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Celebrating the Appearance Day of Lalita Devi

By: for ISKCON News on Aug. 25, 2017
Events

Lalita Devi is considered to be the guru of all gopis. This year, Lalita devi’s appearance day fell on August 27th

Just prior to the annual Gaura Purnima festival of 1986, the Deity of Srimati Lalita devi, along with three other principle sakhis, was installed in the Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir and joined Sri Sri Radha Madhava on the altar. She stands directly next to Sri Madhava.

The Vedic literature describes that Srimati Lalita devi is the foremost among the eight most confidential associates of Srimati Radhika. Her father is Visoka, her mother is Saradi and her husband is Bhairava. She has the complexion of garocana, a type of yellow pigment. She wears cloth that is sikhi-piccha, like peacock feathers. Her kunja (grove) is colored like lightning and is studded with rubies. It is called Lalitananda and is to the north of Radha Kunda.

Lalita devi’s favourite instrument is the vina, and her favourite tune is raga Bhairava-kalingada. She specializes in serving tambula, betel nut to the Divine Couple. She can be seen offering a chamara whisk to Sri Sri Radha Madhava on the altar in Mayapur. She is twenty-seven days older than Srimati Radharani, her age being eternally fourteen years, eight months and twenty-seven days old.

Her mood is khandita, like that of a jealous heroine who chastises her beloved. This mood is never manifested in relation to herself, however, but only when there is a delay in the meeting of Sri Radha and Madhava. She is well known for her hot and contrary nature, and her protective mood over her Prana-sakhi – Srimati Radhika.

Lalita devi is brilliant in composing and understanding riddles, and whenever engaged in a transcendental quarrel, Lalita devi is the one who opposes Krishna. She frequently becomes furious with Him and speaks outrageously insolent retorts. She affectionately teaches Srimati Radharani the ways of jealous anger, considering Her too docile for Her own good.

Lalita devi is the leader of the asta-sakhis, radhe tava priya-sakhim ca gurum sakhinam, "Oh Radhe! Your dear companion Lalita is the guru of all the gopis". Rupa-manjari is her maidservant and chief assistant. Like her father, she is extremely magnanimous. She instigates the pastimes of the Divine Couple. As clever and mischievous as Krishna may be in His approach to Srimati Radharani, Lalita is more clever and obliges Him to behave nicely to Sri Radha.

She is also expert in fashioning things with flowers, like canopies, arenas for dancing, umbrellas, couches, bowers and so on. Lalita devi is a conjuror, expert in magic tricks and juggling.

In Gaura-lila, she appears as Svarupa Damodara Gosvami, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s personal servant and associate. No one could approach or present anything to Gauranga Mahaprabhu without his sanction.

No one can approach the sweet and intimate pastimes of Sri Sri Radha Madhava without the blessing and permission of Lalita devi, who is the constant companion of Srimati Radharani. And in the same way, Svarupa Damodara Goswami was the constant companion of Lord Chaitanya, and he experienced the highest ecstasies of the Rasas of Sri Radha. 

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