Dasha Mahavidya or a group of ten aspects are what is related by the Hindu pundits with Devi Parvati or the Goddess Shakti according to Hinduism. It is a huge spectrum ranging from the fierce warrior Goddess to the gentle and coy feminine side of the Goddess that the Dasha Mahavidya encompasses.
Maa Lalita, is one of those ten Mahavidyas, or an aspect of Goddess Parvati or Shakti. Lalita jayanti is the observance of the day when Maa Lalita first appeatrd or rather the incarnation day or the Avatara Dinotsava of Goddess Lalita, also known as Tripura Sundari Devi.
Lalita is the Goddess who is associated with Sri Vidya. The holy chanting of Lalita Sahasranama says – “Na shathaya na dushtaya na vishwasaya karhichith sri mathra bhakti yuktaya sri vidya raja vediney’; meaning that this divine knowledge should not be shared with one who is wicked, amoral or depraved.
The image of Lalita is one where she holds five arrows of flower, a noose, a bow and a goad. The noose represents temporal attachment, the going toad stands for extreme revulsion, the five flowery arrows stand for the five sensory objects and the bow made out of sugarcane represents the complex mind. Lalita jayanti is observed in the margashirsha purnima in the Hindu moth of Magha or January- February.
Legend of Sri Lalita jayanti –
The ancient religious book called Devi Purana finds a mention of Devi Lalita. According to the scripture, Devi Purana, when Goddess Parvati was visiting her father Daksha for the yagna (Hindu ritual of fire sacrifice) he was performing, she could not tolerate her Husband Lord Shiva’s humiliation. Daksha had never approved Shiva as His daughter’s husband, and took the opportunity to belittle Shiva even in the presence of other Gods and Goddesses. Deeply aggrieved by her father’s behavior, Devi Parvati gave up her soul or committed dehatyag. Shiva saddened beyond belief, lifted Parvati’s dead body and started on a maddening dance or Tandava. Seeing the destructive dance, Lord Vishnu used his Chakra and cut Parvati’s body to 108 pieces. Wherever a body part of Parvati fell on Earth, a Shakti peeth was established. Devi Sati in this way came in to existence in Naimish and was called Devi Lalita.
Worship of Ma Lalita Devi –
It is believed that Ma Lalita Devi lovingly blesses those of her devout and ardent devotees who worship her with utmost dedication and faith. Those who worship her are believed to be blessed with lifelong happiness, wish fulfillment and contentment. Devotees keep fast on this day and do Devi lalita puja in the morning. She is worshipped with Lalitopakhyan, Lalitasahasranaam and Lalitatrishati. Skanda Mata and Lord Shiva are also worshipped along with Ma Lalita Devi on this auspicious day.
There are places where on this auspicious day lot of melas or fairs are organized. Devotees throng these fairs. Huge gatherings are seen in the Ma Lalita Devi temples as well, and according to the ancients Puranas, devotees visit the Aadishaktitripuri Sundari Jagat Janani Sri Lalita Mata’s temple. Though devotees can always visit her temple, visiting Ma Lalita’s temple on this particular day brings fortuitous results for the devotees.
Lalita Devi bestows success and lifelong contentment to her devotees. According to Southern folklores Ma Devi Lalita is another form of Devi Chandi and is also worshipped in that form on this revered occasion.