorgeous fragrant kunjas of Vrindavan. Shrimati Lalita is Vama prakhara sakhi, meaning that she is contrary and unsubmissive to Shri Vrajendranandan Shyamsundar and uses harsh and cutting words to rebuke him when he tries to use clever and tricky words to pacify Shrimati Radhika’s maan(jealous anger).

radham abhi vraja-pateh krtam atmajena
kutam manag api vilokya vilohitaksim
vag-bhangibhis tam acirena vilajjayantim
devim gunaih sulalitam namami

(Sri Lalitastakam, verse 5)

I offer pranama unto the abode of all good qualities, the supremely charming Sri Lalita-devi, who, upon hearing Sri Krsna speak even a few sly words to Srimati Radhika, immediately becomes furious and shames Krsna with her biting, sarcastic remarks, “You are so truthful and simple-hearted, and such a chaste lover!”

Shrila Rupa Goswami, following in whose line we are known as Rupanuga vaishnavas, who is Rupa manjari in goloka vrindavan, is the principal manjari serving under Shrimati Lalita devi, and it is Srimati Lalita devi who brings the qualified jivas to the lotus feet of Shrimati Radhika and engages them in her service, therefore Shrila Rupa goswami has composed Shri Lalita ashtakam glorifying her auspicious qualities. The sadhakas, after attaining their transcendental swarup as manjaris and after learning how to serve the divine youthful couple in various ways from their guru sakhi and Shrila Rupa manjair, train under the guidance of Shrimati Lalita devi, after which she takes them to the lotus feet of Shrimati Radhika and engages them in her service.

This most auspicious day of Lalita shashti is celebrated in Iskcon Vrindavan by offering a new splendidly beautiful outfit to their Lordships, seeing which all the devotees experience immense transcendental pleasure. Shrimati Lalita devi is then glorified in the morning Bhagwatam class and her numerous divine qualities and pastimes are described, hearing which, the devotees feel overjoyed at heart and pray to become the recipient of her causeless mercy.

On this day, we all beg to her with folded hands to please caste her merciful glance upon us and make us her maidservants so that under her guidance and direction we may be able to serve the divine couple Shri Shri Radha Shyamsundar in the glorious forests of Vrindavan, on the banks of the Jamuna, which is always filled with fragrant lotus flowers, and is the place of various blissful water pastimes of the divine couple.